A Mass to pray for
seafarers and for the ministry of Apostleship of the
Sea (AoS) was celebrated in the Cathedral on September 24th 2015
The Mass was also held
to commemorate the feast of Stella Maris, Our
Lady Star of the Sea, AoS’ patron saint.
Main celebrant Bishop Tom Burns SM, who is AoS’ Bishop Promoter, said
in his homily that the work of AoS is to encourage seafarers to grow
stronger in their faith, and to live fully human lives.
He said seafarers are called by God to be truly themselves and have to
be strong in what they believe and in whom they believe.
Bishop Tom added, “The
ensuing drama of life helps the seafarer to
learn how to notice the movement of God in all that happens and to
respond to it, and to Him, with wholehearted generosity. AoS is there
to help him find God in the events of daily life: the joys and the
sorrows, the successes and the failures, the pleasures and the
hardships, the kindnesses and the cruelties.”
Bishop Tom said what God
is asking of the seafarer every day is that he
becomes holy wherever he is. This means knowing God is present, which
leads on to respecting other human beings, because God resides in them
Likewise AoS port
chaplains, ship visitors, volunteers and staff also
need to acknowledge God is present, and to respect other human beings.
“He or she is to be an example of God’s love, expressing it and sharing
it. It is the AoS worker’s role to experience and to share with others
the gift of God’s boundless love, compassion, and mercy in everything
that happens,” said Bishop Tom.
Mass was followed by a
lunch at Amigo Hall.
10 of our Permanent
Deacons went to
Emmaus Retreat Centre for the weekend of 18-20th September for their
Annual Retreat, which was led this year by Father Victor Darlington
The main theme was
'Eucharist and The Year of Mercy'
Southwark Catholic Youth Service
On Saturday 19th
September Monsignor Matthew commissioned this year's
Southwark Catholic Youth Service's Youth Ministry Team.
Please keep Ben, Isaac, Martha, Bethan and Hannah in your prayers as
they serve the young people of the diocese this year
The staff and team were
joined for Mass and dinner by members of the Southwark Catholic Youth
Service’s Management Group
A Village Celebration in Kent
the 13th September a bit of history was made in the village of Pembury
in Kent on Sunday with the opening of the new Hine Room at St
John Hine, who grew up in the village, came to unveil a plaque and
formally open the new church hall, which from now on will bear his
name. The hall adjoins the church, and its completion marks the climax
of a major renewal project for St Anselm's. Fr Ed Tomlinson of the
Ordinariate arrived at the parish four years ago and all the
parishioners – Ordinariate members and longstanding parishioners alike
– have worked together to transform the small church into a place of
beauty for worship, and to create a new hall for Sunday School, church
activities and local groups.
The project has included acquiring
a pulpit, pews and fixed altar for the church – formerly the altar was
a temporary one which had to removed when the room was used as a
community hall on weekdays. With the building of the Hine Room, the
church has come into its own – it is now a permanent place of worship,
where the sanctuary lamp glows day and night and with an adjoining
side-chapel and sacristy.
Bishop Hine concelebrated Mass in a
packed church with Father Hartley, who served the church for many years
and with Father Ed and assistant priest Father Nicholas Leveseur.
Afterwards, parishioners and guests enjoyed a buffet lunch, at which
gifts were presented to the architect and builders. The church and hall
together are approached by a path that leads through a new garden area
– formerly darkened by overgrown trees but now with a lawn and
hedges, – and a lych-gate will shortly be added. An outdoor
Calvary stands alongside.
“This whole project seemed like a
David-and-Goliath challenge at first” said Fr Ed in his sermon “But God
always chooses the small and unimportant for his tasks, so that he can
show that it is he who is really in charge. So, with everything
apparently difficult – finding funds, getting the necessary
permissions, overcoming all sorts of problems – God worked his way, and
the project has been achieved.”
60th anniversary of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary School -
Archbishop Peter joined
the Headteacher, Angela Pitcher, pupils, staff, Governors, past pupils,
local clergy, and friends of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary School,
Wimbledon, for celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the opening
of the school.
Archbishop Peter celebrated a Mass in the packed church of Our Lady and
Saint Peter (just across the road from the school) with Fr Philip de
Freitas and the other priests connected with the school.
