news-2


Funeral of Tommy Burns

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Funeral of Tommy Burns

The funeral of Tommy Burns will take place today at St. Mary's Church, Abercromby Street, Calton, Glasgow. The Requiem Mass will begin at 12.15pm. Bishop Jospeh Devine of Motherwell will preside and the sermon will be preached by Mgr Tom Monaghan, Parish Priest of Tommy's home parish of St Cadoc's, Newton Mearns.

St. Mary's is a parish which Tommy was extremely close to personally. St. Mary's Church Hall was also the birthplace of Celtic Football Club, when in November 1887, Brother Walfrid along with others discussed the establishment of a football club to feed the poor in the East End of Glasgow.

Due to restrictions on seating at the church, access to the Requiem Mass will be predominantly for family, friends and colleagues and there will only be very limited public access. This access will be on a first come first served basis.

Following the Requiem Mass, the funeral cortege will pass by the Main Stand at Celtic Park where supporters will have the opportunity to pay their respects to Tommy Burns.

the full text of Mgr Monaghan's sermon is shown below.

Ends

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org



Homily Preached by Mgr Tom Monaghan, Parish Priest of St Cadoc s Church, Newton Mearns at the funeral of Tommy Burns



Having learned the sad news of the death of Tommy Burns, it seemed that the whole country wanted to be united in prayer to Tommy s family and to all those who mourned his loss.  

There can be few families who have received the number of condolences upon the death of a treasured member of the family, as the Burns family.     Although they knew his days on earth were drawing to a close, still the pain of loss kicks in and they would have wanted to hold him just one more day, just one more minute.  

The ordinary people of Glasgow and beyond have joined with supporters of Celtic football club and indeed of rival football teams to express their regard and affection for Tommy.    

Almost universally recognising him as a man of faith, famous people in the political world, the entertainment industry, the Church, the world of sports, the field of journalism and the media have practically queued up to pay tribute to our friend, Thomas Burns who died in the early hours of Thursday last, the feast of St. Isidore, the farmer.  

Why do I mention that?   Isidore worked faithfully on his chosen occupation for the whole of his life. So too did Tommy, right up to the day he went into hospital and beyond via the telephone.  

Like Isidore, he had deep religious instincts. He rose in the morning to go to church and he visited regularly churches in the surrounding area, so that other priests in the south side of Glasgow, thought of him as a parishioner.  

I had the honour of anointing him with the Holy Oils of the Church and of giving him the Blessed Sacrament during his final days so that he who received Holy Communion every day was able to do so right up to the day he died.  

Other priests have known him longer than I have but that privilege of being with him in as his life drew to a close pointed up to me that he was a man who communed with God.  

Sometimes when I examine my own conscience I have to admit that on many days I simply say prayers.   Tommy s devotion, one might say, made him a man who didn t just say prayers ¦.it made him a man who prayed.  

The ingredients for holiness of life were there.   A deep and lasting love of his wife and of his sons and daughters.   A profound and impressive faith.   A real commitment and dedication to his profession.   Family, faith and football gave him immense satisfaction and dignity.     Those were ingredients that were conducive to holiness and happiness.  

His duties to God, to his loved ones, to his colleagues did not go unfulfilled.   Perhaps the truth which emerges is this: If you have your spiritual self in order, your earthly commitments will also fall into order.  

Emma and Jenna, Michael and Jonathan, you must be so, so proud of your dad.     Rosemary ¦of your husband.   Mrs. Burns and your daughters ¦of your son and brother.   Baby Cole Thomas ¦of your grandfather of whom you will learn so much when you grow into boyhood.  

I can t say this of many people, but I can say that I remember the first time I ever met Tommy.   It must have been twenty years ago when I was a younger priest working in St. John s, Barrhead.   I noticed this visitor with a striking head of red hair and being a red head myself ¦as you can plainly see ¦.I went over and asked him his name.  

Tommy Burns, Father , he said.  

Nice to meet you Tommy , said I.  

Do you work in this area?  

