Skip to comments.Vince Flynn's funeral fills Cathedral of St. Paul
Posted on 06/25/2013 4:20:43 AM PDT by rhema
Isabel Levinson walked out of Cathedral of St. Paul after the funeral mass for author Vince Flynn, stopped on a sidewalk nearby and looked back at the massive steps that lead down to John Ireland Boulevard as Flynn's family and friends offered condolences to each other.
Levinson, of Minneapolis, didn't know any of them.
But she felt like she knew Flynn.
The author of the Mitch Rapp espionage series, Flynn died Wednesday of prostate cancer at United Hospital in St. Paul. He was 47.
Levinson said though she had read each of Flynn's 14 books, it was during a writing class he taught that she felt she got to really know the man.
"He was so down to earth. There was something about him that made me feel like I lost a friend," she said.
She wasn't alone.
About 2,700 people turned out for the hour-and-a-half mass Monday, many waiting up to 30 minutes to give their respects to Flynn's widow, Lysa, and his three children. At one point, the line for visitation stretched for two blocks.
Inside the Cathedral, the rows of mourners included uniformed cadets from Flynn's high school, St. Thomas Academy, politicians such as U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, as well as talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, a huge fan of Flynn and his writing.
Most mourners clutched the four-page program for Flynn's mass and a bookmark with a picture of Flynn, microphone in hand, on one side and the work, "Some definite service," by J.H. Newman, on the other.
Flanking the flowered altar were Archbishop John Nienstedt, in a fuchsia frock, and officiant Fr. Peter Laird, a classmate of Flynn's from St. Thomas University.
In his homily, Laird said Flynn loved a 28-minute mass. But he wasn't going to get that Monday.
"He was Irish to the core," he said of the St. Paul native. "He had the gift of gab and a contagious, manly spirit."
Flynn might have been stubborn and opinionated -- likely the result of growing up with six siblings in a large, chaotic Irish family -- but he was never mean-spirited, Laird said.
"He met challenges directly," he said, whether it was dyslexia, his writing career or his cancer.
His constant companion through it all, though, was his faith.
"He read scripture daily, and received daily, when he could, the Eucharist," Laird said.
Addressing the family, Laird told Flynn's children -- two daughters and a son -- that their father loved them and was going to miss seeing them grow up and get married.
"And Lysa, you are his equal, and with him, you bore his suffering," he said to Flynn's wife. "You were, you are, the great love of his life."
To all of them, he encouraged "keep the faith," a sign-off Flynn often shortened in his text messages to "KTF."
The priest said he knew Flynn was not afraid to die, "but I know he did not want to go so soon."
"The last six months of his life, there were always two things in his hands," Laird said. In his right hand, an iPhone, and in his left, a rosary.
"And if Vince could do anything, he could multitask," Laird said.
Hours before he slipped into unconsciousness Tuesday, Flynn was texting friends.
His last text?
"Amen," Laird said. "Everything to Jesus. Amen."
Laird said those words could well serve as Flynn's lesson to the world.
"Though our hearts be troubled, rightly troubled at Vince's loss, let us give everything to Jesus, and, in that way, keep the faith."
Flynn's family left the service for a reception at the University of St. Thomas, where they planned to greet more well-wishers. The author was buried at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Mendota Heights.
I am a 70 yr old man who was raised in a culture which frowned upon men crying. As I read this it brought tears to my eyes and I felt as if I had suffered a great personal loss.
Imagine if you can our nation full of people who embraced the ideals and had the love for his country exhibited by this wonderful American?
With the passing of Vince Flynn we have all lost something which can never be replaced.
God bless this mans soul and may He give comfort to Vince’s family in their time of such great loss.
AMEN!! I have been saddened by his death as much as I was about Breitbart’s......2 great men.
My deepest sympathies to Mr. Flynn's family, friends, and fans.
Nice bit of "reporting", Brewer. That outcome based journalism school you attended is serving you well.
Same here. Both deaths were a shock to me. Even though I knew Vince was fighting cancer, I had no idea it had progressed so far. Very sad.
Brian Haig, who he was to partner in a new series says something very nice here...I choked up when Rush announced it recently.