“Wilder Than Fire or Wind”–Peace Out, Gerry Creedon

by Melanie on November 16, 2017

in Catholicism, Friendship, Going 60 MPH, Memoir, Nonfiction, Politics, Returnees

Just like everyone else who knew him, I could tell you a lot of public stories about Gerry Creedon, the larger than life priest who died today. I could tell you he was charismatic. I could tell you he was a friend of the Kennedys, giving the invocation at Ted’s funeral. I could tell you he was giving the U.S. House’s invocation the morning of September 11, 2001.

Just like everyone else who knew him, I could tell you a lot of private stories about Gerry Creedon. I could tell you about how almost exactly twelve years ago, on the precipice of returning to the Catholic Church, I had an initially stormy-on-my-part pastoral counseling session that near the end brought me to tears when he said in a mild tone, “You’ve got a real problem with low self-esteem, don’t you?” I could tell you about how the next day, having dreaded the prospect of seeing him at Mass but figuring if I didn’t go then, I’d never go again, he stepped down from the altar during the handshake of peace to greet me. I could tell you about how he humbled himself when we weren’t getting along, and asked me to help him with his writing, and how I helped him get a poem published in a literary magazine.

But instead, I will share my last story about Gerry Creedon. His beloved brother Michael died a couple months ago. I didn’t go to the funeral, but did send a sympathy card, albeit late. Two weeks ago, I got a poem he’d written, with this note scrawled on the back: “Thanks Mel for remembering Michael. Gerry.”


We won’t bury you deep


Only a foot or two

For what ashes remain.

We will not bury you

For you never buried anybody.


Maybe your ashes will escape

Some night

And float freely on the wind

High over Sheha

Over Caol Mor too

Where you and Mike White

Cut turf with a shovel

That would fire Tooreen.




You can’t be caught

Or held or buried

For you are wilder

Than fire or wind,

A holy spirit.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul R. Kayanan November 22, 2017 at 1:03 am

These words seem there’s a burden that has been lifted (my burden is light and my yoke easy)!

Melanie November 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm

He was a man who knew the Lord amid all his own flaws, and led others to Him. A pretty darn good legacy.

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