Gone to Heaven, beloved Brother Marc Mau­rice

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE - Fr Richard HoLung DIARY OF A GHETTO PRIEST

NO SELF-CON­SCIOUS­NESS, black as a brother can be, chubby and full of good cheer, Brother Mau­rice was most beloved in our com­mu­nity. His gen­eros­ity was with­out limit; if 12 re­quests were made of him for the day – whether it be driv­ing a truck, pick­ing up food, bring­ing a home­less per­son to the hos­pi­tal – Brother did it all with good cheer.

“Brother Marc, why are you al­ways happy?” we would ask.

He would burst out laugh­ing. “Be­cause God made me so. My par­ents brought me up Catholic and Chris­tian. There were so many kind priests, sis­ters, brothers. They were the kind­est peo­ple. I wanted to be like them.”

Brother Marc did not wa­ver in his vo­ca­tion. He en­tered Mis­sion­ar­ies of the Poor (MOP) on Au­gust 3, 1995, and had a most happy life un­til the Lord took him on May 16, 2018.

Though cheer­ful, he was never giddy. More­over, he was never mo­rose. There seemed to be a smile ready to burst through his face, with full, round, pearly teeth and gums against that pudding-pan and wide roasted bread fruit face. Beau­ti­ful!

Marc had gone to Uganda while I was gen­eral in Ja­maica. He was strong, steady, com­pe­tent and re­li­able there in Africa as our mission in Kam­pala was be­ing es­tab­lished in its early stages.

Then to strengthen the mission in the Philip­pines, Brother Marc was sent to Manila, where he helped to set­tle us in San An­dres Bukid – a big, over­pop­u­lated slum. When the home for the el­derly, home­less and lit­tle kids who are de­fec­tive and home­less in Manila was well set­tled, he came to Ja­maica and jumped right into the position of a coun­sel­lor as part of our new ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der Brother Anil Minj.

A RE­MARK­ABLE MAN

There was a re­mark­able in­ci­dent when there was an earth­quake and hur­ri­cane in Cebu and Ta­cloban, Leyte. Brother Marc spoke to me and men­tioned that the earth­quake de­stroyed al­most the en­tire city of Ta­cloban. No build­ing was spared in this city. The pop­u­la­tion was dec­i­mated.

Brother Marc got per­mis­sion and im­me­di­ately went by boat to Leyte. The place was pu­trid with the smell of corpses. When he got there, he sought out the home of some Catholic sis­ters who ran a con­vent and church school in Ta­cloban, Leyte.

Thank God they were alive! But the build­ings were de­stroyed. How would they re­build? Where would they get the money? Brother Marc phoned, and he grieved at their de­struc­tion. We would help the sis­ters.

We col­lected some money in the United States and sent it over to him. He stayed at the site. The sense of death was all around. The sis­ters were so grate­ful for his pres­ence. Slowly, they re­built. Brother Marc was un­ob­tru­sive and hum­ble as he helped them or­gan­ise their new con­vent. Then, the sun­shine came once again.

Now that he has died, I have prayed to him ask­ing for his help and ad­vice. He should tell Jesus how much we love him and de­pend upon him.

Brother Marc, we are con­fi­dent, is with the Lord in His heav­enly king­dom. But just in case, we ask the Lord to for­give his weak­nesses and sins, since we are all hu­man and need the Lord to for­give us of our wrongs.

Brother Marc is from Jacmel, south of Port-au-Prince, two hours away by car from the main city. His town is about 48,000 peo­ple in pop­u­la­tion. Both his par­ents are dead, and he has two brothers who are very much in love with the Lord.

Marc had too much sugar in his chubby, cheer­ful body and died sud­denly of a mas­sive heart at­tack. He was sur­rounded by MOP brothers when he died in the hos­pi­tal in Milot, near Cap-Haï­tien; there we have a huge mission for the home­less and des­ti­tute.

“Beloved Brother Marc Mau­rice, No farewell words were spo­ken, No time to say good­bye,

You were gone be­fore we know it, And only God knows why.”

Brother Marc, you have brought good news to ev­ery­one you have ever met.

You were cheer­ful, joy­ful, and full of Christ. We will miss you, our beloved Brother Marc, un­til when or when­ever.

You have com­pleted your mission. Well done, brother! Pray for us un­til we our­selves have fin­ished our mission.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

Brother Marc shar­ing the joy of serv­ing Christ.

Brother Mau­rice, gone to Heaven.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.