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News and Events

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Vincentians and others at Dunstable28th September - on this day Bishop Peter attended a farewell Mass with the Vincentian community who have staffed and pastored the three-church parish of St Mary's,Dunstable for 92 years. Pictured l-r :Fr Paschal Scanlon CM, Provincial ; Fr Tony Brennan, (the new Diocesan parish priest), Bishop Peter, Mgr Sean Healy V-G, Fr Akobundu  Anyanwu CM, Fr Eugene Curran CM, Fr Chinedu Enuh CM. 

28th September - RIP Canon Antony Gerard Griffiths, who died in the early hours of this day at Lincroft Meadow nursing home in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.  Aged 94 at his death, Canon Griffiths was the oldest priest in the Diocese. He was ordained in 1950, serving at Norwich, Lopwestoft, High Wycombe and Marlow, from where he retired in 2002, though he remained resident and active there until the last couple of years spent at Woodstock. 

Bishop Peter will celebrate the Funeral Mass at 11.30 am on Thursday, 17 October at St Peter’s Church, Marlow followed by a burial in the church grounds. Concelebrating clergy are asked to wear purple vestments for the Mass.There will be a reception afterwards in the Pugin Rooms of St Peter’s Church, Marlow. If you are able to come to the Funeral Mass, please let Tricia know by email at bishopspa@northamptondiocese.com or telephone number 01604 715635

27th September - In the NORES News issued this date is a request from Bishop Peter:  "We need people who, in the midst of all changes to education policy will keep Christ at the centre of everything they do.  Do you have experience in Education or HR?  I would like you to consider whether you are someone who could serve our children as they grow in faith by volunteering as a Director for Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Academies Trust (OLICAT).  OLICAT will be formed in January 2020 by the merger of our existing Trusts in Bedford, Northants and Northampton". For more details, including training offered, contact Debbie Main on main@nores.org.uk or 01582 723312  or have a look at the NORES website www.NORES.org.uk 


"Beyond the Wild " camp4th September - Some of our younger clergy, Frs Brendan Seery,  David Donaghue, Gregory Marchwinski ,and Dcn Kevin Ryan, with seminarian Jithu James,  have just spent a few days on a "survivalist"-type bushcraft experience in Dorset woodland, living rough off the land, with no electricity or running water.  We trust they will now be very grateful for presbytery accommodation, and parish dinners, in their various postings. Photos here. It's not clear whether this will now be mandatory for all would-be priests....  "Beyond the Wild" is a Catholic ministry for young people, Confirmation groups etc. 

2nd September -  New headships. There are new Head Teacher appointments at several of our Diocesan schools, check the latest NORES News for induction ceremonies through to early October. 

  • St Joseph Primary, Luton Maureen Murphy
  • St Louis, Aylesbury - Catherine Machin
  • Cardinal Newman Secondary, Luton - Andrew Bull
  • St Mary and St Gregory Primaries, Northampton - Kirsty Yuen
  • St Anthony Primary, Slough - Siobhan Ope
  • The Good Shepherd Primary, Northampton - Carmel Dodds
  • St Mary, Aston Primary le Walls - Laura Concannon

2nd September - Mass times changes, As a consequence of the moves of priests, there have had to be some changes in Mass times, especially at the Dunstable family of churches.   Form 25th August, St Mary's goes down to one Sunday morning Mass, at 9:30am, but still has a Vigil Mass at 6pm Saturday.  (Confessions there will now be before the Vigil Mass, not after it). 9;30 weekday Masses will now be Tuesday and Friday only. At its Mass centre at Houghton Regis, St Vincent's, the 18:30 Vigil Mass ceases, and the Sunday Mass moves to 11:30am.  Holy Day Masses will now be at 11am. St Elizabeth's at Toddington  can on longer offer a Sunday or Vigil Mass, and its only Mass will be at 10am on Saturdays. 

At St Edward's, Kettering, the 7pm Sunday Mass is suspended from end August until further notice. 

29th August - In what is hoped to be the last act of the latest set of clergy moves, Canon John Koenig has decided to retire, on health grounds, rather than take up the role of parish priest at Olney. That role will be fuifilled, from 7/8th Sept, by Fr David Barrett , who will remain resident at St Augustine's, High Wycombe, for several more weeks until the Olney house, which has been unoccupied for twelve years, is refurbished. 

He will not now be needed to celebrate Masses at St Margaret's, Luton, as Fr Eustace Durugbo MSP. who has completed his term as Regional Superior of the Missionary Order of St Paul, has agreed to take on that parish for a year. 

G K Chesterton12th August - Bishop Peter has been much in the news last weekend, as the American Chesterton Society released a letter he had written in April to their president, Dale Ahlquist,in which he explained his difficult decision, that he could not recommend the further progressing of a Cause for Chesterton's canonisation.  (This comes under Bishop Peter's authority as Chesterton was a resident of Beaconsfield, in our Diocese.)

