31st July: The final weekend of the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland passed off, thanks be to God, without anything more harmful than long sunburning walks followed by downpours. Here's Bishop Peter relaxing post-Papal-Mass with Frs Patey, Seery and Richardson. Next one - Panama, 2019 !
Pope Francis' full adress at the Vigil can be read here.
25th July - RIP Fr Tom Feighan, the oldest priest in the Diocese, who passed away peacefully at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, just before midnight on 15th July, having turned 91 in April and just completed 64 years in the priesthood. Ordained with the Marist Fathers in 1952, Fr Tom came to the Diocese in 1967 and served at Gt Yarmouth, OLEM Cambridge, OL Corby, and Thrapston, before arriving in 1977 at St Augustine's High Wycombe, where he endeared himself to everyone, not least at the local hospital, acting as Catholic chaplain for many years. His funeral, attended by twenty priests, four deacons and many of his family plus a huge turnout from High Wycombe, was on Monday 25th July (principal celebrant the Vicar-General) at 12 noon, his body having been received into St Augustine's at 4pm on the 24th. Fr Strain, with whom he lived for over thirty years, shared many joyful reminiscences. Please pray for his soul, and for the comfort of his sister Mary and many relatives.
9th July - Tony Quinlan and Crispin Walking-Lea were ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at Holy Cross, Bedford, where they will serve in that parish and its twinned parish of SS Philip & James, Brickhill. They are believed to be Bedford's first-ever Permanent Deacons. Congratulations !
25th June. Michael Bates, our most senior student for the priesthood, was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate at Oscott College this day. Fr Wayne Coughlin reports: "In an Ordination Mass, the chanting of the Litany of Saints is powerful for two reasons: firstly, it is sung across the candidates who are lying prostrate in their submission to God; and secondly, because it is sung by us sinners, who are saints in the making! Its offering at the Ordination of Northampton seminarian Michael Bates (from Daventry) did not disappoint ; the fabric of Oscott Chapel vibrated as friends, family, eight Northampton priests and the seminary community sang with conviction "Pray for us!" The Mass was packed with moments of majesty, but also poignancy; none more so than when Deacon Michael shared the Kiss of Peace with Archbishop Longley of Birmingham, recognising in him a fellow Deacon. " Deacon Michael is pictured right with Archbishop Longley.
16-20th May. Seventeen priests joined Bp Peter and retreat speaker Dom Paul Gunther OSB at Ars in southern France, parish of St John Vianney the patron of priests (some are pictured here before his tomb), They also visited Annecy, where St Francis de Sales and St Jane Chantal are buried.
3rd May - We welcome to the Diocese Danielle Dixon, who has begun work this day as our new Safeguarding Co-odinator. Contact details are here.
17th April - Congratulations to Fr Michael Patey who successfully skydove (can you say that ?) from 13,000ft over Northamptonshire to raise money for the NYMO World Youth Day trip.
10th April - The last Sunday Mass was celebrated this day at St Alban's Chapel in Winslow (see below, 9th Feb item). From next weekend the parish will have only a Saturday evening Vigil Mass at 6pm, at St Laurence's C of E church in the town.
8th April - The eagerly-awaited Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, representing his response to the Synods on Marriage and the Family, was published on this day and is available to download here. Bishop Peter has recorded a video commentary on it on behalf of the Bishop's Conference - viewable here.
1st April - Our Lady of Peace Infant and Nursery School, and Our Lady of Peace Junior School, in Burnham, Slough, have become the latest two--phase schools to join together as one Primary School from this date. Really . . . And Good Shepherd Primary, St Gregory's Primary, St Mary's Primary and Thomas Becket Schools in Northampton become a Multi-Academy Trust as from the same date.
In further news from NORES, a very warm welcome is offered to Collette Curtis who joins the Diocese as Director of School Development from 1 September 2016. Mgr McGinnell says "Some will already know her from her work with Northamptonshire over the years. We hope she will soon be able to get round and visit all our schools and begin her work.". And Debbie Main has joined NORES as Schools Officer from February 2016. she will support the Director of Education in advising schools on governance, admissions, buildings and recruitment. She represents the Diocese on several local authority Oversight and Scrutiny panels as well as attending Schools and Admissions Forums across the area.
24th March - Sr Mary Clare of the Daughters of Jesus was honoured by the Queen on Maundy Thursday, receiving a gift of the traditional Maundy Money to add to her Civic Award for community service in Petereborough received in February.
Sr Mary Clare grew up in the Parish of St Teresa's, Beaconsfield, going to school at St Bernard's Convent School, High Wycombe from where she entered the Noviciate of the daughters of Jesus at Massingham in Norfolk. Her career in teaching began at St Teresa's School, Prices Risborough, and later she began her Prison Ministry at HMP Woodhill, Milton Keynes. After the death of her father, her mother moved to Leighton Buzzard so as to be near her brothers. Now working in Peterborough, she was nominated for the royal award by the Anglican Bishop of the city. Congratulations !!
19th March - This was St Joseph’s Day and the perfect day for the community of St Joseph’s School at Bedford to celebrate their 50th Anniversary Mass.
Over 160 people gathered at the school to be a part of this special Anniversary Mass, which was celebrated by Bishop Peter with Fr Malcom Bull and Canon Seamus Heenan.
Lisa Sumpter, Head Teacher, welcomed the congregation with a brief look back in time over the School years. The congregation included many Alumni students and staff, who were delighted to be back at school. They were able to relive their school days taking a brief tour around the school and thoroughly enjoying the memorabilia wall full of photos and articles from the decades since the school began 50 years ago! A wonderful afternoon followed of socialising, reminiscing and eating a delicious spread of homemade food.
9th February - It was announced this day that St Albans Chapel in Winslow is to close with effect from 10th April - the result of necessary high expenditure if it was to remain open, coupled with the fact that the Diocese has never owned the premises. The parish will, however, remain in being, and Mass will be celebrated at St Laurence's Anglican church from 17th April - much gratitude to them for their generosity. It will only be possible for there to be a Saturday Vigil Mass at 6pm. There will be no Sunday Mass. See the full statement on the parish website here.
6th February 2016. Brendan Seery was ordained priest at Northampton cathedal. The Vine reports: "There was standing room only in Northampton cathedral. ( A mother (dad died last year) six brothers, a sister and their children take a lot of space). Bishop Peter commented on the valuable pastoral experience Brendan had gained in his time in the cathedral, but gave his main emphasis to the need for prayer.
The ritual and the symbolism were time-honoured and sacred, but touchingly human.Brendan was vested in stole and chasuble by Fr Pius Amoako and Fr. Benedetto D’Autilia,most recently ordained for the diocese. The offertory gifts presented to Bishop Peter were brought by Brendan’s mother, Charlotte and sister, Paula. And while the average age of the assembled clergy was significant, the liturgy looked like a celebration of young priests." - Congratulations Fr Brendan !
(For the time being, Fr Brendan remains as an Assistant Priest at the Cathedral parish.)
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