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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – 1st January 2012
Over 7 years ago my religious missionary order, the Divine Word Missionaries (Latin - Societatis Verbi Divini, abbreviated as SVD) agreed to take charge of the parish of St Mary-on-the-Quay, Bristol City, by kind permission of the bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang. Our man in charge of the parish at that time was Fr Michael Cleary SVD. Sadly his administration came to an abrupt end on 28th Oct 2008 when Fr Michael died of a massive heart attack at 61 years of age. Since then the on-going day to day running of St Mary-on-the-Quay has been, as the saying goes "...just limping along..." due to a shortage of personnel.
Presently Father Nico Lobo SVD is doing all he can to keep the parish up and running, but Fr Nico is the only priest there. The one priest/one parish system is, I believe, a faltering system; I usually compare this to the running of a large surgery with just the one doctor to attend to all the patients! For how long would you say the poor doctor would last in such circumstances? Give him a few months and he'd probably bowl over with exhaustion ("burn-out") or does that sound too exaggerated? Well anyway Fr Nico presently needs a full-time assistant priest to help him in the running of that parish in Bristol, and I have forwarded my name for the "vacancy." Why? Because there is no one else available to go there, so I'll go, but more than that I believe the Holy Spirit has guided me towards my decision to go to Bristol, I feel it in my soul. Therefore my departure from St Mary Magdalen's will be soon.
As parishioners presently you are blessed to have a good pastoral team with Fr Kevin, Fr Rohitha, Deacon Michael, a good secretary Sinead, good sacristans, servers, florists, catechists and a lot more. Also there are other supply priests who help out in your parish when called upon (extra masses, confessions, funerals etc.)
In March 1999 I quietly came to St Mary Magdalen's and that's the way I would like to move on, quietly with no hullabaloo!! I am truly grateful for my 9 years among you (there was a 2 year absence as I worked in the Hanwell parish) as supply priest. You took me to your hearts, prayed for me and cared for my well being. Again I am truly grateful to you all as a parish family – no words can properly express my gratitude.
I am especially grateful to God for having sent me among you as a fellow sinful pilgrim - won't we all meet again in Heaven? God bless you at this time and who knows when my time is finished in Bristol? 3 years? I might just wander back towards St Mary Magdalen's. Lastly if I let some of you down or when I wasn’t as friendly as I should have been, then I sincerely apologize. I'll conclude with one of my favourite pieces of Holy Scripture, from the Book of Tobit chap. 12:
“Bless the Lord, utter his praise before all the living for all the favours he has given to you. Bless and extol His name. Proclaim before all people the deeds of God as they deserve, and never tire of giving him THANKS…..” Fr Kieran

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:11 am