News Archive for 2011 - May

Bishops send Pastoral Letter on the New Translation

© Mazur/

The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has sent a Joint Pastoral Letter to pave the way for the new translation of the Roman Missal which is to be introduced in our parishes this September.

The pastoral letter is to be read this coming Sunday, 29th May 2011.

In the text of the letter, the Bishops write:

'The publication of the new translation of the Missal is a special moment of grace in the English-speaking world. It offers an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the mystery we celebrate each week. This itself will help us to move towards that fuller and more conscious and active participation in the liturgy to which the Church invites us. It will help us also to examine the dignity with which we celebrate the 'source and summit' of the Church's life.'

The Bishops encourage us to 'welcome the new translation of the Roman Missal as a sign of our unity and a powerful intrument of God's grace in our lives.'

Press release on the CCEW web site

Full text of the Pastoral Letter (.pdf format) 


Father Stan Fortuna entertains young adults

On Saturday, 28th May 2011, Franciscan Friar and world famous rap artist, Fr Stan Fortuna CFR, evangelised several hundred young adults at the Holy Ghost Church in Balham as part of a series of events organised by Catholic Underground.

Before becoming a Friar of the Renewal, Fr Stan was a professional musician and he continues to exercise his talents at the service of the Gospel. Wherever he goes he attracts crowds of young people inspired by his particular style and faithful re-presentation of the teachings of Blessed John Paul II to the young people of our time.

Catholic Underground is an inspiring movement of young people who seek to use contemporary culture as a tool for the evangelisation of young people. A typical Catholic Underground event at the Holy Ghost begins with a Holy Hour during which confessions are available. This is followed by a concert featuring young Christian artists who work in a variety of media.

Visit the Catholic Underground web site


Bishop Paul opens St Raphael's new parish centre

St Raphael's Parish, Surbiton, has seen the renovation of the fabric of its nineteenth century church and the building of a new parish centre and presbytery in recent times.

On Friday, 27th May 2011, Bishop Paul formally opened the new parish centre, Alexander House, named after the oriningal benefactor of the church, Alexander Raphael. The parish centre was blessed by Archbishop Peter during his visit to St Raphael's in October last year.

The renovation work continues with a fund to restore the stained glass windows - a project in memory of their much loved parish priest, Father Dominic O'Sullivan, who died in 2008.

Bishop Paul with Father Vincent Flynn, parish priest

Earlier, Bishop Paul had presided at Mass in the church during which he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on eight young people from the parish.

Visit St Raphael's parish web site for more photos and information


Good Shepherd Celebration at Aylesford

Archbishop Peter joined children from around the diocese at The Friars, Aylesford, on Thursday, 26th May 2011. The occasion was the annual Good Shepherd Liturgy, associated with the Cabrini Children's Society.

Archbishop Peter with some of the children from the Margaret Roper
Primary School in Purley

More photos on the RCSouthwark Flick'r page


New Chairman for the Council of Priests

At a meeting of the Council of Priests held in the Amigo Hall on Wednesday, 25th May 2011, Canon John O'Toole was elected as the new Chairman of the Council.

Canon James Cronin has resigned as Chairman to take up his new position as National Director of Missio, part of the world-wide network of Pontifical Missionary Societies.

Canon O'Toole also succeeds Canon Cronin as Dean of Saint George's Cathedral and will  be taking up his duties there over the weekend of June 11th and 12th.

We wish them both every blessing as they undertake their new responsibilities.


Congratulations and grateful prayers to our Jubilarians

Archbishop Peter was joined by Bishop Patrick, Bishop Howard, Monsignor Matthew Dickens and Father James Nolan at a Mass of Thanksgiving for our priests and deacons who are celebrating significant anniversaries of their ordinations this year.

The Mass was held at Saint George's Cathedral on Tuesday, 24th May 2011, and was followed by a celebration lunch in the dining room of Archbishop's House.

Our congratulations and grateful prayers to:

Diamond Jubilee Father Henry Reynolds
Golden Jubilee Provost Joseph Collins
Father Michael Chapman
Father Edmund Hartley
Ruby Jubilee Father Ernest Bonvini
Father Michael Leach

Silver Jubilee  Father Charles Briggs
Monsignor Nicholas Hudson
Father Victor Vella
Deacon Michael Choppen
Deacon Michael Gould










Provost Joesph Collins, Fr Ernest Bonvini, Fr Charles Briggs
and Mgr Nicholas Hudson

Fr Victor Vella, Fr Edmund Hartley, Mgr Matthew Dickens,
Fr Michael Leach and Fr James Nolan

Archbishop Peter with (left to right) Fr Edmund Hartley, Fr James Nolan, Fr Charles Briggs, Provost Joseph Collins, Fr Ernest Bonvini, Fr Michael Leach, Fr Victor Vella and Mgr Nicholas Hudson

Ad multos annos!

