CATHOLICS have honoured the spiritual mother of Brisbane’s charismatic renewal as “a faithful woman of God” with an unforgettable heart of forgiveness.
Lorraine Smith, who was the wife of the founder of Emmanuel Community in Brisbane, died on September 13.
Long-time friend Lisa Humphrys, who knew Mrs Smith since she was 13, said she was with the mother of five shortly before she died.
The pair often shared about their families, faith, their gardens and life in the community over “hundreds of cups of coffee”.
“It is with incredible sadness I see her go, but with great joy as I know she will be doing what she loves best in the heavenly kingdom – that is, praising and worshipping her God,” Mrs Humphrys said.
The executive assistant for Holy Spirit Seminary Queensland said being around Mrs Smith “was like sitting with a steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of a warm fire, where you just shared life”.
“Lorraine loved you through hardships, joys and even your negativity,” Mrs Humphrys said.
“She epitomised what it was to live the Christian life, in thought, word and action.”
Mrs Humphrys said Mrs Smith’s greatest gift was her deep, steadfast prayer life.
“She would often say in her prayer time if she forgot someone or got distracted she would start all over again to make sure no person or event missed out. Lorraine was a faithful woman of God,” she said.
Hundreds gathered for her funeral Mass at St Paschal’s Church, Wavell Heights, on September 19, including members of the Emmanuel Community.
Community chaplain Fr Neville Yun celebrated the funeral.
Former community moderator Shayne Bennett said Mrs Smith was a “practical, prayerful and holy woman who never sought recognition for herself”.
He called Mrs Smith and her husband Brian “absolute standout” witnesses of God’s mercy, recalling events at the time of the shocking discovery of their daughter’s rape and murder.
Mr Bennett said he was in the Emmanuel Community office in 1987 when Mr Smith received a call to say his daughter, Teresa Smith, had been killed in an horrific rape and murder.
He said their Catholic faith gave them the strength to forgive their daughter’s killer.
“That night, Brian and Lorraine were interviewed on national television where they spoke words of forgiveness to the man who murdered their daughter,” Mr Bennett said.
“I witnessed their grief. It was profound.
“They never suffered from hatred or bitterness and people from around the world contacted them to hear the story of how they could forgive someone who murdered their daughter.
“In this Year of Mercy, the witness of Lorraine and Brian Smith is an absolute standout.”
Mrs Smith was survived by her four children.
By Emilie Ng