Br Munchin Sheehy

Our community has lost one of its best known and loved members with the death on 20 October 1980 of Br Munchin Sheehy. He suffered a stroke early in August and was admitted to hospital where, at first, it seemed that his chance of recovery was good. However, his condition soon began to deteriorate and the effects of the stroke progressively worsened. By early October, his condition was very weak and, as nothing further could be done for him in the hospital, we decided to bring him home to the monastery and nurse him ourselves.
 
 
He returned to us on 6 October. He seemed to know that he was dying and he was happy to be at home. His last two weeks were marked by extraordinary peace and patience, and the experience of caring for him and of praying daily around his bed was one which the community will long cherish as a tremendous blessing. Many remarked on the atmosphere of prayer that prevailed in the sick room and how easy it was to pray there. Br Munchin quietly faded away and he peacefully breathed his last at 9.00 am on the morning of 20 October, receiving the sacrament of the Sick and with many of the community around.  
 
 
His funeral took place on 23 October and he was buried in the Abbey cemetery; some three hundred of his friends and friends of the community came to be with us, braving the rainy weather, to pay their last respects. Br Munchin was well known to a wide circle of people who had come over the years to the monastery and being the colourful character that he was, he will be long remembered by them; there must be many people who are using rosary beads made by his hands.
 
 
As for ourselves, his passing will leave a gap in our midst: Br Munchin was 73 years old and had been a Cistercian monk for 46 years; 26 of those years being spent at Tarrawarra. He was one of the founders of our monastery. That kind of association is not soon forgotten. At the same time, we are grateful to God for giving us the life of Br Munchin and we know that his service of God in the monastic life, carried out faithfully to the end, will bring rich blessings on our community.
 
 
(Tarrawarra Newsletter, November 1980)
 
 
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