Remembering Abbot Jerome Hodkinson O.S.B.

On the Feast Day of St. Martha (July 29th) the community of Belmont Abbey laid to rest one of their former Abbots Rt. Rev. Abbot Jerome Hopkinson O.S.B. who died earlier in the month.  During the Requiem Mass the current Abbot of Belmont, Rt. Rev. Paul Stonham offered the following words in remembrance.


Abbot Jerome hated long sermons. He’d say, “What can’t be said in five minutes, isn’t worth saying.” I hope he’ll forgive me this afternoon.

Today, in the Benedictine Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus, the friends of Jesus, so the Gospel passage we heard just now is most appropriate. It was one of Fr Jerome’s favourites. Lazarus has been dead four days and Jesus has arrived at Bethany to sympathize with his sisters. Jesus, we are told, loved Lazarus. From St Luke’s Gospel, we also discover that he loved his sisters, poor Martha, who complained that she had so much to do, and Mary, who sat in silence at the feet of Jesus, she who had “chosen the better part.” However, today it’s Martha, who first confesses, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.” Later, Mary will repeat the same words, while Lazarus will be called by Jesus to come out of the tomb, becoming living proof that Jesus is truly “the resurrection and the life.” Abbot Jerome was a man of simple faith, who was often heard to say, “Why can’t we just believe what Jesus said and do what he asked of us?” He believed without questioning in the word of Jesus.

You might be wondering how the second reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans came to be chosen for this Requiem Mass; it’s not one of the usual readings. On the night Fr Jerome died, we were all taken by surprise at the speed with which he left us. The only prayer book available in the hospital ward was the Roman Office on my mobile phone, so we said Vespers. Fr Jerome had always loved the ferial office and didn’t much care for feast days. He didn’t like all the fuss. As it turned out, the reading for that day, 12th July, was from Romans 12 and it seemed to sum up his life, his vocation, his ministry and his faith. What other reading could be more appropriate today? “Do not let your love be a pretence… Love each other as brothers should… Work for the Lord with untiring effort… Hope will make you cheerful… Do not give up when trials come… Keep on praying… If anyone is in need, share with them… Make hospitality your special care… Bless and do not curse… Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep… Treat everyone with equal kindness… Do not claim to be wiser than you are.” You can hear him say, “That’s the way we should live.”

James Anthony Hodkinson was born at Colwyn Bay on 28th March 1929, the third of four sons born to Stephen and Jane Hodkinson. Although he never learnt Welsh himself, he was proud of the fact that his father, originally from Lancashire, was a fluent Welsh speaker. He was educated at St Joseph’s Primary School, Colwyn Bay Grammar School and with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St Mary’s College. In 1945 he took the School Certificate and passed the Civil Service examination. He received an appointment, but decided instead to try his vocation at Belmont, where he arrived on 18th September 1946. He was clothed on Christmas Eve by Abbot Aidan Williams and made his first Profession at Midnight Mass on 25th December 1947. That same year he was called up for National Service, which was deferred pending a chest examination. He made his Solemn Profession under Abbot Anselm Lightbound on 29th December 1950. His priestly formation was all done at Belmont, as was often the case then, and in October 1949 he went up to Oxford to read English. He graduated in June 1952. In July 1953 he was ordained a Subdeacon and in April 1954 a Deacon by Archbishop Michael McGrath of Cardiff. Then, on 3rd July 1955, together with Fr Stephen, he was ordained a priest. It couldn’t have been easy trying to study Philosophy and Theology while, at the same time, taking a degree at Oxford and teaching in the school, but that was how it was done and you were expected to cope.

