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Church says a fond farewell to Father Pat Smith
8:19am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
A CONGREGATION said a fond farewell to the priest who is leaving them for pastures new having led their parish for 14 years with music from the land of his birth, writes Megi Rychlikova.
Father Pat Smith, a proud Scot, won the hearts of the Yorkshire men and women of the Catholic parish of Our Lady’s Acomb and St Joseph’s, Green Hammerton.
They paid tribute to him and his hard work as he prepared to move to the parish of Marske by the Sea, Teesside.
Angela Clarke, of the parish, said: “We love him. He is very humble, very gracious and we will miss him 120 per cent. He always went the extra mile.”
Father Pat Smith, who sang two unaccompanied songs including the Eriskay Love Lilt in Gaelic at his farewell social gathering, said: “I have enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s a very lively, living and caring community. I have very mixed feelings. I am very sad to leave, but I know the area where I am going to and I know a lot of people there.”
In his farewell Sunday masses, he paid tribute to the support he had received from the parish during the ill-health and death of both of his parents.
At the gathering, a piper from the parish accompanied by a drummer and a young group from the church performed Scottish music, two of the Green Hammerton congregation sang unaccompanied songs and the Our Lady’s music group with friends played Scottish dances and led a singsong.
Since his arrival at the helm of one of the biggest parishes in the Diocese of Middlesbrough in 1999, there have been two papal elections and the parish’s school Our Lady’s has merged with English Martyrs of the neighbouring parish to form Our Lady’s Queen of Martyrs’ School.
Father Pat was ordained in Redcar, Teesside, on May 31, 1970, after being deacon at St George’s, Peel Street, York, and celebrated his Ruby Jubilee at Our Lady’s.
Canon John Lumley, currently in charge of adult education for the Middlesbrough Diocese, takes over the parish on Thursday.
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