No Father, I m a professional footballer.  

Oh , I said, who do you play for?  

Celtic!   he replied [with a smile].

When I told that story to my pals, they groaned in despair and horror!   I tell it today, not to point up my ignorance and lack of interest in football but to point to the humility of the man.  

Twenty years were to pass before I met him again.   That was last October when I became his parish priest.   He came over to me and, not presuming that I should know him, he said, Welcome to St. Cadoc s Father.   I m Tommy Burns.   If I can do anything to help you, just let me know.  

Celebrity sat lightly on his shoulders.   Faith did not.   He could come to churches in the south side of Glasgow knowing that he would be left in peace to pray.   On one recent day after receiving Holy Communion, his prayer and thanksgiving were so deep that I wondered for a time if I should just slip quietly away from his bedside.   On another day as I was about to leave him, I asked him to pray for me.   He held my hand and said, Father, you are always in my prayers.  

He knew that thousands of people were praying for him but he shared those prayers with Rosemary, as she so lovingly cared for him and with Emma, Jenna, Michael and Jonathan who, he told me, were his treasures.  

Last Friday, an Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, visiting Glasgow, spoke of the importance of respect.   Respect, he explained, comes from the Latin verb respicere which means to look back or behind yourself ¦to have a consideration for the person who is beside you.   That will only come about in our lives when we live according to the consequences of our faith or to the consequences of a desire to do good.  

All of us have within ourselves the capacity for gentleness and reverence ¦.of mildness and of tenderness.   Here before us lies a man who was both loving and loveable. A man whom you all held in great esteem if for no other reason than that he always met you with the spirit of cheerfulness.  

What he was, we can be.   We should never be content to be mediocre.  

Thomas undoubtedly suffered before he died ¦.but he died with incredible serenity.   His iron will was still there and he saw his sickness as an opportunity to offer his suffering to the Lord for his own sins, faults and failings and those of others.

Recently it became clear that he was moving towards a pia mors ¦.a happy death.  

With Rosemary and the family I saw him do so with considerable courage and grace. After being anointed with the Holy Oils of the church for the very last time, Tommy, in his final hours, fell silent as his sickness took hold of him more strongly.  

Is it possible that his life became even more valuable when he became so feeble and when he died?  

Is it possible?  

Dear friends, let us ask God the Father, from whom all mercy comes, to welcome into his light and peace this joyous and joyful son who, so widely esteemed, was filled with such a stunning faith that what will endure in the memories of us all, was that he was a good, good man.  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 539 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Homily for the Requiem of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Thursday 21 January 2021         In his homily at the funeral of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, describes the late Archbishop as “a great tree felled unexpectedly in the middle of the night” a loss that “has changed the landscapes of so many lives.”   The full text of the homily is shown below:   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Homily for the Requiem of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia St Andrew’s Cathedral, 21 January 2021   “Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.” There are so many settings in which to have known Archbishop Philip: as a member of his family, or in his school and student days, in Rome, in the seminaries and parishes he served, as Bishop of Paisley and Archbishop of Glasgow. There were the many circles he moved in: of ecumenical dialogue, Catholic education about which he was so engaged and realistic, the civic life of Glasgow, not forgetting its sport. So many people touched by him, so many aspects to a life, so many perspectives to view it from. Three score years and ten. Our memories are fragments of a greater whole, and that whole – the mystery of a person - is in the mind and hands of God. “On the earth the broken arcs, in the heaven a perfect round.” Today, in Christ, we remember Philip’s life, we give thanks for it and we pray for its completion and the comfort of the bereaved. We bring him and ourselves before God in a literal and metaphorical great Eucharistic prayer of hope and affection. The image that comes to me is of a great tree felled unexpectedly in the middle of the night – Storm Covid. And only when we woke up the day following did we begin to divine what had happened, did we begin to grasp the depths of its roots, to see the space this tree occupied, the shelter it gave, and what we’ve personally and collectively lost. This uprooting has changed the landscapes of so many lives. “Tree” seems right. The timber of this man was sound. It was sound all through. At a time when hollowness or rottenness seem to surface with disheartening regularity, this was a comfort. I think we felt this soundness and relied on it more than we knew. Eulogy is no part of a liturgy. It’s the last thing Philip would have wanted; he was not a self-advertising man. It’s not what we want; we are probably still too numb. But the prohibition of eulogy doesn’t mean we have to talk abstractions. Surely we can acclaim the providence of God, the presence of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit within him, from his birth seventy years ago to his committal today, from his baptism to this Eucharist, from the pouring of that first water to the final sprinkling of his remains. There seems a rare wholeness here. Surely we can acknowledge how the grace of his baptism and of his ordination grew and flowered in him, how the Lord was indeed his shepherd and through him shepherded others, how his priesthood became a true spiritual fatherhood which has left its trace on all of us. Looking at it from our side, we are commending to God today someone who wasn’t small in any sense, someone of gravitas, and someone in whom head and heart came together, possessed of intellectual force and clarity and at the same time of great human warmth. There have been so many testimonies to this (and my thanks to all who have sent condolences). He might have passed his life in the green pastures of dogmatic theology, by the restful waters of seminary teaching (if they exist) or of promising ecumenical dialogue, but he accepted pastoral assignments and he cherished them. He had a gift for friendship and insight into people. During our Ad Limina visit with the Pope in 2018 he said to the Holy Father, “I miss the parish”, and got a delighted papal thumbs-up. As a pastor, esp...

