It is with sadness we announce the death of Joe Mulrooney today. He died in the hospice with Mary his wife by his side and Bernie his Niece. Joe was a retired lecturer in Biblical Studies at Heythrop College and a parishioner of Cockfosters. He was a leading light in Advent alongside his good friend Mike Hyland. Joe and Mike attended all of the European meetings of married priests. Joe died after a short illness from stomach and bowel cancer and was a devoted carer to Mary, his wife, who herself was not well. Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced. Please keep Joe and Mary in your prayers. May he rest in peace and go to his eternal reward.

Joe wrote in 2006 and still apposite to this day:

What of “celibacy” in the future? There will always be a place for the charism of the celibate life style. However, in the context of twenty first century communities, and granted the present crises, we have two choices. We can react like corporate managers or supermarket directors in the face of shortages and problems: We downsize and frantically close and amalgamate parishes, making the Eucharistic celebration more and more inaccessible. Would it not be better to have a closer look at our historical evolution and, instead of freezing the frame in the late Middle Ages, allow a different model of church to emerge? This would be to cultivate a vision for the future and perhaps apply in this context an expanded form of Paul’s dictum in Galatians: “There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and freeman, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual, cleric and lay: for you are all one person in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28