Alice Lavin, Rest in peace
Good morning everyone. I hope you are well and keeping safe. Do you mind if I share my sadness in the passing of a wonderful friend? Alice Lavin was found dead yesterday in her apartment on University Avenue in the Bronx where she lived for almost 80 years. Her apartment was right across from Our LAdy of Angels Church where I served as pastor for over 11 years.
Alice, among so many other things, was the daily (volunteer) sacristan and lector at Mass. She had a great singing voice. I can still hear her sing "Alleluia" to this very day as she introduced the Gospel. She never married but in a sense she married the church. Every Monday morning she would come over to the rectory as the main counter for the collection as she prepared the deposit and paperwork. Some of our best discussions were at the dining room table arranging the collection.
I learned from her so much living history of the parish. In fact, Alice remembered the very first pastor of Our LAdy of Angels. Father Kiniry founded the parish in 1924 and was pastor for 25 years. Alice remembered coming over with her parents and singing in the rectory while the pastor played the piano. She was a member of any and every volunteer association that would generate life into the parish. She was also pretty formidable. She did not like change. She often saw it as a slippery slope for something she didn't want to see happen. On the other hand, she would eventually and humbly accept change as the whole world changed around her. All of her neighbors in her apartment building changed quite dramatically. As people moved away or died, Alice adapted to a new world where she was the minority, in fact she was the last Irish American in her building. Her new neighbors loved her and watched out for her all the time. She was a neighborhood icon respected by so many.
I thank God for her life. She enriched my life with her honesty and with her faith. She embodied a vocation of service and love for her church. The advice, the constructive criticism, the support she gave me helped me in ways I can hardly describe. She was a true friend. May she rest in peace. Thanks for listening!
on Friday, May 15 at 9:03AM