As the St. Mungo Singers prepared for the Holy Week services, the sad news came of the death of a long-term member of the choir, Eric Dick, on 22 March, just weeks short of his 88th birthday. Eric, with his wife Kay, had been part of the St. Mungo Singers for 25 years until ill-health forced his retirement. He had been a wholehearted and committed member of the bass section, always ready and eager to lend a hand in carrying equipment or music or setting up seating, and the choir turned out in force for his funeral at St. Andrew’s Parish, Bearsden, joining members of the parish choir.
The church was filled with family, friends and parishioners, as well as representatives of the Padre Pio prayer groups (Padre Pio being the other great devotion in Eric and Kay’s lives). A number of priests who had known the Dicks joined parish priest, Fr. Joe Mackle to concelebrate the funeral Mass.
In his homily, Fr. Mackle welcomed everyone who had come to St. Andrew’s, a church which had been so much of Eric’s life. At a funeral, he said, we face the reality of pain and the sense of loss, but we are united in faith in God. This faith is a gift. It was one which Eric had been drawn to when he had seen how much it meant to his wife-to-be, Kay, 62 years before, when they were about to be married. As a result he had chosen to take instruction in the Catholic faith, going 5 nights a week instead of the more usual 2 nights a week!
Eric had lived that faith, day in and day out, through happy and sad times. With Kay, he had had a particular devotion to St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and together they had worked to spread this devotion in the UK. Their work had been acknowledged in the most recent Padre Pio magazine Il Voce, and the magazine’s editor Fr. Francesco Scaramuzzzi had visited them to express his thanks for the time, energy and commitment they had given to this work. Fr. Mackle finished with the reminder “Death is not the last word”.
The Mass, fittingly, was full of music, including the Padre Pio hymn Resta Con Me. Eric would have recognised it all as he had sung it so often before. The thoughts of the St Mungo Singers go with Kay and her family in their bereavement.