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Good Shepherd, New Addington, celebrates 50 years

Father Stephen Boyle, parish priest, and the parishioners of the Good Shepherd, New Addington, welcomed Archbishop Peter to their parish on Sunday, 22nd May 2011, where he presided at a Mass to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the parish.

Archbishop Peter with Father Stephen Boyle

Canon Anthony Charlton, with two Seminary students
Mark Wharton (left) and Sam Davey

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

More photos of the Mass and Celebrations


Mass for New Catholics

On Saturday, 21st May 2011, Archbishop Peter celebrated a Mass in Saint George's Cathedral for new Catholics - those who had been baptised or received into the Church at Easter.

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

Labyrinth as Prayer


JPIC holds Spring Assembly at Aylesford

Father Michael Scanlon, Chairman of Southwark's JPIC Commission,
welcomed the participants including Bishop Patrick

Southwark's Commission for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation held its Spring Assembly in the New Barn at The Friars, Aylesford, on Saturday, 21st May 2001.

The theme was 'The Integrity of Creation' and the keynote speaker was Father Sean McDonagh.

The Assembly also saw the launch of the Live Simply Parish Award Scheme with a presentation from
Kevin McCullough, CAFOD's Head of Campaigns

Please click here for more photos of the Assembly

Full report of the Spring Assembly

Visit Southwark's JPIC web site

Visit CAFOD's Live Simply web site


Saint Francis Xavier College celebrates 25 years

Archbishop Peter offered Mass on Wednesday, 18th May 2011, at
Saint Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, marking the close of a year celbrating the 25th anniversary of the college.

The SFX Gospel Choir who sang at the end of Mass

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Confirmation at Saint John Fisher, Bexley

Father Francis Hartley, parish priest, and the parish community of Saint John Fisher, Bexley, welcomed Archbishop Peter to the parish on Tuesday, 17th May 2011, when he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on eight young parishioners.

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Archbishop commissions Southwark's WYD pilgrims


On Sunday, 15th May 2011, Archbishop Peter offered Mass in the Lady Chapel of Saint George's Cathedral, during which he commissioned Southwark's prilgrims who will be attending World Youth Day in Madrid this August.

Archbishop Peter greeted each pilgrim individually

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Apostolic Nuncio visits Sacred Heart, Camberwell

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, visited the Sacred Heart, Camberwell, on Sunday, 15th May 2011, to preside at the 11:30am Mass, and then to bless the renovated Parish Centre and new Sixth Form Centre.

He was accompanied by Monsignor Brian Udaigwe, First Counsellor at the Nunciature. Mr Serge Cefai, Headteacher, and other teachers were present, along with Year 11 students who will be entering the new Sixth Form.

During the ceremony, the Nuncio gave Fr David Gibbons, Parish Priest,
a medal commemorating the Papal Visit to this country.


Saint Patrick's, Chislehurst West: 50th Anniversary

On Saturday, 14th May 2011, Archbishop Peter joined Father George Webster SSC, parish priest, Deacon Roger Evans and the parish community at St Patrick's, Chislehurst West, to celebrate the parish's fiftieth anniversary and the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Archbishop Peter with Canon Thomas McHugh, Fr George Webster
and Fr Vincent O'Toole CSSp from the Spiritan Comunity at Bickley

Archbishop Peter, Fr George Webster SSC and Deacon Roger Evans,
with the six newly confirmed.

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Mass in honour of St Jean Baptiste de la Salle

Above: Bishop Paul with Canon Michael O'Dea, Deacon Tony Flavin (School Chaplain), Mr Eamon Connolly (Headteacher), Mr Marco Franchetti (Deputy Head), Jacques Lambert (Bishop Paul's Secretary and MC and a former student at the school) and servers

On Friday, 13th May 2011, Bishop Paul celebrated Mass in honour of St Jean Baptiste de la Salle for Year Seven in the chapel of St Joseph's College, Beulah Hill.

Canon Michael O'Dea, in whose parish the college is situated, concelebrated.

During the Mass, Bishop Paul blessed the new permanent home of a relic of St Jean Baptiste de la Salle (left).

Mr Connolly is retiring at the end of this academic year and Mr Franchetti will become the Acting Headteacher.

