News Archive for 2008 - February and March

Easter Week overlooking the Sea of Galilee ...

Bishop Paul spent Easter Week with about 170 other bishops at the Domus Galilaeae on the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. They came together at the invitation of members of the Neocatechumenal Way to reflect on the challenges facing the Church in Europe.

Read Bishop Paul's personal reflections

Visit the Domus Galilaeae website


Missionaries of St Francis Xavier open new house

On Monday, 24th March 2008 the first Religious House of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier (Pilar Fathers) was opened in the parish
of SS Peter and Paul at Mitcham.

Canon John Naughton, the Dean of Merton, was present and read the Message of Goodwill from Bishop John Hine.

Read Bishop John's Message of Goodwill

Easter Sunday

The Resurrection (detail)   -  Passignano (1559 -1638)
Fresco in the Borgia appartments, Vatican

Bishops offer Easter Mass in prisons

On Easter Sunday our bishops visited prisons in the diocese to offer Mass and to bring the joy and hope of the Lord's Resurrection to those inside.

Bishop Howard went to HMP Brixton,
Bishop Patrick to HMP Belmarsh and
Bishop Paul to HMP Wandsworth.



Torrential rain in Rome ...

Pope Benedict XVI gave his Easter message and blessing Urbi et Orbi,
to the city (of Rome) and the world, at midday on Easter Sunday.
His greeting in English was:

May the grace and joy of the Risen Christ be with you all.

St Peter's Square mushroomed with umbrellas in the heavy rain.

Read the Holy Father's Easter Message on the Vatican website

... and snow at Aylesford Priory


'Revealed' - new book on youth formation launched

Monsignor Richard Moth welcomed a new youth ministry resource, Revealed, at its launch on Tuesday, 11th March 2008 at St Paul's by Westminster Cathedral.

Two of the book's four authors are members of staff at the Southwark Catholic Youth Service. John Toryusen is the Director of SCYS and Káren North is its Training and Development Coordinator.

Read more about 'Revealed'

Visit Revealed Online

Sister Dorothy Bell - an honorary doctorate

Digby Stuart College, Roehampton University

Sister Dorothy Bell has been honoured with a doctorate by  Roehampton University for her involvement in the British educational system and, more recently, engagement in international AIDS related work.

In 1947, Sister Dorothy entered the Society of the Sacred Heart. The following years included a degree in Geography from St Anne’s College, Oxford, a Dip Ed from Durham, and teaching in the Society’s school at Woldingham in Surrey before becoming a Geography lecturer at Digby Stuart College in 1967. In 1968 she became Principal of the College until her retirement in 1989.

She received the OBE in June 1999 'For services to Education'.

She is currently Southwark's Diocesan Co-ordintor for Aids-Related Matters.


More Holy Week photographs

Holy Saturday

Good Friday


Maundy Thursday - The Mass of Chrism

Bishop John enters the Cathedral to celebrate the Mass of Chrism

At the beginning of the Mass, Bishop John read a message from Archbishop Kevin:

'I am very appreciative of all the prayers and Masses that have been said for me and also of all the greetings that have been sent to me. I really value your support. I am very sorry that I cannot be with you at the Chrism Mass and I send my warmest greetings. Please continue to keep me in your prayers.'

During the renewal of priestly commitment, Bishop John prayed:

Pray also for our Archbishop, Kevin,
as he recovers from surgery,
that he may be restored to full health.
May he continue to fulfil the office of apostle
which Jesus Christ has entrusted to him.
Pray that he may become more like our High Priest
and Good Shepherd, the teacher and servant of all,
and so be a genuine sign of Christ's loving presence among us.


Palm Sunday

The Cathedral sanctuary with green palm branches


Please click on this banner for news of some Lenten events 

The Holy Father's message for Lent 2008 from the Vatican website


Bishop Paul's sponsored walk in aid of WYD

Bishop Paul is to walk thirty miles in the hills south-east of Rome. He is being sponsored to defray the expenses of Southwark pilgrims to the World Youth Day to be held in Sydney, Australia this July.

