30th April - NYMO, the Youth Ministry Office today bade farewell to Matt van Duyvenbode, who is moving on to take on a new role at Bible Society. Charles Whitehead said "Matt has been part of the team here for nearly eight years, and has worked in a variety of roles to help develop our ministry to young people, particularly with leading our outreach work aimed at sharing the Gospel with young people in Catholic schools and parishes. We invite you to join us in praying for Matt as he moves into new areas of ministry, and we look forward to welcoming a new staff member in the coming months. In the meantime, certain pieces of Matt’s work will be taken on by some extended team members on a temporary basis".
22nd April - The Bishops Conference issued a statement on the child abuse scandals. Bishop Peter asked that it should be read out in all our churches last weekend. See the full text here.
19th April. Bishop Peter was asked to preach a homily to his brother Bishops gathered in Leeds for their post-Easter conference, on the 5th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's election. You can download it from here.
19th April. Fr Eric Manley-Harris, parish priest at Our Lady of Light in Long Crendon, Bucks, for six years, has retired from this date. Mass will now be celebrated there by Fr Leszek Wysniewski from nearby Haddenham. The Sunday Mass at Long Crendon moves to 11am. Fr Eric moves to become Chaplain to a Carmelite community in Cornwall.
2nd April. RIP Fr Gerard Ryan who died on this date. Ordained in 1965, he was parish priest at St Ethelberts, Slough (1965-71), St Josephs, Aylesbury (1971-77), Guardian Angels Aylesbury (1977-89) and finally Olney, until his retirement in 2007. His funeral Mass took place at the Cathedral on 15th April.
16th March. Dates were announced today for the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain. His visit will be between 16-19th September and will begin in Scotland. He will preside over the Beatification of John Henry Newman on 19th September. Further confirmation is awaited of whether there will indeed be a large-scale public Mass in the Midlands, or in London, that can be attended from this Diocese. For up-to-date information, and for the official Preparation Prayer, see www.thepapalvisit.org.uk
11th March : On this day the Google Maps StreetView facility was extended to cover virtually the whole of the UK. You can now see photos of any of our churches and schools (or your home, unless you live in a very minor road !) from your computer, though a good broadband connection helps. Check it out here and enter a placename oir postcode in the search box, then drag the little orange man onto the point you want to see.
3rd March: On this day the Bishops' Conference published "Choosing the Common Good", a revisiting of their 1996 publication on Catholic Social Teaching (click here for more on this subject).
"Choosing the Common Good presents some of the underlying principles and values by which we seek to construct a just and civil society. . . . In Choosing the Common Good the Bishops of England and Wales present some of the key themes of Catholic Social Teaching in the light of some if its recent developments and of the changed conditions in contemporary Britain. . . Two events are anticipated in the publication. The first is the forthcoming General Election and the second is the anticipated visit of Pope Benedict XVI in the autumn".
Alive Publishers are offering a free copy, plus a copy of Faith Today, to anyone who asks. Click on the link here.