16th August. Beginning on this date, a new regular Latin Mass opportunity has come to the Diocese: every Sunday at 08:30, at Christ the King in Bedford, Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated by visiting priests. This replaces the former 5pm Mass at Flitwick which was lost following Canon Denis McSweeney's retirement and subsequent passing. More here.
1st August. Benedetto d'Autilia was ordained to the priesthood at St Aidan's, Northampton. Congratulations ! From September he will take up an assistant-priest post at the busy parish of St Thomas Aquinas and All Saints, Bletchley. Fr Prince Kurian MSFS, who has been assisting there, has left to go back to India for a break before taking up his new assistant post at Duston, Northampton (see below) - Fr Clement Karathi from Kenya wil be helping with cover during August and September.
26th July - change in Mass times at St Augustine's, High Wycombe. Beginning from 1st August, there is no longer a Saturday Vigil 7pm. Mass. (Saturday Vigil Mass is available in the area at Our Lady of Grace, Beaconsfield, and Great Missenden). The Sunday evening Mass at the parish moves forward from 7 to 6pm.
The changes at Flitwick (see below) also mean that the Saturday 6pm Mass at RAF Henlow, served from Shefford, has had to cease after 1st August.
During August, there is no 9am or 5:30pm Mass at St Joseph's, Gerrards Cross,
21st July - RIP Canon Denis McSweeney who died peacefully at home in Flitwick in the evening of this day, surrounded by friends, after several months of illness. aged 65. Born in Co. Cork, Canon Denis was ordained in June 1975 and served at the Cathedral (twice), Kettering, Leighton Buzzard, Our Lady's Milton Keynes, St John's Luton, Shefford, Wellingborough, Beaconsfield, St John's Corby and at Flitwick since 2006. A lover of antiques, large motorbikes and the Latin Mass, Canon Denis will be sadly missed. His funeral Masses, one in the Extraordinary Form, took place on 4th and 5th Augusrt. A fulller obituary is on the parish website.
20th July - News of priests, moves and appointments.
At Wellingborough, Fr Edmund Worthy is to retire at the end of August. Fr Paul Inman will move from Kettering to become parish priest at Wellingborough. Newly-ordained Fr Pius Amoako will replace him as Assistant Priest at Kettering.
At Aylesbury, Fr Jude Iroh MSP becomes Parish Priest at Our Lady of Lourdes (as distinct from priest-in-charge) with immediate effect.
Fr Anton Webb becomes priest-in-charge at St Alban's, Winslow in addition to his full-time duties as prison chaplain.
Fr Prince Kurian MSFS will move from Bletchley to St Patrick's, Duston, as Assistant Priest in the Cathedral parish during the final year of his MA. HIs place at Bletchley will be taken up by Benedetto D'Autilia following his ordination as priest on 1st August.
Fr Henry Sanni, on sabbatical from the Diocese of Ilorin, Nigeria, has been supplying at Our Lady's, Great Billing, and Sacred Heart, Weston Favell ; from September to May he will supply at Beaconsfield and Bourne End while Fr Higgins is on a study-sabbatical. .
Mgr Sean Healy will resume his duties at Daventry in early September after a three-month sabbatical. Fr Gerry Manomey from Ghana who has been supplying for him will then become priest-in-charge at Great Billing and Sacred Heart, Northampton, while undertaking studies for three years.
Rev. Dr. James Cassidy CRIC will be on sabbatical in the Holy Land from early September to early December. Fr Allan Jones CRIC, assistant parish priest will be looking after the parishes of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Augustine's, Milton Keynes.
The Company of Hermits of Mary Immaculate have moved out of the presbytery at St Patrick's, Corby at Bishop Peter's request and have moved to Scotland.
