Bob Boyle funeral homily
First of all to Rita, on behalf of all of us in this Church, it was an honor and a privilege to have a front row seat for your 69 years of married life with Bob. The way you cared for him during his battle with Alzheimer’s, even taking a job as a receptionist at the Hermitage during Covid so that you could still be with him every day…heroic even falls short of describing what you did for Bob and how you loved him more than yourself.
Sean and Angie, Colleen and Mark, Molly and Ed, Kevin and Amy and Brian and Q, it was an also an honor and a privilege to see how you all supported Rita in your various ways. In our first reading today we heard this “take care of your father when he is old, even if his mind fail, be considerate of him.” You all lived that out in a special way that none of us who watched from a distance will ever forget.
The south side Catholic community is a village, and there is truth that it does take a village to raise children. Melissa Allerd, Don Elbreg, Kirk Heisig, Myself, Matt Hollowell, Father Tony Hollowell, Kathy Marren, Mike Moylan, Jimmy Moylan, Ann Reece, Judy Reichmuth, Matt Tebbe, and Candy Thorn all spent significant time growing up at 421 Daffon Drive and that circle only expanded as the Boyle children grew older.
Brian started an annual golf tournament when Bob was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s with the intent of bringing Fathers and Sons together, and that golf tournament has impacted tons of Father-Son relationships, and most of those fathers and sons are here today. The annual golf tournament got a write up in Golf Digest, and at the end of the article Bob shared: "Thank God for my son. This trip is the best thing that ever happened to us."
Bob loved the Catholic Church. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, some of whom are here today. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He loved all things Irish, and Saint Patrick’s day was always his favorite day of the year. He was a huge Notre Dame fan, which is a requirement for any Irish Catholic.
He spent most of his retirement in service to the Catholic Church. He helped with technology here at St. Barnabas, and his kind Irish heart even allowed him to cross over into enemy territory to help at St. Jude with their technology as well! He donated his time also to Roncalli High School, and IPS – teaching elementary computer technology. Here at St. Barnabas, Bob also served as a reader for Masses, as a member of the Finance and Technology Committees, he served on the Parish Council, and, fittingly, he served as a marriage prep mentor to couples preparing for marriage at St. Barnabas.
We hear about the summit of the Catholic Faith in our Gospel today. That center of the Catholic Church is the belief in Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. The belief that Christ is really present, Body Blood Soul and Divinity at Mass made the Catholic Mass a non-negotiable for him and his family every weekend. I remember coming to Saint Barnabas often after spending a Saturday night at the Boyle’s. It was not even a question…Bob took Jesus’ words seriously and came with his family to Mass every week, and it formed the center of Bob’s life. In our Gospel today Jesus says to a crowd “Amen Amen I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” Bob ate the Body of Christ, and so we now commend Bob to Jesus, trusting that Jesus will keep his promise and raise Bob up on the last day.
Bob Boyle, know that we will continue to offer Masses for you and to pray for you. Please pray for us.
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