Fr Jerome’s teaching career spanned 43 years, from September 1952 to June 1994. He began by teaching English and Scripture, was put in charge of Cricket, which he adored, and also taught French, Latin, Chemistry and helped with theatricals. From 1953 to 1955 he was school choirmaster. For many years Fr Jerome was a first cantor, ruining his voice by singing the high notes of Gregorian chant when he was naturally a bass-baritone. In 1957 he was appointed Phillipps Librarian, in 1958 Infirmarian and in 1959 Coach to the 2nd XV. If Cricket was his first love, then Rugby came a close second and these remained with him to the end. His small stature and youthful good looks gave rise to the nickname “Teddy Bear” and the boys would sing Elvis Presley’s song when he walked into the room. In 1960 he was appointed Junior Master in the monastery by Abbot Maurice Martin and, in his own words, “having given up cricket, rugby, etc., I took to working in the woods and learning Chinese.” Nevertheless, from 1962 to 1965 he taught Classics and in September 1965 became Head of English. He dedicated himself to teaching “A level” English to the delight of his students, instilling in them a lasting love for the great English poets, in particular the Bard himself and Gerard Manley Hopkins and, of course, for the greatest novelist who ever lived, Jane Austin.

In 1966 he was elected Delegate to General Chapter and appointed Prior by Abbot Robert Richardson. This was a particularly difficult time for Belmont, what with adapting to the changes in monastic life encouraged by the Second Vatican Council and the financial crisis affecting Belmont because of excessive investment in the school. There was an Extraordinary Visitation and, in October 1969, Fr Jerome was appointed Bursar in an attempt to bring things under control. Tragically, Abbot Robert was diagnosed with cancer and died on 25th October 1970, the day on which the Forty Martyrs were canonised. An abbatial election was held and, on 18th November, Fr Jerome was elected 8th Abbot of Belmont, a position he held until July 1986, when Abbot Alan Rees was elected. Abbot Jerome continued to work as Bursar until June 1971, when he was replaced by Fr Luke Waring and, a year or so later, Major Leo Oddie, our first lay bursar.

To begin with Abbot Jerome didn’t take to liturgical innovation and wouldn’t concelebrate at the daily Conventual Mass, preferring to say a private Latin Mass, albeit in the new rite. He asked Br Alan and me to work together on a revised English Office: I worked on the texts, while Alan composed the music. It’s essentially the Office we still use today. The interior of the beautiful abbey church had been torn apart in 1967, to seat more people and so that Mass could be celebrated “facing the people.” It was a shambles: the high altar had been destroyed and replaced by a concrete wall, gone were St David’s Chapel and the magnificent choir screen. The altar was a refectory table resting on orange boxes. Abbot Jerome decided that something had to be done, if not to restore what was lost, at least to make a decent job of what was left. This was done in 1978 and the result is what we have today. Abbot Jerome often said, “I did the best of a bad job,” a rather harsh judgment on himself. Although at times he could appear to be proud, even pompous as some thought, he was in fact a realist and preferred to call himself a cynic. He enjoyed reading and loved the sound of his own voice, practising his homilies before a mirror until they were perfect.

He was an able teacher, but no great lover of our schools. He did, however, encourage the monks who dedicated themselves to running them, as he did those who worked on the many parishes Belmont served at that time. He wasn’t keen on travel and would rather stay at home than go anywhere: any visit was sure to be short. He preferred to drive up to Whitehaven, a journey of six hours, and return as soon as the Mass or other function was over. He hated going to Rome for the Abbots’ Congress and never took a proper holiday. He felt more at home in his cell and choir stall or on the squash court. Nevertheless, he did find time for outside engagements. He enjoyed regular discussions with his doctor-clergy group and was always in demand as an after dinner speaker, such was his store of jokes and stories. He had a phenomenal memory and was a good mimic. He took part in ecumenical activities and celebrated Pontifical High Mass in Hereford Cathedral for the Sesquimillennium of the Birth of St Benedict, at which Dean Rathbone of Hereford preached.

Long before the phrase “common good” came into fashion, Abbot Jerome believed that ecumenism should extend beyond the narrow confines of pew and pulpit for the good of society. He was instrumental in founding the Samaritans in Hereford and, later on, St Michael’s Hospice. My generation of novices was encouraged (or was it obliged?) to train and work as Samaritans. He had a deep concern for those in need and tried to instill that concern in others. At Belmont he founded St Luke’s, an infirmary for sick monks, and it was his particular sorrow, later in life, that this had been dismantled after the closure of the school to make way for a shop and then a bar. “So much for Benedictine stability,” he would say. He had a rare gift for listening to those in trouble or in pain without feeling the need to find easy answers. He knew that healing comes about through listening and allowing the other to speak. You could tell Fr Jerome anything: nothing shocked or scandalised him, nothing could destroy his peace and that peace helped calm an anxious soul. He developed, without wanting to, an extraordinary ministry to people all over the country and much further afield. Christ’s compassion moved his heart and guided his life and in it others found hope.