19th July - David Curtis was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Great Missenden. Another perfect sunny day saw the last of this year's trio of new Permanent Deacons prostrating himself before Bishop Peter. David's wife Jane was in the strong choir and his daughter did one of the readings. Among his many thank-you's, he mentioned fellow-parishioner Joanna Hale, who is a key figure in diaconal formation at national level. Another candiidate from the parish has just finished his first year, so the tradition of excellent deacons from Great Missenden looks set to continue.
18th July - The last Mass was celebrated on this date at the church of the Divine Child of Prague, Chalfont St Giles, served from St Josephs at Gerrards Cross. In June Fr Michael Spain OCD told the parish that "as a result of the general rationalisation in our Diocese, due to the shortage of Priests, this has been under consideration for some time and we have reached a stage now when we can no longer justify keeping the church open. "
16th July - RIP Canon Patrick Carey, who died this day in Northwick Park Hospital in NW London a few days after sustaining a fall and fractured skull. He was three days short of his 97th birthday and the oldest priest in the Diocese. Born before the end of the First World War and ordained during the Second (1942), he had served at St George's Norwich, St Josephs Aylesbury, Bletchley and then St Ethelbert's Slough (22 years at each), with his final few years of ministry at Bourne End before retiring in 1996. His Funeral Mass was on Friday 31st July at St Ethelbert's, Slough, at 2pm.
4th July - Pius Amoako was ordained to the priesthood on Saturday 4th July in a packed Cathedral. Before the Ordination began, the congregation were led in praise and worship by group of musicians from the Sion Community, for whom Fr Pius has been ordained - though he will also take up an appointment as Assistant priest at Kettering in September. A large number of Pius' friends and supporters from the African community were present and in good voice. Pius would later thank Bishop Peter for 'taking the risk' on him, but the Bishop stated that he had always had confidence in Pius! Pius' mother presented him with his new vestments and during the service, his brother priests welcomed him by each offering him the kiss of peace. After the ordination hundreds of people crowded into the garden at Bishop's House to wish Pius well. Pius thanked everyone who was there and stated that his journey to the priesthood was a credit to the many good people he had met since coming to England from Ghana. Pius celebrated his first Mass in Holy Family parish, Slough the next day. (Steve Harris)
27th June - Graham Jones was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at Holy Family, Langley. The sun shone, the church was beautiful, the music was excellent and there was a fine lunch afterwards in the Club. Canon O'Driscoll admitted they had had their first clerical row over exactly when to cut the cake. Graham was supported by his wife Mary and three sons, one of whom played a lovely clarinet solo after Communion. It was good to see his fellow students from the formation programme, all of whom are due to be ordained for various Dioceses in the next few weeks. More photos and prayers available on the Holy Family website here.
20th June - John Lang was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at St Peter's, Biggleswade. He was supported by his immediate family, his mother and fatherand cousin (a Benedictine Monk) who had flown in from America, and a large numberof his friends from work and diaconal training. The Parish of St. Peter’s expressed their joy in a beautifully arranged liturgy and outstanding singing. A reception was held at Shortmead House following the event.
20th June - Canon Denis McSweeney announced this day to his parish that, following a long period of illness, he has taken medical advice and, with the Bishop's approval, is to retire from the beginning of July. He will remain in residence at the Flitwick presbytery. Canon Bennie Noonan will become Parish Priest jointly with Shefford, with Deacon Philip Pugh becoming Pastoral Administrator at Sacred Heart. As a consequence, the 9am Mass will cease after the end of August, so after that, there will be Saturday 6pm and Sunday 11am Masses only.
At Sacred Heart, Weston Favell, Fr Ephraim Nwachuk left at the end of May to become a prison chaplain in Liverpool, Fr Henry Sanni, from Ilorin Diocese, Nigeria, is ministering here and at Great Billing until September.
Mgr Sean Healy is on sabbatical from the start of June until the start of September and Daventry is being looked-after by Fr Jerry Manomey from Diocese of Koforidua, Ghana.
Bishop Peter asks your prayers for Canon Denis, Fr Ephraim and all involved in these changes.