Knights of St Columba: July 2019

By David Keane

We celebrate the feast day of our patron, Saint Columba, on 9 June and this year, to mark our centenary, a national pilgrimage was arranged to the Scottish island of Iona for a special celebration of Mass. It was there that Columba arrived from Ireland in 563, and there that he died on 9 June 597 having spent most of his life bringing Christianity to Scotland and further afield.

Iona Abbey* provided the setting and those in attendance included the supreme knight of the order, Bertie Grogan, and deputy supreme knight, Harry Welsh, together with visitors from Liverpool province such as our provincial grand knight, Ray Pealing, and one of his predecessors, Pat Foley.

The Mass to celebrate the feast day locally took place at St Columba’s Parish Church, Huyton, where we always receive a warm welcome from Father Chris McCoy and his parishioners and we thank him once again for his support. St Columba’s Parish Church in Port Erin, meanwhile, was the venue for the Mass of celebration on the Isle of Man.
• It is with much sadness that we report the death of Brother Pat McGann, a former provincial grand knight of Liverpool, and a profound and abiding influence on the order during the long years of his membership that began nearly four decades ago.

His Requiem Mass was held at St Francis Parish Church, Garston, on 29 May and those present included Bertie Grogan and Harry Welsh – supreme knight and deputy supreme knight respectively – and Frank Redmond, a past supreme knight of the order, along with many parishioners, friends and neighbours, all gathered to underline the high esteem in which Pat was held. Pat’s family wish to convey their appreciation and thanks for the support and prayers received at this sad time.
• On 14 July we will be attending the Annual Mass at Harkirk Chapel on the Ince Blundell Estate. This will be followed by a social evening at St William of York Parish Centre, which will form part of the provincial centenary celebrations.

*Photo of Iona Abbey reproduced here by kind permission of Jenny Ross, Iona Photography and Iona Community.

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