On Wednesday, 28th November 2012, Archbishop Peter was among the guests at the Annual Parliamentary Reception held in the Churchill Dining Room at the House of Commons for Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the social action arm of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. It was attended by over 50 representatives of CSAN member charities and over 40 parliamentarians.
The Chief Executive of CSAN, Helen O'Brien, told the gathering that reform of the care system is an ongoing priority for the Catholic Church and Archbishop Vincent Nichols emphasised that 'perhaps one of the most important areas currently under consideration here is how we care for older and disabled people: a fundamental test of any civilised society.'
Helen O'Brien, Chief Executive of CSAN
Cristina Gangemi in conversation with Baroness Masham
On Monday, 26th November 2012, at the Guildhall in London, Archbishop Emeritus Kevin and Canon John O’Toole, the Cathedral Dean, both received the honour of being made Freemen of the City of London. The Awards ceremony was conducted by Mr Paul Double, the City Remembrancer. Also in attendance were members of the City Council, a group of Southwark clergy and members of Canon John’s family.
Bishop Paul visited the Sacred Heart Parish, Battersea West, on Sunday, 25th November 2012, where he celebrated the 11:30 am Mass during which he confirmed 35 young parishioners. He is pictured with the newly-confirmed, some of the catechists and the parish clergy after the celebration.
The Bishop had met the candidates a few weeks before the Confirmation ceremony and had spent some time with them as part of their preparation.
On Sunday, 25th November 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption, Northfleet, during which he confirmed fourteen young parishioners.
The Salesians of Don Bosco came to England in November 1887 - 125 years ago this month. Their first house was in Battersea where they had been invited to work in the parish by the then Bishop Francis Bourne of Southwark. This was the last foundation of St John Bosco before he died in January 1888.
Within a few years they had built the parish Church of the Sacred Heart and established the Salesian College.
On Saturday, 17th November 2012, to mark this anniversary, Archbishop Peter celebrated Mass with members of the Sacred Heart Parish and the Salesian Family, including the Provincial, Fr Martin Coyle, the parish priest, Fr Christopher Heaps, the Rector of the Battersea Community, Fr Kieran Anderson, the previous Rector, Fr John Docherty, who preached at the Mass, and Salesian priests from around the country.
During the Mass a letter from the Salesian Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, the ninth successor of Don Bosco was read. An exhibition of Salesian artefacts, including a vestment used by Don Bosco and sent with the first Salesians to Battersea and a vestment used by Blessed Michael Rua, Don Bosco’s first successor, at the Consecration of the Sacred Heart Church in 1895.
A casket containing a relic of Don Bosco will be visiting Great Britain in January 2013. It will arrive in Scotland on 4th January after which it will make a pilgrimage around the Metropolitan Cathedrals of England and Wales.
The casket will be received at St George's Cathedral, Southwark, on 13th January and remain until 14th January.
On Friday, 16th November 2012, the Feast of St Edmund of Abingdon, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass of Thanksgiving in Canterbury Cathedral to mark the 50th Anniversary of St Edmund's School, Dover.
Among those present at the Mass was Bishop
Trevor Willmott, the Anglican Bishop of Dover.
Archbishop Peter with Bishop Trevor Willmott
St Edmund of Abingdon was Archbishop of Canterbury 1233 - 1240. In 1253, shortly after St Edmund's canonisation, St Richard of Chichester consecrated a Chapel dedicated to him in Dover. The Chapel was restored in 1968, largely due to the enthusiasm of Father Terence Tanner, parish priest of Dover, whose ashes are buried in the Chapel.
Ambassador Nigel Baker, a representative from the Vatican Secretariat of State, Chris Bain, Director of CAFOD, and Mgr Nicholas Hudson, Rector
At his General Audience on Wednesday, 21st November 2012, the Holy Father offered a particular greeting to CAFOD: 'I greet the group from CAFOD, with gratitude for the agency's fifty years of charitable activity on behalf of the Church in England and Wales.' Chris Bain, CAFOD's Director, presented the Holy Father with a copy of CAFOD's 50th Anniversary book.
