20 November 2019

FR JACQUES HAMEL

The tragic death of Fr Jacques Hamel during the week reminds us all too well of the broken nature of our world.  Fr Hamel was born in Darnétal on the Nov. 30, 1930, near St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray where he died.  He was ordained to the priesthood on June 30, 1958.  He served in many parishes in his diocese and at St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray since 2000.  One priest in his diocese said “even in his old age, he was still just as invested with the parish life.  We used to joke around and tell him ‘Jacques, you’re doing too much!  It’s high time you retire!’  And he would always laugh it off and say, ‘Have you ever met a retired priest?  I’ll work until my last breath.”  To leave us just as he was celebrating Mass must have been some kind of blessing for him, despite the tragic circumstances.  He was murdered ‘out of hatred of the faith’ one of the conditions set down by the Church for someone to be declared a martyr.  Throughout the world many of our brothers and sisters suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ.  This week let us offer a prayer and some small sacrifice for them.  We also thank God for the freedom we have to worship.  At any time we can pop into the Church, light a candle, go to Mass, bless ourselves, wear a cross.  Not every Christian is so fortunate.