Bishop Michael was visibly moved by our loss of Fr Bernard when he spoke at the beginning of the Requiem Mass on Friday, 31st May. This is the tribute he posted on Saturday on his Blog on the Lancaster Diocese website (http://www.lancasterdiocese.org.uk)
One of our best known parish priests, Father Bernard Woods, died suddenly last weekend and his death came as a shock to many, especially to the parishioners of St. Columba’s, Walney, and Sacred Heart, Barrow. Apart from his various parish appointments, Father Woods’ was involved in youth ministry throughout his priestly life and the very large attendance of people of all ages at his funeral on Friday in St. Columba’s was an eloquent testimony to his influence and to the many lives he touched over forty-five years as a priest.
An obvious sense of sadness pervaded the requiem Mass for Father Bernard, but a very deep sense of faith in the risen Lord and the unshakeable hope he gives was equally palpable among the congregation. On such occasions there rises to the surface the hidden power and profound conviction of the Church’s faith in the great and consoling truth of our redemption, and our ultimate hope of life everlasting. As Father Bernard Woods now ceases from his labours, may he await in peace the resurrection of the body promised to us all by Christ.