Speaking at the Mass celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Mgr. John Maguire at St. Mary’s Canton on Friday 16th June, Archbishop George Stack reminded the congregation of the forthcoming feast day of St. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, during the reign of Henry VIII. He was also chancellor of the University of Cambridge and was described by the 16th century Dutch philosopher Erasmus as “a divine prelate”. Archbishop George continued:
“John Fisher stood up to King Henry VIII in refusing to sign the Act of Supremacy which resulted from the turmoil surrounding the desire of King henry to divorce Katherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. He supported the Pope’s negative decision and as a result was imprisoned in the Tower of London on the charge of treason. When Pope Paul III made Fisher a Cardinal in May 1535, Henry said he would have to wear the red hat of a Cardinal on his shoulders. Fisher was beheaded on 22nd June 1535.
John Fisher wrote many wonderful books. In the year 1525 he wrote “A Defence of the Sacred Priesthood” against the attacks of Martin Luther. In speaking of the priesthood, he said: “In New Testament days there were no chalices of gold but many golden priests. Now there are many chalices of gold, but almost no golden priests”. Today,with Fr. John Maguire, we are privileged to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of a golden priest. He has served the people of the Diocese Cardiff with distinction for fifty years. I do not have a golden chalice, but I do have a golden vestment which I now present to him. I hope Fr. John will wear it on the actual day of his 50th anniversary of ordination this Sunday, and wear it many times in years to come as a reminder of the affection and gratitude of countless thousands of people he has served so faithfully”.
(Our photo shows Mgr John Maguire clothed in the Golden Jubilee vestment presented to him by Archbishop George.)