Bishops, Priests
and Religious
serving from 1819


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A History of Catholic Life in Weymouth and Portland

"Priests and People are One - that is our precious tradition" (Bishop Cyril Restieaux)

Part X The Election of Benedict XVI

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The Conclave

As the Cardinals went into conclave to elect a successor to St Peter, Fr Philip's prayer in the newsletter of the weekend of 17th April was

"17th April ELECTION OF A NEW POPE: The Cardinals go into the Conclave on Monday 18th. Please pray for them and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. A prayer also from the missal to use:

Lord God, you are our eternal shepherd and guide. In your mercy grant to Your Church a shepherd who will walk in your ways and whose watchful care will bring us your blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen"

Habemus Papam!


The Romans have a saying that he who goes into the conclave as a Pope comes out as a Cardinal – that is to say that favourites come nowhere.

On this occasion the saying was refuted because after a very short conclave lasting just over 24 hours, the joyful words 'Habemus Papam' were announced to the cheering crowds. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger had been elected and taken the name of Benedict XVI.

The picture to the right shows him on the balcony of St Peter’s, seconds after he was presented to the faithful. He had hoped to retire to his studies and writings. Instead, the Holy Spirit placed the responsibilities of Christ's Church on his shoulders.

During his homily at his inaugural Mass on 24th April, Benedict said

“My dear friends - at this moment I can only say:

“Pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more.

“Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more - in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together.

“Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.

“Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.”

Meanwhile, in Weymouth . . .

In the newsletter for the Sunday following Benedict’s election, Fr Philip Dyson wrote:

WE REJOICE in the election of Benedict XVI - the speed of the election must mean that the Cardinals were very much united. Many, many prayers for him in the huge responsibility that is laid upon him. God bless the Pope!

Prayer for our new Holy Father, Benedict XVI: God our Father, shepherd and guide, look with love on Pope Benedict XVI, your servant, the pastor of your Church. May his word and example inspire and guide the Church, and may he, and all those entrusted to his care, come to the joy of everlasting life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Sister Philomena

On 23rd April, there was a celebration at the Convent of Sister Mary Philomena's 75th Anniversary of her profession as a Sister of Mercy.

Death of Sister Annick

On 29th April, SISTER ANNICK, who had taught for so many years at the Sacred Hearts Convent, and played the organ at St Augustine's died aged 92. Many Parishioners had fond memories of her. R.I.P.

Bishop Budd visits St Augustines and confers the Sacrament of Confirmation

On 7th May, The Rt Rev Bishop Christopher Budd visited St Augustine's and confirmed 24 candidates.

Sister Geraldine leaves Weymouth

At the end of August Sister Geraldine, Reverend Mother at the Convent of Mercy departed to take up a position in Clacton, Essex as co-ordinator of one of the Order's care homes. In her departing letter to parishioners she said:

“I would just like this opportunity to say goodbye and God Bless each and every one of you for your care and support in good and bad times over the past 22 years. Thank you hardly seems adequate to express my gratitude because apart from my own Community and family you were my ‘family’ and I will miss you all so much. I know everything is in the palm of God, but please keep in your prayers as I will you, daily. Love, thanks and prayers - Geraldine.”

The Death of Gerry Fusco

In September 2005 Gerry Fusco died. Gerry was part of the Fusco family who owned a number of properties in Weymouth. His company was and still is the Landlord of the LIFE Charity Shop in Great George Street. Over the years he was a silent benefactor to LIFE, and the LIFE Group were very grateful to him.

A Requiem Mass for Gerry was celebrated in St Augustine's on Saturday 1 October 2005 at 10am.

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