Fr Piet Wijngaard, OCarm is former chaplain of the Shrine, and now Parish Priest here. In our blog, Fr Piet writes about Saint Theodore and his connection to the Parish in Faversham. The Parish church is connected to the Shrine of Saint Jude:
"Several of you might have wonder why we priests quite often mention Saint Theodore in the Eucharistic Prayers at Mass in the church in Faversham. Well let me explain.
On Christmas Day 1899 the Parish of Canterbury celebrated not one but three Masses at 82 Abbey Street in Faversham, and thereafter once a month on the first Sunday. In this way the Faversham Mission was established.
Southwark Archdiocese then obtained Plantation House in Faversham, and in October 1900 the Bishop of Southwark arranged that a member of the Oblates of St Francis de Sales from the Walmer community would take the position of resident priest. One of the rooms in Plantation House was made in a chapel and dedicated to Saint Theodore of Tarsus.
Saint Theodore was was born in 602, died on 19th September 690 and was buried at Canterbury. He was archbishop of Canterbury from 668 to 690 and was best known for his reform of the English Church by holding several synods and establishing a school in Canterbury. Apart from the Roman Catholic Church, he is venerated by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion. He studied at Antioch and Constantinople and studied medicine, Roman civil law, Greek rhetoric and philosophy and the use of horoscope. He also became learned in Latin literature, both sacred and secular. No wonder he was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury!
Let us remember him, especially on his feast day 19th September. After all he was our patron and protector of our Catholic community here at Faversham almost right from its establishment. Let us be inspired by his enthusiastic dedication to the job given him by the Lord!
Saint Theodore, pray for us.
Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm