Pope Francis has appointed Fr Paul Mason as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark.
The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-Elect Paul Mason will take place in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on 31st May, 2016 at Midday, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He will join Bishop Patrick Lynch and Bishop Paul Hendricks as Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Southwark, succeeding Bishop John Hine.
Bishop–Elect Mason, a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark, has been the Episcopal Vicar for Kent which comprises the Deaneries of Canterbury, Chatham, Dover, Gravesend, Maidstone, Thanet and Tunbridge Wells.
He revealed the “seismic shift” he felt upon discovering his appointment. “Although I have been working as Episcopal Vicar for Kent for just over two years, I still experienced something of a seismic shift when the Nuncio, Archbishop Mennini, handed me a letter saying that Pope Francis wished to appoint me as Auxiliary Bishop for Southwark. Southwark is a wonderful Diocese with great energy and diversity where the priests are not only very supportive but also a delight to work with.”
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith, expressed his happiness at the appointment. “I was delighted to hear the news that Pope Francis has appointed Fr Paul Mason as an Auxiliary Bishop in Southwark. He has served this Diocese for many years, recently in working with me in the care of the people in Kent as my Episcopal Vicar to them, following Bishop John Hine’s move to Tenterden.”
The archbishop added that he has faith in Bishop-Elect Mason to follow on from his great work as a priest. “I am very happy that the Holy Father has once again appointed a third auxiliary to Southwark, and I am sure that as Paul begins this new stage in his ordained ministry he will work with the clergy, religious and lay faithful of Kent with the same energy and enthusiasm he has demonstrated as a priest.”
Bishop–Elect Mason added, “I look forward to continuing my ministry with Archbishop Peter and to do all I can to support and promote the Catholic Faith and help share the love and mercy of God, particularly to the people of Kent and the Medway.”
Bishop-Elect Mason was born on 6th November 1962 in North Shields, Tyne & Wear, where he attended St Anselm’s RC High School, North Shields, before continuing his studies at Kings College London.
After working in Turin for Olivetti and London for Hewlett-Packard he trained as a priest at Venerable English College, Rome, and was
ordained on 25th July 1998.
Following his ordination he was assistant priest at St John the Baptist, Purley until 2001, when he became full time Hospital Chaplain at St Thomas’ & Guys Hospital Trust until 2012. He was Pastoral Director at Allen Hall Seminary and Director of Southwark Ongoing Formation from 2012 to 2013.
Picture: Bishop-Elect Paul Mason and the Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith. (www.catholicnews.org.uk)