News Archive for 2011 - July

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Monsignor Provost Emeritus Terence Stonehill KCHS
Priest of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

who died on 31st July 2011

His Funeral Mass will be at
the Cathedral of Our Lady and St Philip Howard, Arundel,
on Friday, 12th August, at 3:00 pm

May he rest in peace


Day for Life - 2011

The annual Day for Life will be held in parishes throughout England and Wales this Sunday, 31st July 2011.

This day is dedicated each year to celebrating the the dignity of life from conception to natural death - and this year it focuses on what it means to live a full and happy life.

It takes as its starting point the words of Pope Benedict during his recent visit to Britain when he said: 'Happiness is something we all want, but one of the greatest tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple - true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.' (Address to Young People at Twickenham on 17th September 2010)

Please click here to visit the Day for Life web site ...

... here to download the leaflet  (.pdf file) ...

... and here to download the parish resources (.pdf file)

Press release on the CCEW web site


Father Michael Hayes returns to his native Limerick

Father Michael Hayes is returning to his native city in the coming months to take up his new post as President of Mary Immaculate College in Limerick.

Professor Hayes leaves his post as Vice President and Professor of Catholic Pastoral Studies at Saint Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham where he was worked since 1980. He is a renowned academic in the field of theology and religious studies as well a qualified psychotherapist. He has edited 'The Pastoral Review' since January 2005.

We offer him our congratulations and our  prayers.


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Ernest Bonvini

who died on 22nd July 2011

His body will be received at St Boniface, Tooting,
on Thursday, 4th August, at 6:15 pm followed by Mass

His Funeral Mass will be at St Boniface
on Friday, 5th August, at 12 noon

May he rest in peace

Obituary for Fr Ernie Bonvini (.doc)


The reinvention of St Michael's College, Bermondsey

On Thursday, 14th July 2011, Archbishop Peter visited Saint Michael's Catholic College, Bermondsey, to bless and formally open the new building and chapel. He and the invited guests were welcomed by Mrs Grainne Grabowski, headteacher, and by the staff and pupils./p>

The school, which specialises in Business and Languages and was judged as 'outstanding' in a recent Ofsted report, recently moved into its new building and will introduce Sixth Form provision this September.

The new building is a re-invention of the school as a more flexible learning space. The chapel is at its heart with an inspirational stained glass window visible from all entrances in the central double-height atrium.

Innovative and creative teaching and learning is supported by flexible spaces for students to work individually and in small groups around a central ‘street’ that runs through the building. Classroom sizes can be easily changed as needed, circulation space can also be used by students to work or to socialise and ICT can be used almost anywhere in the school via fixed and wireless networks. 

Archbishop Peter blesses the new chapel ...

... and gym

Archbishop Peter introduces the Mass

Father Alan McLean, a local parish priest, reads the Gospel

Archbishop Peter with some of the concelebrants, including
Mgr Matthew Dickens, Vicar General, and local clergy

Archbishop Peter with musicians

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Visit St Michael's Catholic College web site ...

... with a gallery of photos of the new building

(posted 20-07-11)


Cardinal McCarrick offers Mass at Saint George's

Deacon James Sheahan, Archbishop Peter, Cardinal McCarrick,
Canon John O'Toole and Fr Philip Glandfield

On Sunday, 17th July 2011, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, offered the evening Mass at Saint George's Cathedral.

Cardinal McCarrick with Canon John, the Cathedral Dean

Cardinal McCarrick is in London for a Conference on Christians in the Holy Land, jointly hosted by the Archbishop of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.

Photos from RCSouthwark Flick'r page

Press release from the CCEW on Christians in the Holy Land Conference


Formation Courses for priests

The July Recently Ordained/Arrived Priests’ Course, and the (First) Parish Priests’ Course, took place recently at Aylesford – each group of priests experiencing a 24 hour residential with members of the Ongoing Formation Committee.

The focus was on the spiritual aspect of priesthood, and Fr Michael Woodgate led reflections on Blessed John Henry Newman’s priestly prayer life. The two courses also provided plenty of time for each group to rest, relax and recharge the batteries – as well as the opportunity to pray and celebrate Mass together, to socialize, and to exchange news, views and ideas.

The next residentials will take place in October – when the focus will be on the pastoral aspect of priestly life.