The Lord works in mysterious ways: who could have imagined that Abbot Jerome would found a monastery in Peru? It came as a great surprise to everyone, when in 1979, influenced by Mother Mary Xavier McGonagle of Tyburn, he responded positively to the invitation of the Archbishop of Piura, Mgr Fernando Vargas S.J., for Belmont to make a foundation. “Go out and see what this joker wants,” was what he said. In 1980 he went out himself and by May 1981 Frs Luke, David and I were in Bolivia learning Spanish. On 6th August, Abbot Jerome joined us in Lima and on 20th, feast of St Bernard, we inaugurated our foundation in the parish house at Tambogrande. Here we worked together with a joint community of Sisters of Notre Dame and Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, as well as with a great team of lay catechists and others. Fr Jerome was bowled over by the simplicity, intelligence and faith of the Peruvian people and was deeply moved by the abject poverty in which many of them lived. On one occasion, making our way to a distant village in the foothills of the Andes, we were stopped at a hamlet called Las Monicas by a young farmhand, whose wife had just given birth prematurely. We stepped inside their hut and I suggested that he baptize the baby and anoint the mother. He did so with the utmost dignity and tenderness. Later on, in tears, he told me that he had never baptized a baby before. Unfortunately, as often happened in rural areas, both mother and baby were taken by the Lord to their heavenly reward. For Abbot Jerome it was an encounter with Christ that he never forgot.

In 1986, no longer abbot, he did ’t move away, but continued teaching in the school and took pastoral care of Broad Oak and Llanarth. In 1989 he became Parish Priest of Bromyard and in 1992 of Belmont. This was a new departure for him. He enjoyed the contact with parishioners but not the bureaucracy of parish administration. In 1994 he more or less retired except for a few retreats and became monastery archivist, having served for a year as Prior to Abbot Mark. “I retired to a life of idleness,” he wrote, his way of translating the monastic term “otium,” when the monk gives himself wholly to God. In many ways, the last 22 years of his life became the most fruitful, for he was able to dedicate himself to reading and prayer and to the spiritual direction of many souls, most of them women. Fr Jerome always said that men don’t understand women, and he was right, we don’t, but somehow he did. Was it his knowledge of Jane Austen, the close relationship he had had with his mother, his love for Our Lady or a gift from God to a very special man? Perhaps, it was all these, for Fr Jerome was profoundly aware of the “givenness” of God’s gifts. Following the mediaeval Mystics and of Abbot John Chapman, he helped us see that prayer, like faith, is God’s gift and that our calling is like that of Mary of Bethany, to sit at the feet of Jesus in quiet anticipation of his word and the outpouring of grace. He had the ability to put you at ease and simply listen, for as long as you needed, and then keep quiet and allow God to work. There were those who did not understand or appreciate this ministry, but the number of letters and cards we have received since his death speak eloquently of the immense help and friendship he gave to so many people, including priests and religious. He was remarkably humble and self-effacing and never wished to draw attention to himself. He served, for example, as chaplain to the Mother Teresa Group for seven years. And he was always jovial and welcoming.

The onset of his debilitating illness was painful and difficult for him to accept: the man who had been so agile in his youth, a fine sportsman, now found himself unable to walk or even wash. To begin with, there were times when he appeared impatient and angry, but the move to the infirmary and the help of carers enabled him to be more comfortable and so dedicate time to his telephone ministry. For the last four years of his life he retired to his room, not wishing to leave it even for Mass. At long last he was able to live the eremitical life for which he had always longed. Mercifully, the end came very quickly, just a month after the death of Fr Luke, his fellow novice and friend. He was undemanding, always grateful and infinitely kind, gentle and polite. When you visited or rang him, her never spoke about himself, but always wanted to know how you were and what you’d been up to. He was focused on Christ and was already looking into eternity. He had become, like the Windhover in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem:

I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy!

May Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, grant him eternal rest. May he soar like to heaven like the falcon. Amen.

Do You Love Me?

“Do You Love Me?” - It’s the question the Risen Jesus asked St Peter on the beach, as narrated at the end of John’s Gospel. It’s the question the Risen Jesus asks each one of us whenever we consider devoting a little of our time to prayer. To find out more and to book please read more..... Read more

Glorious Thanksgiving

It was a fitting conclusion to the end of our Centenary Year with two representatives from every parish in the Archdiocese attending the Thanksgiving Mass at St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral. Read more

Young Vincentians

The end of 2016 saw the Vincentian family growing in the Archdiocese as several schools set up Mini Vinnie groups, following an introduction to Vincentian Youth Groups by the newly appointed Young Vincentian Development Officer at the Annual Mass for School and College Staff in September. Read more

Home for a Syrian Refugee Family

I am grateful to a number of people in the Diocese who are working with the U.K government and the local authorities to provide a home for at least one refugee family in our midst. Read more

Lenten Reflection 2017

“Fasting is food for the soul, nourishment for the spirit” (Ambrose of Milan c.339-97). Read more

Lenten Station Masses 2017

As we prepare to begin our journey through the Season of Lent, Archbishop George has announced the key dates for the annual Lenten Station Masses in different parts of the Diocese. Read more

Walk with me through Lent

The Lent 2017 edition of “Walk with me” is an excellent companion for Lenten prayer and meditation. Read more

Free Lenten Retreat Day

A retreat day of prayer structured according to Ignatian Spirituality will be held on 1st April Read more

Rite of Election

The Rite of Election takes place this Sunday (March 5th) at 3:00pm at St. David’s Cathedral, Charles Street, Cardiff. Please join us at this special time in the lives of the candidates from all round the diocese. Read more

Welsh National Pilgrimage

Interested in going on pilgrimage? Our Lady calls us to come to Lourdes in prayer, procession and penance – can you respond to this call? Come and join us on the Welsh National Pilgrimage to Lourdes! Read more

Lent Confession

The Season of Lent is an invitation to take another step closer to the Lord Read more

Our Church is Growing

In a moving ceremony candidates and their godparents were called forward and individually welcomed by the Archbishop. Read more

Reflection on the 2nd Sunday in Lent

For so many people, suffering is a waste of time and nothing good can be said of it. We question the very existence of God when individual suffering and the suffering of whole peoples become too much to bear. Read more

Cornerstone Accolade

The Cornerstone at St. David’s has recently been given another accolade in addition to its increasing popularity and reputation for good food and warm hospitality. Read more

Social Housing Development

The Archdiocese of Cardiff has cooperated with the Taff Housing Association to help address the chronic shortage of affordable housing in the city. Read more

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Lent

Those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere, with regular flooding and torrential rain, might be surprised to know that on a worldwide scale there is a catastrophic shortage of water. Read more

Catholic Mothers meet for Annual Conference

On Tuesday March 7th the Welsh Conference of the Union of Catholic Mothers gathered at the Park Inn, Cardiff for their annual conference. They were joined by chaplains to the local conferences and Archbishop George Stack for the celebration of Mass. Read more

Our Lady of Fatima to visit Cardiff Cathedral for Centenary Commemorations

On Saturday 5th May 2017 the Statue and Relics will be welcomed to St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff Read more

Terrorist Attack in London

No doubt every parish and member of the Catholic community in this Diocese of Cardiff will hold all those who suffered in their thoughts and prayers at Mass this Sunday and in the days to come. Read more

Reflection on the 4th Sunday of Lent

Whoever wants to write a book, or an article, or an essay or even a letter needs to plan the structure of what they wish to say – at least the beginning, middle and end. One novelist always wrote the final chapter of his book first and worked back to the beginning. It is a little like that with the gospels. Read more

