News Archive for 2014 - May

‘Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord’

Over 750 people - laity, religious, deacons, priests and bishops - attended three diocesan Evangelization Conferences. Organised by the diocesan Centre for Catholic Formation, the three conferences were held at Richard Challoner School in Kingston-upon-Thames (for the South-east London Area), at St Simon Stock School Maidstone (for the Kent Area), and at St.Matthew Academy Blackheath (for the South-east London Area).

2014 Evangelisation Conferences - SW Area
SW Area

2014 Evangelisation Conferences - SW Area - Mass
SW Area

Each Day consisted of a reflection on the recent Papal Exhortation ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ given by the Archbishop, followed by deanery discussion groups and a plenary session with short talks on various aspects such as justice and peace issues, the role of our schools in evangelization, and how to reach out to younger people.

The Day finished with a Mass of Saint Augustine, Secondary Patron of the diocese and bringer of the Gospel to these shores.

140529 - Evangelisation Conference - Kent area
Kent Area

140529 - Evangelisation Conference - Kent area 
Kent Area
One of the main aims of the Conferences was to encourage every parish to form an Evangelization Team, to promote and co-ordinate
efforts to spread the Good News.

140530 - Evangelisation Conference - SE area
SE Area

140530 - Evangelisation Conference - SE area
SE Area

The days proved highly successful and inspirational, and parishes and deaneries have been asked to consider how they follow up on Pope_Francis’ exhortation to evangelize with joy.

More photos of the SW Area are on the RCSouthwark's Flickr page

More photos of the Kent Area are on the RCSouthwark's Flickr page

More photos of the SE Area are on the RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Oscott College
Friday 4th - Sunday 6th July 2014

Once again the Southwark Vocations Office is playing a crucial role in organising Invocation, the annual vocations festival for England and Wales. John Withers, the leader of the Vocations Team based in Whitstable, will be operations manager for the event which is expected to attract as many as five hundred young people from across the country.

The Festival is a vocations discernment festival for young adults. This means it is a weekend full of opportunities for them to think more deeply about who God is calling them to be. This year the focus will be on Evangelisation and also on Discipleship. Guest speakers will include Archbishop Rino Fisichella from the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, and Curtis Martin, founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). We also look forward to welcoming Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Young people who wish to attend can download a booking form
from the Invocation website:

Duke of Kent visits Pugin's church of
St Augustine, Ramsgate

140527 - Ramsgate Duke of Kent - attribution Marie Muscat-King

On Tuesday 27th May 2014, the Duke of Kent has visited Pugin’s church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, one of the most important architectural buildings in the country, to see the plans for an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre about Augustus Pugin and St Augustine of England. Most famous for designing much of the Houses of Parliament, Augustus Pugin made St Augustine’s his personal design and is buried there in his own chantry chapel. This day was also the feast of St Augustine of Canterbury and in the week that Ramsgate celebrated St Augustine Week.

Funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant totalling about £800,000 – for which match funding of £90,000 is being sought – an Education, Research and Visitor Centre will be constructed at the site. This will form the major national centre of Pugin studies and the story of St Augustine.

The Duke was introduced to the Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, and then to Fr Paul Mason (Episcopal Vicar for Kent), Paul Sharrock (Architect), Nigel Warner (Board Member), and
John Coverdale (Centre Manager).

His Royal Highness was shown the interior of the church and took particular interest in Pugin’s tomb (designed in medieval style by Pugin’s son) and the imposing baptismal font, which formed a centrepiece of the Great Exhibition in 1851. At the Exhibition, the Duke’s great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, returned to see the font twice. He also signed the Visitors’ Book and was given a present including books and a DVD about Pugin and St Augustine as well as St Augustine’s recently-published Annual Report of activities.

140527 - Ramsgate Duke of Kent - attribution Marie Muscat-King

Rector of St Augustine’s, Fr Marcus Holden, said, “The Duke was very interested in the project at St Augustine’s. In fact, he stayed almost double the expected time, and took particular interest in our plans for community engagement through being open to the public, and opening an education centre.”

The Duke was shown a collection of Pugin church plate owned by St Augustine’s, which is part of the Gothic industrial revolution legacy. The items will be displayed in the completed Visitor Centre, but are in active use too. Their significance to Britain’s industrial history will be explained in the Centre, and formed a lecture in the church by Jamie Jacobs of Kent University a few days later.

