Br John Patrick Murray
Pat’s body arrived at St. Columba’s at 12.30 pm last afternoon. The Edmund Rice Auditorium was tastefully decorated by Steve Rocha and Br. Murray’s body was beautifully laid out amidst aromatic candles, rose petals and bright white and yellow chrysanthemums.
The Christian students from Classes 7-12 (some 600 of them) sat around the coffin and were part of very moving Memorial Service organized by Tino D’Abreu. Dermot Barrett who had lived with Pat in Mount Abu delivered the Eulogy. He spoke of Pat connecting deeply with the freedom of the Jungle, the folk lore of the big cats that stalked the luxurious forests surrounding St. Mary’s School. Pat was a very passionate teacher of History being a keen student of the subject who lived the events as he shared his vast store of information with his young charges. Dermot deftly used the occasion to encourage the young men assembled in the Edmund Rice Hall to thank God for the 65 years of committed service rendered in India and to pray that some young men would be inspired to take up the baton of Edmund Rice in the service of the young people of this country.
At 2.30 pm the remains of Br. Patrick were transferred to the Sacred Heart Cathedral to await the Funeral Mass to be celebrated by Archbishop Anil Coutto at 3 pm. The Congregation were invited to enter into this Thanksgiving Liturgy which was being conducted to celebrate the life, faith, generosity and goodness of Br. Murray. Greg Fernandes did the first reading emphasising that it is the quality of our lives that makes the greatest impact on our world and those we live and work with. Archbishop Anil gave a very inspiring homily on our need to stay awake and alert during this season of Advent when the God of Jesus continues to mysteriously cross our paths each day of our lives. Walter Vas thanked the Archbishop, the Parish Priest, and the medical Staff of Holy Family Hospital for their wonderful care of Br. Patrick during his hospitalization.
A bus was organised to ferry those who need transportation to attend the burial at York Cemetry. Fr. Susai Sebastain, our Vicar General conducted the obsequies. Mr. Jerry Kelly, Deputy Head of the Irish Mission in India, was among the many friends, ex-pupils and religious sisters present on this last journey of Br. Patrick Murray which brought closure to his 65 years of faithful service to God and his people as a Christian Brother here in India.
The Brothers gathered in the Community Room, later that evening, to share stories and treasured memories of Pat, his shikari days, “dear Ma” and his 30 years of uninterrupted dedication to the young students at St. Joseph’s College, Nainital. May his gentle soul rest in peace.