A TRIBUTE TO FR CYRIL BLAKE
(5th February 1931 – 16th April 2016)
Fr Cyril Blake was a proud member of the “Class of ‘58”. This group of priests, though diminishing in numbers, gathered each year to celebrate their ministry and to share their lives. Three weeks ago they gathered at Halls Gap for this purpose. Fr Cyril sustained serious injuries following a fall during these days away with his priest friends. He was transferred to St John of God Hospital in Ballarat where he died on the morning of 16th April. Fr Cyril was 85 years of age and had been a priest for 57 years.
Cyril entered Corpus Christi College, Werribee in 1951 and was ordained in 1958 by Archbishop Simonds. He was appointed Assistant Priest to Castlemaine (1959), and West Preston (1962).
In 1966 Fr Cyril wrote to Bishop Fox, “May I also, My Lord, bring again to your notice my request earlier this year to be released for some time for the missions. I would like to think that I could do this with your blessing and approval. I am not sure that God wants me there – but at least I could try.” Cyril was persistent and later wrote to Archbishop Knox seeking selection for missionary work having visited New Guinea. On 11 December, 1968 Archbishop Knox wrote approving Cyril’s selection to serve overseas. He remained in Papua New Guinea from 1969 until 1981 serving with the Melbourne Overseas Mission (MOM). He worked tirelessly with others in establishing schools where there were no schools, dispensed medical help where none existed, visited the isolated communities of the Highlands, supported agricultural education and the education to prevent the spread of disease. He was passionate to ensure the Archdiocese of Melbourne sustained its care, awareness and engagement through MOM. In acknowledging Cyril’s contribution, we honour his family, who to this present day continue that missionary legacy through the outreach of Melbourne Overseas Mission.
Upon his return to Melbourne in 1981, Cyril undertook a period of renewal before being appointed Administrator of East Geelong (1982), Parish Priest, Ringwood East (1982), Assistant Priest, Blackburn (1983) and Parish Priest of Highett (1986) retiring in 2011 as Pastor Emeritus to Holy Trinity Parish, Bentleigh.
A man inspired by the Beatitudes, passionate in his care of others and one who was never afraid to share his opinion, even if it might engender conflict. He had survived serious accidents and illness in the past, which gave him a deep empathy for others. He had a wonderful capacity to engage various pastoral situations and know how to respond with compassion and assurance.
In his final years at Holy Trinity Parish, he was particularly generous in responding to pastoral and sacramental needs when there was pressure on our personnel because of the largeness of the parish. He was highly intelligent and well read, and this was reflected in his homilies. For a man of his years, and with such a breadth of learning, Cyril was an inspiring preacher.
He was a dedicated and loved retired priest, a loyal friend and a proud member of the Blake family.
Cyril is deeply missed at the communities of St Peter’s, St Paul’s and St Catherine’s.
May he rest in peace and rise in Easter glory.
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“Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them”
– Matthew 18:20
Holy Trinity Parish was formed on Sunday 3rd June 2012, (Trinity Sunday) and comprises the 3 Catholic Communities of St Peter’s East Bentleigh, St Paul’s Bentleigh and St Catherine’s Moorabbin.
Our parish resides on the traditional lands of the Bunnerong people and we wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners.
We are a Catholic parish, enriched by our tradition, inspired by the liturgy and sacraments, nourished in prayer, grounded in the Gospel, formed in faith, and pursuing a vibrant life in Christ.
We are a community of justice and concern, ecumenically aware of the broader community.
We are welcoming, inclusive, respectful and forgiving.
We are a people who respect the history and charisms of our three distinct communities.
We embrace the vision and direction of Vatican II, honour our vocation as baptised Christians, are consultative in our decision-making, and confident in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We support the endeavors of the Royal Commission to bring healing to victims of abuse.
Church’s website: www.facingthetruth.org.au