Bishop Recalls Murdered Bride's Love for God

Stresses Michaela McAreavey’s Catholic Faith

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 BALLYMACILROY, Ireland, JAN. 17, 2011 ( Today Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore concelebrated the funeral Mass of his nephew’s bride, less than three weeks after presiding over their marriage in the same church. 

The newlywed Michaela McAreavey was killed by strangulation on the afternoon of Jan. 10 while on her honeymoon in Mauritius. 

Michaela and her new husband, John, had lunch that day at a poolside restaurant, and afterward she decided to run to their room for some biscuits. When she did not return after a few minutes, John became concerned and went to investigate. He found the lifeless body of his bride in the bathtub. 

Three hotel employees, who were believed to be robbing the room when Michaela surprised them, were arrested for the murder. 

The 27-year-old Irish language teacher was the daughter of Mickey Harte, the manager of the Tyrone gaelic football team. 

Today in St. Malachy’s Church in Ballymacilroy, during his homily at the funeral Mass, Bishop McAreavey, uncle of the grieving husband, affirmed that “the climax of Michaela’s life was her marriage to John.” 

He recalled: “They lived for one another; they enjoyed and supported one another in everything. Their lives revolved around one another; each talked endlessly about the other. Their hopes for the future were bound up with each other.” 

The prelate continued: “Underlying all the love in Michaela’s life was an even deeper love. 

“Her profound faith and trust in the love of God underpinned her whole life, her values, her decisions, her attitudes and everything about her.” 

The Eucharist 

“Her faith was constantly nourished and renewed in the Eucharist,” he stated. “She loved the Mass and was faithful to it. She was a young woman who prayed and whose prayer was important to her.” 

The bishop acknowledged that “even those of us who are older and who had some experience of tragedy have been shaken to the core by what has happened. We are still in a state of shock.” 

“At this dark time we turn to our faith and to our relationship with God for resources that might bring us some light and comfort,” he said. “In a special way we turn to the Word of God for guidance and support.” 

Bishop McAreavey referred to the second reading at today’s Mass, which was also read at John and Michaela’s wedding. 

He observed, “In the 8th chapter of his letter to the Romans St. Paul expresses his absolute conviction that nothing — not even the most unspeakable evil — can come between us and the love of God: ‘For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.'” 
“There are times when it is easy to make this act of faith,” the bishop acknowledged. “There are times, like now, when we struggle to see the hand of God in the things that happen.” 

He affirmed, “It is in the Eucharist above all that we celebrate the victory of Christ’s love over sin and death and our own sharing in that victory through our baptism and faith.” 

The prelate concluded, “We pray that our Risen Lord will bring Michaela to the fullness of the new life she first received in baptism.” 

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