News Archive for September 2018

Ad Limina Apostolorum

24th - 29th September 2018

Last week, Archbishop Peter flew to Rome in order to join fellow senior clergy for a quinquennial (5-yearly) ad Limina, otherwise know as an Ad Limina Apostolorum , which translates as 'on the threshold [or tombs] of the Apostles'. Essentially, bishops meet to pray at the tombs and have an opportunity to offer a report on the state of their dioceses to the Pope.

Bishops of England and Wales meet with Pope Francis

Each Catholic bishop is obliged to undertake this trip every five years. The quinquennial pilgrimages are sometimes delayed but the last made by the Bishops of England and Wales took place in 2010, when they met with Pope Benedict.

In previous ad Limina gatherings, the Pope would offer a speech to the assembled bishops.  However, Pope Francis has changed the procedure and sat with the bishops in a collegiate manner. This allowed for less ceremony and encouraged easy discourse, as well as enabling questions to which the Pontiff was able offer spontaneous replies.

There was an opportunity for clergy to meet and speak freely with various dicasteries in order to share concerns and receive advice, in addition to visiting to the Pontifical Commission for Communication, whose Prefect, Dr Paolo Ruffini, is a layman.

In the past, ad Limina addresses by the Pope were used to deliver public messages about the priorities of the church. This year, the bishops asked Pope Francis for a message to send back to their clergy and laity, to which he offered the following advice:

'We are to live the gift of our faith with joy. Joy was his great emphasis. He explained that this joy is rooted firmly in our relationship with Jesus. It is a joy of knowing that he is with us; of knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, drawing and guiding us towards the will of God; a joy of knowing our Heavenly Father is waiting for us, longing to hold us in his embrace of loving mercy. This is the joy of the faith by which we are to live. He added that this joy is the source of lasting peace in our hearts and lives, no matter our circumstances.'

If you would like to read the initial ad Limina statement, given by the Bishops of England and Wales, which focuses on concern in the church with regard to protecting children and vulnerable adults. click here.

For the final statement, offering an overall refection on this year's ad Limina meeting, click here.

Synod 2018

The 2018 Synod, which will centre around the theme of Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment has now begun in Rome. You can find out more details on the Synod website and watch the opening Mass here.

This Synod represents a journey through prayer, consultation and by listening to the joys and concerns of young people. As the meeting progresses, please pray for Pope Francis, our Church leaders and young people, that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Early in 2019 SCYS will be running a day for leaders based on the Synod themes. They will explore together how they might best support and engage with our young people and share the Gospel message with them. More details to follow.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of

Father John Mulligan

who died on Thursday 6th September 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements:

Vigil Mass: 7pm, Monday 1st October,
Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus
250 Bishopsford Road, Morden, SM4 6BZ

Funeral Mass: 12noon, Tuesday 2nd October,
Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus
250 Bishopsford Road, Morden, SM4 6BZ

Clergy are asked to bring White Diocesan Vestments

Cause for Beatification of Euphrasie Barbier

The Cause for Beatification of Mother Euphrasie Barbier, who founded the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in Deal, Kent, has now been taken forward under the direction of Monsignor Canon James Cronin, Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Southwark and Episcopal Delegate for the Cause.

Monsignor Cronin signs the Acta as Episcopal Delegate for the Cause

Sister Carmel Eberius, who is the Archivist for the Order in Rome and also Postulator of the Cause for Beatification, reflected on her recent completion on many years of preparation:

‘Mother Barbier was a very persistent person: she faced many obstacles in her desire to become a missionary, but never gave up.  Although she never served in the missions herself, by setting up the Order, she was able to train many to serve around the world and fulfilled her purpose and passion in this way.  She is a wonderful example, particularly to young people, to follow your dreams hand in hand with God.’

The Acta is blessed

Monsignor Cronin, the Episcopal Delegate for the Cause commented '
the first enquiry finished in 1957 under Archbishop Cowderoy, so it is approximately 60 years since we have prepared documents to go forward to Rome for the Cause of Canonisation'.

The Acta, which is essentially a record of the enquiry along with documentary testimonies and proofs relating to the devotion of Mother Euphrasie Barbier, has now been blessed, signed and sealed, and has recently been taken to the Dicastery responsible for the Causes and Canonisation of Saints.  

...and finally sealed with wax, bearing an imprint of the Diocesan Crest

Thanks must go to Monsignor Canon James Cronin (Episcopal Delegate), Father Jim Hurley (Promoter of Justice), Deacon Michael Kennedy (Notary), Sr Carmel Eberius RNDM and diocesan staff who have been involved with bringing this stage of the Cause to completion.

The blessed and sealed Acta, ready for transmission to Rome
Left: Sr Carmel Eberius   Right: Mgr Canon James Cronin

For more photographs of this rare event, click here.

Southwark Catholic Youth Service

seeks to make two appointments

Programme Leader
St Vincent's Residential Retreat Centre, Whitstable
An exciting opportunity to be part of our community &Youth Ministry Team.

Do you have experience working with young people? Could you share your faith and accompany young people as they journey and encounter Christ?  Can you inspire and encourage young people to live out their faith and build a better society?

