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Funeral Of Myles Dempsey

Author: Andy Drozdziak

Picture: Michael J. Davis

Funeral Of Myles Dempsey

The funeral of Myles Dempsey, pioneer of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, took place in Liverpool on 25 June 2018.

Over 650 people gathered on a warm June day at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, to give thanks for the life of Charismatic Renewal pioneer Myles Dempsey.

Myles’ family, led by his wife, Joan, joined many who were influenced by a key leader in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Myles’ support for priests was evidenced by an impressive number who were present at the funeral-approximately twenty five- led by The Right Reverend Vincent Malone, who was the main celebrant.

Four Significant Moments

During the homily, Fr. Cliff Fumbelo, who accompanied Myles during his final days, pinpointed four significant moments which occurred during this time and summed up his life. 

Firstly, Myles was taken ill and brought to hospital on the feast of Pentecost-a hugely significant feast which underlined the action and power of the Holy Spirit in his life.

Secondly, the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, fell on the day after Pentecost, highlighting Myles’ devotion to Our Lady.

Thirdly, Myles’ 63rd wedding anniversary took place in hospital. His wife, Joan, was a rock and true inspiration. Fr. Cliff noted, in a poignant moment, that Myles asked for Joan’s to be the last voice he heard before he died.

Finally, Myles passed away as Fr. Cliff recited the Magnificat  during the evening prayer of the Church-the Church he loved and served so faithfully.

Reflecting Jesus

The first reading, Acts 10:4-43, reflected Myles’ reliance on the Holy Spirit and his ministry of miracles. The Beatitudes, from Matthew’s Gospel, highlighted Myles’ desire to imitate the Saviour he loved.

Thousands would surely agree that Myles did, indeed, reflect Jesus in his love and service - even in the face of suffering- to the very end.

Traditional Catholic hymns “Let all mortal flesh keep silence” and “Ave Maria” were chosen alongside lively hymns such as “Bless the Lord O my Soul” and “There is a Redeemer”.

Myles’ love of the Mass was reflected in hymns “One Bread, One Body” and “I Am the Bread of Life.”

A Father Who Meant So Much

Myles’ children, Paul, Ronni and Patrick, shared moving words about their father who meant so much.

One such example came in the children’s attempt to “modernise” their Dad by buying him a bright, dazzling, "trendy" shirt. Myles was delighted to receive it and treasured it always. Paul also movingly shared how his father encouraged him to “love the Church.”

The New Dawn Conference in Walsingham, of course, was at the heart of Myles’ ministry and it was inspiring to hear of his great faith and commitment in bringing this event to birth.

Prince of Peace Community members, past and present, gave thanks for Myles’ life and witness.  Many travelled hundreds of miles and were a living witness to the great influence of the New Dawn vision.

Always pointing to his Lord, Myles’ trademark proclamation was written in bold on the order of service: “Jesus Christ is Lord-Now and Forever!"

Vision, Passion and Openness to the Holy Spirit

Reflecting upon Myles’ influence on Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Maria Heath, Chair of the English National Service Committee, said: “Myles had a great gift of vision. This, coupled with his passion to see people come to know the Lord and openness to the Holy Spirit, meant his ministry touched the lives of so many people."

“The New Dawn Conference, which Myles began in 1987, has been so important in the Church and for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in this country."

“Myles’ legacy will continue to bear fruit, even though he is no longer with us. We are so grateful for his service to the Lord and to the Church in this country. He will be remembered as an influential pioneer of Renewal and will be greatly missed.”

As the funeral ended, the words of recessional hymn “There Is a Redeemer” seemed particularly apt for Myles:

“When I stand in glory, I will see His face and there I’ll serve my King forever in that holy place.”

Eternal rest, grant unto Myles, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen

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