Reflection on the 5th Sunday of Lent

The famous Irish novelist Colm Toibin comes from Wexford and is a master wordsmith. He can describe the most minute details of growing up and his observation of people and situations around him. One of his novels called ‘Brooklyn’ was made into a film a couple of years ago and proved very successful. Read more

Reflection on Palm Sunday and Holy Week

During the Millennium Year of 2000, the National Gallery in London mounted an exhibition called “Seeing Salvation”. The subtitle was “The Image of Christ” and traced how artists down the ages have represented Jesus whether in paint, stone, wood or precious metals. The exhibition was an amazing success. Read more

Pope names new Nuncio to Great Britain

It has been announced that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed His Excellency Edward Joseph Adams as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain. Archbishop Adams has been serving as Apostolic Nuncio to Greece since 2011. Prior to that he has served as Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the Philippines. Read more

The Real Easter Egg: Keeping the true meaning of Easter

While the National Trust is still immersed in the controversy about dropping the word “Easter” from its (Easter) Egg Hunt and Cadbury dropping “Easter” from its chocolate eggs on sale this week, there is an excellent solution for those of us who intend to keep Easter Eggs as a great symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus. Read more

Catholic Bishops statement regarding recent bombings in Egypt

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, has issued a statement on behalf of the Bishops deploring the explosions in two Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday and offering prayers and support for the Coptic community and all who have been affected by this violence. Read more

Diocese gathers for Chrism Mass

Cardiff Cathedral was a hive of activity yesterday as our Archbishop was joined by the clergy and faithful of the diocese for the annual Chrism Mass. Each year the diocese comes together at the cathedral to consecrate the oils to be used in the Sacraments over the course of the year and to give witness to and support our priests as they renew their ordination promises. Read more

Easter Triduum begins: three days of solemn celebration

This very night throughout the world the Church begins three days of solemn celebration and remembrance as we journey with Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, through his Passion and Death for the Salvation of the whole world. Read more

Behold the wood of the Cross: the Good Friday event

Following the events of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we return to our stark, empty churches on this GOOD Friday to approach the foot of the Cross at Golgotha with sorrow mixed with gratitude. Read more

The light and glory of New Life: the Easter Vigil

Holy Saturday was a very quiet day; an ancient homily for the day says “Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep". Read more

Appointment of new Bishop of Llandaff

Speaking from Rome where he is currently attending a conference the Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Rev. George Stack, on hearing of the appointment of the new bishop of Llandaff said: Read more

Cornerstone wins Welsh conservation award

Back in March we reported that Cornerstone Cardiff had achieved the accolade of being nominated for the prestigious 2017 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Awards, Wales Building Conservation award. Following the awards ceremony it is been announced with much celebration that Cornerstone won the coveted award. Read more

Our Lady of Fatima comes to Cardiff

St. David’s Cathedral was thronged with pilgrims and worshippers on Saturday 6 May in order to welcome the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Centenary year of the apparitions. Read more

School brings faith to life

Each member of the Church has an individual journey of faith that they share with those around them. For five young people at St. Robert’s Primary School in Aberkenfig their journey of faith began at school when they made the decision to be baptised. Read more

Bishops encourage Catholics to use their vote on June 8th

As the General Election on June 8th fast approaches, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have issue a guidance letter encouraging Catholics to be engaged and take an active part in the election. Read more

Marriage Preparation Policy

Marriage preparation: Your views are invited on future practice How can the Church help couples sustain a loving and lasting marriage? Archbishop George is asking for YOUR views. Read more

Yr Offeren yn Gymraeg – Mass in Welsh

Announcement: The regular weekly Mass in Welsh at St Teilo’s Catholic Church, Whitchurch will come to an end on June 18th, the feast of Corpus Christi. Read more

Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” is a joint Anglican and Roman Catholic initiative to pray together a Pentecost Novena starting on 25th May, leading up to the birthday of the Church, Pentecost Sunday. The origins ... Read more

God you are the lover of peace and unity

At a large gathering in Cardiff Cathedral Archbishop George Stack spoke movingly of the events that had taken place overnight Manchester. Read more

Statement on the death of former First Minister

Having returned to Wales and hearing of the news of the death of the former First Minister of Wales, Rhodri Morgan, Archbishop George Stack issued the following statement. Read more

