Brother Paul PringleBorn 1st February 1922Entered 8th May 1954Professed 13th November 1959Died 16th August 1984Br Paul was removed to hospital with a severe heart condition on Thursday, 16th August. He died that evening. In addition to his daily Mass and Communion, he was fortified with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.Brother Paul, Henry Pringle, was born in Hawick, in the Scottish Border country, in 1922. He used to recall, with a sense of mystery, how as a child he accompanied his parents, staunch Presbyterians, as they visited Carfin Grotto. The family was on holiday in Lanarkshire and his father admired the work which had been done by the miners during the depression in creating this sanctuary which must have appeared extremely Roman Catholic to his parents. He traced the special devotion he had to St. Thérèse, and therefore his vocation, back to that early experience at the shrine of the Little Flower.During World War II he saw service as a ‘gunner’ with the Royal Artillery in Italy and Austria. Just before ‘call up’ he approached the parish priest, Fr. Gordon Gray, later to become Cardinal, for instruction in the Catholic faith. While in Italy he was received into the Church. Like his father and two surviving brothers, David and William, he worked on the railways.In May, 1954, the priest in the Confessional at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, discerned a vocation to the monastic life and directed Harry to Nunraw. He joined the community there, and made his solemn profession as a monk in November, 1959. He was one of the builders in the construction of the new abbey. He also served as assistant in the Guest House and made many new friends whom he inspired by his kind words and the example of his life. He was a monk of deep prayer and a brother who radiated peace in the community. Community Chronicle16 August 1984 - Brother Paul suffered from a severe heart attack today. He had pain in his left arm early on in the morning, the doctor called for an ambulance and it took Paul, under oxygen, the Roodlands Hospital. ?17 August 1984 - Before the community Mass we learned that Br. Paul, died last evening at 9,45 p.m. The Abbot was present at the hospital at the time. We celebrated a Requiem Mass for him this morning. He was a much loved man, gentle and kind. He had a deep devotion to Our Lady, especially since his visit to Lourdes, and to the Sacred Heart. The Saints and nature and kindly service were his outstanding interests. In hope, we have a good brother in heaven. He originally was from Hawick and a convert to the Faith. During World war II, he was in the army and after it, worked on the railways as a fireman. For as long as the chronicler knew him, he had a heart condition and was continually aware of having to carefully pace himself; rarely did he mention having any trouble, he just soldiered on and did his bit and was faithful to his calling. Laus Deo! It only slowly dawns on one how valuable a brother is. Br. Paul’s friendliness and love of Heaven were his greatest contribution to us here.. From them flowed his continual serving at Fr. Michael’s Mass for the sick after Laud’s, a cheery word to the cook every Sunday morning when he brought clean towels for the coming week, faithful back-up to Br. Bede in the tailor’s shop, an enviable awareness and knowledge of bird-life and other countryside matters, always ready to step in and serve the sweat at lunch, he loved music and looked after the records at meal time of Solemnities, - these are only a few of the “presences’ and how much many of us appreciated them.20 August 1984, Solemnity of St. Bernard - When Cardinal Gray was P.P. in Hawick 43 years ago a young man came to him with a request for instruction in the Catholic Faith. At that time the young man was friendly with a Catholic girl, and was waiting for his call up to the war. The latter came too soon for him to start instruction properly. During service in Italy he was taken prisoner of war. He took up his instruction again in the prison camp was received into the Church by a Dominican priest. He returned to Hawick and, arriving rather early, the first thing he did was go to Mass. Fr. Gray was surprised to see him among the congregation and not a little apprehensive. He was delighted over the young man’s coming into the Church but had to break the news to him that while he was away his girl had got married to another. His only comment was that, “Perhaps if she and I had not met, I wouldn’t have entered the Church.” That young man became Brother Paul.21 August 1984 - Another roasting day, but a cool breeze began to rise gently towards mid-afternoon at which time we received Br. Paul’s remains into the Church. Most of the brethren and quite a crowd of visitors from the guesthouse were present for the simple service of reception. A commemoration of the dead was held at Compline time at which the Abbot paid tribute to Br. Paul - he was the first Scots monk to enter Nunraw and die - Br. Andrew is still going strong. After Compline the Rosary was recited in the Church.22 August 1984, Queenship of Mary, - Br. Paul will undoubtedly be appreciating our burying him on this day, for he had a very strong devotion to Mary. We will be having a buffet in the refectory after the funeral to which all will be invited. Someone remarked to one of the monks, “Oh! You let the ladies in? I thought that was out.” The monk quipped, “Yes we let them in OK, but its getting them out which is the difficulty!”The funeral at 11 am turned out to be a joyous service and there was quite a turn out of visitors. Br. Paul had been thirty years in Nunraw, entering in 1954, and