The actual funeral was held four days
earlier in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Memorial eucharist and service took
place on Saturday afternoon, June 19 at Loyola House in Guelph, Ontario.
On the cover of the memorial flyer were these lines and this image:
loving memory of a wonderful person whose passover
accomplished Wednesday evening
While contemplating on the parable of the Prodigal Son, my heart stayed
at the line "He ran to the boy, clasped him and kissed him tenderly" (Lk
15:20). For some strange reason, Fr. John English, whom I had never met
in person, became the boy. He was being held tightly and welcomed affectionately
by God. Trying to sketch this image is, in the end, a rewarding experience. Looking
at Fr. John English's photograph intensely for a few days, I see the soft
lines on his face, his gentleness and a very natural unassuming aura of
love. What a beautiful creation of God, must have been like the prism of
God's light to others for most of his life. Lines cannot lie. ---
by Vicky Chen
(click small images to enlarge in separate window)
In a letter to Vicky about the above sketch Jim Profit wrote: "It was great
to meet you (at the memorial service), though so little time to really
talk. Hopefully that will come soon. Your sketch of John English was also
on the programme of the Winnipeg funeral. Apparently, John had this sketch
in his room, and it was by the casket as well during the wake. So, thank-you
very much for this. It obviously captured something of John that resonated
with many of us.
"'Coincidence' -- well maybe, but probably not! I enjoyed the service,
and it was easy to do because so many there just loved John. Bye for now.
The liturgy opened with a procession of symbols
placed in front of the altar. Each symbol was brought up by a different
person. Each symbol represented an aspect of John English's life and spirit:
Accompanied by guitar and flute the community
sang with exuberance. The leader of our assembly was Jean-Marc LaPorte,
SJ, John's provincial superior, assisted by James Profit, SJ and J P Horrigan,
SJ. During the homily Jim Profit SJ, Margaret Kane, CSJ and Peter Peloso
shared their memories of their close relationship with John over the years.
"Honey" was there -- the IHM sister from 1969 and the first May/June Spiritual
Exercises Institute who dubbed John "Iron John," a name that was to stick
right to the end. It summarized John's insistent belief in the efficacy
of the Exercises text. Valeria Zaduk, the first full time secretary of
Loyola House and of the original institute was there. John Haley who worked
for years with John English and who softened some of Iron John's rhetoric
was there. It was wonderful to see so many people from the past and present
CLC members, women, men, priests and religious in one experiential moment
of communal remembering.
of the Society of Jesus
Life Community manual
Scotch pine branches -- John was a forester in his earlier days and loved
to plant trees, many large still grace the Ignatius College property at
the of Trinity -- which represented an essential facet of John's spirituality
of the earth -- in the last fifteen years John furthered his
appreciation of the more ecological and communal aspects of Christian Spirituality
and, with Lois and Keruvala Zachariah, two colleagues of John's CLC local
community, produced a manual which brought together communal spirituality,
social and ecological aspects. This work was often referred to as the greening
of the Spiritual Exercises
of earth from John's grave in Winnipeg
of earth from the Jesuit Centre in Guelph
around the grounds of Jesuit Centre in Guelph
Candle -- symbol of the risen Lord in our midst. John was very fond of
this quote: "Jesus died an individual, but rose a community." In fact in
the original Disposition Days for the Spiritual Exercises Institute John
used the following theme: "When God calls us it is with the power of the
risen Jesus by the work of the Spirit present now."
with of John's image at the different stages of his life.
Towards the end of the liturgy we were all invited to express in one word
or phrase some one thing about John for which we were most grateful. "The
celebration was moving. All the reflections and one-word, one-line gratitude
told me about this spiritual giant whom I had never met but had connected
mentally through his writings and his influence...."
And then we went outside and planted a tree in John's honour. We poured
around its base, the soil from John's resting place in Winnipeg and from
the Ignatius College property.
your browser is not playing the intended music you might try by clicking
you ever know that you're my hero,
ev'rything I would like to be?
can fly higher than an eagle,
you are the wind beneath my wings.
By Bette Midler
By Larry Henley - Jeff Silbar
"Beaches (soundtrack)" - 1988
Details Of John English's Death And Funeral
by Michael Higgins from Toronto Star
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