WELCOMING converts plays a large part in the bishops' diaries this week, starting with Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminster, who conducts a rite of election at the cathedral on Sunday, accompanied by his auxiliaries Bishop Vincent Nichols and Bishop John Crowley, as well as Bishop Joseph Gray of Shrewsbury and Bishop James O'Brien of Hertfordshire.
Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool is doing likewise at the Metropolitan Cathedral, whilst Bishops Augustine Harris of Middlesborough, Patrick Kelly of Salford, Daniel Mullins of Menevia, Mervyn Alexander of Clifton, and David Konstant of Leeds also welcome new members to the church at their respective cathedrals.
Education meetings feature strongly as ever, with Bishop Vincent Nichols, auxiliary in Westminster, meeting Brent Catholic headteachers on Wednesday, and Bishop John Brewer of Lancaster meeting diocesan heads of secondary schools on the same day.
Bishop David Konstant of Leeds attends a meeting of Diocesan Schools Commissioners in London Colney from Monday to Wednesday, but has a chance to relax when he drops in on a concert by popular singer Sal Solo at a concert on Friday in St Anne's Cathedral.
On the same day, at noon, Bishop James O'Brien of Hertfordshire attends the episcopal ordination of Dom Ambrose Griffiths as new Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.
Also on Friday, Bishop Leo McCarlie joins Cardinal Basil Hume for the opening of the new ecumenical church for Milton Keynes, Christ the Cornerstone, and both are off the following day to Rome for one of their quinquennial ad lamina visits. They will be accompanied by Bishops John Crowley of London, Joseph Gray of Shrewsbury, Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth and Cormac Murphy-O' Connor of Arundel and Brighton, as well as Archbishop Couve de Murville of Birmingham and his auxiliaries, Bishops Pargeter and Brain.
ONE of Scotland's best-loved clerics, Bishop Charles Renfrew, auxiliary in Glasgow, has died at the age of 62.
Bishop Renfrew, who had been auxiliary bishop since 1977 and vicar general of the archdiocese since '1974, was born and brought up in Glasgow, and immensely proud of his native city.
Despite being a kidney dialysis patient for most of the last decade, he maintained an active ministry and won the respect of Christians of all denominations and civic representatives of all parties.
Charles Renfrew was born in Kelvinside, Glasgow, in 1929. After primary and secondary education at Notre Dame Convent and St Aloysius College in Glasgow, he began training for the priesthood in Rome, and graduated from the Gregorian University there. He was appointed assistant priest at the Immaculate Conception parish in Maryhill after his ordination in 1953, and three years later moved to work in priests' training at St Mary's College, Blairs, and then at St Vincent's College, Langbank. He remained in seminary education until the mid1970s.
A gifted writer, Bishop Renfrew's publications included the widely-used St Vincent's Prayer Book, A Pageant of Holiness, and Rambling Through Life.
A lifelong champion of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Bishop Refrew also held many offices on the wider stage of Scottish Catholic life. He was secretary to the Vocations and Seminaries Commission between 1969 and 1974, was the episcopal adviser to Charismatic Renewal in Scotland, honorary officiating chaplain to the Royal Navy and, for many years, an active member of the Scottish Religious Advisory Committee at the BBC.
THE founder of Westminster Adult Religious Education Centre, Fr Kevin Cronin CBE, has died at the age of 84.
Fr Cronin, who was well known to generations of teachers throughout the country who trained at St Mary's College, Strawberry Hill, was principal of the college from 1948 until 1969. From 1932 until 1935 he was a lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at the College des Irlandais in Paris.
THE former Clifton diocesan director of the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, Canon Robert Hall, died recently.
Canon Hall studied for the priesthood at Valladolid in Spain in his youth, before returning to his secular job of surveying, a course he finally left 20 years later to return to his priestly training at the Beds College, He was ordained in Rome in 1957.
Canon Hall was also administrator of Clifton diocese children's society for 13 years.
Other work for which he will be remembered includes his drawing up of parish boundaries within the diocese, and his role as secretary on the committee which set up Melchet Court as a special residential school for boys.