On July 4, a delightful man I know from church (he taught CCD and helped with our Confirmation prep class), John Lyp, was liberated from lung cancer and went to his eternal reward.
John is just an amazing person. He loved the Lord so much: with all his heart, with all his mind, and with all his strength. He has left behind his lovely wife of 40 years, Ellen, and his 7 children and 4 grandchildren. I know his daughter, AnneMarie, because she also taught CCD with us. All of his kids are really fantastic.
John's death was really sudden. I saw him last on May 18 right after the 12:00 Mass at church. He seemed totally fine. By Memorial Day weekend, his name was on the list of the sick members of the parish for us to pray for. Last week, John went into hospice care. Lung cancer killed him, but he never smoked a day in his life. It moved very quickly.
It is a privilege to know someone as great as John Lyp. He loved telling people about Jesus. He preached the Gospel in everything he did. In addition to the work he did with the men's group at the parish he volunteered with Covenant House in Newark. I never saw this man down.
There were so many people who came to the wake that the parking lot was full. There were probably 150-200 people at the funeral Mass: family, friends, fellow parishioners. All whose lives are enriched by knowing John Lyp.
The Church's teaching on the Communion of the Saints is very comforting at times like this because John isn't really gone. He may be in purgatory (here for more), he might be in heaven already! But he's still with us and he's praying for us. He's doing even more for his family now than he could do while on earth. The priest said in his homily at the funeral Mass: "For the many of us who are here on earth who sadly say, 'There he goes,' how many more are in heaven, excitedly saying, "Here he comes!'"
John, pray for us. We'll pray for you.
Hey, Jesus, here he comes.