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Thousands gather to bid farewell to Br Charles

br charles fsc

KOTA KINABALU – Over two thousand people – mostly former students, teachers, general public – gathered at Sacred Heart Cathedral here to bid farewell to Br Charles O’Leary fsc at the Requiem Mass on 28 Dec 2015.  Archbishop John Wong presided at the Mass, concelebrated with Abp Emeritus John Lee, Bishop Julius Gitom of Sandakan, Msgr Primus Jouil, Fr Moses Lui of Melaka-Johor and nine priests.  Deacon Joshua Liew assisted at the altar while the homily was given by Fr Cosmas Lee, a former student.

Brother Charles died on Dec 24 morning after Mass at Stella Maris Tanjung Aru.  He was 87.  His remains were brought to Fook Lu Siew Parlour Jalan Tuaran for the lying-in-state from Dec 24-26.  On Dec 27, his remains were brought to Dewan La Salle Tg Aru for people to pay their last respects.

The Board of Management SM La Salle organised that one-day event of prayers and eulogies.  The commencement of lying-in-state began at 10 am with prayers scheduled at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm while the session on remembering Brother Charles began at 7 pm.  Several Brothers from across the country flew in for the 7 pm session.

After the Mass, Br Peter Foo, on behalf of the Provincial, thanked everyone who had assisted in one way or another during the whole affair.  After all the people had paid their last respect, the cortege proceeded out of the cathedral while the La Salle School Rally was being sung to the Catholic Cemetery at Mile 4.5 Jalan Penampang Lama for burial.

Being the last of the three pioneer Brothers to go, his death brought the era of the pioneer Brothers to a close.  Out of his 87 years of life, he had lived 57 of it in Sabah and he lived it to the full.  As Fr Cosmas remarked in his homily, he died with his senses intact, after listening to the Word, receiving the Lord in Holy Communion, and praying his Rosary.  What a blessed way to go!  The archdiocese will be forever grateful to God for a person like him.

The remains of Br Charles for the lying-in-state at Dewan La Salle Tg Aru on 27 Dec 2015.
The remains of Br Charles are brought to Dewan La Salle Tg Aru for the lying-in-state on 27 Dec 2015.
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