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Kate and Gerry McCann 'overwhelmed' by support in Liverpool as hundreds gather at a Mass for missing Madeleine

Original Source:  LIVERPOOL ECHO: 04 MAY 2011
by Lyndsay Young, Liverpool Echo May 4 2011

KATE McCANN and her husband Gerry said they were 'overwhelmed' by support from the people of Liverpool on the fourth anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance .

A special Mass was held for the missing little girl at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, in Woolton Road, Childwall, last night.

Around 200 people joined Kate's parents Brian and Susan Healy at their parish church for the hour-long service.

Father Desmond Keegan, who led the Mass, read out words written by Kate and Gerry.

He read: 'Four years have passed but Madeleine remains constantly in our hearts and minds. She is still missing and she needs us to find her. We appreciate that time moves on and lives are busy.

'In spite of these things we know that you care deeply about Madeleine and want her to be found.

'Every time we visit we are overwhelmed by the level of support for Madeleine and our family. Thank you for not forgetting Madeleine. Thank you for not giving up on Madeleine and thank you for your support and friendship.'

At the entrance of the church yellow and green wristbands were available, appealing for people to keep up the fight to find Madeleine.

During the service Fr Keegan told how one parishioner had worn his wristband for four years.

He said: 'He said he won't take it off until Madeleine comes home.

'That is the sort of empathy that we want to show Madeleine and all the family.'

Each Sunday, the church, which is also where Kate and Gerry were married, holds a children's Mass at which Madeleine is remembered.

Fr Keegan talked about the 'solidarity' of the church in its support for the family.

He said: 'We come together still hoping that little Madeleine returns.'

In a touching reference to the Royal Wedding he said he was moved at how Kate Middleton held on to her father's hand as he walked her safely down the aisle.

Fr Keegan said: 'That's my prayer and my hope and my dream for Madeleine ' that Jesus is holding her hand and is leading her home and that one day in God's good time, with Jesus by her side, Madeleine will be led home to her loved ones.'

The family joined the congregation in taking Holy Communion after prayers were said for Madeleine.

After the Mass, her gran Susan told the ECHO: 'I just think it was a lovely service. It's nice to see people that you haven't seen for ages.

'Father Desmond is wonderful. He's been a tremendous support to us.

'As my daughter says when you've got nothing else you've got prayer and that gives us hope.

'If you would have asked us four years ago, we couldn't have envisaged being full of hope.

'It's because of the good work of the people.'


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