February 5, 2015
CHARLIE FEDY’S CELEBRATION OF RESURRECTION AND NEW LIFE (Feb, 4, 2015: St. Agatha Church)
Fr. Charles Fedy believed in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Fr. Charlie believed that upon his death he too would Rise from the dead to spend eternal life with God.
On behalf of all gathered here today, I would like to express our sincerest condolences to Fr. Charlie’s sister, Barb and brother Paul and their families. May the Peace of the Risen Jesus reign in your hearts knowing that Charlie now lives in the fullness of life with God in Heaven for all eternity.
Back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Walter Cronkite hosted a half hour TV program on Sunday afternoons at 4:30 P.M. outlining various events of the Second World War. The show was sponsored by the Prudential Insurance Company. Their logo was the Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar was for them the sign, the symbol, and the image of the trustworthiness of Prudential Insurance on which families could depend and entrust the wellbeing of their future upon should anything unfortunate take place.
When I think of Fr. Charlie I often think back to that picture of the Rock of Gibraltar that I saw weekly on Walter Cronkite’s show. Charlie was for many of us was the Rock upon who we could depend for truth, encouragement, support, loyalty, dependability, steadfastness, and unshakability in his loyalty to Jesus. Charlie was completely trustworthy and unflappable by anything we might confide in him or tell him.
Charlie was the Rock when it came to the teachings of the Church and Social Justice. Charlie was the Rock when our lives were in crisis or chaos. Charlie was the Rock who never wavered from assuring us that we are the beloved of God and that God holds us within the Palm of his hands and that we are forgivable, redeemable and loveable.
For me Charlie could very well have been that unnamed disciple in our Gospel today who was accompanying Andrew. When Jesus walks by John the Baptist, Andrew and the unnamed disciple, John says, “Look, here is the Lamb of God, Andrew and the other disciple immediately follow Jesus. This is exactly what Charlie would do. This is exactly what Charlie encouraged all of us to do whether it was as our teacher, our rector, our pastor, our spiritual director, our confessor or relative or friend. Charlie directed us to Jesus. Charlie sent us off to spend time with Jesus and to ask Jesus where he was staying. Charlie encouraged us to take time, spend time, waste time, and just be in time with Jesus.
Charlie very much reminds me of Simon Peter, the first Shepherd of our Church. Like Simon Peter, Charlie enjoyed fishing. However, Peter made money fishing and fishing cost Charlie with all the lures he lost along the way. I understand that periodically parishioners, here at St. Agatha would add some Canadian Tire money to the collection for Charlie to replace lost lures.
Charlie reminds me of Simon Peter because both men were clearly called by Jesus to become his disciples and provide leadership amongst those Jesus would call them to serve. One of the beautiful parts of John’s Gospel today is the part where Andrew after having spent the day with Jesus goes to his brother Simon and tells him, “We have found the messiah”. He brings Simon to Jesus and Jesus tells Simon he is to be be called Cephas, which means the “Rock”, and is translated Peter. Jesus names Simon the Rock because Simon as the first Shepherd would need be someone that people could depend upon for truth, encouragement, support, loyalty, dependability, steadfastness and unshakeable loyalty to Jesus. It is true that Peter messed up a couple of times. However, Peter’s heart was a heart of flesh that allowed him to become a redeemed sinner. How often have we heard Charlie invite us to discover that we are redeemed sinners?
Charlie was a man who held various types of authority in his ministry as a Priest. But like Peter, Charlie’s authority was never built upon title or power; Charlie’s authority was built upon his Integrity. Charlie was a man of deep faith and deep Integrity. He not only talked the talk, Charlie walked the walk. When Charlie said something he believed it, named it, owned it and claimed it to be the truth or the will of God. It was difficult to dismiss what Charlie said out of hand because who he was and how he lived. Charlie will be deeply missed by our Resurrectionist Community because he was a pillar amongst us who held us up and held us together in so many ways.
Fr. Joseph deViveiros, accompanied Charlie during the night for the three nights before Charlie died. Fr. Joseph tells us about Fr. Charlie waking up in the middle of the night and saying that he didn’t know what his purpose in life was. Joseph told him that his purpose in life was to accept the invitation to enter into the Paschal Mystery. Charlie said, “I can do that” and then went back to sleep. How often has Charlie in proclaiming the Good News invited us to name, own and claim the Paschal Mystery in our lives?
At another moment during the night Charlie was fussing insisting he needed a ticket to something. Joseph continued to assure him that he did not need any tickets. At one point Joseph told Charlie that the only ticket he needed was a ticket to Heaven and assured Charlie that he already had that ticket by virtue of his faith. It was then that Charlie once again found peace.
Charlie was a priest who sought to bring the Resurrection of Society through the Sacraments he celebrated, the Word he proclaimed, the religious practices and rituals that he led and the relationships that he entered into. Through his Priesthood and Religious life he sought to be an instrument of Hope and Joy to the World.
Charlie sought to accompany the People of God entrusted to his care on their Pilgrim Journey. When the People of God danced with the joys and blessings of life, Charlie was there with them to dance their dances and sing their songs. When the people of God have cried out in front of the wounds and pains of life, Charlie was thee to walk with them through the valley of Tears.
Our World is a beautiful and Wonderful world filled with much love and goodness. Yet, our world is a wounded and broken world in deep need of ambassadors of healing and reconciliation. Fr. Charlie has been for the people of God an ambassador of reconciliation and healing.
Like St. Paul, Fr. Charlie has fought the good fight, he has finished the race and he has kept the Faith. He has given God glory, honor and praise as to how he has lived his pilgrim journey. Charlie has searched for God with all his heart and God has let Charlie find him. It is into the hands and heart of God we now entrust him.
So Charlie, it is now time to say good bye. We give praise and thanks to God for the ways in which you have ministered to us and blessed us in our journey. Eternal Rest Grant unto Charlie Oh Lord, and let perpetual life rest upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in the mercy and Peace of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
…Praise be Jesus Risen…alleluia..Alleluia…alleluia
Fraternally in the Risen Christ