Long before his death yesterday, those who knew him said Bob was a saint. For he had the most extraordinary ordinary way of introducing and re-introducing Jesus Christ to those whom he encountered. But he would be the first to cringe at that assessment, and demand prayers for his blessed repose instead.
So that is what his friends are now asking. The Pilgrimage Director asks every fellow pilgrim and their families & friends to pray at least one Ave for the blessed repose of Robert W. Murray of Troy, NY, who died Tuesday, 7 March at age 81.
Today our weeping is a heavy mix of tears both sorrowful and joyful, for the reasons given in the letter of condolence to Bob’s siblings. (See text below and online here.)
Among his many other rich contributions to ecclesial life in his hometown Diocese of Albany, Bob Murray was a co-founder of the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration. In March of 1998 he put the pilgrimage on solid foundations by co-founding the Company of St. Rene Goupil (at first called “The Society” of St. Rene), the apostolate which to this day provides for the material needs of the pilgrims.
As few others, Bob always possessed a steady balance of spiritual and material consideration for the pilgrims. He was a ‘natural’ when it came to figuring the proper order and mix for both for pilgrims. His generous, unfeigned goodness naturally led others to God and the safe accomplishment of pilgrimage year after year. His contributions of charity to all were far too many to be numbered, before during and after the days in the field.
About four years ago, he became too ill even to come to pray at the opening or closing Mass. But he never really left us.
Put simply, without Bob there would be no pilgrimage, and there would be no material support for the pilgrims.
All the pilgrims who knew Bob know that it was a privilege just to get to know him, let alone to have him call you friend. The Pilgrimage Director is so glad and grateful to God to have visited Bob one last time this past pilgrimage.
A small tribute to Bob is being considered already for the pilgrimage website or/and blog. On pilgrimage this autumn, too. To start we shall pray the traditional prayers for the faithful departed.
Pilgrims are invited to e-mail the Pilgrimage Director to inform of their own plans to remember Beloved Bob and to suggest similar fitting remembrances which all pilgrims can take part in on pilgrimage this autumn.
For those who can and wish to attend Bob’s funeral, see the online obituary for details.
Pilgrims wishing to send condolences to Norine, Frank, Don and the six other surviving siblings may do so online.
Eternal memory, grant him, o Lord!
Eternal memory grant unto Thy servant Robert, o Lord!
Dear Norine, Frank, Don and all Siblings of Beloved Bob,
it is with a divided heart that the news of Bob’s passing reaches me. Privileged to have been among his many friends, on the one hand my heart aches at so terrible a loss of so good a soul as your Brother, and I weep also for you therefore. On the other hand, his goodness was so extraordinary, even other-worldly that I am tempted to rejoice even amidst so much sorrow, believing that The Good Lord Christ Who made your Brother into the Christian man of full stature he became will take him to Himself rejoicing in his arrival, with His words now intended for Robert: Well done, good and faithful servant. Come, enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Possess the kingdom prepared for thee from the foundation of the world. (Mt. xxv: 24,34)
On behalf of all the Lloyds, especially our eldest Girls Katie, Molly & Gracie who loved him as their “Uncle Bob”, and all the pilgrims of the annual pilgrimage to Auriesville who loved Bob so and are forever indebted to him in gratitude for his selfless friendship in Christ, I offer our prayers to the Blessed Mother of God for your consolation.
… For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. (Mt. xxv: 35 ff.)