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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Papal Mass honour for devout mum

A Watford parishioner met Pope Francis after the Holy Father called her son, a priest in America, by phone to invite her to meet him.

Marie Sarah Figueiredo, a faithful parishioner of Holy Rood parish, Watford for some 50 years, was privileged to be anointed with the oil of the sick by Pope Francis at his private residence – Domus Sanctae Marthae – prior to the Jubilee Mass for Priests and seminarians on Friday, 3rd June, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. At the Mass itself, Ms Figueiredo brought up the gifts for the offertory.

Mgr Anthony Figueiredo, Spiritual Director at the Pontifical North American College and priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, USA, told The Universe that Pope Francis rang him, requesting to meet his mother. “Perhaps this can give comfort to many others who are suffering illness, as well as mothers of priests and priests themselves, and show also the pastoral heart of Pope Francis,” he said. “It was he who called me by phone and asked Mum to come to his home to meet him.”

Ms Figueiredo worked as secretary/bursar at two Catholic schools in the Watford area for 20 years – Holy Rood, Watford, and St Michael’s Catholic High School, Garston. Mgr Figueiredo revealed that his parents chose to send all four of their children to Catholic schools, at a great sacrifice.

The monsignor, who also worked as the English official at the Pontifical Council Cor Unum at the Holy See, explained that his mother had experienced a lot of suffering in recent years but continues to attend Mass.

“She looked after my Dad at home in his final years of life, and in the last years has herself suffered breast cancer and two strokes.

“Yet she remains a daily Mass attendant and communicant at Holy Rood – health permitting.”