27th February: The "Hope" National Youth Leaders' Congress held at Euston this day was as great success, with around 1,000 people present to hear Archbishop Nichols, Abbot Christopher Jamison, Fr Timothy Radcliffe and a number of youthwork practitioners speaking on the challenges for the Church in engaging with young people. Members of the NYMO team from this Diocese were onstage and much involved, and Bishop Peter hosted a pre-conference breakfast for fifty leaders and young people from our Diocese. Read reports on the CYMFed website and download a summary of the important new "Mapping the Terrain" research introduced by our own Matt van Duyvenbode.
14th February 2010: Mgr Gerald Moorcraft has retired as Parish Priest at St Teresa's in Princes Risborough, where he has been since 1979. Ordained in 1964, Mgr Moorcraft was Bishop's Secretary in 1967-70, Diocesan Treasurer from 1970 and Episcopal Vicar for Finance and Development from 1988-2006. Bishop Peter said " . . I would just like to reiterate the deep gratitude of the Diocese for the immense amount of work he undertook in that capacity and for his total dedication to the service of the Diocese."
Fr Tom Kenny will be helping with weekend Masses pending the submission of the Groundplan for the Mid-Bucks Pastoral Area at Pentecost.
13th February 2010: The Catholic Association, which organises the annual Lourdes pilgrimage for our Diocese and others, held its AGM at St Augustine's Church in High Wycombe on this date. Matt Betts, a parishioner of St Joseph's at Aylesbury, was announced as successor to Rupert Bell as Chief Brancardier.
(Along with the Chief Handmaid, the Chief Brancardier is jointly responsible for the non-medical volunteer helpers of the CA Pilgrimage to Lourdes . The French word brancardier translates as ‘stretcher-bearer’, and is the traditional title for male helpers, reflecting their original role in Lourdes.)
Matt, 29, has travelled to Lourdes with the CA since 1997. “I really look forward to taking on the role of Chief Brancardier, and will do my best to continue the excellent work of Rupert” said Matt. “These will be interesting times, and I greatly appreciate the love, support and prayers from all our pilgrims.”
Matt is married to Terri, whom he met in Lourdes. (From a CA press release.)
5th February 2010. Bishop Peter and the Vicar-General, Mgr Séan Healy, returned safely yesterday from the Ad Limina visit to Rome. Here are some photos of their meeting with the Holy Father. For the Pope's message to our Bishops, and other material from the visit, see the Bishops' Conference website.
24th January 2010 - Bishop Peter left on this date to fly to Rome and take part in the periodic "Ad Limina" visits of all the Bishops of England and Wales, when they are required to meet with the Pope, worship at the tombs of the Apostles, and present reports on the state of their Dioceses. Please pray for him and his brother Bishops. He returns on 4th February.
3rd January 2010 - Mgr Graham Adams has retired, at the end of 2009, as Parish Priest at the church of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady at Aston-le-Walls in the south-west of Northamptonshire. Bishop Peter said "I would like to thank Monsignor Adams, who has been a priest of the Diocese for 45 years, for his faithful service especially as Parish Priest of Aston-le-Walls for the past 30 years. During that time he carried responsibility for the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal for 24 years. I pray that he may enjoy his retirement in his new home."
Mgr Sean Healy took over from 3rd January as Parish Priest at Aston-le-Walls, in addition to Daventry. Fr. Andy Ollard, who remains based at Bishops House, becomes Assistant Priest at Daventry and will be saying Masses there and at Yelvertoft. These changes are on an interim basis until the Local Steering Group for the Northants S & W Area has submitted its proposals under the Walking Humbly process.