Saturday, 15 July 2017

Simple Jubilee

Today was the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Ordination of Fr Peter Burns at Farnborough.  I thought it would be a rather pompous event with many in attendance.  It turned out to be a simple ordinary Mass and lunch.  Among the guests there was the Provincial, the former provincial and a couple of confreres from Bolton.  There were only three ladies for Mass: the two cooks of the house and another lady whom I did not know.  There were no natural flowers on the altar, no flexis printed or notice board or backdrops.  No gloria or solemn blessing at the end.  The Mass was in the school chapel.  In all we would have been about 25 of us in all.  Not even one each for the number of years he has been ordained!  I found it quite odd.  I really thought there'd be many many people.  Perhaps they were not invited!

More interesting was the person of Fr Peter himself.  Neither did he preside over the Mass, nor did he preach the sermon.  He was at one end of the altar as the rector of the community presided and preached during the Mass.  The Provincial was just another con-celebrant.

No pomp or glamour. But every bit of the Mass was well prepared.  A booklet for each participant with the readings, hymns and some photos of his.  The Missal was marked and ready.  Fr Pat accompanied the music with a box guitar.  The prayer of the faithful was printed out.  No grand felicitation or talks about Fr Peter.  After lunch the Rector handed him an envelope (with the 'Queens' picture, I guess!) and Fr Gerry too handed an envelope and said a few words.
Br Michael Delmer with his crutches listening to Fr Peter

Fr Peter broke into a jig when they sang as he cut the cake!

Fr Gerry spoke a few words...
Most hilarious was Fr Peter's "speech" - lasted no more than 3 minutes.  He concluded: "Do unto others, before they do to you!" 

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