The Rev Patrick Davies

When as a flippant boy I went to learn accountancy in London, Pat Davies took me under his wing. He determined to look after me and help me find a more serious side of myself ! I don’t think he had enough time to do that, for he left to take up a job as a financial director in Australia. I then heard the news that Pat had a change of heart, or should I say a revelation of his true calling in life. Pat decided to study to be ordained as a Catholic priest, and entered the church and a monastic life. Though monastic, Pat’s spirit of adventure never left him. He remained an extremely active person and travelled the world in the cause of healing and peace. Especially in Africa and South America, where he used his inherrent organizational skills to work for hospitals , schools, and even as part of the ‘truth and recconciiation’ effort in South Africa. Finally he came back to London and took over a diocese very close to Soho. I remember Pat as a tough squash opponent, and the camping journey’s he took me into the rugged parts of Scotland. And so you can imagine my sorrow to learn that his body is giving up and he is readying to take on another journey. I want to share with your Pats letter to his friends and family, and to the members of his diocese informing us all …….

Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory
24 Golden Square
You may be surprised to receive a letter from me at this time of year. The reason?
My health has now further declined with the news that I have Lymphoma – fairly widespread throughout the whole of my body: so much so that I have declined to have Chemotherapy and am naturally somewhat uncertain about the future.
I am fairly calm about the whole situation and think it a singular grace to be able to prepare for a good death, having for a long time now looked forward to dying and seeing life here on earth being just a pilgrim journey
During whatever time the good Lord accords me, I intend to live life to the full-emembering that life is for living and loving, for singing and dancing and especially for hugging! -my trade-mark these last 20 years or so
In that context I would hope to have a big celebration (or two) to mark my 70th Birthday on 18th July, with one celebration at lunch-time on the day itself and another celebration on the Sunday, 20thJuly. Take this letter as your invitation
As I look back on my life, I thank God for all the wonderful times I have been privileged to experience and the fulfilment that life as a whole has given me
All I ask now is that you pray for me as I will pray for you

18 thoughts on “The Rev Patrick Davies

  1. Dear Pat,
    Despite painful transistion, and when you are at twilight of your life… you are gracefully celebrating life.
    I have a feeling that you are at universal truth on this planet. Everyone passes away but everyone cannot live like you.
    My prayer for you is not a means of last resort, but a sincere prayer where you will listen from the one; you served & prayed all life long. For here is the moment which only you will know.

  2. Dear Shekhar,
    This is one wonderful aspect of your life that we never knew here, and all I can say is that you must have one truly wonderful gentleman all throughout your prime youth to land this invitation.
    I am at loss of words as to what to say about Rev Patrick, sometimes all one needs in such situations is someone who visits you and holds your hand gently, whispering sweet nothings or just asking “How are you?” without expecting any reply and just looking at your eyes with love, the age old bonds are recreated instantly, as if the two people were never out of touch. It is difficult to extrapolate the feelings of a person in such circumstances without looking at life from that end yourself.
    I’ll just hope he enjoys the peace that he has created for himself each day for the rest of his life.
    On a slightly Indian note, I’ll add something here. About a little over a year back I saw a great documentary in MOMA called the “Forest of Bliss” that had a shocking impact on me. It is made by some Robert Gardner about the daily life on the ghats of Benares where people come from all walks of life to spend their last days in peace. It shows the end of life from very close quarters (it somehow takes your fear away from death) about people following age old rituals and pujas from morning to night, as some of them leave them everyday. I have never been able to take the film out of my head (it has no commentary, no subtitles, no background score) just raw truth.
    I wish Rev Patrick all the peace and happiness life can offer.
    Best Regards,

  3. hi shekhar,
    such grace……..such simplicity…….so much peace in acceptance of the final call…….
    a far cry from the usual battle for life one sees among humans…….for a few breaths more !
    character excersising its victory over life’s travails……..
    you can call such a person, ‘mukaddar ka sikander’ ?
    may God bring him peace and ease his suffering until he joins HIM.

  4. I often think that 70 is a good time to die. For, it is only around this age that you can really die singing, dancing, hugging and even kisssssing.
    Later perhaps only others can and may even that too after your death.

