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School of Faith.

A super opportunity to get to learn more about the Catechism of the Catholic Church from experts in their fields. I found biographic for some of the speakers. Most impressive!

A new study course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the Year of Faith

9 January – 23 March 2013 at the Centre for Catholic Formation at  Tooting Bec.

Join us from January on Wednesday evenings for a light supper,to hear expert and dynamic speakers, and to join in small group discussions culminating with two lectures during the day on Saturday 23 March.


Archbishop Peter Smith – Archbishop of Southwark

Archbishop Peter Smith

Archbishop Peter Smith

Bishop Philip Egan – Diocese of Portsmouth

Bishop Philip Eagen

Bishop Philip Eagen

Dr. Petroc Willey – Biography: studied theology at King’s College, London and philosophy at Liverpool University, where he received his doctorate in moral philosophy. He later gained his STL from the Pontifical University, Maynooth. From 1985-1992, he was Lecturer in Christian Ethics at Plater College, Oxford. He has worked at Maryvale since 1992.

Dr. Petroc Willey

Dr. Petroc Willey


Msgnr Keith Newton

Mgr Keith Newton is the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Born on in Liverpool in April 1952, Mgr Newton was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1976. He was ordained an Anglican bishop on 7 March 2002 serving as Suffragan Bishop of Richborough and Provincial Episcopal Visitor in the Province of Canterbury 2002-2010.He was ordained to the Catholic priesthood at Westminster Cathedral on 15 January 2011 by Archbishop Vincent Nichols. On the same day he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the first Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Fr Tim Finigan – Blog- The Hermenuetic of Continuity

Fr. Tim Finigan

Fr. Tim Finigan

Sr Judith Russi 

Sr. Judith Russi

Sr. Judith Russi

Consultant at EDUCARE M: Teacher of Religious Education and Drama. Taught across a wide range of schools at both primary and secondary levels in rural and inner city situations. Author of a series of texts and resource books including RE, Worship, Circle Time and resources for spiritual, moral, social and cultural education and citizenship for primary and secondary schools. Worked for the Archdiocese of Westminster for 18years as an Education Adviser and Inspector. Has specialized in providing training for schools on articulating the vision and mission for Catholic schools today.  Assists in the formation and training for leadership in Church schools.

Fr Stephen Wang : Blog- Bridges and Tangent

Fr. Stephen Wang

Fr. Stephen Wang


Fr Kevin Hale parish priest from Our Lady of Lourdes and St, Joseph, Leigh-on-sea, Essex

Fr Kevin Hale

Fr Kevin Hale

Mgr John ArmitaMsgnr. John ArmitageFr David Gibbons – Director of the Diocesan Centre for Catholic Formation

Fr. David Gibbons

Fr. David Gibbons

He has degrees in Classics from Durham University (BA) and in Theology from Oxford University (MA), as well as Post-graduate Certificates in Education and in Theology. In addition to his responsibilities at the CEC, he is Chairman of the Art and Architechture Committee of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission and serves on the Ongoing Formation of Priests Committee.

Dr Caroline Farey:  

Dr. Caroline Farey

Dr. Caroline Farey

B.A.(Hons), M.Phil(Cantab), M.A.(Theol), STB, Ph.L, S.T.L, Ph.D(Lateran).
Job Title: Academic Assistant to the Director for Ecclesiastical Development,   Head of Catechetical Formation   Course Director BA Applied Theology(Catechesis), Course Director License in Catechetics, Reader in Catechetics.

Canon John Redford:

Canon John Redford

Canon John Redford

Senior Lecturer in Sacred Scripture, St.John’s Seminary Wonersh, 1970-82

Director, Southwark Diocesan Catechetical Centre, Tooting Bec, London, 1982-86
Editor, The Universe Newspaper Supplement Faith Alive, 1986-87
Director, the Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Maryvale Institute Distance Learning Degree, 1988-2008
Director, Master of Arts in Catholic Theology, Maryvale Institute, 2008-current
Director, Master of Arts in Apologetics, 2010-current


For any enquiries or general questions about this course, please use the link below.

