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Franciscan day, papal blessings, anniversary, conference

Latest news from across the Diocese of East Anglia includes a Franciscan Day of Recollection, Papal Blessings, an 80th anniversary and a national conference.


The Norwich Secular Franciscan ‘Pax et Bonum’ Fraternity held a Day of Recollection on Wednesday May 22 in the Barn at Orchard Cottage, Hainford reports Anne Murrin.

Present were all members of the Norwich fraternity and some members of other fraternities from around the region (pictured above).  Sisters Elaine and Francis, the Poor Clares from Swaffham, were also present, as were Friars Gerard Mary Toman and James Mary McInery from the community of Grey Friars based in Walsingham, along with Brother Joe who has recently joined them from Dublin. 

Two thought-provoking talks on Franciscan Joy were given by Fr Gerard and Mass was celebrated in the middle of the day by Fr James with Fr Gerard concelebrating.  This was followed by a shared lunch and a wander through the beautiful garden of Robert and Claire Hardie who very kindly hosted the event.


Two long-serving CAFOD fundraisers.from St Benet’s, Beccles were presented with Papal Blessings at a crowded 6pm Mass on Sunday May 19, reports Terry O’Brien.

Sydna Playford and Gloria Willis have given long and devoted service – in a variety of ways – to stimulate the generosity of parishioners for this very worthwhile cause.

The presentation of the Papal Blessings was made by CAFOD Organiser, Jane Crone, who paid tribute to the commitment of Sydna and Gloria over the years.  By co-incidence, the “Second Collection” at this celebratory Mass was for Christian Aid – and the congregation responded magnificently. While not for CAFOD, this was perhaps a fitting tribute to our fundraisers!

The opportunity was also taken to publicise the initiative by CAFOD to highlight the urgent need for all governments to take action to achieve “Net Zero Carbon Emissions” if we are to avoid catastrophic environmental damage, and the ensuing poverty in the developing world.  Many signatures were added to the CAFOD petition after Mass.

Pictured with Fr Martin Gowman are Sydna Playford (left) and Gloria Willis. Picture by Jane Crone.


St Peter the Apostle church in Gorleston will make its 80th anniversary with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes on Wednesday June 12. The Mass will start at 7pm and will be followed by a time together in the church hall for sharing memories and refreshments. All are welcome to attend.


A Solemn High Mass, celebrated by the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool, formed part of last weekend’s Annual Conference of the Catenian Association which takes place in various parts of the UK, this year being Liverpool.

Pictured outside The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool immediately after the Mass, are current president of Norwich Circle of the Catenian Association, Philip Hoy (left) with his wife Christine alongside Val Baker with her husband Tony, immediate past president of the Circle.

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