Fr Denis McBride remembers Fr Terrence Creech C.Ss.R. RIP Posted on 30th November 2019

 

Dear Friends,


The Redemptorists of the London Province have lost a dear confrère in Fr Terry Creech who died on Tuesday November 19 2019. He will be buried from St Mary’s Clapham on December 9th following the 12:30 Mass. May he rest in peace. I would love to share a few thoughts.

 

I had the privilege of living with Fr Terry Creech, a fellow Redemptorist, for seven years here at St Clement’s in Chawton, the house of the Redemptorist community attached to our publications. After  a busy and dedicated career as a parish missioner, Fr Terry ministered in Lourdes for 18 years, first as director of HCPT and then as an English-speaking confessor for six months each year. It was his joy and special ministry. He spent hours in the confessional at the Lourdes shrine every day, listening to secret stories and whispered regrets and wretched mistakes, and was regarded as a wonderful confessor by so many pilgrims. Fr Terry had time for everyone. He was an attentive ear and a gentle voice, responding to everything he heard with sympathy and understanding. He enshrined in his listening and his response the mercy of an all-loving Redeemer.

When Fr Terry was not in the confessional, the vineyards of the south of France were nearby and, it has to be said, his devotions were not only to our Lady of Lourdes but to the vineyard of France. He shared his devotion to French wine with his dear friend from Clapham, Dr Coffey. When he returned to England six times a year the customs and excise were fully aware of the old tank he was driving, who was driving it and what was being transported:he was stopped once but never again for his regular wine shipments and pipe tobacco. The customs might have thought that, given the volume of wine, he was shopping for Waitrose.

When he was home Fr Terry was a wonderful chef; I was hopeless and so glad of his talent for cooking. (When he went into hospital my sister Ellen sent me a book, How to Boil an Egg). Fr Terry would cook dinner every day when he was home and when I suggested we could nip out for a meal to give him a break, he always demurred:why would you bother when he was the chef? Of course, he was right.  He was a most gracious host to my family when they visited (my two sisters adored him) and to the many official meetings we had at St Clement’s:he loved company and always had many stories to tell, many of which were recycled in a surprising way. A true Redemptorist.

When he was at home, he would drive into Sainsbury’s every day and slowly hunt the shelves. When his sight worsened, I would drive him in and he would carry a large magnifying glass on his lap. When he was late to call me for collection and I got worried, I would drive into the supermarket, wondering if he had collapsed, and I would see Fr Terry still there peering through his magnifying glass, like Sherlock Holmes inspecting inviting clues, at the labels of choice wines.

Fr Terry did a six month’s tour of three hospitals:Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover. Of course, he was a character in all of them, and the doctors and nurses of NHS were truly wonderful. For the last 13 months he was resident in Westlands Care Home, where he was surprisingly content and peaceful as the resident priest. The staff was very fond of him and supremely caring. His brother, Fr Michael, was a regular visitor every week and a constant friend, supporting his brother in the most devoted way. Everyone should have a brother like Fr Michael.

Fr Terry returned to the God he served, ever so quietly, on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at 1:45am. He will be buried from St Mary’s, Clapham SW4 7AP, on Monday 9th December at the 12.30 Mass.

 

In Your Prayers Please Remember

Father Terry Creech, C.Ss.R.

60 years professed as a Redemptorist

54 years a priest and minister of the Word through missions in parishes and schools

Chaplain to HCPT charity for disabled children

Caring for the poor in Ace of Clubs, charity for homeless people

Witness to God’s mercy in the ­­­confessional in Lourdes

 

May this loving Redemptorist priest rest in peace.

Denis McBride C.Ss.R.

 

 

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