Follow this link to the website of the Centre for Catholic Formation where you can register for the course.

Telephone Numbers:   
Tooting Bec Offices: 020 8672 7684
Facsimile: 020 8672 8894
West Malling Office: 01732 842839

E-mail Addresses:

Office: office@ccftootingbec.org.uk
Bookshop: bookshop@ccftootingbec.org.uk


Support marriage as the heart of the family.

Archbishop Vincent Nicholls

Archbishop Vincent Nichols

Catholics will be urged to speak up for marriage as the heart of the family in a Pastoral Letter from the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster to his diocese. The Pastoral Letter will be read out during Masses at the 214 Catholic churches in the Diocese of Westminster over 29 – 30 December 2012, the Feast of the Holy Family.

In the letter the Archbishop says: “Indeed this is a time in which to speak up for marriage, between a husband and wife, as the heart of the family.”

“This vision of the family is rooted in the faithful love of a man and a woman, publicly expressed and accepted in marriage, responsible for the birth of the next generation and out of love working for the care and upbringing of their children. This is the vocation of marriage and parenthood, rooted in a natural bond, blessed by God and a sure sacrament in the life of the Church.


The full text of the letter follows: Quoted from ICN

My brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ

Today’s Feast is a moment in which to rejoice again in the vitality and importance of the family. Indeed this is a time in which to speak up for marriage, between a husband and wife, as the heart of the family.

Of course there are many different circumstances to family life. Events reshape the family lives of many people. We are right to express our admiration for those who work so hard to maintain family stability in difficulty and isolation. Support and loving care for them can make all the difference.

But none of this takes away the importance of having a clear vision of marriage and family, based on human nature itself. This vision of the family is rooted in the faithful love of a man and a woman, publicly expressed and accepted in marriage, responsible for the birth of the next generation and out of love working for the care and upbringing of their children. This is the vocation of marriage and parenthood, rooted in a natural bond, blessed by God and a sure sacrament in the life of the Church.

The first reading of our Mass today, from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, bears witness to the ancient roots of this vision. Written in the second century before Christ, it emphasises the sense of right and wrong that lies at the heart of marriage and family life. It speaks of the honour that is to exist between all the members of a family and across the generations. Along with honour, the author speaks of rights, respect, obedience, support and kindness which are needed if family life is to be stable and fruitful. It values the wisdom of the elderly and recognises the sacrifices necessary to love and care for them as they become frail and live with suffering. Its references to ‘The Lord’ who seeks our obedience shows that these values are not of our choosing. Rather they have an objective character, coming to us from God, or, in other words, written into our very nature and there for us to heed.

The Gospel we have heard recognises that family life will be full of testing times. Indeed for the Holy Family these three days were full of awful anxiety. Only through her thoughtful pondering did Mary come to understand God’s purposes which were not at all the same as her initial expectations. Just as the Holy Spirit had brought about the conception of Jesus within her, so too that same Holy Spirit had to lead Mary to understand and follow God’s ways. The journey by which we come to understand the purpose of God in our human nature and in our lives is also frequently difficult. There is often a journey to make from what I might think is God’s plan for me, to what God really wants. And on this journey the Church and her teaching is a sure guide, not least in the patterns of our relationships.

As we turn to the lovely reading from the First Letter of St John, we learn again that the love at the heart of family life has its origins in God. As we strive to live a life of love we are indeed ‘already children of God’. And what is more, a great promise is given to us too. As this God-given love comes to its fulfilment, ‘we shall become like him because we shall see him as he really is’. This is the promise of heaven that steadies us on our journey on earth. Of course we have to ‘fear the Lord and walk in his ways’, as the Psalmist said. But when we try to do so as best we can, then ‘we need not be afraid in God’s presence’. Rather we can look forward, with a blessed hope, to the coming of our Saviour, both at the hour of our death and at the moment of final judgement.

