Eugene MacBride
1937 — 2006

Click on the item you wish to see :

1. The Eulogy

2. The Requiem Mass for Eugene

The following tribute was delivered by his friend, Peter Finn, at Eugene's funeral, November 17th 2006

I have been asked by Mrs MacBride – Zelda – to say a few words about Eugene on behalf of his friends, especially his friends in the Pelican Association – an association of former students of the White Father that he founded and co-ordinated from its beginnings in 1992.

Until Eugene came along, meetings between old boys and with members of the White Fathers’ Society were random and infrequent, especially as a great number had settled in other parts of the world.
Eugene took immense trouble to contact scores of former students who, in turn, contacted others until very quickly a network was set up. And with the introduction of our website by a member of the group the network expanded internationally. Eugene put a lot of effort into establishing and maintaining contacts through his newsletters and by arranging one or two gatherings each year in Scotland, Ireland and England and even a couple in Rome. To these meeting often came our brothers from abroad especially from the USA and Canada.

But our association is not just an old boys club: it includes and involves, wives, families and friends. We also provide some financial support to individual White Fathers and White Sisters in the African missions, and none has been more generous in this regard than Eugene.

Eugene was born in Glasgow in 1937, the eldest of four children. His first contact with the White Fathers was in 1949 when at he age of twelve he went to St Columba’s College in Scotland. He had previously been at Holy Rood Academy, Glasgow, which he entered with the highest entrance examination marks for his year. There are men in the congregation here today who were with him at St Columba’s all those years ago, and there is even one who was with him at primary school from the age of five. An indication of the strong friendships forged by Eugene.

I recall him telling me that he arrived at St Columba’s a couple of days after the other boys and was taken immediately to his first Latin lesson where the pupils were reciting “amo, amas, amat”. This was his first lesson in Latin – a language in which he was to become expert and fluent.

After only a year he went to The Priory in Hampshire, the White Fathers junior seminary. It was there that I first met him for he sat opposite me at table in the refectory. I remember him clearly: he was small with a chubby face, cheerful countenance, bright eyes and a crewcut. He was a clever boy who got high marks. This was good for me for he was in my house: high examination marks meant high house points, and high house points meant prizes, and the prizes were a silver cup and a half day’s holiday at the end of term. House points were also awarded for winning at games, and Eugene did his bit there as well – as goalkeeper for the house football team.

His friend and classmate throughout his Priory days was Michael, now Archbishop, Fitzgerald. They were both academically gifted and together both took their A-level exams at the same time as their O-levels.
Eugene went on to study philosophy and theology in Ireland, Holland and London. And in London he was awarded his BA degree in Philosophy and Latin by London University.

About this time we all lost touch with each other until the 1990s after Eugene had set up the Pelicans. In the meantime he had been laicised, married, had a family, and taken up a career in teaching languages: Latin, of course, French and, later, German.

Establishing the Pelicans was an achievement of which he could be particularly proud, but he never expressed nor even indicated any pride in the matter. Its success, however, is almost entirely due to his drive and enthusiasm.

Earlier this year, with his usual energy, even though he had been diagnosed with a grave illness, he arranged with his friend Archbishop Michael for us all to gather for a week in Rome at the end of October. Unfortunately for us, Pope Benedict had other plans for Michael and dispatched him as Papal Nuncio to Cairo in September. And, sadly, Eugene’s health declined rapidly so that he was unable to accompany us on what was a memorable trip.

We were hospitably welcomed by the White Fathers at their headquarters in Rome, and they arranged for us to attend a papal audience – the highlight of our visit. We visited the basilicas, the catacombs, and many of the tourist attractions, and we dined together each evening with much merriment and laughter. On our last evening we had our own Mass in the beautiful crypt chapel of the White Fathers. The chapel resonated with our singing, especially our singing of the Salve Regina – Eugene’s favourite hymn.
The Rome trip became in effect a pilgrimage, for Eugene was always in our thoughts, in our conversations and in our prayers.

