A Memorial Mass for Father Flanagan was celebrated at the Our Lady of Corpus Christi Chapel on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The event had been planned to offer a liturgy in remembrance of Father Flangan for the more of the members of SOLT who were unable to attend the funeral and burial in New Mexico at the end of April.
Bishop Michael Mulvey presided over the liturgy, and Father Peter Marsalek, General Priest Servant delivered the homily that drew from the Gospel for the Mass. He noted that its Eucharistic theme was a fitting scripture to pair with the memory of Father Jim Flanagan.
“The Eucharist was truly at the center of Fr. Jim’s life – for Him, it truly was the best way to ‘walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.’ Indeed, living communion to communion for Fr. Jim was precisely a part of constantly seeking to live in the presence of the Lord.”
Members from the local SOLT community participated in the Memorial Mass. Sister Margaret Mary read the First Reading, and Sister AnnMarie Claire sang the Psalm. Mona Lisa Biberstein read the Second Reading, Deacon Paul Moore of the Diocese of Corpus Christi proclaimed the Gospel, and the Rizzio family brought up the gifts. B.J. Biberstein led the choir comprised of SOLT members and associates.
Father Rogel “Ogie” Rosalinas joined the choir on the guitar to play the recessional hymn. It was a hymn that had been composed by Father Flanagan Himself, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Its words and simple melody invoked the devotion so passionately taught and humbly lived out by the Founder of SOLT:
Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity
Most Holy, Immaculate Virgin May.
You are the Mother of God Himself.
You are the Queen of all creation.
You are the keeper of heaven’s treasure.
You are our help and protection.
Grant us your intercession and may your favor never fail us.
Following the Mass, a reception was held in the Kolbe center, adjacent to the chapel. Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody gave the blessing before the meal, and the gathering continued with the palpable joy of lives dedicated to Trinitarian communion. As a thoughtful observer might have looked around the room filled with laughter and friendship, the final words of Father Peter’s homily that evening could have been recalled: “As we proceed to carry on the work of our founder Fr Flanagan, let us also affirm our ‘yes’ to the Most Holy Trinity, to serving in communion with Bishop Mulvey and to our commitment to make our community everything the Holy Spirit intended it to be!”