Monday, July 11, 2005

Celebrating Victory

My cell phone rang at 7:30 Saturday morning, waking me. My first reaction was to brace for some bad tidings. Instead, it was the people with the moonbounce.

By 8:00 they had it set up in the back of the yard and were on their way. By 8:15, still in their pajamas, our three kids were bouncing away.

My caterer friend, Keith, arrived shortly thereafter and began the food prep. Martin brought the kegs from the pub in a beer wagon and set up the taps. The thirty by thirty tent had been set up on Wednesday, and my brother Dan had set up the sound system on Friday night.

By eleven o'clock we had about a hundred people at the house including family, neighbors, law partners and colleagues, clients, parishoners, musicians, pub regulars, Hibernians and other great friends. Notice of the party was short and scattershot, so we were stunned and humbled by the turnout.

Around 11:30, I rang my father's antique, bronze ship bell and we began Mass. Music was performed beautifully by Cindy Jennings with Barry, Lynn and Eleanor Trott, and our son Seamus. Ed Tatum and my mother read from Ecclesiates and Paul. Deacon Patricio Torres proclaimed the Gospel. Our pastor, Fr. George Zahn presided over a moving and beautiful service. Judy and Mairead read the prayers of the faithful, written by Judy's mom, Jeanne. I want to share them here:

FOR ALL GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE,
ESPECIALLY FOR THE CHURCH AT ST. PAUL’S,
WHOSE PRAYERS AND AFFECTION HAVE WRAPPED US IN GRACE,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…

FOR ALL WHO ARE CALLED TO SEE THAT JUSTICE IS DONE,
ESPECIALLY FOR THE PEOPLE OF LECLAIR RYAN,
WHO SHOW US THAT TRUE JUSTICE IS CLOTHED IN MERCY,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…


FOR ALL WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEIR LIVES TO HEALING,
ESPECIALLY FOR THE MANY WHO HAVE WORKED WITH JIM,
AND FOR ALL THOSE SICK AND WOUNDED PEOPLE WHO WILL NEVER KNOW SUCH LOVING CARE,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…


FOR POETS AND ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS,
ESPECIALLY FOR THE BAND AND THE PEOPLE AT THE PUB,
MAY THEY CONTINUE TO ENLIVEN OUR HEARTS AND OUR FEET WITH
THEIR SONG,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…


FOR ALL OUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE MADE THE JOURNEY WITH US, ESPECIALLY FOR JIM’S PARENTS WHO PUT THEIR LIVES ON HOLD TO HOLD OUR LIVES TOGETHER;
FOR THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT US DINNERS AND CLEANED UP THE YARD; FOR THE ONES WHO TOOK US TO SCHOOL AND TO APPOINTMENTS; FOR THE ONES WHO CALLED AND SENT CARDS; FOR THE ONES WHO LISTENED AND DID LAUNDRY; FOR ALL WHO FILLED OUR BOX OF GRACE AND FILLED OUR HEARTS:
MAY THEY KNOW GOD’S REWARD FOR THEIR GOODNESS AND MAY THEIR EXAMPLE SHOW US HOW TO HELP ONE ANOTHER,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…


FOR ALL OUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US TO SHOW US THE WAY,
ESPECIALLY FOR UNCLE LAWRENCE,
MAY THEY TAKE THEIR PLACE IN GLORY WITH ALL THE SAINTS WHOSE PRAYERS HAVE SUSTAINED US AND WHOSE EXAMPLE WE MEAN TO FOLLOW,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…


FOR ALL WHO ARE SICK, FOR ALL WHO HAVE BEEN BROKEN BY WAR, FOR ALL WHO HOLD POWER AMONG THE NATIONS, FOR ALL WHOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN SHOCKED BY TERROR,
ESPECIALLY FOR THE PEOPLE IN LONDON,
FOR OUR PRECIOUS AND WOUNDED WORLD,
LET US PRAY TO THE LORD…

We are grateful for those who came to celebrate with us, for the many others who told us they would be with us in spirit, and for the many, many others we did not get timely notice to, but whose love and support made our victory happen.

Thanks to you all.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jenn said...

Jim,

Even though we did not get to bounce in the Moonbounce, I thought the day was absolutely perfect!!!

Love,
Jenn, John and FiFi

7:14 PM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, Sounds like the victory party was a great success, we wish we could have been there but as you are aware sometimes schedules have to take a back seat. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. You fought a great fight!!
V

10:59 AM  
Blogger marian said...

Thank you so much for inviting us to share in such a happy celebration. It was lovely.

(And I'll be back to the pub soon, promise!)

9:35 PM  

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