Brentwood cheers for Bishop Casey
A CROWDED congregation of more than 1,000 burst into spontaneous applause for Bishop Patrick Casey at a special farewell Mass at Brentwood Cathedral lest week.
Bishop Casey retired from his bishopric in June and took on the parish of Our Most Holy Redeemer in Chelsea, the vacancy left by the unexpected death of Canon Alfonso Zulueta. His successor at Brentwood, Bishop Thomas McMahon presented Bishop Casey with a gift of £12,000 from the people of the diocese.
Bishop Casey said that he was quite overwhelmed by the response from so many priests and people who attended the Mass. At its start he joked: "You must admit that it is better to have this celebration now rather than at my funeral."
The applause came when Bishop McMahon assured Bishop Casey of the diocese's constant prayers and said, "You will always be welcome among us."
Bishop McMahon said: "Of all the qualities for which Bishop Casey will be remembered in Brentwood, his kindness will be first. Anyone who had to face any sort of crisis, trouble of difficulty knew that he would always have the bishop's compassion and assistance. His life-style too was simple and humble."
"A visit from the bishop," he continued, "could be a source of anxiety for a parish priest, but this was never so with Bishop Casey. He had a total lack of pomp."
Bishop McMahon also presented gifts to the two nuns who had looked after Bishop Casey during his ten years at Brentwood, Sister Magdalene and Sister de Sales of the Little Company of Mary. "Any appreciation of Bishop Casey's episcopate must include a note of gratitude to these nuns," he said. The Mass was concelebrated by RX) priests, and as well as representatives from each Brentwood parish, was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, the Irish Ambassador, the Vice Chancellor of Essex University and the Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford.
Bishop Casey said how delighted he was that Bishop McMahon was succeeding him. The diocese had a bishop from the county of Essex for the first time. Bishop McMahon was chaplain to the University of Essex, and parish priest of Stock.
Bishop Casey commented this week that he was very happy in his new work. It was not an unknown experience to him, as he had spent most of his life in parish work.
Bishop Casey's 67th birthday is on Thursday week. Bishop McMahon is 44 and was ordained in 1959.
• On Friday, Bishop Casey, was presented with a cheque by Colonel P. V. A. Reid at the annual Society of Our Lady of I.ourdes13rancardiers dinner held at the KSC Club in London.
The Bishop stressed that he would continue to take part in the annual pilgrimage, which is being led by Cardinal Hume in May. Bishop O'Brien, bishop in Hertfordshire, and Bishop McMahon of Brentwood will