|Fr Kevin - photo from Clifton Diocesan website|
We priests, even Diocesan brothers, can live quite independent lives, and do not necessarily meet up or support each other, but I can say that Fr Kevin was a kind and good friend.
I first came across him when I came to the Diocese of Clifton and became involved in signing for the Deaf Community. There were not too many of us signing priests around, and he taught me not just specifically Catholic signs, but a value of and deep connection with the Deaf Community in our Diocese. He had know them for years. He had seen their children be born and grow. He had buried and mourned with them.
Of course we do this with parishioners all the time, but this 'extra-ordinary' parish of the Deaf Community was solid and stable even as priests move from parish to parish. And the connection between a chaplain and this community is all the sweeter and more precious for the shared communication in a world which can sometimes be filled with deafening silence. He served them well, and Clifton Deaf Service will be infinitely the poorer for his death.
This really is all I want to say. This is where I knew him best, and giving a voice is all I can do for my deaf friends who are so very far away.
A Tridentine Requiem will be offered for him at his funeral, and I believe Bishop will Lang will preach. I am sorry I cannot be there to sign for him, or see signed prayers offered for the repose of his soul.
It was always funny, I thought, that the two of us were so caught up in both the Latin Mass and provision for the deaf and people who are hard of hearing. At one level it is a strange combination, at another it is the most natural in the world.
I have already offered Mass for the repose of his soul in the ancient Liturgy of the Church. I shall now sign his soul into the hands of our All-powerful and All-merciful Judge and King.
May he rest in peace.