150 Years in High Barnet   Cardinal Hume

Short Biography of St Gregory the Great

St. Gregory the Great (also known as Gregory I) was born at Rome c540.

He came from a wealthy family but after a high-flying start in Rome he gave his great wealth to the poor and founded six monasteries in Sicily, and one in Rome. He then joined the one in Rome.

Against his will he was taken back into the world to serve as a diplomat and finally became Pope in 590. He used the papal title "The servant of the servants of God"

He earned the title of "Great" through the work he did as Pope. He was in contact with all the Churches of Christendom and, in spite of his bodily sufferings, and innumerable labours, he found time to compose a great number of works.

St Gregory was a great administrator. It was he who commissioned St Augustus to come to this country to re-establish Christianity and that is why Gregory is also known as the "Apostle of the English".

He was also a great theologian and is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. He is known above all for his magnificent contributions to the Liturgy of the Mass and Office.

He died 12 March 604 and is the patron saint of teachers. 

...for a full biography.


150 Years at High Barnet

150th anniversary
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the present parish.

"THE Cardinal would have loved to be here", Bishop Vincent Nichols, Westminster Administrator, told a packed congregation at the church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Gregory, High Barnet, writes MARION CURD.

Before his death last June, Cardinal Hume had accepted an invitation to lead the celebrations.

Seventeen priests concelebrated the Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. With the Bishop as chief celebrant were parish priest Fr Richard Marriott, his assistant Fr Paul Arnold, and many who had served the parish in the past. Among them were Fr David Ardagh-Walker, immediate predecessor as parish priest, Fr William Wilby who had left to spend six years as a missionary in Bolivia; and Fr Christopher Dawson, a former parishioner who was ordained for the Salford diocese. Spanish Dominican Fr Miguel Itza OP, who has spent the summer in the parish for some 20 years, flew in from Rome for the occasion.

Bishop Nichols paid tribute to the founder of the parish in 1849, the Pallottine Fr Giuseppe's Fa Di Bruno, to his successor, Fr George Bampfield. The Bishop told how Fr Bampfield 'did incredible work over 30 years' and was 'daring` in dedicating the new church to Our Lady Immaculate at a time when many people did not fully appreciate the dogma which had just been defined by Pope Pius IX. Mr Bampfield, a convert from the Church of England (as are Barnet's two present priests), was responsible for a huge area covering North Middlesex and West Hertfordshire.

He was so infused with the missionary spirit that he founded the Institute of St Andrew, a group of secular priests who not only taught in the schools he had also founded, but went out on Sundays in all weathers, by pony and trap, to offer Mass at their missions as far away as Watford, Bushey, Finchley, Waltham, Kelveden and Bures in Suffolk. Fr Bampfield also served St Alban's, and boy apprentices of his trade school, St Joseph's House, built under professional supervision, the first post-Reformation church in that city.

Before the Reformation, Barnet had been under the jurisdiction of the Benedictine Abbot of St Alban's, to whom King John gave a charter to establish a market 800 years ago.

Bishop Nichols paid tribute to Fr Marriott, who had organised so many events during the parish's anniversary 'Year of Mission'. These had included Vespers of Our Lady on the previous evening; a week long School of Prayer, a concert in aid of homeless charities, with £5,000 raised so far, and a Pilgrim Cross being hosted in a succession of homes. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament takes place in the church for several hours each weekday.

In his reply of thanks to Bishop Nichols, Fr Marriott read a letter of congratulations from Cardinal Marcharski, Archbishop of Cracow, whom he had met while on a visit to Poland with a group of parishioners in the summer. And the thanksgiving continues; this year, 2000, marks the 25th anniversary of the first Mass in Barnet's modern parish church, built after a disastrous fire gutted the original building in June 1973.

This article has been reproduced with the kind permission of the Westminster Record


Cardinal Hume 1923 - 1999 RIP

These words are from Cardinal Hume’s book "The Mystery of the Cross" and were appended to the printed order of his Funeral Mass.

Death is a formidable foe until we learn to make it a friend.
Death is to be feared if we do not learn to welcome it.
Death is the ultimate absurdity if we do not see it as fulfillment.
Death haunts us when viewed as a journey into nothingness rather than a pilgrimage to a place where true happiness is to be found.
The human mind cannot understand death.
We face it with fear and uncertainty, revulsion even; or we turn away from the thought for it is too hard to bear.
But faith gives answers when reason fails.
The strong instinct to live points to immortality.
Faith admits us into death’s secrets.
Death is not the end of the road, but a gateway to a better place.
It is in this place that our noblest aspirations will be realised.
It is here that we will understand how our experiences of goodness, love, beauty and joy are realities which exist perfectly in God.
It is in heaven that we shall rest in him and our hearts will be restless until they rest in God.