On Thursday, 31st March 2011, Archbishop Peter visited the Holy Cross Preparatary School in Kingston Hill to officially open and bless the new Coombe Ridge Performing Arts and Sports Hall.
The school has described the occasion as the 'Big Blessing'.
Emeritus Laurence O’Keeffe OSB gave a thought-provoking In-Service
Training Day for the clergy on the Canticles of the Breviary at
Aylesford on Wednesday, 30th March 2011.
The Abbot opened up the richness of the Scriptural origins of the daily Canticles – the Benedictus, the Magnificat, the Nunc Dimittis. He also highlighted the significance of the Old Testament Canticles used at Morning Prayer.
The day certainly helped to revitalize parts of the Breviary that could well have suffered as a result of over-familiarity. It also provided an excellent opportunity for clergy to get together - always a good thing.
On Wednesday, 30th March 2011, Bishop Paul, during a special Mass at the Ursuline High School, Wimbledon, commissioned nine people (six pupils and three members of staff) as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The Mass was followed with refreshments in the 6th Form common room, during which their certificates were presented.
A happy group of Year 7 boys from the John Fisher School, Purley, on a Lenten retreat at Wintershall Estate, near Guildford, with their School Chaplain, Father James Clark.
The Chrism Mass this year will be celebrated on Wednesday, 20th April, at 11:15 am at Saint George's Cathedral.
During the Mass the oil of the sick and the oil of catechumens will be blessed and the oil of Chrism will be consecrated.
It is also the occasion when our priests express their unity with their bishop and renew their commitment to priestly service.
In 1061, a noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches, was asked by Our Lady to build a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth at Walsingham in honour of the Annunciation and so the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was established.
To mark the beginning of the 950th Anniversary celebrations, Archbishop Vincent presided at Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, 26th March 2011. The celebrations will continue for six months until the Feast of our Lady of Walsingham on Saturday, 24th September.
Among the bishops and priests who celebrated the Mass were Cardinal Cormac and Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Papal Nuncio; from our own diocese, Archbishop Peter, who from 1995 until 2001 was Bishop of East Anglia in which diocese Walsingham is situated, and Bishop Paul; and Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who had encouraged members of the Ordinariate to attend.
The Mass was a truly ecumenical celebration with the guardians of both Catholic and Anglcan Walsingham Shrines accomanying the Slipper Chapel Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham in procession to its place before the sanctuary.
Congratulations to the Ursuline High School in Wimbledon for winning the London Regional Secondary section of the Church School Awards.
Prizes to the winning schools were presented by Lord Hill, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, on the afternoon of Thursday, 24th March 2011, at Westminster Cathedral Hall.
The gala event, hosted by Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere, was a celebration of the best examples of local community work and global citizenship in schools across England and Wales.
© Ursuline High School
'Look at and study the person of Jesus Christ ...'
The Southwark Catholic Youth Service has produced several short videos in preparation for World Youth Day in Madrid this August.
Please click here for the SCYS vimeo page and select from the videos on the sidebar.
Visit our World Youth Day section (or click on the logo on the sidebar)
Our Online Directory now has links to two Google maps - one for South London and one for Kent - which chart the locations of every church in our diocese.
Each map is interactive with the facility to zoom in to a church's location. There is also the opportunity to click on the link to view the parish entry in the Online Directory.
To view the maps, please click either on the box above or the logo on the sidebar.
Archbishop Peter has made the following appointments:
Father Jack Dillon from Kenya
as Parish Priest of Saint James the Great, Peckham Rye
Father Liam Gallagher from Paddock Wood
as Parish Priest of The English Martyrs, Streatham
Father Behruz Raf'at from Sevenoaks
as Parish Priest of Saint Justus, Paddock Wood
Father Gerard Mulvihill MPS from Streatham
as Parish Priest of Saint Thomas More, Dulwich (East)
Father Thomas McElhone from sabbatical
as Parish Administrator of Corpus Christi, Tonbridge
Father Kevin Fitzgerald
as Parish Administrator of The Sacred Heart, Sittingbourne
Father Adolphus Ezeakor from Peckham Rye
as Assistant Priest at The Sacred Heart, Camberwell
Father Gregory Ackron from Camberwell
as Assistant Priest at Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Sevenoaks
Father Richard Hearn
as full-time Chaplain to HMP Elmley on the Isle of Sheppey
Father Vincent Flynn
as President of the Interdiocesan Tribunal of Second Instance
Congratulations and welcome to Father Roy Tablizo and Father Eddie Higgins, who were both incardinated into the diocese in January
Congratulations to Father Steven Fisher who was clothed as a Benedictine novice at St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate, on 2nd February 2011. He was given the name Brother Theodore.
