News Archive for 2009 - July

Pope appoints Mgr Richard as Bishop of the Forces

Bishop-elect Richard will be ordained bishop at Westminster Cathedral on Tuesday, 29th September 2009, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels.
The Mass will begin at 11:30 am.                          Posted 31-07-09

Today. Saturday 25th July 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named Monsignor Richard Moth as Bishop of the Forces in succession to Bishop Tom Burns, now Bishop of Menevia. Monsignor Richard has been Vicar General and Chancellor in our diocese since 2001.

Archbishop Kevin said, “I know that everyone in the diocese will want to congratulate Monsignor Richard on this appointment. It is one to which he is well suited in many ways and I am sure he will make a significant contribution especially at this time when the well-being of the men and women in the Armed Services is a matter of such public concern. He has been a tireless servant of the diocese and his gifts and commitment will be much missed. But he goes with the thanks, prayers and good wishes of his home diocese as he embraces this new and very different challenge.”

Bishop-elect Richard said, “It is a great honour for me to be asked by the Holy Father to take up this new responsibility. Although there is sadness in leaving the Archdiocese of Southwark, I am immensely grateful to the Diocese for all it has given me over these last 27 years. I ask for prayers as I take up this new ministry as Bishop.

"Bishop Tom Burns has done excellent work for the chaplains of all three
Services and I hope to be able to build on the foundations that have been laid by him and his predecessors.

"I look forward to working with our Navy, Army and RAF chaplains in the service of the men and women of our Armed Services and their families, all of whom are facing particular challenges at this time.”

Bishop-elect Richard will be ordained bishop on Tuesday, 29th September 2009, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels.

About Monsignor Richard's ministry in our diocese

Press Release from the Office of the Bishopric of the Forces

Coverage of Monsignor Richard's appointment on the Catholic Church in England and Wales Web Site

An interview with Monsignor Richard (.pdf) can be downloaded from the Catholic Church in England and Wales Web Site


Swine Flu pandemic: Briefing note for parishes

Archbishop Kevin has endorsed a briefing note on swine flu, in which parish priests are asked to assess the risk of the spread of infection in their localities and take appropriate precautions.

The briefing stresses the importance of following the general infection control advice that has been widely publicised. It gives further guidance on measures that should be taken, especially at Mass, in areas where clusters of swine flu infections exist.

It adopts a staged approach according to the severity of the risk. The first stage would be to suspend the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue and from the chalice. The second would be either to suspend the Sign of Peace, or to give it without any physical contact.

Guidance as to when these restrictions should be implemented is given in the briefing note, which will be sent to parishes in the Archbishop's next Ad Clerum (Letter to the Clergy).

A number of parishes in our diocese have already adopted these precautions.

'Swine Flu pandemic: Briefing note for parishes'  Full text in .pdf format


Preparations for the visit of the Relics of St Thérèse

The casket containing the relics of a much-loved saint, St Thérèse of Lisieux, is to visit various locations in England and Wales from 16th September until 16th October this year.

It will be brought to our diocese and remain at The Friars, Aylesford, from Friday, 9th October, until the afternoon of Sunday, 11th October. Archbishop Kevin will preside at Mass in the presence of the relics on Saturday, 10th, at 11:30 am and the Prior General of the Order of Carmelites, the Most Reverend Fernando Millán, will preside at Mass on Sunday, 11th, at 11:30 am.

Pamphlets outlining the visit to The Friars and giving the full programme are being sent to parishes throughout the diocese.

Outside the times of the liturgies, pilgrims will be able to file past the casket in the Relic Chapel  - and reverently touch it if they wish - bringing to God their intentions through the intercession of St Thérèse who promised 'I will spend my heaven doing good on earth'.

We are in the process of compiling a special section on this web site to celebrate the visit of St Thérèse's relics to our diocese. More pages are due to be added - so please return, but click on the link below or on the logo on the sidebar to see what is already available.

Visit of the Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to Aylesford Priory


Bishop Patrick addresses the National J&P Conference

On Friday, 17th July 2009, Bishop Patrick was in Swanwick for the Annual Justice and Peace Conference, which focuses this year on migration.

Bishop Patrick is the Chair of the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

In his address he spoke of the context, the principles and the pastoral strategy of the Church's mission to, with and for migrants.

He chose the Gospel account of the road to Emmaus to demonstrate that our accompaniment of migrants leads to their empowerment.

Read the full text of Bishop Patrick's address (.pdf available)

Visit the National Justice and Peace Network Website

Sharing the gifts of people with disabilities

On Sunday, 12th July 2009, Bishop John joined the annual gathering of people of all abilities at Aylesford Priory to celebrate the gifts and talents that each person is blessed with. The theme this year - God is with us ... in our Hearts and in our World - was expressed in liturgy, prayer and activities during the day.

More photos and a short report by John McCorkell


Saint Anselm's, Tooting Bec, celebrates centenary

Archbishop Kevin with Fr William Hebborn, Parish Priest, (right) and
Fr Oliver Antao, Assistant Priest

On Saturday, 11th July 2009, Archbishop Kevin presided at Mass at the Church of St Anselm, Tooting Bec, to celebrate the centenary of the establishment of the parish. In his homily, the Archbishop drew attention to the fact that this year also marks the 900th anniversary of the death of St Anselm, patron of the parish.

After Mass a mosaic, specially commissioned for the centenary, was blessed by the Archbishop.

A few more photos taken after the Mass

Visit St Anselm's parish website for a history of the parish

Pope Benedict XVI publishes his third Encyclical

On Tuesday, 7th July 2009, the Vatican released the text of the Pope's third Encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate' - Love in Truth.

The Encyclical is about the Church’s social teaching and focuses on human development in charity and truth. The Pope argues that charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine where every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from love.

Underpinning the entire Encyclical is the argument that without a belief in God, authentic development is impossible for “man is not a lost atom in a random universe: he is God’s creature, whom God chose to endow with an immortal soul and whom he has always loved.”

The Catholic Church in England an Wales web site has a section dedicated to the new Encyclical with links to the full text in both .pdf and Word formats.

Caritas in Veritate Section

It also has a summary of the chapters of the Encyclical in its Press Release.


Caritas in Veritate: full text on the Vatican's site


Blessing of Streatham's new Parish Centre

Father Gerry Mulviihill, Parish Priest, and the parishioners of the English Martyrs, Streatham, welcomed Archbishop Kevin to their parish on the evening of Saturday, 4th July 2009. The occasion of the Archbishop's visit was the blessing of their new Parish Centre. The remodelled Parish Centre, originally built in 1965, includes a bright new hall and office.

Fr Gerry Mulvihill, a representative of the Mosque, which is next door. Keith Hill, MP for Streatham, the Archbishop and Frances Mulligan, the Chair of the Parish Building Committee

Annual Youth Festival at Aylesford Priory

Aylesford Priory was the setting for another Diocesan Festival on Saturday 4th July 2009, for the young people of Southwark, Arundel and Brighton and Brentwood Dioceses. Over 250 young people emerged from coaches and minibuses into the sunshine to spend a day reflecting on St Paul and the mission and outreach of the Church.

The morning session for the younger age group was led by David Beresford and Emily Davis, whilst the older group were facilitated by Sr Judith Russi. Afternoon workshops included singing, mime, drumming, sports, drama, street dance and art, many of which were showcased in a rally demonstrating the considerable gifts and talents of those present.

The day culminated in a celebration of Mass, with Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton presiding and young people taking on a variety of ministries.

Page of photos of the Youth Festival