(posted 20-07-11)


Grandparents' Pilgrimage to Aylesford

The Grandparents' Pilgrimage to Aylesford Priory on Saturday, 16th July 2011, was a great success in spite of very poor weather. Over 400 grandparents, parents and children attended for a day of Faith and Fun.

Input for the adults was provided by Catherine Wiley, foundress of the Grandparents Association, Jane Andrews of the Cabrini Childrens' Society on parenting, and Pascal Uche, who greeted the Pope at Westminster Cathedral during his visit last year, on being a grandchild. The children had plenty of activities and were entertained by 'Graham', a professional entertainer. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration in St Anne's Chapel and free Rosaries were distributed for those praying the Rosary Way.

Jane Andrews, Pascal Uche and Catherine Wiley

The day ended with Mass celebrated by Bishop John, Patron of the Grandparents Association.

The Pilgrimage was a joint venture by the Grandparents Association and the dioceses of Southwark, Brentwood and Arundel and Brighton.

(posted 19-07-11)


Angel choirs sing in Upper Norwood

On Wednesday, 6th July 2011, Mrs Meg Baines, Headteacher, and the staff and children at Virgo Fidelis Preparatory School, Upper Norwood, hosted a Choir Festival to mark the end of 'The Year of Catholic Education'.

Bishop Paul opened the event with a special blessing and Canon Michael O'Dea and Mother Bernadette Davey also attended.

Twelve school choirs gathered for the Festival, each giving an individual performance as well as joining in some beautiful collective singing.

Tributes are due to Mrs Speight, Head of Music at Virgo Fidelis Preparatory School, and to all the music teachers who prepared for this joyful event.

Bishop Paul cuts the cake

(posted 18-07-11)


Southwark Students in Rome receive Ministries

Bishop John visited the English College Villa (Palazzola) in Rome to confer the ministries of Lector on Sunday, 3rd July 2011, and Acolyte on Sunday, 10th July, on students of the Venerable English College.

Two seminarians from Southwark received ministries. David Howell (Surbiton) became a lector and Matthew O'Gorman (Wallington) an acolyte.

They are pictured with Bishop John, Mgr Nicholas Hudson (Southwark), the Rector of the English College, and fellow Southwark seminarian Philip Andrews (New Malden).

After the conferral of the Ministry of Lector: Philip Andrews,
Mgr Nicholas Hudson, Bishop John, David Howell and Matthew O'Gorman

After the conferral of the Ministry of Acolyte: Philip Andrews,
Mgr Nicholas Hudson, Bishop John, Matthew O'Gorman and David Howell

Our congratulations to David and Matthew. We keep them and all our seminarians in our prayers.

(posted 14-07-11)


Tribute to Bishop Michael Evans

Bishop Michael will be very much missed by so many people in the Archdiocese of Southwark and the Diocese of East Anglia - family, friends, laity, religious and clergy. As a priest of the Archdiocese, Michael was totally committed to his priestly ministry both as a pastoral priest and Professor of Theology for many years at St. John’s Seminary.

Having known him as a fellow student, a friend and brother priest involved in the formation of future priests, I was delighted when he was appointed as the third Bishop of East Anglia. There Bishop Michael continued that dedication, emphasising the Bishop’s role as a teacher of the faith and spending himself in building up the Diocesan family of East Anglia. He was unstinting in using his time and great talents in the service of the clergy, religious and people of the Diocese.

Even during his long period of ill health, although increasingly restricted in what he was able to do he refused to give up. I have no doubt that he will be greeted by the Lord he served so faithfully, with the words: “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the Kingdom prepared for you.”

Archbishop of Southwark
12th July 2011


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Bishop Michael Evans
Bishop of East Anglia

who died on 11th July 2011

May he rest in peace

His Funeral Mass will be at St John's Cathedral, Norwich,
on Wednesday, 20th July, at 1:30 pm


Press release from the CCEW web site


A Day of Celebration for People of All Abilities

The banner which was unfurled during the Mass

On Sunday, 10th July 2011, people of all abilities, young and old, gathered with Archbishop Peter at The Friars, Aylesford, to share and celebrate each other's gifts. The theme this year was 'Spread God's Joy: It's up to you', and joy was the keynote of the day.

A Gathering Service was held at 12 noon and was followed by various activities. Archbishop Peter presided at the Mass at 4:00 pm and gave the homily. Father David Gibbons, Director of the Christian Education Centre, was among the concelebrants.

