News Archive for 2011 - November

Scalabrini Fathers enter their 125th year

Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, Bishop of Piacenza in Italy, founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles, now known as the Scalabrinian Fathers and Brothers, on 28th November 1887. Its initial mission was to 'maintain Catholic faith and practice among Italian emigrants in the New World'.

On Sunday, 27th November 2011, Archbishop Peter visited the Italian Mission - The Church of the Holy Redeemer - Brixton Road, to join the community and parishioners for the start of the Scalabrini Fathers' 125th year.

The Italian Mission also has weekly Masses in Tagalog (for the Filipino community) and in Portuguese.

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page



Archbishop Peter has written a Pastoral Letter to be read or made available on the First Sunday of Advent, 27th November 2011.

He writes: 'Advent is a fruitful time for us to examine the depth and strength of our faith in God and in his providence. In the person of Jesus Christ, whose birth we will celebrate at Christmas, we see made visible the God we cannot see; the God who asks to be invited into our innermost lives in order to share his love with us.'

Full text of Archbishop Peter's Pastoral Letter (.pdf available)


Carmelite Student receives Ministry of Reader

Brother Paul Jenkins, a Carmelite student, received the Ministry of Reader from the Carmelite Provincial, Fr. Wilfrid McGreal OCarm, during a parish Mass at the English Martyrs, Walworth, on Sunday 27th November 2011. Paul is studying at Heythrop College, University of London.

Full report on the British Province of Carmelites web site


Confirmation at St Cecilia, North Cheam

Father Robert Sugg, Parish Priest, and parishioners of St Cecilia, North Cheam, welcomed Archbishop Peter to their parish on the afternoon of Sunday, 27th November, where he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation.

More photos of the Confirmation Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Confirmation at St Dunstan, Hersden

On Saturday, 26th November 2011, Archbishop Peter was welcomed by the Parish Priest, Father Kevin Fitzgerald, and parishioners of St Dunstan, Hersden, where he offered an evening Mass and conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation.

More photos of the Confirmation Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page


Southwark Beda Student receives Candidacy

Candidacy for Holy Orders was conferred by the Most Rev Joseph Tobin, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, on our seminarian Leonard Tatt on Wednesday, 24th November 2011, in the chapel of the Pontifical Beda College, Rome.

Leonard, of Christchurch, Eltham, was one of 14 third-year students from the Beda to receive candidacy from Archbishop Tobin.

Having received the ministry of lector in his first year and acolyte in his second, Leonard continues his formation toward eventual ordination to the diaconate and priesthood. Candidacy represents a type of ‘engagement’ in which there is formal recognition by the Church of his and its commitment to ordination. The custom at the Beda is to confer candidacy during the autumn prior to the diaconate ordinations in June.

Leonard was joined by his co-diocesan colleagues Deacon Alan Burgess (Cathedral parish) who is in his final year at the Beda, David Howell (Surbiton) who is studying first-year theology at the Gregorian University and living in the Venerable English College.

Currently, there are six Southwark seminarians studying in Rome.

Visit the Beda College web site


Bishops meet at St John's Seminary, Wonersh

Archbishop Peter, the Auxilary Bishops and Mgr Matthew Dickens, Vicar General, visited St John's Seminary, Wonersh, for meetings on Wednesday, 23rd November 2011.

They took the opportunity to meet the Southwark students and are pictured here with them and the Seminary Rector, Mgr Jeremy Garratt.

Photo from RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit St John's Seminary web site


Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Bishop John Jukes OFM Conv

who died on 21st November 2011

His body will be received
at St George's Cathedral, Southwark,
on Sunday, 4th December, at 5:45 pm
followed by the parish Mass at 6:00 pm

Franciscan Vespers
at St George's Cathedral
on Monday, 5th December, at 7:00 pm

His Requiem Mass will be held
at St George's Cathedral
on Tuesday, 6th December, at 12 noon

May he rest in peace



Thanet Deanery's Walsingham Pilgrimage

A group of fifty pilgrims from Thanet's five parishes, led by the Dean, Father Luke Smith (Parish Priest of Saints Austin and Gregory, Margate), visited the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, Norfolk, from 21st until 23rd November 2011. The pilgrimage was a fitting preparation for the beginning of Advent.

