News Archive for 2009 - November

Archbishop dedicates Shrine to Migrants' Patron Saint

On Sunday, 29th November 2009, following the 11:30 am Mass at St George's Cathedral, Archbishop Kevin dedicated and blessed a new shrine in honour of St Frances Cabrini, the Patron of Migrants.

The Archbishop presided at the Mass at which Canon James Cronin, the Cathedral Dean, was principal celebrant and gave the homily.

The impetus for the shrine came from Canon James and it was funded by the world wide Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Order founded by St Frances Cabrini. Mother Patricia, Superior, and sisters from the Order, often known as the Cabrini Sisters, were present and Mother Patricia spoke at the end of the Mass.

The shrine contains a relic of St Frances Cabrini, who herself prayed in the original Cathedral.

The shrine will surely provide a focus of prayer for our migrant communities in London and from further afield.

Archbishop Kevin and Canon James with Mother Patricia (centre)
and sisters from the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

More photos taken during and after the Mass


Covers removed from the Amigo Hall

The work on the refurbishment of the Amigo Hall is almost finished, and during the weekend of 28th - 29th November, the parishioners of the Cathedral had an opportunity to use the building for the first time since its closure. On the Saturday, several hundred people visited the Hall to take part in the Cathedral Bazaar. The next day people were invited into the Hall for Tea and Coffee after the 10:00 am Mass, and also after the blessing of the new shrine of St Frances Cabrini.

Plans are being made to formally open the refurbished Amigo Hall in the New Year.


'Faith Revealed' Book Launch

Bishop Paul was guest of honour at St. Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls, Carshalton, on Thursday, 26th November 2009, to officially launch the publication of their new book ‘Faith Revealed’.
The man behind the idea is singer, songwriter and poet Gerry Coates, who is passionate about developing an outlet for young Catholic talent in the arts. The publication of this book is another step in his search for poets, artists, musicians, singers and other artistic and musical talent in schools.
Earlier this year, students from St. Philomena’s worked with Gerry in a project to display their art work at The Young Catholics Art Exhibition at the Sacred Heart Church in Lauriston Street, in the centre of Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival.

Following the exhibition, Gerry gave a series of poetry workshops at the school with a view to the students publishing their work. During the workshops, students were actively encouraged to express their opinions on what having faith means to the average person in their high speed lives these days and what will become of faith in future generations. The result is a stunning collection of over six hundred poems written by both students and staff at the school reflecting on their own personal faith.
The book will now be sold with proceeds from its sale going towards the school’s chosen charities.


Moving Pictures of the Funeral of Archbishop Amigo

Older members of our diocese will remember Archbishop Peter Emmanuel Amigo with affection. He was Bishop of Southwark from 1904 until 1949 and 2009 marks the sixtieth anniversary of his death.

St George's Cathedral had been destroyed by enemy action in 1941, so the Archbishop's Funeral Mass was held in Westminster Cathedral and his body was returned, at his request, for burial to the crypt in the ruins of his own Cathedral of St George.

Archbishop Amigo died on 1st October 1949.
May he rest in peace.

British Pathé has two archive clips of his funeral which can be viewed by clicking on the picture of the bombed Cathedral below.

(Posted 30-11-09)


Pastoral Letter for the Feast of Christ the King

Sunday, 22nd November 2009 - National Youth Sunday

In a Pastoral Letter written for the Feast of Christ the King the Archbishop looks forward to the season of Advent.

During this Year for Priests, he focuses on the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives and our need for priests. He asks that we support our priests and pray for them and for our seminarians.

At a time when we have fewer priests than we need, the Archbishop, as part of the Vision Process, has asked the clergy in each deanery to discuss the best ways for us to develop as a Church and which forms of collaboration are best suited for each area as needs arise.

He sends a special greeting to the young people of the diocese and invites 'everyone to both pray for our young people and to celebrate the contribution they make to the life of the Church.' He adds 'It is my personal hope that some of our young people will find that depth of faith and hope that will enable them to consider a vocation to priesthood or religious life.'

He ends by asking us to take Our Lady as our 'model and guide' during the forthcoming season of Advent.

Full text of the Archbishop's Pastoral Letter


Migrants take centre stage in new Cathedral shrine

Archbishop Kevin will unveil and dedicate a new shrine in St George’s Cathedral at 12:30 pm on Sunday, 29th November 2009.

The shrine is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Migrants, St Frances Cabrini, a nun who devoted her life to the needs of migrants in Europe and in North and South America between 1880 and her death in 1917.

Today, approximately 1 in 35 people worldwide are on the move and this little known saint and the work of the order she established (Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) are very relevant.

South London has long been home to a large and diverse migrant population and Mother Cabrini established a community here, now on Forest Hill Road, and frequently visited the Cathedral.

Read extracts from the press release

(Posted 18-11-09)

Three parish priests inducted

On the 13th November 2009, three priests were formally inducted as parish priest of parishes in the Diocese. Archbishop Kevin inducted Mgr Bill Saunders, his former Private Secretary, as parish priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace, East Sheen.

Photos taken after the Mass for the induction of Mgr Bill Saunders

In the next borough, Bishop Paul presided over the induction of Fr John Eze MSP as parish priest of St Pius X, Norbiton. The service was attended by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Councillor Ian McDonald.

Photos taken at the induction of Fr John Eze MSP

Further East, on the Kent coast, Bishop John inducted Fr Don Coleman, as parish priest of Our Lady and Saint Benedict, Birchington.

