Cross Catholic Church of The Immaculate Conception of Our Lady - Penzance - website - part of the Parish of The Holy Family

We hope you enjoy reading excerpts from the July 2000, (Volume 2, Issue 2) issue of our parish magazine
The editors take no responsibility for views expressed by contributors to this publication
The articles do not appear on this page in any particular order

Cormac's Comment

Clement Ozi Bello was ordained in July of last year.
He was born into a Muslim family, converted to Christianity, and became a priest of Kaduna Archdiocese in the North of Nigeria. His mother converted to Christianity since his ordination.
Last week, during three days of Muslim-Christian unrest, Fr Clement was dragged from his car. His body was later found in a gutter with a rope around his neck and one eye missing.

Father Clement was 26 years of age.

Last Sunday in a church in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, while 600 people were at Mass, a bomb exploded peppering nails in all directions. At least 20 people were injured.

Very recently Fr Langneau Bellot, parish priest of Thomassique in Haiti was shot dead by two robbers who sped off on a motorcycle.

Last Sunday also, in Lithuania, the 80 year old Cardinal Vincentas Sladkervicius died. Pope John Paul II spoke of his sadness on learning of the death of this "heroic priest". Al though he had been imprisoned by the Communist regime for many years, "he never let himself be intimidated, always giving a shining example of indomitable faith in divine providence and faithful loyalty to Rome".

(These are just four stories gleaned from 'The Tablet' June 3rd 2000)

How can these things happen?
Only if we allow hate to rule our hearts.

How could the beautiful and good Jesus be hated so much that people were prepared to kill him? Only because others hardened their hearts to the truth he witnessed to and to the love he challenged us to show.

Jesus never recommended what Milton called "a cloistered virtue".
Jesus understands that his invitation, his command to love has to be carried out in a world where hatred occurs.
What Jesus does with the hatred directed at him provides a model for us in coping with the anger and hatred directed at us.
He takes it in. He absorbs it. He takes it on board and then does not retaliate.
He takes in the hatred; he breathes out peace.
"Then he breathed on them and said: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you".

In a strange way, those who hate us are our teachers. We should be grateful to them.
They teach us that love is not easy.
They provide us with the opportunity to practice patience.
They give us the chance to be compassionate.
They help us to take the hatred of the world and to breathe out peace and love instead.

Farewell, Good and Faithful Servant

Father Joe Phelan was our Parish Priest from 1970 till 1979. This is a tribute to him written by a parishioner who attended his requiem. (see also other two pages on our site. Click the links here "1" & "2")

Last week my husband and I attended the funeral of Fr Joe Phelan, Parish Priest in Penzance from 1970 - 79, and in Weymouth for almost the whole of the last twenty years of his life.

For twelve years we ran a small therapeutic facility for the treatment of alcoholism and addiction on the Isle of Portland, hard by Weymouth's shores. It was occasionally exhilarating, always exhausting, often heartbreaking work. It was also very lonely. The promised Diocesan support never arrived: it was all the more precious, then, that Fr Joe gave his enthusiastic approval. He also, at our request, allowed a group of Alcoholics Anonymous to meet in the parish hall, thus enabling the work of rescuing the Good Shepherd's lost lambs to be carried on.

Fr Joe was always a champion of the vulnerable; when a group of us opened a 'Life" baby shop in the town he would often come in and chat to the mothers and babies, sometimes enchanting, and sometimes terrifying the babies with his jovial smile as he held up the tiny clothes in his enormous hands.

These memories made me smile, there came a moment in the Mass, however, when I was moved to tears. At the offertory, as well as the bread and wine, there were borne lovingly to the altar other important things from Joe's life: his golf club, and a rugby trophy from his youth. In her stiffer, pre-Vatican Council days, the Church would never have allowed such a sign of her priests' humanity; 'Father" (one never used his name) was a being apart from us ordinary mortals, cut from different, superior, more rarefied cloth.