Later a Mass of Thanksgiving, at which Bishop John Arnold presided, was offered in the English College's Church followed by a reception at the College. The celebrations were attended by several ambassadors to the Holy See, including Nigel Baker, the British Ambassador.
Monsignor Nicholas Hudson welcomes those at the reception
Mr Nigel Baker pays tribute to CAFOD's work
Chris Bain's address at the reception
Fuller report and interviews on Zenit's website - The World seen from Rome
Earlier this month the Venerable English College hosted priest jubilarians from England and Wales at Palazzola. At the beginning of December it will celebrate 650 years since the foundation in 1362 of the English and Welsh Hospice for pilgrims to Rome on the site now occupied by the College, making it the oldest English institution outside of England.
On Tuesday, 20th November 2012, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass in St George's Cathedral to mark the first anniversary of the death of Bishop John Jukes OFMConv.
Bishop John’s family and members of the Order of Franciscan Friars joined the regular congregation at the 12:30 pm Mass.
May he rest in peace.
Photos below taken in the sacristies before the Mass
On Sunday, 18th November 2012, Archbishop Peter was welcomed by Father Jeff Cridland, parish priest, and the people of St Finbarr's parish, Aylesham, where he presided at Mass and conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on twelve young parishioners.
On Sunday, 18th November 2012, Bishop Paul visited St Cecilia’s, North Cheam, to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 32 young people. The photo shows the newly confirmed with Bishop Paul and Fr Robert Sugg, parish priest.
On the weekend of 17th/18th November 2012, a letter from the Provincial of the British Province of Jesuits, Father Dermot Preston SJ, was read at all Masses at the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, informing parishioners that the Society of Jesus would be handing the care of the parish over to the Diocese towards the end of next year. The Jesuits have served the parish for over 130 years.
Fr Preston wrote: 'I have spoken to Archbishop Peter, and although he is sad to see the Jesuits withdrawing from the running of the Parish, he understands that our charism is calling us to re-position our ministries in Great Britain and is committed to finding priests from the Archdiocese who will develop the potential in Sacred Heart. He has been grateful for our work thus far in the Archdiocese; he is glad that we will still have a presence in Wimbledon and will continue to act as a resource both for the parishioners and the incoming diocesan priests.'
We keep the Jesuit Fathers and the parishioners of the Sacred Heart in our prayers as they reflect on the next chapter in the life of the parish.
In Southwark diocese there are fifteen prisons ranging from Young Offenders' Institutes to High Security Prisons. The diocese contains some of the largest prisons in the country.
During the week beginning Sunday, 18th November 2012, we are asked to pray for all who are affected by the criminal justice system: victims of crime; those who work in prisons, probation and the courts; prison chaplains and the prisoners themselves and their families.
The Chaplaincy departments of prisons are often in need of volunteers - further details are available from the Catholic Chaplain at the relevant prison.
The Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), a Catholic Charity, provides support to those leaving prison and also supports the families of those in prison.
Their webiste provides more information about their work and how to get involved.
Canon Michael Cooley, Fr John O’Donoghue, Bishop John,
Canon James Pannett (all Golden Jubilarians) and Mgr Nicholas Hudson
Jubilarians after the Mass in the English College's church
2070 years of priestly ministry were celebrated at the Venerable English College on Wednesday, 7th November 2012, when 47 jubilarians from 17 dioceses across England and Wales came together to celebrate with a sung Mass, followed by a festive dinner. The jubilarians had been invited to spend a week at Palazzola, the College's villa overlooking Lake Albano, eighteen miles south of Rome.
The Principal Celebrant at the Mass was Bishop Christopher Budd of Plymouth, who gave a moving homily about the many joys and blessings of his priesthood, after so many years in ordained ministry. As an 'old boy' of the College, he also addressed the seminarians with words of encouragement often interspersed with wit.
