© 2022 Our Lady Star of the Sea, East Preston
Our Lady Star of the Sea
Fr David Rea 10th September 1937 – 17th March 2020 I want to begin by sharing with you a local newspaper report dated 6th April 2020. ‘Sussex Priest who devoted his life to the Catholic Church dies aged 82, but his detailed Funeral plans are put on hold due to Cornavirus restrictions.’ Fr David Rea was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork on 10th September 1937, attending the Presentation Convent and Christian Brothers School and St Colman’s College Fermoy. Fr David studied for six years at St Patrick’s college Thurles in Ireland before being ordained in 1961. His first Parish was at St Catherine’s in nearby Littlehampton where he was assistant Priest for four years. He then travelled up the Sussex coast to Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne again as an assistant Priest for ten years after which he found himself a little further along the coast as Parish Priest of St Joseph’s in Brighton from 1975 1987. He was then called to travel inland to Burgess Hill as Parish Priest of Wilfrid’s for nine years. Following a serious heart attack and triple bypass he became our Parish Priest for some 23 years here at Our Lady star of the Sea, East Preston. He often quoted himself saying to the Bishop ‘Find me a nice little bungalow by the sea and not too far away from a golf course please.’ Fr David retired in September 2020 but continued living in what he called his ’holiday bungalow’ having as quoted in the local newspaper ‘handing over the bulk of his work to Deacon Allan.’ I would want to add that I received great support from people of this Parish in so many ways. On Fr David’s death I wrote the following comments for our local and regional press ‘It was a great sadness that for our Parish that due to the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions, we were unable to be together for Fr David’s funeral. He had planned the farewell service in great detail and we wanted it to be a much deserved recognition of his long service as our Parish Priest. Suffice to say that Fr David has left a considerable gap in the life of the Parish he loved so much. Irish to the core, a man from Cork, never lost for words, a ready sense of humour, certainly a man never afraid to call a spade a spade. Whenever there was a last word, it would always be his, especially when he was on the phone. When you heard the click, you knew he had ended the conversation; there was nothing more to be said. So many will recall his kindness, thoughtfulness and willingness to listen to the sad and downhearted, the distressed and the troubled; he thought nothing with being with families when a loved one was dying or had died, no matter what time of day or night. He loved his rugby on TV, woe betide who thought they’ve give him a ring whilst a match was on... For many years, he followed the fortunes or otherwise of The Seagulls, The Brighton and Hove Albion football team he supported down the years. We will surely miss the twinkle in his eyes and his smile when he came into the Church from the side door, often stopping to greet someone he hadn’t seen for some time. I will be deprived of those little of the cuff remarks suddenly whispered into my ear. Occasionally, when I was preaching, he would interject with a personal observation or follow up point. I never knew what he was going to say next, but it would often be tongue in cheek and light hearted. He just couldn’t resist having his pennies worth. Let me end with this prayer: May you recognise in your life the presence, the power and the light of Christ. May you realise you are never alone for he is always with you. That your living soul connects you with the rhythm of the Universe and may the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands. Deacon Allan.
© 2022 Our Lady Star of the Sea, East Preston
Our Lady Star of the Sea
Fr David Rea 10th September 1937 – 17th March 2020 I want to begin by sharing with you a local newspaper report dated 6th April 2020. ‘Sussex Priest who devoted his life to the Catholic Church dies aged 82, but his detailed Funeral plans are put on hold due to Cornavirus restrictions.’ Fr David Rea was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork on 10th September 1937, attending the Presentation Convent and Christian Brothers School and St Colman’s College Fermoy. Fr David studied for six years at St Patrick’s college Thurles in Ireland before being ordained in 1961. His first Parish was at St Catherine’s in nearby Littlehampton where he was assistant Priest for four years. He then travelled up the Sussex coast to Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne again as an assistant Priest for ten years after which he found himself a little further along the coast as Parish Priest of St Joseph’s in Brighton from 1975 1987. He was then called to travel inland to Burgess Hill as Parish Priest of Wilfrid’s for nine years. Following a serious heart attack and triple bypass he became our Parish Priest for some 23 years here at Our Lady star of the Sea, East Preston. He often quoted himself saying to the Bishop ‘Find me a nice little bungalow by the sea and not too far away from a golf course please.’ Fr David retired in September 2020 but continued living in what he called his ’holiday bungalow’ having as quoted in the local newspaper ‘handing over the bulk of his work to Deacon Allan.’ I would want to add that I received great support from people of this Parish in so many ways. On Fr David’s death I wrote the following comments for our local and regional press ‘It was a great sadness that for our Parish that due to the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions, we were unable to be together for Fr David’s funeral. He had planned the farewell service in great detail and we wanted it to be a much deserved recognition of his long service as our Parish Priest. Suffice to say that Fr David has left a considerable gap in the life of the Parish he loved so much. Irish to the core, a man from Cork, never lost for words, a ready sense of humour, certainly a man never afraid to call a spade a spade. Whenever there was a last word, it would always be his, especially when he was on the phone. When you heard the click, you knew he had ended the conversation; there was nothing more to be said. So many will recall his kindness, thoughtfulness and willingness to listen to the sad and downhearted, the distressed and the troubled; he thought nothing with being with families when a loved one was dying or had died, no matter what time of day or night. He loved his rugby on TV, woe betide who thought they’ve give him a ring whilst a match was on... For many years, he followed the fortunes or otherwise of The Seagulls, The Brighton and Hove Albion football team he supported down the years. We will surely miss the twinkle in his eyes and his smile when he came into the Church from the side door, often stopping to greet someone he hadn’t seen for some time. I will be deprived of those little of the cuff remarks suddenly whispered into my ear. Occasionally, when I was preaching, he would interject with a personal observation or follow up point. I never knew what he was going to say next, but it would often be tongue in cheek and light hearted. He just couldn’t resist having his pennies worth. Let me end with this prayer: May you recognise in your life the presence, the power and the light of Christ. May you realise you are never alone for he is always with you. That your living soul connects you with the rhythm of the Universe and may the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands. Deacon Allan.