The St. Mungo Singers had the opportunity to combine work with two-fold pleasure when they travelled to Arran to join parishioners of Holy Cross parish to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of parish priest and long-time friend of the choir, Fr. Noel Colford.
An early start from Glasgow saw the choir catching the ferry from Ardrossan to Arran on a lovely sunny, Saturday morning. The St. Mungo Singers led the music of the Mass, with David Harris on organ, and it was a warm, joyful and relaxed occasion. Holy Cross church was packed for the celebration, and Fr. Noel was joined by Mgr. Gerry Fitzpatrick and Fr. Hugh O’Donnell, who are also celebrating their Golden Jubilees this year.
Reflecting on his 50 years of priesthood, Fr. Noel said that he had come to appreciate that his calling was not to be viewed as a demand on him so much as a gift to him from God, for which he was grateful. He had the congregation laughing as he expressed his thanks also to the late Cardinal Winning who had asked him to go to Arran on a short term loan – which had now lasted 17 years!
The Eucharist which we were celebrating, he reminded us, is about sharing, and he was thankful to so many who had shared his life and supported him – his family, his brother priests, parishioners, the St. Mungo Singers, and so many friends
After the Mass, everyone gathered in a local restaurant for a buffet meal and an opportunity to chat. Then, for the choir, the was time to sightseeing, therapeutic shopping (which could be combined with exercise to visit certain outlets) and sampling of the famous local ice cream, before boarding the ferry back to Ardrossan.