Catholic bishops urge governments to renew search for Middle East peace

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Thursday 21 January 2021   Following a series of online meetings with Christians in Gaza, the Palestinian territories and Israel, the Catholic bishops who are members of the Holy Land Coordination group have urged “Israeli and Palestinian leaderships (to) recommit to direct negotiations.” The fifteen bishops from eleven countries also urged “our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims”   The full text of their statement is shown below:   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Holy Land Coordination 2021 Final Communiqué This is the first time we have been prevented from meeting physically in the Holy Land. Yet we remain resolutely committed to supporting our sisters and brothers in the homeland of Christ. Over the past week we have been privileged and moved to hear from Christians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel about their mission, resilience and witness in these unprecedented circumstances. Through our dialogue, it has become painfully clear that there is today less cause for optimism than at any time in recent history. The health challenges of Covid-19, felt by the entire world, are compounded by conflict, occupation and blockade. The absence of international pilgrims has exacerbated widespread economic hardship, increased levels of unemployment and pushed many more families into poverty. The lack of political progress, along with relentless expansion of illegal settlements and the impact of Israel’s Nation-State law, continues to erode any prospect of a peaceful two-state solution. Now is a critical moment for us all to strengthen our expression of solidarity with the people of the Holy Land “not as a vague sentiment but as a ‘firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good’”.1 We stress the importance of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships recommitting to direct negotiations. We call upon our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Furthermore, the international community must hold Israel accountable for its moral, legal and humanitarian responsibility to make Covid-19 vaccines accessible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and encourage cooperation by the Palestinian Authority, heeding Pope Francis’ message that “in the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls.”2 While many of our own countries continue to face severe hardship amid the pandemic, we have a profound responsibility to support our fellow Christians in the Holy Land. Church schools, clinics, hospitals and other social projects including the work of Caritas, while under severe pressure, are models of charity, justice, and peace. These Christian institutions are vital in bringing together people from many different backgrounds to serve the common good of all. 1 Pope Francis, World Day of Peace 2021 2 Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi 2020   The Christian community, though small, is an important guarantor of social cohesion and a bearer of hope for a better future. We eagerly await a time when Christians from across the world can once again make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to witness and support this first- hand. Until that point, we encourage our communities to provide any assistance that may be possible and hold all the region’s peoples in our prayers. Bishop Declan Lang England and Wales (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination) Bishop Udo Bentz Germany Archbishop Stephen Bris...

