History was made yesterday when all the serving Catholic Naval Chaplains with 16 retired Catholic chaplains gathered in the British Empire Chapel of St Paul's Cathedral for a special Mass to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar and death of Lord Nelson. The Principal Celebrant was Bishop Tom Burns, Bishop of Her Majesty's Forces, with The Rt Rev Walmsley, Bishop Emeritus. At the beginning of the Mass, the newly-joined Rev Richard Blythen was presented with his Naval chasuble by the Principal Chaplain Rev Richard Madders. During his homily, Mgr Madders said: "Commissioned at the altar and commissioned in the Royal Navy - the Naval Catholic Chaplaincy past and present is a continuing story of men willing to undertake literally the words often sung at their priestly ordinations: "Alleluia. Go into the whole world and make disciples of all men. Alleluia." He said: "Because we are commissioned by Christ at the altar we can say in his name to our people: "Do not be afraid - I am with you." Praising the chaplains who served before, he described them as "giants in faith and service." He concluded with a call for the Church to support the Naval chaplaincy by sending more priests to enable them to continue their mission.
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