It’s still hard to believe that he is no longer physically with us! Deacon Kevin died on Friday, January 22nd. His funeral was celebrated on Wednesday, January 27th at St. Genevieve – St. Maurice church. He is gone, he left an empty spot, a huge empty spot in our hearts, and in our parish. He will be greatly missed.
I met Deacon Kevin for the first time at the Capuchin Retreat Center in the fall of 2019. It was Sunday morning, and I was celebrating Mass at the end of the retreat weekend for the candidates to the diaconate and their wives. Deacon Kevin was the leader of that retreat. He seemed to me as a gentle, peaceful, and very faithful man. A few months later, I got information that I was assigned to St. Genevieve – St. Maurice Parish. Deacon Kevin was the first person whom I already knew before I even started my ministry here in Livonia. I was so grateful, and felt so much peace, every time I had the opportunity serving with Kevin since I came to the parish. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for a long time. I started my ministry as an administrator in July 2021, and in August Kevin stopped coming to church because of being diagnosed with multiple system atrophy. Unfortunately, the diagnosis wasn’t optimistic. Who would ever imagine that after a few next months we would say the last farewell by celebrating Kevin’s funeral Mass. Shock, unbelief, disappointment, sadness… these are only a few emotions that we find in our hearts in this time. His death came too early… unexpectedly… till the end we had hope that God would perform a miracle…and you know… and HE DID! Kevin died as he lived – PEACEFULY! He died prepared, he wasn’t afraid of dying, he was ready to see God face to face. He was ready to say; “Lord I did my best, and now I am coming back home”.
I’m not going to tell you who Kevin was, you knew him better than I… what I will tell you is that even during the few weeks I spent together with Kevin at St. Genevieve – St. Maurice church I was blessed serving with someone who, with his whole being, loved God, who saw Jesus in every person, and who never thought about himself. Who through his primary vocation as a husband, a father, a grandpa, and also through his diaconate ministry, was always doing his best to bring people to God! Why did He do that? Because, God became the foundation of his life. I will always remember Kevin sitting in the sacristy one hour before each Mass. He was looking through the sacristy and church’s doors at the tabernacle, where Jesus remains. He was preparing himself for his ministry, for his preaching, for that one particular Mass, and… for that one particular moment of his life…for his death. And therefore, his suffering didn’t break him. His body gave up, but his spirit became stronger than ever.
May God in His mercy embrace Kevin with love in his eternal kingdom. May Kevin hear from Jesus lips: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into a joy of your master!”
Kevin, we are grateful for you, your life, and your ministry…Rest in Peace…we’ll miss you dearly.
On behalf the whole parish staff, and the entire parish community, and myself we would like to express our deepest condolences and sympathy for Kevin’s wife, Sheila, their children, and the whole family. You all remain in our prayers.
P.S. Thank you to all of you who were involved and made Deacon Kevin’s funeral celebrations meaningful and comforting to his family.