On Saturday afternoon I went down to the laundry to collect some clothes I’d left there to dry.  As I walked past the door and windows near the laundry I saw one of the members of the Oblate community where I live getting out of the car.  “Nice day to be out and about,” I thought, as I had done earlier.

I collected my clothes and was heading back out of the laundry.  I heard the door I had passed before close, and then the sound of something being dropped on the floor.  Heading around the corner I expected to see a shopping bag or parcel which I would pick up and give to the priest I had seen through the window.  When I rounded the corner I discovered that it was he himself who had fallen.

Realising he wasn’t going to be able to get up, I raced upstairs to find someone to help.  We waited with him for the ambulance to arrive.  It came in just a few minutes, and took him to the hospital.

Fr Jean Monbourquette OMI died at 3am the following morning.

I’ve prayed many times in the Funeral Rite prayers, “keep us mindful that life is short, and the hour of death unknown.”  The weekend’s sudden reminder of the ‘unknown hour’ will stay with me for a while.

 Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.  Amen.