Farewell party as March priest prepares to retire

PUBLISHED: 09:41 19 January 2011

Father Eric Willett, who is retiring from the Catholic Church in March

Father Eric Willett, who is retiring from the Catholic Church in March

Archant

A FAREWELL party is being held on Sunday for Father Eric Willet as he prepares to leave March Roman Catholic Church.

Father Eric, 72, who joined the parish of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St Peter, in September 1994 is retiring.

He will hold his last mass for the parish on Monday at 9am before leaving for Newport, the town where he began his priesthood.

Father Eric was in the Army and then became a teacher within the Rosminion Order for more than 25 years. Having been a parish priest in Newport for 10 years he moved to New Zealand where he was a headmaster for more than 20 years. He returned to this country and became priest at March.

After a hernia operation a few years ago he contracted MRSA and became critically ill. The illness has caused him daily pain.

Father Eric enjoys watching cricket and rugby and has always loved Jack Russell dogs. He has had many Jack Russells over the years, all of which have been rescue dogs. His current dog is called McKay and many of the parishiones will miss giving him his daily walks.

The replacement priest is Father Phillip Sainter from Rugby who is already known in the parish.

Parishioners past and present are welcome to go along to Sunday’s party from noon onwards.

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