Today was the funeral, at St Gregory's in Longton, Stoke on Trent, of Canon Frank Grady and I had the honour of being able to be there. It was my first clergy funeral Mass as a priest and it was really good just to be someone in the background - if that is ever possible. When you have time, please do say a prayer for his soul.
One of the issues of leaving seminary, it seems to me, is that you can go from being a large fish in a small pond to a small fish in a large pond. Certainly the Archdiocese, though not the largest, is a large diocese and it is possible as a priest to melt into the background. I know from other priests that this transition has been a difficult time for them. For me, I suspect, it will be less of a problem since I am not really one to seek the limelight nor do I enjoy being the centre of attention. Do not misunderstand me: there's nothing finer than to spend a while talking about my favourite subject - me - but generally I do prefer to fade into the wallpaper, the unsung hero. So, today, it was good to just be there and not to worry about making sure everything was just so.
There have been fewer posts of late, and this will continue for the next three weeks or so as I enjoy my holidays before heading to Coventry to take up my post as Assistant Priest at Christ the King Parish with Canon Tom Farrell. Do please pray for the people of Coventry.