Bishop Peter said "I am very conscious of the devotion to G K Chesterton in many parts of the world and of his inspiring influence on so many people, and this makes it difficult to communicate the conclusion to which I have come.That conclusion is that I am unable to promote the cause of G K Chesterton for three reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, there is no local cult. Secondly, I have been unable to tease out a pattern of personal spirituality. And, thirdly, even allowing for the context of G K Chesterton’s time, the issue of anti-Semitism is a real obstacle particularly at this time in the United Kingdom.As a very unworthy servant of the Church, I recognise Chesterton’s goodness and his ability to evangelise but, in my heart of hearts, I believe that he himself would not want any fuss other than asking his prayers for the Church today and praying for him.I realise that this is very disappointing for you and for the vast number of people around the world who have such a high regard for Chesterton, and I think particularly of the American Chestertonian Society."

30th July -  Bishop Peter has announced some further clergy moves for Septemberto complete the 11th July list below

Canon John Koenig moves from Kettering to Olney as Parish Priest.  as an interim measure, Fr Gregory Marchwinski, who has been assisting at Our Lady's Corby, goes to Kettering as priest-in-charge, to be assisted by  Fr Wilson Sebastian MSFS, who has also been at Our Lady's. 

Fr Paul Hardy is retiring after 28 years loyal service at St Edwards Milton Keynes and as chaplain at St Paul's School. The parish and school will now become part of the St Barnabas cluster.  Fr Paul will also step down from his role as editor of The Vine after the September issue is prepared.  (Arrangements are in hand for its continuation.)

Fr Nathanael  Onwuekwe (Nnewi, Nigeria) moves from St Josephs Bedford to join the team at the St Barnabas cluster in Milton Keynes. .

Deacon  Kevin Ryan will go to assist Canon Seamus Keenan at St Josephs Bedford, to which the Bishop is unable to appoint an assistant priest 

Nor can a priest be appointed to St Margaret's, Luton, which will be vacant upon the departure of Fr Misiura to Sacred Heart Luton.  In the interim Mgr Kevin McGinnell (the Area Dean)  will act as Parish Priest, celebrating the 5pm Vigil Mass at St Thomas, Caddington, and Fr David Barrett, while remaining resident at High Wycombe, will celebrate the Sunday Masses at St Margaret's. (9am and 11am)

Deacon Keith Watson is retiring from ministry at Kettering after 13 years. . 

26th July - A TIME TO LISTEN. This is the Bishop's initiative to improve the way that the Diocese responds to, and engages with, victims and survivors of abuse. Bishop Peter Doyle is available to meet with anyone affected by abuse, as a victim, survivor, their families or supporters, where private discussions can take place in a safe and non judgmental environment. Bishop Peter has ensured that he is able to meet with people affected by abuse on a bi-monthly basis or more frequently, depending on your request. These sessions can be accessed through our safeguarding office on 01604 723514 or safeguarding@northamptondiocese.com. There will be a special Mass at St Mary's Woburn Sands for victims, survivors and anyone affected on 12th October. Basic poster here. more info to follow.


Biahop Peter ordaining Fr David Donaghue20th July - David Donaghue was ordained as a priest for the Diocese at the Cathedral this day. Congratulations Fr David !  More photos of his ordination are on Flickr here, a video recording can be watched here. and photos of his first Mass at St Gregory's Northampton next day are here.   Fr David will go to Our Lady's, Corby

Bishop Emeritus McCartie17th July - Bishop Emeritus Leo McCartie, who was our Bishop for the whole of the 90's decade, celebrated the 70th anniversary of his ordination today. Aged 94, he lives in a nursing home at Harborne.  Ad Multos Annos ! Pictured right with Bp Peter, Mgr Sean Healy, and Archbp, Kevin McDonald

13th July - Erik  Kerr  (pictured at foot of page) was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at St Josephs, Luton, where he will mostly undertake his ministry

11th July - Bishop Peter has announced the following clergy news, and moves  to take place in September 2019

Father Tony Brennan to become Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Dunstable with St Vincent de Paul, Houghton Regis

Father Andy Richardson to be Parish Priest of Holy Family and St John’s, Luton

Father Joseph Udoh MSP to be Parish Priest of Our Lady of Peace, Burnham with St Andrew’s, Cippenham

Father Mirek Misiura to be Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Stopsley, Luton

Father Benedetto D’Autilia to be Parish Priest of Blessed John Henry Newman Parish, High Wycombe

Father Lijo Payikkattu MSFS to be Priest in Charge of St Teresa’s, Princes Risborough upon Fr Joseph Kuttivayalil's return to India

Father Emanuel Okami (Ilorin, Nigeria) (who has been at Burnham) to be Assistant Priest of St Thomas Aquinas and All Saints, Bletchley

We wish all our priests on the move this summer well in their new parishes.We especially pray for Fr Christopher Whitehouse and Fr Malcom Bull who are retiring this summer. Not all move-decisions  are complete yet and further details will follow (see 30th July item above) . 

Fr Alessandro Reno, who has been on loan from the Diocese of Portoviejo in Ecuador, is now incardinated into the Diocese and will continue to serve at Chesham and Great Missenden.

Deacon Erik KerrDeacon Erik Kerr

For items from earlier in 2019, formerly appearing on this page, please go to the News Archives link above-right

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