Archive for the ‘Funeral Masses and Vigils’ Category

Lavour Miles Vigil

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Rv 14:13; Jn 12: 23-28

Deacon Larry Brockman

“Their works accompany them.”  If ever there was a man whose works will accompany him, it was Lavour.

Lavour’s life was full of challenges- and he met them all with gusto.  A convert- Lavour chose his faith very carefully and lived it to the fullest.  A Veteran; a hard and dedicated worker who survived Asbestos exposure and fallout from A bombs;  a man who lived his Christian marriage for 65 years, including raising two wonderful daughters who are holding firm to the faith; and a man who suffered greatly from a fall earlier, and now his final bout with Cancer.   

Despite all of that, Lavour was a person who gave back over and over again.  Lavour was the head of the Respect Life Ministry at Holy Family for many years.  That’s where my wife Jane and I met Shirley and Lavour.  And in the last decade, despite failing health,  Lavour and Shirley continued to thirst for growth spiritually at a time in life when most folks are content to just relax.  I was honored that they attended so many of the Bible Studies I conducted.   

Truly, Lavour has found rest from his labors now, and no one can take that from him.  As Jesus implied in the Gospel, those who follow Him faithfully as Lavour did, will be glorified as Jesus was glorified.  For Lavour found the purpose for which he came into the world.  It was his Christian witness, and it was all of you- he was a dedicated Christian man who loved his family and gave them sterling Christian witness right up until the end.     

Shirley, I especially feel the pain of your loss, because I suffered the loss of my soulmate as well.  But it is only a temporary separation for all of us.  Some day, and it is soon in the perspective of eternity, all of us will be reunited with Lavour,  where all of us who serve the Father will be honored.   

Vivian Rowell Vigil

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

Rom 8: 14-23; John 14: 1-6

Deacon Larry Brockman

We have all lost a wonderful lady.   

I have known Ted and Vivian since 1984 when I moved to Orlando.  We interacted occasionally over the many years at Holy Family, and even at St. Jude.  I can remember Vivian vividly- those intense blue eyes, her warmth, and her intensity.  And even though I did not know her well, her faith shown like a bright star.  Her devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Blue Army ministry she started were well know across the Parish.

Jane and I watched the Rowell family grow as we watched our own family grow.  The Rowell children were a little older, but our families grew much the same way.  Both the Rowells and the Brockmans were gifted with 13 grandchildren.  I sense that your family is very close, and that Vivian’s life was filled with great joy over her children and grandchildren.   

But here we are now 36 years later.  Time has taken its toll on our families.  I know that Vivian suffered greatly since her stroke in 2016.   But indeed, Paul’s words from Romans are so very relevant- “For the sufferings of the present are as nothing compared to the glory to be revealed for us.”  And that glory and the Kingdom of God are the constant hope of all of us while we live.  And that included Vivian.     

As you know Ted, I lost my life partner in 2018, so I know about how it feels to lose a spouse.  All of a sudden there’s a giant hole in your life.  But the fact is that Vivian, like my Jane, has finished the race, and through her strong Faith and constant commitment to God, she was ready for her transition into the Kingdom and her reward.  We can all be happy for her as we grieve over our loss.   

As the Gospel says, there are many dwelling places in God’s house.  Certainly, He has prepared a place for Vivian.  Recently Pope Francis said something very interesting about marriage.  He said it was “forever”.  It is one of those things he says that has been attacked.  But you know what, when you have been married for 63 years, and have been so committed to each other, it is hard to imagine that death in this world is anything other than a temporary separation.  

 So rejoice for Vivian.  Because her hope has been realized.  And some day, all of her loved ones will be reunited with her. 

Jane Brockman Funeral

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Jane Brockman Funeral

Is 25:6a, 7-9; 2 Cor 5: 1, 6-10; Mt 25:1-13

Dc. Larry Brockman

Jane Brockman- Devout Christian, Devoted Spouse, Mother, Grandmother, Seamstress, Master Chef, Woodworker, Children’s Story Writer Artist, and so much more.   

Jane and I were married just shy of 48 years.  She was so many things to me- my soulmate, my joy, my lover, my partner, but also my conscience and my constant source of growth.  And sometimes she was even a drill sergeant!    We both shared the same politics and religion; and that was a true blessing, because in other areas, we were opposites.  I was attracted to her flightiness, her artistic flare, her carefree nature; she was fascinated with my logical and organized approach to everything and was amazed that I didn’t always have to have lots of people around!  Sometimes the opposites in us clashed, and we had words for each other, but through it all, we were always open and honest with each other, and maintained our love and respect for each other.   

We shared so many wonderful experiences with each other; 5 wonderful children; 13 grandchildren; trips to Italy and Ireland, a couple of cruises; and many, many family vacations across this country almost always with our children.   

