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08 Jan 2022 12:36:49

I seen this on the Sancta Familia Facebook page.....

A story on Twitter about the prayer life of the late Tommy Burns made me wonder if there is a genuine devotion to him locally. It has often been said by some that they pray for his intercession. Anyway, following a chat Monsignor Monaghan, Tommy's Parish Priest sent me a reflection he wrote a few years ago. The world would be a better place if we had more men like Tommy Burns.

“I always do, Father.” Four words said to me ten years ago. Not the most obviously memorable words, I suppose…but memorable to me.
They were said to me by Thomas Burns, my parishioner. You see, I may be the only priest who thinks of him in those terms. At his funeral, one priest joked with me that as I knew nothing about football and showed no interest in the sport, I was the least suitable priest to preach at his funeral! But he was, very briefly, my parishioner.
I became parish priest of St Cadoc’s, Newton Mearns in the October before his untimely death. I really did not know the footballer. I knew only a gentle, friendly, prayerful man with a lovely wife and family. I think it was only after the Funeral Mass that I realised the impact he had had on the people of Glasgow.

Travelling in the car from St Mary’s in the Carlton to the Linn Crematorium, it seemed that the whole of the City and beyond were lining the streets. What was the relationship of Tommy Burns with all these people? I wanted to invite them all to write to me and tell me the stories of their encounters with him. How had he touched their lives? How had he gained so much love and respect? Did they feel privileged to have known him? What was it about him that had brought about so much love? Did they feel he had had a great love for them? The priest and I, travelling in the limousine, spent most of the journey pondering in silence and wonder.

Ten years on, I still think history would benefit from collecting the people’s stories and memories of Tommy. His was a good soul…a prayerful soul. I suspect that is what gave him the enticing and entrancing qualities that radiated from him. Towards the end, I found myself praying, as priests will do in dealing with parishioners facing a family death, that God would give Thomas and his family, the graces they needed in the closing days and hours of his life.

The last time I was able to give him Holy Communion, as I was leaving, I turned and said, “Please pray for me Tommy.” It was then he said, “I always do Father.” And soon afterwards, as Chesterton might say, there was a twitch upon the line and he died safely in the arms of the Divine.

Originally written for Flourish by Monsignor Monaghan

Agree0 Disagree0

08 Jan 2022 13:00:22
Beautiful ☘.

08 Jan 2022 13:26:38
Thanks for posting that Ed007 it brought a tear to my eyes, P. S. what a book that would be, reading how Tommy touched the life's of those who had the pleasure of meeting him. Sadly missed ?.

08 Jan 2022 13:46:32
Cracking read.

08 Jan 2022 15:38:12
Simply - YES.

08 Jan 2022 17:26:16

Typing with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat.

‘They’re there and they are always there. ’

‘When you play for Celtic you play for a people and you play for a cause’.

‘I came in the front door and I sure haven’t done anything that means I need to leave by the back door’.

‘The best thing about becoming Celtic manager was that I got to know Tommy Burns (Gordon Strachan) .

My wife always says Tommy Burns did what he was sent into this world to do and so got to go home to his Heavenly Father early albeit far too early.

I was privileged to have met him and watched him and his team play some of the best football I’ve seen Celtic play.

Some players make you proud to be a Celtic supporter. No player made me prouder to be a Celtic supporter that Tommy Burns.

For me beyond a doubt THEE greatest ever Celt.

08 Jan 2022 18:29:02
I enjoyed reading more stories about Tommy.
Celtic fans have wanted the training ground named in his honour because of how good he was with the Celtic youngsters but I would love the North Stand named after Tommy Burns.
Nearly 14 years after his passing and Tommy Burns is still called Mr. Celtic and that will never change.
It would be great for our future Celtic players to walk out of the tunnel at Celtic Park and the first sight they see is the Tommy Burns Stand.

08 Jan 2022 19:00:40
I think I agree with that Buzz.
Tommy Burns was a remarkable man and I am sure that he would have been remarkable no matter which team he played for (Alli McCoist and Walter Smith thought he was remarkable . wasn’t one of them a pall bearer at his funeral? ) and even if he had never played football at all I’m sure he would still have been remarkable.
However he did play for Celtic and they should commemorate and honour him in some way. Your suggestion Buzz seems very apt.

08 Jan 2022 19:03:59
Tommy Burns had something special about him, as I write this there are memories flooding into my thoughts, such a humble dedicated man who loved everything Celtic, Tommy twists Tommy turns Tommy Burns, you're like will never be seen again, not only a great touch on the football field but Great Touch in everyone’s Heart

08 Jan 2022 20:51:26
Regarding Tommy Burns, I worked with a guy some years ago didn’t know if he was a football fan or not until I heard him singing one day, he didn’t know I was close by and he was singing Tommy Burns, Tommy Burns, Tommy Burns so does Doyle, why would you sing something like that I asked, his face was a picture and honestly I never spoke to him again .



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