Canon Richard Hind 1938 – 2015

Canon Hind (or Father Hind, as Ryde parishioners would remember him) was born on 30th July, 1938, at Bushey in Hertfordshire. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood for the Society of the Divine Saviour (Salvatorian Fathers) on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, 1963 at St. Joseph’s, Wealdstone, Middlesex. In 1967 he incardinated into the Portsmouth Diocese and served as a curate at various times at Wokingham, Southsea and Sacred Heart, Bournemouth. In 1974 he went to Eastleigh as Priest-in-Charge; then to St. Dominic’s, Farnborough as Parish Priest. From 1979 to 1989 he was Parish Priest at St. Mary’s, Ryde, with Holy Cross, Seaview, and St. Michael’s, Bembridge.

Many parishioners have fond memories of Fr. Hind. He was a keen supporter of St. Mary’s School, which had just transferred to the new site in Appley Rise, just before he came to the parish. He also encouraged altar serving. It was not uncommon to see up to 14 or 15 boys smartly attired in cassocks and cottas every Sunday in the sanctuary. Many people remember that he was particularly kind and understanding to anyone who had personal problems or who were suffering in any way.

During his time in Ryde he arranged two anniversary celebrations. Firstly, in 1985 for the golden jubilee of (the first) St. Michael’s Church in Bembridge, which opened in 1935; and the following year for the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Robert Anderton and Blessed William Marsden (Island martyrs), who gave their lives so heroically for the Faith in 1586.

When he left Ryde for Ringwood in 1989, he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese and later a Trustee of the Diocese and member of the Cathedral Chapter. With this work he was mainly based at the cathedral, where he was able to assist with the liturgy. For many years he was a judge on the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal.

Canon Hind was a real character. He called a spade a spade. He was a truly unique individual much loved by his fellow priests. In retirement he lived at Fareham. He died on 19th November (Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary) at St. John’s Convent, Kiln Green.

His Funeral Mass was held at St. John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, on 11th December. The principal concelebrant was Bishop Egan and he was joined by over forty priests of the Diocese. Several parishioners from Ryde were in attendance.

Requiescat in Pace

Fr. David Buckley R.I.P.

1947 - 2012
Obituary by the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society

Parishioners will be sorry to hear of the death of Fr. David Buckley, (Parish Priest of Ryde 1995 - 2002), Father died on the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux following a recent heart attack. Requiescat in pace.

Fr. Buckley was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth on 7th June 1975; together with Fr. Declan Lang, a native of the Isle of Wight and now Bishop of Clifton and Patron of the Island Catholic History Society. Members and supporters of that society have much for which to be thankful to Fr. Buckley, as it was he, who, as Dean of the Island, inaugurated the CHS, almost exactly 13 years ago.

Father’s first ministry was a a curate at St. James’, Reading, followed by St. Mary’s, Alton, and Sacred Heart, Bournemouth. After a short spell as Parish Priest of Twyford, he served for eleven years as Parish Priest of the Immaculate Conception Church, Sandhurst, before being appointed to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Ryde in September 1995, replacing Fr. John Dunne, who left Ryde for Southbourne. Like Fr. Dunne, he declared himself “over the moon” on coming to Ryde. “I had believed that Ryde”, he said, “with its great history and tradition, would have been reserved for someone more important than I am in the Diocese. I am very pleased to be here and I look forward to my ministry among you”.

One of his first major tasks was to oversee arrangements for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the opening of St. Mary’s. Walking along Dover Street one day he saw the clock on Holy Trinity church tower and decided that this would be a most appropriate addition to St. Mary’s Church tower and a contribution to the wider community of Ryde. The blue-faced clock was blessed on Trinity Sunday, 1996; exactly 150 years after the first Mass in St. Mary’s. Later that year he co-ordinated the Mass and celebrations for the golden jubilee of the Presentation Sisters in Ryde. He always appreciated the presence of the convent next to the church, and the work and the support that he received from the Sisters, ministering to the elderly and housebound and looking after the church and the sacristy.

Fr. Buckley was a keen bell ringer and he ensured that the Angelus was rung as often as possible and on Friday and Saturday mornings, parishioners and Ryde shoppers would hear Marian hymns rung on the eight bell clarion from the church tower. Father took his turn on the bells. This included ringing in the new millennium at midnight on 31st December, 1999. This was followed by the singing of the “Te Deum” in the church.

One of his first tasks was to enlarge the parish council with representatives of all parish groups and societies. “We are all here to support each other and to work together” he remarked.

Father was always at his best working with young people:- encouraging altar servers, school children, whilst regularly visiting St. Mary’s School, and promoting the Youth Club. “Let us not forget”, he said, “that our young people are the future of the Church”.

He was appointed Dean of the Island in 1999 in succession to Fr. Andrew Speakman of Sandown, and he strove to promote Catholic education on the Island and to co-ordinate significant celebrations and anniversaries for the Island parishes.

Much of what a priest does is spiritual and often unheard and unseen. Father certainly encouraged the development of spirituality through bible discussions and small group meetings. He had a great devotion to Our Blessed Lady, and, like Fr. Dunne, he promoted the May and October Devotions; a key feature of which, was an account and a meditation on a Marian shrine, or biblical reference to Our Lady.

He also had great compassion for and understanding of when people had various problems, and especially for those with mental illness. He always gave them time and one left him feeling that here was a caring pastor.

Fr. Buckley was always to the forefront in social and fund raising activities. Many will remember him rolling his sleeves up and running a stall at the Christmas and Summer Fayres in the church garden. He was a regular visitor to the church crypt, with a cheery smile and warm welcome to all. Hence, the crypt was a focal point for parishioners to meet over tea and coffee. On Fridays after Mass he would make a large tureen of soup and the crypt would be full with parishioners and the needy of Ryde, being served by their parish priest.

