“You do know that she is not a Catholic”

Following the recent sad death of Cilla Black, ITV repeated a biopic on her early career starring Sheridan Smith as Cilla.

The three part series deals with Cilla’s life in the clubs of Liverpool and her audition for Brian Epstein who launched her to stardom with other musical talent from Liverpool at that time   – the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers etc.

I was struck by the story of her manager Bobby Willis who later became her devoted husband.

His story was interesting too and I was drawn to it particularly because in the film, his brother is ostracized for marrying a Catholic by their father and later when Bobby falls in love with Cilla Black, a Scottie Road Catholic, his father refuses to welcome her into his home and as a result his son moved out too.

This issue reminded me of comments that a parishioner said to my mother when I started going out with my new girlfriend (later my wife) – “you do know that she is not a Catholic”

My mother replied that she was aware of that fact but it was not of any concern to her (although in truth it was insofar as she hoped any children in a future marriage would be brought up as Catholics)

One of the hardest issues I have had to come to terms with has been the apparent rejection of the catholic faith of my adult children. I have felt deeply hurt and disappointed and for a while I was overwhelmed and crushed and I felt like I had failed.

In my search for self acceptance, I have developed a capacity to be present and that means that I have to embrace the here and now as it is, not how I would have liked it to be.

This new approach of accepting disappointment in the present has been a crucial step for me in my journey of truth.

It has helped me to connect strongly with the vitality, independence and truth of my children,s lives rather than run the risk of ostracizing myself from their love and all the joy they bring to me in the present and who knows what in the future!

May Cilla Black Rest in Peace with her beloved Bobby.

My next blog will be “Face to Face”

William Defoe

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