Canon Meney at the opening of the Shrine
There were tears from parishioners back at my home parish, where I made my first Holy Communion some few year ago now(!) At the Shrine Church of Ss Peter and Paul and Philomena in New Brighton this Sunday the announcement was made public that Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, is moving very shortly. It was just last November that he arrived at the once abandoned church and just six months ago that Bishop Mark Davies formally opened the shrine. Bishop Mark Davies, in a typically pastoral act, was there this Sunday to accompany parishioners in this change for them. There is no sudden scandal or difficulty, however. It seems that the Institute needs Canon Meney's obvious talents and abilities elsewhere for a particular apostolate just at the moment and another Institute priest will replace him. It must be a difficult move for Canon Meney, having invested so much energy into the huge task of founding a new shrine church of Ss Peter and Paul. Indeed Bishop Mark Davis recognised the incredible amount of work the Canon has done and what an achievement it has been to have transformed the empty church into a once more living community.
The prayers and support of the parishioners and many others, including many priests from round about who have become friends of the Shrine, go with Canon Meney to his new apostolate and make ready to welcome another Institute priest who will have big shoes to fill but whom, I feel sure, will be welcomed and supported in the same way.