Sunday, 14 October 2012

Requiesce in Pace, Fr Ben!

Many of you will know about the Ordination of Fr Ben Grist for the diocese on June 30th, after the discovery that he had advanced liver cancer in his third year at seminary. Some of you will also know that he passed away early this morning, peacefully and having been given the Anointing of the Sick. He will be greatly missed in the diocese and by the guys here at the seminary. As Ben himself would be the first to admit, he was always something of a "free spirit", and found it a challenge to adapt to the rules and routines of institutional life! But he was a person of deep piety, with a child-like heart, who knew how to appreciate small graces. He would often be found sitting out under the trees in the seminary grounds, reading a book and taking in the sunshine. With his outgoing personality he was also a great friend and evangeliser of the domestic staff at the college, as well as the doctors and nurses in the hospitals. I think these last months of his illness were a great blessing for him in many ways, as he came to terms with what God was doing in his life, and his new role as a priest in the diocese. When I spoke to him a fortnight ago, he said of his illness: "When you're not in control, God is, and that's a blessing. Everything is a gift".

Please pray for Fr Ben, that he go straight to God. I know I have no authority to presume his eternal state, but I have an unofficial hunch that he will be a great intercessor for our diocese, and I for one will be asking for his prayers in return.

Requiescat in Pace.


Joe said...

Heard the news at the Oratory this morning. I didn't know Fr Ben, but knew of his story. Requiescat in pace and may his fellow seminarians be filled with God's grace through the life and example of Fr Ben.

John the organist said...

Yes indeed, what a remarkable youn gentleman.