Extracts from Fr Tony Parson’s homily; the Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Gerrards Cross
Why did he ask the congregation this question you might ask?
Well, so many of us in our childhood days might have ripped the wallpaper and never own up to it, but not St Therese. As soon as she had done it, she ran to her mother and stood waiting for her punishment. Her mother asked her to ‘wait until her father’ came home. And when he did, the punishment never came…all had been forgotten. But St Therese went up to her beloved father to let him know what she had done; she didn’t want to hide anything from him.
This is a wonderful illustrative example of St Therese’s honesty and openness; she likes to hide nothing.
A nightmare coming my way
When I first heard that we had been graciously granted the permission to hold this special event, my heart was mixed, because although joyful, I was also panicking….I didn’t know what to expect.
Here is a nightmare coming my way. It’s my wee sister in Christ….
Therese obviously got you here for a reason – she got you all in
You can spend your special time with this special person.
She was given all these special titles; Doctor of the Church in 1997, she was canonized a saint because she always wanted to be a saint. There’s lots of things – she is Patroness of the Missions as well – if this had been given to any other saint it would probably have created a big huge distance between us – but not with Therese because in many ways as a saint she is a person who is always looking out for us; a person who also wanted us to enjoy the fullness of God’s presence in our lives. And that is why she said consistently; that she wanted to spend her heaven doing good upon earth.
Simple, but not easy
We hear how simple she is, but that doesn’t mean her life was easy. Simplicity and easiness are two different things. In her simplicity, her prayer became stronger and stronger.
To pray for another human person is a worthy cause
Intercessory prayer is prayer from the heart. It’s a worthy cause and it’s what God wants.
As I look out here today; the whole mixture – the believer, the unbeliever, the sick, the healthy, the young and the old – everyone of us has their own personal story; we are called to be unique in our relationship with God. We are not called to be Therese, but ourselves. We break out of that through the power of intercessory prayer; it helps us to bring people to mind – the Church, the world – a life worth living.
Very special that the relics have touched the soil of the Diocese of Northampton
Bishop Peter Doyle’s concluding words:
‘It’s very special as Bishop that the relics have touched the soil of the Diocese of Northampton. Perhaps we could pray that we may have the same confidence and the same conversation; the same connection that Therese has and had with God.’
We ask that our hearts be open to the love of the Lord
The Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, at the opening Mass:
‘It’s an amazing privilege to be here with all of you.
‘We come to gather on pilgrimage to venerate the relics of St Therese and to ask her prayers; that like her, each of our hearts may be open to the love of the Lord. And that with her we may, by our love, form part of the heart of the Church.‘
More than 2000 pilgrims
1000 beakers of tea/coffee consumed before evening Mass
1000 slices of cake
Roses sold out within an hour and a half
12 coaches from Aylesbury, Bedfordshire, Northampton, Wellingborough, Luton, Tring and Watford.
Police say: ‘the best event for organisation.’
‘Football dads’ carry reliquary to the hearse