by Valerie O'Farrell
A number of parishioners from St Thomas More, Swiss Cottage, gathered at the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead. The hospice wanted to thank our Assistant Priest Fr Paul Diaper and present him with a gift for his contribution and commitment to Marie Curie’s Catholic patients, and to acknowledge the prayerful support of parishioners.
We were welcomed warmly by Rev Tony Kyriakides, the lead chaplain to the hospice. Jackie Bennett, the hospice manager, gave an overview of the holistic care of patients, which importantly includes the spiritual and pastoral care of the patients and their families. She thanked Fr Paul for what he does for the patients and surprised him by revealing the estimated number of patients he has seen over the years.
Fr Paul goes to the hospice every Friday to administer Holy Communion and is on call for patients nearing the end of their lives. Jackie read out a message from Matthew Reed, the Chief Executive of Marie Curie, who thanked Fr Paul for his great ministry and to the spiritual and religious support he brings to the hospice.
Fr Paul was invited to say a few words and spoke about his visits and thanked everyone at Marie Curie for what they do. He quoted St Teresa of Calcutta who said that, in looking after the sick, we also must consider what we gain from those visits.
Fr Paul was then presented with a box containing a lovely colourful paper weight which had the Marie Curie signature daffodil inside it. He also received a certificate of appreciation from the hospice.
I’m sure all the parishioners of St Thomas More would like to thank Fr Paul also for the way he ministers to everyone at the hospice.