Cardinal Cormac served as the tenth Archbishop of Westminster, in succession to Cardinal George Basil Hume O.S.B., from March 2000 until he retired in May 2009. He was created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in February 2001. Born in Reading, Berkshire on 24 August 1932 he went on to study for the Priesthood, in Rome and was Ordained as a Priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth in October 1956. After a few years in parish ministry he returned to Rome as Rector of the Venerable English College where he had studied for the Priesthood. He returned to England to be Ordained as the third Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, in December 1977. He was appointed Archbishop of Westminster in 2000. Following his retirement, at the age of 75, he continued to serve the Church locally, nationally and internationally in a variety of ways, including membership of various Vatican departments.
Many tributes have been written about Cardinal Cormac, a remarkable man, Priest and Bishop who knew, loved and served the Lord. He died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends on Friday 1 September. He will be sorely missed, and fondly remembered, by his large family and many friends. May he rest in peace and may he see the face of God forever.
Cardinal Cormac's Funeral Mass will be on Wednesday 13 September at Westminster Cathedral at 12noon. Entrance by ticket only, but parishioners can attend the Reception of his mortal remains at the Cathedral on Tuesday at 10am and his remains will be there throughout the day. Solemn Evening Prayer will be at 5pm. All are welcome. There will be a Memorial Mass at the Cathedral on Wednesday 4 October at 5.30pm when all will be welcome.
In Cardinal Cormac's own words, written shortly before his death: 'At this time, the words I pray every night are never far from my thoughts - Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit...I am at peace and have no fear of what is to come. I have received many blessings in my life, especially from my family and friends...Above all, as I now commend myself to the loving mercy of God, I ask them all to pray for me as I remember and pray for them.'
May he rest in peace.