NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 4/26

"It wasn't supposed to come to this, it wasn't supposed to end this way..."   This was a recurring refrain in my homily this past weekend - but when I preached those words I didn't know how soon my family would need to take them to heart.  

Late last night my sister called to tell me that my nephew, Michael, 46, lost his life due to injuries sustained in an avalanche in Alaska where he lived with his wife, Sunny.  Here's a photo of Michael from a few years back.  I'd like to title it, "Going Home to God..."

Michael was a total outdoors man, a lover of nature and a professional heli ski guide in Alaska and Argentina.  He leaves his wife, Sunny, of Valdez, Alaska; and his parents, Ruth and Bob Hamilton, and his brother Bobby (and his wife and two young children), all of Colorado.

After receiving the news, I wrote a prayer for my sister and brother-in-law and I share it with you here, hoping you'll pray it with us, for Michael and all who loved him.

O God!

Of all the gifts you've given us,
   Michael was one of the best
and of all the things you've asked of us,
   letting go of him is one of the hardest...

It wasn't supposed to come to this,
   it wasn't supposed to end this way...

And, of course, everything hasn't ended
   - even if it sometimes seems and feels that way...

Michael's life and love still live within our hearts
   though we'd love to hold him in our arms
     -  just one more time...

We'd love to tell him that we love him
   - and in our prayer we'll do just that -
trusting that he'll hear and understand
  all our hearts are holding in
      and bursting to share with him,
        -  especially, right now...

How much he loved the world you made, Lord,
the beauty and the mystery of creation:
   reward him now with new life
      in the mystery of that peace that has no end,
   in the new world of your love
      where he'll be one with you forever,
   where he'll wait for when you call us, too
      and gather us together
         with all who've gone before us in your peace...

For the gift of our beloved son, we thank you, Lord:
   hold us in your mercy
      as you hold him in your peace
         until we meet again...

Protect us, Lord while we're awake
and watch over us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

If a widget doesn't appear below, click here!

Shepherd and sheep, my God and I:
to fresh green fields you led my steps in days gone by.
You gave me rest by quiet springs
and filled my soul with peace your loving presence brings.

O shelter me, O shelter me:
the way ahead is dark and difficult to see.
O shelter me, O shelter me:
all will be well if only you will shelter me.

Yet now I tread a diff’rent way;
death dogs my path with stealthy steps from day to day.
I cannot find your peaceful place
but dwell in dreary darkness, longing for your face.
I will look back in days to come
and realize your faithfulness has led me home.
Within your house I’ll find my peace,
trusting that in your mercy you have sheltered me.





  1. I am so very sorry for your loss, Austin. So very sad…. Praying for your whole family.

  2. Prayers, Austin. I lost a beloved nephew at age 13. May their memory be a blessing. Condolences and prayers.

  3. So sorry for you loss .. beautiful prayer ♥️

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss, Austin. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Lyn

  5. Paul and Kathleen DowenApril 27, 2022 at 10:24 AM

    May the TRUTH OF EASTER keep you focused as you comfort and pray , strong as you move forward in your own soulful praise and courageous as you move forward to continue living the life Our Lord has destined you to fulfill. Oh Austin our family offer our humble condolences to your family and friends as they move forward in Christ. 💐❤️💐

  6. May memories and prayers support you and your family at this time.

  7. It’s awful when you lose people younger than us. Ongoing pRayers offered for you and Family 🙏

  8. Sorry for your loss ❤️🙏

  9. This is such sad news. My heart goes out to you and your family. We never know how long we have before we are called home.

  10. Oh, the brevity of life! God rest Michael’s soul and blessings to you, Pastor, and your family.

  11. My prayers for you and your family Fr Austin. I just lost my 10 year old granddaughter in February to watch the pain of her parents my son and daughter in law is heartbreaking. I’m sure you were a source of great strength to them


Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!