News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
LIVERPOOL CATHEDRAL CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
- A LOOK BACK AT OUR COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE
In the days after Bishop Vincent’s death I received many messages of condolence and sympathy. One letter and mass card came from a retired bishop who described Bishop Vincent as gracious.
He said that he had thought carefully about the right word and he arrived at graciousness to sum up his ministry. I couldn’t agree more. Bishop Vincent was kind, gentle and always made time to listen to people. These are not my words, but the sentiments expressed in the messages I have received. To be gracious is to be full of grace, like Tuesday’s child in the nursery rhyme, but for Christians it has a special meaning.
St Thomas Aquinas teaches us that there are two kinds of grace: created grace and uncreated grace. The first are the gifts which we receive spiritually or actually, like a firm faith in God, a helping hand or an answer to a prayer. Uncreated grace, often called sanctifying grace, is nothing less than God sharing his life with us. That is pretty amazing and hard to believe but nonetheless true. Bishop Vin, despite his human failings had a large measure of both kinds of grace. There are many good things that he will be remembered for in his priestly and episcopal ministry, but I hope that he will be remembered not for what he has done but as a person graced by God. I feel privileged to have known this gracious man, and I will miss him. May he rest in peace.
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool