In Memory

Brother David Eddy

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10/07/16 09:59 PM #1    

Richard Boyd

It was natural last Friday to look around for Xaverian Brother David Eddy.


He was always at those large, diocesan Masses, showing priests where to stand and altar servers when to move. For 11 years, Brother Eddy played out his well-honed role of master of ceremonies at diocesan ordinations, dedications and funerals, always on-hand to make sure Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde knew where to be, when.


But at this Mass, though Brother Eddy’s body was present, his soul was not. The longtime secretary to Bishop Loverde died Feb. 15 after a startlingly brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Friends and family gathered at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington Feb. 19, on what would have been Brother Eddy’s 62nd birthday, to commend his body and soul to God.


Representatives from all factions of Brother Eddy’s life filled the cathedral to honor him with a last goodbye. His biological family, including six brothers and sisters and their families, gathered in the front pews of one side of the cathedral; his spiritual family of Xaverian brothers filled the front rows of the other. Dozens of priests and members of the Chancery family with whom Brother Eddy had worked so intimately filled the transepts.


Adding to the prestigious turnout were retired Cardinal William Baum; Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien; Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski; Washington Auxiliary Bishop Francisco González; Washington Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley; Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael J. Bransfield; Military Services Auxiliary Bishop Richard B. Higgins; and Berryville Monastery Abbott Robert Barnes.


Born and raised in Massachusetts, Brother Eddy joined the Congregation of the Brothers of St. Francis Xavier on July 8, 1966, completing his novitiate at St. Joseph Novitiate in Newton Highlands, Mass., and pronouncing his first profession of vows on Sept. 8, 1968. He pronounced his perpetual vows as a Xaverian brother on May 7, 1977.


For nine years Brother Eddy worked at Xavier High School in Middletown, Conn., teaching math and computer science, managing the bookstore and, occasionally, driving the school bus. There was nothing that had to be done that he did not do.

In his eulogy, Xaverian Brother Lawrence Harvey, general superior for the congregation, joked about how Brother Eddy would have tackled the Washington area’s recent snowstorms.

“Oh boy, how David would have loved to be behind the wheel of a snowplow these past few weeks,” he said with a laugh.


In 1985, Brother Eddy left his teaching career to be an assistant to then-Father Loverde in the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. By the time Brother Eddy arrived in Arlington with Bishop Loverde in 1999, what was originally going to be one year of working together was well on its way to a total of 25.


Throughout the years, Brother Eddy served not only as assistant and secretary to Bishop Loverde, but as a designer and consultant on the renovations of the Bishop’s House in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, N.Y., and the Chancery Offices and St. Thomas More Center in Arlington.


For the last 16 years, Bishop Loverde and Brother Eddy not only worked together, but prayed together and lived together. A testament to their close relationship, emotions ran high as Bishop Loverde celebrated the funeral Mass of the friend who had become family. During his homily, the bishop recounted highlights from Brother Eddy’s life — particularly his continued fidelity to God and the Church. Always “self-effacing,” Brother Eddy constantly put others before himself, Bishop Loverde said. “In his own quiet and unassuming way, he touched so many.”

For the gift of his friend, he said, “I owe God a debt of gratitude beyond words to express.


“Brother David was not only a trusted colleague, a loyal servant of the Church and a faithful religious; he became, in truth, my brother.”


Brother Eddy, said Brother Harvey, always endeavored to find a dwelling place for the Lord in his heart. Now, he added, while family and friends grieve for Brother Eddy, they must also “rejoice in his life and give thanks for him.”

Toward the end of the Mass, Bishop Loverde read a message from Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, who wrote to offer his condolences. The archbishop said he had been touched by the “exemplary goodness” of the Xaverian brother.

Archbishop O’Brien then gave the final commendation, showering the casket with incense as the choir sang a song of farewell.


On their way out of the cathedral, rows of attending priests filed past, some reverently touching the covered wood, others raising their hands in blessing. As Brother Eddy so often directed them in life, now they directed him in death, having faith that their prayers will lead him to the right place: home to his Father in heaven.

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