News Archive for 2009 - October

Gratitude to Mgr William Saunders

On Friday, 23rd October 2009, Archbishop Kevin was principal celebrant at a Mass in St George's Cathedral to thank Mgr William Saunders for his work as Private Secretary to two Archbishops over the past eight years.

Archbishop Michael was among the concelebrants as were Bishop Patrick and Bishop Richard.

After Mass, a reception, arranged by Mgr Bill's colleagues at Archbishop's House, was held in the Notre Dame School Hall by courtesy of the school and with the help of its caretaker.

Archbishop Kevin presented Mgr Bill with a cheque from the diocese during the Mass. A further cheque from colleagues who worked with him at the diocesan offices and the Cathedral was presented to him at the reception.

Archbishop Kevin will induct Mgr Bill as Parish Priest of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, East Sheen, on Friday, 13th November.

More photos of the occasion

60th Anniversary of the Friars' return to Aylesford

Procession to the Relic Chapel for the Anniversary Mass

On Saturday, 31st October 2009, Mass was celebrated in a full Relic Chapel in thanksgiving for the past 60 years of Carmelite life at Aylesford, and in gratitude to all those who have supported the ministry of The Friars during that time. The principal celebrant at the Mass was Very Rev. Fr. Christian Körner, O.Carm., Vice Prior General of the Carmelite Order, who had travelled from Rome for the event.

The homily was given by the Prior Provincial of the British Province of Carmelites, Very Rev. Fr. Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm. He spoke of the history of The Friars, the return of the brothers in 1949, and of the vision of the first prior, Fr. Malachy Lynch, to develop Aylesford as a centre of Carmelite spirituality.

Arrival of the Carmelites in 1242 by Adam Kossowski

The Friars was founded in 1242 when the Carmelites arrived in England from the Holy Land. They came under the patronage of Richard de Grey, a crusader, who gave them a small piece of land at his manor of Aylesford.

In 1538, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, The Friars passed into the hands of Sir Thomas Wyatt of Allington Castle.

In 1949, The Friars was put up for sale, so the Carmelites were able to buy back their motherhouse. Fr Malachy Lynch, the first Prior, began the task of restoring the buildings.

Br Michael McMullen and Fr Malachy during construction of the Shrine

Carmelites return to The Friars, passing through Aylesford Village 1949

Full report of the day with more photos from the Carmelite web site

History of The Friars, Aylesford from The Friars web site


CAFOD's Mass for Africa celebrated at Camberwell

Following the Africa synod in Rome, 4th - 25th October 2009, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama from Jos, Nigeria, Archbishop Boniface Lele from Mombasa, Kenya, Bishop Daniel Adwok from Khartoum, Sudan and Abune Tesfaselassie from Adigrat, Ethiopia returned to Africa via London.

The four Bishops were concelebrants at a special CAFOD Mass for Africa in the church of the Sacred Heart, Camberwell, on Saturday, October 31st, to give thanks to God for the work of CAFOD and their Church partners in Africa. They were joined by Bishop Patrick and priests from the African chaplaincies in London and from parishes in Southwark.

The Mass was a joyful celebration attended by more than 350 people. There was a feast of liturgical music, much of it from Africa, led by a choir drawn from all over the diocese and directed by Maggs Shepherd.

The Parish Priest, Father David Gibbons, welcomed the Bishops and everybody attending to the Church and the Mass. Archbishop Kaigama was the principal celebrant, and Archbishop Lele gave the homily. Bishop Patrick spoke at the end of the Mass (including one of his famous amusing stories).

There was a reception afterwards in the church hall, with refreshments provided by the UCM, and the opportunity for those attending the Mass to welcome and speak to the visiting Bishops and to obtain CAFOD resources.

A few more photos of the occasion

Bishop Paul joins Oliver House School for anniversary

Bishop Paul visited Oliver House Preparatory School beside Clapham Common on Wednesday, 21st October 2009, to offer Mass on the occasion of the school’s 5th anniversary.

Before Mass, he was given a tour of the school and he met the children and their parents at a reception afterwards. The children served and read at Mass and, at the reception, the Headmaster, Ciro Candia, and the Director of the charity responsible for Oliver House, Eamonn Doran, thanked the Bishop and made a presentation to him on behalf of the school.

Oliver House is a charitable school and was founded in 2004 to serve Catholic parents by assisting them in the upbringing of their children. It has 170 children between 3 and 11 years of age.

