Thursday, 18 April 2013

A Message from Father Francis Maple

Dear readers, 
Thank you for your good wishes and prayers.

I have just returned from being chaplain on a 13 night cruise on the ship Aurora. I would not have missed it for anything.  It was as good as giving a parish Mission.  I was at the beck and call of crew and passengers.  My stay on the ship was just a small part of the world cruise many of the passengers were making.  I got on the ship at Laem Chambang and got off at Dubai. The places we called at were Singapore, Port Kelang, Mumbai, Muscat and Dubai.  I did not see a spot of rain.  Sunny skies everyday while poor Britain froze.  I came back brown as a berry.  The cruise went without a hitch.  Everyone was so kind.  I was welcomed by crew and passengers.  Some of the crew had not seen a priest for nine months.  I met so many interesting people who shared their stories with me.

It was while on the cruise I celebrated my Golden Jubilee to the priesthood at the Easter Vigil ceremonies.  I offered up the Mass for all present as I told them it was this day 50 years ago I was ordained a priest.  The crew at the end of Mass presented me with a chocolate cake on which were written in yellow the words 'Congratulations'.  Then they sang the song 'Congratulations and Jubilations.'  I was really touched.  About 150 crew and passengers were present.  It was an occasion I shall never forget. 

Most days I said two Masses, one for the passengers at 08.45 and another for the crew at 23.30.  The crew Masses were well prepared and accompanied on a key board with lively hymns I had never heard.  Some of the hymns were in the crew's native languages.  The crew came for Goa, Mumbai and the Philippines.

God bless,

Fr. Francis


  1. How lovely for Fr. Francis to have a special celebration. And so nice of him to share like this.

    Thank you for this feel-good post, Victor - it warms the heart.

    God bless:-)

    1. Father Francis wrote to me thanking everyone who left messages on my Blog wishing him well for his 50th Anniversary. He'd only just returned from his Mission on the ship.

      I haven't seen him for a while, but remember attending one of his Missions in Wales many years ago.

      Thank you Vicky for your good wishes. God bless you and your family always.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip! Congratulations, Fr. Maple, on your 50th Anniversary to the Priesthood. Most of all, thank you, both for answering God's call and for sharing your wisdom with us here and at the Community of Catholic Bloggers.

    1. Thank you Mary.

      Father Francis visits this Blog from time to time, and the Community Blog too. He'll be pleased to see all the good wishes messages left for him here. I know he prays for all of us.

      God bless you.



God bless you.