The Programme Leader will work alongside the St Vincent's Team to deliver residential and day retreats for young people. The post holder will be required to reside at the Centre during work time and will have shared responsibility for supporting the residential community and ensuring the safety and security of the team, young people and centre premises. Off-site accommodation for a single person is provided.

Salary range £16,500 - £18,500, depending on experience.

Young Leadership Coordinator
In a new development for the Diocese we seek to employ an experienced youth worker to support our parishes and schools in developing young leadership. The role will build on current practice and respond to the need for young people to develop their skills, confidence and experience, enabling them to take responsibility and play a key and active role in the life of the Church and society.

The Young Leadership Co-ordinator will visit schools and parishes around the Diocese, presenting to and facilitating groups for adult leaders and young people.  We required a creative person who can enthuse, communicate, support and inspire young people and those supporting them.  Work has already begun on the programme and priorities have been identified.

This post is currently a fixed term of 22 months.  
Salary circa £22k - £24K, depending on experience.

For further information and an application pack, please contact Jean Harnedy, specifying which post is of interest.

Tel: 01227 272 900

The deadline for both vacancies is Thursday 4th October 2018.
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 9th October 2018 at St Vincent's, Whitstable.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of 

Father Peter Lessiter

who died on Saturday 8th September 2018

May he rest in peace

Funeral arrangements

Thursday 20th September 2018 at 12.00pm

Mount Carmel
Lodge Lane
EX13 5RT

To be followed by burial in Axminster Cemetery

Concelebrating Clergy are asked to bring purple diocesan vestments

Bishop Paul Mason: Bishop of the Forces

Congratulations to Bishop Paul Mason, who was installed as Bishop of the Forces in the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and St George in Aldershot on Wednesday 12th September 2018.

The Bishopric of the Forces stands apart from other dioceses in that it is not bound by geographical limitations but comprises of anywhere in the world that United Kingdom military personnel are present.

Its aim is to provide operational, spiritual and pastoral support, primarily for Catholic servicemen and women, but also to their families and anyone who turns to them for support. It is intended to be a source of hope, comfort and solace, as well as offering pastoral and sacramental ministry. 

Following the appointment of Bishop Richard Moth to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, the Forces have greatly looked forward to the appointment for a new Bishop for over 3 years and a large gathering of Clergy of many denominations, as well as Forces personnel, joined to celebrate the Installation Mass of Bishop Paul last Wednesday, which began with reading of the Mandate from the Holy See.  Click here to view.

Bishop Paul Mason receives his Crosier as Bishop of the Forces

During the Mass, Archbishop Peter invited Bishop Paul to be seated in the Cathedra (Bishop's Seat) in the Cathedral Church of the Forces and he was duly handed his Crosier (staff), symbolising his authority to lead his flock as a Good Shepherd of Christ. The Crosier features the Arms of the first Military Bishop, Bishop William Keatinge, who was appointed in 1917.

The Cathedral of Ss Michael and George has some unique features such as the Cross above the altar, which stands out against the traditional stone and mosaic walls. It was fashioned from metal scraps of aeroplanes in which RAF personnel lost their lives. The building is also unusual in that it is believed to be the only one for which Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone and the trowel that she used is built into the foyer of the church.

During his sermon, Bishop Paul recalled that whilst undertaking service as a Hospital Chaplain, many of the patients he visited had explained that their illness was the best thing that had happened to them.  He went on to elucidate that many felt it was a moment of reckoning which had finally allowed them to wake up out of their comfort zone.. an issue which any of us, in any walk of life can face, whether in work, in a marriage or even in the spiritual life. 'A chaplain can help piece things together', he advised, with spiritual and practical assistance helping to bring about a sense of peace. He went on to clarify that sometimes we need explosions in our life and to feel that burning need for change, and that Jesus comes not to bring peace at these times, but division! When it is revealed to us that we have become complacent in our lives, it is often not welcome, but it is needed in order to find our passion and zeal.

Bishop Paul summed up his sermon by saying that Jesus can makes us enmities with our comfort zones and a mediocre way of life, but this is the way to find our place in life and to be called to what and who we are supposed to be.

Many gathered for Bishop Paul Mason's Installation as Bishop of the Forces.

As the service concluded Bishop Paul thanked all those gathered, which included Dignitaries, the Forces, Archbishop Peter, the children's choir that had travelled from Kent and Fr Michael Fava, who was appointed as Administrator of the Forces by the College of Consultors whilst awaiting the appointment of a Bishop.

Archbishop Peter stated during the service that Southwark's loss is the Forces' gain'. Whilst it is true that we will miss his dynamic leadership, inspiring sermons, his support of the faithful and many organisations in Kent, not to mention his sporting ways, we wish Bishop Paul much happiness and great fulfillment in his new role as Bishop of the Forces.


The Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage to Liverpool

As we approached the Congress, we received the sad news of the death of our much-loved parish priest and Co-ordinator, Fr John Mulligan. To have lost him on the eve of his great opus of work in preparing us all to attend Adoremus seemed hard to comprehend.  He was a dynamic leader and great inspiration to us all, always in a good mood and dedicated to keeping everyone buoyant and informed.  As Southwark Delegates, we instinctively knew that the best way to honour his life and work was, as he would have said, to 'Get on with it', because we all knew that he believed the Congress would be the seed which would bear much fruit.

 To view the tribute paid to Fr John Mulligan at Adoremus,
click here.

Bishop McMahon welcomes everyone in Echo Arena to the Congress

There was so much on offer in Liverpool from day one. A warm welcome to the Echo Arena from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon started the proceedings, leading to a lead to a full programme of talks, workshops, prayer, worship, a dynamic youth congress and a complementary parallel programme of events which took place all around the City.  

It is hard to pick out any one element, but on the Symposium Day, Bishop Paul Mason and Fr Paul Douthwaite from CBCEW offered a talk on Sacraments for those who are serving time in prison or an extended period in hospital, and how they are are united with the worshipping church.  Click here to download information on this talk.

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Robert Barron inspired us all on Saturday with his two keynote speeches which helped the Congress to see the mystery and wonderment of the Mass.  To Listen to his talks, visit here.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Nichols spoke to the young people about the use of their mobile phones for good and Katie Prejean's humour ('I took a selfie with Pope Francis') and passion set hearts on fire at the Youth Congress as she told them 'God does not need you... he wants you!'.

Meanwhile, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow from Mary's Meals offered a thought provoking address and his words 'things can change when people spend time in front of the Eucharist' very much came to rest in minds of delegates during the course of the weekend. 

Key speeches can be heard on the CBCEW website

Katie Prejean set hearts alight with her passionate talk
and ready humour at
the Adoremus Youth Congress

Adoration took place at the end of the programme on Saturday, during which the atmosphere was electric: in an arena of several thousand people it would have been possible to hear a pin drop.

Adoration on Saturday afternoon at the end of the Congress Day

A wide range of evening events took place in the city from a Gospel Concert to Nightfever, Messy Church, a sing-along of famous Liverpool songs, a talk on the immigration history of the North West, a display on Eucharistic Miracles and the showing of an episode of the Bafta award- winning Northern drama, 'Broken', followed by an interview with its writer, Jimmy McGovern.

A carpet of flowers was donated to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool by Arundel and Brighton Diocese, in celebration of Adoremus

On the final day, Mass was offered at the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool.  A key feature of this contemporary building is stained glass, from which the radiant light helps to create an other-worldly atmosphere of transcendence, perhaps most especially when the accomplished Cathedral Choir sings.

Following two morning Masses, celebrated respectively by Archbishop McMahon and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, a procession of the Blessed Sacrament took place through the streets of Liverpool. Regrettably, the heavens opened and a downpour of rain followed, but this proved to be no deterrent to the faithful as people in houses and shops came out to see and hear an extraordinary witness of faith.

By the time the procession of thousands of combined clergy and delegates had returned to the steps of the Cathedral, spirits had not been dampened and the sun gradually came out to greet the pilgrims!  It was an extraordinary day and moreover, an inspirational event for Catholics of all ages.

Canon Alan McLean will now take forward the work begun by Fr John Mulligan in Southwark and we look forward to continuing the journey together.

Our thanks must go to all clergy and delegates from Southwark for the tremendous effort made over many months to prepare for the Congress and for the work you will now go on to do.

Finally our thanks must go to Liverpool Archdiocese for generously hosting Adoremus and to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales for this exceptional occasion on which we can now build a legacy in our local parishes, schools and the wider community.

For more pictures of the Congress, visit here.

Southwark Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal

The Southwark Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal is looking to recruit a new administrator to join their team.  This is a full time position which will be involved in all aspects of administration for the First Instance tribunal. 

Excellent administrative, organisational and IT skills are essential as is the ability to work in a team.  

Some knowledge of the work of the tribunal would be advantageous but not essential as full training will be given. 

You must have good attention to detail and empathetic communication skills. 

First interviews will be held in week commencing 17th September.

If you would like more information or to apply please email

Adoremus.'s almost time!

Over 200 pastorally committed Southwark delegates will be attending the Liverpool based Adoremus Congress between 7 - 9 September 2018. Meanwhile, the hardworking Southwark Centre for Catholic Formation has vended an additional 80 tickets beyond the designated diocesan allocation for the Friday Symposium Day programme. Thank you to all priests, religious and laity for your tremendous support of this national Eucharistic Congress. Particular thanks must go to Fr John Mulligan, who as Congress Coordinator for Southwark has prepared us all so well.

For those who cannot travel to Liverpool, you can take part by attending Adoration, Benediction, Confession or a wide range of services that many Southwark parishes will be offering between now and next Sunday. For a list please click here and select the 'Getting Involved' tab.

Furthermore, there will be a live stream of the events in Liverpool on Shalom TV and the Catholic Bishops Conference news website. The Centre for Catholic Formation also hopes to stream the event.

Please take a moment pray for the success and future legacy of the Congress, which we hope will bear much spiritual and pastoral fruit in our parishes and the wider community.