29th October: RIP Deacon Michael Stevenson, formerly of Great Missenden parish, who died on this date. His funeral was on Thursday 12th November in West Sussex, to where he retired a few years ago.
8/9th October - The visit of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux drew a large crowd (2000-plus) to the Carmelite parish of St Joseph's, Chalfont St Peter/Gerrards Cross on Thursday night 8th October, and again on the Friday morning prior to their departure for Aylesford. Bishop Peter said ‘It’s very special for me, as Bishop, that the relics have touched the soil of the Diocese of Northampton. Perhaps we could pray that we may have the same confidence and the same conversation; the same connection that Therese has and had with God".
The visit was attended by priests and parish parties from all over our Diocese, including far-travelled pilgrims from Corby and Kettering. A report, and Fr Tony Parsons' homily, are available from this blog/website, along with a link to a "Flickr photostream" where you can see a wonderful collection of photos of the event.
The relics departed from Westminster Cathedral on 15th October to return to Lisieux. It is estimated that in their month-long tour of the UK, they have been visited by well over 1/4m people. Read Archbishop Nichols' homily at the Farewell Mass here.
7th October - Rev. Mgr Canon Pat McAleenan has retired as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Walsingham in Corby, where he has been for 26 years. He was Vicar-General of the Diocese for 11 years. Bishop Peter said "On behalf of myself and my predecessors I want to thank Monsignor Pat for his great service to the Diocese in which he will live in retirement.". Fr Robert Preece takes over as Priest-in-Charge at Our Lady's.
23rd September. Pope Benedict XVI is reported to have confirmed that he will visit the UK next year, probably in September. The Times said "The draft itinerary is understood to include Birmingham, Oxford and Edinburgh" and it is speculated that the visit will involve the beatification of Cardinal Newman.
Archbishop Nichols said "We are encouraged and pleased at the news which has emerged about the possible official visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK next year.
We are glad the Holy Father is giving such consideration to the invitations he has received from Her Majesty’s Government, which accord closely to the wishes and requests also expressed by the Bishops of England and Wales.
The prospect of a visit by Pope Benedict fills us with joy."