Altar Servers' Rome Visit

After morning Mass at the altar of Blessed John XXIII

From Tuesday, 27th October until Thursday, 29th October 2009, Father Stephen Boyle, Spiritual Director of the Guild of Saint Stephen, and his brother, Father John Boyle, led a group of altar servers and some of their parents on an annual pilgrimage to Rome.

More photos of the pilgrimage


Vocations Directors elect new National Chairman

Vocations Directors in the newly restored church of the English College

At their recent meeting in Rome, the Vocations Directors of England and Wales elected Fr Stephen Langridge, our Southwark Vocations Director, to be their new Chairman and representative to the Bishops' Conference as a Committee member of the National Office for Vocation. The role is also one of liaison between the Conference of Vocations Directors and the Rectors of the English and Welsh seminaries.

The meeting of the Conference took place at Palazzola, the English College's Villa just outside Rome. The keynote speech was given by Mgr Francis Bonnici from the Vocations Department of the Congregation for Education. Mgr Bonnici spoke about the ministerial priesthood and the unity of the seminarian with Christ. In particular, he highlighted the reluctance in some countries to promote the specific vocation to priesthood. He cautioned against being too broad and generalised in vocations promotion encouraging those who work in the diocesan vocations ministry to re-focus on the priestly vocation.


English College celebrates re-opening of its church

On Sunday, 18th October 2009, Archbishop Vincent Nichols was principal celebrant at the Mass to celebrate the re-opening of the church of the Venerable English College in Rome after its two-year restoration.

The setting will be familiar to those of our priests who studied at the College - especially, perhaps, the Martyrs' Picture, painted by Durante Alberti in 1580.

The Venerable English College has been training priests for England and Wales since 1579 and numbers 44 martyrs among its former students.

And the Southwark connection? Archbishop Kevin, Archbishop Michael, Bishop John and Bishop Paul are among the priests of our diocese who studied there; the present rector, Monsignor Nicholas Hudson is a Southwark priest; and we have currently three students training for the priesthood there: Matthew O’Gorman from Wallington is in his second year and David Howell from Surbiton is in his first year.

A report and more photos of the celebration

The Martyrs' Picture and list of martyrs

Visit the Venerable English College web site


Archbishop Kevin's visit to St James, Petts Wood

Archbishop Kevin was welcomed to the parish of St James, Petts Wood, on Sunday, 18th October 2009, by Father Bryan Wells (Priest in Charge) and the people of the parish.

The Archbishop was principal celebrant and gave the homily at the 10:00 am Mass with Father Bryan Wells and Father Philip Glandfield concelebrating. He also preached during the 11:30 am Mass and was pleased to have the opportunity of meeting parishioners after both Masses.

Many more photos of the Archbishop's visit on St James' web site


JPIC Autumn Assembly celebrates 25 years of CARJ

Bishop Patrick with (left to right) Richard Zipfel, Tony Lobo (Founding Chair of CARJ) and Margaret Ann Fisken (Chair of CARJ)

On Saturday, 17th October 2009, the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Autumn Assembly was held at St Peter’s, Woolwich. Father Michael Scanlon, Chair of the Southwark JPIC Commission, welcomed Justice and Peace supporters from around the diocese, in particular Bishop Patrick and Bishop Howard.

Bishop Howard with Haynes Baptiste

The main theme of the day was 'The Changing Face of Britain', celebrating 25 years of CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice). Haynes Baptiste gave the opening talk on the history and development of CARJ and then Richard Zipfel spoke of the problems and challenges of racial justice today and for the future.

The Southwark Archdiocese has been in the forefront of CARJ’s work with the first three Chairs, Tony Lobo, Yogi Sutton and Haynes Baptiste coming from the Diocese.

The Assembly joined St Peter's congregation for Mass at 12:30 pm, with a thoughtful homily from Bishop Howard. Following lunch, Mr Pat Winston, Principal of St Paul’s Academy, spoke about the development of the school and the focus they have on justice, peace and equality.

The final speaker was Petra Kjell, Environment Policy and Advocacy Officer for Progressio, who spoke on the problems of climate change with particular reference to the supply of water.

