ARCHBISHOP Bernard Longley of Birmingham offered Mass on Saturday April 17 for those who died in the recent air crash in Russia, writes Józef Łopuszyński.
The archbishop was joined for the concelebration by Bishop Pargeter, Fr Dawid from Wolverhampton, and Birmingham Polish priest Fr Marcin Kordyl. Also present was Canon Pat Browne.
In his homily the archbishop told the congregation: “I welcome those members of our own Polish community who have come to join us in the celebration [of Mass] tonight.
“I’m offering this Mass for the repose of the souls of the President of Poland, and of all his companions who died so tragically and unexpectedly in last week’s air crash. We remember all their relatives and friends in our prayers.
We also remember all the Polish people, especially those in our Catholic community in this diocese and in this city, for we are united with them in their grief as well as in their faith.
“The Polish nation has an opportunity in the midst of this unexpected and enormous loss to be a sign of hope to others, and to bring the light of faith to shine in the midst of such darkness and confusion. And I thank the members of the Polish communities here in Birmingham and across the diocese for their unity with all of us in faith in the Risen Christ, and for their dignity – powerful witness in these difficult days.
“Like Simon Peter, they – and we – have heard the searching question of Our Lord: ‘Do you love me?’ And we try to respond in the only way that we can, even in the face of great difficulties: ‘Yes, Lord. You know I love you’.” The Mass was the 4.30pm Vigil Mass for the following Sunday at St Chad’s Cathedral.