Earlier this week, we were informed of the death of our Australian confrere,
Fr Kevin Bates. He was 77. Kevin was a musician too. Some of you will know him. As a younger Marist in the 80s, given that Kevin was producing recordings in Australia, inspired me to consider following his path. I remember meeting with him in Auckland at the former Marcellin Hall and played some of my music to him. He was very encouraging and wrote a letter of support that I was able to include with my request to the Society of Mary in New Zealand seeking permission to record my first album, 'Under Southern Stars'. I travelled to Sydney in 1990 and Kevin had arranged a team of musicians he knew and worked with to assist and produce the album for me. As many of you will know, I have recorded many albums since. I am grateful to that early beginning and Kevin's role in that. As St Paul writes in Romans 14: 7-12,The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord...May he rest in peace and his music continue to touch and inspire the hearts of those who listen to it and sing it.
You may like to listen to 'People of Justice' the opening track on 'Under Southern Stars' , 'He Waiata mo Waitangi' given it is Waitangi Day on Tuesday and 'Come away to a lonely place' which has a connection with today's Gospel, 'In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.'
We are already a month down in 2024. I hope things have begun well for you. However, I know life presents lots of challenges for us too. Blessings on your week and I look forward to presenting these Sunday Sharings again.