Those days, thank God, have almost gone. We are encouraged to know our priests as men, men who have chosen to answer a particularly demanding call. And as his brother priests accompanied Joe lovingly on his final journey, just as they had surrounded him at his ordination; I was struck very forcibly by the fact that almost to a man, they are middle aged. Young men are not entering the priesthood in the numbers that are needed for the pilgrim people of God to be sustained on their journey by frequent recourse to the Sacraments. And I wondered why this might be so. Certainly it is true that today's young men are not bred in the ethos of self-sacrifice.

For sacrifice it most surely is; now that the exalted and privileged nature of the call to the priesthood is less vaunted, we can, and should, reflect on the demands we make of the men who serve us. A priest's official salary is 350 a year; for the rest he relies on the support of his parishioners. For this sum he is required to sacrifice many things. In Joe's case, a glittering athletic and sporting career that took his brother to the Olympics. In the case of Lynton, a lifelong friend of my family's, an established career as a concert pianist of great distinction. And for all Catholic priests, as yet, all the dreams of a woman's love and devoted care, and all longing for children. In Scorcese's much-maligned, (in my view, wrongly so) - film the Last Temptation of Christ, the scenario is shown of His loving marriage to one of His beloved Marys; His longing for a wife and children, for hearth and home, are fulfilled. But, in obedience to His Father, he deliberately gives up all those dreams in the "real-time" of the film to walk amongst us, teaching, healing, working often to the point of exhaustion; and at the height of His career as a teacher, to suffer horribly and die a cruel ignominious death. And even then, in His terrified last awful misery, as He begged His Father to find some other, less demanding job for Him to do, His friends deserted Him, too carelessly selfish to stay awake and keep Him company. It was one of Christ's very few outbursts of anger and hurt: "Could you not watch one hour with Me"?

As Joe's body was borne down the aisle, I found myself weeping, not with sadness, but with gratitude that there are such men who will give up so much of their own dreams and ambitions to serve us. If others are to follow them, they surely need to be certain that the people amongst whom they live and to whom they earnestly carry the priceless gifts of the Gospel and Eucharist, will support them, not just with money, but with loving approval and friendship. Let us resolve to treasure these good men.

Margie H

(see also other two pages on our site. Click the links here "1" & "2")

Churches Together in Penzance

January 2nd was an historic day for the churches of Penzance. St. John's Hall was the venue for the inaugural service for Churches Together in Penzance, attended by about four hundred people and where the covenant was signed by the church leaders.

In his article 'Why I'm proud to be called an 'ECUMANIAC' Father Larry Wright, who was heavily involved in the organisation of this event, quotes a comment made by Father Cormac after the service, "People were so happy and joyful; we must have been doing the Will of God!"

Father Larry goes on to say that working for greater understanding between Christians has been part of his life and ministry for twenty years. He explains that "the modern ecumenical movement is not about losing our traditions and becoming a new united church. Rather it is about recognising that we have more that unites than divides We seek unity in our diversity.

Structures and meetings are not what ecumenism is about. God deliver us from more church committees! Working together means commitment not committees. Churches Together in Penzance with our joint worship, our Breakfast Project and regular meetings of clergy will bring Christians together to work for God's kingdom and glory in new and exciting ways. It is also a powerful witness to our town and district that ancient divisions can be overcome and reconciliation is not just a platitude. Christians have been divided among ourselves for too long. May this new century yield ever greater unity and togetherness amongst us. May unity start with each one of us in the heart, (not the mind, please!)"

(click here for other "Churches Together" pages on our web site and links)

Father Jackie O'Byrne. RIP

Father Jackie O'Byrne was our Parish Priest from 1979 to 1989. When he was appointed to Penzance he knew nothing of the area. However as the years passed by he became very fond of the place and the people. In fact he once said that as he turned the corner from Crowlas and saw "The Mount" he felt he was home again!

Father O'Byrne was Chairman of the Governors at St. Mary's School in which he took a great interest, and when ever possible he liked to attend the football matches!

During his stay in Penzance he did not have the support of a curate or Extraordinary Ministers so he was kept exceptionally busy.

Although Father O'Byrne had signed the pledge there was usually a drink offered at the presbytery tea or coffee available and always a supply of chocolates or chocolate bars!