After dinner, Mgr Nicholas Hudson, the Rector of the Venerable English College, in his speech congratulating the 47 jubilarians, observed that their numbers actually mirrored the situation at the College which has 47 students, 43 of whom are seminarians, with 39 coming from 17 English and Welsh Dioceses.
Southwark edition of 'Walk with Me', a journey of prayer for
Advent and Christmastide, is now available in our parishes.
In his foreword, Archbishop Peter writes: 'The Season of Advent leads us into the celebration of Christmas, focusing on the Incarnation. At the heart of our faith is the person of Jesus Christ. We believe that he, true God and true man, was sent by his Father to redeem us from sin and evil, and to reconcile us to God and to one another. In him 'we see made visible the God we cannot see' and in building up our personal relationship with him in prayer, we are drawn into communion with the living God, Father, Son and Spirit.'
Many have valued previous editions of the 'Walk with Me' booklets of daily meditations for Advent and Lent.
Canon Michael O'Dea, Canon John Clark, Mgr Canon James Cronin,
Canon Alan McLean, Canon John O'Toole, Deacon James Sheahan,
Provost Tom McHugh, Canon Peter Stodart, Canon Anthony Charlton
and Mgr Canon Nicholas Rothon
Each year 7th November marks the feast of The Dedication of the Cathedral Church of St George - and is rightly celebrated as a Solemnity at the Cathedral itself. On that day the Chapter of Canons, along with the Honorary Canons, attend the 12:30 pm Mass, robed in their canonical attire. This year, Canon John O’Toole, the Cathedral Dean, presided and preached at the Dedication Mass. He welcomed his brother Canons and in particular Canon Alan McLean as a new Honorary Canon and Canon Peter Stodart as a new Chapter Canon.
He spoke of how St George’s was opened in 1848 as a parish church and only later became a Cathedral. It took 46 years for it to be consecrated under Bishop John Butt in 1894, when the debts incurred by building such a large church had finally been paid. The original consecration took place on Wednesday, 7th November 1894, and so this year marked the 118th anniversary of that great event.
Canon John also mentioned that this year’s celebration was taking place in the year which marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council as well as the start of the Year of Faith. Vatican II stressed that the two central symbols in all Catholic churches are the ambo (or lectern) and the altar – the two tables of the Word of God and the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The Word which is spoken prepares us for the Bread which is broken. These are the ‘two tables’ that are so closely linked that together they form one joint act of worship.
Canon John spoke of how the name George means ‘tiller of the soil’ and of a tradition which speaks of St George as a farmer and not just as a soldier. He suggested that in this Year of Faith we might ‘till the soil’ of God’s word and turn it over by reflecting on it so that our faith, nurtured by Word and sacrament, might bear fruit in our life.
After the homily Canon Tom McHugh, Provost of the Chapter Canons, invited Canon Peter Stodart to make his profession of faith and then escorted him to join the other members of the Chapter Canons.
On Sunday, 4th November 2012, Bishop John joined the parishioners at St Thomas of Canterbury, Rainham, to welcome Father Justin Daanaah as the Parochial Administrator of their parish. The Mass was followed by a reception in the parish hall.
Bishop John with Father Justin
At 6:00 pm on Sunday, 4th November 2012, Heart Gives Unto Heart Catholic Internet Radio went on air for the first time since the Papal Visit in September 2010.
It is now to broadcast every evening from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm and has produced the programme schedule for its first week.
Bishop Paul, who has been involved in the project from the start, welcomed listeners and pointed to the collaboration of many parishes, schools and organisations that has brought the concept to fruition, including St John's Seminary, Wonersh, where the studio is situated.
Archbishop Peter was interviewed in the first of a series called 'Did Your Hear a Calling?'. In a personal reminiscence, he traced the development of his vocation from his school days to his appointment as Archbishop of Southwark. He said that priests and people should renew their sense of vocation each day, realising that the gift they have to offer is life-giving.
Sister Janet Fearns presented a programme about Missio and the evening contained a broad selection of music, including the personal choices of Gerry Coates, founder of the radio station.