Thursday morning brought about many familiar faces from the past of long ago. We gathered to celebrate the Eucharist for the soul of Deacon Gary West. The deacon whose gentle humanity served at God’s altar for many years at Saint Stephen Parish was called home to God on New Year’s Eve. I have known Gary since my first day at Saint Stephen as a young teenager. Archbishop Quinn called him an ember in our world who constantly lived out the gospel of Christ.
I have shared countless laughs and stories with Guido and Gary in the sacristy. His insight and support have given me joy in following Christ wherever he leads. In one of the many Decembers I shared with him, I remember leaning my head on the pew in the sacristy conversing and musing over church life. Due to tiredness, not aware of it, I fell asleep leaning on that Church pew, and Deacon Gary left quietly. Now Gary sleeps in the eternal rest of our loving Father remaining an ember in my memory. I hope one day to see him again. Pray for us Gary until that day we meet agin.