Report by Mgr Daniel McHugh

“Very successful, a good turnout, lively, well worthwhile”: those were the words Archbishop Bernard Longley used to describe the annual conference held on Tuesday 20 February 2024.

It was the first occasion that the conference took place at Fr. Hudson’s Care which has grown services in breadth and depth to such an extent in recent years.

Andrew Quinn CEO outlined its work which extends far beyond its origins in adoption, fostering and care for children, to the care of the elderly, the disabled, asylum seekers and refugees.

Not only does Fr Hudson’s continue to be a base for care, it also reaches out through partnerships in local areas and parishes across the Archdiocese as an enabling organisation and facilitator.

For the Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions attending the conference it was an “eye-opener” on the resource Fr Hudson’s is for Catholic Ethnic Communities that are now established as vital partners and enablers of the mission of the Church in the UK.

For the Ethnic Communities represented at the conference day there are issues around Visa applications and Safeguarding that they need to be aware of. It was great to have the Secretary/PA in the Vicar General’s Office, Helen Perry and Claire Reay from Safeguarding in the Archdiocese, together with Monica Coke from the Jamaican Consulate, speaking to the gathering. Whether it is Priests or Religious coming to this country from abroad, or members of Congregations going abroad on Pilgrimage, there was plenty to absorb in this session. The main lesson: be prepared to go through the regulations, and it takes time! But, help and advice are available!

The final session in the afternoon was sharing by the participants:

  • Around the Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions
  • Ita Gooden, West Indian Chaplaincy: The Chaplaincy and the Windrush Experience
  • Fr George Ettuparayil, Syro-Malabar Eparchy: A Christian Cultural Celebration
  • Peter Luczka, Ukrainian Eparchy: The Church and those who have fled the invasion of Ukraine
  • Fr John Mudereri, Zimbabwean Chaplaincy: A Weekend of Prayer and Music

The overall impression was of Catholic Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions playing a vital part in the Mission of the Church, and contributing so much to its life, and to society in general.

It was a heart-warming day with Archbishop Longley speaking movingly in his address of the importance of Ethnic diversity, the new face of the Church in mission in recent years.

The selection of pictures by Con McHugh provide an insight into an encouraging day!

Photo Gallery

Chaplaincies Eparchies and Missions - Annual Day with Archbishop Bernard