the abbey celebrates the 30th. Anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone today. And we now have the holy apostles entombed side by side - Peter and Paul. (Br. Peter died 8 Oct. 1981). Sr. Margaret, from St. Margaret’s Home, Hawick, who cared for Br. Paul’s mother, did the first reading, and Mrs Hazel Drummond did the second reading. Both read very well indeed. Our Abbot gave a nice homily which was added to by a few words from Cardinal Gray at the end of the Mass. Both drew attention to Br. Paul’s steadiness, carefulness, friendliness and unobtrusiveness, - certainly many of us miss him in all sorts of ways. Yes, it was a happy occasion which even his immediate family appreciated. They seem to have been impressed by the whole affair.Abbot’s Tribute - Brother PaulSure Instinct for the Faith“We should not be like cringing, fearful slaves but we should behave like God’s own children, adopted into the bosom of his family and calling, Abba, Father.”Apart from the full floodlight, the headlight of Jesus’ death, there are side lights of all kinds in the Church, in the Sacraments and in the Saints.One little sidelight in the rich varied spiritual life of Br. Paul comes to my mind. I vividly recall his narrating to me once, on a car journey to visit his mother in hospital in Galashiels, the story of what he regarded as his first contact with the Church. When he was very young, he may have been an infant, his parents were on holiday in Lanarkshire and as holiday makers do they wandered into places to see was what to be seen. To the astonishment of their Scottish Borders Presbyterian outlook, they found themselves in Carfin Grotto, a busy centre of Catholic devotion and pilgrimage. And, if I remember correctly, there were two significant things about this encounter as far as young Harry was concerned. One was the impression it made on his father, no doubt recalled in later years, that such a place had been built by ordinary workmen, or as the case was, ordinary men out of work in the depression. That was something Paul seemed to identify with the Catholic Church, that it was for the ordinary, poor, working class people, and this was one of the things which clinched his conversion in Italy when he saw the Church was for everybody, i.e. that it was Catholic.The other thing which seems to have had a special importance for Br. Paul was the association which this visit to Carfin had with St. Thérèse. He always felt that she had a hand in the subsequent course of his life - with all the events which led him in the first place to the Church and finally to a way of life in which he could feel a strong spiritual affinity with her contemplative life. Right to the end he carried her relic and it was in his glasses case which came back from the hospital after he died.One could not for a moment restrict the course of Br. Paul’s spiritual journey to this aspect, but it is a good example of the human face of a vocation and of a spiritual kinship of the Saints.One could equally reflect on his great regard for Mary, the Mother of God, on his faith in the Sacraments, on his regularity with the Prayer of the Church in his Office. Among the books on his desk, at the time of his death, was a collection of all the addresses of Pope John Paul II on the Eucharist.What is remarkable in all this is the SURE INSTINCT of Faith. And, of course, to the degree that it is remarkable it can be seen distinctively as the work of grace. - grace enabling him to find a path so different from that which his background would have indicated. In brief, his responses were spontaneously Catholic. Having accepted the Faith, he maintained a steady continuity in using all the means’s provided by the Church in teaching, in practice, in Sacraments, in devotions, in prayer. This is, as it were, the human face, one man’s earnest pursuit by means of all that the Church has to offer to give himself to God.But there is also the divine face, not the side light but the full beam-light of Christ’s participation in the mystery of death. One of the most inspiring things I find about the plans of God is that their fulfilment can be seen as a response to great desire. When we talk of the fullness of time for the Incarnation, the Fathers of the Church understand it that God waited until the longing and yearning of the human heart had reached that pitch, particularly in the heart of Mary, to which only the sending of His only Son could sufficiently respond. By the same principle Christ’s death and resurrection come only when His desire reached that point where He must fulfil the work of Redemption, “With desire I have desired this hour.” And now in our personal approach to death and in reflecting on the death of our brother - in the light of that divine face to the mystery of death, we must see it, not as a loss or deprivation but as a further instance of the fullness of time. In this case it is the fullness of time for Br. Paul, the fulfilling of a longing and hope for him now. And for each one of us that longing will be fulfilled when the love of our hearts, the desire of our faith can be satisfied in no other way but by entering into God’s presence, - finding a new and more adequate way of sharing the fullness of life which we have only partially in this life but hope to experience to the full in the next.I am sure that the words of Br. Paul’s great namesake urging us not to be feeble or mealy mouthed about our faith, “We should not be like cringing, fearful slaves, but we should behave like God’s own children, adopted into the bosom of his family and calling , Abba, Father,” express the most fitting farewell he would wish to leave with us.