“The memory of the righteous is a blessing,” Proverbs 10:7.
I’m incredibly honored today to join the many who celebrate the passing of Dick Callahan. Go to the Oakland A’s website and the beautiful tributes to Dick’s years as the stadium announcer of over 1,000 home games. Or find the landing page of his Alma Mater, Saint Jerome’s University, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The University memorializes Dick as one of their outstanding alumni. So it is, we gather today to celebrate this friend and his affection for so many of us. See these links,
We know Dick as a man of integrity, a person of honor. He was kind, considerate. In the Jew tradition, a “mensch” or a “stand-up guy.”
Translate this idea into an Irish idiom, you might call Dick Callahan, “a very socially gifted leprechaun, with great humor and a sparkle in his eye.
He was also well-rounded. So much so, Dick came to my Sports Journalism class the many times he opened his remarks with this story. He mentioned that earlier in the morning, he argued with Colleen, his daughter.
She told him: “Dad, please check your weight, start exercising, you’re out of shape!” Dick’s reply: “Colleen, round is a shape!” At that point, Dick had this college audience in the palm of his hand. Semester after semester, year after year, Dick Callahan had a following at Saint Mary’s College and the very best student evaluations.
So, this socially gifted hero of mine was well-rounded, lovely, intelligent, troubled, good-humored, sweet, loving, open-minded. How fortunate I am to have known Dick these thirty-years at Saint Mary’s basketball games, as a parishioner at Saint Monica’s Moraga, and here with you today.
Dick Callahan was a “hero with 1,000 faces.” It’s the luck of the Irish to have known and loved Dick Callahan.
Richard J. “Dick” Callahan has gone to God and left a beautiful memory behind.
The memory of deep devotion to Christ, the memory of warm love for Colleen, Kelly, and Katie, his sons-in-law, Cary, Eric, Ron, and his grandchildren Amelia and Trace.
The memory of love for his friends by the score, and so many we know and those unknown in the outfield bleachers.
The memory of his remarkable openness to life, to the sporting life, and his calling those 1,000 baseball games for the Oakland A’s.
The memory of his authentic appeal to young people at the start of their life’s journey.
His community service to neighbors, so many here today.
His participation in the world as God made it, and his contribution to this creation.
Such was the life of Dick Callahan, and such is the memory that is bequeathed those of us who are left behind.
Let us hold on to that memory with gratitude, with affection, and with very great pride.
In the Jewish Book of Proverbs, you read: “The memory of the righteous is a blessing.”
So, in Christ, the memory of our friend Dick Callahan is a blessing for us!
May our Lord Jesus Christ be with you to defend you, before you to lead you, behind you to guard you, and above you to bless you!
And may the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you always. Amen.
The Commendation is adapted from “Reflections: A Path to Prayer” by Msgr. James Turro. The Final Blessing is an Irish favorite of Msgr. James Wade.
Christ the King Church, Pleasant Hill, CA., Thursday, February 25, 2021.
Father Paulson Mundanmani presiding at this Funeral Mass and Memorial Service.