He had a sympathetic attitude towards the Latin Mass Society at a time when Latin Masses were less welcome and appreciated as today. There was always a warm welcome for visiting priests who came (normally from London) to offer the Mass.

To celebrate the new millennium in 200, he arranged for a Parish Mission to be preached by two of the Redemptorist Fathers; one of them was his great friend, Fr. Joseph Capitanio. He also installed the glass doors at the west end of the church, which gave a view of the sanctuary to passers-by and raised awareness of the interior of the church to the wider community of Ryde.

Fr. Buckley had a keen interest in Catholic history, and he was especially keen to raise the profile of the two Isle of Wight martyrs, so cruelly martyred at Cowes in 1586. He commissioned the first of the scrolls recalling their life and martyrdom. These now adorn the walls of the Catholic (and a few Anglican) churches on the Island. He started the Summer guided tours of the St. Mary’s, initially conducting these himself, and this led to the inauguration of the Island Catholic History Society. At first he wanted a “Friends of St. Mary’s Church”, but this took on a wider role and became the Island CHS, with his contemporary, Bishop Declan Lang, as the Patron of the society.

Father’s time in Ryde finished in 2002, but he left behind his beloved dog, Moses, who is buried in the church garden. He then spent a year on Theological Studies at the University of Wales before going to Arundel Cathedral as Assistant Administrator. It was at Arundel in 2004 that many of us last met Father. A coach outing of parishioners organised by the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society had the distinct and unique privilege of having Mass, offered by Father, in the private chapel of the Duke of Norfolk in Arundel Castle. Afterwards, Father gave us a tour of the cathedral (which has the same architect – Joseph Hansom - as St. Mary’s). The day concluded with Benediction

In 2006 he was appointed Parish Priest of Our Lady Immaculate, Uckfield with St. John’s, Heron’s Ghyll in Sussex. On several occasions Ryde parishioners arrived to visit him; once again receiving a warm welcome. On one such visit, Fr. Glaysher acquired from him, a small wooden altar from the convent adjacent to the church, which is now a side altar at St. Michael’s, Bembridge, and is used for weekday Mass.

Father’s last appointment (in 2010) was as Parish Priest of Holy Angels, Ash and Holy Family, Heath End, near Farnham in Surrey.

After suffering a heart attack, he went into a coma, and died on the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux (1st October), having been fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church. Fr. Glaysher and Sister Rosario were pleased to have been able to visit him the day before he died.

The Sunday 9-00am (Ordinariate) Mass at St. Mary's (October 5th) was offered for the eternal repose of his soul. There will be other Masses for him in due course and Fr. Glaysher intends to have a Solemn Requiem for him at St. Mary's in the near future.

Fr. Buckley's Funeral Mass was at St. Joan of Arc Church, Farnham on Thursday 16th October, (two days from his 67th birthday). The church was packed with friends and parishioners from his present and his former parishes. Nine people went with Fr. Glaysher from Ryde. Forty two priests from both the Diocese of Portsmouth and Arundel and Brighton concelebrated the Requiem Mass. In the Homily, Fr. Niven Richardson, (Parish Priest of St. Joan’s), spoke about Father’s ministry, and, in particular his affiliation and care for young people. This was exemplified by a “Book of Thoughts” on Fr. Buckley, which was produced by the children of his parish. The final commendation around the coffin was led by Fr. Glaysher, representing Bishop Egan of Portsmouth.

Fr. Buckley lived for and loved his priesthood. Psalm 109 complements his life most succinctly – “Tu es sacredos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech". (Thou art a priest forever, according to the Order of Melchisedech)

Elizabeth Rivlin 1919 - 2013

This is a sad day for us all Ryde and Seaview as we have lost one of our oldest parishioners, a staunch, fully committed Catholic, and a very dear friend. However, it is also a joyous day in which we give thanks to God for Elizabeth's life; her kindness, friendship and her commitment and devotion to the Church. She died peacefully in her sleep early in the morning on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus; having (as she wished and prayed), received the Last Rites of Holy Mother Church through the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, (incorporating the Apostolic Pardon) from Fr. Glaysher on Boxing Day.

Elizabeth was born in Born in Harrow on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (15th September) 1919 and educated first at the Convent in Highgate and then at St. Mary's Convent Ascot where she was a boarder and formed lifelong friendships with the nuns. She trained as a pharmacist and worked in various London hospitals before starting a family.

In 1960 he moved with her husband, Stanley, and her children to Seaview; where they had holidayed since 1951.

For almost 50 years she was to play an active part in the life of the Parish of St. Mary's, Ryde; and in particular, in the community of Holy Cross, Seaview. She had a great love of both Holy Cross and St. Mary's Church; its history and tradition. She described herself as “the chief cook and bottle washer” at Holy Cross. This meant that, basically, she caretaker, cleaner, sacristan and general supervisor of everything that happened at the little church that she loved so passionately. She was always present to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

It is a feature of the Catholic Church that in every parish there are always certain people who are fully committed to the life of the Church; its stewardship and care in the community; and the maintenance of the building. In Seaview, Elizabeth was such a person.

She was a founder member of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society, and she was prominent is supplying much of the information for the “History of Holy Cross” booklet which was produced for the golden jubilee of the church in 2007. She gave many hours, with others, in research and in ensuring the accuracy of the booklet. She provided many vivid accounts of village and parish life in Seaview in the 1960s. Its closure in 2011 would obviously have saddened her. There was never any chance that things would be forgotten or overlooked at Holy Cross. The Advent Carol Service became a regular feature, as did the Bring and Buy sales and the Holy Cross “Open Day”, which co-incided with the annual Seaview Village Fayre every May. While some were debating whether to have these events, Elizabeth had already organized them.

