I am away now for two weeks so will not post any reflections until at least Tuesday 14th September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. During this time I will be on retreat. Pray for me as I will pray for you.
Today I want to just ask you to pray for a very good friend and priest, Chris O’Brien who died on Saturday. It would have been his 86th birthday today. He was a priest for 61 years.
When I arrived at Our Lady Immaculate Tolworth in the year 2000 he was the assistant. He was a great example of a priest who cared deeply for the people. He would spend hours with those who were sick and dying. He was a great champion of justice and peace and was involved with people who needed a voice and someone to fight their corner.
He shared with me his love of Tolkien and Lord of the Rings and the music of Elgar as well as cricket. He was a great follower of the scripture scholar Raymond Browne and especially his writing on St John’s gospel. He returned to the parish after his retirement and lived in a flat near the Church. Although he had difficulty celebrating Mass he had a great gift as a confessor and there was always a queue of penitents on a Saturday evening. He would be the first to admit he was no saint. He saw the best in others and was always very affirming of me.
“Hear with favour our prayers, which we humbly offer, O Lord, for the salvation of the soul of Christopher, your servant and Priest, that he, who devoted a faithful ministry to your name, may rejoice in the perpetual company of your Saints.” (Prayers for the Dead. For a Priest.)