The Grapevine: Remembering Father Hilarion Cann

By Rosalyn Queen Alonso on May 14, 2019 from The Grapevine via

This past week I attended the funeral of Father Larry Cann.  We go back so far it almost feels like the beginning of time.  The first time I met him was in Wheeling in 1958.  We went to his office at the tribunal to get his help in getting Rome to allow us to get married in the church.  There certainly were a lot of papers to fill out and witnesses to question but after a year it was ruled that we could be married in the church. 
A long period of time passed before I had any further contact with him but in 1978 as my position with the Italian Festival dictated that I work with him for the Festival mass.  So since then a yearly relationship followed as we prepared for the outdoor mass.  This was not the only time I came in contact with Father Cann as I attended the many weddings, baptisms, funerals and dinners he prayed over.  The point I am making is that yes I knew him well.
Lately, after my fight with cancer, I hesitate to attend funerals.  I guess it makes me realize how vulnerable we all are at this stage in life.  I got a call from Jeannie McNabb Jenkins to go with her to the funeral and agreed that I would attend.
As I got ready Friday morning I envisioned a very lengthy service with lots of speakers, music and etc. We went early because we anticipated a full church, but were able to secure good seating.
The mass started with the processional.  Approximately 30 priests participated in the mass.  They came from all over the state. Father Cann's long time friend and All Saints music director, Stephen Pishner. presented a wonderful program of music, a wonderful tribute to the father. Two of his nephews did the readings.  A wonderful eulogy was presented by a priest and friend from Preston County.  His eulogy could have almost been titled "in his own words."  
After communion the choir presented a song and the service ended as the group prepared to go to the final resting place, Holy Cross Cemetery.  I congratulate those who were responsible for this service. It was a wonderful tribute to this individual who has served many people in his position as a priest. Every detail was attended to perfectly.  I am certainly glad that I did not allow my personal situation to miss this service. It was a fitting and moving farewell to Father Cann.
I hope that all you mothers had a wonderful day.  I know I would be remiss if I did not mention the loving care my children bestow on me, not only on Mothers Day but all year long.  I guess the only thing I can do is express a big thank you and assure them that there is no one who loves them more than I do.  Their daily calls, their weekly outings and the beautiful cards all year round are only outward signs of four loving children. You have made my life complete.
Get ready for summer, it is upon us and do not forget the planting season is now.  Stay in touch and take care and until next week "Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine."

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