Past priests of St. Mary's have all appreciated the support and reliability of Elizabeth. She was a Reader, Eucharistic Minister, and, at different times, a member of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Island Pastoral Council. For many years she was a member of the Latin Mass Society. Visiting priests from the society would often visit Elizabeth to administer the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion. It was through her intervention that Latin Masses in the 1980s and 1990s were offered at Holy Cross, rather than St. Mary's.

It saddened her in recent times that she was not able to attend Mass due to age and infirmity, but the church kept in touch with her, through visiting priests and ministers who brought her Holy Communion.

Her Funeral Mass was offered at St. Peter's C.E. Church, Seaview on 18th January, 2013 by Fr. John Catlin. She is survived by her four children, Anne, Christopher, Richard and Nicholas and her eight grandchildren : Robert, William, Thomas, Sophie, Benjamin, Jack, Julian and Max.

A Sung Latin (E.F.) Mass will be offered for the repose of her soul on Sunday, 3rd February at St. Mary's, Ryde at 6-00pm.

Please remember Elizabeth in your prayers.

Grace Eleanor Burke, R.I.P.

At the end of 2012 St. Mary's lost one of their oldest parishioners. Grace Burke was a staunch, fully committed Catholic, and a very dear friend. We give thanks to God for Grace's life; her humility, kindness, friendship and her devotion to Holy Mother Church. She died peacefully in her sleep on the 13th December, 2012 [Feast of St. Lucy]; having [as she wished and prayed] received the Last Rites of Holy Mother Church through the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, from Father Glaysher, whilst in hospital.

Her humility was such that she even had some advice for the priest who was to offer her funeral Mass. She would say: 'I hope he won't think it necessary to talk about me. Instead, I hope that he will preach a good sermon about Our Lord …………. like the sermons that we used to get years ago!'

Born in Cork in 1922, it is not generally well known that Grace was a musician. Not only did she play the piano but she was an accomplished singer; both a chorister and a soloist, and she won several awards for her singing.

Grace was a parishioner of St. Mary's for sixty-four years; and during this time she had been a flower arranger, church cleaner, a member of the rosary group and the Children of Mary. She had a great love of St. Mary's, its history and tradition.

Grace had a great devotion to Holy Eucharist, and she was diligent, even to the end, in preparing herself correctly to receive Our Lord, by availing herself of the Sacrament of Penance.

Grace had a long association with St. Mary's Church. When she first came to the Island, she lived with her twin sister, Moira, in St. Mary's Presbytery. Moira was the parish housekeeper. Grace would often describe [by today's standards], the rather basic living conditions in the Presbytery for the two priests, Father Thomas Murphy and later, Father McDermot-Roe. For recreation she would often play tennis with her sister and some of the younger sisters of the Presentation Order, in, what is now, the old convent car park.

She was a founder member of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society, and provided many vivid accounts of parish life in Ryde in the 1950s and 1960s. She was the only surviving parishioner who was present at the opening and first Mass of the parish's two daughter churches at Seaview [1957] and at Bembridge [1965]. She was also present at the Golden Jubilee Mass of Holy Cross, Seaview, in 2007. She delighted, on that occasion, in being able to inform those present, including Bishop Hollis, of the nature of the ceremonies for the opening Mass fifty years earlier.

For twenty-one years Grace had been a member of the Latin Mass Society; and, as she wished, Mass in that form of the Roman Rite was offered for her soul by Father Leworthy yesterday [Feast of St. John, the Evangelist] after her coffin was received into St. Mary's Church.

It is no secret that Grace did not always find Post-Vatican II Catholicism as readily acceptable and spiritually uplifting as some. Yet she took great comfort and consolation in the unchanging spiritual gifts of the Church, namely, the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist; and devotion to Our Blessed Lady. This devotion to Our Lady was evident to all who met Grace, as she frequently had her rosary beads around her fingers. She was a great admirer of the pioneering rosary priest of the 1950s, Father Patrick Peyton, who was a great inspiration to her.

It saddened her in recent times that she was not able to attend Mass regularly due to infirmity, although she was pleased to be able to attend the Diamond Jubilee Mass for Canon McDermot-Roe in St. Mary's last year. Parishioners will remember that the parish was delighted when Grace received a Papal Blessing from Father Glaysher during Sunday Mass on the occasion of her 90th birthday on the 15th January this year - which turned out to be her last time in St. Mary's.

She always loved the Island, especially Ryde, where her warmth and kindness enabled her to make friends easily. In 1957 Grace moved to her house in Arthur Street, Ryde, where she lived for over fifty years, while she worked as a hairdresser, and latterly, in Ryde Hospital. She was joined in 1985 by her sister, Moira, who died in 2005.

Grace was a very determined character. This helped her in recent years with the onset of ill health. Sadly, she never fully recovered from the shock of the fire in her kitchen earlier in the year; and it was only for a month or two that she was able to return to her house in Arthur Street before being admitted to St. Mary's Hospital and, subsequently, Highfield Nursing Home. In the last two months she had been diagnosed as having cancer of the breast. She faced this with courage and fortitude.

In recent times Grace has always appreciated visits from neighbours, friends and parishioners; visiting priests from the Latin Mass Society; members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, in particular, Joe, Bob, May, Frank, John and Sam.

Grace leaves a sister, Olive, and a nephew, Michael, in America. Sadly, they are unable to attend this funeral Mass, but send their best wishes and grateful thanks to those who have cared for and befriended Grace. She was buried with her sister, Moira, in Binstead cemetery. Please remember Grace in your prayers.

