Friday, 25 November 2011

Looking Forward to the Future with Confidence

Fr Laurence cuts the cake
Queuing at the door, standing room only, and standing ovation of several minutes. Not an A list celebrity or keynote speech of a political party conference but the Thanksgiving and Farewell Mass for Fr Laurence Quinn Morris after 10 years service in Redhill and district - and the ovation was for the sermon! His theme was “Remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm, look forward to the future with confidence” (Pope John Paul II 2000).

Fr Laurence spent 7 years as Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s followed by 3 years as Moderator of the new parish consisting of Redhill, Reigate (Holy Family) and Merstham (St. Teresa’s). This was a huge task to lead three communities with their own histories and ‘personality’ forward and build relationships and structures to form a super-community in Jesus Christ.

Woven through the sermon was as litany of thanks to various people and for the many good things, fruit of his ministry in this place “the Trinity of Spirit filled words which take us to the root of why we are giving thanks: Faith, Family and Friends”.

At the end of Mass Fr Laurence was presented with box of 2 symbolic crystal glasses by Fr Charles Howell. There was also an envelope with a cheque. Fr Charles pointed out that although there were 5 more boxes awaiting collection in the Presbytery there were not 5 more envelopes!

The throng then progressed to St. Joseph’s School in Linkfield Lane to party - and Fr. Laurence does like to party as well as pray!

Report by Ann Lardeur and photos by Janet Franklin

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