Gallery: Thousands farewell beloved Rocky priest
MOURNERS of all ages were packed shoulder to shoulder in yesterday's touching funeral for Reverend Father Chris Schick.
More than 1000 people, who had been blessed by Fr Schick at some point in their life, came out to show their respects at St Joseph's Cathedral in Rockhampton.
The warm glow of lanterns lit up the packed church. The service was also streamed to a large screen outside the cathedral for the many unable to get inside.
Fr Schick died on Sunday after a short battle with cancer.
As the cathedral bells rang, Fr Schick's coffin was carried inside with a procession of fellow priests from the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton following.
A beautiful scene of Australia's outback was delicately painted on one side of the coffin depicting gum trees and arid land.
On the other side was the peaceful view of the ocean looking over the Keppels.
Loved ones had also shared touching inscriptions alongside the artwork.
Bishop Michael McCarthy led the crowd in song as Fr Schick's coffin was guided down the aisle before laying several honours on top including a joyful photo of Fr Schick, the Bible and a bouquet of stunning native flowers.
Bishop McCarthy honoured Fr Schick's short battle with cancer and expressed his sorrow on behalf of the Diocese for his family.
"We have received tremendous outpouring of sympathy and praise for Chris," he said.
"He embraced every challenge and immersed himself in the people.
"We have lost a priest, friend, brother and wonderful human-being."
Bishop McCarthy shared Fr Schick's story.
He captured his love of football. He said Fr Schick was one of the toughest players to grace the region's footy fields. He was also fitter than most.
Bishop McCarthy highlighted Fr Schick's ability to tell "a good yarn" and his love of motor bikes.
"He always did everything with a flair," he said.
"What you see was what you got with Chris."
After more hymns and expressions of grief, Bishop McCarthy said his final farewell.
"Farewell Chris, may you be enjoying life with all the angels and saints and your mum and dad; RIP," he said.