A Tribute to Peter Foley (1926-2011)

from family and friends in St. Mary's, Ryde

This tribute to Peter has been difficult to write as he could be described by a list of superlatives that would become difficult both to read and to follow, and would still not do him justice as he really was the best of men.

He was born on 8th July, 1926; the middle child of five and he grew up in a busy household, from which his mother ran a school and he was surrounded by an environment of learning in which he proved very apt pupil, surprising even his mother when at the age of three, he offered to read her the Telegraph newspaper, which he did.

He was very gifted both intellectually and practically answering all queries, always interested in things he had learnt and willing to help all the family with anything they wanted to do.

Always active, at the age of 25 he cycled to Rome and back on his own for the Holy Year in 1950, sleeping under hedges on the way and was pleased to be able to make a return trip by plane for the following one in 2000. Soon afterwards he met Beth and they were married on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1953.

He attained his glider's pilot licence, was an accomplished sailor who enjoyed going out on the water in any sized vessel, from an ocean going yacht to a pedallo. He played golf and crazy golf with equal enthusiasm and, at his birthday celebration this summer, had great fun playing croquet with us all on our very lumpy lawn.

As a father of five and a grandfather of nine children, he spent long hours on the beach making sandcastles and helping to collect shells and clear seaweed. He read lots of stories, played games and did puzzles with patience and good humour.

While at home the family always knew where to find him. He would be in the garage, stripping down, and rebuilding gearboxes and engines for a succession of family Fords; making and mending toys and turning (with a pole lathe which he had constructed with bits of wood and string), pieces of wood for furniture, lamp bases and bowls.

He was very musical. He played the tenor recorder and the piano, his favourite piece being 'Moonlight Sonata'. He loved skiffle and traditional jazz, and his fingers and toes would start tapping when he heard anything with the right rhythm started up. He was a very good ballroom dancer and used to carefully steer his partner round the dance floor with no regard to his toes. On long car journeys he would keep everyone entertained with a large repertoire of songs, from 'Messing about on the River' to all fourteen verses of 'The Legend of Ivan Skavinsky Skavar'.

He was endlessly patient and loving, always cheerful, with a great but gentle sense of humour. He never lost his temper or used intemperate language. He was deeply religious and set a great example being always reverent and respectful and truly Christian in his dealings with others. He was a devoted husband and enjoyed over 55 years of married life.

Both Peter and Beth had a long association with St. Mary's. They loved the church, its history and tradition and were founder members of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society. For over twenty years they welcomed people into their home every Tuesday afternoon for the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and other devotions. They both did all they could to increase devotion to Our Lady. This included sponsorship of 'Our Lady's Light' with the large candle burning at the statue of Mary at the church door, which parishioners sponsor in memory of loved ones or for a particular intention. In addition, Peter was a reader and Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at St. Mary's and a member of the Faith Study Group and the Latin Mass Society. A Requiem Mass in that Form of the Roman Rite was offered for Peter's soul yesterday evening.

Like Beth, Peter had an affiliation with St. Cecilia's Abbey. One of the nuns, Sister Bede, was a bridesmaid at their wedding in 1953. Peter had a great devotion to Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Both he and Beth usually attended daily Mass and they would frequently be observed in prayer and meditation at Exposition, especially at the First Friday Holy Hour.

Peter was always ready to be of service to others and never refused to help. He undertook a variety of maintenance work both in the church and the convent, including constructing the tabernacle plinth at Holy Cross Church, Seaview.

Peter was quiet and very humble and as a father he was the best that a family could wish for. He was a gentle man and a gentleman. Having passed from life on this earth, we are confident that he is now reunited with Mum and fully alive in God's presence.

Requiescat in pace

A Tribute to Mary Pickford

Mary’s death is a sad day for us all as we have lost a dear friend. However, it is also a joyous day in which we give thanks to God for Mary’s life, her kindness, her friendship and her devotion to her family and to the Church, which was undoubtedly, a significant part of her life. She was a familiar figure here in St. Mary’s. No other parishioner belonged to so many parish groups or societies:

- The Mother Teresa Group
- Our Lady, Star of the Sea
- The Latin Mass Society
- The Confraternity of the Rosary
- The Catholic History Society
- The Parish Rosary Group
- The Catholic Women’s League
- The Faith Study Group

Mary had a close association with St. Cecilia’s Abbey. (Her four grandsons were altar servers at the abbey). She became an Oblate of St. Cecilia’s on the Feast of St. Lawrence (10th August) 1991, taking St. Frances of Rome as her patron.

Mary was always one of the first to apply for any parish outing or pilgrimage. She had been to all the important Catholic shrines throughout Europe. Her last pilgrimage was only seven months ago when she went with the Catholic History Society to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead.

It is fitting that Mary’s Funeral Mass took place on the First Friday of the month, and that it follows on from the First Friday Holy Hour, at which Mary was always present. She had a great devotion to Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and she would frequently be seen in prayer and meditation at Exposition, especially on First Fridays. There were two significant aspects of Mary’s faith which were evident to all who knew her. Firstly, her love of the Mass and the Holy Sacraments; and secondly, her great devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and in particular, to the Holy Rosary. These devotions represented a strong yearning of Mary’s devout heart and an inspiration for her final journey.

It was a great consolation both to her and her family, that she passed from this life on the Feast of St. Agnes, in her home with Anne and Peter, having been fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church.

Her coffin was received into St. Mary’s Church on the Feast of St. Blaise (3rd February). This was followed by a Latin (Extraordinary Form) Mass offered by Fr. Glaysher. Her Funeral Mass, offered by Fr. Glaysher and Fr. Nicholas OSB from Quarr Abbey was on Friday 4th February (First Friday). In his sermon, Fr. Glaysher highlighted Mary’s devotion to Holy Mother Church which was an example to us all. “We will all have to face this day. Mary was certainly ready to meet her Maker”. A collection was made afterwards for CAFOD, one of Mary’s favourite charities, which amounted to £125-00.