Mass of Thanksgiving for New Catholics ... you are invited

At the start of the Season of Lent the local Church gathered at Cardiff Cathedral for the celebration of the Rite of Election for Catechumens (those to be baptised) and those seeking Full Communion with the Catholic Church. Read more

Standing with London

On hearing of the atrocities in London on Saturday night, Archbishop George Stack contacted Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark to assure him and his people of our sympathy and prayers in the face of such horror and violence. Read more

Glorious day sees new Deacon for the diocese

The city of London has seen much activity over the past few days thanks to the General Election. However today the city became a focus for another important event, at least for the Catholic Community. Read more

London Fire: solidarity and prayers needed

Archbishop George Stack has joined his prayers and condolences to those of Cardinal Vincent Nichols for those who are suffering as a result of the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower ... Read more

The joy of Corpus Christi

Today, with great joy, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Body & Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Read more

Archbishop George Stack reflects following the news of yesterday's attack on Finsbury Park Mosque, London. Read more

Catholic Churches and Schools helping Grenfell Tower victims ... How you can help

The tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire in London on 14th June will live on in the memory of the nation for many years to come. Read more

Cathedral leads the nation in prayer on the feast of Corpus Christi

Last Sunday BBC Radio 4 broadcast its ‘Sunday Worship’ programme live from an early morning Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi at our own Cardiff Cathedral. Read more

Implementing the fruits of Amoris Laetitia

It has been almost two years since the cameras of the world focussed on the Vatican for the highly anticipated Synod of Bishops on “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”. Read more

Summer of Ordinations sees Second Deacon ordained

As ordination season continues, a contingent of people from Cardiff made the journey to St. Mary’s College Oscott near Birmingham this morning for the second of four summer ordinations for our Diocese. Rev. Nicholas Williams was ordained to the Diaconate ... Read more

Service Medal acknowledges nearly 70 years of work for Maesteg parishioner

Earlier today Archbishop George Stack travelled to the parish of Our Lady & St. Patrick, Maesteg to personally thank a parishioner for actively working in the parish for nearly 70 years. Read more

Newport Deacon scores a winner with UEFA and the BBC

It has been three weeks since the UEFA Champions League Final took place in Cardiff and Real Madrid won the title beating Juventus 4-1. In all of the excitement and festival around South Wales for the championship did you spot the winning goal shot by Deacon Pasquale Cinotti of All Saints parish in Newport .... Read more

Jubilee Celebrations for a Golden Priest

Speaking at the Mass celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Mgr. John Maguire at St. Mary’s Canton on Friday 16th June, Archbishop George Stack ... Read more

Growth and zeal for mission: a Vocations update

2017 has been a graced year. Not only have we had the opportunity of celebrating the diocese’s centenary, but there is a real sense of growth and new zeal for mission around the diocese. Read more

Bishops welcome new Apostolic Nuncio

Tuesday 4th July 2017 was a twofold day of significance for Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain. Read more

Budding filmakers scoop top prize

Nine talented young pupils from St John Lloyd Catholic Primary School, Cardiff scooped the prize of a Film-making Workshop in the recent Welsh Heritage Initiative ... Read more

‘Sacred Wales’ – ‘Cymru Sanctaidd’: The search for Wales’ favourite Church or Chapel

With over 4,500 churches and chapels, Wales has some of the most beautiful and historic religious buildings in the world. Read more

Closure of Heritage Lottery Fund's Grants for Places of Worship

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Grants for Places of Worship scheme (GPOW) is to be closed in September 2017. This will mean that churches will have to compete for funding against ... Read more

Maesteg pupils wow with ‘Proms in the Parish’

On Tuesday 18th July 2017 the pupils of St. Mary’s & St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Maesteg hosted the very first ‘Proms in the Parish’. Families of the children and members of the parish were treated to an extravaganza .... Read more

Cardiff's newest priest ordained

Fr. Daniel Stanton, 30, was ordained to the priesthood last Saturday, 22nd July 2017, at Cardiff Cathedral by Archbishop George Stack. Read more

Two new priests in one week brings much rejoicing

There was much joy and celebration today at Cardiff Cathedral – the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. David as exactly a week after the ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Daniel Stanton, we celebrated the ordination of a long serving Deacon to the priesthood. Read more

Have you heard this one? “7 seminarians walk into a bar ….”