Another enthusiasm of Eugene’s was Glasgow Celtic Football Club. He wrote and published two books about the club: “An Alphabet of the Celts” and “Talking with Celtic.” He also edited and produced a club fan magazine to which he persuaded eminent football people to contribute. This month’s issue, for example, contains articles by Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United, and Martin O’Neil, manager of Aston Villa. In fact he was working on this issue when his powers failed him.

Even though Eugene’s death was expected, it still came as a shock to us all
. For his family it is a terrible grief. For his friends, we are saddened that to have lost a dear brother.

He was modest in his demeanour, silent about his achievements, always courteous, warm-hearted, kindly and generous. His humour, wacky e-mails and unquenchable optimism produced much merriment and, I must say, a great deal of affection.

He was a good and loyal friend, and we shall miss him very, very much.

He has preceded us into the presence of God. But death and, please God, a place in heaven awaits all of us. For this we were born and, as the words of today’s funeral service remind us, for this we were baptised. Happily, as St Thomas More said just before his own death “Soon we shall all be merry together in Heaven.”

God Bless You, Eugene.

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The Requiem Mass

The following is a copy of the Order of Service produced by John and Margaret Morton
(Music is included :
the size of each file is given so that you can make a judgment about this)

The service was conducted by Canon Dolan, parish priest of St Mary the Immaculate, Grantham,
and concelebrated by Fr George Smith WF , Fr Chris Wallbank WF, Fr Francis Carey WF
— with Fr Frank Nolan WF in attendance.

I’m Free

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
O yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.


Author Unknown

Entrance Hymn

to hear the music (2.6mb)

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.



A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy 4:6-8. 16-18

All there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me.

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; not only to me but to all who have longed for his Appearing.

This is the word of the Lord

All : Thanks be to God

Responsial Psalm
Click to hear the music (4.1mb)

The Lords's my shepherd, I'll not want
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.

Psalm 22 from the Scottish Psalter

Gospel Acclamation

All: Alleluia
Even if you have to die says the Lord,
keep faithful and I will give you the crown of life


St.John Chap 21 v1-18 (Ronald Knox)

21 Jesus appeared to his disciples again afterwards, at the sea of Tiberias, and this is how he appeared to them. Simon Peter was there, and with him were Thomas, who is also called Didymus, and Nathanael, from Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two more of his disciples.

Simon Peter told them: I am going out fishing; and they sald, We, too, will go with thee. So they went out and embarked on the boat, and all that night they caught nothing. But when morning came, there was Jesus standing on the shore; only the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Have you caught anything, friends, Jesus asked them, to season your bread with? And when they answered No, he said to them, Cast to the right of the boat, and you will have a catch. So they cast the net, and found before long they had no strength to haul it in, such a shoal of fish was in it. Whereupon the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, It is the Lord. And Simon Peter, hearing him say that it was the Lord, girded up the fisherman's coat, which was all he wore, and sprang into the sea.

The other disciples followed in the boat (they were not far from land, only some hundred yards away), dragging their catch in the net behind them. So they went ashore, and found a charcoal fire made there, with fish and bread cooking on it.

Bring some of the fish you have just caught, Jesus said to them: and Simon Peter, going on board, hauled in the net to land. It was loaded with great fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and with all that number the net had not broken.

When Jesus said to them, Come and break your fast, none of the disciples ventured to ask him, Who art thou? knowing well that it was the Lord. So Jesus came up and took bread, which he gave to them, and fish as well.

Thus Jesus appeared to his disciples a third time after hi rising from the dead.

And when they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, dost thou care for me more than these others? Yes, Lord, he told them, thou knowest well that I love thee. And he said to him, Feed my lambs. And again, a second time, he asked him, Simon, son of John, dost thou care for me? Yes, Lord, he told him, thou knowest well that I love thee. He said to him, Tend my shearlings. Then he asked him a third question, Simon, son of John, dost thou love me? Peter was deeply moved when he was asked a third time, Dost thou love me? and said to him Lord, thou knowest all things ; thou canst tell that I love thee. Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.

Bidding Prayers

  1. God the Almighty Father, raised His Son from the dead; with confidence we ask Him to save all His people, living and dead.

    For Eugene, who in Baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that he may now be admitted to the company of the saints.

    Lord in Your mercy, hear our pray.

