Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Well done, good and faithful servant.

He reminded me of Fr. Solanus Casey. It seemed everytime I saw George Cooke he was entering the church side door as I was leaving from the prior Mass; memory says he, therefore, was always surrounded in light when we encountered each other. His smile would put those of the Cheshire Cat, Sarah Palin and Louie Armstrong in hiding.
George, I've heard, left the Church for a significant period of his life. But when I met him years ago, he was back in her arms as a loving child. He eventually entered the Third Order Franciscans, and with some of his younger, much younger confreres founded a garage schola (Gregorian Schola of St. Francis) long before the movement really got moving. George always said he couldn't really sing, but he would don the cassock and surplice over his brown habit and lip sync or sotto voce the chants in earnest with his fellows. He could always be found at food giveaways with friends of our service organziations. And at our last seasonal concert (Christmastide) he read the translations of the 4th Sunday Advent, Christmas Day and Epiphany Introits before the schola guys chanted them masterfully.
His passing was a surprise, though he'd been in ICU on a ventilator for a while, gradually being weaned from it and we all thought he'd walk with us for a while more. But God smiles, too. And smiled upon his good and faithful servant George at about 6:30pm last evening. A saint (in waiting?) God knows. In my heart, no doubt.
God bless you, George, with eternal Light, Peace and Joy in His Presence. Now sing with a glorious voice.

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