Father Aelred Lacomara, C. P. died yesterday morning in Nairobi, Kenya on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. He taught Scripture to many of us here in this Province. After retiring from Saint John’s University he generously responded to teach our students in Africa.
Fr. Aelred was born Charles Lacomara, in Brooklyn, New York on May 17, 1929. He was professed on August 15, 1950 and ordained on May 3, 1957.
The following is a tribute to Fr. Aelred from our brothers in Nairobi, Kenya.
Teaching till the End. Fr. Aelred Lacomara Passed Away!
14th September 2011
Fr. Aelred Lacomara, C.P., passed away today, on this Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross in Nairobi Hospital, Kenya. Fr. Aelred has taught Sacred Scripture for the past 21 years, to thousands of seminarians at Tangaza College, Nairobi.
When he began to teach, in the beginning of this semester 2011, he was suffering from a lingering flu and cold, and later his voice was affected. He taught the first 3 weeks of the Semester and on the fourth week he taught on Tuesday and Wednesday for the last time. On Thursday, he was taken to the Nairobi Hospital by the Passionists and the Dominicans. Fr. Aelred was happy to receive all the medical attention and tests at the hospital for the next 3 days. The initial results from the various tests were all good. The doctors later recommended a minor surgery to be carried out on Wednesday morning at 8:30 am. The Doctor in charge later recounted to us that, the surgery had been completed successfully, but complications began in the recovery room from 12 noon. Fr. Aelred began to respond negatively to the post-surgical recovery treatments and we were asked to rush to the hospital. He suffered a series of massive heart attacks, and succumbed to the final one at about 4:50 pm. Fr. James, the Chaplin of Nairobi Hospital, well known by Fr. Aelred, was near him and administered the last rites.
All of us, including the doctors are shocked, by this unexpected outcome. Fr. Aelred himself was thinking of going back to classes, after a few days. This is a great loss for Tangaza College. We have lost a senior and well respected lecturer emeritus. The Passionists have lost a zealous missionary. Innumerous students who found solace in him lost a great spiritual director and teacher. The poor people lost a compassionate consoler.
Fr. Aelred had said: “I want to teach, till the end”. God granted him that Grace. Now he rests from his labors which the Heavenly Father has entrusted to him. May prayers and thanksgiving rise from all over the world, from those who have benefited from his teaching of the word of God.
Fr. Aelred Lacomara, May you rest in Peace!
Fr. Roy Srampical, C.P.
Funeral arrangements for Fr. Aelred are pending the arrival of his body from Kenya.