Photos taken at the induction of Fr Don Coleman

Please pray for the new parish priests as they begin their new ministry.

Rome Congress on Care of Migrants and Refugees

Organised by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Refugees the 6th World Congress of the Pastoral care of Migrants and Refugees took place from 9th - 12th November 2009 in Rome.

Among the 300 delegates from all over the world were Bishop Patrick, Canon James Cronin and Mrs Cecilia Taylor-Camara. Cecilia is secretary to the Office for Migrants and Refugees at the Bishops’ Conference.

Delegates listened to talks and took part in discussions on a wide range of issues affecting Migrants and their dependents. Of special interest was the internal movement and displacement of people within Africa. A recurring theme of the Conference was the necessity of host nations to foster a culture of welcome to Migrants and Refugees.

In a private audience, Pope Benedict XVI addressed in his speech to the delegates the global phenomenon of Migration.

Whilst in Rome the delegates from England were hosted to dinner at the Residence of the Ambassador to the Holy See and the following day Bishop Patrick spoke at a lunch at the English College for some of the English speaking delegates.

Archbishop Kevin welcomes the Bishop of Dubrovnik

Fr Ljubomir Simunovic, OFM, of the Croatian Chaplaincy, Archbishop Kevin, Bishop Zelimir Puljić and Canon Cronin (co-ordinator of ethnic chaplaincies)

Archbishop Kevin recently met with Bishop Zelimir Puljić, of Dubrovnik, Croatia, during his visit to England. The Croatian Chaplaincy is based in our Diocese, and the Archbishop was pleased to be able to meet and discuss matters of mutual concern.

Archbishop Kevin sent the following message of encouragement to the Croatian community: “It is a joy for me to offer my greetings and good wishes to the Croatian community in England. I pray that your presence will be a source of mutual enrichment and blessing.” .


'Walk with Me' for Advent and Christmastide

The Southwark edition of 'Walk with Me', a booklet containing meditations and prayers for each day during Advent and Christmastide, is available in most parishes in our diocese.

This year's themes of hope and memory are based on a sentence in a book written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI: 'The beautiful task of Advent is to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open the doors of hope.'

In his Introduction to the Southwark edition of 'Walk with Me', Archbishop Kevin encourages us to 'remember the moments of grace in our past life - the times when the Holy Spirit has touched us', confident that 'the Spirit that has blessed us in the past is the same Spirit that can act in our lives again in the future, bringing healing, forgiveness and wholeness.'


Bishop Paul celebrates his Silver Jubilee

On Thursday, 12th November 2009, Bishop Paul celebrated his Silver Jubilee as a priest. He presided at a Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Sutton.

His father, sister and nephew were present along with a number of clergy, including Bishop Howard, Bishop Richard and Father Jim McGillicuddy, the Parish priest of Sutton. Parishioners from Peckham and Tooting, parishes where he served as a priest, also attended.

Bishop Paul was ordained priest on 29th July 1984 at Holy Innocents Church, Orpington by Archbishop Michael.

Bishop Paul thanks everyone for joining the celebtation


Merville: 'the experience was a real grace for us all'

During 2009, the priests and deacons of our diocese have had the opportunity to meet with the Archbishop and Area Bishop for a gathering at Merville in France for a week of prayer and reflection on their pastoral ministries.

Well over 200 priests and deacons attended and greatly valued the experience. The meetings provided a welcome opportunity for the Southwark clergy to express their unity with each other and with their Archbishop - and to enjoy each other's company.

The Archbishop has thanked Mgr Gerry Ewing and the Ongoing Formation of Priests team for organising these weeks. The first, mainly for clergy from the South-East area, was held in February, the second, mainly for the clergy from the South-West area, was held in June and the final week was held 26th - 30th October, mainly for the clergy of the Kent area.

In a recent Letter to the Clergy, Archbishop Kevin wrote that 'the experience was a real grace for us all'.

Photos of the October Merville Conference


Holy Father's response to traditionalist Anglicans

On Monday, 9th November 2009, the Holy See released the full text of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus' (On Groups of Anglicans)  providing for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

News of the Apostolic Constitution was announced on Tuesday, 20th October, by Cardinal William Levada at a press conference in Rome. The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave the news in a Joint Statement at a simultaneous press conference in London.

Archbishop Rowan Williams, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and
Archbishop Kevin at the Joint Statement - 20th October 2009.

Press release from the Catholic Church in England and Wales website
including links to the text of  'Anglicanorum Coetibus'  and related documents


Chapter celebrates the Dedication of the Cathedral

The Cathedral Chapter celebrated Mass at St George's Cathedral on Friday, 6th November 2009, the eve of the Feast of the Dedication of the Cathedral Church.

Canon Tony Charlton, one of the three new canons installed on 23rd April this year, the Feast of Saint George, was celebrant.

Chapter Masses are celebrated twice a year: on the Feast of St George  and on the Feast of the Dedication of the Cathedral Church.


Bene merenti awards at Worcester Park

Bishop Paul with Joyce Hayland and Father Kevan Hayden

On Thursday, 5th November 2009, Bishop Paul awarded the Bene merenti to two parishioners of St Matthias, Worcester Park - a married couple Peter and Joyce Hayland. Sadly Peter died last July, so his award was presented posthumously.

Father Kevan Hayden, Parish Priest, explained 'The awards were in recognition of their many years of service 'behind the scenes' taking care of parish finances. There was even greater demand on their time in 2006 when the parish was fundraising for the new Parish Centre.'