Friday, 6 November 2009

Farewell Good and Faithful Servant

Yesterday was the funeral of Canon Bernard Thom at Arundel Cathedral (see right - funeral procession exiting Cathedral). Fr Colin, his friend and former curate spoke warmly of Canon Bernard but did not avoid the difficult areas of his life. It was he said "a story of dark and light, of death and resurrection." Earlier in his life and priesthood Canon Bernard had become addicted to alcohol. Thanks to the help and support of his family, friends, the Church and above all the Good Lord through the agency of Alcoholics Anonymous, he had recovered and become in his words 'a non-practising alcoholic'.

Out of the pain and suffering of this period there emerged a man who was full of compassion, and who continued to support and help many people through Alcoholics Anonymous and otherwise to bear the burdens of addiction and find their path in life. In this Year of the Priest he is an example of priesthood who lived his diocesan priesthood daily in placing the needs and concerns of others before his own and understood that love bears all. he is

I am certain he will be welcomed at the gates of heaven as that 'good and faithful servant'.

Below Bishop Kieran blesses his coffin with Holy Water as the clergy of the diocese gathered around to sing the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) as a final farewell.

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