And we supported each other in severe trials, like the loss of our third son; the challenges of an Alzheimer’s parent; job problems, and the deaths of our parents.  It seemed that whenever there was a challenge, that’s when we were there the most for each other.  But isn’t that what Christian marriage is all about?   

In fact, having a good marriage was something that we were both hungry for.  When we lived in California, we were always involved in a Christian married couples small discussion group.  These groups helped us to understand what it was like- the real world after the honeymoon.  We were just about to have our first child in 1971.  But we were listening to older couples talk about the challenges of teenagers, kids on drugs, finances, you name it.  We heard about vastly different disciplinary styles.  And it all helped us with what was happening in our own marriage. 

We learned, as Paul says in Corinthians, to walk by Faith.  God had chosen us for each other, and it was our challenge to live God’s plan together, no matter what time and circumstances threw our way.  

 So, after we moved to Orlando in 1984, we wanted to continue with such marriage enrichment groups.  We did Foccus for years, and then we homed in on Renew 2000 here at Holy Family.  With the help of now Bishop Parkes, when he was here as an Associate, we put a marriage preparation program together for the parish as part of Diaconate Formation.  Jane was integrally involved in my formation as a Deacon.  There were some 60 couples who experienced that marriage program, Building Households of Faith.  Jane worked besides me to put that program together, and to run the weekend over the four years we did it.   

Yes, Jane and I were a team.  Even after I was ordained, she played an integral role in the things I did.  For example, she critiqued all my homilies and she participated in the Bible Studies I facilitated.  I was privileged to have her as my partner; she was a great part of my inspiration.   

A big part of our relationship, especially during difficult times, was prayer, especially the Rosary.  Jane just always seemed to know how to bring prayer into our real-life dilemmas.  She was an incredible role model in deep faith in the Lord.  And when we prayed consistently, our prayers were always answered.  About 10 days ago, we started a rosary novena for a special intention.  Just minutes before Jane went to bed Saturday night, we finished the Rosary together.  It was the very last thing we ever did together as a couple.   

To understand just how deep Jane’s Faith was, I need to get to the roots of it.  And the roots have to do with the fact that Jane and I had different views on death.  In 2001, Jane had a near death experience that included a vision of things beyond this life.  She experienced Jesus and her parents and a new creation in that vision.  But she was told she had to come back!    So, from 2001 on, Jane had absolutely no fear of death, that’s how strong her Faith in everlasting life in heaven was.  She was ready to go on at any time.  And that both troubled her, and yet pleased her.  She told me she had seen what it was like in heaven and so, she really looked forward to it.  Like our first reading, Jane had seen the great feast prepared for us and so vividly described by Isaiah.  And like our second reading, Jane lived her life after 2001 desiring to live in that new creation but recognizing that there was still a lot to be done here.  And so, she accepted the fact that it was not yet her time.  And she relished becoming a Grandmother.   

I could not quite grasp her description of the beyond.  I think I’m like a lot of people in that regard.  I believe; but what comes after death is so unknown, so different,that I still hold on to an element of fear of death.  Like a lot of logical engineer types, I am uncomfortable with lack of knowing the details.  And so, I came to envy Jane’s peace with the idea of death.  Jane definitely believed; and Jane had cast out all fear.   

Jane believed in the Lord deeply and loved the Lord accordingly.  The Lord’s will was her priority for what she did.  That’s what makes the Gospel today so appropriate.  Jane was like one of the virgins who had plenty of oil for her lamp.  She was always ready.  Spontaneously ready to help; anxious to be of service; willing to listen; able to comfort those around her.   

We had just returned from a two week trip up to our Tennessee getaway with a side trip to North Carolina to celebrate our Granddaughter Maribelle’s graduation from pre-school.  We relaxed and worked together on everything those two weeks.    As I drove, we listened to soft piano jazz.  When she took over the driving, we listened to Classic Country Western.  I would kid her constantly about some of the words.  Particularly the song with the lyrics “Will you love me tonight if I come back today.”  

 I just wonder if Jane asked that question of the Lord often.  “Will you love me tonight if I come back today?”  And at 4 AM Sunday the 10th of June, Jesus said to her  “Yes”. 

Marion Mazzoli Funeral

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Marion Mazzoli Funeral
Is 25: 6a, 7-9; Rom 8:14-23; Mt 11: 25-30
Deacon Larry Brockman

Jane and I were very fortunate to have had Marion Mazzoli in our lives. In the last decade, we socialized together often. We went on a cruise with the Mazzoli’s in 2016, sharing each evening together, the shore excursions, and many of the other meals. They brought their Grandchildren over to use our pool a number of times. We shared meals at our houses together and other activities. And so, we got to know Marion and Tom, their history, and their stories. We were close, sharing our values and our dreams and our lives together.

