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THE SAINT PHILOMENA MESSENGER
Issue Number 32 June, 2003, A.D.



My dear Friends and Benefactors,

I have to open this letter with some sad news. My dear Father, George Frederick Hopkins, passed away, aged 82, fortified by the Rites of Holy Mother Church on Saturday, 12th. April.

This has been a very complicated time for me, since his passing occurred just before Holy Week and Easter and shortly after the Bishop's visitation the previous week.
Despite my terror of flying, I travelled to my native England on the 22nd. April to celebrate my Dad's funeral on St. George's Day, 23rd. April (Maybe a sign?). My Father's mortal remains were be buried in Our Lady of Mercy cemetery of the Archdiocese of Miami, near my deceased housekeeper and where I would like my earthly remains to be once this short mortal life is ended.

George F. Hopkins led a long and interesting life. Born at Hackney, London, in 1920, a "Cockney" (meaning anyone horn within the hearing of the bells of Bow (London) church); an outstanding student of mathematics and languages, Dad was conscripted to fight Hitler in 1938. He spent 7 years in the British Navy. During this time he was decorated for bravery on several occasions. Having been present and witnessed the human carnage during the disastrous allied landings at Anzio, Italy, he s, could never really speak about his
experiences of war, they must have been so horrific.)
Dad was a great sportsman. He played cricket, golf, darts, cards and billiards. I feel he was somewhat disappointed in me, who never had an aptitude for or an interest in organized sports. Once he took me to the golf course. I fired all the balls in the wrong directions, lost the lot, and was never invited again! About the only game I was any good at was "Scrabble" at which we passed many enjoyable evenings together.
Dad was an outstandingly loyal family man. Apparently my sister and I were gifts from God, since our parents had wanted children for years yet had to wait a long time before they came.

Mr. & Mrs. Hopkins meet Pope John Paul II, the day after their son's ordination to the sacred priesthood, 8th. December, 1984.
Dad always wanted the best for us. We had a wonderful home life punctuated by the arrival of numerous animals, especially dogs, which I still adore (currently I have three, all rescued from the street). Despite a long history of bad health, he always maintained a great sense of humour.

Sadly, towards the end of his life the Holy Mass in his local church had become so corrupt, so sacrilegious, that he could no longer attend. With my dear Mother he attended a Mass in the traditional Latin rite, offered once a month in a local hall. He was able to make the Latin responses perfectly. Both my parents would have loved to attend daily Mass, but they understood that they did not leave the Church. The "Church" loft them!

As a priest, it has been a great consolation to offer a Gregorian Mass (30 Masses daily, in succession) for my beloved Father. With all my heart I beg you to pray for his eternal repose.