Thursday, September 3, 2020


The priests of the Diocese of Savannah gathered Thursday morning at our Cathedral Basilica for the Requiem of Father Jeremiah McCarthy, a native if Ireland. His body is being shipped to Ireland for a Funeral Mass there and internment.

He turned 67 this past May 14 and I will turn 67 this coming December 21, thus he seven months older than I. However, he was ordained a priest in 1978 at the age of 24 and in Ireland, and I was ordained a priest in 1980 at the age 26. My first assignment was with him in 1980 at St. Teresa's Church in Albany, Georgia. He was in his third year there. The following year he went to Catholic University in Washington to study canon law.

But the point of this post is this:

(A priest well known here muses): I wonder if we have ever had, or will ever have again,

Our Former Bishop, (Gregory Hartmayer)
Our new Metropolitan Archbishop, (Gregory Hartmayer)
Our Bishop Emeritus, (Kevin Boland)
Our Bishop-elect, (Stephen Parkes)

I added the even more unusual alignment of the stars to include:

Our former pope, now Emeritus (Benedict XVI)
Our current pope, (Francis I)


Anonymous said...

May God have Mercy on his soul........

Anonymous said...

I watched the Live Stream of his funeral last night. Father Jerry was very much a part of my time in Savannah. The mass was beautiful and dignified, and very moving.

The music at Communion as well as the recessional was stunning. It almost reminded me of the music of Hildegard of Bingen. Father Allan, would you have any idea what music was used?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The cathedral has a wonderful choir. The communion song was stunning. It was an Irish composition and shows where inculturation can be quite successful when harmonious with our tradition (no pun intended). It was clearly a polyphonic sort of chant but clearly Irish in sound or feel. I don’t have the Mass program in front of me, but the words were “Jerusalem my happy home...”

The choir director also incorporated into this Requiem, the propers of a Requiem so often today omitted not only in Requiem Masses but normal Sunday Masses. Thus the Latin Introit as the priests and bishops processed to the entrance of the cathedral was Gregorian Chant marvelously chanted by the choir, as well as the Offertory and Communion Antiphons. These are prescribed in the Ordinary Form Missal.

The other hymns selected and presume by Fr. McCarthy were in harmony with all the other traditional selections. And thanks be to God, as Fr. Schreck humorously related in his homily, Fr. McCarthy insisted that Danny Boy not be sung or any hymn with religious words but that secular melody. It doesn’t belong in the liturgy whatsoever. Yet in Savannah, those of Irish decent think it is Irish. It isn’t. It is what they think is Irish.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Father Allan. I should have said from the beginning I am sorry for the loss of your brother priest. He was given a truly beautiful and fitting Requiem.

Anonymous said...

Father Allan,

I believe I found the Communion Hymn that was used. It is on an album called Anuna Anuna 2002. I am posting a link to a Youtube Video of the music. Apparently they used this for "The Tudors" so the picture that accompanies the video is not exactly "Holy" and for that I apologize. I believe this is the exact composition used.

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

It struck we this morning... we WILL have our former bishop, our current archbishop, our bishop emeritus, and our bishop-elect together in the same place agian. This will be at Bishop-elect Parkes' ordination and installation, although he will cease to be bishop-elect along the way!

I'm still pretty sure it has never happened before.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I did envision in the future, any ordinary form Mass at the Cathedral at its historic and magnificent high altar. Of course that means the beautiful faux altar in front of it would have to be dismantled and given to a poor parish. Can you imagine how much nicer the requiem would have been with the high altar used, and all the bishops and other clergy facing the congregation behind the beautiful faux altar would be set facing side ways as in a monastery choir. It's a no brainer, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

A Requiem Mass....with white vestments?