The funeral of Samantha O’Reilly, former pupil of Taylor High School, will take place tomorrow at St. Patrick’s Church, Shieldmuir, Wishaw at 9.30am.
The requiem Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Krystov, Parish Priest. It will be broadcast live on the parish Facebook page – the link for which is
Samantha is part of a group of former pupils who have a unique place in the school’s history as part of the very special group of pupils who composed, recorded and performed the Hymn ‘Faith’ which was sung as the Gathering Hymn at the Papal Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict at Bellahouston Park on Thursday 16th September 2010.
The group of 14 girls from Fourth Year, including Samantha, were joined by soprano Honor Miller, now former teacher of Modern Languages at Taylor. The group were, of course, conducted by Principal Teacher of Music Fiona Cannon who is quoted as saying ” I grew because of them and they grew because of me”. Their rehearsals and performance were captured by Robert Stewart, then Senior Technician, who used his amazing talent for audio-visual presentation to capture the historic performance for future generations of Taylor pupils and staff. John McLaughlin, teacher of Music at the time, completed the Taylor performance line-up at Bellahouston. John brought his considerable skills in the recording studio to bear on Faith and helped ensure that the final version was recorded to a very high standard in our own high quality studio and remains a excellent audio testament to the talents of all involved to this day!
On the day of the Mass, which was bright and sunny, the Taylor High choir performed brilliantly in front of 70,000 people with Fiona conducting. Honor provided vocal highlights during the hymn and, although rehearsed for many hours, it was all over in a few minutes – but minutes which go down as the biggest highlight in the history of Taylor High School!!
A large group of very proud staff and pupils from the school were in the congregation that day in a prominent position near the front of the large crowd including Head Teacher Gerry McCormick who said later that “Taylor will never have another day like this one”. It was a very proud moment indeed for the school!
Those of us who were there will remember that day forever and it will will be our abiding memory of Samantha – on that bright sunlit day on the big stage at Bellahouston singing her heart out with her peers and Mrs Miller, all of whom realised how special was the moment they were in – as they sang that beautiful hymn about having Faith in God.
She has now been called by Him at a very young age in only her mid-twenties and, although her passing is unutterably sad for all who knew her and especially for her loving family, her witness will always include those minutes on stage at Bellahouston on a sunny September day when she performed in front of 70,000 people in praise of God!
Requiescat in Pace