THE media world is a focus of attention for several of the bishops this week. Bishop Vincent Nichols, auxiliary in Westminster, goes into the studios at BBC Radio Four for three days from Tuesday to record 'Thought for the Day', while Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth attends meetings of the Central Religious Advisory Committee, CRAC, to independent television on Tuesday and the Catholic Media Trust, along with Bishop Charles Henderson, auxiliary in Southwark, on Thursday.
On the ecumenical front, Bishop Ambrose Griffiths of Hexham and Newcastle attends an ecumenical mission at St John Vianney, Hartlepool this Sunday, when Bishop John Brewer of Lancaster attends a joint service at the Methodist Church in Keswick. Bishop David Konstant of Leeds is at the enthronement of the new Anglican Bishop of Bradford, Rt Rev David Smith, while Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood leads an ecumenical pilgrimage to Walsingham next Saturday.
Others are busy marking the start of the academic year. Bishop Augustine Harris of Middlesbrough hosts a teachers' dedication service and later celebrates his diocesan annual education mass, while next Saturday Bishop Vincent Malone, auxiliary in Liverpool, attends a celebration for the new Liverpool John Moores University (formerly Liverpool Poly) at the city's Anglican Cathedral, after four days on retreat. Cardinal Basil Hume visits the annual meeting of the 14MC Headmasters Conference in Bruges, Belgium, for two days, having earlier celebrated mass for the centenary of St Mary's School, Kensal New Town.
Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville of Birmingham blesses new buildings at Bl. George Napier school, Banbury, while his auxiliary, Bishop Terence Brain, attends the Catholic Teachers' Federation AGM at St Anne's, Birmingham. Bishop Patrick Kelly of Salford visits St Cuthbert's School, Rochdale, where he attends a youth celebration the following day.
A number of national conferences are on the agenda of the bishops. The SERRA conference in salford is visited by Bishop Joseph Gray of Shrewsbury on Sunday. Next weekend, Bishops Harris and Christopher Budd of Plymouth attend the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council conference in York, when Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Arundel and Brighton celebrates mass for SVP week in Crawley, Sussex and Bishop John Crowley, auxiliary in Westminster, attends the AGM of the national Council of the Lay Apostolate in Birmingham.
Elsewhere, Bishop Leo McCartie of Northampton attends the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom AGM in London, while Bishop Alan Clark of East Anglia dedicates the new church of St Cecilia at Trimley St Mary, Suffolk. Bishop Howard Tripp, auxiliary in Southwark, meets with ethnic chaplains in south London and a justice and peace day at West Wickham.
A PRIEST of the Leeds Diocese, Fr Francis Abberton, has died at St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds. He was 76.
Member of a well-known Shipley family, he was born in 1915 and educated at St Bede's Grammar School, Bradford, before studying for the priesthood at Ushaw. He was ordained At Leeds Cathedral in March 1940, along with elder brother Tom, who died in 1975.
Fr Francis served in St Bede's, Rotherham, St Robert's, Harrogate, and Leeds Cathedral. In 1954, he became parish priest at English Martyrs, Mexborough. He briefly served in a number of other parishes before taking on the scattered rural parish of Scarthingwell for eight years. His last two years before retirement was spent at St Thomas's, Goole. He spent much of his retirement in Sussex, returning, in failing health, to St Gabriel's Home, Horsforth, earlier this year.
Fr Abberton's requiem mass was said at St Walburga's, Shipley, by retired Bishop Gordon Wheeler of Leeds. He was buried at Nab Wood cemetery, Shipley.
Father Gerard Hanley OMI, Parish Priest of Rockferry, Birkenhead, died on 3rd September in Ireland after a short illness. He was 59. At his own request, he was buried in Castletownbere, West Cork, the home of his father and a place that remained special for him all his life.
In 1955, Father Hanley graduated from University College, Dublin with a BA in Philosophy. After completing his theological studies, he was ordained priest in the Oblate Scholastica in Piltown, County Kilkenny in 1958. He was appointed to St Anne's, Rock Ferry in 1979 and became Parish Priest in 1987.
He was widely loved in the parish and worked particularly in the field of Christian unity and Ecumenism.
Canon Martin Kehoe, retired parish priest of Wythenshawe and Wallasey, died on the 4th September, at the age of 78.
He was ordained priest in 1938 in Birkenhead and he served as priest at Wythenshawe, which was his first appointment, for 34 years. In his time there he built schools. a parish centre, a presbytery, and finally in 1960, a new church, St Anthony's which replaced the but that the parishioners had been using up to that time. he will be sadly missed by the thriving parish of which he built the firm foundations.