One less at home, a dear face
Missed from its accustomed place,
But cleansed and saved and protected in grace;
One more in Heaven.

Requiem aeternam dona ea Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ea. Ave Maria gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus.

Ruby Stone. R.I.P.

Many parishioners will be aware of the death of Ruby Stone. She died at St. Mary’s Hospital on 16th December after a short illness. Ruby was a pillar of the parish and the wider community and she was our oldest parishioner. She died two weeks short of her 95th birthday.

Ruby became a Catholic in 1934 when she became engaged to her husband Leslie. As he was a Catholic, she was advised to go and see the local parish priest, Monsignor Stephen Mongan; which she did and she duly became a Catholic. She is probably the only person who remembers this distinquished parish priest, who was at St. Mary’s for over thirty years.

Ruby will be remembered by many who attended St. Mary’s Primary School, where for many years, she was a dinner lady and a voluntary helper.

She was a familiar figure around Ryde. Until very recently, she was still doing her own shopping, walking to church and also active in the parish. She regularly took part in the Offertory Procession at Masses and occasionally welcomed people at the church door, whilst giving out hymn books. She also worked in the church crypt, making teas and coffees for visitors and parishioners alike.

Ruby was one of the rare breed of human beings who saw good in everyone. She was always respectful, never critical, and treated everyone the same. She never spoke ill of anyone. Always conscious of the needs of others, she would quietly visit those who she knew that were sick or housebound (without wanting credit or recognition.)

Ruby was a founder member of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society. “I don’t want to join anything unless I can do something useful” she remarked. So when the society was inaugurated in 2001 she became the newsletter distributor for the first two years, sending out publicity material and leaflets to over 100 members.

In 2005 the parish was delighted to share in Ruby’s 90th birthday celebrations. After Mass there was a reception in the church hall and Fr. John Catlin presented Ruby with a papal blessing from His Holiness Pope Benedict. (See "Photo Gallery" for photographs.)

At the present time her funeral arrangements are not known but they will be publicised on the church noticeboard as soon as possible.

Please keep Ruby in your thoughts and prayers at this time. Requiescat in pace.

Douglas Burden 1917 - 2010-10-19

Doug was one of our oldest parishioners. Born in Bembridge, he delivered milk and cream around the village for many years. During WW2 he was stationed at the Needles Battery with Ack Ack guns. This partly caused his deafness. After the army he worked in the village as a gardener. In 1947 he met his wife Anne. He was head gardener and she was the housekeeper at Inver House. They had a daughter, Patricia, who died in 2007, and a son, Shaun. Doug worked in several places as a garedener before taking his last job as a bank guard at National Westminster Bank.

Doug was a lifetime member of the Bembridge Horticultural Society. He also served on the Bembridge Parish Council for a number of years. In 1967 Doug and Anne formed the Friendship Circle in the village. This group helped the elderly, lonely and vulnerable people in the locality.

Doug was a devout Catholic and he was one of the few remaining members of St. Michael’s who worshipped at the old church in Kings Road. When the present St. Michael’s was built in Walls Road, Doug built the church wall and for many years looked after the church garden. He was a stalwart of the church, acting as a steward, fund raiser and undertaking any job that was required. He is fondly remembered by the St. Michael’s community. Doug was a proud man, never judgemental, a true gentleman and a family man.

Doug’s funeral took place at St. Michael’s on the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila. Requiescat in pace.

Fr. John Dunne. R.I.P.

The death has occurred of Fr. John Dunne, parish priest of Ryde, 1989-1995. Father died at Kiln Green Convent, near Reading, where he had been staying since his retirement last year as parish priest of Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church, Southbourne.

Fr. Dunne came to St. Mary’s, Ryde in April 1989 with an instruction “to restore the church” after it had endured several poorly executed re-ordering projects in the wake of Vatican II. Within five years he had restored the interior of the church to its original Victorian beauty (in so far as the liturgical changes of Vatican II would permit). The Lady Chapel had been re-painted and the Countess of Clare’s Chapel was restored as a place of prayer and devotion.

The parish hall consisted of several classrooms and was unsuitable as a parish centre. Fr. Dunne had the interior walls demolished to make one large hall. All this work was not in place of the spiritual development of the parish. He made it clear that parishioners’ spiritual nourishment was his first priority, and to this end, he arranged a Mission soon after his arrival. It was only a few days ago that the parish received a letter from Fr. Dunne accepting an invitation to the Requiem Mass to mark the centenary of the death of Bishop Cahill (a former parish priest of Ryde). Fr. Dunne loved his priesthood. He was a kind, humble and gentle man. He always had time for people. No one ever spoke unkindly about him. He had great respect from his parishioners and was held in high esteem by everyone.

He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 7th June 1969 and he came to Ryde from Hedge End Parish in 1989. After six and a half years here this parish, he spent fourteen years in Southbourne. He was also the Chaplain and Spiritual Director of the Diocesan Catholic Women’s League; a post that was very dear to his heart. It was only last year that St. Mary’s welcomed him back, at the invitation of Fr. Glaysher, for a Mass to celebrate his 40th anniversary as a priest.

