Yesterday, Tuesday 5 May, Bishop Seamus Cunningham celebrated a Requiem Mass for Fr Lawrence at St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle. Many priests from the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and beyond, ministers from other Christian denominations and several-hundred lay people attended the service to pay their respects. During Mass, the preacher, Fr Michael McCoy, drew attention to Fr Lawrence’s devotion to Our Lady, which was clearly expressed by the hymns he had chosen before he died; the Mass began with ‘Immaculate Mary’ and concluded with two Marian antiphons from the Church’s ancient tradition, ‘Regina Cæli’ and ‘Salve Regina’. It was fitting, therefore, that Fr Lawrence was returned to St Robert’s after his Requiem Mass to be buried in the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes which, as parish priest, he had restored. Please continue to remember Fr Lawrence, his family and his former parishioners in your prayers. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
These photographs show the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes when it was opened in 1982 and the statue after it was restored in 2014.
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.