Volunteers at St Augustine’s were given the opportunity to meet the Duke, and he greeted them individually before he left. One volunteer said, “It’s tremendous to feel recognised by royalty. I’m so pleased that he came to see what we’re doing here.”

140527 - Ramsgate Duke of Kent - attribution Marie Muscat-King

The Duke concluded his visit and bade farewell at the door of St.Augustine’s.

For more details of St Augustine, Ramsgate please contact Fr. Marcus Holden or John Coverdale at or by telephone on 01843 592071

 More photos of the occasion are on the RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Mass for New Catholics

On a particularly sunny Saturday, 17th May 2014, the Mass for New Catholics was held in St George's Cathedral for all those baptised or received into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter this year. The great joy of everybody present could clearly be seen and many people enjoyed meeting Archbishop Peter afterwards and chatting over tea and cakes in Amigo Hall.

More photos of the occasion are on the RCSouthwark's Flickr page

140517 - Mass for New Catholics

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Canon John Lennon

who died on 29th May 2014

A vigil Mass will be held
on Thursday 19th June at 5pm
at St Peter's Residence, Vauxhall

His Funeral Mass will be held

on Friday, 20th June at 12noon
at St Stephen's Church, Welling
May he rest in peace


Gratitude to Our Jubilarians

On Tuesday, 20th May 2014, at St George's Cathedral, Archbishop Peter presided at a Mass in thanksgiving for the many years of ministry in our diocese of those who are celebrating significant anniversaries of their ordinations to priesthood and diaconate.

140520 - Jubilarians Mass

Diamond Jubilarians
Reverend John Beirne, CSSp
Reverend John Castelli
Reverend Alexander Fraser
Reverend Philip Mathias
Reverend Canon Luke Verhees

Golden Jubilarians
Reverend Christopher Baker
Reverend Canon Michael Bunce
Reverend Canon Anthony Ford
Reverend Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm.
Reverend Patrick McKeown, CP
Reverend Jim McManus, CSsR
Reverend Gerard O'Brien
Reverend John O'Callaghan
Reverend Patrick O'Leary
Reverend Charles Owen, CP
Reverend Francis Reid
Reverend Mgr. Canon Nicholas Rothon
Reverend Peter Ryman

Ruby Jubilarians
Most Reverend Kevin McDonald Reverend
Canon John Clark
Reverend Philip Gilbert
Reverend Peter Madden
Reverend Thomas McElhone
Reverend Gerard Mulvihill
Reverend Peter Soper

Silver Jubilarians
Reverend Stephen Langridge
Reverend Canon Francis Moran
Reverend Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.
Reverend James Spencer
Reverend Bernard Winn Reverend
Deacon Paul Trong Song Ly

We congratulate all our jubilarians, thank them for their ministry
and keep them in our prayers.

More photos of the occasion on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

‘Gathering Day’ for the Safeguarding Representatives

On Sunday 11th May the Safeguarding Team held  a ‘Gathering Day’ for the Safeguarding Representatives of parishes and religious communities in the diocese.

140511 - Safeguarding Gathering for Representatives

More than 60 Safeguarding Representatives gathered for a Mass of celebration and thanksgiving for the work this large volunteer team do in all the parishes. In his homily Archbishop Peter spoke movingly of the shame caused by the scandal of sexual abuse, the importance of listening to victims, and the need to meet their needs sensitively.

140511 - Safeguarding Gathering for Representatives

This was followed by a meeting at Amigo Hall when the Archbishop thanked everyone for their efforts for the diocese, acknowledging the importance of the work and how grateful he was to everyone involved including the Safeguarding Commission, the Safeguarding Office and those ministering in parishes and religious communities. Archbishop Peter acknowledged that ‘we are in it together’, he also acknowledged the generosity of the diocesan clergy who had responded to his request to establish a fund that can be used to meet the needs of victims of abuse.

