Categorized | National News


Bahamians from all walks of life filled Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral yesterday in large numbers  to hail the exemplary service of  the late Monsignor Preston Moss to the catholic church and the nation. 

Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder   who gave  the homily at the funeral service,   became emotional at one point in his remarks about his closest co worker, as he called him.

He asked, “ What is the value of his life and example  in our country today?   He was a gifted preacher and quite at home in proclaiming and explaining the word. Yet he understood quite well as Saint Paul said that ‘we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.’  The value of Christ must be present in the preacher.  I believe Monsignor Moss was exemplary in that regard.  We honour him best by following  his example. We miss him and so we grieve.  

“He taught us to never allow our passions to destroy our potential, we should never allow our passions to destroy our possibilities and we should never allow the storm or passion to shipwreck or future.”

He said, “When you come to serve The Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, cling to Him, do not leave Him. Trust in God and He will help you make your way straight, and hope in Him.

“ He was widely known, highly respected, deeply loved and widely appreciated.

“Two nights ago, at the Vigil for Monsignor at St. Anselm’s Church, the beautiful testimonies about him, by those who spoke, had a consoling affect on those of us present.  Now, concerning his funeral, he left very clear instructions for his funeral. It says, “I direct that my funeral be very inexpensive, It is my desire that a simple Mass of Christian Burial be conducted, without any Eulogy and the burial should be made at St. Anselm’s, and his funeral instructions continue, he listed the songs he wanted sung on this occasion.

“A few years ago, I was attending a Synod of Bishops in Rome, and during one of the informal sessions, the gentleman beside me, noticing that my name tag said I was the Archbishop of Nassau, asked, “Is there a priest in your Diocese named Preston?” and I said, “Yes.”  He then asked, “How is he doing?” Well at the time, Monsignor was Victor General and doing well, and I said so. I then asked him, “How do you know him? He responded, about thirty years ago when I was just beginning my career in the Vatican Diplomatic Service, I met him at one of our  Tours in Africa, he made such a positive impression on me, and although I have not seen him since, I have not forgotten him. This is just one of the persons who Monsignor made a positive effect on me. So the person saying this is  the current Vatican Secretary of State. That is but one example of the way Monsignor touched the lives of people he came into contact with. 

“I got to know to know him during the Summer of 1970 as a first year Seminary Student assigned to St. Bedes Parish, he was then Father Moss.  The housekeeper explained to me that Father Moss, as he was known then, liked things done the right way and I took a liking to doing things to do things the wrong way and I watched him react with frustration and anger, but anger got the better of him, he was never angry for long. It is no wonder that people found him so approachable, so endearing so profoundly loving,” said the Archbishop.

He said, “Monsignor had a very clear, definite understanding of Ministry. He internalized it very clearly. He was a gifted preacher, he understood that we do not preach ourselves but Christ.

“Monsignor Moss entered the Priesthood at a difficult time for the Catholic Church, when the church took on the task of renewing itself, still, he stuck with it, out of seven young priests, he was the only one who remained, eventually serving as a Vicar General for three Bishops – Hagarty, Lawrence Burke, and myself.

“His Priesthood lasted for more than fifty-four years, that is the record, the benchmark,” said Archbishop Pinder.

Among those attending the funeral service were  the Governor General, Dame Marguerite Pindling, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, members of his Cabinet and members of the clergy from  various denominations. 

 Preston Moss has now been gathered to God, and now minister to him in the way he ministered so well to so many others during his 53 years of service. We knew him, we loved him and we now miss him and so we grieve for him. Archbishop Patrick Pinder was overcome with emotion and wept for his closest co worker who he so respected and loved.

May God grant him eternal rest.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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