Monday, 11 April 2011

Getting Old

I have always thought of myself as essentially young in at least one respect; the priest who baptized me nearly half a century ago was still in active ministry until this morning.

Please say a prayer for the soul of Fr Brendan Burke, who gave me the most extraordinary gift of Baptism all those years ago, and who was still the Parish Priest of Rustington in Sussex until he died this morning.

Euge, serve bone et fidele!

8 comments:

Paul Mallinder said...

A beautiful post because it shows how our faith is transmitted. My family will pray for the repose of Father Burke's soul tonight.

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Memory Eternal!
How old was he at his passing?

Pastor in Valle said...

Matthew: sorry, I don't know.

Paul: Thank you so much.You will be pleased to know that your memory has not passed at St John's.

johnf said...

A few years ago, in 2002 (my 62nd year) I had the privilege of meeting the priest who baptised me, Fr Godrey Carney, once of Blessed Sacrament Liverpool.

Fr Carney lived on for another 6 years and died aged 98.

This post has prompted me to look up any google references and Fr Carney has a few (160,000 results).

God rest his soul.

Mater mari said...

Matthew: The Arundel & Brighton Diocesan Year Book gives only the year of ordination, which in Fr Brendan's case was 1952. This would suggest he was at least 83, assuming ordination at the minimum age of 24. We moved from Rustington last year but Fr Burke was at that time often to be seen in Sainsbury's on Thursday mornings and around the town with his dog. May he rest in peace.

Andrew J said...

Sean, The definition of middle age is 5-10 years older than you are now! I was actually born in Rustington, in a maternity home which is now an old People's home, leading to unkind comments from my kids that if I play my cards right I could begin and end my days in the same place. Unlikely, as I am firmly ensconced half a world away...

And talking of elderly priests going strong, Fr Geoffrey Schneider SJ is 97 and STILL serving as school chaplain at my boy's school, St Aloysius in Sydney, and still serving as the much loved junior school Chaplain. A remarkable man, in possession of a full set of marbles.

Mater mari said...

Andrew: And when we lived in Rustington we were no more than 50 yards from that very establishment, the Zachary Merton hospital. Small world...

Alexander Lucie-Smith said...

I was born in Zachary Merton too! May Fr Burke rest in peace....