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100th Birthday of Christine Hughes
Celebrated at St Cuthbert's, High Cross Melrose

His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O'Brien with Christine, PP Fr John Creanor,
Fr George Rodgers and the Altar Servers with the Celebration Cake and Bursary Certificate after the Mass.
(source: Paul West) Cardinal O’Brien travelled to St Cuthbert’s, Melrose on the Fourth Sunday of Advent to join in the family and parish celebrations of the 100th birthday of Mrs Christine Hughes.
Christine has been a stalwart of the Borders Community over very many years, initially being actively involved in the Brownie Movement. When the White Fathers were in residence in St Boswells, she rendered them untold help; and her help and support continued to all at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange when both the Cardinal and the present parish priest of Melrose, Father John Creanor, were both students for the priesthood.A packed congregation in St Cuthbert’s, with her wonderful extended family, thanked God for her 100 years and presented her with a very fitting gift, marking her 100th birthday – a bursary ensuring that native students for the priesthood for the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) will continue to be supported from the income from the bursary in the years which lie ahead. The centenary cake featured representations, both of the White Fathers Seminary at St Boswells, as well as of the present St Cuthbert’s, Melrose.Christine with Cardinal O'Brien,Her son and daughter Bernard and Marie and her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.Photographs by and copyright of Paul Mc Sherry 07770 393960

Photographs available from paul.mcsherry@ntlworld.com

25th July 2009


by Peter Jennings
Press Secretary to Bishop William Kenney, CP, Diocesan Administrator, and the Archdiocese of Birmingham

The beatification ceremony of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) will be held in the Archdiocese of Birmingham during 2010, on a date and at a venue yet to be decided.
There has been much speculation in the Catholic Press, on websites and on blogs about the date and venue of the ceremony since Pope Benedict XVI authorised the proclamation of a Decree on Friday 3 July, that recognised the authenticity of a miracle obtained through the intercession of Cardinal Newman.

The miraculous healing took place on 15 August 2001, the Feast of the Assumption, when a permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Boston, USA, named Jack Sullivan, now aged 70,  was cured of a crippling disease of the spine.

A story put out on the wires by the American Catholic News Service on Wednesday 15 July stated categorically: “Cardinal John Henry Newman will be beatified in Birmingham, England, 2 May, a Catholic Church source told Catholic News Service on condition of anonymity.”

The anonymous source added: “Cardinal Newman will be beatified in the Birmingham Oratory”.
Bishop William Kenney, CP, Diocesan Administrator in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: “We will suggest dates for the beatification ceremony of Cardinal Newman to officials in Rome. No official announcement will be made until a date and venue has been approved by the Holy See.”

Bishop Kenney, added: “The long Roman summer holidays have now begun and an official announcement is unlikely before late September or early October 2009 at the earliest.”

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Bishop William Kenney, and Fr Paul Chavasse, Actor of the Newman Cause and Provost of  the Birmingham Oratory, met on Tuesday 21 July at Archbishop's House, Westminster, and are in favour of the beatification ceremony being on a Sunday during late May or early June 2010, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The norm for beatifications during the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI is that they should take place in the diocese where the Servant of God lived and died - Cardinal Newman died in his room at the Oratory House in Birmingham on Monday 11 August 1890. There have been a few exceptions when, for good reason, the beatification ceremony was held in Rome.

The Cardinal Newman Memorial Church in Edgbaston, situated next to the Oratory House, opened by Fr Newman in February 1852, is not sufficiently large to host the beatification ceremony that will attract people from across the world.

Pope Benedict XVI has not officiated at a beatification ceremony and it has emerged from Rome that he will not make an exception for Newman, whom he first studied as a young seminarian in January 1946. That honour is likely to fall to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato.


15th June 2009


Pope Benedict XVI pictured at the end of his General Audience in St Peter's Square on Wednesday 10 June, with the delegation from the Israel Postal Company and Peter Jennings (fourth right)—who wrote the text of the two special commemorative souvenir stamp booklets: "Pope Benedict XVI Pilgrimage to the Holy Land May 2009"

Picture L'Osservatore Romano.

