Last Tuesday, August 4, the Feast of St. Jean-Marie Vianney (C'mon, people, if we have no problem with saying, "Captain Jean-Luc Picard", we can say, "Jean-Marie Vianney"), I was down at Mount St. Mary's Seminary for the funeral of Father Robert Zylla, OSC. Fr. Zylla was a member of the Mount faculty the longest amongst his peers, being hired by then-Father Harry Flynn back in 1971. A member of the Crozier fathers, Fr. Zylla was a fixture at the Mount, always with a smiling face and a peaceful demeanor. He had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer relatively recently, and passed away on July 29 at Gettysburg Hospital. The e-mail that was sent to Mount alumni said:
"He slipped peacefully away, strengthened by the sacraments of the Church and surrounded by his priestly friends and colleagues. He entered eternal life while the priests in the room were reciting the Litany of the Saints. He had a crucifix in one hand and a Rosary in the other and at his bedside was the relic of the True Cross which he had requested to be brought from the Seminary. Fr. Brett Brannen [the Vice-Rector of the Mount] had celebrated Mass at his bedside that morning."
What a beautiful death! But just as beautiful was the gathering of Priests that attended the funeral rites on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Father Richard Vila, a Priest of the Trenton Diocese and fellow Mount alum, took pictures of the funeral procession. Check them out by clicking HERE.