News Archive for 2008 - April and May

Civic tribute to Dean and Cathedral staff

On Saturday, 31st May 2008, Hilary Wines, former Mayor of Southwark, presented Canon James Cronin, the Cathedral Dean, with an illuminated scroll on behalf of the Southwark Civic Association in recognition of the help and support that the Cathedral had given the Association during the past twelve years.

Another photo and text of the scroll

262 couples who are celebrating a significant wedding anniversary this year - with a combined total of more than 9,000 years of marriage - planned to attend the Mass in Celebration of Marriage at Aylesford Priory on Monday, 26th May 2008, though some were deterred by the atrocious Bank Holiday weather. Many were joined by members of their families. Every deanery in the diocese was represented.

Bishop John was the principal concelebrant, gave the homily and led the renewal of marriage vows.

More photos and a short report

Read Bishop John's homily at the Mass in Celebration of Marriage

The Feast of Corpus Christi at St George's Cathedral

A Procession followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was held at St George's Cathedral after the 11:30 am Mass on Sunday, 25th May 2008, the Feast of Corpus Christi.

WYD pilgrims are commissioned at the Cathedral

On Saturday, 24th May 2008, Bishop Paul celebrated Mass in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral and commissioned the pilgrims that will travel to Sydney, Australia this July for World Youth Day.

This took place on the memorial of Our Lady Help of Christians, who under this title is Patron of Australia.

More photos of the Commissioning in our WYD section

New abbot at St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate

On Friday, 23th May 2008, the Conventual Chapter of St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate, Kent, elected Dom Paulinus Greenwood OSB as 8th Abbot. The Community of Benedictine monks waited patiently for just over two weeks for confirmation of the election from Rome. On Saturday morning, 7th June, confirmation was duly received from the Abbot President of the Subiaco Congregation, and in the evening the new Abbot was formally installed in a private ceremony by Abbot Emeritus Dom Bernard Waldron OSB, the 6th Abbot of Ramsgate (1988-1996).

Abbot Paulinus (42), who hails originally from Bolton in Lancashire, joined the monastic Community in 1994 after teaching for 5 years in the schools run by the monks in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent. He professed Simple Vows in 1996, Solemn Vows in 1999, and was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood by the late Bishop Charles Henderson in 2000 and 2001 respectively. From 2002-2005 Abbot Paulinus was resident at the International Benedictine Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome while studying for the Licentiate in Patristics at the Institutum Patristicum ‘Augustinianum’. For the 3 years leading up to his Abbatial election he served his Community as Claustral Prior.

Visit St Augustine's Abbey website

Journey that involves a growth in holiness

On Saturday, 17th May 2008, Bishop John celebrated the Mass for New Catholics at St George's Cathedral. In his homily he said that our new Catholics had embarked on a journey that involves a growth in holiness and stressed the great contribution that they can make to the Christian community.

More photos and notes from Bishop John's homily

Bishop John hosts celebration for jubilarians

On Tuesday, 13th May 2008, Bishop John was principal celebrant at Mass in the Cathedral and hosted lunch at Archbishop's House for our priests who are celebrating the golden, ruby and silver jubilees of their ordinations this year.

In the picture he is seen thanking and congratulating the jubliarians after lunch. We keep them in our grateful prayers.

List of jubilarians and more photos



Bishop Patrick celebrated the 10:00 am Mass at St George's Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday, 11th May 2008.

During the Mass he received one man into full communion with the Church, confirming him and giving him his first Holy Communion.

Twenty-two other members of the Cathedral Parish were also confirmed.

Father John Eze MSP and his team of catechists were responsible for their preparation.

Bishop Patrick and candidates during the Confirmation

Bishop Patrick with the congregation after Mass

Bishop Patrick with Father John Eze MSP distributing the
Confirmation certificates after Mass

Catholic Oriental Orthodox Forum

The Catholic Oriental Orthodox Forum met at Archbishop’s House on Friday, 9th May 2008. The meeting was chaired by Bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia.

From left to right:

Fr. Habte Mariam, Ethiopian OC

Fr. Abraham Thomas, Indian OC/Sec. to Council of OO

Fr. Ishaak, Syriac OC

Fr. Antonious Shenouda, Coptic OC/Chairman Council of OO
Bishop Michael Evans,
Chair, Committee for Christian Unity

HG Bishop Nathan, Armenian OC

HG Abba Seraphim, British OC
Bishop Paul Hendricks,
Bishop Representative on Ecumenical Instruments
Mgr Andrew J Faley,
Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs and Acting Secretary, Committee for Christian Unity


Bishops Michael and Paul and Mgr Andrew are members of the Department of Dialogue and Unity of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.


Mass for London's migrants at Westminster Cathedral

Bishop Patrick with members of the Syro-Malabar community

On Monday, 5th May 2008 the third annual Mass for London's Catholic migrants was held at Westminster Cathedral. Bishops whose dioceses include parts of London, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, and ethnic chaplains celebrated the Mass. Over 2000 people from 40 countries attended.

Cardinal Cormac was principal concelebrant and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood gave the homily. Bishop Patrick, the bishop with responsibility for migrants on behalf of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, represented Archbishop Kevin.

Report and more photos

Listen to Bishop Thomas Mahon's homily on the Westminster website

Pope appoints Archbishop Kevin as a Consultor

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Kevin as a Consultor to the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Commission, informed the Archbishop of the appointment and enclosed the notification signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretary of State.

