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News

Funeral homily of Archbishop Gustavo for firefighter Scott Deem

May 26, 2017 | posted by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS

Topics: Breaking News


Funeral homily of Archbishop Gustavo for firefighter Scott Deem

We gather in prayer in this holy place as a community of faith to celebrate the life, and to mourn the passing, of Firefighter Scott Deem. He has been a beloved husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, friend, and respected comrade of San Antonio’s firefighters. His memory lives on in our hearts and prayer. As people of faith, we affirm that, in death, life is not ended – it is changed! In faith, we acknowledge that Scott’s life – and our lives – are ultimately inGod’s loving hands. We are all children of the one God and, therefore, sisters and brothers. We are all family today.

Let us pray also for the restored health of Brad Phipps and for the continued recuperation of Robert Vasquez, both of whom were injured in the same fire that took Scott’s life.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that the ones who are celebrated in the Kingdom of God are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. The poor in spirit are those who know their need for God, who acknowledge their dependence on God. We do not have here on earth a “lasting dwelling place.” Rather, God wants us to come home to be with him for all eternity. Some God calls home sooner than others. This is a great mystery to us, but, trusting in God’s love, mercy and compassion, we pray “Thy will be done.” Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Scott had some important dreams earlier in his life. He wanted to be a firefighter – a dangerous but vital service to the community-at-large. A heroic calling, risking one’s life on behalf of others. He was also a strong competitor in sports, seeking to excel from the rough-and-tumble of football and basketball to, perhaps, more placidbowling. He married his high school sweetheart and first love, Jennifer, and became the proud father of Dakota and Tyler – and Aubrey Lynn. He has realized those dreams with God’s help.

God has now called him home -- the same God who will help us get through the times of mourning his loss. God will gently wipe away all the tears – in God’s good time. The Holy Spirit will strengthen us to continue and build upon Scott’s memory and legacy. Jesus, our brother, will accompany us as we continue our journey, helping us to carry our heavy burden of grief.

Let us also pledge to Jennifer and the children our ongoing love and concern. Our support does not end with this Mass. We will walk with you and all his brothers and sisters because we, too, are poor in spirit, dependent on God and relying on one another.

May God grant Scott peace and eternal rest! May God bless all of our firefighters who faithfully serve our communities at risk to their own lives!