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News and Events

The Vine Minimize

Vine cover thumbnailThe Vine is our monthly Diocesan newspaper. All recent issues to June can can now be read online here . 

Latest news from the Diocese Minimize

Bishop blessing deacon in white with his family25th June  Peter Collins was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Great Missenden, joining David Curtis as a parish deacon. Bishop Peter noted that it would have been, very suitably, the Patronal Feast of the parish, had it not been displaced by the Nativity of John the Baptist. It was a warm day in a full church and the serving of drinks was able to move outside to the rear courtyard, leaving more room for a truly prodigious quantity of buffet food in the Damien Hall. 

Five priests concelebrated with Bishop Peter and there were ten deacons present. 

Picture shows Bishop Peter blessing Peter's family at the end of the Mass. 

On the same day John Crowshaw, ordained deacon in the church almost exactly 17 years previously, retired from parish ministry at St Aidan's, Little Chalfont, though he will continue his work of spiritual direction. 

Mgr Peter Hocken

9th June - RIP Mgr Peter Hocken, who died in his sleep this day shortly after returning from the Pentecost gathering of Catholic Charismatic Renewal with Pope Francis in Rome. He was aged nearly 85. Ordained in 1964, Fr  Peter served as a curate at St Patrick's Corby before taking up academic work at Oscott and Rome. Between 1976 and 1996 he was released to act as Chaplain to the Mother of God community in the USA. Following a period as Chaplain and Chancellor to Bp Leo McCartie 1997-2001, he settled in Vienna where he pursued his interests in Charismatic Renewal, Pentecostalism, and Messianic Judaism, becoming a published scholar of international repute in these areas. 

Monsignor Sean Healy, VG will celebrate the Funeral Mass at 10.30 am in the Parish Church, Hainburg outside Vienna on Tuesday, 27 June. Deacon Johannes, a great friend of Monsignor Hocken, will preach. The burial will take place after the Funeral Mass.

Bishop Peter will celebrate a Memorial Mass in the Cathedral at 12 noon on Monday, 25 September. Archbishop Kevin McDonald will preach at the Mass, and there will be a reception afterwards either in the garden of Bishop’s House, or in Bishop’s House depending on the weather.

green chasuble with gold bands5th June - resumption of the season of Ordinary time in the church's year.  Ferial weekdays are of the Ninth week of Ordinary time: it is Week One of the Psalter Cycle, as the last pre-Lent week of Ordinary Time was Week Four. 

29th May - RIP Mgr Pat McAleenan,  who died in Kettering General Hospital on this morning shortly after being anointed by Father Pius Amoako. Aged  79, Father Pat retired in 2009 as Parish Priest of Our Lady's, Corby where he had been since 1983. During that time, he served as Vicar General from 1990-2001. Prior to that he served in Bletchley, Kettering and Thrapston, having transferred from the Carmelites. May he rest in peace.

His Funeral Mass took place in Our Lady of Walsingham, Corby at 11am on Tuesday, 13 June. His body was received into the Church at 7:00pm the previous evening, followed by Mass.The Bishop presided at the Funeral Mass, which was followed by interment at the Shire Lodge Cemetery and a reception at the Parish Club. 

27th May - Bishop Peter celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at Olney for the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in their 350th anniversary year - his homily is downloadable from here

25th May - Bishop Peter
announced the following clergy news: 

Fr Prince Kurian MSFS, who has been residing at Beaconsfield since January and assisting Fr Higgins in the care of St Augustine's, High Wycombe, while it is without a priest, has been asked by Bishop Peter to move to Buckingham where he becomes priest-in-charge from the beginning of June. To replace him at Beaconsfield and Wycombe, we welcome Fr Paul Gonsalves MSFS, who has served for some years in Mozambique. 

The Diocese also welcomes Fr Lijo Jose Payikkatu MSFS who is assisting at Our Lady's, Corby. 

Fr Sean Rynn SPS has retired as Parish Priest at St Augustine's, Datchet.  For the time being the parish is being served from Holy Family with the assistance of other local priests. 

