22nd July - Bishop Peter announced a lengthy list of priestly moves and changes, most of which will take effect over the weekend 16/17th September. Some of these had been previously notified.
Monsignor Sean Healy, VG, to become Parish Priest of St Teresa’s, Beaconsfield and St Dunstan’s, Bourne End and Dean of South Bucks Pastoral Area
Canon Bennie Noonan to be Parish Priest of St Peter’s, Biggleswade in addition to St Francis of Assisi, Shefford
Father James Cassidy CRIC to be Parish Priest of Our Lady of Charity and St Augustine’s, Daventry
Father John Danford to be Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Flitwick in addition to Sacred Heart, Leighton Buzzard
Father Francis Higgins to become Dean of Milton Keynes and Parish Priest of the new Milton Keynes “Cluster” comprising St Augustine’s, Heelands, Our Lady of Lourdes, Coffee Hall, Christ the Cornerstone, Christ the King, Kents Hill, St Bede’s, Newport Pagnell and St Mary’s, Woburn Sands. Sister Yvonne Pilarski SSJC will continue as Parish Administrator at Christ the King, Kents Hill and St Bede’s, Newport Pagnell in partnership with the clergy of the new “Cluster”
Father Jonathan Hill to be Parish Priest of St Augustine’s, High Wycombe
Father Wayne Coughlin to be Parish Priest of SS Philip and James and Holy Cross, Bedford
Father Jude Iroh MSP to be Priest in Charge of St Anne’s, Wendover in addition to Our Lady of Lourdes, Bedgrove
Father Alessandro Renò to be Priest in Charge of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Great Missenden in addition to St Columba’s, Chesham
Father Allan Jones CRIC to assist Father James Cassidy CRIC while pursuing further studies
Father Pius Amoako to be Assistant Priest at the Milton Keynes “Cluster"
Father Michael Bates to be Assistant Priest at Holy Family, Langley with St Augustine’s, Datchet
Father Paul Gonsalves MSFS to be Assistant Priest at St Edward’s, Kettering
Father Lijo Payikkattu MSFS Assistant Priest at the Milton Keynes “Cluster”
Father Shyju Chacko to be Assistant Priest at St Teresa’s, Beaconsfield and St Dunstan’s, Bourne End and continuing to assist with Sehion Ministries
Father David Barrett To assist at the Milton Keynes “Cluster” at weekends
Bishop Peter also says: "I am very grateful to Father Paul Hardy and Father Malcolm Bull who have served Christ the King, Kents Hill and St Bede’s, Newport Pagnell respectively for the past three years. Please pray for Father John Beirne who is recovering well after a knee replacement operation on 29 June. He is now convalescing at home.
Father Richard Moroney is retiring towards the end of October and Father Kenneth Bowen is retiring in late September. Both priests have served the Diocese since 1982, and I want to express my thanks to them both for their priestly service and to wish them well in their retirement"
22nd July - The Bishop also announced that Avril Baigent has been appointed to the new position of Diocesan Pastoral Ministry Advisor. The purpose of this new role is to facilitate various forms of adult education and training for lay ministry. The role will initially focus upon the formation and support of lay chaplains in the hospitals, prisons and universities of the Diocese and eventually broaden to include other forms of formal lay ministry. Avril will be based at Ker Anna in Princes Risborough, but will work throughout the whole Diocese. The post will be funded by the money raised in the “Together in Faith” campaign specifically for the development of lay ministry.
15th July - Michael Bates was ordained to the Diocesan priesthood in a joyful Mass at St Augustine's, Daventry, where he was received into the Church some years ago. Many priests and deacons from the Diocese, as well as seminarians and contemporaries from Oscott, with the Rector and Vice-rector, joined family, friends and parishioners from several places where Michael hasd been on placement. Bishop Peter said that he had received numerous requests for Michael to be sent to them as a priest ! but he was going to go to Holy Family, Slough, to assist Canon O'Driscoll with that parish and with Datchet and Eton. The congregation then decamped en masse to the Daventry Working-mens' Club where a splendid meal was enjoyed, speeches made, songs sung and two ordination-cakes cut. . Congratulations Fr Michael ! There are many wonderful pictures of the event, and of Fr Michael's first Mass the next day, on the Diocese's Flickr gallery.
