from a brief biography by Fr Aylward Shorter M.Afr.
Joseph Nakabaale Kiwanuka was the first
native African to be ordained a Catholic bishop in modern times.
He was born at Nakirebe in Mawokota county, Uganda, the child of
Catholic parents, Victoro Katumba Munduekanika of the monkey
clan and Felicitas Nankya Ssabawebwa Namukasa of the lungfish
clan. Joseph was baptized at Rubaga, Kampala, on June 25, 1899.
He received his primary education at Mitala Maria from 1910 to
1914, when he entered Bukalasa junior seminary. After studying
philosophy and theology at Katigondo major seminary, he was
ordained priest at Villa Maria on May 26, 1929. In his fourth
year at Katigondo, Kiwanuka felt the call to join the Society of
Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). Bishop Henri Streicher,
his ordinary, opposed the move. However, Fr. Voillard, the
Superior General of the society, who visited the seminary in
1928, agreed to admit Kiwanuka after ordination to the
Shortly after his ordination, Kiwanuka received his call to
the novitiate of the Missionaries of Africa on July 15, 1929.
However, Bishop Streicher again intervened, sending the young
priest to Rome for further studies. Kiwanuka lodged at the house
of the Missionaries of Africa on via Trenta Aprile and attended
the Pontifical Angelicum University, where he took a licentiate
and doctorate in Canon Law. The subject of his doctoral
dissertation, which he defended in 1932, was the marriage
contract. After visiting France and England, Kiwanuka arrived in
Algiers to make his novitiate with the Missionaries of Africa on
October 8, 1932. He completed his novitiate on October 12, 1933
and, after his return to Uganda, pronounced the missionary oath
at Entebbe on October 12, 1934. Meanwhile, Bishop Streicher's
diocese had been divided into the vicariates of Masaka and
Rubaga, on his retirement in 1933.
After pastoral appointments at Bikira and Bujuni, Kiwanuka
came to Katigondo seminary, where he joined the teaching staff.
On June 1, 1939 he received news of his appointment as Vicar
Apostolic of Masaka. Joseph Kiwanuka was consecrated bishop in
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, by Pope Pius XII on October 29,
1939, assisted by Archbishop Henri Streicher. Kiwanuka came back
to his diocese soon after the start of World War II. In August
1940, the new bishop moved his diocesan headquarters from Villa
Maria to Kitovu near Masaka town. In 1947, Kiwanuka played an
important role at the General Chapter of the Missionaries of
Africa in Algiers by championing the international character of
missionary personnel in Uganda and resisting compliance with the
desire of the British colonial office to admit only British,
Commonwealth and English speaking missionaries to Uganda.
In January 1961 Joseph Kiwanuka was appointed
Archbishop of Rubaga, on the retirement of Archbishop Joseph
Cabana, and in October of the following year played a prominent
role in the celebrations accompanying the attainment of
political independence in Uganda. Immediately afterwards,
Kiwanuka came to Rome to attend the sessions of the Second
Vatican Council 1962 to 1965. During the third session of the
Council, Bishop Kiwanuka assisted Pope Paul VI at the
canonization of the twenty-two Catholic Martyrs of Uganda on
October 18, 1964. In 1965 Obote's government in Uganda underwent
a political crisis, and Kiwanuka responded by publishing an
inspiring pastoral letter on political leadership and democratic
maturity. This was Kiwanuka's final legacy, for he died suddenly
on February 22, 1966, the day before Milton Obote assumed
unconstitutional powers. He is buried in Rubaga Cathedral. The
leadership of Archbishop Kiwanuka opened the door to the full
development of the Catholic Church in Africa, which is now
entirely in African hands.
Where Gospel and world meet
by Piers Plowright
How splendid to read Christopher Lamb? article
(?hurch resurgent? 13 August) about
the ?ransfiguration?of that battered old Soho church, St
Patrick?. And inspiring to see
how Fr Alexander Sherbrooke and his team have transformed it
into a gleaming and lightfilled space, fit ?in Fr Sherbrooke?
words ??o take people to heaven?
St Patrick? was one of several churches I used to pause in to
and from work at BBC Broadcasting House from the early 1970s to
my retirement in 1997, and a place I?e continued to visit. Now
it will be a place to revel in.
