Fr Martins 40th Anniversary
Cead Mile Failte.
On behalf of all your parishioners here at St Bede’s, I would just like to say a few words this evening.
Spending 40 years in any profession is a remarkable achievement. This is the case with Father Martin O’Connor, who, last Monday, 16th June, 2014, celebrated this milestone in his Priestly Ministry.
For those who are unaware, Father Martin was born in Cork, a great city in the beautiful Emerald Isle. After reading English and Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, he studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin, where he was ordained on the 16th June, 1974. His post graduate studies were completed at the Institute of Religious Education, Mount Oliver.
Joining the Brentwood Diocese, Father Martin was assigned as assistant priest at several parishes namely: Colchester, Wanstead (where he was also chaplain at Whipps Cross hospital) and Chelmsford. His first appointment as Parish Priest was at the Holy Redeemer, Harold Hill. The appointment to St Bede’s church here in Chadwell Heath took place in October, 1997. He is also Chairman of Governors of the Palmer Catholic Academy.
St. Bede’s is very proud of its reputation within the diocese for music and singing through the full support and encouragement of Father Martin. As parishioners, we have had the good fortune of Father’s lifelong love of music. It has been a privilege to have welcomed the Brentwood Cathedral Singers and Youth Orchestra to our church many times through his participation with them in the past; his voice is still a joy to hear. (every single one of us knows father’s favourite hymn “Bread of Heaven” by heart).
The weekly parish newsletter has been publishing an entry entitled “Pope Francis Teaches”. ( I hope you all read it). It is obvious that Father Martin has a great respect and love of the Holy Father and follows his website fastidiously and encourages us to lead a life in the footsteps of Our Lord’s chosen successor.
Father Martin’s 40 years of ministry has inspired many lives in this immediate community, having served almost 17 years with us at St. Bede’s. During his time here, our parish has grown strong and steadfast. He is a wonderful example of God’s love at work and we thank him for teaching, guiding, inspiring and uplifting us all. Most of all, we thank him for bringing us closer to Christ with reverence, kindness and joy. The service Father Martin has extended has touched the lives of so many and we offer sincere gratitude for his ministry.
In closing, we thank God for having sent this very special man to us and may he be blessed on this wonderful occasion.
Goraibh Mile Maith Agut