A Prophet of Hope: Bishop Bede

By Fr Paul Marshall, 11 March 2021
A 2 January 2018 file image of Bishop Emeritus Bede Heather speaking during the Requiem Mass for Fr Brian Rooney at St Michael's Church, Baulkham Hills. Image: Diocese of Parramatta


Fr Paul Marshall, former parish priest of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Parish Greystanes, and Rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park, from 2022, has written this poem in memorial for Bishop Emeritus Bede Heather, the first Bishop of Parramatta.

Bishop Heather passed away on Thursday 25 February 2021.

RELATED: Vale Bishop Bede Heather


Bede, you gifted us with your faith and presence

It was a true mark of your heartfelt essence.

You showed us the meaning of Gospel success

You brought to our lives the gift of hope and finesse.

You honoured us all in the depth of our being

And your pastoral care kept all of us seeing

That through faith and simplicity

We can overcome complicity.

Then, as a scholar of Scripture

You painted the picture

Of the world of Jesus- a world of humble servanthood

Which still begs to be understood

And where your real love was for the prisoner, the battler, and stranger

It was here you tapped the deep spring of Love-Love born in a manger.

You were the face of mercy

In a world of adversity

You lifted the dignity of the broken and weak

You were the voice of those who could not speak.

Bede, you shepherded us on mountains steep

Never losing “the smell of the sheep.”

You took us to greener pastures that others knew not;

You showed us the merciful face of Jesus….and that counts for a lot!

We’ll miss your quiet unobtrusive support

The quiet optimism, the helpful word, for now you can defer to the heavenly court.


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