'Jacqueline brought great joy, life and energy'
THE district is in shock following the sudden death on Friday of a 38 year-old Banbridge woman Jacqueline Magill following a short battle with cancer.
Speaking at Jacqueline’s funeral Mass on Sunday, Canon Liam Stevenson described her as a woman who “brought great joy, life and energy to the family home.”
A former pupil of St Mary’s Primary School and St Patrick’s High School, as it was then, she worked in McManus’ shoe shop; then in Houston’s and in Banbridge Academy where she was held in high esteem by all her work colleagues.
Canon Stevenson described the moment when he was told that Jacqueline was in hospital.
“Friday week ago, I went down to Craigavon Hospital to visit the Banbridge parishioners,” he said in his homily.
“Alice Magill heard that I was in the hospital. She came to me to tell me the bad news that her daughter Jacqueline had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was in shock. I visited Jacqueline, chatted for a while and celebrated the Sacrament of the Sick.
“Her family and friends were coping with the shock of her advanced cancer when on Friday morning they all received another huge shock, learning about her sudden death.
"Jacqueline’s family and friends were numb with disbelief and pain, grief and sorrow. I’m sure some of that pain persists today.”
Jacqueline lived with her parents, Francis and Alice. She loved her two nieces, Shannon and Katelyn, and her brother and sister, Philip and Stephanie. She loved the home she shared with her parents and was very house proud.
Canon Stevenson continued, “The Gospel of the Transfiguration is always read on the second Sunday of Lent. It’s hard to know what exactly the three Apostles experienced on that mountain. Peter, James and John certainly had a most unusual experience of Jesus; perhaps an image of his glorified body. They certainly heard a voice from heaven “this is my Son, the Chosen One, Listen to Him”.
“The three Apostles were learning fast that their Master was indeed the Son of God; the Son of Man. This vision of Jesus as God was to help the three of them cope with the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. This glimpse of Jesus as God helped to galvanise their faith, rocked as it would be by the tumultuous events of Holy Week.
“Our Sunday Mass helps each of us cope with the challenges of daily living – frustration, anger, upset, suffering, grief, loss and pain. We learn about suffering in Jesus’ life and that helps each of us face the troubles of life. We learn about the compassion of Jesus and his understanding of people. We think of the raising to life of Jairus’ daughter ; the healing of the woman with the haemorrhage; the raising to life of the widow’s son at Naim; the feeding of the crowds; entrusting His own Mother, Mary, to the care of St John and I could mention many more examples.
“Jesus is caring for each of the bereaved today in exactly the same way. He has cared for Jacqueline in her life and especially in the last few days. We pray that He has brought Jacqueline safely home to one of the rooms in His Father’s House.
“We pray today that she has experienced the presence of God in the same way as Peter, James and John did on the mountain. We pray that each of us will continue on life’s journey drawing closer to God each Sunday as we pause and reflect on God’s love for each of us and our response to God’s love in each of our lives.”
Canon Stevenson, on behalf of his co-worker, Fr Corr, offered his sincere sympathy to Jacqueline’s mother and father, Alice and Francis, sister, Stephanie, brother Philip, nieces, Shannon and Katelyn, uncles and aunts, cousins and the entire family circle.