On Saturday 31st May a Solemn High Mass of Our Lady was held to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Ordination of Dom Boniface. The Mass, which took place in the Abbey Church, was well attended. The celebrant was Dom Boniface Hill O.S.B., the Deacon Fr Martin Queenan and the Sub Deacon Fr Jean-Patrice Coulon M.S.F.S.
The St John's Festival Choir provided the music which included uplifting renditions of Missa 'Ave Maris Stella', Offertory Motet 'Exultate Deo' and Communion Motet 'Ave Maria'. The Holy Gospel reading was according to St John c.19, v 25-27 where Jesus on the cross gave his mother into the care of the disciple he loved.
Dom Boniface gave a homily which reflected on his 25 years as a priest He began by explaining that it was the martyrs that first drew him to Downside. He spoke about the influence of St Oliver Plunkett, who was martyred in 1861, he was Bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. His shrine is at Downside. He also mentioned Edmund Campion and the saints St Vincent de Paul and St Francis de Sales and of course St Boniface whose name he took. St Boniface was a Devonian, like himself who hailed from Crediton. Dom Boniface reminded us that the priesthood has been handed down from Jesus to his disciples at the Last Supper and then through the centuries via the Bishops and he ended by saying that 'All priests are an icon of Jesus Christ' and as a human being he felt strengthened by the Saints praying in Heaven for him and all of us. He also thanked God for his twenty five years as a priest.
The Shrine of St Oliver Plunkett
We would like to thank the priests, servers and choir who helped to make this Mass a memorable experience.
Sub Deacon: Fr Coulon, Deacon: Fr Queenan, Celebrant: Dom Boniface