The day is organised annually by the Christian Education Centre.

A group dramatises a scriptural passage

Archbishop Peter views the banner

The Gospel is dramatised

Archbishop Peter gives the homily

Through Him, with Him, in Him ...

Before the final blessing

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

More photos on Aylesford Priory's Facebook  page (log in may be needed)

More photos from the CEC (.pdf)


Thanet honours its Patron - Saint Mildred

Thanet Deanery Mass in honour of St Mildred, patron of the Isle of Thanet, was held at the Anglican Parish Church of St Mary-the-Virgin, Minster-in-Thanet, on Sunday, 10th July 2011. This annual Mass in the splendid medieval church, courtesy of the vicar, Canon Bob Coles, takes place on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St Mildred. The church is on the site of the original Abbey Church which was founded by St Mildred's mother, St Domneva, in 670 AD – St Mildred taking over as Abbess after her mother. The present building's nave dates back to 1150 AD.

Fr Marcus Holden, was principal celebrant at the Mass and gave the homily. He was joined by Fr Luke Smith, Dean of Thanet, Fr John Slater and the Monks of St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate. The Benedictine Nuns of St Mildred's Priory, Minster, hosted the Mass and refreshments afterwards. The music of the Mass was shared between the Benedictine Nuns, the Anglican Choir of St Mary-the-Virgin, and the choir of Ss Ethelbert and Gertrude.

Also present at the Mass were the two Orthodox ministers in Thanet: Archimandrite Vissarion Kokliotis of the Greek Orthodox Community of the Archangel Michael, Margate, and Fr Angelos El Antony of St Michael and St Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church, Margate.

Following the refreshments at Parkminster (St Mildred's Priory), the Benedictine nuns held Vespers in the priory chapel.

More photos of the occasion on Thanet Deanery's web site


Dartford Folk Group's Fortieth Anniversary

On Sunday, 10th July 2011, Bishop Paul celebrated Mass at St Anselm's, Dartford, to mark the 40th anniversary of the parish folk group.

Among those present were the parish priest, Father William Scanlon, Father Jude Okenyi and Deacon Maurice Williams, together with some past priests of the parish and the Mayor.

The Mass was followed by a reception in the parish centre.


Ghanaian bishop's visit to Saint George's Cathedral

The Ghanaian Chaplaincy team celebrated their regular quarterly Mass at St George's Cathedral on Sunday afternoon, 10th July 2011, and were joined by Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu, who is the Bishop for Konogo and Mampong Diocese in Ashanti Region of Ghana.


Father Jonathon Routh - a new Southwark priest

On Saturday, 9th July 2011, Archbishop Peter ordained Deacon Jonathon Routh to the priesthood at the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians and Saint Aloysius, Folkestone.

The Litany of the saints: Deacon Jonathon lies prostrate as those gathered kneel in prayer

Fr Jonathon is vested in his new vestments by Fr Roger Nesbitt, who receives them from Fr Jonathon's parents

Archbishop Peter anoints Fr Jonathon's hands with the Oil of Chrism

Archbishop Peter kneels to receive Fr Jonathon's first blessing

We congratulate Father Jonathon on his ordination to the priesthood and keep him in our prayers. His first appointment is to St Joseph's, New Malden - may he receive every blessing and happiness.

Text of Archbishop Peter's homily at the Ordination Mass

More photos of the ordination on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page 


A joyful welcome for the new Cathedral Dean

Canon John O'Toole was the principal celebrant at a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit in Saint George's Cathedral on Friday evening, 8th July 2011.

He was joined by Bishop Paul and thirty priests who concelebrated the Mass in the presence of Archbishop Peter and Canon John's family, friends and parishioners, who gathered to welcome him as the new Cathedral Dean.

The focus of Canon John's homily was 'a litany of thanks to God for others', inspired by the words of Blessed John Paul II at the beginning of the new millennium: 'Remember the past with gratitude; live the present with enthusiasm; look forward to the future with confidence.' He said 'These are gifts of the Spirit - who is the source of gratitude, enthusiasm and confidence'. He also described Faith, Family and Friends as 'treasures which no money could buy'.

At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Peter welcomed Canon John as Cathedral Dean on behalf of the clergy, chapter of canons and people, noting the wide pastoral experience he would bring to his new appointment.

