Saying goodbye to Holy Ghost Fathers and their unique gift of friendship

By Fr TOM McHUGH

The congregation of the Holy Spirit fondly known to us as the Holy Ghost Fathers came to live in St Joseph’s Parish in 1947. For the last 68 years, they have witness to the gentle action of the Holy Spirit at work in the ordinary and everyday events of our lives.

They took to heart the imperative of the Gospel given to us by St. Paul: “Make hospitality your special care”.

The fathers have a unique gift for friendship and welcome. Soon, members of our parish who live in Bickley and beyond were drawn to gather there for Mass. They were offered friendship, pastoral care, spiritual direction and advice.

No wonder news of their imminent departure to Chester is received with sadness by the entire parish community of St Joseph’s. We will miss the warmth of their welcome, their pastoral care and witness to the loving presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of each of us.

So many of us have reason to thank them for the gift of their ministry in the parish of St Joseph’s – often celebrating Mass and ministering the sacraments especially the Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation.

It has been a long established tradition of St Joseph’s Parish to join the Spiritan community and friends for their annual Whit Monday fundraising Fair. Always a great social event for the whole community.

This year I, as parish priest and dean, will join the Archbishop and invited guests in concelebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving for Holy Ghost Fathers on 25th May. On this occasion, I propose to present a gift to Father Superior from the parish to support them in the care of their elderly Mission Priests. Any donation you would like to make will be received with gratitude.

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