But there? another church, the other side of Oxford Street, on
the edge of Fitzrovia, that? always been a thing of beauty and
where I lit a candle most mornings and some evenings. That? St
Charles Borromeo in Ogle Street. It? like no other church I
know, a Victorian-Byzantine extravaganza, with a glowing
iconostasis, a feast of colour and candles throughout the
liturgical year, and equipped with the most wonderful marble
plunge-pool for total-immersion baptism.
The beauty and pizzazz of the place have been largely due to its
priest, Fr Alan Fudge, who, to my
great sadness and, I imagine, that of his parishioners
?he had been there for 33 years ?died of lung cancer on 5
A fiery, jazz-inflected preacher (I was told he was an
accomplished jazz pianist, but never heard him play), a generous
listener to the people who came to him for help at all hours,
and writer and illustrator of a challenging weekly newsletter,
Fr Alan proved, as Fr Alexander is proving once again, how much
a motivated priest with an eye for beauty can make his church a
place where the Gospel and the world truly meet.
He Rest In Peace
Please note : Fr Alan is featured in the
website's Gallery : Pages 241 and 277
Alan James Fudge RIP
a tribute by Vincent Harrington
Posted: Thursday, September 1 2011
in The Independent Catholic News
(Left: Fr Alan Fudge after
Mass for Father Alan Fudge, parish priest at Ogle Street,
central London took place at Westminster Cathedral 2nd September
2011. The chief celebrant will be Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
was at Saint Mary? cemetery at Kensal Green. After the Mass,
and after the burial, there was an Agape in the parish hall of
Holy Apostles in Pimlico. A note on the Ogle Street parish
website says: 'An Agape is more than some refreshments ?
it is an extension of the liturgy. We enjoy a communion with
each other that only God can create.'
Tribute by Vincent
lan James Fudge was born in Bristol on 31 December 1940 during an
air raid attack. He was the only son of Jim Fudge, himself an
only child, and of Phyllis Dibble, one of a large and bustling
family of ten children. They were married on Boxing Day 1939.
Jim was not a Catholic and Alan did not attend a Catholic
school. In his early teens he was taken by a friend to the
Jesuit Church of St Mary on the Quay where his maternal
grandmother lived. He developed a great love for the parish, the
liturgy and the Jesuit priests there, becoming an altar boy and
he soon began to display his talent for music on the organ.
It was there, at the age of 15, that Alan made his first Holy
His vocation developed steadily from about this
time. His first thought was to become a Jesuit lay brother in
order to live a life of prayer, a gift which he certainly
received. The priests at St Mary helped him to discover his
calling to the priesthood, though not as a Jesuit. He retained a
lifelong affection and gratitude towards the Jesuits and a great
love for St Ignatius.
After working for a time in the offices of a
paper manufacturing company, in 1961, he left employment and
went to the Jesuit house of studies at Osterley to continue his
education. While there, he became attracted to the missions and
joined the White Fathers, an order dedicated to the mission in
Africa. He studied with them at Blacklion in Ireland and at
Totteridge in North London and received the habit on 8 September
1965. The international make up of his fellow students who came
from so many different parts of the globe he always considered a
great blessing in his formation, as indeed was the excitement of
the Second Vatican Council taking placing during his seminary
However, it transpired that the White Fathers
was not to be the path for Alan and, after further studies at
the diocesan Seminary at Ware, he was ordained deacon on 29 June
1970 for the Diocese of Westminster and served in the parish of
St Thomas of Canterbury, at Fulham in London. Meanwhile his
father had undergone instruction in the faith, and to Alan?
great joy, Jim Fudge was received into the Catholic Church.
Alan was ordained priest on 10 July 1971, a
swelteringly hot summer? day, by Bishop Victor Guazzelli, at St
Mary on the Quay. His first appointment was to the parish of Our
Lady of the Rosary, Marylebone, where he was also chaplain to St
Mary? Hospital in Paddington, a ministry which kept him
extremely busy and which he grew to love greatly. There he
revealed a talent for preaching firmly based on his own love of
scripture and his familiarity with biblical studies: his desire
was always to engage the Word with the everyday experiences of
In September 1977, he accepted his appointment
as curate to the nearby parish of St Charles Borromeo,
Ogle Street, and as chaplain to the Middlesex Hospital. The
parish had been due for closure. However, he succeeded Fr Ronald
Cox as parish priest on 14th September 1981, continuing to serve
the Middlesex, and other hospitals in the parish, as chaplain,
though he was now on his own.
One of his overriding concerns was to
re-instruct and catechise lapsed, baptised Catholic adults, of
whom he saw more and more. In the aftermath of the Council, and
of the sexual revolution and increasing secularisation, Fr Alan
suspected that this would require a more sustained, long-term
and radical approach.