Prayers were requested for retired priests Canon Dan Kiely, Mgr Pat McAleenan and Fr Stephen McGuinness who are unwell, and Sr Yvonne Pilarski SSJC who is recovering from a hip operation. 

Bishop Leo McCartie in mitre20th May - Our former Bishop, Leo McCartie, Emeritus Bishop of Northampton, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination this day. Bishop Peter said: "As we send our congratulations and assurance of prayers to Bishop Leo, it is wonderful for the Diocese to be able to celebrate the anniversary of one who has been a Bishop for the longest time in England and Wales since the 19th century !" 

Patrick Leo McCartie, born in Hartlepool in 1925, was Bishop of Northampton from 1990 to 2001.  He was ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham on 20th May 1977. He is also Britain's oldest Bishop at present, as well as its longest-serving ! 

Bishop Leo pictured in 2009

6th May - the national Family Groups Movement held its first Thanksgiving Mass at our Cathedral on this day. To see a great set of photos, click here

3rd May - Happy Birthday, Bishop Peter ! Just in case you're checking this from Rome ! 

30th April - RIP Laurie McCahill, of Our Lady of Walsingham parish at Corby, who died in the early hours this day. Laurie had served the Diocese as Licensed Clubs Officer for over fifteen years. Bishop Peter wrote from Rome "I was very sad to hear that Laurie McCahill has died. Since coming to Northampton as Bishop, Laurie has always been part of the scene. We pray for him and for all his family. In this Easter season, in the sure hope of the resurrection, we commend him to the Lord. May he rest in peace.” His funeral details for 22nd May are here on a wonderful memorial website put together by his family. 

26th April - Bishop Peter announced that Deacon Shaun Howard has retired from ministry at the parish of St John Ogilvie in Corby. Of him and Deacon Lovelock (below) he said "I am grateful to them both and their families for their constancy and witness .I am grateful to them both for their invaluable ministry."

18th April  - From the start of the new term Jane Zamora became Head Teacher at St Bernadette's Primary in Milton Keynes, having previously been Deputy Head. Congratulations and best wishes ! 

17th April - Canon Dan Kiely retired to Ireland from Easter Sunday, for health reasons. The parish of Buckingham with Brackley comes under the temporary care of Mgr Sean Healy and Fr Shyju Chacko, based at Daventry.  Deacon John Lovelock at Buckingham is also stepping down from ministry for the time being. 

Bishop praying over candidates and sponsors at the cathedral16th April - At the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral, Bishop Peter received six catechumens into the Church, joining dozens of others being baptised, confirmed and received at many churches across the Diocese. 

Bishop Peter blesses oils at the Chrism Mass13th April  - Chrism Mass. Northampton Cathedral was packed for this Holy Thursday’s Chrism Mass. More than seventy priests concelebrated the Mass with the Bishop during which they renewed their Priestly Promises and the Holy Oils were blessed. Before the final blessing the Oils were presented to the Deans for distribution to the parishes in their Pastoral Areas. In his homily Bishop Peter encouraged parishioners to grasp the opportunities to contribute to the life and mission of the Church, especially in accompanying families with children for Baptism and couples preparing for Marriage. Addressing the priests, the Bishop put the emphasis om personal prayer and formation. After the Chrism Mass, more than four hundred people stayed on for the Diocesan Reception before returning to their parishes to celebrate the Easter Triduum.

13th April - Press Statement 

Father Patrick Bailey, a retired priest of the Diocese of Northampton, has today appeared at Luton Magistrates’ Court, having been charged with four sexual abuse offences relating to adults. The case has now been committed to be heard at Luton Crown Court . 

Following a police interview last June, Father Bailey was asked to voluntarily withdraw from all public ministry. This was in accord with the National Safeguarding Procedures of the Catholic Church in England & Wales.  

The Right Reverend Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, affirmed that the Diocese would continue to co-operate fully with the Court proceedings as the safeguarding of vulnerable people is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church. He assured all involved of his prayers and concern. At present, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment. 

