Our Father Richard has died in the Lord on the feast of the Ascension. This is so fitting for a man who gave his life for God alone in the Cistercian tradition. For 68 years he lived as a devote Trappist monk. Faithful to our life, faithful to the Lord who called him to a life of hiddenness and holiness.
Born June 22, 1926 and Baptized just about one week later, Richard Mc Quire so uniquely lived out the Christian life that was initiated in him on that day.
Following his desire to be a religious he entered the Society of Jesus and professed simple perpetual vows in the Missouri Province. But the call to holiness kept his heart open to more and he entered the Monastery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary now named Mepkin Abbey on January 2, 1952. Made his Solemn Profession in 1954 and was ordained in 1957.
Fr. Richard was always seen as a simple and quiet monk who performed his tasks well. And lived his life in faith, obedience and self-giving in deep love of God.
When you begin to reflect on the beautiful scriptures he chose for his funeral mass, you see that the emphases of faith and obedience was always in his heart. That comes only from great love. Fr. Richard loved the Lord and his life shows us the way.
Given the gift of a great intellectual capacity and interest, he loved the scriptures, he read everything and knew much. If you were lucky enough to get a hold of any of the books he read from the library, or any song books in the choir stalls, you had a wealth of information he always added to the text in side notes and history. He knew the dates of birth and death of so many authors, musicians and others.
He loved teaching Latin. And even until very recently, he read a lot and contributed to our Experientia sharing sessions valuable insights into living our life.
With my visits to our Sisters in Ecuador. I am so cognizant of the many years he devoted himself to our Sisters in Esmeraldas. He truly loved them all and was so much a part of their community. They always saw him as a Founder along with Mother Miran, Mother Yousa and Mother Maria Jesus. Fr. Richard spent 25 years as their Chaplain, living in the small house alone all those years, living in hiddenness.
But his quiet monastic life, truly living in the faith he professed is the legacy he leaves us all. The Song of Songs, that he wanted read today names the intimacy he had with God in his heart of faith. How powerful those erotic words tell of the mystical journey of prayer that filled him up with love of the lord. It’s clear that Christ our Savior was his Lord and that his life was so modeled on the hiddenness of humility and obedience as Philippians invites us to ponder.
But it is Matthew’s long description of the Christian life in the practical realities of living it out day by day, that moves us to see how one really answers the call of the Lord to faithfulness. The way one prays, the way one acts in love, the way one lives with honesty, patience, forgiveness and all the virtues that Christ calls us to embrace. These are the hall marks of a man of faith who we honor today with Christian burial and the gratitude of our Mepkin Community for such a role model of monkhood for each of us. Fr Richard exemplified the truth that where your treasure is there your heart will be.
The love of God brought Richard to truly know Jesus and now our Risen Lord welcomes him into eternal happiness with all the saints of heaven. Fr. Richard, as you are embraced by our loving God, we are filled with gratitude for your life with us and thank God for you.