News Archive for September 2017

St Ursula’s Convent School

10 students of St Ursula’s Convent School in Greenwich were commissioned by Bishop Pat Lynch as Extra-ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, assisted by Fr Kevin Robinson, parish priest, in Our Ladye Star of the Sea Church, Greenwich on the 29th September 2017

They were joined by Mrs Hamilton, Head teacher, Mrs Durrant and Ms Walker and the Ursuline Sisters in Greenwich plus five Ursuline Head teachers from Poland.

Diocesan Day for Catechists

On Saturday 23 September, 164 catechists traveled from all corners of the Archdiocese for the Diocesan Day for Catechists. This annual event is designed to gather catechists at the mother church of the archdiocese for prayer,formation and fellowship. The catechists who attended represented 53 parishes – some from as far away as Dover.
The morning began with a keynote from director of the Centre for Catholic Formation, Dr Mark Nash. Mark’s talk reflected on the place of catechesis in the wider mission of the Church. Memorably, he said that catechists should not be called “volunteers”: rather, they are responding to the call that God has given them.

After lunch, participants were able to take part in a range of workshops over two sessions. Topics offered by CCF staff included Confirmation: getting young people involved; Themes in Children’s Liturgy; RCIA: Approaches to Mystagogy (the period of formation after baptism for adults received into the Church at Easter); Evangelisation and catechesis; and Prayer in the Family.

Outside speakers also offered other stimulating options. David Wills from Arundel and Brighton Diocese led a workshop on Parents: First and Best Teachers in the Way of Faith, and suggested resources for making this a reality in the parish. Experienced teacher Giovanna Finaldi led an extremely popular workshop on Methodology in Catechesis – Planning a session, engaging children and young people and getting your point across. Káren North, Training and Development Coordinator for Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Southwark, offered fascinating insights from her recent doctoral work, Why young people become actively engaged in the life of the Church.

The day was concluded with Mass during which Bishop Patrick Lynch, on behalf of the Archbishop, commissioned the catechists to continue to spread the Gospel and teach in their parishes.

The Centre for Catholic Formation looks forward to welcoming catechists again at the next Day for Catechists, Saturday 22 September 2018.

In the meantime, catechists are encouraged to make use of all the Centre has to offer, especially by keeping up with events through the On Offer, and parishes and deaneries are encouraged to book local training for catechists through the Centre.
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Stella Maris Mass Southwark 2017

On September 19th September Archbishop Peter Smith presided at a Mass organised by AoS in honour of its patron, Our Lady Star of the Sea,
Stella Maris, and attended by AoS supporters, volunteers, trustees, head office staff and parishioners.

Archbishop Peter said Mary's role as a sign of hope and as a guiding star for Christians,is revered as the guide and protector of all travellers and especially those seek their livelihoods on the sea.

“We offer this Mass for the contribution seafarers make to global trade and the world economy. We give thanks to God and to Our Blessed Lady for the ongoing work of mercy by the Apostleship of the Sea,” he said.

Stella Maris Mass Southwark 2017

Archbishop Peter said, “We thank God for all of you who support this work of mercy as volunteers, and those who help to provide the financial support without which this work of mercy could not continue. And we ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Lady, Star of the Sea, for all seafarers and for the flourishing of The Apostleship of the Sea as it come towards the centenary of its foundation in just over a couple of years’ time.”

Stella Maris Mass Southwark 2017

In the Southwark Archdiocese, AoS port chaplains and ship visitors support seafarers arriving at the ports of Dover, Gravesend and Northfleet among others.

Southwark parish wins
International Stewardship Award

At the International Catholic Stewardship Council conference in Atlanta, Father Doug Bull of Holy Cross, Catford accepted the International Recognition for Christian Stewardship Initiatives Award on behalf of his parishioners. Father Doug said: "Stewardship is not for the parish, but for every one in the parish.  It’s about each person’s relationship with God."

Father Doug Bull with Bishop Donald Francis Hanchon,
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Teresa Keogh

Teresa Keogh, part-time adviser for Stewardship in the Archdiocese of Southwark has been working alongside the team from Holy Cross "Stewardship has given the parishioners the tools to recognise and develop their relationship with God. Every parishioner undertakes simple acts of prayer and spirituality. Giving of oneself in grateful response is at the heart of Holy Cross; everyone has recognised their giftedness and is using the gifts that God has chosen for them in the parish and in the world."

Canon John Weatherill, parish priest of Purley, has been instrumental in encouraging a diocesan focus on Stewardship. He expressed his delight in the recognition that Holy Cross has received: "Priests and lay people from the diocese have been attending the ICSC conference for a number of years and the idea that this spirituality can translate to an English context has been developing. Now we have a practical example which others can adopt and adapt into their own context. We are extraordinarily pleased that a Southwark parish has now been recognised internationally through this award."

