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Remembering Msgr. Joe Funaro

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/14/15

I can’t believe it’s been two years.

In 2013, on the Vigil of the Assumption, the pastor who had mentored me through my formation entered eternal life. Those who knew him will tell you: there was no one quite like Joe Funaro—a big man with a big personality, a big appetite (for food and for life) and a big heart.

In 2007, when he and I sat down with our parish’s music director to plan my post-ordination Mass of Thanksgiving, Msgr. Funaro had one request: Adoramus Te, Christe, from “The Seven Last Words” by Dubois. That oratorio is a staple at our parish on Good Friday and it’s one of his favorite pieces of music. I was happy to have it included.

It was also included as part of his funeral; it was sung as his body was brought into the church for the Vigil Mass. I can never hear it without thinking of him. (I had the difficult job of preaching the homily for that Mass. You can find it here.)

Below is a recording of Adoramus Te, Christe. The choir sang this during communion at my first Mass as a deacon. And Joe Funaro, I’m sure, was in heaven.

I hope is there now, too, singing along.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

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