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.