It was with great sadness we heard of his illness, followed by his death on January 18th. His requiem mass was celebrated at St. Anthony's Church, West Moors and was attended by many priests. His body was flown to Ireland for burial.

We Are All Survivors (For those born before 1940)

We were born before television, before penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, videos, Frisbees and 'The Pill'.

We were around before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ball-point pens; before dish-washers, tumble-dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes and before man walked on the Moon. 

We got married first and then lived together (how quaint can you be?).

We thought 'Fast Food' was what you ate in Lent, a 'Big Mac' was an over-sized raincoat and 'crumpet' we had for tea.

We existed before house-husbands, computer dating, dual careers and, when a 'meaningful relationship' meant getting on with cousins and 'sheltered accommodation' was where you waited for a bus.

We were born before day-care centres, group homes and disposable nappies.

We never heard of FM Radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yoghurt and young men wearing ear-rings.

For us 'time-sharing' meant togetherness, a chip was a piece of wood or a fried potato, 'hardware' meant nuts and bolts and 'software' wasn't a word.

Before 1940, 'Made in Japan' meant junk, the term 'making out' referred to how you did in your exams, 'stud' was what fastened a collar to a shirt and going all the way' meant staying on a double- decker bus to the bus depot.

Pizza, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of in our day; cigarette smoking was 'fashionable', 'grass' was mown, 'coke' was kept in the coal-house, a 'joint' was a piece of meat you cooked on Sundays and 'pot' was something you cooked it in.

'Rock music' was a grandmother's lullaby, Eldorado' was an ice-cream, a 'gay person' was the life and soul of the party and nothing more, whilst 'aids' just meant beauty treatment or help for someone in trouble.

We who were born before 1940 must be a hardy bunch when you think of the way in which the world has changed and the adjustments we have had to make.
Author Unknown


Very many thanks to all of you who have given your support. Our St Patrick's Night Social turned out to be a most enloyable evening. There was also a good spread of some delicious food so our thanks go out to the ladies for their culinary talents.

The most recent event of any significance was the Music and Flower Festival. We were very privileged to be given a wonderful performance by the Clifton Cathedral Choir who have been on television and radio and visited all parts of the world. It was a pity that we had so few people in the audience, however, those who did come were treated to a truly memorable evening.

Once again our thanks to those who do support us.

Clare Wilson


In February I had a surprise telephone call from Chris Woodman of Torquay Parish to say that he, Fr John Bielowski and Dr Michael Everift of Kingsbridge would be coming over to St Mary's by helicopter, courtesy of the Royal Navy, bringing with them a Millennium Baton on behalf of the Hosanna Children's Pilgrimage Trust. The wooden baton with a brass plate marked "HCPT 2000" started from South Uist in the Hebrides and was carried in relays to regions throughout the United Kingdom by members of the Trust.

The idea for this was to promote awareness of the work of the Trust and was co-ordinated by the Catenian Association and the Royal Navy Pilgrimage groups from Scotland, Portsmouth and Plymouth, in time for the Easter Pilgrimage to Lourdes. There will be about 200 groups from all over the UK and elsewhere with 2,000 children, 3,000 helpers and 150 priests.

Fr John, Chris and Michael duly arrived wearing survival suits and lifejackets at St Mary's airfield about 11.30 am on the 16th February by RNAS helicopter. I then drove them to Hugh Town to the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, where some of our small congregation met with them for coffee. Chris being a professional photographer had brought his equipment with him and entrusted me to take several photographs to record this historic visit. We wish them every blessing for the coming pilgrimage.

Michael Millyard

Sacred Circle Dance - What Is It?

The circle is an ancient and universal symbol of wholeness and unity, and dancing in a circle can offer a tangible expression of 'community', since it is one of the most ancient ways in which people gather and celebrate their togetherness.