Before he became parish priest, he had been
introduced to the Neo-Catechumenal Way by his friend and White
Father confrere, Fr Angel Iglesias. With the permission of Fr
Cox, he invited an initial Catechesis to the parish and the
Neo-Catechumenal Way began there on 16th October 1978, the same
evening that John Paul II was elected Pope ?a date he had
always considered significant. The first community, of which he
himself was a member, came into being, and an annual catechesis
for adults continued every year for the next 33 years. This
sustained adult catechesis accompanying a journey of faith for
countless parishioners and aimed specifically at renewing the
grace of baptism, was his life? work. Whatever fruits arose
from his catechetical endeavours and his zeal for
?e-evangelisation??and there were many (marriages, children,
vocations, courses, Mass attendance, local evangelisation,
rediscovery of the all night Easter Vigil) ?he would refuse any
credit, believing these were the fruits of God? work, regarding
himself more often as an obstacle. But it was a source of joy to
his priesthood, and comprised what he repeatedly called ?ust
To emphasise the importance of the Sacrament of
Baptism, with the full co-operation of the diocesan liturgical
commission, he reordered the church beautifully, installing,
among other things, an octagonal baptismal font in which even
adults could receive baptism by immersion. This was completed in
1984. Alan always took great care to maintain and renew the
furnishings of the church, to make it welcoming as a place of
prayer, and very often he was himself to be seen praying there.
Although Fr Alan had no assistant priest, he
often gave hospitality to priests and seminarians from around
the world who were studying and needed to stay in central
London. In turn they assisted him in the work of the parish
during their stays. One such was Fr Justin Furaha from Rwanda,
subsequently murdered there, and later, for a long period, Fr
Jesse Amedze from Ghana.
Though by nature a very private person, and
most comfortable with his family and close friends, Alan?
hospitality extended far beyond his immediate circumstances.
Thanks to his hard-working Scottish housekeeper of many years,
Sister Agnes, he was able invite whoever he wished to his table.
The presbytery was nearly always full of visitors, some staying
for long periods. He was keenly grateful for the generosity of
his parishioners. His care for others was genuine, spontaneous
and very deep. As a priest, he often said, God called him to be
an ?con of Christ? and while he considered himself a poor
replica, he consciously made himself available, virtually day
and night, for those who required confession, spiritual
direction or merely to talk at length about their troubles: from
the richest to the poorest. He genuinely believed that most
priests had no real idea how much their flock truly loved them.
However, most people will remember Fr Alan for
his dignified and beautiful celebration of the Liturgy, and in
particular his homilies in which he ?roke the bread of the
Word? week after week, season after season. He preserved this
gift to the end, always explaining the context and richness of
the readings as ?ord?of God, relating them to real events in
the lives of his hearers and, above all, proclaiming the love of
God for sinners and the salvation that comes through the death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In his final weeks, weakened
by illness, he insisted on celebrating the two Holy Communion
Masses, in each delivering the ?erygmatic?announcement to
which he was a devoted disciple, in ever more simple and
resonant terms. He considered a homily without the ?erygma,?
that is the clear and hopeful announcement of the death and
resurrection of Christ, was a disservice to his flock.
During his last Mass, celebrated on the
fortieth anniversary of his priestly ordination, he gathered
strength to give thanks to God for his vocation, his parish, and
the many blessings he had received. He asked forgiveness of God
and his flock for his shortcomings. Many will also remember his
weekly newsletters, in which he distilled the words of his
homilies. When congratulated on their pithy charm and
insightfulness he would retort that he had never had an original
idea of his own, and praise was due to others gone before him.
Others will remember him as their catechist and
how they benefitted from his frankness, insights, and deep
personal faith in the Gospel. Others again will remember the
many First Communion classes, Confirmation and Marriage courses
presented over the many years by Alan together with his many
teams of catechists. He had great admiration and faith in the
laity, among whom he had many collaborators and from whom he in
turn received great inspiration.
It was a great personal joy for Alan to
encourage and nurture those from the ?ommunities?who felt a
vocation to the priesthood, and he was responsible for their
formation for a time. He continued to help them as spiritual
director at the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation in London.
