Departing priest calls for turn from clericalism to Gospel values

farewell picture

farewell picture

The parish priest of Our Lady of Dolours Servite Church in Fulham, west London,  left the parish calling for “a move out of clericalism into gospel values.”

Father Dermot McNeice, who has been parish priest at the Servite Church for the past 10 years, described the Church as “a living changing reality,” an eternal spring to quote the words of Pope John XXIII.

“All the time we are weaving a new tapestry together, new initiatives,” said Fr McNeice, who also called for those present to pray for an undocumented worker named Moses who had contributed to the parish over a number of years but is now being held in a deportation centre near Heathrow airport. The Church is supporting his family in Uganda.

The packed Mass gave a glimpse of Church in 21st century London, multi-national and integrated in actions together. The celebration began with greetings in eight languages, highlighting unity as God’s people.

Over the 10 years of Father McNeice’s stewardship, genuine formative structures have been created, including scripture sessions, an active justice and peace group, fair trade group and membership of community organisers London Citizens.  The work will now continue under the Servite ministry, with Fr McNeice returning to Northern Ireland to continue his ministry.   

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