12th July - Michael Rakoswski, a student for the priesthood from the Divine Mercy Polish church in Slough, was ordained to the transitional Diaconate at Palazzola, Rome. (Michael is at the RH end of the front row of new Deacons.)
8/9th July: The following statement from Bishop Peter was published in the parish bulletins of the affected Buckinghamshire parishes on this date:
"Statement for the Parishes in the three Pastoral Areas of Aylesbury, Mid Bucks and South East Bucks
Following the visitation of the three Pastoral Areas and the meetings with clergy and people in each Pastoral Area, the Bishop, after consultation with all the clergy, has decided the following:
That the three Pastoral Areas will be reconfigured as two Pastoral Areas
That Great Missenden will become part of the South East Bucks Pastoral Area and will be served by the priest at Chesham
That the Parishes of Haddenham and Long Crendon and Princes Risborough will become part of the Aylesbury Pastoral Area together with Wendover which will be served by the priest at Bedgrove
The new configuration will take effect from the weekend of 23/24 September 2017
Bishop Peter prays for God’s blessing on the new configuration and asks for a positive response from all the communities involved, and especially from the Parish of Great Missenden and Wendover which now divides with a priest no longer being resident in Great Missenden."
8th July. Peter Remmington was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at St Peter's, Rushden. Eight priests and thirteen Deacons, six Altar Servers and two M.C's were there to assist Bishop Peter. In his homily the Bishop laid emphasis on the support and love of Peter's family.The offertory gifts were brought to the Bishop by Peter's wife Linda and son,James. Afterwards all were invited to the Parish Hall where the Union of Catholic Mothers had prepared refreshments.Peter was presented with four sets of vestments, the green set donated by the Parish Men's group,the red by the UCM and the white and the purple by his friends in the Parish.
25th/26th June. The following statement from Bishop Peter was published in all the parish bulletins in Milton Keynes on this weekend
"Following a meeting with the clergy of Milton Keynes North and Milton Keynes South last week, in the light of the fast developing scene in Milton Keynes and the departure of the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception, the Bishop has decided:
That the two Pastoral Areas be united with immediate effect.
That, when the Canons Regular leave, St. Augustine’s, Heelands will expand as a hub serving not only St. Augustine’s, Our Lady of Lourdes and Christ the Cornerstone but also embracing a partnership with Christ the King, Kents Hill and St. Bede’s, Newport Pagnell.
St. Edward’s, and Wolverton and Stony Stratford, will continue as at present, as will Buckingham and Brackley, Winslow and Woburn Sands. (The Parish of Bletchley will not be affected).
Plans are in hand to extend or build, on the St. Augustine’s site, accommodation for three plus priests and further administration facilities. This will provide a base for the hub clergy team and for a partnership with Sister Yvonne and Deacon Jon and Deacon Klaus.
Father Paul has kindly agreed to continue as Dean until the new Parish Priest of the hub is in place and becomes Dean of the united Milton Keynes Pastoral Area."
25th June Peter Collins was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Great Missenden, joining David Curtis as a parish deacon. Bishop Peter noted that it would have been, very suitably, the Patronal Feast of the parish, had it not been displaced by the Nativity of John the Baptist. It was a warm day in a full church and the serving of drinks was able to move outside to the rear courtyard, leaving more room for a truly prodigious quantity of buffet food in the Damien Hall.
Five priests concelebrated with Bishop Peter and there were ten deacons present.
Picture shows Bishop Peter blessing Peter's family at the end of the Mass.
On the next day, John Crowshaw, ordained deacon in the same church almost exactly 17 years previously, retired from parish ministry at St Aidan's, Little Chalfont, though he will continue his work of spiritual direction.
