CAFOD Advent Mass
This year’s CAFOD Advent Mass was celebrated on 30th November 2013 at the Sacred Heart Church in Exeter.
With the announcement three weeks earlier, that Monsignor Mark O’Toole had been appointed as the new Bishop of Plymouth, http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Home/News/Bishop-of-Plymouth/(language)/eng-GB the occasion was tinged with a little sadness; as the impending retirement of Bishop Christopher Budd was now a reality.
But the occasion was also a great opportunity for CAFOD Volunteers, supporters and staff across the diocese to personally thank Bishop Christopher for 27 years of inspirational, unfailing support, guidance and shepherding of our work.
Bishop Christopher started the service by lighting the Advent Wreath and welcoming everyone to the annual celebration.
During the Mass we were reminded that Advent is a time when we are called to prepare a way for the Lord, to reflect and make changes so that we are ready for the coming of Christ who is the light of the world.
Following Bishop Christopher’s thought provoking homily the children from St Nicholas School in Exeter sang and signed “Beauty for brokenness” angelically, led by Maria Quinn the school Chaplain.
Before the final blessing Simon Giarchi (Diocesan Manager) thanked Bishop Christopher saying “we are very grateful for the opportunity to celebrate together the profound ministry of our Bishop Christopher, who is soon to retire as Bishop of Plymouth after 27 years of inspirational leadership of his flock. It has been an honour serving him over the years and on behalf of all of our fantastic volunteers and supporters at CAFOD Plymouth we give thanks for the life and work of Bishop Christopher, our shepherd”.
Simon then presented Bishop Christopher with a farewell card from CAFOD’s supporters, volunteers and staff across the diocese.
The celebration Mass ended with a spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Fred, a parishioner at the Sacred Heart, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
A big thank you to the clergy and parishioners of the Sacred Heart for you hospitality and kindness and to the Richard King, the musicians and choir for the beautifully arranged liturgy.
You can find CAFOD resources for Advent at http://www.cafod.org.uk/Pray/Advent-Calendar