At the end of the Mass the Archbishop blessed prayer cards which were
then distributed to all the children of the school. The celebration
continued in the school hall with refreshments, allowing guests to look
at the displays the school had created.
Day of Action at the 'Jungle' refugee camp in Calais
Archbishop Peter Smith
and Fr Paul Mason, Episcopal Vicar for Kent,
travelled to Calais on Saturday 19th September to participate in the
Day of Action, a sign of support and solidarity with those living in
the 'Jungle' refugee camp. They met with Ben Bano of Seeking Sanctuary
a Kent based group working with 'Secours Catholique' to provide support
to those in the Calais camps who are in need.
Peter Smith (centre),
with Ben Bano (right) of Seeking Sanctuary, and Dominique
(left) volunteer with 'Secours Catholique', in the scratch built
Eritrean Church in the Calais Jungle
The day for action drew
many people to the camp to express their support for refugees and their
concern at the lack of compassion shown to those literally on the
margins of society in Calais.
Outside the Eritrean Church
A march of several hundred people, those from the camp and visitors,
set off on a march to the gates of the Port of Calais.
At the Port of Calais
Archbishop Peter met with Bishop Jean-Paul
Jaeger, of the Catholic Diocese of Arras, in which Calalis is
situated (third from right), and the Anglican Bishop of Dover, Rt Rev
Trevor Wilmott (righ of picture). As
a sign of solidarity with the refugees the three Bishops signed a join
We leaders of churches
alongside the English Channel have joined in solidarity with this Day
of Action in Calais and repeat our calls for people to respond to the
growing crisis by showing generosity to those who are exiled from their
homeland. These vulnerable men, women and children share in our common
humanity and everyone can help them to live in dignity and contribute
to civil society.
all faiths and none can assist by providing financial and material
support, time and skills, shelter and accommodation. Above all, we can
pray and gather information to support pleas for better treatment in
our nations and across the European Union. We wish to counter the myths
that lead to prejudice and fear and urge politicians to envisage new
policies that go beyond merely closing frontiers and employing
increased numbers of security staff.
to work together to encourage residents to create a climate of welcome
for strangers and we trust that we will be joined in this by all who
gather in places of worship along the frontiers of European nations.
Copy of the of the statement in English and French
scanned PDF copy of the signed statement
pictures on the Diocesan Flickr Page
Part of the protest; in the background the security fence,
with a graffiti wall added in front which some of the refugees
had made their mark
News item on "Independent
Further ICN item on "English
and French Church leaders issue statement on Calais refugees
are humbled by the generous response of our Catholic family in
Southwark Diocese who have helped the Clergy Support Fund Campaign to
reach £1,027,311 in gifts and pledges this summer.
is an exciting milestone which means we are now almost quarter of the
way to our final goal of just over £4.5 million. Thank you.
Grateful thanks must also go to our hardworking Dean
Representatives in all areas of the Diocese, who have helped
explain the needs of our sick and retired clergy to fellow
Finally, I would like to extend
sincere gratitude to our parish clergy for kindly supporting the
initiative despite busy parish diaries: we couldn’t have done it
To find out more about the Clergy Support Fund Campaign please
RC Archdiocese of Southwark Archives
Our Diocesan Archivist, Jenny Delves, has added to the Archives' blog
half of the enquiries received by the Archive are from family history
researchers. The Archive doesn’t actually hold any parish registers –
these are held by local parish churches – so many of these enquiries
are sent to the relevant parish
Parish contact details can be found:
for those interested in finding out about a family member who was a
priest, or indeed those doing research on priests for other reasons,
the Archive can be a great source of information.
Southwark Catholic Directory is published annually (since 1929) and
lists all the priests in the Diocese alphabetically and gives their
address. The address helps to identify the parish that a priest served
in (parishes are also listed alphabetically with a list of their
priests). In this way a priest can be traced from ordination to
retirement and beyond.
To find out more please visit our archive blog:
On Friday 11th
September Bishop Patrick Lynch visited Saint Peter Chanel
Primary School in Sidcup.
Early in August, on the
Feast of the Transfiguration, Pope Francis
pray for all of God's creation, and particularly that humanity
may recognise not simlply the gift it has been given, but also
responsibility it has as steward of that gift.
for Link to the Papal letter).