My Thoughts on 01/02/2021

On this day in 1645, Henry Morse, a Jesuit, having been convicted for practising as a priest and condemned to death was hung drawn and quartered at Tyburn. What struck me about his life was his determination no matter what the risk to himself to serve the Catholic community.

After becoming a Catholic at Douai in France, he returned to England and was arrested and spent four years in prison. When released he returned to Douai and was then ordained as a priest in Rome. He returned to the north of England and was imprisoned in York. He served his Jesuit noviciate while ministering in the Newcastle area and while serving this period of imprisonment. On release in 1628, he was banished from England and then acted as a chaplain to English and Irish troops attached to the Spanish army in the Low Countries before being sent back to England in 1633. This time he worked with St John Southworth in caring and helping plague victims. In 1636 he was imprisoned again and later released and worked abroad and finally returned for the last time in 1843 and was arrested for a final time.

Fr Michael Holman S.J. In an article he posted last October wrote:

“Today we are all walking through very strange times when we need the example of men and women who can help us find meaning in what is happening. St Henry Morse, priest of the plague, is one such outstanding example. He encourages us to respond to events happening around us in the spirit of Jesus by making the most of the opportunities we are given to serve those who have least with generosity, with compassion and with his hallmark kindness, knowing that thereby we may bring them closer to God. His inspiration reaches across the centuries.”

You can read the full article here.

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest