Bishop David Konstant

There is a Celtic poem which dates from the eighth century called the Hymn of Fiacc
Which tells in verse the story of St Patrick. It includes the line:

“Patrick, without arrogance or pride,
Great was the good which be proposed to himself,
To be in the service of Mary’s Son”

I cannot think of a more appropriate reflection for the closing and opening of St Patrick’s Church.

In many ways the area has been the cradle of the rebirth of Catholicism in Leeds and it is for me a joy to celebrate the birth of a new Church building at the beginning of the third Christian Millennium. The new St Patrick’s will serve the area formerly served by the powerhouses of prayer that were St Patrick’s on York Road and Mount St Mary’s on Richmond Hill. It is a great and good thing to build for the future, rather like the men and women, religious and priests who did so in the past. The future has probably turned out very differently to what they expected, and the future for the new Church and the people it serves is quite properly in the hands of God. However like St Patrick himself, we can with confidence commit it to be “in the service of Mary’s Son”.

Many of you come from families long associated with both Mount St Mary and St Patrick and each of you has played a real part in bringing us all to this day. This occasion cannot go by without tribute being paid to the priests and sisters who have served the Catholic community in this area in the past and especially today to the latest of their number, Fr Chris Willis. Without his powers of persistance, prayer and persuasion the new Church would not have been designed and built to be what it is: a sign of Christian hope for the people of Leeds.

With every blessing

Bishop of Leeds

28th April 2001