Saturday at 3.00pm a number of young people, family and friends said their final goodbyes to Nolan Farrugia in Siġġiewi Parish Church. The young man tragically lost his life on Thursday in Luqa. The Mass was celebrated by Fr Chris Ellul, the Parish Priest of Tarxien, who has known Nolan since he was working within the Siġġiewi parish.
Fr Ellul told the packed church that it isn’t easy to lead a mass for someone who worked so close with him both as an altar boy, and an active member of the youth centre. He said that Nolan was present in his life when he was still a seminarist, when he became a deacon, and when he was ordained a priest.
Nolan’s friend described him as a rose petal when telling Fr Ellul about their friend’s death on the phone. The Tarxien Parish Priest said that he thought about that phrase and linked it to friendship. He mentioned that Nolan was seeking God and he used to appreciate Nolan and his friends asking him all kinds of questions about life, which led to the challenge of learning to grow intimately with God.
He said that with Nolan as an example, one must recognise life and appreciate it, rather than merely existing. Fr Ellul mentioned three expressions that reminded him of Nolan.
Nolan was a very calm person and would do everything calmly and slowly, and this should remind us to give time, listen to, and love everyone. He also mentioned that Nolan had a lot of friendships and relationships, which was clear considering the number of friends in the congregation. He mentioned the importance of finding these friendships when life gets difficult, and together they can make up the petals of life.
The final expression was the smile, hoping that Nolan’s smile reminds us that there is always a need to smile more even during difficult moments. Fr Ellul said that we should smile at life and see it in a positive light.
Finally, the Parish Priest made reference to the Gospel as St John believed as soon as he walked into Jesus’ grave. He appealed to the congregation that despite the difficulty of faith, with tired eyes in these moments, one needs to believe that Nolan is in the hands of the Good Shepherd who will guide him to eternal life.
Fr Ellul thanked Nolan for his friendship and asked him to pray for those closest to him do that, with faith and in life, they remain petals in a rose which pleases God.