Thomas Lavin – Remembering Our Friend, Colleague, Neighbour & Parishioner



The tragic death of our friend, colleague, neighbour and parishioner, Thomas last Monday drew down a heart-rending cloud of sorrow and loss over everyone in Knock. The sense of loss and sadness for Anne, Jimmy, Claire, Grace, Richard, baby Roisin, Colm and the whole Lavin and Hopkins families is almost overwhelming beyond belief and can only be understood by those who have experienced such pain.

Thomas was a very intelligent, kind and thoughtful young man who was enormously respected by all who knew him. He was conscientious in his work as sacristan at the Shrine, indeed since he started working here at the age of 17 on the grounds. He was thoughtful and considerate with pilgrims, priests and visitors alike,  going out of his way to go the extra mile in helping someone – often unknown to anyone. He echoed the lines from Wordsworth: “That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”

He loved his family deeply and was gifted with his hands and gardening. An avid reader of history and politics, you would want to know your stuff if you decided to take him on in debate!! Thomas was also fond of music with Lyric FM on in the background while he went about life at home. A wonderful friend and colleague who will be sorely missed by us all.

On behalf of all of us, Shrine and Parish, I offer our deepest condolences to Thomas’ family and wish them to know that all our prayers are with them now and into the difficult time ahead as they are with all who suffer as a result of such tragic loss. The good Lord is kind and merciful, we trust in His love for us and in His outstretched arms to welcome us onto the shores of Eternity.

To all who may be in need of someone to talk to can I encourage you to speak to our counsellors, spiritual directors and bereavement ministry. We are blessed with the people available here in Knock and please know that no difficulty is too much that it cannot be shared and discussed.

May flights of angels lead him on his way

To paradise and heavens eternal day!


Fr Richard