  2. For the family and friends of Eugene that they be consoled in their grief by the Lord who wept at the death of His friend Lazarus.

    Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer

  3. Zelda's Prayer

    Thank you Lord for the joy and happiness which Eugene brought into m
    y life and that of my family. I am consoled by the precious memories of our life together. I pray Lord, that one day we may be united.

    Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

  4. Eugene had many friends, particularly members of the Pelicans, who have travelled some distance to be present here today. We pray that the Pelican organisation which he founded may continue to prosper.

    Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Let us now commend all our prayers to Mary our mother as we say :

Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.





Click to hear the music (2.9mb)

  1. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
    O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
    All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
    Praise Him in glad adoration.

  2. Praise to the Lord, Let us offer our gifts at the altar;
    let not our sins and transgressions
    now cause us to falter.
    Christ, the High Priest,
    bids us all join in His feast.
    gathered with Him at the altar.

  3. Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in us adore Him!
    All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
    Let the Amen sound from His people again,
    Now as we worship before Him.


Click to hear the music (1mb)

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
Et ne nos inducas in tentationem: sed libera nos a malo.

Communion Adoro te Devote
Click to hear the music (4.7mb)

(Pelicans v1 & v7)

In Honour of the Blessed sacrament

  1. ADORO te devote, latens Deitas,
    Quae sub his figuris vere latitas:
    Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
    Quia te contemplans totum deficit.

  2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
    How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
    What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
    Truth Himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

  3. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
    I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
    Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
    And be blest for ever with Thy glory's sight.

  4. Jesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
    Oro fiat illud quod tam sitio;
    Ut te revelata cenens facie,
    Visu sim beatus tuae gloriae.

Communion Prayer
(Read aloud by the Pelicans)
Click to hear the music (2.3mb)

O sacrum convivium in quo Christus sumitur
Recolitur memoria passionis ejus
Mens impletur gratia et futurae
Gloriae nobis pignus datur.

O sacred banquet in which Christ is received,
The memorial of His Passion renewed,
The soul filled with Grace,
And the pledge of future glory given us.


Peter Finn, 'Pelican' and friend of Eugene and Zelda, will deliver this tribute.

Click here to read the Eulogy

Final Commendation
(Sung by the Pelicans)
Click to hear the music (960kb)

Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes,
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.

Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

Hail holy queen, mother of mercy,
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To you do we cry poor banished children of Eve,
To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate
your eyes of mercy toward us.
And after this, our exile,
Show us the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Final Commendation
(Sung by the Pelicans )

Click to hear a version sung by the children of St Joseph's RC Primary, Sutton Coldfield

Sweet Saviour, bless us ere we go;
thy word into our minds instill,
and make our lukewarm hearts to glow
with lowly love and fervent will.


Through life's long day
And death's dark night,
O gentle Jesus, be our Light.

For all we love, the poor, the sad,
the sinful, unto thee we call;
O let thy mercy make us glad:
thou art our Jesus, and our All.


Through life's long day
And death's dark night,
O gentle Jesus, be our Light.

Zelda and her family wish to express heartfelt thanks to all those who were such a support during Eugene's illness.

"I Belong To Glasgow" was played as a finale — a special request from dear old Eugene.
Click to hear the music (3.7mb)

I've been wi' a couple o' cronies,
One or two pals o' my ain;
We went in a hotel, and we did very well,
And then we came out once again;
Then we went into anither,
And that is the reason I'm fu';
We had six deoch-an-doruses, then sang a chorus,
Just listen, I'll sing it to you:

I belong to Glasgow,
Dear old Glasgow town;
But what's the matter wi' Glasgow,
For it's goin' roun' and roun'!
I'm only a common old working chap,
As anyone here can see,
But when I get a couple o' drinks on a Saturday,
Glasgow belongs to me!

There's nothing in keeping your money,
And saving a shilling or two;
If you've nothing to spend, then you've nothing to lend,
Why that's all the better for you!
There no harm in taking a drappie,
It ends all your trouble and strife;
It gives ye the feeling that when you get home,
You don't give a hang for the wife!


Meaning of unusual words:
deoch-an-dorus = drink at the door, farewell drink
fu' = drunk

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