Father Georgees Mampillil Devasia of the Missionary Society of St Thomas the Apostle (Kerala), who is working for one year as Assistant Priest at St Anselm, Tooting Bec
Father Anthony Cassidy, CSsR,
as Assistant Priest at St Augustine, Tunbridge Wells
Father Brendan Carmody, SJ,
to the South London University Chaplaincy
Father Carlos Abajos, OAR,
as Chaplain to the Hispanic Community
Father Junki Lim, of Andong Diocese,
as Chaplain to the Korean Community
Father Francesco Buttazzo, CS,
who has joined the Scalabrini Fathers Community in Brixton
Father Winfred Pauly, CSsR, and Father
Frederick Osamor, CSsR,
who have joined the Redemptorist Community in Clapham
Father James Conway, SJ,
who has joined the Jesuit Community at Clapham as acting Superior
Father Francis Rodrigues, SJ,
who has joined the Jesuit Community in Wimbledon as Assistant Priest
Father Ugenio Phiri, SJ,
who has joined the Jesuit Community in Wimbledon while studying
Deacon Michal Maslowski, SJ,
who has joined the Jesuit Community in Clapham while studying
Father Pawel Sierotko, OFM Cap,
who has joined the Franciscan Community at Erith as Assistant Priest at Our Lady of the Angels, Erith
Father John O'Connor
for his long service to the people and parish of Dulwich,
wishing him a long and happy retirement
The Chemin Neuf Community for their ministry in the diocese, especially for their pastoral support to university students: Father Alberto Vico, Father Jesus Dicto Suarnaba and Father Lucio Bula, who have moved from the Scalabrini Fathers Community in Brixton; and Father Jesus Recio, OAR, for his ministry to the Hispanic Community.
On Thursday, 17th March 2011, the staff, students and governors of the John Fisher School in Purley welcomed Archbishop Peter to their celebration of Founder's Day.
The Archbishop spoke to the Sixth Form in the chapel about his own vocation story and described the parallels between Saint John Fisher's time and today.
He inducted Father James Clark (an old boy of the school) as the new school Chaplain and Deacon Tony Flavin as the Spiritual Life Coordinator.
The Archbishop blessed and renamed the music centre as The Fawssett Centre in memory of Father Richard Fawssett who had been on the school staff for 55 years and who died in June 2009.
The Archbishop then celebrated Mass for all those in Years 7 - 11.
Cormac Murphy-O’Connor led an
In-Service Training Day at The Friars, Aylesford, on Wednesday,16th March 2011, for some 40 or so clergy of the diocese of Southwark.
He reflected on priesthood today in the light of his own life and
ministry – as a priest, as a bishop and as a cardinal.
The theme on which the cardinal focused was 'How can I sing the song of the Lord on an alien soil?' He applied this question of the psalmist to the world, to the church and to the priest himself.
The cardinal’s reflection and anecdotes proved a most enjoyable and uplifting day for all those present.
Ordinariate Groups contribute to record number of Candidiates
Archbishop Peter presided at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St George's Cathedral on Saturday, 12th March 2011.
He welcomed the 265 Catechumens and 252 Candidates who came from 86 of the diocesan parishes and the 167 Candidates (including eight former Anglican priests) who are entering into full communion with the Catholic Church within the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This gives a total of 684 Catechumens and Candidates who look forward to being baptised or received into the Church during Holy Week.
The congregation of more than 1200 packed the Cathedral. It included the God-parents and Sponsors of the Catechumens and Candidates who came from diocesan parishes.
The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion is considered as a highlight of the Church's year and so this joyful celebration was attended by all our auxiliary bishops, Bishops John, Parick and Paul, and by Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Diocesan Vicar General and Chancellor.
The ceremony took place under the watchful eye of Fr John O’Toole, his team and their helpers. Music was directed by Fr Alan McLean, supported by Maggs Sheppard and the Diocesan Choir.
Ordinariate Candidates gather in the Lady Chapel
after the ceremony
We keep the our Catechumens and Candidates in our prayers especially during Lent.
Statistics for 2011 (revised 15-03-11)
Archbishop Peter has written a Pastoral Letter
to be read
or made available in parishes on the First Sunday of Lent.
In it he reminds us of the value of the traditional Lenten exercises of prayer, fasting and almsgiving and he continues to say:
'Lent is essentially an opportunity to be reborn and grow still more in the life of the Spirit. It is a task which requires courage and effort. We are asked to open our hearts each day to receive once again the gift of God’s love and mercy, and allow him to renew our lives in the image of Jesus his Son. It is a time for each of us to learn to appreciate once again, especially in our prayer and our reflection on the Scriptures, the unconditional love and compassion which God our Father offers us every day of our lives, particularly the gift of the forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation. And in experiencing that love and forgiveness, God asks us in gratitude to share that gift with others.'