  5. Harb…i feel anytime is good for dieing…i am 28…and i am not suicidal… 🙂 the only thing is that one has to try to naturally detach from materialistic pleasures…because when We leave the body , we remain!…worst thing is that we dont have SENSES of body any more to run away from reality and thus HELL is created…then there is NO TOMORROW! its then and there…!

  6. Hi Kedar, the difference between dieing at 28 and 70 is that at 28 one has to “TRY to detach from materialisitc pleasure” while at 70, if one has lived fully, materialisitc pleasures on their own detach themselves from one.
    Yes, I agree that when we leave the body we remain…and rarely we even sort of die while body is yet attached to us in some small way and then we feel Hell the way you describe.
    I have been through this and I distinctly remember a thought then coming to whatever was left of me “Will then I not be free even after my socalled death?” And it was a terrible time.

  7. Dear Shekhar,
    How easy it must be to talk like this…
    How difficult it must be to think like this…
    i cant think..i cant say..
    for i havent reached the enlightened
    spiritual heights of Pat…
    the true middle path of detached attachment with
    pleasure joy happiness love…
    hugs for Dear Pat
    anku bakshi sharma

  8. I am sorry I wrote “some Robert Gardner” in my last post and I only have the utmost respect for him. Robert Gardner was the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University from 1957 to 1997, and I wanted to mention that he made “Forest of Bliss” for some project he did for Harvard. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    I just found out that 10 mins of “Forest of Bliss” are available on youtube at the following link:

    Some people say that this is one of best documentaries ever made, and it so truthfully explores the ceremonies and rituals in Benares associated with death and regeneration.

  9. Thank You Shekhar, Himanshu for the info, thoughts, care …
    After Himanshu’ first post I searched and was trying to order DVD, searching i noticed youtube, great, I’m still trying to find where to get the DVD.
    I wish Rev Patrick Davies the best for his 70th Birthday on 18th July, its great for him
    God Bless him

  10. Shekhar, may i ask a question please?
    What are peoples views on the Free Tibet protests and the olympics in China???

  11. Hi Shekhar,
    Cant even imagine myself being in this situation and declining chemotherapy…Guess most of us in this situation would go through any struggle to survive..
    But it takes a strong heart to openly accept and embrace the inevitable next and to choose to live to the fullest…
    I think a lot of times the best way to deal with pain in life is to accept it…and thats the most difficult to do…
    God bless him and his family….

  12. Hi Shekhar,
    Thank you for sharing Pat’s letter, I wish him lots of peace.
    Himanshu, thanks for sharing the link to Forest of Bliss. The last few minutes of the ritual seemed scary ! what in the world is that old man chanting and doing ?!

  13. Hi Rashmi,
    I think the man is doing some puja creemony where he is talking about lord rama – and as we have a long tradtion in India of Nat and Nautanki, where people tell age old tales, so he is very animated in telling the morality tale. I think he is speaking in bhojpuri or some offshoot of that (I’m no expert, but those are the main dailects spoken in the Benares region). And fire is a part of almost all Hindu ceremonies so at night he is conducting this ceremony which he probably does every day. As the director says,”he is not explaining anything, and it is all upto us to find our own meaning of the rituals.”

  14. Dear Shekhar, I have spent blessed time by being here for awhile on this my day off from work.
    It is in the knowledge of your presence and the presence of those who are here and who have been here today and in the days past, that I
    reverently apply to be a witness, also.
    Rev. Pat has given great service and love to his work on earth. His plan is personal and open.
    His expression is perfection. He has found the
    way to be. He truly knows God’s image is in him and of him. Love to you and love to us all.
    Good journey_ to all, and so much grace to be afforded by your place in the Universe.
    Speechless, don’t have words. In presence of the Love.
    By your grace, Ulric Rainard

  15. While we are on this topic of the end of life I did some research and found these quotes that 3 of the greatest writers had to say about life and death, and sharing these with you.
    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
    “My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky: So it was when my life began; So it is now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me die! The Child is Father of the Man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety.” There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream, It is not now as it hath been of yore ;- Turn whereso’er I may, By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more. . . . . But yet I know, where’er I go, That there hath past away a glory from the earth. . . . . Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar: Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close Upon the growing Boy, But He beholds the light, and whence it flows, And sees it in his joy; The Youth, who daily farther from the east Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest, And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended; At length the Man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day.
    William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
    Source: “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”
    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste: Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night, And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe, And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight: Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end.
    William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
    Best Regards,

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