A Requiem Mass was offered in St. Mary’s on 1st September 2010 by Fr. Glaysher and Fr. Nicholas OSB from Quarr Abbey. Fr. Glaysher reminded the congregation of the important work of restoration which Fr. Dunne undertook whilst parish priest. “Whilst I have tweaked here and there with a few things over the past two years, it was Fr. Dunne who laid the foundation of what we have here in St. Mary’s today, and for that we must all be grateful” In his sermon Fr. Nicholas spoke of his admiration for Fr. Dunne; “he restored and beautified this church not as a museum or some sort of memorial, but so that it was a fitting place in which to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Fr. Dunne was first and foremost, a priest, and it was the care of souls that was his priority”.

The IoW County Press (20th August) carried an article on Fr. Dunne outlining his achievements as a priest here in Ryde. May his soul rest in peace. Requiescat in pace.

Eileen Fry (1915 – 2010)

The death has occurred of Eileen Ethel Vera Fry, a former organist of St. Mary’s Church. Eileen died peacefully in her sleep on the Feast of St. Henry, 13th July, at the Elms Nursing Home, Bembridge.

Eileen came to Ryde with her great friend and companion, Ann Minns, in 1982 and they bought a bungalow in Binstead. They loved the Island with its beautiful scenery and tranquil pace of life. In Ryde they found a beautiful church in which to worship Almighty God and they they were soon playing an active part in parish life. Eileen was a member of the Catholic Women’s League, a founder member of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society and for about ten years she was organist of St. Mary’s. She always described herself as the “reluctant organist”, as she came late into organ playing. Having played the piano for many years, she only took organ lessons in the 1970s and her first position was as organist of St. Joseph’s, Guildford (1978-81).

Eileen was a great supporter of both Quarr Abbey and St. Cecilia’s Abbey. Many Summer afternoons were spent walking from Binstead to Quarr Abbey to pray and meditate and to hear the monks singing the Divine Offices. She was great friends with Fr. Matthew OSB, now at Puscarden Abbey in Scotland.

Eileen celebrated her 90th birhday in November 2005 with a Mass at St. Mary’s, followed by e reception in the church hall for family and friends. She was presented with a papal blessing by Fr. John Catlin.

Many parishioners and friends will remember Eileen as a stalwart member of the parish community. She was a member of the Catholic Women’s League, the Mother Teresa Group, the Isle of Wight Organists’ Association, an Oblate of St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Secretary of the Island Latin Mass Society and a founder member of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society.

On Tuesday 20th July her coffin was received into St. Mary’s and this was followed by a Latin Requiem Mass (Extraordinary Form). Her Funeral Mass (Ordinary Form) took place Wed. 21st July at 10-00am at St. Mary’s followed by burial at Binstead Cemetery. Requiescat in pace.

A tribute to Moira Burke

Marie Evelyn (Moira) Burke was born in Cork 83 years ago. After school both she and Grace worked as hairdressers. In 1947 Moira came to England to look after her aunt in Cosham. The first priest that she met was Fr. Joseph Troy who was to become parish priest of St. Mary's, Ryde four years later. At the same time she met Fr. Thomas Murphy who was at Waterlooville and when he came to Ryde as parish priest the following year, he persuaded Moira to come with him as his house keeper. She often spoke vividly of her time here in the presbytery at St. Mary's and the cramped conditions in the attic bedroom. A priest's house keeper was not an easy task in those days. She had to be up early in the morning to light the coal fires and breakfast times were controlled by the fasting laws which existed at the time. The big advantage for Moira was that she was "on site" for daily Mass.

In 1951 when Fr. Murphy moved to the mainland Moira went with him and stayed with him throughout various moves until he died in 1965. Moira then became house keeper for Canon Edward Conway. It was when he was parish priest at Reading in 1975 that she opened the presbytery door one day to welcome a young, newly ordained curate, - a certain Fr. David Buckley! Little did she realise that he would become her parish priest in Ryde twenty years later.

It was in May 1985 that Moira arrived on the Isle of Wight when Canon Conway succeeded Fr. Henry Donnelly as parish priest of Shanklin and Moira took over yet another Diocesan kitchen! This one however was to be her last. Canon Conway died at the end of the year and Moira retired from looking after priests and went to live with her sister Grace in Ryde. In all she had given 37 years to the Diocese as a house keeper. All the priests were deeply appreciative of her loyalty and devotion to duty.

Moira's health has deteriorated over the past few years and sadly she has not been able to be present at Holy Mass very often. However she has appreciated the support of her devoted sister, Grace, the ministers who regularly brought her Holy Communion and the friends and parishioners who visited her in recent times. May Almighty God reward her - a true and faithful servant to His Holy Church.

Both Fr. Dunne and Fr. Buckley (former parish priests) send their condolences. They will be remembering Moira this morning as they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the eternal repose of her soul. Requiem aeternam dona ejus Domine et lux perpetua luceat ejus.

Lydia Jackson, R.I.P.

We were all saddened by the news of the death of Lydia Jackson in June 2009. Lydia bought a property in Ryde five years ago. Conveniently for her, it was almost equal distance from the St. Mary’s Church, St. Cecilia’s Abbey and the ferry across the Solent to Portsmouth. She grew to love the Island as there was ample opportunity for walking and sailing; activities which she enjoyed immensely. On several occasions she took part in the Paris/Chartres walk held annually in May. She remarked on various occasions how she considered life to be a pilgrimage, with heaven as the final destination. In fact there were not many Catholic shrines in she had not visited at some time. She was always keen to promote the story or the history of each place. Several of us went with Lydia on her final pilgrimage, or rather retreat, given by Father John Edwards, S.J., in Llantarnum Abbey, near Newport in Wales, last November.

Lydia made many friends among the traditional Catholics of Ryde and she was a dedicated member of the Island Catholic History Society and the Faith Study Group. This latter group benefited from her vast knowledge of the Sacrifice of the Mass. For almost a year she led a discussion group on the history and the development of the Mass. She gave several talks to the Catholic History Society and she helped to arrange a successful three-day visit to Ryde by the English Catholic History Association, during which she gave another talk on the “Signs and Symbols” in the Christian Church. On several occasions she assisted with guided tours of St. Mary’s; showing how quickly she could learn and recall details of St. Mary’s history.

