News items added on Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Amy Curran's funeral

About 500 people gathered at Our Lady of the Rosary Church this morning for the funeral of Amy Curran, a young lady of 15 who was tragically killed in a car accident on New Year's Day. The Mass was celebrated in the modern Roman rite, in English (though I sang the In paradisum in Latin as is our custom here at Blackfen). In conversation with her friends some time ago, Amy said that at her funeral, she wanted people to dress traditionally, in black. Therefore I used our beautiful black vestments and Brother Michael OFM Cap, the chaplain of St Thomas More school, brought some black vestments for the three concelebrants.

Amy's family wrote a beautiful summary of Amy's life which I read on their behalf before preaching the sermon in which I spoke of the sadness of such an untimely death and the glory to which God has called us. I mentioned the prayers and Masses that have already been offered and requested for the repose of Amy's soul, that God might forgive "any sins she committed through human frailty" as the prayer has it.

Offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we were aware that this is the greatest of all our prayers. In union with the sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross, made present on the altar, we offered our supplication for the repose of Amy's soul, and our prayers for her family

After Mass, we solemnly laid Amy's body to rest in Sidcup Cemetery - near to the grave of Alison Gresley in fact. Back at the parish, the Union of Catholic Mothers provided food and our parish family, together with Amy's friends from school and elsewhere, were able to meet more informally, look at photographs of Amy, and pledge their continuing prayers and care for Amy's family.

Today was also a day on which to value the Catholic Christian family of the parish. the goodwill and love of so many people is important at such a time and is of value to the family in their grief. I particularly drew attention to the families who have themselves lost children. During the time I have been here at Blackfen, I have celebrated the funeral of Kim Dempsey (13) who was knocked down by a bus on her way to school, of Sam Regan (21) who was killed in a car accident, of Alison Gresley (9) who died of cancer, of Adam Donnelly (17) who died of a sudden heart attack while on holiday. The families of these young people have been of tremendous help and support to one another, understanding, as they do, the grief that only such parents know.

Many people commented on the importance of the funeral Mass and the Catholic tradition of prayer. I know that readers of this blog will offer their own prayers as well. Thank God for the Church, for the parish, and for our Catholic faith at a time such as this.


News items added on Thursday, January 10, 2008

Informal tributes for Amy - Church open Thursday

A message especially for young friends of Amy Curran:

I wanted to make an opportunity for any of Amy's friends to come and express tributes in your own way at the Church if you want to. Next Thursday evening (17 January) we will have:

1. Our service of Rosary and Benediction as usual at 8pm. We will remember Amy, her family and all of you in our prayers during that service. That will finish about 8.45pm.

2. Afterwards, the Church will be open until 10pm for any of you to come along, light a candle, play music (CD player will be there) or read a poem or a prayer - or just sit quietly in the Church. Whatever you want.

You are welcome to come along to 1. or 2. or both just as you wish. This opportunity is, of course, in addition to the Funeral Mass on Tuesday 22nd - to which you are all welcome as well.

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Amy's funeral - date and time

The Funeral Mass for Amy Curran will be at Our Lady of the Rosary at 11am on Tuesday 22 January. All are welcome to attend the Funeral Mass.

Amy's body will be taken to Sidcup Cemetery for a quiet service of committal at the graveside (family and invited friends only.)

Please continue to remember Amy and her family and friends in your prayers.


News items added on Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Our school's outstanding care for pupils

I was delighted to read today the report from the recent OFSTED Inspection of Our Lady or the Rosary School. I have written to the Head teacher to offer my congratulations to him, and to all the staff and governors on such an excellent report.

OFSTED inspectors don't easily give judgements of “outstanding” and so it is especially creditable to see in the “personal development and well-being section” that the school obtained this judgement overall and that not a single section was graded less than “good”.

I know that parishioners at Our Lady of the Rosary will be delighted to hear this good news about our school. Many thanks to Mr Murphy and the whole team at the school for all their hard work for the children and for the competence and professionalism that has enabled the school to be so highly commended by the inspector.

The report is not yet on the OFSTED website but should be published there soon.


News items added on Saturday, January 05, 2008

Amy Curran RIP

It is with very great sadness that I ask your kind prayers for the repose of Amy’s soul; and for her mother Linda, her father Tom and her brother Nick in their loss. Amy was killed in a tragic road accident on the morning of New Year’s Day.

Please also remember in your prayers Amy’s friends, Georgina Fox and Joe Wallis who were also killed, as well as Matthew Faith and Chloe Dunne who were injured in the accident.

Amy, Georgina, and Chloe were in Year 11 at St Thomas More school and their friends there and elsewhere also need our prayers and support. Amy’s funeral will be held here at Our Lady of the Rosary, and I will post the details here as soon as the funeral has been arranged.

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