Archbishop Kevin is currently chairman of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales Department of Dialogue and Unity (DDU) and of the  Committees for Other Faiths (COF) and Catholic-Jewish Relations (CCJR).


 - The Holy Father appointed:

- As consultors of the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: Archbishop Kevin John Patrick McDonald of Southwark, Great Britain; Bishop William Francis Murphy of Rockville Centre, U.S.A.; Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M. Custos of the Holy Land; Fr Joseph Sievers, director of the Cardinal Agostino Bea Institute at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University; and Fr. Lawrence E. Frizzel, director of the Institute of Judeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, U.S.A.


Bishop Patrick formally opens St Matthew Academy

On Wednesday, 30th April 2008, Bishop Patrick formally opened St Matthew Academy, Blackheath.

St Matthew Academy is the first Catholic state school in the country to cater for 3 - 16 year-olds.


Its £38m building is on the short list for an architectural award.

Bishop Patrick said: 'I am sure this wonderful new building we are opening today will help inspire students on their intellectual and spiritual journey to become lifetime learners with a strong sense of social and community responsibility based on Christian ethical principles'.

The Academy specialises in business and enterprise. Its motto, Let Your Light Shine, encapsulates the school's belief in the uniqueness of each student and its mission to encourage and develop each child's talents and strengths.

Photos and report of the opening ceremony

St Matthew Academy website

Bishop Paul completes Castelli Walk in aid of WYD

On 23rd April 2008, Bishop Paul completed the 'Castelli Walk' which he had been introduced to when studying for the priesthood at the English College in Rome. The walk is in excess of thirty miles in the hills south-east of Rome.

He was sponsored to raise funds to defray the costs of young pilgrims from our diocese to the World Youth Day to be held in Sydney this summer.

Bishop Paul recorded an audio diary (mp3) during his walk and took photographs along the journey.

For a short report, the photographs please click here

Saint George's Day at the Cathedral

A new painting of St George by Scott Norwood Witts was unveiled by Canon James Cronin on Wednesday, 23rd April 2008, the Feast of St George, at 11:00 am.

The painting 'St George and Dead Soldier' will be displayed until 3rd May.


Bishop John celebrated and gave the homily at the Chapter Mass
at 12:30 pm.

A few more photos taken before the Chapter Mass


Veneration of the relic of St George took place
after the Chapter Mass.



JPIC Spring Assembly - Farewell to Sister Pat

The Spring Assembly of Southwark's Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation was held at The Friars, Aylesford, on Saturday, 19th April 2008. The theme of the Assembly was Migration: Blessing or Curse?

Bishop Patrick, the Bishop with pastoral responsibility for migrants, spoke about the mission of the Church towards migrants and Don Flynn, Director of the Migrants' Rights Network, described the situation for migrants in the UK today.

Visit the JPIC website

Visit the Migrants' Rights Network website

Father Michael Scanlon, Director, Sister Pat Trussell, Coordinator, and Bishop Patrick

A presentation was made to Sister Pat Trussell LSU, who leaves the post of Coordinator of the JPIC office this month to undertake new work for her order. She was warmly thanked for the valuable contribution she has made to further awareness of and involvement in the Commission's work in our diocese.

A page of photographs taken at the JPIC Spring Assembly

Bishop Patrick is the bishop with responsibility for migrants on behalf of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. The Bishops' Conference has recently published a paper Mission of the Church to Migrants in England and Wales which can be found on the Catholic Church in England and Wales website. Please click here to go to this page

Vocations Sunday gift from the Knights of St Columba

As we prepare to celebrate the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations  on Sunday, 13th April 2008, the Southwark Province (Province 12) of the Knights of St Columba have added a generous gift to their prayers.

Monsignor Richard Moth, on behalf of Archbishop Kevin, receives their gift of £2,000 for The Southwark Seminary Fund from Henry Brand
, Provincial Grand Knight, and Ken Smith, Deputy Provincial Grand Knight.

They expressed their special thanks to Albert Steiert who retires as Seminary Fund convener after many years of excellent service.

Read Pope Benedict XVI's Message for the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the Vatican website

A 'Vision' update - April 2008

Archbishop Kevin has established a Pastoral Development Group to advise him and his Council on the planning necessary for future developments in the diocese in the light of the responses to the Towards a Vision process so far.

His first reflections on the consultations were published in his paper Living in Communion. He encourages us to consider the implications of these reflections for the pastoral developments emerging in our parishes and deaneries and the diocese as a whole.

Details about the Pastoral Development Group -  its purpose and membership

Cardinal Paul Cordes offers Mass at St George's

Cardinal Paul Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum', offered Mass at St George's Cathedral on Sunday, 6th April 2008.

He is in England at the invitation of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and will address the Bishops during their meeting at Leeds this week (7th - 10th April).

Short report and more photos

Details about 'Cor Unum' from the Vatican's website

Faithful Companions of Jesus honour their Foundress

Bishop John offered Mass at the Stella Maris Generalate in Broadstairs on Saturday, 5th April 2008 to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of  the Venerable Marie-Madeleine d’Houët, Foundress of the Faithful Companions of Jesus.

Her body lies in the Generalate chapel. She was declared 'venerable' by Pope Paul VI in November 1970 recognising the heroic virtues she consistently practised throughout her life.


Read more about the life of Marie-Madeleine d’Houët

Visit the website of the Faithful Companions of Jesus

Visit the website of the British Province of the Faithful Companions of Jesus