On the 25th May, we celebrated with joy the Feastday of St Bede, one of the patrons of our college.
The chief celebrant was Canon Jim Callaghan who is also a governor of the college and the Dean of Bradford. He was joined on the altar by a number of other priests with connections to the college, most of them Old Boys of St Bede’s. They were:
Monsignor Anthony Boylan, Monsignor Philip Holroyd, Monsignor Bryan Sharpe, Fr Gerald Hargreaves, Fr Sean Malloy, Canon Paul Moxon, Fr Gerald Creasey
Canon Jim Callaghan spoke in his homily about how appropriate it was that Bede was selected as a patron for the college when St Bede’s was founded all those years ago in 1900. He is not only a saint, but was a great scholar with a love of scripture and of learning. He was born in 673 in the North East of England. When he was only a young boy he entered the monastery of St Peter in Monkwearmouth near Sunderland, and then its companion monastery of St Paul’s, Jarrow. He studied under St Benedict Biscop and Abbot Ceolfrith. He was ordained deacon and then priest and lived a life of study and contemplation. His holiness was renowned in his lifetime; his pupils and comrades loved him; the works he wrote, particularly the “Ecclesiastical History of England”, were remarkable in their time and have endured. St Cuthbert wrote, after the death of Bede: “Well may we believe that, in as much as he had laboured here always in the praise of God, so his soul journeyed to the joys of heaven which he longed for.”
The mass was also a celebration of the life of Fr Bernard (Bunny) Doyle who had been an Old Boy, teacher and Scout leader at St Bede’s, as well as being one of the longest serving priests in the diocese - an incredible 71 years of service to the Church. Dr James Hagerty, former Headteacher of the school, gave a touching eulogy at the end of mass with his recollections of the man who had inspired so many boys and girls who had passed through the corridors of St Bede’s. Some of them were guests of honour for the mass and no doubt Dr Hagerty’s words would have chimed with their own fond memories of Fr Bernard.
The mass then was a fitting celebration in praise of God and in remembrance of great witnesses who have gone before us, and on whose shoulders stand all the boys and girls, men and women who have been connected with St Bede’s down the ages.
Many thanks to all who made it such a wonderful occasion, in particular - our priests, readers, servers, musicians and singers. Special mention should go to some of the younger students in the college who sang so beautifully and played the drums so well, to Millie, Bethan, Jasreel and Jimmi.
Lord, you have enlightened Your Church
with the learning of Saint Bede.
In Your love may your people learn from his wisdom
and benefit from his prayers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.