Download a full report from the JPIC web site

More photos of the Assembly on the JPIC web site

Bishop Paul launches appeal for Mayday Chapel

On Sunday, 11th October 2009, Bishop Paul and Bishop Nick Baines, the Anglican Bishop of Croydon, with overalls and paint brushes, launched an appeal to refurbish Mayday Hospital chapel in Croydon. They were joined by Nick Hulme, Mayday's chief executive.

Speaking about the appeal, Bishop Paul said: 'We are delighted to be here painting the chapel's door. Spiritual care is an important part of hospital life, and this chapel is the spiritual heart of Mayday Hospital.'


Archbishop leads thousands in devotion to St Thérèse

Over 9,000 people packed the open-air shrine at The Friars, Aylesford, for Mass at 11:30 am on Saturday. 10th October 2009, in celebration of the visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to our diocese.

Photo credits: catholicrelics.co.uk

Archbishop Kevin, the principal celebrant, was joined by Bishop Howard and priests, deacons and religious, with a congregation that was exuberant at the presence of the relics of their much-loved saint. 35 staff and students from St John's Seminary, Wonersh, were also present at the Mass.

The Litany of the Saints accompanied the entry procession and the invocation following the name of St Thérèse of Lisieux was an especially loud and fervent 'Pray for us'.

Father John Keating OCarm gave the homily and focused on aspects of St Thérèse's life and spirituality.

Read the text of Father Keating's homily (.pdf available)

At the end of Mass, Archbishop Kevin said:

'I’m very, very confident that everyone here today has been blessed in some very specific way.

Don’t forget that sometimes a blessing means God’s calling; it may be a calling to do something in the Church. In the case of some of you, it may be a call to a response to priesthood or religious life. Whatever it is, think about it.

Be open; be open to God’s love as St Therese was and be open to being a channel of the love of God in the world today.

All of you must go away and ask for God’s wisdom and enlightenment.

What is your 'little way'?'

The celebration ended with the blessing of roses.

Father Alan McLean was the Director of Music.

Video stream of Prepatation for Mass, Gathering Service and the Mass

After the Mass, Archbishop Kevin with the concelebrants and deacons went into the Relic Chapel to venerate the relics of St Thérèse.

Opportunities to venerate the relics and to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation were available outside the times of the services.

During the afternoon, there was a Service for Healing and Reconciliation and throughout the night there was an All-Night Vigil.

More pictures of the Diocesan Day

Sunday, 11th October 2009

At Mass on Sunday, the Most Reverend Fernando Millán (Prior General of the Order of Carmelites) was the principal celebrant and gave the homily and, again, at the end of the Mass there was the blessing of roses.

Read the text of Fr Fernando Millán's homily (.pdf available)

More photos of Sunday's Celebrations

At 3:30 pm a Service of Farewell marked the end of the visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to Aylesford.

During the weekend an estimated 15,000 people came to venerate the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux at The Friars.

The casket was driven from Aylesford to the Carmelite Church in Kensington. It visited Wormwood Scrubs Prison and was taken on Monday, 12th October, to Westminster Cathedral, its final destination in England and Wales, where it remained until Thursday afternoon, 15th October.

Wednesday, 14th October 2009
Westminster Cathedral

Bishop Patrick was principal celebrant and gave the homily during the Capitular Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Wednesday, 14th October.

Bishop Patrick, who is a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a religious missionary order, honoured St Thérèse of Lisieux as 'Patroness of the Missions'.

Read Bishop Patrick's homily (.pdf available)

Children welcome the Relics of St Thérèse

The casket containing the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux arrived in our diocese at The Friars, Aylesford, on Friday, 9th October 2009.

Children and young people from schools in our diocese and from further afield arrived at The Friars for a Gathering Service at 12 noon. They were among 2,000 pilgrims who were there to welcome the relics to Southwark.

The children formed a chain of welcome for the arrival of the relics, by lining the Gateway Drive as the casket containing the relics was driven in.

This was followed by a Service of Welcome and Joy at 2:00 pm, during which young people performed a play which portrayed the life of St Thérèse. The Service ended with the Blessing of Roses.

Photos of the day

Visit our section dedicated to the visit of St Thérèse's relics to Aylesford


Bishop Richard's first Mass in his Cathedral Church

Photos by kind permission of Ben Casey

Bishop Richard was installed into his cathedral church of St Michael and St George. Aldershot, on Sunday, 4th October 2009, at 11:00 am.

Bishop Richard cuts the cake at the reception after his installation
into his cathedral church