When a First Responder from the Northside is called home, they’re likely to go through Gibbons on the way.
Fr. John McNalis served as a Chaplin for the Chicago Fire Dept. If there is such a thing as “Irish-ness”, well, Fr. John is all of that and proud of the heritage of the service so many of his fellow Irishmen chose in public service. While attached to the Fire Service at the hip, the good-humored Chaplin extends his good feelings to Police, Public Works, and all manner of hard-working Chicagoans.
“There is a lot of ceremony involved with these kinds of visitations and funerals, and the Gibbons Family knows what to do and how to manage these arrangements”, says Fr. John. Chucking a little bit, but very seriously, he adds, “If you don’t do it right, word gets around, you know what I mean?” In addition to the religious rites, there are official rites and commendations, family recognition- that includes the men and women a loved one worked beside. Often the number of paying their respects can be very large, at the funeral home, at the church, at the cemetery, and perhaps elsewhere afterwards. The processions themselves can be a logistical plan worthy of days of study and preparation.
According to Fr. John, “The Gibbons Family is outstanding. Every generation of them. That’s the word that’s gotten around, so they take care of a lot of our members”. Michael Gibbons states clearly, “Our Family has always been extra proud of being able to serve so many First Responder and Veteran families here. They deserve every bit of the special treatment we can provide. It’s a honor to serve the people who’ve served”.
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