Bocaue hospice founder laid to rest
BOCAUE, Bulacan – After his death due pneumonia on Aug. 2 at the age of 87, Br. Francis Joseph, FM (George Carey Gillen), founder of the Brothers of Mercy of St. John of God and Hospicio de San Juan Dios in this town, was laid to rest at the Krus sa Wawa Memorial Park Saturday, Aug. 5.
“Br. Francis (and his brothers) has done his mission painstakingly through hardships and through sufferings; caring for sick people, the mentally challenged people,” Msgr. Bartolome Santos said in his homily during a 1:00 p.m. concelebrated funeral Mass held at the Sto. Cristo-San Andres Kim Taegon Parish. “It is not easy. It needs a lot of sacrifice and offering to the Lord.”
In an interview with CBCPNews, Brothers of Mercy Prior Br. Raymond Marquez, FM reminisced how Br. Francis inspired and trained them to persevere as members of a community that takes care of mentally challenged individuals and abandoned members of society.
‘Brothers of Mercy’
“Br. Francis taught us compassion to our patients; to love them as our siblings; to spoon feed them if needed,” said Marquez. “After his retirement as our prior, even if he’s sick, he would still strive to stand and feed our patients.”
Br. Francis, who was a native of Boston, Massachusetts, also taught them to trust in divine providence and practice humility, according to Marquez.
“Br. Francis is a holy person, a man of great humility, patience, faith, and sense of humor,” Bro. Bernard Engay FM affirmed.
“It almost came to a point that I decided to give up, particularly when a patient punched me, but Br. Francis was there to encourage and guide me to pursue this mission.”
Also present at the funeral was his sister Irene Moffat, some members of the Malolos clergy, guest priest, Fr. Luke Moortgat, CICM, members of the 3rd order of Brothers of Mercy, companions and hospice volunteers, members of other religious congregations and church organizations as well as private individuals.
Deacon Ritz Darwin Resuello, who was assigned to the hospice and who was at Br. Francis’ bedside when he died, officiated the last prayer rites before Br. Francis was buried. CBCPNews