FR. VINCENT - farewell and thank you
2002 - 2013
FAREWELL MESSAGE TO THE PARISH
My dear people
It is with sadness that I address you for the final time as your Parish Priest.
The past eleven years have been quite a journey for us as a parish – some may regard it as rollercoaster ride! We have seen the restoration of our beautiful Church, the building of our parish centre and presbytery and a constant growth in numbers. The joyful welcome extended to all manifests the living presence of Christ. As a community we have matured in our faith and allowed the Holy Spirit to work through us. In resisting the temptation to be insular, we have reached out to the local community, providing needed assistance to the homeless and those in need. Our support of various missionary efforts abroad has born much fruit seeing the building of Churches, schools and medical centres; the assistance provided to the battle wearied people of Palestine, whom many of us were privileged to visit, has touched the lives of the youngest who often suffer so much. Together we have enjoyed magnificent pilgrimages, fun garden parties and barbeques and of course those oh so memorable hikes, the highlight of which must have been our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Our energy for all of these endeavours has come from one source: The Holy Eucharist. How silently the Lord comes amongst us as food for our souls. Like a loving embrace, offering gentle encouragement, the Lord touches our lives through the Sacred Liturgy. Together we have journeyed, laughed and celebrated. I shall never forget these, the happiest days of my life. I shall never forget the love, kindness and support which you have shown to me, and of course your tolerance and forgiveness of my many imperfections.
And so as the journey continues, and I must take my leave, I confidently entrust each and every one of you to the maternal care of Our Blessed Mother and the assured protection of Our Holy Patron St. Raphael.
With my deep affection & prayers
Fr. Vincent Flynn
25 August 2013
FAREWELL CELEBRATIONS AND SUNDAY MASS
6 pm Sunday 25 August 2013
EARLIER MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
With great sadness we report that Fr. Vincent will be leaving St. Raphael's at the end of August 2013 after eleven years as our Parish Priest. Over that period he has worked relentlessly to build up the parish community, build a new Parish Centre and Presbytery, and restore the fabric of the church. He has supported many people in the parish and gained many friends. He will be greatly missed.
To mark Fr. Vincent's departure and his contribution over the last eleven years, the Parish Council has arranged a farewell party and a gift presentation. The party will be held in the St. Raphael's Parish Centre and grounds on Sunday 25 August at 6.00 pm. All parishioners are invited.
Gift envelopes are attached to the Parish Newsletter. Please return them in the normal Sunday collection or hand them in to the Parish Office during the week.
Here below is Fr. Vincent's message to the parish from the Newsletter for Sunday 21 July 2013 about his departure and about his successor, Fr. Kevin Stokes:
MESSAGE FROM FR. VINCENT
My dear people,
It was with deep sadness that I received the news that Archbishop Peter has decided to transfer me from St. Raphael’s to another parish. I have been so very blessed to spend eleven years amongst you. I love the parish and it will always occupy a special place in my heart. The kindness and support which you have shown to me over the years both encouraged and sustained me as together we prepared our parish to accomplish the work of Christ in the twenty-first century.
My last Sunday will be on 25 August, with my last Mass being on Tuesday 27 August. The parish will become vacant at midday on Wednesday 28 August and my successor, Fr. Kevin Stokes, will take canonical possession at 12.01 pm on the 28 August. Since 2005, Fr. Stokes has worked in the diocese of East Anglia as a prison chaplain and supplying in various parishes. I am sure that you will give him a warm welcome as a new chapter in the life of our parish opens. I shall do all that I can to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Before I take up my next appointment, I shall continue to work at Archbishop’s House as President of the Appeal Tribunal for the Province. I hope to spend the intervening period working with the homeless and those who are disadvantaged.
Do please keep me in your prayers. Confidently, I once more place our beloved parish and my ministry under the maternal mantle of Our Blessed Lady and the protection of our Holy Patron St. Raphael.
With every blessing
Fr. Vincent Flynn