How Great is Our God: For Fr. Dan Anholzer

On Monday I saw the New Jerusalem.

The church was packed; about a hundred people sat in the vestibule while numerous others watched via closed-circuit TV in the activities building next door. The sea of faces presented every age, shape, and color - all of whom had been touched by this man's life. And in one spirit-filled voice, we sang as God's people:
"How great is our God?
Sing with great is our God?
How great, how great
Is our God?"
Dan was provincial when I was accepted as a Postulant into the Order. I remember his phone call because it was an important part of my vocation journey. I remember Dan's jovial voice and his excitement for me as I said "Yes." That "Yes" was the first of many that I would say as I continued to follow the path of a Capuchin friar. Dan was an important person to me.

It was easy to see that Dan was important to many others as well. As I stood in St. Joseph's Church in Saginaw, packed in with a rainbow of different people I could feel the love. He was loved by his friends; he was loved by his Capuchin brothers; he was loved by this parish here in Saginaw, MI. You could see the love in everyone's eyes. You could hear it in the words of our Provincial Minister's homily. You could feel it in the hugs with everyone there.

And in the end, while we sang that Chris Tomlin song, the song Dan requested be played at his funeral, I thought of Revelations and the New Jerusalem:
He will dwell with them and they will be his people and He shall be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying or pain, for the old order has passed away."
-Rev 21:3-4)
By the end of the song, my tears of loss were tears of joy for having known such a loving, God-filled, joyous Servant of God.

Thank you, brother, for giving us all a glimpse of the Kingdom to come.

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