Southwark Catholic Youth Service

On Saturday 10th September Monsignor Matthew Dickens, VG commissioned the Youth Ministry Team for the Southwark Catholic Youth Service.  The team were also commissioned as Extra Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the length of time they remain with the Youth Service

170916 - SCYS Commissioning

Monsignor Matthew was assisted by Deacon Javier Elderfield, Chair of the SCYS Management Group

170916 - SCYS Commissioning

Please keep Nicole, Shannon, Emmanuela and Luke in your prayers as they serve the young people of the diocese

170916 - SCYS Commissioning

The staff and team were joined for Mass and dinner by members of the Southwark Catholic Youth Service’s Management Group

The Knights of St Columba

On Friday 15th of September Mr Michael Akinrele, Provincial Grand Knight and Mr Diego Gomes, immediate Past Provincial Grand Knight of the Province 12, Southwark, Knights of St Columba presented Archbishop Peter with a cheque for £2000.00 towards the Seminary Fund.

170915 - Presentation Knights of St Columba

The Archbishop thanked the Knights for their generosity towards the formation of priests.

170915 - Presentation Knights of St Columba

The Archbishop was also made an honour member of the Knights of St Columba

Celebrating the Beginning of the New School Year and saying Farewell to the Director of Education

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

On the 12th of September 2017 the Archdiocese of Southwark’s schools gather together in the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George to celebrate the beginning of the new school year

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

All Head teachers, Governors and School Chaplains were invited to renew their commitment to Catholic education


At the end of Mass each deanery was presented with a ‘prayer book’, which had been brought up in the offertory, for all the pupils and staff in the schools within that deanery compose a few original prayers. 

The final result should be 20 collections of prayers from all of the diocese  schools

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

The occasion also marked the farewell to the Director of Education, Dr Anne Bamford as she leaves to take up her new position as Director of Education with the City of London schools

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

Dr Anne Bamford said her goodbyes to staff and pupils, particularly thanking her family and the staff of the Education Commission for their help and support over the years.  She also thanked Archbishop Peter and the auxiliary bishops for their continuous encouragement and endorsement.  The Archbishop responded thanking Anne for all her hard work and dedication to her role

170912 - Begining of School Year and Dr Bamford's farewell

The celebrations continued with cup-cakes given to all who attended the Mass in Amigo Hall and after a ‘high tea’ for Dr Bamford in Archbishop’s House.

Archbishop Peter says farewell and thanks to
Canon John Weatherill

170911 - Canon John Weatherill Farewell

Archbishop Peter says farewell and thanks to Canon John Weatherill after a number of years working in the Finance Office


The staff and various people Canon John had worked with over the years gathered to wish him well

170911 - Canon John Weatherill Farewell

Canon John moves to his parish in Purley but continues to be the Episcopal Vicar for Finance

Vatican Decree on Holydays

With effect from the First Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated. This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See.

The days are:
The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)

The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after Sixth Sunday of Easter

An English translation of the Decree, issued by the Holy See's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on 4 August 2017, approving the Bishops' request that the celebration of the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord will be celebrated on its particular day, namely, forty days after Easter; the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord on its particular day, namely, 6 January.
Vatican Decree on Holydays
CBCEW Decree on Holydays
Vatican Letter on Holydays

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor
who died on the 1st September 2017

May he rest in peace

Cardinal Vincent Nichols announces the death of his predecessor Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor who died peacefully -  1 September 2017

I am writing to let you know the sad news that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor died peacefully this afternoon, surrounded by his family and friends.
Please pray for the repose of his soul. Pray, too, for his family, and those many friends and colleagues from the Diocese and far beyond who mourn his loss.
Information about the funeral rites for the Cardinal will be circulated as soon as possible.
With my good wishes and prayers,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

Upgrading of our IT systems

Due to the IT systems being upgraded in Archbishop’s House, Cathedral House, the Finance Office and the Safeguarding Office there will be no network connection in Cathedral House and Archbishop’s House on 6th September and no network connection in Archbishop’s House on the 8th September.
The phone system should only be affected on the 11th and 13th September for a short period

Archbishop Peter Smith asks for prayers for
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor is seriously ill in hospital and I would ask you to remember him very specially in your prayers.

In a letter sent yesterday to all the Bishops, Cardinal Vincent writes: "these loving prayers are a source of great strength and comfort as he calmly ponders on all that lies ahead, all in God's good time.

May the Lord strengthen him in faith and trust and may the prayers of the Church, which he loves so much, comfort and uphold him.”