Comments at the Funeral for Charlie Malatesta
by Ed Ruane, O.P., Provincial
I think that Fr. Dennis Woerter so beautifully characterized and portrayed a picture of Charlie, a person who had deep faith in Jesus, God's holy Word, and out of that faith he could proclaim the Word.. Dennis so carefully showed how extraordinary he was...
My remarks are in no way [meant] to contradict that, because I have to say "yes" to what Dennis had to say, but I want to say that Charlie was an ORDINARY Dominican. He, indeed, manifested in his life what ALL Dominicans should be, not just a few, or not just a few of them, or not just a few of the old, but what all of us are meant to be. A preacher. A brother. A believer, one who was uniquely zealous, with his own smile, with his own point of view, but one who constantly read and studied, one who constantly was merciful to his brothers ...???..... mercy given to his brothers and sisters. ...
The ordinariness of Charlie comes out to me in many different ways. I listened to him both at the Mound and .....at St. Louis. Even when he was sick at St. Louis, and had a very difficult time in walking and getting around, and seeing. I think all of us can remember when he would gather up the grocery list of the house every Saturday morning, He picked that up and he'd go down that elevator, and trudge out to that car and [would] go grocery shopping. For, being a Dominican means you can go grocery shopping. It means that you can clean house. It means that you can be present.
Another thing about Charlie that struck me about his ordinariness was that he had a booming voice as a preacher, but a very soft, gentle voice when he spoke ...(???). Sometimes you would have to almost strain to listen. Certainly, as he was dying, one would have to listen. Clear as a bell in his thinking, but very soft in his speaking.
I think again .... a certain gentleness.... Not that he didn't get angry. Not that he didn't assert his point of view. There was always that twinkle in the eye over.... the great cause. So many others.....An ORDINARY brother And when one says an ordinary brother, at his death he becomes and extraordinary person
One of the ways in which that is shown was Charlie was a brother who others went to for Confession. When I was at St. Louis all...(?)...his presence to the students and the priests was that of a mediator of God's mercy. I remember speaking to him about that once, and he ...
he loved to hear Confessions. It's a great opportunity in my ministry, because I too have made mistakes and have benefitted from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For one to have experienced the mercy of God, makes one [able] to give that mercy.
So today, a busy[?] farewell to an ordinary brother who calls out to us, as Dennis so clearly pointed out...so powerfully pointed out, to be an extraordinary person, an extraordinary priest, an extraordinary Dominican. One to[?] be his brother, preacher and servant of God.