Eternal Rest for Father Michael Crosby, O.F.M., Cap.
A message from Fr. Dan Crosby, O.F.M., Cap.:
“Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! The strife is o’er, the battle done; now is the Victor’s triumph won: O let the song of praise be sung: Alleluia!”
That’s the song that came immediately to my mind, heart and lips when around 11:00 (EST) Mike gently slipped into the arms of Our Lord who was so eager to welcome himhome. Can you believe that at almost that exact moment, in the chapel below his room here at St. Bonaventure’s, two of our young friars were pronouncing their final, solemn profession of vows as Capuchins. With all their hearts they were giving themselves – for life -- to the Lord. And there, up in his bedroom, Mike was DOING, with all his heart, what they were saying in the chapel below. He was giving himself, handing himself over, body and soul, to the Lord who created him, loved him and worked through him in such a powerful, beautiful way as his channel of peace, justice and hope.
I was with Mike, along with our Brother Larry LaCross who could not have been more solicitous during this whole process. Mike affectionately called him the “hoverer,” hovering over him and all the friars to see whatever they might need. Within minutes, the other friars (who had been at the solemn profession), quickly came to Mike’s room and together we prayed and sang our Easter Alleluia song of praise and thanksgiving.
When St. Francis was dying, he said to the brothers, “I have done what was mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours to do.” There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Mike has “done what was his to do.” And he did it, always, with great passion and conviction. In these last weeks he continued to do “what was his to do” – waiting trustingly, patiently for the Lord to come. Never did he complain about his difficulties or even about the fact that the Lord was taking longer than he wanted. We’ve all been given so much, haven’t we? May we be as faithful as he in doing what God is asking of us. In God’s eyes, it’s just as important as what Mike did. . .
I’m sure you’re wondering about funeral arrangements. What we’re planning is this: a wake here at St. Bonaventure’s this coming Thursday (Aug 10 – with the prayer service around 7pm), then Friday evening we’ll have another wake at St. Francis in Milwaukee (4th and Brown – it’ll probably go from 5 to 8:0 or so with the wake service at 7pm) Finally, on Saturday the funeral and burial will be at St. Lawrence in Mt. Calvary (probably 11:00).