Pope Benedict XVI has been presented with an official, unique philatelic memento, issued by the Philatelic Service of the Israel Postal Company, to commemorate his  historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land during May 2009. A smiling Pope Benedict was delighted with the gifts of a framed copy of the two "My Own Stamp" personalized stamp sheets and special commemorative souvenir booklets dedicated to his visit. He chatted for a few minutes to the Israeli delegation at the end of his weekly General Audience, in St Peter's Square, on Wednesday 10 June.The Israeli ambassador to the Holy See H. E. Mordechay (Moty) Lewy, introduced Pope Benedict XVI to Mr Avi Hochman, CEO & President of the Israel Postal Company; Mr Yaron Razon, Director of the Israel Philatelic Service; Mrs Yael Koskas, International Marketing Manager, Israel Philatelic Service and Pope Benedict XVI Souvenir Sets Project Manager, who had flown from Israel for the occasion. The Israeli Ambassador also introduced Project Consultant, Peter Jennings, the well-known Catholic journalist and broadcaster, who wrote the text for both the special souvenir booklets.The first personalized stamp sheet and souvenir booklet was released on Monday 4 May to welcome Pope Benedict to Israel for his Pilgrimage – A BRIDGE FOR PEACE  -  Monday 11 to Friday 15 May. The beautifully produced booklet featured photographs of the Christian holy sites and relevant biblical texts. The limited edition of 10,000 stamp sheets and booklets quickly sold out to a worldwide market.The second "My Own Stamp" personalized sheet and souvenir booklet features a selection of magnificent photographs that vividly capture key moments of the Pope's Pilgrimage along with quotes from his addresses, reflections and sermons. Mr Jennings wrote in his Introduction to the second commemorative booklet: "The postage stamp, art in miniature, has a unique permanence. The media newspapers, radio and television, the world-wide web and blogs - present an event like this fleetingly but this special stamp sheet and commemorative booklet provide an enduring record for collectors and non-collectors to be cherished by future generations." After the presentation, Ambassador Lewy revealed that Pope Benedict was enthusiastic about the idea of a joint Vatican-Israel stamp issue to commemorate his 2009 visit to Israel to be issued during 2010.  The Pope remarked: "It is a good idea for both of us".Mr Yaron Razon, Director of the Israel Philatelic Service said: "We are excited about a joint stamp issue with the Vatican and already have some interesting preliminary ideas."Peter Jennings said: "It was a great honour and a privilege that the Israel Philatelic Service invited me as a Catholic to be part of their project to welcome the Holy Father to the Holy Land. It is a sign of the cordial relationship between the State of Israel and the Catholic Church." Mr Jennings, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, since 1974, added: "The team at the Israel Philatelic Service was extremely professional, imaginative  and helpful. I am delighted with the two stamp sheets and commemorative booklets, they will be sought after and treasured throughout the world." Avi Hochman, CEO & President of Israel Postal Company, said: "The State of Israel is proud to present the elegant souvenir stamp set in honour of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Holy Land." Mr Hochman added: "The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Israel is a testimony to the eternal coexistence of the Jewish nation and religion side by side with Christianity, and the mutual and deep-felt respect that the State of Israel affords the Vatican and vice versa."

For further information see the Israel Philatelic Service website: www.israelpost.co.il/pope


3rd March 2009

John Paul Dawson
writes :

" I recently visited St Columbas and took some photos of the naturally occuring degeneration of two of the concrete crucifixes marking Father Drost's grave and Father Rijker's grave.

Before taking the photographs of the degenerative damage, I met Liz Marshal of the Tweed Horizons Centre. Liz is the Centre's Administrator and said it was quite all-right to take the photographs. I told Liz I would forward the photos of the damage to the Pelican Association and invite commments and suggestions from the members.

Liz was pleased to see an 'old boy' of St Columbas and appreciated the warm-heartfelt thanks I passed on from the members and their families regarding the recent successful re-union held at the College. "

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