Monday, August 9, 2010

Mahalo, Fr. Jack Nilan, OFM.Cap!

Fr. Paolo Kosake, OFM.Cap.

Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap.

I planned to have adoration with my good friend, Lynette T. who lives in Mililani, on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. My schedule, however, just couldn't make room for this perfectly thought of idea. Lynette and I have adoration on occasion and then grab something to eat afterwards -- a light dinner -- then fellowship.

Thursday came, which was August 5th. It couldn't have been better than any other day! I called another friend, France M. whom I needed to meet and said that she would be at the church that night because "tonight we are having the 1st death anniversary Mass for Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap."

So there they were, my friend France and parishioners of Our Lady of Good Counsel, attending the Mass, and Fr. Paolo Kosaka, OFM.Cap. giving his homily, a tribute to Fr. Jack Nilan, OFM. Some of the words that I remember were: Fr. Jack was a lover of the Eucharist; he always thanked people, especially those who served at Mass; he always encouraged his fellow Capuchin priests by reminding them that they are there to serve the people, etc.

What I recall of Fr. Jack are now good memories to me. I didn't know him personally, but I got to know this good priest in the brief moments of our encounter. I caught him walking to the chapel for his afternoon prayer, holding the book that I promoted and sold in the Year of the Eucharist. I remember him thanking me after each Mass that I attended when I sold copies of the book. I recall chatting with him briefly before his prayer time, and, experiencing the love of Christ through this wonderful priest. I also recall how he welcomed all the people with a big smile on this face. I vividly remember how full the pews were!

Fr. Jack Niland, as you rejoice with the angels in heaven, remember us here on earth who need to get to where you are that we, too, may join you in prayers and singing to our God.

Other capuchin priests who were present in the celebration were: Fr. Mike Dalton, Fr. Gordon Gomes, Fr. Marvin Bearis, and of course, Fr. Paolo.

Lynette T. and I mingled with those who attended Mass at the lanai of the church. I was able to reconnect with some good friends and meet a few more.

God is good! His timing is perfect, flawless, and causes me to give him praise and thanks with a much joyful heart!

Below is what was in the Catholic Hawaii website on August 6, 2009, the day after Fr. Niland's passing:

Rest in Peace, Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap.
Thursday, August 06 2009 @ 08:11 AM HST

It is with sadness that we mourn the death of Fr. Jack Niland, OFM.Cap., former pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Pearl City. He passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 5th at 2:00 p.m., Eastern time, at St. Claire Friary, Yonkers, NY.

Although funeral services will be held on the mainland, please note the memorial service to be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Pearl City on August 12, 2009 @ 7:00 p.m.

We join together in praying for the repose of his soul and the comfort of his family and community.

Wake: Friday, August 7, 2009
St. Clare Friary
110 Shonnard Place
Yonkers, NY 10703-2228

Funeral: Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 11:00 am
Sacred Heart Church
110 Shonnard Place
Yonkers, NY 10703-2228

Memorial Mass: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 7:00 P.M.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish
1525 Waimano Home Road
Pearl City, HI 96782

Fr. Jack is survived by his mother Catherine Niland of Sparkill, NY and his sister, Carole Gerondel.

Fr. Jack served as:
Pastor: Santa Rita Parish, Santa Rita, Guam
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Agat
Our Lady of Good Counsel, Pearl City, Hawaii
Vice Provincial of the Star of the Sea, Guam and Hawaii (6 years)

Other readings:
Obituary, from the Hawaii Catholic Herald; Celebration of Life; From the blog, a minor friar