FR. VINCENT FLYNN - PARISH PRIEST 2002-2013
Fr Vincent was born in Kingston upon Thames, England, where he grew up, attending Mass and school in St Agatha's parish. He went to Richard Challoner secondary school. He studied for the priesthood at St John's College, Wonersh. He returned from a two year course of study in Canon Law in Canada and was appointed Parish Priest of St. Raphael's Church, Surbiton, on 12 August 2002. In his first Newsletter to the Parish in mid August, he set out his hopes and aims:
“I was delighted when Archbishop Michael Bowen asked me to succeed Fr Dominic as Parish Priest of St. Raphael’s Parish. St. Raphael’s is stunning in her beauty and is without question one of the gems of our Diocese. The attraction of the Church, however, is not principally, her beauty but rather what happens in this sacred space – God himself comes to meet his people, feeding them on His own body and blood and healing and strengthening them through the Sacraments. When you and I grow in holiness, our souls become like gardens that have been tended with love and care. The sweet perfume of the flowers (the odour of sanctity) is attractive to the passer by, who stops for rest and refreshment by the stream. We must never forget that the garden planted in us at baptism, when the theological virtues were infused into our souls, is not just for our salvation. It aids us in our mission to bring the message of salvation to the people of Surbiton and the staff and students in our University and invite them to drink deeply from the stream of life welling up and flowing from the heart of Christ......
.........My intention is that St Raphael’s will be a spiritual wellspring where the traveller encounters the Master, living amongst His people in the Blessed Sacrament. Those who thirst will be refreshed. Those who hunger will be satisfied. Those who have lost their way will be given direction. The broken and the wounded will be healed. Those who are weary of the journey will be given new hope and to all will be offered the secret meaning of life: Jesus living amongst His people and His people living the Eucharistic life of love.
On this my first Sunday, I consecrate the Parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary our Mother. I ask her to place her mantle over all who live in and pass through our parish. May she grant her maternal blessing to me, God’s unworthy priest, and you His holy people.
May St Raphael, our holy patron, watch over and protect us and may we never forget his words to Tobit:
Bless God, utter his praise before all the living for the favour he has shown you. Proclaim before all people the deeds of God as they deserve, and never tire of giving Him thanks. It is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right to reveal and publish the works of God as they deserve. Do what is good and no evil can befall you. [Tb 12: 6-7]”
ON 27 MAY 2011 BISHOP PAUL HENDRICKS OPENED ALEXANDER HOUSE, OUR NEW PARISH CENTRE, AFTER CONFIRMING EIGHT PARISHIONERS
FR. DOMINIC O'SULLIVAN RIP - PARISH PRIEST, 1986-2002
Born 24 August 1925 - died 10 February 2008
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE REPOSE OF THE SOUL OF
FR. DOMINIC O'SULLIVAN
- former parish priest of st. raphael's -
who DIED ON 10 FEBRUARY.
HIS FUNERAL MASS TOOK PLACE ON TUESDAY 26 FEBRUARY
A great day for Fr Dominic's Golden Jubilee:
Some 300 people packed St Raphael's Church on Sunday 16 June 2002 to attend Fr Dominic's Jubilee Mass at noon. Fr Dominic concelebrated Mass with Father Anthony Ford, former parish priest of Our Lady Immaculate, Tolworth, and Father Michael Gwinnell, former Dean and parish priest at St Ann's, Kingston Hill. Father Gabriel Okoye from Nigeria assisted, along with ten altar servers. The St Raphael's Choir sang the Missa de Angelis. Fr Gwinnell, who was ordained in the same year as Father Dominic, gave the homily. He spoke about Fr Dominic's service to God and the community in two parishes: Sevenoaks and Surbiton. As a teacher in Sevenoaks, he was an inspiration to a number of young men who subsequently became priests. One of those men was Father Anthony Ford who spoke of the help and example Fr Dominic had given him in those early years.
After Mass, people gathered in the gardens of the Church to eat and drink and congratulate Father. Short speaches focused on respect and love for him and his dedication over many years. Father Dominic was presented with a Papal Blessing which had been obtained by his brother, Nigel, in the form of a framed photograph of Pope John Paul II. Nigel had travelled to Rome to collect it. Parishioners presented Fr Dominic with a framed photograph of the beautiful stained glass windows above the High Altar, champagne and a cheque.
A photographer from the Surrey Comet was there to capture the occasion. The weather was perfect: no rain and not too hot.
For further details click here.
Fr. Dominic O'Sullivan, who died on 10 February 2008, aged 82
For details of Fr Dominic's Golden Jubilee Celebration Mass and retirement lunch on 16 June 2002,
Former St. Raphael parishioner and altar server joins Benedictine Order.
Fr. Vincent congratulates Brother Alexander Bevan (right) who made his Solemn Profession to become a Benedictine monk
at the Abbey Church of St. Benedict, Ealing, Saturday 4 September, 2004
Deanery of Kingston.