Newsletter for October 2017

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Cardinal Cormac was Archbishop of Westminster between 2000 and 2009, having previously served as Bishop of Arundel & Brighton for 23 years. He died on 1st September after a short illness. He became a Cardinal in 2001, and in that capacity took part in the papal election that produced the now Emeritus-Pope Benedict XVI. He had passed the age limit to vote at the election of Pope Francis but, by all accounts, took a vigorous part in the preparatory talks amongst all the Cardinals before they went into conclave. It was he who appointed me as parish priest here in 2001, and in the 1970s he was my rector at the English College in Rome. He distinguished himself in the Church by the part he played in inter-religious dialogue as Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal.

He also introduced a number of pastoral initiatives during his time as Archbishop. He came twice to the Holy Redeemer, first to bless the new Stations of the Cross that had been a millennium parish project under my predecessor Fr., now Bishop, Alan Hopes, and again in 2005 for the celebrations of the centenary of the consecration of our church. I shall remember him as a great man of the Church; full of good humour and with a personality to match. He had a well-prepared and holy death, full of faith and with confidence in God’s love and mercy. Lux aeterna luceat ei.


It was with sadness that we heard of David’s decision to retire after his Parkinson’s took a firmer hold. We are very sorry indeed to lose him after 38 years as organist and Director of Music at Holy Redeemer. Once the new Director of Music is in place I hope that we may have a musical evening to thank him for his wonderful service to our church and parish. The Parish Council would like to mark his retirement by inviting contributions to a presentation fund. Cheques can be made out to Holy Redeemer Chelsea and marked “Bevan Presentation”. Thank you.


Four applicants were called for interview and each has been taking it in turn to rehearse and direct the choir for the 11am Sunday Mass. We hope to have a name in early October, sadly after we have gone to press.


There are about 270,000 students at university or other higher education establishments in our Diocese, and about 35,000 of these are Catholics. Most of them live in our parishes, and most of those who practise their faith come to Mass in our parish churches. They are very welcome and I hope they will introduce themselves. We hope you will feel at home here. They might to like to know of the Newman House Catholic Centre at 111 Gower Street, London WC1E 6AR – opposite UCL and just up from Waterstone’s Bookshop. Tel: 020 7387 6370. Visit the university catholic website and the “Newman House” Facebook page.


If you are the parent or grandparent of a Catholic at a university outside London, they might like to know they will be able to find their Catholic Chaplaincy or Catholic Society at their College by visiting their website.


The Bishops of England and Wales have announced a National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress (ADOREMUS) in Liverpool from 7th to 9th September 2018. Its aims will be to rejuvenate Eucharistic Adoration in parishes; to encourage greater love for the mystery of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar; to engender a deeper understanding of the place of the Eucharist in the life of the Church; to confirm parish ministry around the centrality of the Eucharist. 

Liverpool has been chosen because of the good transport links with other parts of the country, extensive redevelopment of the city centre, large Cathedral, universities, ecumenical possibilities, the Catholic tradition of the North, and large venue availability. More later.


Friday 6th October will be Harvest Fast Day in all our Dioceses and parishes. Whatever you save by the denial of food, alcohol or entertainment can be brought to church on Sunday 8th October. Your offerings in the retiring collection will be donated to CAFOD – Catholic Fund For Overseas Development – an arm of the Bishops’ Conference. Thank you.


Positively the last call for anyone wishing to go to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham by coach for a day’s Diocesan pilgrimage being led by Cardinal Nichols. At this late stage you will need to ring the Parish Office between 9.30am and 1.30pm, Monday to Friday.


Renewed apologies for the inconvenience caused by the delay in redecoration following damp-proofing and re-plastering of the north wall. Works scheduled to commence in early August got delayed by illness in both sets of contractors. 


They make an appeal here every few years or so. They are now looking to recruit staff from our parishes for their care home at St Anne’s, Stoke Newington. Their open days have now passed by but I am sure they would still be interested to hear from anyone interested. Competitive salary; pension scheme, free car parking, free catering facilities. Go to their website. 


Congratulations to the parents and sponsors of Nina Stein, Leo Telyatnikov and Ioanna Hughes who were baptised here in September.

Caitriona Fleming