News Archive for 2007 - December

'The family lies at the heart of human life'

Archbishop Kevin presided at Mass and gave the homily on the Feast of the Holy Family at the Holy Ghost Church, Balham during the Youth 2000 gathering.  

At the end of the Mass he presented four people from Youth 2000 with their Maryvale Diplomas.

The theme of the gathering was
'God is rich in Mercy'

Read the full text of Archbishop Kevin's homily

Archbishop Kevin's Christmas Message

Domenico Ghirlandaio - The Nativity (detail) - 1492
Vatican Museum - Pinacoteca Gallery

The story of the birth of Jesus in St Luke's Gospel contains the famous song of the heavenly host:

"Glory to God in the highest heaven
and peace to those who enjoy his favour".

The theme of Christmas and the theme of peace go hand in hand. This year, Pope Benedict's message for the World Day of Peace is entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace". The celebration of the Christmas season always elicits appeals for peace from the Pope and other religious leaders. Somehow the conflict and disorder in our world seem to stand out in sharper relief when seen against the background of the Christmas message. That message is a message of hope and the hope is focussed on the child, lying in the manger in Bethlehem. He embodies true hope for individuals, for families, and for the wider community to which we belong.

The Pope's recent encyclical on hope - Spe Salvi - reminds us that our hope is not a vain hope, not a mere longing for a new situation, but is inextricably bound up with our faith in Jesus, our Saviour, our Redeemer - the one who will come again in glory. Our faith and hope in him enable us to believe in peace even when the world in which we live seems to show little promise of it. Without faith - faith in Jesus Christ - our hope has no strength and no roots. In faith we are able to engage hopefully with the trials and conflicts that life puts in our way.

May our celebration of Christmas this year be a reawakening of faith and a rebirth of hope so that we can embrace the New Year with confidence and peace.

I wish you and all your family and friends a happy and blessed Christmas. Those who are sick, troubled or alone at this time will be very much in my thoughts and prayers as we celebrate Christmas Mass in our Cathedral.

Archbishop of Southwark

Archbishop Kevin offered Mass at Midnight and the Family Mass
at 10:00 am in St George's Cathedral.

The Cathedral Crib

The Cathedral sanctuary prepared for Midnight Mass

Archbishop Kevin greets the people after Midnight Mass. He stands next to Councillor Hilary Wines, former Mayor of Southwark

Chocolates for the children after the Family Mass in the morning

A moment's reflection at the Christmas Crib ...


Bishops offer Christmas
Mass in prisons

Recognising the isolation that will be felt by those who are away from their families at Christmas, each auxiliary bishop has visited a prison in his area to offer Mass on Christmas Day:
Bishop John at HMP Swaleside
Bishop Paul at HMP Wandsworth
Bishop Patrick at HMP Brixton.


Carols at Brockley's Indian Orthodox Church

Archbishop Kevin attended the Christmas Carol Service at St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church in Brockley on Saturday, 22nd December 2007.

Archbishop Kevin receives a gift from Father Christmas while Father Michael Lovell, Parish Priest of St Mary Magdalen, Brockley, looks on

More news and photos of the occasion


Archbishop Kevin visits the Italian Mission

The Archbishop visited the Italian Mission on Sunday, 16th December 2008. He presided and preached at the 9.30am Mass said in Portuguese for the Portuguese community. Present at this Mass was the Portuguese ambassador, Mr Antonio Santana Carlos, seen here with Fr. Giandomenico Ziliotto of the Scalabrini Fathers.

The 11.00am Mass was in Italian and again the Archbishop presided and preached.

Fr. Pietro Celotto CS (left), Parish Priest, during the Mass

Archbishop Kevin with the children at the Christmas crib

Mass according to 1962 missal of Bl. John XXIII

Mass according to the 1962 missal of Blessed John XXIII was celebrated on Saturday, 8th December 2007 at St George's Cathedral, Southwark. Pictures and further information about the Mass can be found on the Cathedral's website which can be accessed via the Southwark Parish Directory online.


Augustinian Recollects - 75 years in England

Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Patrick, Father Rafael Mediavilla OAR, Provincial of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Father Willie OAR, Provincial delegate, and Canon James Cronin joined the Vauxhall community to celebrate 75 years of the Order's presence in England with Mass on Wednesday, 5th December 2007.

The Order has the care of St Anne's, Vauxhall, and the Latin American Chaplaincy. Archbishop Faustino spoke of the special charism of the friars for works of charity and Bishop Patrick paid tribute to the work of Father Mark OAR in the parish and of Father Jesus OAR and Father Frank OAR among the Latin American community.


Archbishop Kevin has recently held two meetings which made further progress towards the diocesan 'Vision' statement.

He met with the heads of the diocesan agencies at Archbishop's House on Monday, 19th November 2007 ...

... and with the Deans at West Malling on Monday, 3rd December.

List of participants at the meeting with diocesan agencies and
more photos


Knights of St Columba support CEC

Father John O'Toole, Director of the Christian Education Centre, receives a donation towards the Centre's external renovation from Province 12 of the Knights of St Columba. He is seen here with Bros Henry Brand PGK and Ken Smith DPGK.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales website is broadcasting daily Advent reflections given by the bishops and others. Our own Archbishop and auxiliary bishops are contributing to this series.

Bishop Paul has given the reflection for 3rd December, Archbishop Kevin for 4th December, Bishop John for 8th December and Bishop Patrick for 24th December.


Advent theme of 'Hope'

The First Sunday of Advent
2nd December, 2007

Read Archbishop Kevin's Pastoral Letter (also available in .pdf format)


Come Home For Christmas

Archbishop Kevin has recommended the initiative to invite and welcome Catholics who have lost touch with the Church to return to the Catholic community this Christmas.

He has issued his own personal invitation to them:

'I warmly invite those Catholics who no longer come to Mass to be open to the call of the Holy Spirit and to respond with trust to this invitation to return.'

Leaflets are available in our parishes which parishioners may wish to give to family or friends>. We pray that they may respond and receive a warm welcome on their return.

Visit the 'Come Home For Christmas' website


World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees

Bishop Patrick, Chairman of the Office for Refugee Policy of the Bishops' Conference in England and Wales, has forwarded to each diocese a message from Pope Benedict XVI.

The 93rd World Migration Day will be held on Monday, 3rd December 2007.

The Pope in his message - The Migrant Family - calls on the international community to provide ''legislative, juridical and administrative protection for migrants and their families.'

Text of Pope Benedict's message for the Day for Migrants and Refugees