Many other priests and seminarians have had the benefit of his
Though adult catechesis was for him the real
work of the parish, Alan was open to other initiatives: AA
groups meeting nearly every evening, an Angolan prayer group,
occasional meetings of Youth 2000 and the weekly meetings of the
charismatic prayer group Soul Food. They now make use of the
rooms in the crypt which was dug out and opened in 1990 to
accommodate the neo-catechumenal communities, the other parish
courses and catechesis. A project dearly loved by Alan, the
second stage of this work is due to be completed next year. He
also had a long and amicable relationship with local pastors,
religious leaders, and especially with the local synagogue.
Alan became ill in March and spent a month of
investigations at UCL hospital before having an operation to
remove colon cancer. This was successful, but there was also a
tumour on his lung and the treatment for this had no effect.
However the end came quickly. He had returned home to the
presbytery where his cousin Anne was among those caring for him.
They accompanied him throughout his illness. He died peacefully
at 3am on 5 August, as they were reciting the Creed at his
bedside. In a letter concerning his wishes about his funeral he
had said ?I wish to die professing the Faith of Our Holy Mother
the Church? He placed himself in to the hands of his merciful
Father, Our Lady, St Charles Borromeo, St Ignatius, St John
Vianney and his most beloved intercessor, St Therese of Lisieux.
Click below to see a short film with Fr Alan introducing Ogle
The following is taken from an email sent
by Fr Chris Wallbank (Sector Secretary of the White Fathers
in the UK) to colleagues and friends (7th September 2011):
I have just been informed of the death of MARY
BLISS (thank you, Ted).
For many years a faithful servant and friend of the
Missionaries of Africa and known to those of you who passed
through St Edwards.
She died on Tuesday and her funeral will be on 20th
Ted will be the celebrant.
If any of you wish further details then, please, get in
touch with myself or Ted.
We remember her in our payers. May she enjoy eternal
rest and peace.
Chris Wallbank M.Afr.
Missionaries of Africa
64 Little Ealing Lane
And this email was sent the following day by
Aloysius Beebwa to John MacWilliam and others :
Thank you for informing us of the passing into eternity of
Yes, I knew her from those days at St. Edward's College,
London. On one occasion, she offered to drop me off at Mill
Hill Broadway. It was in her last days of driving. As we got
towards the then famous Rising Sun, we found a 251 bus that
had just driven right into it, apparently coming to a halt
at the counter. Mary Bliss suddenly said, "That must be a
driver from the Continent."
I was taken aback. I asked her why she thought it was
someone from the Continent who had been driving. She looked
at me and said, "It is the people from the Continent who
never keep rules."
She then told me at another occasion that she was going to
give up driving. I asked her how she had come to that
conclusion and then she said, "Well common sense seems to
tell me that." Voila!!!!
Mary was a generous friend to generations of White Fathers,
White Sisters and others for decades. I remember her
coming to St. Edward's on Fridays to especially mend clothes
or knit hats for the new arrivals for the winter period. At
table she would occasionally correct our sometimes bizarre
pronunciation, and would kind of say, "In England we do not
say it that way."
She sometimes would forget names of students and she would
come up with something like, "What is the name of the tall
lad from West Africa?"
Or, "What is the name of that lad who speaks English very
well?" That would be quite a puzzle for many of us to sort
She often came for the Sunday Mass at St Edward's College.
That Mass was often attended by friends of the house as
students would mostly be out in parishes or
prisons--visiting. It used to be followed by a good cup of
When she gave up driving, she then would be kindly driven
back home by people like the late
Alfred Azzopardi and his wife Antoinette or sometimes
by a member of the community.
Mary used to proudly speak of her two years of living and
working in Uganda as a teacher. She mentioned many of her
encounters and told me how she was once thrilled to be
served a cup of tea by no other but bishop
Joseph Willigers, MHM, now Emeritus bishop of Jinja,
She was also very proud for having lived in Canada and for
having been able to freely drive around and about and for
having been able to see so much during her holidays. " I
never regret at all." She would later insist.
There is so much to remember Mary Bliss for and to be very
grateful to the Lord of having shown his creativity in
creating a creative person with the imagination of Mary
May the blissful Mary, as she sometimes called herself, now
rest in peace,and intercede for us.
Bishop Devine, Frs. George Smith, Patrick Harrity,
Stephen Collins, John
McLean and several local clergy concelebrated with Fr. Paul Hanon.
Eric Creaney, Patrick Gibbons, Owen Gormley and his wife represented
01-09-1957 Teacher St Columba's
Photo above : Fr O'Donohue with the lads
from Melrose House at St Columba's. (1957)
01-10-1952 Studies M.A.
