Sunday, 22 April 2007

Farewell to Monsignor David

This week we said farewell to Monsignor David Norris, whose health has been failing for some time. Following a fall in february, which resulted in hospitalisation, we had hoped that he might be able to return here to Clergy House with an intense care package. Sadly, however, it soon became clear that his needs could not be met at Clergy House, and his doctors advised that he needed an environment that could provide more support and medical treatment. Mgr Norris moved this week to Nazareth House, a Catholic nursing home in north London.

Many parishioners will remember Mgr Norris from his early morning Masses for his ready wit, and his encyclopaedic knowledge of the diocese. He is quite a unique treasure in this respect, having served as priavate secretary to Cardinals Griffin, Godfrey and Heenan. Below is a picture of him with Cardinal Godfrey, and the Duke of Norfolk.

As his health failed, Mgr Norris was less able to take an active part in the life of the Cathedral. In earlier times, he was quite ready to don his robes - below he is seen with a younger Fr Langham, greeting the Queen's representative at the doors of the Cathedral.

The chaplains, especially, will miss him as a wise and widely-read member of the Cathedral team. His stories - fascinating insights into the inner workings of the Cathedral and duicese in the last half-century - were always a joy, and demanded immediate recording. Just last week he was telling us about Cardinal Godfrey's drive to impose the subject matter of weekly sermions upon his preists, on a yearly cycle! We will miss Mgr Norris deeply, and wish him well in his new home.


Anonymous said...

I always found Mgr Norris a wonderful priest in the Confessional at Westminster Cathedral. I shall miss his presence there. I pray that God will bless him in his new environment. It will not be an easy transtition for him.

John the organist said...

May God bless him! It was good to see him at the Chrism Mass joining in from the sidelines!

Anonymous said...

May God bless Mgr Norris in his new home. I hope he settles in well and am sure he will make many new friends.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me,I think the last picture is strange, who are this people with the grey wool "mozzetta" on the shoulders?
Are they a particular group of canons?

Mark Langham said...

The fur belongs to the 'cappa parva' worn by the chaplains of the Cathedral - not strictly speaking a mozzetta, but part of a train, with a hood a the back. In summer, a grey silk version is worn.
The canons of the Cathedral use white fur in the winter, and scarlet silk in the summer.