The Annual Mass of Remembrance for deceased clergy of the Archdiocese was held on 15th November at St Andrew’s Cathedral where Archbishop Tartaglia was joined by Archbishop Emeritus Conti and priests of the Archdiocese. The congregation included family members and former parishioners, and the music of the Mass was supported by the St Mungo Singers.
Before the Mass began, the choir sang How Blest are Those Who have Died in the Lord, the Latin Introit Requiem Aeternam and the English Introit Just as Jesus Died and Rose, before leading the congregation in singing How Lovely on the Mountains, an appropriate entry hymn for a remembrance Mass for our deceased priests and bishops.
Archbishop Tartaglia welcomed everyone to the Mass, including members of the Knights of St. Columba, and read out the names of those priests who had died over the last 12 months: Fr Noel Burke and Fr. Tom Murphy of the Diocese, and Frs Peter Granger-Banyard and Gerry Dunn of the religious congregations based in the Diocese. He also asked the congregation to remember the former Bishops and Archbishops buried in the crypt of the Cathedral whose graves he had visited before the Mass.
Archbishop Tartaglia had found the first reading of the Mass – St Paul’s Letter to Philemon – challenging to link to this Mass of Remembrance. In the reading, St Paul commends to Philemon his returning slave as a brother in Christ. Priests are called to exercise their ministry with similar Christ-like tenderness and compassion, treating all alike. A priest should be remembered for his love of his people.
The Archbishop went on to say that this is a time of crisis worldwide for the Church and he asked the congregation to pray for its Bishops and priests who have also been hurt by it. He was thankful for the support and trust of parishioners at a time when the Church is facing the mystery of the Cross in God’s Kingdom.