Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Canon Seamus Hester Presides at Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Canon Seamus seated with (left to right) Fr Tim Hunting, Fr Rags
Hay-Will and seminarian Simon Dray
Father Raglan was delighted to invite Father Seamus to celebrate Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes especially as he was director of the diocesan pilgrimages for many years. The Mass was also held in thanksgiving for his many years as parish priest.

The church was full with the children from St Thomas a Becket Junior school choir also attending to sing together with musicians from Our Lady of Ransom, St Gregory and St Agnes. Both the infant and junior schools presented Fr Séamus with gifts. There was a procession of flags from St Richard's Catholic College students and the church's brownie and cub scout groups. His Stole, a symbol of his parish ministry, was also carried up to the altar. Fr Séamus thanked everyone including members of other churches in the town for their prayers during his illness and he was overwhelmed to see so many parishioners from all three churches in the parish in prayer together.

At the end of Mass the church was ablaze with light as candles were lit as a tribute to Fr Séamus’ ministry in Lourdes. They were held up by the congregation whilst the Lourdes Hymn Immaculate Mary was being sung. Many parishioners commented that this was a very moving moment for them. A celebration was held in the parish centre afterwards with food from many different cultures being
donated for the evening.

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