Jimmy Cricket paid his respects to an inspirational priest on a recent visit to Liverpool.
The Irish comedian was appearing at this year’s Northern Catholic Conference (NCC), which is an annual fixture in Liverpool Hope University’s calendar.
He not only attended the social evening (which is traditionally scheduled for the middle evening of the conference), but he also participated in a special commemoration service to mark the outstanding life of the late Fr Jimmy Collins.
Canon Collins, who was parish priest of St Joseph the Worker in Kirkby for 30 years, died in April aged 94 – just three months short of the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He was known to many as “Fr Jimmy” and “priest of the people”.
His funeral Mass took place on Tuesday 1 May, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, when a congregation of 2,000 filled Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.
The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Patrick Kelly, together with Auxiliary Bishop Tom Williams, retired Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Malone and 82 concelebrating priests from across the Liverpool Archdiocese and beyond.
“Fr Jimmy was a magnificent example of a man who lived life to the full,” says Jimmy Cricket. “He touched the lives of so many people. He has legendary status within his hometown of Liverpool.”
Jimmy’s son, Frankie, who is training to be a Roman Catholic priest and will soon be ordained a deacon, was one of the original members of the group that launched the Northern Catholic Conference a few years ago.
Since that first event, which was held at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool,the NCC has continued to grow since Hope University became its regular venue.