There are a number of long standing jokes that we tell when we are with friends or family most of which start “An ‘x’, a ‘y’ and a ‘z’ walk into a bar ….”, well …. Read more

Catholic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to deliver talk on faith in Cardiff

Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher Rees-Mogg. These are the names given by Jacob and Helena Rees-Mogg to their sixth child born recently. Sixtus V was the last Pope of this name, elected in 1567. Read more

Clergy Moves 2017

I am very grateful to the following priests who have accepted new appointments which will become effective in September. Read more

In Memoriam - Kevin McNamara KSG

It is worthwhile to mourn the passing of Kevin McNamara, the former Member of Parliament for Hull North, a left of centre member of the Labour party and a committed Catholic. He died at the age of 82 on 6 August, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Read more

Prayers for Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

In the past 24 hours it has been announced that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is seriously ill at this time. Cardinal Cormac is the retired Archbishop of Westminster and former President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales. Read more

IN MEMORIAM – Diana, Princess of Wales

As the 20th Anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales approaches, Archbishop George Stack reflects on the events of 31st August 1997 and beyond. Read more

Dom Antony Tumelty O.S.B. - R.I.P.

With sadness it has been announced by Belmont Abbey that in the past 24 hours Dom Antony Tumelty has died following a long illness. Read more

Moving reflection at pilgrimage to Reformation Martyr

Newly-ordained Father Peter McLaren gave a most moving homily at the grave of Saint John Kemble at Welsh Newton on 22 August, the anniversary of the Saint’s martyrdom in 1679. Read more

Usk pilgrims mark 338th anniversary of Saint’s martyrdom

The sun shone brightly as pilgrims at Usk marked the heroic death of a Saint. Saint David Lewis, known as Tad y Tlodion – Father of the Poor – was martyred in Usk 338 years ago on 27th August … just for being a Catholic priest at a time when there were false rumours of a Catholic plot to assassinate King Charles II. Read more

Remembering Mother Teresa – 20 years on

On 5th September 1997, six days after Diana, Princess of Wales, died in the car crash in Paris, the world awoke to the news that Mother Teresa of Calcutta, now St. Teresa of Calcutta, had also died. Read more

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (1932-2017)

In the past few hours the sad news has come from London of the death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Emeritus Archbishop of Westminster and former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Read more

Holydays of Obligation reinstated

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have taken the decision to reinstate two of the Holydays of Obligation that were transferred to the nearest Sunday back in 2006. Read more

Rev. Bogdan Wera R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Fr. Bogdan Wera yesterday, Saturday 9th September 2017. Read more

Parish thanks Fr. Liam for faithful service

Sunday 23rd July 2017 saw a wonderful celebration of Fr Liam Hennessy’s 35 years of Priesthood and service to the Archdiocese. Read more

‘Cormac was a priest to his fingertips’

It has almost been three weeks since the Church laid to rest Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. On 13th September Westminster Cathedral was full with clergy and lay faithful of the Church from England and Wales as this faithful servant took his resting place within the Wales of the Mother Church of England and Wales. Read more

Catholic MP engages with protestors on visit to Cardiff

When Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg stepped out of his car at St David’s Metropolitan Cathedral to deliver a talk on ‘Faith in the Future’, he was greeted by a crowd of mainly hostile protestors. Read more

World Day of the Poor - 19th November

On 13th June 2017 in a message to the Universal Church, the Holy Father, Pope Francis proposed a more radical approach to the poor who he defined as including migrants, the homeless, people with disabilities and the isolated. His call is to go beyond charitable giving, important though it is, and to listen to the voice of the poor. Read more

400th Anniversary of Vincentian Charism

This Saturday, 14th October, Archbishop George will celebrate Mass at 12.00 noon in St. David’s Cathedral to mark the 400th anniversary of the charism of St. Vincent de Paul. Read more