140511 - Safeguarding Gathering for Representatives

Archbishop Peter introduced the newly appointed Episcopal Vicar for Safeguarding, Father Graham Preston, whose role is that of Clergy Safeguarding Advisor. Archbishop Peter also introduced Paddy Barry, the Chair of the Safeguarding Commission who has been involved in Safeguarding in the diocese for 17 years. Paddy Barry introduced other members of the Commission who were present including Monsignor Matthew Dickens, Father Philip Glandfield and Mary Coller who represents the Metropolitan Police (and also happens to be a Parish Safeguarding Representative). Helen Sheppard, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator introduced the new Deputy Co-ordinator, Rachel Stephens, who said a few words about her recent arrival in the Safeguarding Office and her own background.  Helen then gave a few updates and answered a number of questions from the floor. The meeting then adjourned for everyone to partake of a buffet tea and have a chance to meet others sharing in this important work. It is intended that this will become an annual event, enabling Parish Reps to meet one another, to take part in training and receive updates on changes.

More photos of the Gathering day on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

EPS students gain their degrees

For the fourth successive year students at Education for Parish Service, Tooting Bec, received their awards at St. Mary's University for the Foundation Degree in Pastoral Ministry. We congratulate all nine students: Bright Adade, Patrick Agnah, Peter Cropp, Gloria Ezeonyeasi, Zoe Jepperson, Susan Longhurst, Fr. Graham Preston, Joseph Psaila, and Maria Silva Fox.

EPS students gain their degrees

"Good Shepherd Sunday"
World Day of Prayer for Vocations
to the Priesthood and Religious Life

The Fourth Sunday of Eastertide, this year 11th May, is the annual day  to focus particularly on prayers for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Please pray for all those from the Diocese who are discerning their vocation, especially the many who may feel they are Called by God for service in the Church.

Please also pray for all those who are in formation for service in the Diocese as Priests or Deacons. There are currently 16 candidates in formation for priesthood, including two who will be ordained deacon this year, and one who will be ordained priest this summer. There are also 11 candidates in the three year part time formation course for the Permanent Diaconate, four of whom should be ordained during the summer.

These statistics are a hopeful indication of the number of ordinations that may take place in the years ahead. It is important that we all pray regularly that those in formation will be given the grace to persevere, and to pray that others may be given the grace to hear God's call to the priesthood. The Diocese has 180 Parishes; currently 16 of these have Parish Priests who are aged 75 (the age at which Parish Priests are requested to offer their resignation from office) or over; by the end of 2016 a further ten parish priests will be 75 or older.

Various Vocations links:
"Southwark Vocations"
The Office for Vocations for England and Wales
Pope Francis' message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (PDF)

News from the Cathedral
Deacon Jim Sheahan to retire

Easter joy at the Cathedral was tinged with sadness as it was announced on 27/28 April that Deacon Jim Sheahan has decided to retire to Ireland in the summer.
He has ministered faithfully in the Cathedral Parish of St George for over forty years, first as an altar server, then as Master of Ceremonies, for the last thirty years fulltime as sacristan, and for the last twenty one years also as a Deacon.

He has been a pillar of St George’s community and he will leave a void that will be very hard to fill. Thankfully he will be at the Cathedral until the end of July after which he will begin his well earned retirement.

To mark his retirement Archbishop Peter will preside at a Thanksgiving Mass for Deacon Jim’s distinguished, faithful and fruitful ministry to
St George’s Parish and to the Diocese at 6pm on Friday 4 July – a date which appropriately marks also the 166th anniversary of the opening of
St George’s. Following the Mass there were will be a Farewell Reception in the Amigo Hall. All are welcome.

Clergy are asked to bring a diocesan vestment with them.

To help with seating arrangements, clergy who will be attending are asked to kindly notify the Parish Office on or on
020 7928 5256

Aylesford Commissioning of
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

On Saturday, 4th May 2014, Bishop Patrick led the Day of Commissioning for 50 new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion from 17 parishes in the diocese. The day was held in St Joseph's Chapel, at The Friars.

Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament (5)

Holy Mass during which the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were commissioned (3)

Holy Mass during which the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were commissioned (7)

Presentation of certificates (3)
The day included a period of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, talks from Monsignor Matthew Dickens and Bishop Patrick and Mass with the distribution of certificates.

More photos of the Commissioning Day on RCSouthwark's Flickr page

Clergy Appointments and News

   Announced May 2014

Canon John Clark has been appointed to succeed Bishop-Elect Nicholas Hudson as Parish Priest of The Sacred Heart Wimbledon.

Father Bartlomiej Dudek of the Diocese of Przemyśl, Poland, has been appointed as Parochial Administrator of the Parish of St. Francis, Maidstone