Pastoral Notes 17th August 2014

Bishop Leo ParkerA BISHOP OF NORTHAMPTON

The name and coat-of-arms of Bishop Laurence Youens marks the window and foundation-stone of St Edward’s church, but it was his successor, Bishop Thomas ‘Leo’ Parker (1942-1967) as 7th bishop of Northampton who consecrated the church in 1946 (hence the 12 red crosses and candles around the walls). Bishop Leo was born in 1887 and studied for the priesthood at Ushaw College in the north of England. As bishop he was responsible for the reordering of Northampton Cathedral as we see it today. He ordained over 100 priests in his time. He comes to mind at this time of year because he was one of the world’s bishops who was able to travel to Rome in 1950 where Pope Pius XII solemnly confirmed our ancient faith in the Assumption of Our Lady, her sharing fully in the glorious risen life of heaven. In the porch of St Peter’s Basilica there is a plaque commemorating all the bishops who came to Rome – including Bishop Leo of Northampton. In those days the diocese was huge, including all East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, as present, Suffolk and Norfolk) with the Walsingham Shrine of Our Lady. It needed an Auxiliary bishop, then Bishop Charles Grant, former parish priest of Kettering.

Bishop Leo Parker