Wednesday 18th July saw a large number of wellwishers gather in the Sacred Hearts Church, Charlton Kings, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Bernard Jones O. Carm. Fr. Bernard, born in Hampton, had been ordained 22nd July 1962 and ministered in a variety of places - the parish of Usk in Monmouthshire with its young offenders prison; he had been chaplain to a number of Convents; Parish Priest in Devon and latterly chaplain to Nazareth House in Charlton Kings.
Wherever he has been, whatever his role, Bernard had always been a true pastor to the people he served, always living out in a modest and true manner his vocation as both Carmelite and Priest.
|Young and old - one Church, one Community|
Fr. Tom Smith, a friend of Bernard, said in his homily: "lowliness is taken up by greatness, weakness by power, mortality by eternity",
applying this quote from Pope Leo the Great to
Bernard is very much, to use a computer term, WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get. When you meet Bernard then you see the true man and that is a valuable gift in today's world. He relates to all young or old and shows a genuine love of people. Fr. Bernard, however, also has a definite portion of the Hermit in him, being self sufficient, prayerful and reflective in keeping with his calling to the Carmelite life. Over 100 people came to wish him well and celebrate Bernard and his minsitry. To quote Fr. Tom Smith again "As life and society become more transient, so to is life within the Church, we have a rare opportunity to see one who has persevered through the storms of life and whose faith is strong and a source of norishment for those around him".