Media Arrangements for Archbishop Tartaglia's Funeral

| 5 days ago | Blogging

Media Arrangements for Archbishop Tartaglia's Funeral   The Archbishop’s Funeral Rites will be celebrated in St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, subject to the restrictions that are in place. Under current regulations only 20 of the Archbishop’s closest family and friends will attend and no media presence in the Cathedral will be possible.  However media outlets are free to make use of the following arrangements:   Vigil ceremony and Reception of Remains of Archbishop Tartaglia on Wednesday 20th January at 6.30 pm accessible by using this video link: https://youtu.be/idlkb2sNUcc     The Archbishop's Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday 21st January at 12 noon, and will be accessible by using this video link: https://youtu.be/tS6rtYC0DhMS   Still photos of the ceremonies will be available shortly after each liturgy at the following address and can be freely downloaded and used by the media. https://www.flickr.com/photos/archdioceseofglasgow/  The main celebrant of the Requiem Mass for Archbishop Tartaglia will be Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. His sermon will be made available to the media and can be used after 12 noon on Thursday January 21.   Please note that external photography is not an option as the Cathedral ceremonies will be held behind closed doors. The coffin of the Archbishop will not be carried from the Cathedral as it will be buried in the Cathedral Crypt immediately after the Requiem Mass.   ENDS   For further information, contact   Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications RCAG - 07735 224789   ...

Statement from Bishop Stephen Robson on the death of Bishop Vincent Logan

| 14th January 2021 | Blogging

14 January 2021    Following the death of Bishop Emeritus Vincent Logan, the current Bishop of Dunkeld, Bishop Stephen Robson, has issued the following statement:    My Dear People   It is with deep regret that I must share with you the sad news that Bishop Vincent, Emeritus Bishop of this Diocese, has died.  Bishop Vincent was 79.    Vincent Logan was Bishop of the diocese of Dunkeld for almost 32 years before his retirement on June 30th, 2012.  He was appointed to Dunkeld by Saint John Paul II and consecrated Bishop by Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray on 26th February 1981.  Sadly his retirement years, from 2012 to the present were affected by a good deal of ill health which affected his mobility. He died earlier this morning, 14th January 2021, the day after his good friend Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow alongside whom he served on the Bishops Conference of Scotland. Both bishops succumbed to the lethal effects of the Coronavirus.    Bishop Vincent is survived by one remaining brother, James, and by two nephews Vincent and James, to whom our condolences are offered.  His faithful PA, Press Officer and friend of 40 years, Elaine Harrison, has cared for him in an exemplary manner especially over the years of his retirement.  Though devastated by his death, Elaine is happy that Bishop Vincent is now at peace with the Good Lord.   Bishop Vincent Logan was born in Bathgate, West Lothian, on 30th June 1941. After education in St Mary’s Academy, Bathgate, St Mary’s College, Blairs and St Andrew’s College, Drygrange,  Vincent was ordained priest by Cardinal Gray in Edinburgh on 14th March 1964. Following on from a number of diocesan appointments as assistant priest in Edinburgh, and further studies in catechetics in Corpus Christi College London, Vincent was appointed, Diocesan Advisor in RE, Director of the RE Office in the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, and finally Vicar Episcopal for Education in the Archdiocese from 1977-1981. His final parochial appointment in the Archdiocese was as Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Ratho, from 1977-1981. Following on from his consecration as Bishop of Dunkeld on 26th February 1981, he served for 32 very energetic and innovative years both in the Diocese and in the Bishops Conference. His work was greatly appreciated at all times.    Much can be said about Bishop Vincent’s achievements, but these can wait for a more leisurely time once the pandemic dangers have passed and we can Celebrate Bishop Vincent’s Requiem Mass more appropriately. The funeral arrangements are as yet unknown, but the Mass and burial will be recorded and streamed, so that all who have access to the internet will be able to participate.   With every blessing to you all and a request for prayers for Bishop Vincent.   + Stephen Robson Bishop of Dunkeld   ENDS    Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org                     Note to Editors:   An image of Bishop Logan is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/50833807603/in/album-72157717885467253/  ...