Lydia was a member of the Latin Mass Society for many years and helped, not only the local branch, but also the Head Office in London, where she gave many hours of clerical assistance. She was also a member of C.I.E.L. and attended several of their conferences abroad. Lydia was most enthusiastic for a Solemn High Mass (Extraordinary Form) to take place in Ryde and promoted this idea regularly. She considered that it would give a sign that the Old Mass is accepted, not as something subversive (as it is still seen by some), but as a normal and respected part of Catholic liturgy. Sadly, she did not quite live to see this event, which did indeed take place on the Feast of St. John the Baptist.

Lydia had a strong affiliation to the Oratory in London where she was the librarian. Her meticulous attitude and attention to detail was evident for all to see, as was mentioned by Father Rupert McHardy in the sermon at her funeral. She also had a close association with the Tyburn nuns, and she often took part in their all-night vigils. She had a deep sense of Catholic history and would often talk of the sacrifices made by the English martyrs who met their death at Tyburn. At a local level she developed a devotion to, and keen interest in, the Isle of Wight martyrs, Blessed Robert Anderton and Blessed William Marsden, who were executed in Cowes in 1586.

Lydia also gave freely of her time to assist the Ryde Social Heritage Society. This involved her studying the lives of many members of the Victorian Catholic community (including one bishop and eight priests) who are buried in Ryde cemetery. Lydia was an efficient secretary of the Ryde Archaeological Society. She had a keen interest in local affairs and was enthusiastic in her support of any group striving to promote the Island’s rich archaeological and cultural history.

Her funeral took place at the Oratory in London on the Feast of Sts. John and Paul, martyrs (old calendar). The celebrant was Father Patrick Doyle (Oratorian). Father Rupert McHardy (Oratorian) was the Deacon and Father Patrick Hayward the Sub-Deacon.

The Isle of Wight Catholic History Society intends to arrange an annual Requiem Mass (Extraordinary Form) in June at St. Mary’s for the eternal repose of Lydia’s soul. Requiem aeterna dona ea, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ea.

A Tribute to Beth Foley

Your charitable prayers are requested for the eternal repose of the soul of Beth Foley, a prominent supporter of the Latin Mass Society, who died on the Feast of the Annunciation 2010. In seems most appropriate that Beth should depart this life on a feast day of Our Blessed Lady, as she had a great devotion to Christ’s mother. She loved St. Mary’s and did all she could to increase devotion to Our Lady. This included sponsorship of “Our Lady’s Light” with the large candle burning at the statue of Mary at the church door. For over twenty years she and her husband Peter, welcomed people into their house every Tuesday afternoon for the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and other devotions. We have all benefited from Peter and Beth’s prayers. Beth was a founder member of the IoW Catholic History Society, a member of the Faith Study Group and a flower arranger at St. Mary’s. She had a close association with St. Cecilia’s Abbey. One of the nuns, Sister Bede, had been a friend since their days at Surrey Art School. In 1953 she was a bridesmaid at Beth and Peter’s wedding on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Beth lived her life for the Faith. She had a great concern for the future of the Church and in particular for Catholic education and the passing on of the One True Faith to future generations. She had a great devotion to Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and she would be frequently observed in prayer and meditation at Exposition especially at the First Friday Holy Hour. She believed that the most efficacious prayer is that in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament which releases the power, blessings and graces of Almighty God. She would have delighted in being present at the recent 40 Hours Exposition; both in quiet meditation and in joining others making a fervent act of love to Jesus exposed on the altar for all to see.

Beth had a long association with St. Mary’s Church and she attended the Convent school next to the church in the 1930s, when it was run by the Sisters of the Cross (now at East Cowes). How appropriate that Beth’s Funeral Mass should be on Maundy Thursday, the day of the commemoration of the institution of the Holy Eucharist; the day of the Last Supper; the day of the first Mass; the Eve of the Passion of the Crucified Saviour. These two singular events, the most significant in the Catholic Church, represented a strong yearning of Beth’s devout heart and an inspiration for her final journey.

Requiem aeternam dona ea Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ea.

Ave Maria gratia plena; Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei. Ora pro nobis peccatoribus.
Nunc et in hora mortis nostri.

We are pleased to include below two poems which Beth wrote for the IoW Catholic History Society.

Lenten Poem
Written by Elizabeth Foley

Lent is a season in which we prepare
For Easter by fasting, penance and prayer.
Fasting we discipline body and soul
Curbing our greed by strict self control.
Regulating our drink, food and pleasure.
Putting God first before self and leisure.
Penance we humble ourselves and express,
Sorrow for sins that we have confessed.
Forgiveness is sought when we have done wrong.
With a clear conscience we we’ll become strong.
Our Lady’s words, they are for you
“Do whatever He tells you to”
Listen to what God has to say
In the gospel every day.
Prepare in prayer, take time and read.
The Word of God is all you need.
Just use Lent like a threshing floor.
Beat out the sins that you deplore.
A spiritual Spring cleaning start.
Clean out the worries from your heart.
Take time, a good Confession make.
A resolution you must take.
Not to commit those sins again
Or sanctifying grace will wane.