Letter from Bishop Paul and photos taken along the route

Liturgical Calendar - changes for 2008

The Feast of St. Patrick, 17th March, and the Solemnity of St. Joseph, 19th March, fall this year in Holy Week.

In the Table of Liturgical Days, the first place in order of precedence is the Easter Triduum, that is Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The days of Holy week and the Easter season are next in precedence. Consequently, Solemnities which are impeded are transferred either to a future date or anticipated.

In England and Wales in 2008 the Solemnity of St. Joseph is anticipated on Saturday 15th March. The Feast of St. Patrick, not a Solemnity in England and Wales, is therefore not transferred and the liturgical readings for 17th March this year will be those of Monday in Holy Week.

In Ireland St. Patrick is a Solemnity and is anticipated on Saturday 15th March and the Solemnity of St. Joseph is anticipated on Friday 14th March. Although the General Calendar transfers the Solemnity of St Joseph from Holy Week in 2008 to Saturday, 15 March, a different dispensation pertains to Ireland which is why the Solemnity of St. Joseph is transferred to 14 March 2008. The dates for Irish dioceses in 2008 have been approved by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (20 January 2007, Prot. 1602/06/L)

The next time St. Patrick’s Day will fall in Holy Week will be in 2160.

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is transferred to Monday 31st since March 25th is the Tuesday of the Easter Octave.

Vocation Retreat attracts record number

The Vocation Retreat held at Wonersh during the weekend 29th February to 2nd March 2008 was attended by eighteen men - the largest number of participants since it started four years ago.

Report and photo in our Priesthood and Diaconate section

Bishop Kevin Dunn of Hexham and Newcastle dies

Bishop Kevin Dunn, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, died on Saturday, 1st March 2008 at the age of 57. He had been admitted to hospital early last month suffering from pneumonia.

He was ordained Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in May 2004.

We pray for him and the people of his diocese.  May he rest in peace.


First Profession of Sister Sheela

On Tuesday, 26th February 2008 Sheela Kachappilly made her first profession to become a sister in the Congregation of Our Lady of Fidelity.

The ceremony took place in the Church of the Faithful Virgin, Upper Norwood in the presence of Bishop Paul and Mother Heidi Koller, Superior General.


Sr Sheela is the first Asian religious sister in the Congregation in its 175 year history.


Short report and photos of the First Profession of Sister Sheela

Marriage Tribunal holds Annual General Meeting

The Interdiocesan Tribunal of Second Instance of Southwark (ITSIS)
held its AGM at Archbishop's House on Thursday, 21st February 2008.

This Tribunal deals with appeals to Second Instance from the Tribunals of the Province of Southwark (the dioceses of Southwark, Portsmouth, Arundel and Brighton and Plymouth).

Bishop John Jukes

Archbishop Kevin announced that Bishop Paul had succeeded Bishop John Jukes, OFM Conv, (an auxiliary bishop emeritus of our diocese) as Episcopal Delegate to ITSIS. He paid tribute to all the work that Bishop Jukes had done.
It was Bishop Jukes, together with Mgr Cyril Murtagh, who in 1980 travelled to Rome to arrange for the Apostolic Signatura to establish the Interdiocesan Tribunal of Second Instance of Southwark.

Brief explanation and more phtos

Archbishop Kevin presided at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at the Cathedral on Saturday, 9th February 2008. 215 catechumens and 239 candidates attended from parishes in the diocese.

Archbishop Kevin with the auxiliary bishops and Deacon Robert Higgs in the Cathedral sacristy before the service

The scene inside the Cathedral during the service

Read Archbishop Kevin's homily at this service

More photos of the occasion with a few 'faith journeys'

More about RCIA and the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

Make a difference this Lent ...

'So God created man
in his own image'
(Genesis 1:27)

Letter Writing

opposing the

Human Fertilisation
and Embryology Bill


The Church in England and Wales is in the forefront of opposition to
the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Please find time during Lent to add your voice by writing to your MP and the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson MP, expressing your opposition to this Bill which is due to be debated in the Commons after Easter.

Read further details of this campaign

Find out more about these issues from the
All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group