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It was a sunny yet chilly autumn morning in Oldham where I celebrated Remembrance Sunday. This time I was at Divine Mercy Parish which comprises Christ the King Church and St Herbert’s. I had hoped to talk about the missions and solicit support as usual. However the mood was more tilted towards remembrance so I did all I could to make it meaningful. Lucy and Emily, both daughters of Vicky were the most pleasant altar servers you could celebrate mass with.

I have had my struggles with the idea of War. However, this year I met a real Normandy Vet and had a good chat with him. I have also seen many people who really connect with the emotions around loss and the search of peace albeit violent and bloody. I have reflected on the teenagers who signed up to go and fight and fall for country. These are real people and real emotions. I do pray for peace in our world on this Remembrance day, I have tried to connect with the people’s real emotions, I have worn a poppy and sung the national anthem for the first time. May our war dead rest in peace and may peace reign in our world.

I thank the people of Oldham for giving me a chance to respect and honour our war heroes and I thank them for their generosity to St Patrick’s Society. Might I add that I turned 45 today as well.


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