Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bishop’s emotional farewell to Father McGrail

by Alice Mascarenhas

Bishop Charles Caruana fought back the tears yesterday at the funeral of Reverend George McGrail as he recalled his old friend in his Homily.

“He was an extraordinary priest,” he exclaimed, so obviously overcome with emotion.
“Generous, dedicated, spiritual, a priest who did everything he could for his own parishioners in his own way. He died as he had lived,” he paused between each word and phrase, holding back the tears, as he continued to describe a man who had been a fellow priest and a friend during his own time as priest and as Bishop.

Parishioners from St Paul’s Church and all other churches, friends, and family, gathered yesterday morning to pay their last respects to Reverend George McGrail.

In the congregation were the Chief Minister Peter Caruana and Mrs Caruana, Ministers Dr Bernard Linares and Ernest Britto, Deputy Commissioner of Police Jimmy Mckay. The local clergy were joined by Father Carmelo Zammitt, and Father John Bruzon, who had travelled to Gibraltar especially for
the funeral. Present too were priests from the Campo Area - all friends of Father McGrail.

During the service his family participated in the Requiem Mass, with the readings given by his nephews, Ian Watts and Radio Gibraltar presenter George Du Boulay.

Bishop Caruana spoke of how when he had been appointed first Parish priest of the new estate of Varyl Begg, like “a bulldozer” he had pressed Government for a site on which to build a new church.

“Sir Joshua Hassan gave him the site and then through his persistence he convinced the builders of Varyl Begg (Charles Cruz) to also take on the church. He then strongly fought for every penny to construct the building”.

He further commented, “if he had something in mind nothing would stop him.”
Later, as the coffin was carried out of the Church, there was a round of applause followed by a deep silence.

Related Links:

St Paul’s Church

Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar


Post a Comment

<< Home