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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Aberdeen: Monsignor Eddie Traynor has died
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¬†Monsignor Eddie Traynor, Parish Priest of St Peter's in Buckie and former Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen, passed away early this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 54. Bishop Peter Moran paid tribute to the priest who was his deputy when he first took over the day to day running of the Diocese in 2002. He said: "Monsignor Eddie had a special gift of looking after the poor and the needy especially those who fell through the safety-nets of existing services. He had served as Parish Priest of St Peter's in Buckie since 1988. "He was also Bishop Mario Conti's Vicar General during his last two years as Bishop of Aberdeen. He remained as Dean of the Moray Deanery until his death. "He completed extensive restoration works at St Peter's. Father Eddie, as we all knew him, will be remembered as a man of deep prayer and for his great love of the Church. "His perseverance, courage and prayerfulness during his painful and protracted illness have been an inspiration to those of us who knew him best." Obituary Monsignor Eddie Traynor 11 January 1952 ≠ 8 March 2006 Edward Patrick Anthony Traynor was born in Glasgow on 11 January, 1952, and received his secondary education at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Banbury Grammar School, St Illtyd's College, Cardiff and St Michael's Academy, Kilwinning, Ayrshire. For a period, he studied Civil Engineering at Strathclyde University and Computer Studies and Statistics at North London Polytechnic. He worked in computing and as a volunteer care assistant in communities for mentally handicapped people and for alcoholics, and had been working for some time with L'Arche Community in France when, at Christmas 1977, he visited his family who lived near Banchory on Deeside. During this vacation he began to think seriously about the priesthood as his possible vocation. Soon after this he made an Ignatian thirty-day retreat in order to decide on his state in life. In 1978 he asked Bishop Mario Conti of Aberdeen to accept him as a candidate for the priesthood. He then studied at the Scots College in Rome and was ordained priest in 1985. A further two years in Rome led to a Diploma in Psychotherapy. Back home in Scotland, Fr Eddie served as Assistant to Canon Duncan Stone in Inverness. When Fr John Beveridge, parish priest of Buckie, died suddenly in 1988, Father Eddie was appointed to succeed him as Parish Priest and later as Diocesan Vocations Director. During this time he was involved in the psychological screening of candidates for the priesthood and was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Priests and Permanent Deacons of Scotland. Later, he succeeded Monsignor John Copland as Dean of St Thomas Deanery, a position he held until his death. He was also Bishop Mario Conti's Vicar General during his last two years as Bishop of Aberdeen and then delegate of the Diocesan Administrator for another two years. Pope John Paul made him a Prelate of Honour in 2001, with the title of Monsignor. In 2005 he was appointed a Canon of St Mary's Cathedral in Aberdeen but was never well enough to go to the Cathedral to be formally installed. Mgr Eddie has been described as "a robust individual, a devout Catholic and a good priest." As a priest, his genius was his total sincerity in addressing both the spiritual and the temporal needs of people. He was essentially a man of deep prayer, always totally faithful to the Prayer of the Church. His prayerfulness came through in his preaching, which was often very moving and profound - and always without a single note in the pulpit. He combined an orthodox faith with the knack of knowing how to look after people in any kind of need. Mgr Eddie had a strong devotion to Our Lady, and it was no surprise when he took on the mantle of Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage Director. In Lourdes, he found those things he held most dear - prayer and the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate - the sick and dying pilgrims. A colleague who knew him well said: "When you saw Eddie among disadvantaged, dispossessed, sick, dying, handicapped people, or people troubled in any way, then you saw Eddie at his best." He was a man of the people, - and not just of his parishioners. He had the care and interests of everyone in his local community at heart. Faced with someone's need, Eddie became impatient with formalities and convention. He could often be found in the middle of the night going off to help someone in distress. A friend comments that "he would happily give the shirt off his own back to help someone who needed it: as far as he was concerned, they needed it more!" When foreign workers with little English and less finance arrived on his doorstep in distress, Mgr Eddie would help them personally and immediately, but he also lobbied and campaigned for their rights where he believed that employers or the statutory authorities should be doing more. Public recognition of this aspect of Mgr Eddie's personality led to an invitation to become a local Justice of the Peace. This was a role he took extremely seriously, and a role which put him in contact with a lot of troubled people. These were people Monsignor Eddie never criticised or condemned, but always helped well beyond the call of duty. This was shown by his concern for prisoners: through his initiative, each year St Peter's, Buckie provided every single inmate of Peterhead prison with a present at Christmas. Full of life and enthusiasm, Mgr Eddie completed an extensive programme of restoration works at St Peter's, Buckie, both to the interior and to the exterior of the church. He oversaw the re-ordering of the sanctuary, the laying of a marble floor, the re-positioning of the pulpit and the installation, in the choir-loft by the great West window, of the magnificent pipe-organ rescued from the Abbey Church at Fort Augustus. Mgr Eddie was something of an 'action man' and in happier days extremely fit and active. He was always the first to head off to Tomintoul with a group of young parishioners - organising activities for them. If they went abseiling, he had to be the first down the rope! It came as no surprise when he took up gliding - a pursuit he found most enjoyable and very relaxing. Five years ago, when he was first diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a short time to live, he gave away his guitar and other possessions, while his people held prayer meetings to ask God for his recovery. Despite his illness, Mgr Eddie continued to engage in pastoral ministry. For over four years his energy during periods of remission belied the seriousness of his condition. He was even seen outside his church mowing the lawn just after coming out of hospital. But last year, 2005, he struggled to say Mass publicly, and he was often in great pain. In and out of Gray's Hospital, Elgin and of the Seafield Hospital, Buckie, and in his own home at St Peter's, he was supported by the loving care of medical professionals, some of whom became personal friends. Mrs Kyron Phimister, the parish secretary, and Dr Jim Tuckerman, Eddie's GP, are only two of the many who helped him to remain very much alert and in charge of things right to the end. In mid-December Mgr Eddie readily agreed that Bishop Peter Moran might appoint an Assistant Priest for Buckie, and in mid-January he welcomed back Fr Gerry Livingstone, who had served his apprenticeship as a deacon in Buckie. As well as this support from so many, Mgr Eddie had the great consolation of being cared for, over many weeks, by the numerous members of his ownfamily ≠ his brother Mike and their sisters, most especially his sister Jo whose own home is in Portknockie only a few miles away. Utterly honest and determined in the face of injustice or hardship affecting others, and in the face of his own illness, Mgr Eddie will be remembered as a man totally dedicated to the Church, to his parishioners, and to a life of prayer. His aim was always to do whatever he could to help those in need, and he was kind and generous to a fault. He is survived by his sisters Cathy, Jo, Mary, Bridget, Tess, and Liz and his brother Mike. May he rest in peace.
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