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Burying Seamie

seamie_01There was something astonishing about the obsequies of Fr Seamus Ward, whose death was reported in the last AMDG Express. Within the Irish Province he had a low profile, partly because of his wretched health. He had taught in Bolton Street DIT, and served the Jesuit Refugee Service in Africa. Fr Tom Layden wrote of his “pioneering spirit, inquiring mind and independence of outlook”: a kind man, with an attitude of welcome and encouragement for those around him. He worked out of weakness, a real pastoral asset with which people could identify. His two funerals, one in Florida where he served a parish, the other in Gonzaga chapel, were memorable events, crowded with his kith and kin and friends who loved him and grieved deeply. In death as in life Seamus could spring a surprise.