Joe Santos – San Diego Chapter
In early March, the San Diego Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates met in the home of Erin and Spencer Rickwa to remember Bob Metzger with stories, songs, and prayer. Bob, who had been attending our Affiliate meetings for a number of years, was found dead in his apartment this past December 31st.
Bob, a retired teacher, lived alone and loved to travel. He had been a Maryknoll Seminarian years ago and maintained contact with some of his former classmates. He especially loved to talk about his visits to Maryknoll and with Maryknollers.
Our gathering began with the prayer, “Teach me Lord,” by Fr. Joseph Veneroso, MM. Erin recalled Bob’s visit to Cochabamba and his difficulty in finding the Maryknoll Language School. Then Michele shared her collage of photos and words that reminded us of Bob, such as:
Listening to “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” we noted that he had been a calm and peaceful man, even to the end! Pat, Spencer, Jim, and Peggy talked of Bob as being in the next door room, or, better still, in our midst, as we heard the song: “I will not leave you comfortless, I will not leave you alone. I will come to you in the silence; Do not be afraid, I am with you.”
Margie read John O’Donohue’s poem, “For Death,” as well as various quotes on death, including the Irish Proverb, “May you get to heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you are dead.” Joe’s aunt had written a prayer on the occasion of his brother’s death. It ended with, “Oh sweet Jesus... that we be reunited together with you in heaven to live eternally united in your heart.”
Wake attendees, l. to r.: Erin Rickwa, Margie Carroll, Peggy Santos, Michele Dunne, Pat Reilly, Fr. Bill Headly, Spencer Rickwa, Jim DeHarpporte. Inset: Joe Santos, photographer.
We finished our meeting with the song: “I am the Bread of Life... And I will raise you up, and I will raise you up…” But the wake was not over until we toasted Bob with some brew before sharing a meal. May he rest in Peace in the arms of our Mother Mary!