Bishop Barry with Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala: Executive Director of Diakonia Council of Churches And Saydoon Sayed: Religions for Peace (WCRP)The Mini World Youth Day organising team add their voices to those who mourn the passing of their great friend and supporter, Bishop Barry Wood OMI who passed away early on 2 May. He was the Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Durban.
Working with the youth and young adults, and helping to guide them on their spiritual path, was a particular affinity of Bishop Barry. He worked with pre-novices in Pietermaritzburg in the mid 70s, and went on formally to be appointed Novice Master at the Oblate Novitiate at Germiston from 1979 until 1984. He returned once more to Cleland in Pietermaritzburg in 1987 to help with the direction of the pre-novices for several months. He worked closely with Oblate scholastics when he was appointed Rector/Superior of St Joseph’s Oblate Scholasticate at Cedara, and subsequently as Provincial Superior of the Oblates in Natal, from 1992 until 1998. His interest in social justice projects saw him appointed as the diocesan representative on the Diakonia Council of Churches and the Vuleka Trust.
Bishop Barry was well known and well respected in the Archdiocese of Durban. He endeared himself to his fellow priests and to all the faithful with whom he had come into contact. It is fitting that he was guest of honour at the Denis Hurley Centre Junior Schools Choir Concert in February as a premature celebration of his 75th birthday which would have been on June 13. His warmth, attentiveness, eagerness to serve and support (and his distinctive mop of red hair which made his so easy to identify in a crowd!) will be sorely missed. He spent his life serving others with humility, sincerity, dedication and grace
Let us all join in prayer to offer his soul to the Lord. May he rest in peace. Hamba Kahle Baba Barry.