Thursday, 12 November 2009

1982 vintage

Ummm, a kind parishioner came across this photo in the archive pages of the Western Mail. They thought that this fine young priest looked familiar!! Actually this pic was taken at Pontcannna on that unforgettable day 2nd June 1982, the day John Paul II came. I had become parish priest of St Cuthbert's the previous autumn at the tender age of 28. For the papal visit I tried to encourage what you might call a festive spirit in the parish, and some sort of took to it big-time, especially a nice group of teenagers there. Some of them dressed up for the occasion, and so I thought I'd add a festive note too - hence the hat! I didn't expect to be on the front page of the Western Mail though...
As a city parish we had to set out walking at 3 or 4 in the morning, and the youngsters insisted on singing our way through Grangetown and Riverside. "Our God Reigns" was the favourite - but not with one irate resident who flung the window open to complain, only to be told by one, er, fervent lad "We're Catholics, we're gonna see the Pope, and we don't care!"
One priest from each deanery could join the Pope up on the podium for the Mass - and yours truly, secretary of the deanery at that time, pulled my own name out of the hat - honestly!
Any of you got memories of The Day the Pope came to Cardiff??

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