During an emotional funeral service at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral yesterday, Monsignor Preston A. Moss was remembered as a kind man and gifted preacher, who made a lasting impression on those who met him.
Moss, a retired Catholic priest and a “beloved brother and spiritual director”, died at his Lakeview Drive home on March 11, following a battle with stomach cancer.
He was 79.
He was ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic church on June 4, 1965.
Friends, relatives, Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, politicians, including Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis, packed into the church to say farewell.
Archbishop Patrick Pinder of the Archdiocese of Nassau said Moss requested a simple and inexpensive service in his will.
Pinder said he first met Moss in 1972.
“I was assigned to live and work at St. Bede’s parish where he was the pastor,” Pinder said.
“The housekeeper explained to me that Father Moss, as he was then, was a very particular man.
“He liked to have things done the right way. Well, I learned to take delight in purposely doing things the wrong way. I watched him fume in frustration and anger. Now, at a day and at an hour, I know not when, I shall have to make an account of my mischief.
“The point is this, even though he would get angry, his anger lasted but an instant.
“It never got the better of him. He had a peace of mind and heart. He had equanimity of spirit that I rarely see in anyone.
“It is no wonder that people found him so approachable, so accessible, so easy to confide in and so profoundly caring.”
Pinder added, “I am most grateful for his support, his advice, his friendship.”
The Catholic archbishop noted that Moss made an indelible mark wherever he went.
“A few years ago, I was attending a synod of bishops in Rome and during one of the informal sessions a gentleman beside me, noticing that my name tag said the Archbishop of Nassau, asked, ‘Is there a priest in your archdiocese named Preston?’, Pinder said.
“And I said, ‘Yes.’
“He asked, ‘How is he doing?’.
“Well, at the time Monsignor Moss was vicar general and he was doing quite well and I said so.
“Then I asked him, ‘How do you know him?’
“He replied, ‘About 30 years ago, when I was beginning my career in the Vatican diplomatic service, I met him… in Africa.
“He made such an… impression on me that even though I have not seen him since, I’ve not forgotten him.’
“Now, the person saying this is Pietro Parolin, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the current Vatican secretary of state.
“That is but one example of the way monsignor touched lives.”