Archbishop Peter, Deacon Michael Kennedy, Canon John,
Deacon James Sheahan and Bishop Paul in the sacristy before Mass

Canon John gives the homily

Archbishop Peter welcomes Canon John as the new Cathedral Dean

Canon John at the reception in the Amigo Hall

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Report from London se1 community website

Visit St George's Cathedral web site


Ursuline girls' gratitude to Father John Lavery

Father John Lavery with students outside the church

On Friday, 8th July 2011, Bishop Patrick was the principal celebrant at a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Ladye, Star of the Sea, Greenwich, for the 20 year ministry of Father John Lavery at St Ursula's Convent School, Greenwich. The girls wanted to show their appreciation by organising this Mass.

Bishop Patrick spoke about the value of friendship and said that not only had Fr John been a good friend to the school for many years, but that he had helped the girls to understand and experience the friendship and love of God in their lives. Over the years a number of former pupils had returned to Greenwich for their wedding and Fr John had baptised their babies who are now students at the school.

Among the concelebrants were Greenwich deanery clergy: Fr Michael Scanlon, Fr Jimmy Hays, Fr Eric Nimmo, Fr Richard Plunkett and Fr Peter Murphy.

At the end of Mass the girls presented Fr John with a stole and the staff presented him with a picture of the Church. Mrs Ciara Warnock, Headteacher, spoke about the influence that Fr John had on the school and staff and said he would be greatly missed and he was wished a very happy retirement.

Bishop Patrick with students

Fr John with Mrs Ciara Warnock, Headteacher

Fr John with Governors and Staff

Fr John with altar servers

Visit St Ursula's Convent School web site


Thanksgiving for 115 years of the Salesian College

On Thursday, 7th July 2011, Archbishop Peter viisted the Salesian College, Battersea, to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving for the College's 115 years in Catholic Education.

The College is due to be merged at the end of this academic year with the John Paul II School and the new school will be known as the Saint John Bosco College.

Saint John Bosco College was originally due to open in new buildings on the current Salesian College site. This has been delayed and the school will open on the John Paull II site, which is being renovated to cope with increased numbers. It is anticipated that the move to the Salesian College site will take place within the next two or three years.

Archbishop Peter gives the homily

Archbishop Peter presents Mr Eddie Hrabi a Papal Blessing to mark
his many years of teaching at the college

Archbishop Peter and Mr Stephen McCann, Headteacher, present a framed picture of St John Bosco to representatives of the new school

Mr Paul Dunne (Deputy Head designate) and boys representing
St John Bosco College receive a picture of their Patron

The Provincial of the Salesians in Great Britain, Fr Martin Coyle, reads
a message of thanks from the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez

The Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle, presents Mr Stephen McCann a medal
as a sign of the Salesians appreciation of the work of the College

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Visit the St John Bosco College web site 


Visit to Christ the King Sixth Form College

Archbishop Peter visited Christ the King Sixth Form College on Tuesday, 5th July 2011. The College delivers education in two boroughs in South East London. Christ the King College is located in Lewisham and Christ the King College: St Mary's is located in Sidcup, Bexley.

The Archbishop visited both sites

At Christ the King College: St Mary's he blessed the new chapel and altar and reflected on the importance of a chapel in a Catholic College and the need for prayer in daily life.

Former chaplain Fr Eddie Higggins introduces the liturgy to bless the chapel and altar

Archbishop Peter with Deacon Javier Elderfield

Archbishop Peter blesses the new chapel and altar

Group photos with the Archbishop and Dr J. Overbury OBE, Principal

The Archbishop speaks with some of the students

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Visit Christ the King Sixth Form College web site 


Ann Widdecombe visits the John Fisher School

On Tuesday, 5th July 2011, the Right Honourable Ann Widdecome visited the John Fisher School to meet with a group of Year 12 students.

Ms Widdecombe took questions and spoke to the boys on politics and her faith and how she reconciles the two. She shared stories about her time in office. She was very happy that the boys were not shy to challenge her and debate with her on her views. She was also asked about her faith and conversion to Catholicism.

At the end of the session she took questions on any other aspect of her life and had great fun talking about her time on Strictly Come Dancing.

