Tributes pour in after priest's sudden death
TRIBUTES have poured in for a much-loved Dunfermline priest who died suddenly on Friday.
Father David Barr (69) suffered a heart attack at his home near his parish of St Margaret's RC Church, East Port, in the morning.
He was discovered by parishioners who became concerned after he failed to turn up for morning mass.
After word spread of his death an impromptu mass was held later that day, with hundreds cramming into the church to pay their respects.
Tributes were led by Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the leader of Scotland's Catholics, who told the Press, "He ensured that the spiritual care of the people was ... enhanced by encouraging increased involvement of the laity of his parish.
"He shared virtually every form of the apostolate with his lay people, who in return responded enthusiastically to his pastoral care.
"He will indeed be a great miss."
Tom Mellon, chair of the parish's pastoral council, described Father Barr as "deeply spiritual and capable of the most stirring homilies, he was also a man of the people, a pragmatic, practical, energetic leader whom parishioners loved and will be irreplaceable to many".
He added, "It was only a few weeks ago we celebrated as a parish with Father Barr his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood and today we have to come to terms with some disbelief to his untimely death.
"During his time at St Margaret's, Father Barr achieved a great deal and most definitely left an indelible imprint on not only the fabric and structure of our church but also on the spiritual lives of all his parishioners."
Father David Barr was born in 1942 and ordained in 1972, following his studies in England and then at St Andrew's College in Drygrange, Melrose.
He served in parishes in Falkirk, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, before being appointed parish priest of St Margaret's in 1989.
In 2008 he brought a relic of St Margaret's body home to Dunfermline after many years in the safekeeping of the Ursuline Sisters at Gillis College, Edinburgh, an achievement of which he was particularly proud.
He also played a key role in the 900th anniversary of the death of St Margaret in 1993, spearheading fund-raising to enable a year of celebratory events to take place.
Carol Hannah, headteacher at St Margaret's Primary, said, "Father Barr will be sadly missed by the whole school community.
"He was such a big support to St Margaret's and was involved with pupils, staff and families in many of our important celebrations over the course of his years in our parish."
Father Barr was described by his family as a "beloved brother" of Henry, Myra, William and Patricia and a "loving uncle, granduncle and great-granduncle to his many nephews and nieces".
A service of reception takes place tonight (Thursday) at 7pm at St Margaret's RC Church, East Port, Dunfermline. The funeral mass takes place today (Friday) at 11.30am with the burial at Dunfermline cemetery at 1.30pm.
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Apr 22, 03:59
Apr 24, 14:04
The sudden and unexpected death of anyone is always a shock. It is with great sadness that I learned of Fr Barr's death. He was a good man and a good priest. He however led his parish well over twenty plus years and leaves behind for the next priest a people eager to continue to be a good loving Christian witness in the Dunfermline community.
Recommend? Yes 18 No 3
Apr 27, 19:42
May 11, 01:06
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