St Andrews Great Britain
01-09-1954 Teacher St Mary's Tabora Tanzania
01-09-1956 Studies M.A. St Andrews G.B.
01-09-1958 Teacher Bishop's Waltham
01-09-1962 CIPA Roma,M.G. Italia
01-09-1964 Pastoral Course London Totteridge G.B.
01-12-1964 Headmaster Mutolere Sen.School Uganda
01-05-1967 Curate Nandere, D.Kampala
01-11-1967 Curate Kisubi, D.Kampala
01-04-1968 Teacher Hist.Philos. Katigondo, Maj.Semin.
01-04-1969 Ministry H.C.: New Jersey U.S.A.
01-10-1969 Studies Soc.Anthrop. Oxford G.B.
01-12-1971 Teacher Alokolum Nat.Semin. Uganda
01-01-1973 Lecturer+Sec. Makerere University
16-07-1976 Back to G.B.
01-04-1977 CESAO Bobo-Dioulasso Burkina Faso
01-04-1978 Writing on Social J. Roma, M.G. Italia
01-01-1979 Studies Theology Notre Dame, Indiana U.S.A.
01-04-1980 Learning German K?n Deutschland
01-12-1980 Secr.Asso.Theo.Inst. Nairobi,Chaplaincy Kenya
01-01-1982 +Lecturer St Thomas Nairobi Kenya
01-05-1986 Lecturer Makerere University Uganda
28-01-1988 Oecumenical Team J?usalem Isra?
02-03-1988 Session-Retraite J?usalem
11-10-1988 Ministry H.C.: Ash,Aldershot G.B.
22-01-1991 Translations Roma, M.G. Italia
17-05-1998 Traductor .Eng.Chapitre
01-12-2003 Chaplain H.C.: ..Musselburgh G.B.
01-11-2009 Residence Rutherglen G.B.
31-03-2011 Back to the Father (84) at the Hospital
writes (Dec 2012):
"I knew Fr O'Donohue only
for one year at the Priory ( my 6th form 1958-59) where
he was our English prof. He provoked our thinking as we
made our way through: The Tempest, Hamlet, Middlemarch,
Lamb's Essays and the other set books.
He set us each a topic to speak on for ten minutes with
the assurance that anything less than 10 minutes would
result in absolute silence for the remaining minutes. Of
course there was no silence and some presentations
exceeded the alloted time.
He directed the production of The Amazing Doctor
Clitterhouse in which I played Badger ( one of the
Doctor's gang of robbers) and drew from me a performance
that I am still proud of. John Paul Larkins
told me that he felt like crying when I left the gang on
my way to certain death from " me 'eart".
There were two female roles in the play: the Nurse and
the Gangster's Moll ( played by Andy Coyle and Mike
Keller respectively). Bunny McGrath
provided a box of dresses and other female attire for
these two. John opened the box and took out the garments
one by one as the cast stood around. The final item was
a diaphanous negligee. He held it up and said, much to
our appreciation, "a little too nuptial I think". He
treated us as adults and we all relished that.
Chris Wallbank describes him as a radical in the
obituary. He was that and i thank him for it. By the
way, I paased A level English."
Rest In Peace
by Fr Chris Wallbank MAfr
was born in Manchester, G. B., on the 22nd
September, 1926, together with his twin sister to
whom he remained deeply attached to the end of his
life. He had an elder brother and sister who both
died before him.
John attended St. Bede? Grammar
School in Manchester before going to the Junior
Seminary of the Society, for a few months in 1943,
at the height of World War Two. In September of that
year, he began his course of Philosophy at St.
Boswell?, on the Scottish borders. There, he
quickly showed his intellectual qualities. They were
by no means his only positive qualities. He rarely,
if ever, mentioned his academic achievements at
three Universities and from the very outset he
displayed the thoroughness that would mark all his
activities. One down-to-earth example may serve as
an illustration. At St. Boswell? he was the
sacristan. This was at a time when the chapel was
filled on Sundays with Polish soldiers, in their
hob-nailed boots. Every Saturday, John and his
deputy would energetically polish the whole of the
wooden floor and on Sunday morning would cover it
with blankets to protect it from the hob-nailed
boots. This was in the days when elbow grease was
the only implement used!
