Christine Butcher RIP

This morning I preached at the funeral Mass for Christine Butcher. Born in 1926 in what later became East Germany, she lived through both Nazism and Communism before escaping to the West where she met and married Bob who died a few years ago. Christine's son, Paul, runs the business side of Faith Magazine and so I got to know Christine over many years through frequent visits to the family home. She was always eagerly interested in my priestly work and gave me warm and generous encouragement in my priesthood. Please remember her in your prayers.

The Mass was celebrated at the Holy Family Church in Reigate by Fr Dominic O'Hara who has been ordained less than a year. There were eight priests at the funeral: three of us taught Dominic at the seminary. When I realised this, I observed that it might have been a little intimidating to have us all there. So let me say what a pleasure it was to visit the parish, to concelebrate at the funeral and to see how well regarded Fr O'Hara is by the parishioners at Holy Family who obviously appreciate his dedication to the priestly ministry.

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