Tuesday 7 June 2011

Prior Provincial remembers Fr David Waite

Fr Wilfrid McGreal writes in tribute to Fr David.

David Waite was born at Caterham in Surry in 1946. The family moved to Fetcham near Leatherhead and it was to be the family home. David had a younger brother Michael. David went to the Catholic primary school at Leatherhead and his secondary education was with the Jesuits at Wimbledon. He enjoyed his time there and is remembered by his contemporaries.

After a short spell in the Civil Service David went to Lancaster University gaining an MA in economics. He went on to work in the Bank of England for five years.

Going on a vocations course at Allington Castle led David to join the Carmelites and he was professed as a friar at Aylesford Priory in 1977.

After studies in Rome, and gaining a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, David taught at Whitefriars Cheltenham (now St Edwards School).
David completed his theological studies in Dublin and ministered as a deacon at English Martyrs, Walworth.

After his priestly ordination in 1990 David went on to teach and act as Chaplain at St. Edwards.

David was back on the parish team at Walworth for three years before being appointed Parish Priest at Aberystwyth.

David left Aberystwyth and spent some time in Rome as librarian at Sant'Alberto (Saint Albert's College) and also became involved in the painstaking task of preparing the annual Carmelite Bibliography for the Order's academic journal Carmelus. While enjoying the work David found living in Rome somewhat lonely and he came back to Britain.

Over the years David helped as community bursar and oversaw the wellbeing of the libraries at Aylesford and East Finchley. He also agreed to take on again the preparation of the Carmelite Bibliography. Over this period he continued to help in the ministry of welcome at Aylesford.

In 2010 the Prior General asked David to become the Order's Archivist.  David agreed, and technically remained a member of the Curia community until his death. However, no sooner had he arrived in Rome than illness struck. He was given great loving care by the brethren but despite his illness he asked to return to Britain. In the midst of atrocious weather he came back safely and was given excellent care at Maidstone Hospital. David was able to come back to Aylesford where he felt at home and at peace.

From that time to his death today, David was able to live his Carmelite life in a spirit of peace and joy.

He managed to finish off work on the Carmelite Bibliography and he was able to join the community for prayer and its daily life.

The Oncology Department at Maidstone Hospital gave him great support and Trish Golledge the Province Nurse was a great help to him.

What was significant in this time was David's concern for others. He came to the last part of his journey open to God’s will and conscious that he was loved by the community.

David died in the early hours of June 6th, and his last words were to offer his death as a reparation for peace.

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