Visit St Joseph's College web site


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Anthony Pelan O.Carm.

who died on 11th May 2011

May he rest in peace

His funeral will take place
at Aylesford Priory
on Wednesday, 18th May 2011, at 11:30 am

Tribute to Fr Anthony Pelan O Carm on the Carmelite web site


Thanet Deanery Confirmation Day 2011

Photo: Paul Phillips

Bishop John presided at Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Broadstairs, on Sunday, 8th May 2011. During the Mass he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on thirty-five members of the Thanet Deanery.

Photos on the Thanet Deanery web site


Dominican Sisters' 60 years at Greenwich

Saturday, 7th May 2011

Bishop Patrick, Fr John Lavery, Fr Vivian Boland OP and Fr George Webster SSC, together with Dominican Sisters from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Germany and England joined the Dominican Missionary Sisters of Zimbabwe at the Sacred Heart Priory in Hyde Vale to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of their presence in Greenwich. Bishop Patrick presided at the Mass and a reception was held afterwards in the grounds of the Priory.

The Priory was acquired in 1951 as a house of Formation and of those discerning their vocation. Sixty young women completed their noviciate there and took their first vows as Dominican Missionary Sisters - almost all of them being sent to Africa to work in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Today the Sisters run prayer groups, organise recollection days, offer counselling, provide hospitality and pray for the needs of the world.

Read Sister Ferrera Weinzierl OP's'letter to participants (.doc)

Brief history of the Sacred Heart Priory (.doc)

Visit the Sacred Heart Priory page on the Dominican Sisters web site


Eight former Anglican clergy ordained deacon

At the request of Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and in his presence, Bishop John ordained eight former Anglican clergy to the diaconate. The ordinations took place on Saturday, 7th May 2011, during a Mass in the Relic Chapel at The Friars, Aylesford.

The new deacons ordained for the Ordinariate are:
Revv. Ivan Aquilina, Stephen Bould, Simon Heans, Nicholas Leviseur, Christopher Lindlar, Christopher Pearson and Edward Tomlinson who hope to be ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Peter in the Cathedral on Saturday, 4th June 2011, and James Bradley, who will minister as a deacon for a year.

We congratulate them and keep them in our prayers.

More photos of the Ordination on the Personal Ordinariate Flick'r page


... and earlier in the day at Aylesford

Bishop John commissioned 54 new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who came from 24 parishes throughout the diocese:
Ashford, Beckenham Hill, Biggin Hill, Canterbury, Charlton, Deptford, Dover, Downham, Forest Hill, Maidstone, Margate, Merton, Mitcham, North Cheam, Petts Wood, Rainham, Selsdon, Sevenoaks, Strood, Swanley, Tenterden, Tunbridge Wells, Walworth and Wimbledon.

The day was held in Saint Joseph's Chapel and included a talk by Bishop John on the Eucharist, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and talks and discussion led by Monsignor Matthew Dickens on the role of Exraordinary Misisters, rubrics and Communion to the Sick.

Bishop John presided at Mass in the afternoon, during which he commissioned the Extraorinary Ministers and presented them with their certificates.


Permanent Diaconate students admitted to Candidacy

Archbishop Peter with Deacon Javier Elderfield (left) and
Deacon Peter Rennie

On Saturday morning, 7th May 2011, during a Liturgy of the Word at the Cathedral, Archbishop Peter admitted nine men training for the Permanent Diaconate to Candidacy.

We congratulate and keep in our prayers:

Alfred Banya - Peckham Rye (Camberwell Deanery),
James Coleman - Rainham (Chatham Deanery),
Michael Carrucan - Tooting Bec (Balham Deanery),
Barry Mellish - Bromley (Bromley Deanery),
Ian Black - Maidstone (Maidstone Deanery),
Aidan McPartlan - Bromley (Bromley Deanery),
Wayne Du Preez - Orpington (Bromley Deanery),
Peter Sebastian - Surbiton (Kingston Deanery) and
Wayne Tuckell - Margate (Thanet Deanery). 

A few more photos of the Candidacy liturgy on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

... and receive the Ministries of Acolyte and Lector

During the afternoon Mass, Archbishop Peter conferred
the Ministry of Acolyte on Alfred Banya and James Coleman and
the Ministry of Lector on Michael Carrucan and Barry Mellish.


Chapter Mass in honour of Saint George

Archbishop Peter presided at the Chapter Mass in honour of Saint George in the Cathedral on the evening of Friday, 6th May 2011.

After the homily, Provost Joseph Collins installed Canon John O'Toole
as a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter.

Provost Joseph Collins signs the rescript of installation assisted by
Deacon James Sheahan

Canon John takes his place with the Cathedral Chapter

Archbishop Peter with the Cathedral Chapter

Archbishop Peter with Canon John O'Toole and Canon James Cronin.
Canon John is due to succeed Canon James Cronin as Cathedral Dean
early next month.