Written by Elizabeth Foley

This present moment don't you see,
Right here and now's ETERNITY
Suspended on a thread of time,
My will is free, the choice is mine.
At any time the thread could break.
The way I've spent my time will shape,
My life for all ETERNITY
In bless or endless misery

May Clarke 1915 - 2009

May was born on 9th January, 1915, at Gortatlea, six miles east of Tralee, in County Kerry, Ireland. She was the fourth of seven children born to James and Hannah O’Riordan. With employment difficulties in Ireland at the time, she came to England in 1937 and found work in Guildford; initially at St. John’s Seminary, at Wonersh, cleaning and catering. Catering was her main skill and during World War II she worked as a cook at St. Luke’s Hospital in Guildford. She felt very much at home as most people working there were Irish. She led an active and extrovert life in her twenties. Even during the wartime restrictions, she managed to go out dancing and was by all accounts, the life and the soul of any party.

On 27th November 1943 she married Fred Clarke, having first caught his eye at St. Joseph’s Church in Guildford. It was two years before they were able to have their honeymoon. When he returned from serving in the Royal Artillery in 1945 at the end of the war, they spent a week in Eastbourne.

May and Fred remained in Guildford, living in the same house in Sydenham Road that his parents had bought in 1916. It was here that they raised their two children, Peter and Teresa. It was a happy and a successful marriage. They played an active part in the life of St. Joseph’s Church in Guildford; both giving of their free time for many aspects of parish life. While Fred was an altar server and later a steward, May was, at different times, a member of the Children of Mary, the Mother Teresa Group and the Union of Catholic Mothers.

May worked for many years as head cook at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Guildford, where she had the students queueing up eagerly to sample the famous cakes she produced for them each day.

Fred died in 1987 and it was shortly after this that May decided to retire to the Isle of Wight. Many advised her that she should not try to establish a new life somewhere else in her mid-seventies. However, she was determined that this was the right thing to do and she was proved correct. She had remembered the happy days of the 1950s when the family would travel by steam train and paddle steamer to the Island for long, hot summer days on the beach at Ryde or Sandown. On one such journey we were taken into St. Mary’s, Ryde and then on the bus to Quarr Abbey; not realising that Ryde would become May’s home for the last twenty years of her life. She always loved the Island and she soon settled in Ryde, where her natural charm, warmth and outgoing personality enabled her to make friends easily. She spent twenty very happy years at “Whitehaven” in Mayfield Road; a house (with its beautiful garden) that was her pride and joy.

She grew to love the Island, with its quiet pace of life, reminiscent of Kerry. In her early seventies she would sometimes walk through the woods on Sundays to Vespers and Benediction at Quarr Abbey, where she made friends with Fr. Robert OSB.

May developed a love of St. Mary’s Church in Ryde and she was soon making cakes for the Christmas bazaars and other church functions. She enjoyed the company of others and was a regular visitor to the church crypt, where she would enliven the atmosphere with her stories and anecdotes.

May was a founder member of the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society, a member of the Faith Study Group and the Latin Mass Society. A Mass in that Form of the Roman Rite was offered for her here, by Fr. Martin Edwards, when her coffin came into church yesterday. Father spoke of her kindness and generosity both to himself and to other visiting priests. May hosted many meetings of these groups in her home and, as usual, provided an endless supply of cakes and scones. A number of priests who came to offer Mass in the parish were accommodated by May at “Whitehaven”, and they were all keen to make return visits.

In January, 2005, there were three days of celebrations for May’s 90th birthday. She managed to keep going when others (much younger) were flagging! She was very proud of her Papal Blessing, presented to her on this occasion during Mass, by Father John Catlin. After a Latin Mass, Fr. Andrew Southwell presented May with a framed copy of Botticelli’s “Child Jesus and Mary”.

May suffered a series of minor strokes over the past few years. Her robust nature ensured that she recovered. About a year ago she fell and dislocated her hip and this curtailed her physical mobility. Nevertheless, she remained cheerful and tried to stay as active as possible. Her sense of humour was evident right until the end. Her natural charm (even cheekiness) and her sense of humour and fun (or as the Irish would say – the ‘crack’) never failed her, and it won her many friends and admirers. She never lost her Irish accent. She was proud of her Irish roots and would still recall Kerry's culture and traditions such as Puck Fair and the Rose of Tralee Festival.

She joked, in her usual way, with friends that she always wanted a daughter-in-law. She eventually managed to find one at the age of 92! The wedding of Peter and Gill in April 2008 gave her so much joy and pleasure.

May had a life that was both happy and fulfilled. She loved her family; she loved company and made friends easily. In fact, like all her brothers and sisters, she had an “open door” policy at her home. Anyone could walk in for a chat, tea, and the inevitable cakes and scones. She loved life; she loved people, - her family, friends and neighbours; she loved dancing in her young days; she loved cooking; she simply loved life; but most of all she loved her faith. The Catholic Church was an integral part of her life.

In early August, May suffered her final stroke and developed a urinary infection. Her last month was spent in St. Mary’s Hospital, where she was cared for with love and affection by the dedicated staff.

She died peacefully on Sunday, 6th September, having been fortified by Father Anthony Glaysher with the Rites of Holy Mother Church through the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, incorporating an Apostolic Blessing with a Plenary Indulgence.

Former parish priests of Ryde, Frs. John Catlin, David Buckley and John Dunne, send their condolences. They are unable to be here today but will be offering Mass for May in their respective parishes.

May was the last of her generation. In fact the two from the family who came to England, her brother Dan and herself, lived longer than their siblings in Ireland. She joked that the Irish air had deteriorated since her youth. She leaves a son, Peter, who is a teacher; a daughter, Teresa, who is a nurse in Guildford, and a grand-daughter, Louise, who is a translator in London.

Her coffin is to be taken to Guildford immediately after the Funeral Mass for burial with her husband, Fred, who died on 16th February, 1987. Together in life; and now together again in death.

The family wish to express their gratitude to everyone for their condolences and their expressions of sympathy. It is much appreciated.