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Deacon David's farewell

We bid farewell to Deacon David and Mary Boyd

St Richard's sanctuary was a blaze of light and bedecked with flowers for the 'Mass in Thanksgiving for the work of Deacon David and Mary Boyd'.

Altar

David was accompanied by Father Keiron, Canons Francis Collins and Richard Incledon, Father Peter Newsam, and Deacon Hilary Parsons.

Clergy

At the end of Mass, Fr Kieron's address not only praised a colleague, but threw light on the role of Deacons exemplified by David. For many years David was in IBM management before ordination: and that administrative skill gave Father Kieron a lead in to his address, highlighted here.

Fr K at lectern

"In what I have to say, I will endeavour to take some of David's own advice - imparted at a management seminar in the Diocese many years ago - remember the KISS principle - keep it short - stupid!

"By any stretch of the imagination David's career in this Parish as a layman and as a Deacon has been pretty formidable - for a start, since his ordination to the Deaconate in 1988, David has seen off nine curates, four parish priests, one deacon - and he hasn't gone yet! Joking apart, over many years it is David that parishioners have looked to for stability and continuity… and good humoured, no messin, common sense advice."

David and colleague listening

Much of David's work has been achieved quietly and unobtrusively - the deacon's work is often invisible. Many of us will have benefited from his thoughtful homilies formed by a good knowledge of the scriptures and honed by the experience of a husband, father and businessman. Others, many of whom, not present here tonight will be grateful for David's great pastoral gifts in visiting the sick both in their homes and in St. Richard's hospital, a large gap opens up in the pastoral outreach of the Parish which will be difficult to fill. As you will know, David also steered, encouraged and guided to work of the Parish welfare Group over many years.

I will be in trouble if I fail to mention that David was chaplain to the UCM and a faithful supporter of the Wednesday Novena Group……".

Fr Kieron commended Mary Boyd:

"There is absolutely no doubt that Mary has been a constant source of encouragement, prayer and support for David, and yet she deserves better than simply being defined as David's wife. Although I am sure that there must be a special place in heaven reserved for one who is not only the mother of a priest, but married to a deacon! Mary has been a stalwart of the Welfare group, a supporter of the prayer line at the Bible school, a eucharistic minister and a constant source of sound motherly advice...to people of all ages....

So now, just a few weeks before Mary and David end their 25 year exile and return to the land of heather and haggis, I would like to call them up to take a bow!"

Mary standing to go up

Mary on altar

Mary joined David to receive a pictorial presentation gift.

Group with presentation picture

Group with presentation picture

Mary and David together on altar

David thanked many colleagues and friends including those present, notably Fr Kieron "my present parish priest, who has been understanding and considerate to a deacon firing on 2˝ cylinders".

David at lectern

"Endings and Beginnings"

"Our life journey entails many endings and beginnings. Endings are a time for reflection and giving thanks to God. Beginnings are a time to look forward in hope and expectation.

"This particular ending, for Mary and me, is a time to express our gratitude to all those who welcomed us into our new parish family of St. Richard's. We have so many people to give thanks to God for having met on our faith journey....

wide angle of clergy and Mary

"There is an old saying that behind every successful man, there stands an astonished mother in law.

"If I have been at all successful in my ministry as deacon (however one defines success), it is because there stands behind me, my best friend, my wife Mary. St Paul said that the lord had given him a goad to prevent him from becoming too proud. I don't mean to imply that Mary is a goad, but she certainly kept me from becoming too proud. She has given me her unstinting support, advice and encouragement, throughout the 16 years of my ministry.

"I am grateful too for our children, David, Mary, Margaret and Christopher of whom I am justly proud, and blessed with three beautiful grand daughters, the youngest of whom Padme is here with Christopher and Emma.

"Most of all we want to say "Thank you" to the Parishioners of St. Richard's, Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Peter's in the Witterings. Mary's and my life have been enriched from knowing you....

"May God bless you and your loved ones.

(Read David's response in full here.)

Father Kieron invited the congregation to the School Hall "We're partying tonight!". And so they did. But first, a chance to provide a group for Julia Janiec’s camera.

cake

A special cake was made and decorated by Michael Oliver. He used the Boyd coat of arms, with the motto 'Confido' and the Scots' valediction: 'Will you nae come back agin?' David and Mary are moving to their new home in Largs, Strathclyde.

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Farewell address to David and Mary, from Father Kieron O'Brien at the Mass in thanksgiving for the work of Deacon David and Mary Boyd, 14th February 2004, followed by David's response.

David Boyd

In what I have to say, I will endeavour to take some of David's own advice - imparted at a management seminar in the Diocese many years ago - remember the KISS principle - keep it short - stupid!