Issued by: Father Paul Hardy Bishop’s Press Officer 

Date: 13th April 2017

 Tel: 01908 504771

E-mail: vine01@btopenworld.com

Dislay shelves with cards and gifts in lit-up cases

5th April - New Cathedral Shop open in time for Chrism Mass. At the weekend a new Shop facility opened in Northampton Cathedral, accessible through the door at the far end of the Sacristy. It will have the following opening times:

Monday 10am – 1.30pm

Tuesday & Thursday 9.30am – 1.30pm

Wednesday 9.30am – 12.30pm

Friday 9.30am – 1.30pm

Weekends - before and after all the Sunday Masses. 

The Cathedral Shop will stock a wide range of cards and gifts, including Mass cards, and will sell Fairtrade items, the profit of which will support Mary’s Meals.  (This is a charity which provides Food and Education in many part of the world most in need.)

4th April - Statement relating to St Aidan's Parish, Northampton

Father David Clark, a priest of the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, has been serving in parishes in the UK for several years while conducting research at Cambridge. Since 2014, he has been Priest in Charge at St Aidan’s Parish in Northampton.   Immediately before his appointment to Northampton, Father Clark served in the Diocese of Brentwood where a number of financial irregularities have now been investigated. The Crown Prosecution Service has just issued two charges of fraud by false representation against Father Clark.   In accordance with the Charities Act and Canon Law, the Bishop has suspended Father Clark from public ministry until the outcome of the charges is known. Suspension is a normal procedure and does not imply guilt. When Father Clark was notified of the suspension, he was offered accommodation within the Diocese of Northampton as well as clergy support.   Father Clark had already tendered his resignation as from 30 April when the priests of the Cathedral would take responsibility for the pastoral care of the Parish. In the circumstances, this arrangement will take immediate effect.   Please pray for Father Clark at this difficult time.

Artists impression of the proposed Cathedral; Centre14th March - Cathedral Centre Campaign tops £2 million !

We are delighted to share with you that thanks to recent gifts and pledges received, the campaign total has reached over £2.18m - over half way to the required total. This includes donations from the Cathedral community, local supporters, grant-making trusts and parishes. 

The plans to extend the campaign across the diocese are underway and we have been very encouraged that a number of parishes have indicated their interest in lending their support by hosting a presentation. Several presentations have already taken place and many more are scheduled for the months ahead. 

For further information click here, or contact  Angela on cathedralcampaign@northamptondiocese.com

Fr P Donovan

8th February - RIP Monsignor Paul Donovan who died this day at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Having felt unwell since before Christmas, Fr Paul was taken ill at the Midnight Mass at his parish of St Augustine in High Wycombe, and was eventually diagnosed with renal cancer and lymphoma. He underwent radiotherapy and although weak, was in reasonable spirits and talking to several visitors on the 7th. It came as a shock to learn that he had deteriorated suddenly in the early hours and died around 3am. 

Paul Donovan was born in London in 1956 and brought up in Slough. Ordained in 1981, he was a curate in Kettering after completion of a postgraduate degree. In 1985 he became a Chaplain in the Royal Navy, serving for 26 years in many action zones and rising to become Principal Catholic Naval Chaplain in 2007, and Vicar-general to the Bishopric of HM Forces. Leaving the Navy in 2011, he returned to the Diocese and was Parish Priest at St Aidan's in Northampton from Sept 2012 to Oct 2014, when he was sent to High Wycombe. His own father only died last June. May he rest in peace. 

His Funeral took place on Tuesday 21st February, at St Augustine's, with a burial in the nearby cemetery. It was attended by three Bishops. over fifty priests and deacons, hundreds of parishioners, his brother Christopher's family and other relatives and friends, and many naval personnel. The body was received into the Church at 7:30 on the previous evening, followed by Mass in a full church.  . 

26th January 2017 - In view of Mgr Paul Donovan's illness, the Bishop has appointed the Area Dean,  Rev. F Higgins of Beaconsfield, to be Administrator of St Augustine's, High Wycombe, and Fr Prince Kurian MSFS moves from Duston, Northampton to reside at Beaconsfield  and assist with Masses at St Augustine's, Beaconsfield and Bourne End. 

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