Many of the dances we do were brought to Britain as 'Sacred Dance' by Bernhard Wosien, a German ballet teacher and choreographer, who was also drawn to Slavonic culture and folk dance. He travelled widely in Greece, Serbia and Croatia, where the old round dances were, and are still, kept alive and was struck by the sacred quality and the symbolism that their ancient steps and rhythms expressed. He learned several of these dances and took them to the Findhorn Foundation (a community in NE Scotland) in 1976 where they were adopted to enhance their sense of community. Whilst at Findhorn, Bernhard also introduced some of his own choreographies which explored and expressed the sacred symbolism of dance and movement in general.

Since sowing this seed at Findhorn, this way of dancing together has spread, so that today in the 1990's, the phenomenon, now known by most as 'Circle Dance' is well established here in Britain and abroad, with regular groups and special events happening all year round including those celebrating the changing seasons and other symbolic themes.

The dance repertoire has also greatly increased and as well as drawing on the wonderfully rich and diverse traditional dances of the Balkans, Greece, Israel, Russia, France and Celtic Britain, there are also modern choreographies to all kinds of music, including for example, African, South American, Indian, Australian, as well as newly composed music and dances.

With this wide range of activities, teachers, groups and an ever expanding repertoire, Circle Dance can take a wide variety of forms, style and mood reflecting the creativity and dynamics of the group involved as well as the special interests and experience of the teacher. Whatever form it takes, the aim is to create a sense of well being and communion with others, inviting a sense of wholeness or sacredness into our lives through dance.

In this age of separation, as families and neighbourhood structures fall apart, it is reassuring to move together, beyond words, following gentle rhythms and stretching the consciousness to a more global sense of humanity
Anyone of any age can dance and you don't need to bring a partner

If you are interested in an evening of Circle Dance, please contact Mona on 01736 361010, or any member of the Fund Raising Committee. All proceeds from the evening would go to Church Funds.

Life's Like That

During the late 40's early 50's as part of my training as a Telecommunications Technician I also had to be able to touch-type at 50 wpm to facilitate being able to receive messages via earphones and to transmit them by teleprinter over landlines to London for retransmission worldwide.

Late one evening a very pleasant lady telephoned whilst I was on duty wishing to send all her business data to the Americas. We immediately set up a rapport, and from then onwards whenever she called with further business messages she would always ask for me personally. Should I not be on duty she would ask for her good wishes to be conveyed to me. Imagine the ribbing that resulted in from my colleagues! We knew her then as Lady Browning of Menabilly, Par.

Years later when I became Station Engineer and Manager, I would pay annual courtesy visits to all our Company's major clients such as English China Clays, St Austell; Holmans, Camborne; Toyne and Carter, Fowey, and Falmouth / Penryn Shipping Agents, etc etc. But yes, you've guessed it, my favourite visit was to that pleasant lady at Menabilly, Par, on the shores of Carlyon Bay.

But who was she really? You may well have heard of her. She was more widely known as DAPHNE DUMAURIER.
Nat Dann


Cut Conflict Campaign

Amnesty is joining with Oxfam for an all out effort to persuade the British government to tighten up the licensing laws and close the loop holes in the repressive trade, in particular the export of small arms. We are the world's second largest exporters of these, produced by a relatively small workforce. Such weapons include cluster bombs which act like landmines. 84% of the casualties are civilians. Oxfam with Amnesty are aiming at the enactment of new laws when Parliament has reconvened in November. Watch out for the Day of Action on 13th May 2000.

Repression-Military, Police and Security transfers campaign

At the same time Amnesty is launching its own campaign focussing on the transfer of weapons and equipment from the UK to countries where they are likely to be used to repress human rights. This will continue through the year.

Adopted Prisoner of Conscience - Thet Win Aung

In December he was reported to be in 'reasonable health' and had received a visit from his father. It's always possible that small concessions like this may be gained through determined campaigning when the Burmese authorities realise they can no longer ignore the world wide interest taken in his and hundreds of similar cases.

We are asking for his immediate release and will carry on working to that end.

Please support Amnesty events as they come along. For more information please contact Audrey Evans, Tel: 366284.

Do not look towards the changes and chances of this life with fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence, that, as they arise, God, to whom you belong, will in his love enable you to profit by them.

