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October 20, 2006

Funeral Homily of John C. Gatz — Mass of Christian Burial

Condolences: Chris and Kathy; Katie and David; John’s grandparents, Nell, Janice and Lee; All of John’s Aunts and Uncles and cousins . . .

Our prayers also go out to the Providence family, to John’s classmates in a special way, and to our own Sacred Heart Family, especially the class of 2004.

Last night after everyone had left Church,

I went to my office to begin working on this homily.

I had some thoughts; I had some ideas about what I wanted to say . . .

But not sure about how to put the words together . . .

I would imagine some of you have been in that situation in the last few days —

As you’ve talked among yourselves feeling like all the words you were saying just weren’t adequate . . . somehow the words fell short.

And so I went over to Church for a little bit,

And I remembered the Communion of Saints ...

And I threw up a little prayer to John ...

Who now stands shoulder to shoulder with angels and saints,

And I said, “Hey John, tap the Holy Spirit on the shoulder and tell him to send

A little bit of something to me ... and to us to help us cope.”

Three scripture passages come to my mind this day

Not surprisingly, they come from the Gospel of John.

The first is John 10:10

I came that you might have life and have it abundantly.

John Christopher Gatz lived 16 short years,

But he lived an abundant life.

Whether he was acting goofy with some of his friends ...

Or doing a cannonball and getting disqualified from the swim meet.

John lived an abundant life each time he got a great idea

And you know how his eyes would get real big —

And he’d say, “Wait, let’s do it like this.”

John was a Boy Scout — a member of our Troop 89 right here at Sacred Heart.

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