Half the group braved the showery squalls to make the traditional 'pilgrims' walk from the Church of the Annunciation to the Slipper Chapel. There they met up with the remainder of the group to offer the Pilgrims' Mass at the Chapel of Reconciliation. Fr Luke concelebrated with Fr Joe Rooney, a member of Walsingham's Marist community. They were assisted by Deacon James Burleigh from The Holy Family Parish, Thanet.

Visit Thanet Deanery's web site


Launch of St Augustine's Church Restoration Project

The campaign to save Augustus Welby Pugin's personal church of St Augustine, Ramsgate, was launched at the House of Lords on Monday evening, 21st November 2011.

Baroness D'Souza, the Lord Speaker, who invited the Friends of St Augustine to speak of their project of rescuing the church, welcomed guests and emphasised the direct link between Pugin who is buried at St Augustine's and the New Palaces of Westminster which he had largely designed from Ramsgate. The Friends hope that the church, which was in danger of being closed down, can be saved in 2012, the bicentenary year of Pugin's birth.

Baroness D'Souza, the Lord Speaker

Many MPs, heritage experts and ecclesiastical dignitaries, including Archbishop Peter and Bishop John, were present at the launch. Alastair Stewart of ITV news spoke of his personal love of the church with many reminiscences and urged people to get behind the restoration project.

Fr Marcus Holden with Alastair Stewart

Fr Marcus Holden, chairman of the Friends of St Augustine, said, 'We cannot overestimate the importance of this church. If Pugin is one the greatest ecclesiastical architects of modern English history, and St Augustine's is his personal ideal church, then this site is of vast importance.

It is significant at so many levels: spiritually it's the monument of St Augustine's landing, historically it's a centre piece of the 19th century Catholic revival, architecturally it's Pugin's masterpiece and artisitcally it's full of his best.

I'm delighted that St Augustine's is now being recognised for what it is and preserved for future generations. It has been extremely encouraging to see how people both locally and nationally, from different backgrounds and with a variety of expertise, have come together in this project. We have turned a corner in the path of rescuing the church but there is a long way to go and much help is needed'.

Visit the Friends of St Augustine web site


Sisters of Mercy leave Croydon after 125 years

The Sisters of Mercy left the parish of Our Lady of Reparation ('St Mary's'), West Croydon, during the Summer after 125 year's ministry within the parish.

On Monday, 21st November 2011, priests, parishioners and many friends gathered to offer Mass in thanksgiving for their long and valued service to the parish. Provost Joseph Collins, the parish priest, was the principal celebrant and the concelebrants included Bishop Howard.

In his homily, Father James Hurley, the Episcopal Vicar for Religious, paid tribute to the conribution the sisters had made and the legacy that they had left in the fields of education, Christian formation and the care of the sick and housebound.

Canon Joseph  presented Sister Patricia Bell with a plaque commemorating the 125 years and he has kept a replica for the church to ensure that future generations will recall their Catholic heritage.

Short history of the Sisters of Mercy in Croydon by Sister Assumpta (.pdf)

Text of Father James Hurley's homily (.pdf)


Confirmation at St John the Baptist, Purley

On Sunday, 20th November 2011, Archbishop Peter was welcomed at St John the Baptist Parish, Purley, where he conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation.

'Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit'

Canon James Pannett, Parish Priest, speaks to the congregation

More photos of the Confirmation Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit St John the Baptist parish web site


St Mary's School, Clapham, celebrates 150 years

On Saturday, 19th November 2011, Archbishop Peter joined Bishop Ralph Heskett CSsR, Bishop of Gibraltar, and Father Dominic O'Toole CSsR, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Victories ('St Mary's'), Clapham, for a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St Mary's Catholic Primary School.

Archbishop Peter and Bishop Ralph in the sacristy before Mass

Bishop Ralph was principal celebrant - he had been Parish Priest of Our Lady of Victories from 1999 until 2008. Fr Dominic O'Toole gave the homily.

Archbishop Peter, Karen Pluckrose (Headteacher) and Bishop Ralph

Fr Dominic O'Toole CSsR, Councillor Christiana Valcarcel (Mayor of Lambeth), Archbishop Peter, Karen Pluckrose (Headteacher) and
Bishop Ralph Heskett CSsR

Archbishop Peter attended one of the schools that amalgamated
with St Mary's and finds his name in the attendance register

More photos on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit St Mary's RC Priimary School web site


St Edmund's School, Dover, enters its 50th year

To mark the beginning of St Edmund’s Catholic School’s Golden Jubilee year, Bishop John, joined by priests and deacons of the Dover Deanery, celebrated the annual Feast Day Mass of St Edmund of Abingdon, the school’s Patron, on Friday, 18th November 2011.

