8th December - On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, our Patronal Feast, Bishop Peter opened a Door of Mercy at the Cathedral to mark the beginning of the Year of Mercy. It was standing-room only as the story of the Lost Sheep was read, followed by the formal proclamation of Pope Freancis' Bull of Indiction. Then, during the Litany of the Saints, the Bishop and Chapter Canons went to the east door of the Cathedral, around which a special portico has been erected, and declared. ‘Open the gates of justice. We shall enter and give thanks to the Lord" before the Bishop struck the door with his crozier. ‘This is the Lord’s gate’, he said as it opened. ‘Let us enter through it and obtain mercy’.
3rd December - RIP Deacon George Brooker, who passed away on this date. George was one of the crop of four deacons, along with Ted Connelly (see below), Joseph Billington (RIP 1991) and Douglas Denny, all ordained in 1976 for Burnham parish under Fr David Woodard. Only relatively recently retired, George leaves a widow, Dorothy. The funeral Mass is at Our Lady of Peace, Burnham, on 21st December at 1:30pm.
27th November - Deacon Ted Connelly, who would have been 102 in January, died in his sleep on this date. May he rest in peace.
Deacon Ted was one of the first men to be ordained to the Permanent Diaconate, in 1976, and served in Our Lady of Peace Parish, Burnham. Latterly he has lived with family in Camberley. He was still proclaiming the Gospel in Mass at the age of 100 !
The Funeral Mass in the Church of SS Peter & John, 1 Caesar's Camp Road, Camberley, GU15 4ED was due to take place on Wednesday, 16 December.
31st October - A Northampton Diocese Pax Christi group was launched at a meeting of local members and supporters on this day.
Pax Christi – the international Catholic movement for peace – is a grassroots peace organisation working nonviolently for peace and reconciliation in over 100 countries worldwide. The work of Pax Christi UK focuses particularly on campaigning against the arms trade, against nuclear weapons, and for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.
As members met in Northampton to discern what a local expression of Pax Christi’s work would consist of, they spoke of the issues that prohibit peace in their local areas and how they might be engaged with.
Members explored many ideas and issues including how Pax Christi’s Peace Sunday (17 January in 2016) may be better promote and celebrated in our parishes, how the companies working in the arms trade within our diocese might be challenged, and how we can work locally in support of the campaign to scrap the UK’s nuclear weapons.
To get involved in the work of Pax Christi in the Northampton Diocese please email email@example.com
27th October - Synod on the Family - On this day, following their return, Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Peter gave a Press Conference which may be heard here. On 20th October the Catholic Herald published a feature about an interview Bishop Peter gave to Vatican Radio - read it here, listen here . The Catholic Church in England and Wales website carried a full text of Bishop Peter's first "Intervention" (one of the three-minute speeches being delivered by the Synod Bishops) - read it here. Other Synod updates here. Photo from the SoundCloud website.
Some purported extracts from the Final Report of the Synod can be read here. As the full document has not been made public, it is uncertain how authoritative these are.
3rd/4th October - new Mass times in Wolverton and Stony Stratford
From the weekend of 3rd/4th October 2015, the new Sunday Mass times for the parish of St Francis de Sales & St Mary Magdalene (Milton Keynes) are as follows:
Saturday, 6.30pm (Vigil Mass) at St Francis de Sales, Wolverton
Sunday, 9.15am at St Mary Magdalene, Stony Stratford
Sunday, 11.30am at St Francis de Sales, Wolverton.
There is no longer a Sunday evening Mass in the Parish. Further information frrom the parish website.
3rd October - Bishop Peter's presence from this date at the Synod on the Family, as one of two English Bishops present (with Cardinal Nichols) has led to him being interviewed by the media. Click here for an interview given to the US National Catholic Reporter. Updated audio reports from Bishop Peter and Cardinal Nichols can be heard on the Soundcloud site here.
7th September. Moves update: Fr Edmund Worthy retires today from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and St Edmund Campion at Wellingborough where he has been parish priest since 2003. His place is taken by Fr Paul Inman, who moves from Kettering. Fr Pius Amoako, ordained this summer, takes Fr Paul's place as assistant priest at the four-church parish of Kettering.
Fr James Cassidy is now on sabbatical, and St Augustine's and Our Lady of Lourdes at Milton Keynes will be looked-after by Fr Allan Jones CRIC ; retired priests Fr R Preece and Mgr A McDermott will be assisting with Sunday Masses. .
Fr Henry Sanni has moved from Northampton to Beaconsfield to familiarise himself with that parish, prior to Fr Francis Higgins' departure on sabatical on 13th Sept, although Fr Francis will be back temporarily in December and returns fully next May.
Fr Gerry Manomey has taken over from 1st Sept. as priest-in-charge at Great Billing and Weston Favell. The vacant presbytery at Gt Billing is to be let out
Fr Benedetto d' Autilia has arrived at Bletchley to join Fr Chris Perry, Deacon Noel Guina and the lay team.
Six men begin their studies for the priesthood, one at Valladolid, four at Oscott and one in Rome. One man from Bourne End begins the formation programme for the Permanent Diaconate.
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