Visit the John Fisher School web site 


Cathedral's grateful farewell to Canon James Cronin

Bishop Patrick, Archbishop Peter, Canon James Cronin,
Archbishop Michael and Bishop Richard in the sacristy before Mass

On Sunday, 3rd July 2011, Canon James Cronin was the principal celebrant at a Mass in Saint George's Cathedral, which had been arranged to give thanks for his ministry as Cathedral Dean, a post he has held since 1996. Canon Cronin resigned earlier this year to take up his appointment as National Director of Missio.

Clergy from the diocese and parishioners of the Cathedral parish were joined by civic dignitaries, who paid tribute to his involvement with the wider community, and by chaplains of the many ethnic communities within the diocese, for whom Canon Cronin was the Co-ordinator.

The Mass was followed by a reception in the Amigo Hall, which was refurbished under Canon Cronin's oversight.

Archbishop Peter pays tribute to Canon Cronin

Father John Diver presents Canon Cronin with gifts

Archbishop Peter with Mr Simon Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and
Old Southwark, at the reception

Canon James Cronin with Deacon Michael Kennedy

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Report from London se1 community website


A day of celebration at the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon

On Sunday, 3rd July 2011, Archbishop Peter joined Father Keith McMillan SJ, parish priest, the Jesuit Community and parishioners of the Sacred Heart Parish in Wimbledon for a day of celebration.

The celebration marked the completion of major refurbishment projects which had been undertaken by the parish in recent years:
- the provision of inclusive access to the halls and presbytery, with a meeting area for young people,
- the renovation of the church floor and installation of under-floor heating and
- the restoration of the 1912 Walker organ which is is registered as an instrument of historic significance.













A view of the restored organ which was blessed by the Archbishop

The Archbishop presided at the Mass of Thanksgiving and gave the homily. After the Mass, there was a parish picnic and entertainment on the College field.

The Archbishop gives the homily

Father Gerard Mitchell SJ, previous parish priest (right), joined the
Wimbledon Jesuit community for the celebrations

The other SW19 celebration on that day - the Wimbledon Tennis finals taking place less than 1.5 miles away - was broadcast live on a large screen.

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Visit the Sacred Heart parish web site 


Invocation 2011

Invocation 2011 delegates relax in the tepee zone!

Over 250 young people from across the country met at St Mary's College, Oscott, last month for the second Invocation Festival. The weekend takes place under the patronage of the Conference of Diocesan Directors of Vocation whose chairman is Fr Stephen Langridge, the vocations director for Southwark. The final Mass of the weekend was celebrated by Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio, who in a moving homily encouraged the young people present to be people of hope and also to dedicate some time to prayer:

'My dear young people, to discern God’s call we need to withdraw from external activity and to dedicate time to prayer. At the last World Youth Day Pope Benedict reminded us that “Jesus is always present in our hearts, quietly waiting for us to be still with him, to hear his voice, to abide in his love”. Be convinced that the Lord is waiting for you to open your hearts to him in prayer. He wants to meet you personally and to enter into a dialogue with you. This conviction will till you with an urgent desire to seek periods of silence in your daily life where you have the space to be drawn into union with God in prayer.'

The full text of the Archbishop's homily on the Southwark Vocations Blog


Confirmations at Rotherhithe

Archbishop Peter with Father Graham Preston, Priest in Charge

Archbishop Peter visited the parish of Saint Peter and the Guardian Angels, Rotherhithe, on Saturday, 2nd July 2011. He presided at Mass
during which he confirmed 22 young parishioners.

Archbishop Peter speaks to the confirmation candidates and congregation

Photoshoot: Archbishop Peter with the newly confirmed

More photos on the RCSouthwark Flick'r page


Brightlights Festival at Aylesford

On Friday evening, 1st July 2011, Archbishop Peter welcomed the young participants of the annual Brightlights Festival for young adults, which took place throughout the weekend at The Friars, Aylesford.

The festival for 16 - 30 year olds included talks, seminars and workshops, prayer, music, drama and fellowship.

The speakers included:

Archbishop Abuna Elias Chacour of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and Galilee, noted for his efforts to promote reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis;

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of Mary's Meals, which was founded in 2002 and has grown to a world-wide campaign, providing free school meals to over 500,000 children every day;

and Fr Christopher Jamison, who presented ‘The Monastery’ and is author of ‘Finding Sanctuary’, sharing that experiences of living within and leading a monastic community can be translated into guidelines for everyday life.

More photos on the Brightlights Facebook page