The Mass took place at St Peter and St Paul, an Anglican church two minutes walk from the school.

The governors, staff and students were joined by a number of guests, including former members of staff and colleagues from nearby schools, and a number of headteachers from the Catholic feeder primary schools.

Miss Anne Locke (Head of Learning)

Mr Chris Atkin (Executive Headteacher)

The Mass had the theme of ‘Pride’ based upon the Olympic and Para-Olympic Pride Values, which the school has implemented into its Achievement and Rewards programme.

The music for the Mass was provided by the school choir and band. After the Mass, Bishop John, the priests, deacons and guests, joined Mr Atkin (Executive Headteacher), Miss Locke (Head of Learning) and Governors, in the Carmel Centre for a buffet. It was an excellent day enjoyed by everyone.

During the year, further celebrations will be taking place culminating with a celebratory Mass of Thanksgiving.

Visit St Edmund's School web site


Confirmation at the English Martyrs, Walworth

The Altar prepared for the Confirmation Mass

Bishop Paul visited the Carmelite Parish of the English Martyrs, Walworth, on Saturday, 12th November 2011, to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation. This year there were twenty-six candidates. The two parish choirs came together to provide the music.

Some of the candidates are members of the choir, while others are altar servers and readers. The Confirmation candidates read the two scripture readings and the bidding prayers, others brought up the gifts at the Offertory, while others did the collection, or were involved in the ministry of welcome.

One of the parishioners who was confirmed last year was a full member of the Confirmation Team this year and assisted with the preparation of the candidates.

Invocation of the Holy Spirit

Visit the English Martyrs, Walworth, web site


Chaplaincy Teams at St Joseph's, Beulah Hill

Each year group at St Joseph's College, Beulah Hill, has its own Chaplaincy Team which is responsible for preparing for services and assemblies and keeping books on the chapel table replenished.

Displays in the RE classrooms and around the chapel also come under their remit.

There is now a chaplaincy room where the students meet to discuss what needs to be done. This room is also used for prayer at certain times of the day.

Visit St Joseph's College web site


Vocation Directors meet at Valladolid

The Diocesan Vocation Directors of England and Wales met at the English College in Valladolid for their annual Conference from Monday 7th to Friday 11th November this year.

The Conference, which is chaired by the Southwark Vocations Director, Fr Stephen Langridge, took as its theme the 'Pre-Formation and Selection of Candidates for the Diocesan Priesthood'. Fr John Pardo, the Rector spoke of the work of the College and of the Propaedeutic Year it offers. Fr Gerard Bradley, Spiritual Director of St John's Seminary, Wonersh, spoke of the level of preparation required for candidates to begin to access fruitfully the formation available at the seminary.

The week also involved a sharing of resources and experiences as well as a screening of "The Calling" a new vocations film produced by the Southwark Vocations Office.


Mass of Thanksgiving for the Ramsgate Benedictines

The Benedictine Community at St Augustine's Abbey in Ramsgate is soon to move to a new monastery at Chilworth, near Guildford, in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The Benedictines have been at Ramsgate for 155 years and Archbishop Peter thanked them for their long and dedicated service to the diocese during a Mass of Thanksgiving held at the Cathedral on the evening of Tuesday, 10th November 2011.

Among the concelebrants were Bishop Paul, the Abbot of Ramsgate, Dom Paulinus Greenwood OSB, the Abbot Emeritus of Ramsgate, Dom Laurence O’Keeffe OSB, and the Ramsgate Community.

The Abbey was founded following an invitation made by Bishop Thomas Grant, the first Bishop of Southwark, to the Italian Abbot Dom Pietro Casaretto, to send monks from St Benedict's own monastery at Subiaco to undertake a mission at Ramsgate.

The first monks arrived in Ramsgate in 1856, and successfully evangelized much of the coastal region of Kent, establishing - and for many years administering - all but one of the existing Catholic parishes on the Isle of Thanet, while acting as chaplains to the locality’s numerous convents of Religious Sisters.

The monks also provided independent preparatory and secondary Catholic education in the area for 130 years from 1865 until the closure of The Abbey School and St Augustine’s College in 1995.