By any stretch of the imagination David's career in this Parish as a layman and as a Deacon has been pretty formidable - for a start, since his ordination to the Deaconate in 1988, David has seen off nine curates, four parish priests, one deacon - and he hasn't gone yet! Joking apart, over many years it is David that parishioners have looked to for stability and continuity… and good humoured, no messin, common sense advice. Much of David's work has been achieved quietly and unobtrusively - the deacon's work is often invisible. Many of us will have benefited from his thoughtful homilies formed by a good knowledge of the scriptures and honed by the experience of a husband, father and businessman. Others, many of whom, not present here tonight will be grateful for David's great pastoral gifts in visiting the sick both in their homes and in St. Richard's hospital, a large gap opens up in the pastoral outreach of the Parish which will be difficult to fill. As you will know, David also steered, encouraged and guided to work of the Parish welfare Group over many years. I will be in trouble if I fail to mention that David was chaplain to the UCM and a faithful supporter of the Wednesday Novena Group.

We must also recognise that David's ministry as a Deacon stretched far beyond the ever expanding boundaries of this parish. What may be largely forgotten or unknown is that in the early nineties David was an adviser to Bishop Cormac in the follow-up to the Renew process, then later on, before the onset of his illness, he was the architect of the child protection policy for the Diocese, laying firm foundations for the work which is now being continued on a professional basis.

I've already said too much about David, without mentioning Mary. There is absolutely no doubt that Mary has been a constant source of encouragement, prayer and support for David, and yet she deserves better than simply being defined as David's wife. Although I am sure that there must be a special place in heaven reserved for one who is not only the mother of a priest, but married to a deacon! Mary has been a stalwart of the Welfare group, a supporter of the prayer line at the Bible school, a eucharistic minister and a constant source of sound motherly advice………to people of all ages. Even years before David was ordained, the two of them used to lead "choice weekends" in the Diocese - inviting young people (many of whom now have families of their own) to consider their Christian vocation.

If I go on for much longer I will be contradicting the good advice I gave myself at the start. So now, just a few weeks before Mary and David end their 25 year exile and return to the land of heather and haggis, I would like to call them up to take a bow!


Endings and Beginnings

Our life journey entails many endings and beginnings Endings are a time for reflection and giving thanks to God. Beginnings are a time to look forward in hope and expectation.

This particular ending, for Mary and me, is a time to express our gratitude to all those who welcomed us into our new parish family of St. Richard's. We have so many people to give thanks to God for having met on our faith journey.

We thank God for the support & encouragement from so many persons, too many to name here tonight, but some I have to name.

The parish priests I have been privileged to serve with as deacon:

Canon Francis; his generosity, wisdom & encouragement and wry sense of humour

Canon Richard Incledon, who could be relied on to provide just the right quotation for a homily in preparation.

Mgr Michael Jackson, a man of great wit and giver of practical advice

Fr Gerry O'Brien. During all of his short stay I was out of active ministry, but who never failed to visit me.

Fr Kieron my present parish priest, who has been understanding and considerate to a deacon firing on 2˝ cylinders.

Deacon Hilary & Helen Parsons - pathfinders in the permanent deaconate who made our path easy.

Deacons Joe Crane & Paddy, John Brockman & Sheila, who shared the journey with us towards ordination. All the many assistant priests who served here, including Fr.Peter Newsam, supported by his wife Cathie. Every one of them gave us their full support and encouragement. Trying to keeping us all together and informed Julia and Máire.

The priests of the deanery and of the diocese that I have met while performing two diocesan roles.

There is an old saying that behind every successful man, there stands an astonished mother in law.

If I have been at all successful in my ministry as deacon (however one defines success), it is because there stands behind me, my best friend, my wife Mary. St Paul said that the lord had given him a goad to prevent him from becoming too proud. I don't mean to imply that Mary is a goad, but she certainly kept me from becoming too proud. She has given me her unstinting support, advice and encouragement, throughout the 16 years of my ministry.

I am grateful too for our children, David, Mary, Margaret and Christopher of whom I am justly proud,and blessed with three beautiful grand daughters, the youngest of whom Padme is here with Christopher and Emma.

Most of all we want to say "Thank you" to the Parishioners of St. Richard's, Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Peter's in the Witterings. Mary's and my life have been enriched from knowing you.

Thank you for your kindness, your encouragement and your generosity of spirit. You will always be in our hearts and prayers.

I have just two last things to say: When I come before the Lord -

1. My hope is to die without unforgiveness in my heart. This is difficult to strive for, but not as difficult as its corollary, that no-one else dies with unforgiveness in their hearts because of me. So, if I have offended any one by something I have said or done, or left unsaid or undone, I ask you to forgive me.

2. Our prayer is that you continue to be a faith community of forgiveness and welcome and love, so as to be a sign, an encouragement to those for whom the world is hard from unforgiveness, and cold from lack of love.

May God bless you and your loved ones.