Obituaries of the Founding Fathers and Others

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Dom Peter Flood, OSB

1897-1978       Died 16 December 1978

The following tribute to Dom Peter Flood, OSB was written by the President, Monsignor Gerard Sheehy on 29 September 1978.

Dom Peter Flood, who died on 16 December 1978, was not just an “ordinary” member –of our Canon Law Society, but he was one of its founders, in large measure responsible for the drafting of its first Constitution. But he was even more than that: he was a veritable institution among us.

When at the age of almost sixty he took part in the establishment of the Society in 1957, he was already a surgeon-cum-lawyer-turned-monk: quite enough in itself to make him a singular figure. He never lost the delightful, almost childlike capacity to enjoy being singular! And he had a solid scholarship to support it.

Over the intervening years, there were very few meetings of the Society at which he was not present. But for a last-minute illness he would have been with us in Scotland in May 1977, when he was almost eighty. And, monk-like, he would have come, as to Ilkley, by train and taxi and alone.

He never failed at these meetings to make his presence felt. He was, with an inexorable courtesy, the bane of a chairman’s life, but none of our chairmen over the years could do other than recognise both the value of his traditional orthodoxy and the sincerity of his total dedication to the Church of Christ. We might not always have agreed with his trenchant expressions of opinion – he specialised in being trenchant – but none of us could ever fail to respect him and, albeit at times with the reluctance of pride, to be grateful to him.

I do not think that, though he was tolerant enough of it, Dom. Peter had really very much time for the “lack of due discretion”, either in concept or in the flesh. He was of another mould. But he had, until his strength ran out, time for people, all sorts of people. He had a lot of time and energy for the Society which he helped to found.

We remember him with respect, with gratitude, and in our abiding prayers. May he rest in peace. [His funeral took place at Ealing Abbey with representatives of the Society present

[Edited from CLSN 39, December 1978]