More photos of the Chapter Mass on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Friends of Saint George's Cathedral Dinner

After the Chapter Mass, a Dinner organised by the Friends of Saint George's Cathedral was held in the Amigo Hall. The FSG is a diocesan group that raises funds for the maintenance of the Cathedral.

A few more photos of the Dinner on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page


Visit of the Bishop of Mannar, Sri Lanka

Archbishop Peter with the Bishop Rayappu Joseph (left) and
Father Sebamalai Sebanesaratnam

On Friday, 6th May 2011, Archbishop Peter welcomed Bishop Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar, Sri Lanka, at Archbishop's House. He was accompanied by Father Sebamalai Sebanesaratnam of the UK Tamil Catholic Chaplaincy.


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father Tony Pyle

who died on 21st April 2011

in the 48th year of his priesthood

May he rest in peace

His funeral will take place
at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen,
on Friday, 27th May 2011, at 12 noon


London Migrant Workers' Mass at Saint George's

Archbishop Peter and Canon James Cronin with members of the
Syro-Malabar community

The annual Mass for London's migrant workers was celebrated on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May 2011. This Mass has been offered at Westminster Cathedral for the past five years, but this year the venue was Saint George's Cathedral, which contains the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the Patron Saint of Migrants.

Archbishop Peter presided at the Mass and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood, Bishop Patrick, Bishop Howard and about fifty priests concelebrated.

About 2,000 workers, migrants and civic leaders joined together for a morning of celebration in honour of St Joseph the Worker.

The Mass reflected the tremendous diversity of London’s Catholic community. Among the dignitaries attending were the Consul General of the Embassy of the Philippines, Ambassadors of Ireland and Portugal, the High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Mayors of Lambeth, Brent, Richmond upon Thames and Barking and Dagenham and the Speaker of Hackney.

This joyful occasion opened with a banner procession representing many migrant communities

Bishop Thomas gave the homily in which he said: 'It still remains a scandal and deeply unjust when ordinary workers and especially migrant workers are exploited, taken advantage of and paid less than a living wage. It affronts their dignity, their self-worth and that of their families.'

Archbishop Peter and Canon James Cronin with members of  the
Portuguese community

Text of Bishop Thomas McMahon's homily (.pdf available)

More photos of the Mass on RCSouthwark's Flick'r page

More photos from the Catholic Westminster Flick'r page


The Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Saint Peter's Square, Rome
Sunday, 1st May 2011
Divine Mercy Sunday

Pope Benedict XVI declares Pope John Paul II 'Blessed'
at the beginning of the Mass ...

... and the portrait of Blessed John Paul II
hanging from the Loggia is unveiled

After the Mass the Holy Father entered the Basilica
to venerate the body of Blessed John Paul II
whose coffin had been placed before the Confession of St Peter

Read the Holy Father's homily at the Mass of Beatification
on the Vatican web site

or download this homily in .pdf format

A page of screen-captures from CTV

Many will remember Pope John Paul II's historic visit
to Great Britain in 1982, including to the Southwark diocese. 

Archbishop Emeritus Michael and the late Bishop Charles Henderson,
Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, welcome Pope John Paul II
to Saint George's Cathedral on Friday, 28th May 1982

A young seminarian, Michael Scanlon, hands a baby to the Pope
in the precincts or Saint George's Cathedral.
Father Michael is now parish priest of St Peter's, Woolwich.

Visit the CCEW site with coverage of the Papal Visit 1982

Visit the coverage of Pope John Paul II in Southwark 


Bishop Paul - Confirmations at The Oratory School

Bishop Paul with Mgr Antony Conlon, Dora Nash (catechist)
and the newly confirmed

On Sunday, 1st May 2011, Bishop Paul, with the permission of the local bishop, confirmed 30 young people, at The Oratory School, Woodcote, South Oxfordshire. The school chaplain, Mgr Antony Conlon is a long-time friend of Bishop Paul and invited him to preside at this year’s Confirmation Mass. This was followed by a reception with the newly confirmed.


A Southwark memento of the Papal Visit ...

Cards (6" x 8") with a photo of Southwark's gift to the Holy Father - a textile by Anne Kelly with scenes evoking the spirit of the diocese - are available as mementos of the Papal Visit. They contain the diocesan 'Vision' prayer inside.

They are available with envelopes in packs of 5 at £5 per pack (which includes postage and packing) from The Chancery, Archbishop's House, 150, St George's Road, London SE1 6HX. Please include payment with the order. Please make cheques payable to RC Archdiocese of Southwark.

Please view the card here (.pdf)

Please visit our Papal Visit Southwark Supplement to view the textile