30th April 2020
Dear parishioners of St Mary Magdalene’s, Perth
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the sad news of the death of Monsignor Charles Hendry. Many words will be used in the coming days to describe his ministry amongst you. The memories we treasure, of a parish priest and pastor and teacher, of a friend and colleague and mentor, will form I am sure, a tribute to someone who gave so much to so many.
Everything Monsignor did as a priest – every Holy Mass celebrated, every sermon preached, every baby baptised, every couple married, every sick person anointed, every lonely person visited, every child affirmed and taught, every parishioner supported and upheld, every hospital ward attended, every deathbed sat beside, every soul commended to God, every mourning family comforted – every one of these things is nothing other than the love of God lived out in our world and in our lives, lived out in the ministry of the church which is the body of Christ, and through the Sacred order of the priesthood to which Monsignor Hendry was called sixty-five years ago.
As we celebrate God’s love in the life of our departed brother, we are marking the end of a life. But we are also celebrating the end of a life, not end in the sense of termination, but end in the sense of purpose or goal. Monsignor’s life was directed by, and directed towards, the love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Easter faith which he proclaimed sustains and assures us that if there is an end of things, it is only the end, the goal, of the love which will not be contained and bursts the realms of emptiness and death.
I commend his grieving family and his sweet soul to your prayers.