We keep them in our prayers and wish them every happiness in their new monastery.

More photos of the Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit St Augustine's Abbey web site


Priest Jubilarians on Pilgrimage to Rome


Priest Jubilarians from the dioceses of England and Wales have been on pilgrimage to Rome. The Diamond Jubilarians met the Holy Father during his General Audience in St Peter's Square on Wednesday, 9th November 2011.

The Jubilarians were welcomed at the Venerable English College by the Rector, Mgr Nicholas Hudson, the staff and students. They concelebrated Mass in the College church.

Four Jubilarians from Southwark were in the group: Father Michael Leach, Father Edmund Hartley, Provost Joseph Collins and Canon Michael Cooley. They are pictured at the English College with Mgr Nicholas Hudson and Southwark Seminarians Luke de Pulford, David Howell, Matthew O’Gorman and Philip Andrews. 


Catholic Internet Radio to be based at Wonersh

'Heart Gives Unto Heart', the Catholic Internet Radio which was inaugurated for the Papal Visit, is to be based at St John's Seminary, Wonersh.

Mgr Jeremy Garratt, the Rector, has offered space for a recording and broadcasting studio. The broadcasts are planned to start in Spring 2012.

An Open Day at the Seminary on Sunday, 27th November 2011, from 2:30 pm will give those who would like to help with the project an opportunity to meet the 'Heart Gives Unto Heart' team and offer their services - artistic, technological or administrative.

Visit the Heart Gives Unto Heart web site


Bishop Paul offers Mass at St Joseph's Primary School

On Tuesday, 8th November 2011. Bishop Paul visited St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Kingston-upon-Thames, and celebrated Mass with the pupils and the staff. The school is in the parish of St Raphael, Surbiton.

He was accompanied by Jacques Lambert (Bishop Paul's Private Secretary and MC and a former student at the school).

Entrance Procession

Penitential Rite led by the pupils

Bishop Paul gives the homily

Bishop Paul greets the children after Mass

Bishop Paul with Jacques Lambert and the servers

Visit St Joseph's Catholic Primary School web site


Catholic Police Guild Annual Requiem Mass

On Tuesday, 8th November 2011, Archbishop Peter presided at a Requiem Mass for deceased police officers at Westminster Cathedral.

The Mass is organised annually by the Catholic Police Guild. The music was provided by the Metropolitan Police Male Voice Choir conducted by Richard Fox. Trumpeter Martyn Tubb played the The Last Post which was followed by two minutes silence.

Among the senior police officers in attendance from many parts of the country was Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Ian McPherson.

Archbishop Peter with Commissioner Ian McPherson

More photos of the Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit the Catholic Police Guild web site


SVP Delegation from India

On Sunday, 6th November 2011, Archbishop Peter met with two members of the St Vincent de Paul Society who were visiting from India. VMJ Balaswamy is National President and I Prakasham is a National Projects Officer.

The Indian members were visiting thank UK members for the great support which is sent through the international Twinnage scheme. Over 1500 parish groups are being assisted by our groups in England and Wales through regular contributions, small projects and a student sponsorship scheme.

They were also reminding us that, although India has a growing economy, the wealth is in the hands of only a few and there are still more that 400 million people living below the UN poverty line – more than in the whole of Africa. The demands on work of the SVP are therefore considerable.

Archbishop Peter with with VMJ Balaswamy

Archbishop Peter with VMJ Balaswamy, I Prakasham and Kevin McDermott, Chair of SVP's  International Relations Committee

Visit the St Vincent de Paul Society web site


Anniversary Celebration at St Peter's Residence

The Little Sisters of the Poor with staff and residents of St Peter's Residence, Vauxhall, welcomed Archbishop Peter on Saturday, 5th November 2011, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Consecration of their chapel.

The Archbishop was principal celebrant at the Mass and gave the homily. He was joined at the altar by Monsignor Martin Lee, Chaplain, and priests who are living at St Peter's.

With the Holy Father's visit to St Peter's on 18th September last year very much in mind, the Archbishop and Sisters stood alongside the treasured mosaic of St Peter, which was the gift of the Holy Father.

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Visit the Little Sisters of the Poor web site


Confirmation at St John Fisher, Rochester

On Friday evening, 4th November 2011, Archbishop Peter offered Mass and conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation at St John Fisher church in Rochester.

More photos of the Mass on RCSouthwark's Flickr page