Homily Delivered at the Funeral of Fr. Edward Maloney, S.J. By Fr. John Alexander, S.J. We Christians have an edge on other religions. In most religions the people seek out God. In the Christian religion God seeks us in the person of Jesus Christ as we see every year at Christmas. We're Christians because we believe that Christ had the best answers to life because to us His life rang true and His words rang true and His image of God made more sense than anyone else. We believe, too, that Christ had the best answers to death. So on an occasion like this we come to God in trust. That's the key part of faith, isn't it? The belief in dogmatic propositions about God becomes habitual, the rules and regulations of the Church less important but the trust in God, like the trust of a married couple in each other has to grow. All the Masses and prayers and acts of kindness build up your life with Christ and especially your trust. So that at death, when you face the great unknown, that trust is there. Just as you say to your marriage partner of many years: "I trust you completely!" So you say the same to God. That's the biggest compliment you can pay to your partner and to your God. Our lives, as we deepen in a trusting faith, eventually lead to these words: "Dear God, I trust you completely." And in dying, we relax in the arms of God. Your Son said you were a God of love and we believed Him and trusted in Him and in You." So on an occasion like this, the death of a loving and an affirming Christian and Jesuit like Ed Maloney, we love to hear those words of Christ to the Apostles: "In my Father's house, there are many mansions, I am going ahead to prepare a place for you." Or to Martha and Mary: "I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me will never die." These words of our Lord, simply strengthen and affirm the quiet but deep assurance we have that we are greatly loved by God who created us and is prepared to love us for all eternity. And so despite the tears at the loss of a friend or family member like Ed, there is underneath the quiet confidence that God is taking care of Ed who believed in a better life than this. We Christians say that "life is changed not ended." The poets say: "Death does not extinguish the light. It merely blows out the candle because the dawn has come." That's the kind of God we have - now let's consider the man we had. Ed's father was a lawyer and a teacher of law for 60 years. He was a gifted and funny story-teller. His mother, like many mothers of priests and Jesuits, was a practical woman, very concerned for others and a saint. As for his relatives, especially his mother's brothers, what a treat they were! Who has uncles and cousins who can not only sing but also harmonize and even, untaught, play musical instruments. His brother Dick and Mary Jane had five children and his sister Mary with Rod Gilbride had eleven. So Ed was given many nieces and nephews and their wonderful spouses. Since Ed lived in Buffalo and I in Brooklyn, I saw more of the Gilbride family and even received the name, Uncle Jack. It is rare in a priest's eulogy to speak of a man's athletic ability but Ed had so many talents - Ed could do it all in baseball, basketball and soccer, even ping-pong and shooting pool. I found out, not from him, he won the Yale and Princeton cups at Poly Prep for best athlete of junior and senior years. (I claimed there were only 22 male students in the whole school). But his main love became golf. His mother, on a vacation, recommended by her doctor went to the golf pro up at Windham, learned how to swing the club and came back to the house and taught her sons the swing. I believe they were 10 or 12 years old and played every day, nearly all day. Eventually in later life Ed became a 6 handicap at the very difficult and prestigious Winged Foot Country Club. That was probably due to competing with Dick his brother. Even his sister, who hit a longer ball than Ed, has taken up golf at a late age. Like most Jesuits Ed's first love was teaching but he was moved to administration early on at Canisius College and got as far as Executive Vice President. He liked that joke, about administrators that when one felt he was going to make a major decision he would call another administrator; and they would sit down and drink together until that feeling passed. He couldn't take over as President of Canisius because the then President was not only a good president but a great trombone player and I think the Superior's were afraid to remove him from Buffalo's only Dixieland group. He was very close to becoming President at Santa Clara and at LeMoyne but it just didn't happen. So then with a doctorate in hand from NYU in educational administration, he was asked to became President of Fordham Prep and did a great job at that for 17 V2 years, including creating a family spirit and a spirit of service, building a marvelous 1000 seat theatre worth at least 8-10 million dollars. "Easy Ed" or "Steady Eddie" as we golfers knew him was a perfect gentleman. As with Cardinal Newman's definition of a gentleman, he "never offended!" Or, in other terms, Ed was a class act. His patience and tolerance of my golf game over all those years was enough to make him at least a BLESSED. As for the spiritual side: 1) A classmate said: "In all our years together, I've never seen Ed fly off the handle." 2) As a man who spent a lot of time with Ed, I personally never heard him say anything unkind about anyone. We religious in community life know that doesn't happen without a lot of prayer and without a closeness to Christ and an appreciation of the daily Mass. Preaching: He loved preaching and did a fine job for many, many years, especially with that marvelous rich voice he had. Outside his family he loved his close friends, and loved their company; the Regans, the Daenzers, the Amorosis, the Currans, the Noonans, the Rojeks, George Martin and his assistant Joyce Ulner from Canisius. A man called last night named Jack Copeland, who is a member of at least 7 clubs around the world, and said, "Ed is the best man I've ever known." He liked to entertain and always welcomed guests at Fordham whether he was Superior or not. But one example stands out - 3 of us Jesuits were dining out in White Plains when a group of about 35 Jewish women took over most of the room of the restaurant we were in. Sure enough, Ed slipped up and got to the empty mike and implied that the owner sent us there to entertain them. After some humorous patter Ed and I harmonized to a few songs like those old favorites, Jungletown, Doodle-li-doo and Chinese Honeymoon. The audience loved it and we sat down to happy applause. Ed was happy, the women were very happy. To Ed, most nights were grand nights for singing. So Ed, if you're listening, I suspect you'll be singing one of your favorites, very apt for your place up there and I know the song: "The Best of Times is Now!"
Pages to are hidden for
"Homily Delivered at the Funeral of Fr. Edward Maloney,"Please download to view full document