We watched helplessly as Marion’s disease crippled her and ebbed away the person we knew. Her suffering was always borne with dignity and composure. I brought her communion for the last couple of Months, and we enjoyed the discussions and exchanges as we always did. But it pained us to see her slow decline. In the last two weeks, it was clear that her days were numbered- a real wakeup call on the reality that all life ends in physical death. But even so, it is just inconceivable to think of Marion as gone.

You know, the sadness that all of us feel at the passing of a loved one, especially a person as committed to Christ as Marion was, is really over our loss, our pain, our needs. Simply put, all of us still need Marion. We want our Mom, our Grandma, our Aunt, our friend, our spiritual director, to be there for us just like she always had been there for us. We want the special wisdom, the love, the companionship, the support, that was Marion. And it is inconceivable that it is gone.

Marion was a true believer in the Lord. From an early age, she committed herself to the will of her father. She even offered to share in the sufferings of Christ. And her life reflected both of those commitments. Marion spent her working career caring for orphaned children and running a preschool. She was a devoted wife of 57 years and a mother to three children. She became a trained and qualified Spiritual Director. She helped found Women of Wisdom here at Holy Family. And she was always there for her family, whether the needs were for personal time, care, or financial support. Marion lived the life of a Christian to the fullest.

For 25 years Marion carried the burden of tongue cancer which was miraculously kept in remission for 20 of those years. But in the end, she succumbed to this dreadful and painful disease. Marion shared in the sufferings of Christ.

Our readings tell her story. Marion came to Christ Jesus with her burdens and labor, offering them up to him from an early age. And so, the Son revealed things to her in a special way. As Paul says in our New Testament:: “The sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” That was Marion’s hope; true Christian hope. And now, Marion has passed from this life to that Everlasting Life promised to all believers.

As our First reading says: Death is destroyed forever; all tears will be wiped away. And “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; lLet us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” That is Marion’s destiny.

So while all of us may be sad because Marion has left our lives; Let us rejoice for her, a daughter of Christ, who has fought the good fight; lived her life for Christ; and loved each and every one of us with the Love of Christ because her reward in heaven will be great.

Marion Mazzoli Wake

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Marion Mazzoli Wake
Rom 8: 31b-35, 37-39, 6-10; Jn 6:37-40
Deacon Larry Brockman

Marion Mazzoli was a very special person in the lives of all of us. She had so many spiritual gifts, and shared them with all of us. She loved the Lord, and had an abiding and intimate relationship with Him from a very early age. She saw things; she sensed things; she knew things; things that most of us are unable to see and sense and know, because the Lord shared them with this very special person.

She became a Spiritual Director, trained in the Diocese of New York by none other than Fr. Apostole , Fr. Grochell, and other well-known persons. Marion helped so many through this very special talent and ministry- some of them here today.

But Marion didn’t just know Christ; she lived the life of Christ. She started in her mid-20’s by gathering homeless children off the streets for St. Agatha’s Orphanage in New York. And then, for 30 years, she operated a preschool, the Tall Pines Enrichment Center. She did all this while raising a family. Yet that was very difficult for her, because Marion had a problem having children. She suffered through many, many miscarriages, and so Tom and Marion adopted their first child. But Tom and Marion persevered, and were blessed with two natural children as well.

Tom and Marion took care of Marion’s parents Mary and Perry in their old age; even helping Perry realize his dream to operate a movie theatre. In recent years, Tom and Marion have taken care of their Grandchildren after school. They are kind and loving parents and grandparents; family has always been a top priority for them. Marion’s passing was just 2 days before her 57th anniversary.

For many years, Tom and Marion visited Florida for a few days after they took Cruises. They bought a time share in Florida in 1988, but then moved to a Town House near Fort Lauderdale in 1998 when they semi-retired in Florida. New York’s loss was Florida’s great gain! They moved to Orlando around the year 2000.

Marion was instrumental in the formation of the Women of Wisdom Organization at Holy Family, encouraging women to meet and talk about their faith. Marion and Tom also helped with Building Households of Faith for a while, our Parish’s former Marriage Preparation Program.

Marion was struck with tongue cancer some 20 years ago, apparently the consequence of too much X-ray radiation from dental work. This disease is usually fatal in just a year or two, but Marion’s case was one for the books because, thanks to family prayer and devotion, the disease went into remission for almost 20 years, something unheard of in the medical field. But it returned about 2 years ago, and spread to her jaw. Doctors tell me that it is one of the most painful cancers known. And yet, Marion bore that pain and suffering with incredible dignity and resolve. Marion truly shared in the sufferings of Christ.

As our first reading proclaimed, nothing can separate us who believe from the love of Christ. And as our Gospel tells us, Jesus will raise up everyone who sees the Son of Man and believes in him. Marion saw and believed.

All of us will miss her love and her spiritual insight. But all of us can rejoice in her new life in the Kingdom of God.