9th June - RIP Mgr Peter Hocken, who died in his sleep this day shortly after returning from the Pentecost gathering of Catholic Charismatic Renewal with Pope Francis in Rome. He was aged nearly 85. Ordained in 1964, Fr Peter served as a curate at St Patrick's Corby before taking up academic work at Oscott and Rome. Between 1976 and 1996 he was released to act as Chaplain to the Mother of God community in the USA. Following a period as Chaplain and Chancellor to Bp Leo McCartie 1997-2001, he settled in Vienna where he pursued his interests in Charismatic Renewal, Pentecostalism, and Messianic Judaism, becoming a published scholar of international repute in these areas.
Monsignor Sean Healy, VG will celebrate the Funeral Mass at 10.30 am in the Parish Church, Hainburg outside Vienna on Tuesday, 27 June. Deacon Johannes, a great friend of Monsignor Hocken, will preach. The burial will take place after the Funeral Mass.
Bishop Peter will celebrate a Memorial Mass in the Cathedral at 12 noon on Monday, 25 September. Archbishop Kevin McDonald will preach at the Mass, and there will be a reception afterwards either in the garden of Bishop’s House, or in Bishop’s House depending on the weather.
5th June - resumption of the season of Ordinary time in the church's year. Ferial weekdays are of the Ninth week of Ordinary time: it is Week One of the Psalter Cycle, as the last pre-Lent week of Ordinary Time was Week Four.
29th May - RIP Mgr Pat McAleenan, who died in Kettering General Hospital on this morning shortly after being anointed by Father Pius Amoako. Aged 79, Father Pat retired in 2009 as Parish Priest of Our Lady's, Corby where he had been since 1983. During that time, he served as Vicar General from 1990-2001. Prior to that he served in Bletchley, Kettering and Thrapston, having transferred from the Carmelites. May he rest in peace.
His Funeral Mass took place in Our Lady of Walsingham, Corby at 11am on Tuesday, 13 June. His body was received into the Church at 7:00pm the previous evening, followed by Mass.The Bishop presided at the Funeral Mass, which was followed by interment at the Shire Lodge Cemetery and a reception at the Parish Club.
Fr Michael Harrison's homily at the Funeral Mass is here.
27th May - Bishop Peter celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at Olney for the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in their 350th anniversary year - his homily is downloadable from here.
25th May - Bishop Peter
announced the following clergy news:
Fr Prince Kurian MSFS, who has been residing at Beaconsfield since January and assisting Fr Higgins in the care of St Augustine's, High Wycombe, while it is without a priest, has been asked by Bishop Peter to move to Buckingham where he becomes priest-in-charge from the beginning of June. To replace him at Beaconsfield and Wycombe, we welcome Fr Paul Gonsalves MSFS, who has served for some years in Mozambique.
The Diocese also welcomes Fr Lijo Jose Payikkatu MSFS who is assisting at Our Lady's, Corby.
Fr Sean Rynn SPS has retired as Parish Priest at St Augustine's, Datchet. For the time being the parish is being served from Holy Family with the assistance of other local priests.
Prayers were requested for retired priests Canon Dan Kiely, Mgr Pat McAleenan and Fr Stephen McGuinness who are unwell, and Sr Yvonne Pilarski SSJC who is recovering from a hip operation.
20th May - Our former Bishop, Leo McCartie, Emeritus Bishop of Northampton, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination this day. Bishop Peter said: "As we send our congratulations and assurance of prayers to Bishop Leo, it is wonderful for the Diocese to be able to celebrate the anniversary of one who has been a Bishop for the longest time in England and Wales since the 19th century !"
Patrick Leo McCartie, born in Hartlepool in 1925, was Bishop of Northampton from 1990 to 2001. He was ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham on 20th May 1977. He is also Britain's oldest Bishop at present, as well as its longest-serving !
Bishop Leo pictured in 2009
6th May - the national Family Groups Movement held its first Thanksgiving Mass at our Cathedral on this day. To see a great set of photos, click here,
3rd May - Happy Birthday, Bishop Peter ! Just in case you're checking this from Rome !