Père George Nicholson (B1 1962-66)
We’ve heard the sad news of the death in Paris on 29 December of Père George Nicholson (B1 1962-66) at the age of 73, who had been suffering from cancer. George was the curé (vicar) of the Church of Saint-Eustache in the centre of Paris from 2009-2018. For nearly 40 years the church has operated a soup kitchen on the steps of the church through the winter months as well as other initiatives to reach out to those living on the streets in Paris. George was also closely involved in bringing support, help and comfort to Parisians in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
In July 2015, when the Chapel Choir toured Normandy and Paris, he kindly let the choir have full use of both the main space of the church and the choir rehearsal rooms over the time that we were there. It culminated in a Saturday evening Mass, followed the next day by a recital and a Mass in the superb church (its vault higher than that of Notre-Dame), conducted by Alex Hodgkinson (CR 2013 – 17). This was followed by a reception in the church for the choir, parents, OMs and friends of the College in France. His smiling “Please come back” resonated with all of us there: the openness of his welcome touched all. In addition, the opportunity for Marlburians to meet and share services with an OM whose life had led him to be a Catholic priest in charge of a major church in central Paris was in itself memorable.
When Paris suffered terrorist attacks in November 2015, I remember George describing his role as a priest as being there to provide support in whatever way was needed in those difficult times. He moved from Saint-Eustache in 2018 to be in charge of the care home for retired priests in Paris.
There are further details on the church website
Andrew Brown (CR 1981 – 2020)