Full text of the Archbishop's Pastoral Letter (.pdf available)
From the Archbishop
Friday, 11th March 2011
Friday, 18th March
Canon Devane’s body will be taken to St Peter’s Residence, Vauxhall at 3.00 p.m. and will remain there over the weekend in their Chapel of Repose
Monday, 21st March
Mass at St Peter’s Residence at 4.00 p.m.
Tuesday, 22nd March
Requiem Mass at St George’s Cathedral at 12 noon
After Mass, the body will be transferred to St Matthew’s Church, West Norwood for Mass at 7.30 p.m. and will remain overnight at St Matthew’s Church
Wednesday, 23rd March
Mass at St Matthew’s Church, West Norwood at 9.30 a.m. followed by burial at West Norwood Cemetery at 11.00 a.m
Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Canon James Cronin, Archbishop Peter
and Father Keith Newton in the Cathedral sacristy before Mass
Archbishop Peter presided at the 12:30 pm Mass in the Cathedral on Ash Wednesday. He welcomed Father Keith Newton, one of the three former Anglican bishops who were ordained to the Catholic priesthood at Westminster Cathedral on the day that the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established on 15th January this year. And on that day it was announced that the Holy Father had appointed Fr Keith as the first Ordinary of the Ordinariate.
Fr Keith concelebrated at the Mass as did Monsignor Matthew Dickens, the Vicar General and Chancellor of the diocese, and Canon James Cronin, the Cathedral Dean.
Ash Wednesday is a very significant day for those joining the Ordinariate. Today, an estimated 600 Anglicans with at least 20 members of their clergy throughout England and Wales formally join the newly established Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and are welcomed in Catholic churches. They look forward to entering into full communion with the Catholic Church during Holy Week.
The largest number of those entering the Ordinariate come from South-East England. In the Southwark diocese six groups have joined.
We welcome them warmly, understanding the heart-searching that many of them will have gone through as they continue their journey of faith.
We keep in our prayers:
Archbishop Peter is expected to ordain seven former Anglican clergy to the Diaconate during Eastertide and six of these to the Priesthood by Pentecost.
From the Archbishop
Monday, 7th March 2011
I am very sorry to have to let you know that Canon John Devane died this morning during an operation at St Thomas' Hospital.
He was one of the great characters of the diocese, a great example of commitment and service to the Church during his 56 years of priestly ministry. He will be much missed.
Please remember him in your prayers and Masses, and please remember too his sister Mary, who lives in the diocese, and the other members of his family who will be grieving his loss.
Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
Twenty three young men gathered at St John's Seminary, Wonersh, on Friday, 4th March, for a weekend Vocations Retreat. Seminarians with cars met the participants as they arrived at Guildford Station and ferried them back to the college in time for supper which was followed by a welcome from the Rector, some introductions and the celebration of Mass followed by a time of prayer ending with sung Compline.
Those attending the Retreat were able to join the students for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours and to meet them informally and for meals. Fr Stephen Langridge, the Diocesan Vocations Director, preached the retreat which focused on themes of prayer, conversion and commitment. Fr Gerard Bradley, the Spiritual Director at Wonersh, was available for Confessions.
As in previous years the Retreat was open also to men from Arundel and Brighton and Portsmouth Dioceses and over the weekend each participant was given the opportunity to talk personally with Fr Stephen, Fr Paul Turner (A&B) or Fr Mark Hogan (Portsmouth).
Many of the students currently at Wonersh attended Vocations
Retreats as they discerned whether to make a formal application
and testify to how it had helped them. Once again this year many
of the participants have written to say how helpful they found it.
The following comment is typical: "Just having space to spend time
with God without the usual pressures of every day life to distract
one was hugely therapeutic and helped me to focus clearly on all
that may lie ahead. The meditations each day were also very
beneficial and excellent focus points for prayer".
Anyone considering a vocation to the priesthood is encouraged to contact Fr Stephen: email@example.com
Wednesday, 2nd March 2011, the new Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop
Antonio Mennini travelled by horse-drawn carriage from
Archbishop's House, Westminster, to Buckingham Palace to present
his Letter of Credence to HM The Queen. The letter confirmed his
appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain at the Court of
Photos: © Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk
Archbishop Mennini, 63, was born in Rome and has been engaged in the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See for thirty years. He was formerly Apostolic Nuncio to the Russian Federation and to Uzbekistan. He succeeds Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, who resigned last December due to ill-health.