Tuesday 4 September 2012

Tears at Ss Peter and Paul's

 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.


GOR said...

It seems that Canon Meney is considered a ‘builder priest’ within the Institute. He was brought to Milwaukee for the revitalization of St. Stanislaus which had been given over to the Institute by then Archbishop Dolan. It seemed like he was here only a short time before being transferred to New Brighton. Perhaps he is now headed to Limerick for the revitalization of the former Jesuit Sacred Heart Church which was recently acquired by the Institute?

Years ago in a neighboring parish we had a very pastoral PP – Fr. Bob. He spent the standard six-year term in the parish and was reappointed for another six years. Nearing the end of his second term he noted that as the parish was expanding it would soon need a larger church to accommodate the growing congregation. While he initiated the fund-raising effort to finance the expansion, he noted - with some obvious relief - that he would not be there for the completion. “I am not a builder priest”, he said.

I was struck by what he said and the different talents expected in a parish priest. Some are known for being great fund-raisers, builders of schools and churches and the physical revitalization of parishes. Others are noted for their pastoral talents, as was Fr. Bob. While both kinds of talent are often expected in diocesan priests, some excel at one more than the other.

It can't be easy to build up a parish and then move on to repeat the process elsewhere. So God speed to Canon Meney!

Anonymous said...

According to the weekly newsletter of Saints Peter and Paul, Canon Meney is going back to the US, not to Ireland. The newsletter gives a statement by the IUnstitute's Vicar General, stating that an Institute priest in the US is serioualy il and, as Canon Meney has experience of working in the US, he is being sent back over there to help out.

Anonymous said...

What cathedral chapter does he belong to?

Anonymous said...

Apparently their title is nothing to do with Cathedral Chapers, it's something related to their status as an Institute of Pontifical Right which allows all the priests to use the title "Canon".

Anonymous said...

Canon Meney is an excellent priest and will be sadly missed by many priests from shrewsbury, Liverpool and Salford Dioceses. God reward him for the work he has done in New Brighton and our love and prayers go with him!!

Ad multos annos vivat!

A brother priest