Today the Lutheran Community in Melbourne, and especially those at my wife’s and daughter’s parish (St Paul’s Box Hill), mourn the death of their beloved pastor, the Rev. Allan Heppner, after a very short but sharp battle with cancer.
As fate would have it, I was giving a lecture at the John Paul II Institute this afternoon on Ratzinger’s Eschatological Anthropology, and had just gotten to the subject of the “the body and soul after death” when Cathy rang with the news. We prayed for the repose of his soul there and then, thanking God for his ministry and life. Dr Adam Cooper, who was my “baby sitter” for the class and who also knew Allan as a colleague in the Lutheran ministry, read a beautiful translation of the Dies Irae to conclude our prayers.
Allan and I did not always see eye to eye on matters liturgical and theological, but as Cathy said to me this evening, he was an examplar of humble servant leadership in his time as pastor at St Paul’s. He was the celebrant at our marriage, and baptised our second daughter Mia, so, with these family celebrations, it isn’t surprising that we have a couple of photos of Allan around the house.
Please pray for Allan, for his wife Deborah and his daughters in their grief, and for all who were close to Allan and benefited from his pastoral care. There were so very many.
Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.