CHICAGO (CBS) — Commander Paul Bauer’s funeral not only filled the Nativity of Our Lord Church but also overflow rooms in the basement and parish gym.
Speakers broadcast the service to hundreds listening outside too.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory has more on the message from the mass.
Father Dan Brandt began the homily with a simple message.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
Instead, Brandt said Chicago hearts should be filled and he gave that message to the told the most packed church he’s ever seen.
The tough advice delivered to grieving family and friends of Paul Bauer and the hundreds who learned lessons from the commander in his 31 years on the city’s police force.
“It would be impossible to try to sum up 45 years of friendship in just a few minutes but there are definitely a few things that come to mind,” says John Escalante, Northeastern Illinois University Police Chief.
“He never, ever wanted to be the center of attention.”
“He was also a jokester. He loved to laugh and he loves to play little tricks as well,” remembers Capt. Mel Roman.
So in Paul Bauer form, the funeral mass was peppered with funny stories and humorous moments.
“If we run out of communion or come up short, I would ask only Chicago White Sox fans receive communion,” laughed Father Brandt.
But mostly the sudden loss weighed heavy on Chicago’s protectors.
“I just want to say thank you,” said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.
They marveled at the composure of Bauer’s only child, Grace who said the first reading from the book of Isaiah.
13-year-old Grace not only read scripture on her father’s behalf, but also welcomed dignitaries like Governor Bruce Rauner, alongside her mom.
“His wife Erin and daughter Grace have shown not just the city, but the country, what it means to be Chicago strong,” says Johnson. “They’re working through this and just being so solid has helped me and has helped the department.”
The traditional Catholic funeral service lasted about two hours.
Father Brandt says next week’s mass at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls” will be dedicated to Bauer.
The commander often volunteered there.