He has guided and guarded you thus far in life, do you but hold fast to His dear hand and He will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand He will carry you lovingly in His arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow, the same eternal Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day of your life.

Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then, put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations.

Author Unknown. Submitted by Desmond Friel.


When God gave out heads, I thought he said beds, and I asked for a soft one.

When God gave out looks, I thought he said books, and I didn't want any.

When God gave out noses, I thought he said roses, and I asked for a red one.

When God gave out ears, I thought He said beers, and I asked for two big ones

When God gave out chins, I thought he said gins, and I asked for a double.

When God gave out brains, I thought he said trains, and I missed mine.

Since then I'm trying to listen better.

Author Unknown. Submitted by Nat Dann.


Just like the Jesus you talk about,
I've no place to lay my head.
Only a cold shop doorway,
and cardboard for my bed.

My daily funds from the DSS
Do not go very far.
It really is a pittance,
My life is very hard.

And now the winter's setting in,
My clothes are wrecked and torn.
The wind and rain soak me right through
I rarely feel warm!

I know that it's not your fault
I am living life this way:
But circumstances overtook me,
I truly lost my way.

I went along the slip'ry road
Of alcohol and drugs;
I gave up all my life for them
A deep, deep grave I dug.

But now there is a ray of hope!
Some folk show me they care.
It started out with breakfast
And many peoples' prayers.

Now I can talk and share with them
At the Salvation Army.
They feed me and they talk to me.
Who says the Church folk are barmy!

Reflections of the Soul
Breakfast Project


Find time to love your neighbour
As you walk the pilgrim way,
For a smile from you and a word or two
Can brighten someone's day.
The sad of heart need friendship;
And a kindly helping hand
Is the sort of loving gesture
That the lonely understand.
The restless world goes rushing by
With undiminished speed,
And anyone with time to spare
Is very rare indeed.

So be the kind of person
Who refuses to be hurried,
Who counts it merely foolish
To be overwrought and worried.
Take time to pause, and meditate
Upon eternal things
See heaven in the wayside flowers
And in the sweep of wings
Make time to watch a sunset,
Or a kindness to repay,
But most of all -
Find the time to pray.

Loving Lord.
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit
That I may be
The glove You place Your hand in.

Marnie Prowse
Reflections of the Soul
Breakfast Project

Now The Green Blade Riseth

I love the hymn 'Now The Green Blade Riseth'. I love the words, probably J.M.C. Crumb's only claim to fame. I love the music which is a setting of a wonderful Basque folk tune. Replete with the imagery of new birth and growth, it is a great hymn for Lent and Easter. It is above all a hopeful love song for love will come again to those hearts long winter dead. But resurrection can be experienced at any time of the year for life should indeed be full of Epiphanies through which Christ reveals himself and takes on new flesh.

Epiphany - And Did It Seem Like Spring Today?

And did it seem like Spring today
Because restless ruffian gulls
Screeched out their rowdy orisons
With noisy, raucous recklessness;
Or was it because wild garlic
Fragrantly scented the air?

Or did it seem like Spring today
Because strong green shoots of rawness
Pushed hard through the earth's tired old crust,
With a fresh thrust towards growth and birth;

Or because of the cat stretching,
As she snuggled against my chest?

Or did it seem like Spring today
Because of shining trustful eyes
Which showed such holy hopefulness;
Or because of passion pulsing
And surging through a deadened world,
Imbuing souls with joyfulness?

Or did it seem like Spring today
Because we heard the scripture read
And then consumed the broken bread,
In communion with the Lover;
Fleshing out each wordy notion,
Yielding sense from deep devotion?

Michael Ashton

Think deeply
Speak Gently
Love much
Laugh often
Work hard
Give freely
Pay promptly
Pray earnestly
And be kind.

Bishop: "Well, son, which part of the service did you like best?"

Small boy: "The end."

We hope you enjoyed reading excerpts from Volume 2, Issue 2 July 2000 of our parish magazine
ROSEVEAN REVIEW. The editors take no responsibility for views expressed by contributors to this publication

This page created 19th November, 2000