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News and Events

The Vine Minimize
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The Vine is our monthly Diocesan newspaper. The June issue and others can be read online here .

Latest news from the Diocese Minimize

Graham Jones with wife Mary and Bishop27th June - Graham Jones was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at Holy Family, Langley.  The sun shone, the church was beautiful, the music was excellent and there was a fine lunvch afterwards in the Club. Canon O'Driscoll admitted they had had their first clerical row over exactly when to cut the cake. Graham was supported by his wife Mary and three sons, one of whom played a lovely clarinet solo after Communion.  It was good to see his fellow students from the formation programme, all of whom are due to be ordained for various Dioceses in the next few weeks. 

New deacon John Lang with Bishop Peter20th June - John Lang was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at St Peter's, Biggleswade. We hope that a report will be available soon. 

20th June - Canon Denis McSweeney announced this day to his parish that, following a long period of illness, he has taken medical advice and, with the Bishop's approval, is to retire from the beginnnig of July. He will remain in residence at the Flitwick presbytery. Canon Bennie Noonan will become Parish Priest jointly with Shefford, with Deacon Philip Pugh becoming Pastoral Administrator at Sacred Heart. As a consequence, the 9am Mass will cease after the end of August, so after that, there will be Saturday 6pm and Sunday 11am Masses only. 

At Sacred Heart, Weston Favell, Fr Ephraim Nwachuk left at the end of May to become a prison chaplain in Liverpool, Fr Henry Sanni, from Ilorin Diocese, Nigeria, is ministering here and at Great Billing until September. 

Mgr Sean Healy is on sabbatical from the start of June until the start of September and Daventry is being looked-after by Fr Jerry Manomey from Diocese of Koforidua, Ghana. 

Bishop Peter asks your prayers for Canon Denis, Fr Ephraim and all involved in these changes.

Dcn. Brendan Seery17th May. Brendan Seery was ordained to the transitional Diaconate on his way to full priesthood, at Northampton Cathedral this day.

Fr Damien Walne RIP

7th March  - RIP Fr Damien Walne, who passed away in Northampton General Hospital on Saturday morning. Ordained in 1970, he served first in High Wycombe 1970-77 where he was the first priest at St Wulstan's, then at Our Lady's, Corby, 1977-84, Christ the King in Bedford 1984-91, and for the last 23+ years at Great Billing, Northampton, where he was Rector of the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. He was also for some years the Director of the annual Lourdes pilgrimage, and patron of the Rosary Link for Vocations, and was recently helping to look after Sacred Heart in Northampton after Fr Calnan's death. He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed. 

Father Damien’s body was received into the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Great Billing, Northampton at 2.00pm on Thursday, 19 March 2015. A Mass was celebrated by Father Andrew Behrens at 7.00pm that evening. Bishop Peter celebrated the Funeral Mass on Friday, 20 March 2015 at 2.00pm in the packed-out Cathedral in Northampton, followed by a burial at the cemetery in Billing and a reception at the Barratts Club. 

20th February - During his Visitation to St John Ogilvie, Corby, on 25th January, Bishop Peter announceed to the parish that Fr Stephen McGuinness would shortly be retiring. This will leave Corby with only two priests. A meeting was to be held at 7pm at St Brendan's School on Thursday 26th Feb for the Bishop to receive constructive suggestions as to how we are to best serve the Catholic community of Corby with two priests.


Fr George McCann cutting his jubilee cake, 201327th January - RIP Fr George McCann, in Northampton General Hospital. Ordained in 1953, Fr George served in Burnham, Northampton, Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Shefford, and in Beaconsfield between 1983 and 1996, from where he retired. He celebrated his Diamond Jubilee at Bishop's House in June 2013. His funeral was at St Edwards, Kettering, on Tuesday 17th February. 


Bp Peter witjh Archbp Longley and church leaders smiling behind altar, Northampton Cathedral21st January - The 50th anniversary of the Vatican II decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio – the Restoration of Unity – was celebrated in an inspiring service at Northampton Cathedral during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Bishop Peter Doyle had invited church leaders from across the four counties of the diocese and from Churches Together in England to take part in this unique event. The congregation that filled the cathedral were delighted to see the diversity of clergy gathered from a variety of traditions, seated in a semicircle around the altar. Greek Ecumenical Patriarch Archbishop Gregorius read the Gospel and the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley was the preacher. More here...



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