Today I ask for every family the blessing of God that you may be steadfast in your love and loyalty for each other, overcoming life’s difficulties with a firm and trusting faith and great perseverance. I pray too for our country that we will maintain the importance of marriage between a man and a woman as the heart of family life and, while always retaining proper and due respect for all, resist the proposed redefining of marriage with all its likely consequences particularly in schools and in how children are taught about the true nature of marriage.

At this time, we look to our Members of Parliament to defend, not change, the bond of man and woman in marriage as the essential element of the vision of the family. I urge everyone who cares about upholding the meaning of marriage in civil law to make their views known to their Members of Parliament, clearly, calmly and forcefully. Please do so as soon as possible.

I ask you to keep me in your prayers on this day, that as a diocese we may be a family that is loving and supportive of one another in our life in the Lord. Amen
Yours devotedly
+Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

Spread the word!

This is advertised over at auntiejoanna’s and I thought I’d support her in spreading the word.

Saturday October 20th 2012
Finishes: St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, with Benediction.
The procession will be led by Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
The Procession will go down Ambrosden Avenue, and cross the river at Lambeth Bridge.  Bring a group from your parish, or just come on your own or with family and friends.

Peace ICON


‘My peace I leave you, my peace I give to you’

While the Olympics get under way here in London, seven churches in the Southwark Diocese will be playing host the beautiful ICON above. In passing the ICON on to the next parish, churches take part in the ‘passing on of peace’. The beauty and symbolism in this sacred art speaks loudly to the senses.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster,
Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, and Bishop
Thomas McMahon of Brentwood, leaders of the
three ‘London’ dioceses, say,
‘On behalf of the dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and
Westminster, we strongly support this initiative to create a peace legacy
for the 2012 Games. Here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for
Catholics within and beyond London to take action for peace, locally,
nationally and globally to mark the Olympics and Paralympics.
The modern Olympics were founded to spread peaceful cooperation
through sport. Catholics in our three dioceses and beyond pray that
the peace in our hearts, homes, and communities will be a prominent
theme during London 2012 and prove a lasting legacy for future


I repost a taster of information from this website to whet your appetite:

The idea of the Pax Christi International Icon comes from the work for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East and the exposure programmes in Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Palestine. The Peace Icon for Pax Christi was painted in the monastery of ‘St John in the Desert’, near Jerusalem and was given to the movement on July 1st 1999 in the city of Jerusalem. The Icon presents Christ, the source of reconciliation, the source of liberation and peace and symbolises the vital connections of the Eastern and Western Christian traditions in the Peace of Christ. The Icon has two central pictures. At the top Esau and Jacob who are seen embracing and standing on a sword at the time of their reconciliation. At the foot of the picture the title of the Icon, “ Christ our Reconciliation” is written in Greek. Latin and Hebrew. Underneath, the risen Jesus is teaching the Our Father to the disciples in the heavenly Jerusalem. At the foot of this, the words of the Our Father are written in Aramaic the language which Jesus is thought to have spoken. Other pictures show the biblical stories of Sarah and Isaac, Hagar and Ishmael, the woman at the well and the Syro-Phoenician woman. The saints include: Mary Magdalene, St Sophia, St Clare, St Boris and Gleb, St Stephen and St Francis.


In the Eastern Christian tradition an icon is the visible image of the Divine. The iconographer, who creates the icon, is instrumental in bringing about the spiritual process. The icon is the meeting of heaven and earth. The production of the icon includes times of prayer and fasting, and requires a knowledge of the codes of canon law, of both Eastern and Western traditions, knowledge of the church’s long tradition of iconography and a familiarity with the traditions of the ecumenical councils. The tradition of icon painting assumes that three people are present: the person in the icon, the painter and the viewer. The subject of an icon is not original. When the iconographer has decided who he is to paint he will find earlier depictions and will follow the tradition in his composition and style. For Byzantine Christians, both Orthodox and Catholic , icons play a central and vital part of their religious life. The icon follows the way God has created the world from darkness in the beginning to light in the end. The icon is written from the darkest parts to the lightest ones. When the icon is finished, a window to heaven is revealed.