A surprise encounter with Fr Roger

Published on 21 Oct 2021
Glasgow skyline.

by Prim Herridge

Wherever you currently find yourselves, I’d like to transport you to Glasgow with me for a while, if you would, to a breezy yet sunny late September Saturday. Taking retirement in my stride, I was doing a bit of travelling with my husband and we found ourselves heading for Scotland. I contacted our ‘Friend’ Isobel Boyle in case she had time for coffee. She went one better, with an invitation to mass at St Aloysius, followed by lunch in a lovely little Italian restaurant. 

What Isobel hadn’t mentioned was that at the end of mass Fr Roger would appear as if by magic, at the back of the church. Imagine my astonishment and delight to see him! He took us back to the house for coffee and it was simply delightful to hear his news and see his new surroundings. I can report that he looks well, and he certainly won’t get bored; there was a veritable list in the diary including preparations for the forthcoming COP26, due to be held in Glasgow in November. (A time for prayer for all of us, I am sure, as our leaders try to decide on a way forward for our world). 

And then, the story of the Icon continues….

To say that Fr Roger was overwhelmed by the generosity of the collection made for him would truly be an understatement. I showed him a photo of the icon and he was captivated by its detail and beauty. Rather than it be presented to him in Glasgow, however, Fr Roger feels that it will be best placed in St Beuno’s, maybe in the side chapel once the re-working of the main chapel has been completed, in order that more people will be able to see the icon and pray with it. Some of Sister Stella’s beautiful wording on the back will be used on a small plaque, placed beside the icon in order that future visitors to the House will understand how significant Fr Roger's work has been to St Beuno's and to retreatants, not least in setting up the much-valued Friends of St Beuno's some years ago.

I am due to go to St Beuno’s in November and will take the icon with me and leave it with Tim. Fr Roger hopes to be able to attend the next Friends’ weekend in February, and suggests that he could then bless the icon in its new permanent position. (More news on this in future issues).

You will be thrilled to know, I am sure, that the Friends’ collection amounted to the staggering sum of £1950. From this, £250 has been paid for the icon, £200 to Fr Roger as a voucher for a ‘mountain supplies’ shop and the remaining £1500 will be donated to the Friends’ prayer room appeal. The collection account is now closed and final statements will be left with Tim. If anyone would still like to contribute, then that would need to be donated directly to St Beuno’s with the appropriate reference. 

It has been a cherished blessing to help to organise this on behalf of the Friends. Thank you for being so generous and making it possible. 

God bless,