This thoroughness was to stay
with John all his life. It was particularly evident
in his writings, his own and his translations of the
work of others. He knew French well and, later in
life learned German as well. His thoroughness was
accompanied by hard work. He dreaded the prospect of
becoming an intellectual couch-potato, and towards
the end of his life he translated all the Latin
classics and was working on the Greek when the end
came. All his written work was elegant in style and
rich in vocabulary. He was modest about his
achievements and rarely spoke of having studied at
St. Andrews, Oxford, and Notre Dame in the USA (he
said that it was in America that he had had to work
Throughout his years of
formation, John was seen to be extremely gifted
intellectually and it was therefore inevitable that
an academic future was foreseen for him. After
ordination, he worked in Junior Seminaries in
Britain and as a lecturer in Makerere University in
Uganda, where he was also headmaster of Mutolere
However, as the long list of
places in which John served suggests, he experienced
difficulties in his relationships both with
confreres and students. He was a radical, did not
suffer gladly people whom he thought lazy and he
expected high standards as the norm from his
students. He could express his opinions and
judgments in a radical and, at times, a provocative
way, partly to shock, partly to provoke a reaction.
He expressed forcefully his judgment on the value ?
or otherwise ?of even basic aspects of the
Society? pastoral priorities, to the point of
wondering - sometimes aloud ?if the Society should
continue its work in Africa at all!
John? tendency to express himself forcefully could
land him in serious trouble. This was precisely the
case in l976 when he was lecturing at Makerere
University. A female member of the staff had been
abducted and murdered, presumably by the secret
police. John was very disturbed
other staff members seemed unwilling to a public
protest. He sent a circular letter to the
Vice-Chancellor and senior members of the staff
urging them to protest officially and publicly, as a
body, at what had been done. This led to a
confidential report that a deportation order was to
be served on John. Subsequently, John was seen to be
followed by people using the same make of car as the
murderers of the staff member had used. He was
driven to the British High Commission and was able
to take a plane out of the country the same evening.
Some people thought John had been imprudent to speak
out about the murder. Others expressed their
admiration for his courage and supported his stand.
John was all of piece! Forceful
though he might be, John could eat humble pie and
admit to having been mistaken once he was convinced
that he was in the wrong.
In time, John? radical views led
to his disenchantment with Africa or rather with
some of the policies followed by the Church and the
Missionaries of Africa. He was unable to see the
value of much of the work being done. Indeed, he
thought some of it was counter-productive. At times,
he was unable to see the complexity of situations or
the need to progress slowly. He remained a good
priest and had no desire to leave the Society. He
went to Rome where he became a highly valued
translator of Society documents and books.
The final chapter of his life saw
John back in pastoral ministry. For three years, he
was acting parish priest in the English Diocese of
Arundel and Brighton, where he was greatly
appreciated, particularly for the high quality of
his sermons. Later, he became chaplain to Carmelite
Sisters in the Midlands and his final appointment
was as chaplain to Sisters in Musselburgh in
It was at Musselburgh that his
health deteriorated. He suffered from emphysema and
this finally prevented him from saying Mass for the
Sisters. He moved to the Society? community at
Rutherglen, near Glasgow, where he was well looked
after. However, he was now in need of specialised
attention and was moved to the Sisters of Nazareth
Home in Glasgow. It was there that he died,
peacefully, on the 31st of March.
John had been dedicated to
searching for and proclaiming the truth. It was a
source of sadness to him and to others that his many
talents could not come to fruition, yet his
attachment to the priesthood and to the Society
remained strong to the end. The seeker after truth
has now, we may hope, come face to face with the One
who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Peter Finn: Verna
and her family were parishioners of the Priory parish and of Our
Lady Queen of Apostles parish, Bishops Waltham. They were good
friends of the White Fathers and of the Pelicans, and Verna
continued to attend the Pelican? annual Pentecost Mass and
celebration into extreme old age. Her son, Stephen
when informing me of her death wrote:
? wanted you to know that my mother Verna died
peacefully and comfortably on December 6th. She was
attended by Fr. John Buckley. On each occasion he annointed her
and we knew she had placed her faith and future in Jesus Christ.
Hers was a life well lived and well loved.
Mum always looked forward to the special
celebration of Pentecost at Bishops Waltham, especially when
"the Priory boys" returned and sang so beautifully.
My father? ashes were buried in the White
Father's Cemetery there on Pentecost Sunday 2nd June 2001 with
some of the Pelicans in attendance. As my parents were blessed
to be members of the "Priory Parish" since the late 1940s, it
would perhaps seem appropriate if her ashes were to be buried at
some point during your centenary celebrations. I have already
asked Fr John.