What might the name Garth mean to us?
“A” – articulate
“R” – RESPECTFUL
“T” – thoughtful
“H” – happy, humorous
As we each recall our experience of Garth we believe that the man before us embodied these values and spirit. One might simple see Garth with his great-grandson and you would witness a gentle giant loving and guiding the little one as he experienced so much happiness from his great grandfather. I chose to begin here because it was here that Garth’s life came to end in the presence of such a child who loved him completely and unconditionally.
How do we honor, celebrate such a man of great stature and caliber? It must begin from the perspective of faith and family. These were, I believe , his top two priorities as he spent three hours each morning in prayer and scripture, and walking each day with his loving wife and family by his side. The two are true witness of married love, forming the domestic church in their home and that faith and love of family leading him to impact the world around him.
To honor Garth’s life 1Corinthians 12&13 are great sources for inspiration and thought for our reflection. Garth sought to encourage and develops the gifts in those he encountered, whether it was the students he taught, the brother knights he guided or his children and grand children. In all of this it was the greatest of all gifts, Love, that Garth gave and sought to develop in others.
I want to affirm and celebrate Garth’s commitment to the Right to Life and weekly prayed outside abortion clinics being a voice for unborn children. This was a day that Garth so desired to see as we witness after 50 long years the over turning of Roe vs Wade. As a drum major for justice he was also an advocate for the unborn.
The Gospel of Mathew clearly maps out our calling and direction as Christian disciples, namely to see in each person we encounter Christ and respond to their needs with great love and compassion. Through the food for families program he saw the face of Christ in those we served, Walking the neighborhood when i first arrived here at St Joseph to welcome children and teach in our summer vacation Bible Camp, these were all ways that Garth both saw Christ and served Him in those he encountered. To celebrate Garth is to honor a purpose driven life. His life was most profoundly expressed by action, love as a verb.