IT'S back to work in the dioceses for most of the bishops this week after the excitement of their Low Week gathering in London. The busy round of confirmations and deanery meetings resumes, with school visits and special Masses featuring prominently as always.
One exception is Bishop David Konstant of Leeds, who leads the annual diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, where he will be for most of the week.
On Sunday Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth is in Bournemouth for the Annual Conference of the Catenian Association, whilst Bishop Alan Clark of East Anglia visits the parish of Diss in Norfolk.
Tuesday sees Archbishop Michael Bowen of Southwark at the official opening of the South London Homelessness project, whilst Bishops John Brewer of Lancaster and Patrick Kelly of Salford attend a meeting of the Lancashire Church Leaders' Council on the same day. On Wednesday, Bishop Philip
Pargeter, auxiliary in Birmingham, fits in the annual general meeting of the Oscotian Society during a busy week, whilst his fellow auxiliary, Bishop Terence Brain, conducts a Mass for ministries of the permanent diaconate at Pype Hayes on the following day.
Also on Thursday, Bishop James O'Brien, auxiliary in Westminster, will be at a school leavers' Mass at Loreto College.
The Battersea Churches Housing Trust is celebrating its silver jubilee this year, and Bishop Howard Tripp, auxiliary in Southwark. will be at a reception to mark the occasion on Friday.
Ecumenical and inter-faith engagements feature at the end of the week. On Friday, Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Arundel and Brighton Meets other church leaders in Surrey and Sussex at a DABCEC meeting. Archbishop Maurice Couve de Murville of Birmingham visits Oxford Synagogue on Saturday, whilst Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth joins the Anglican bishop of Winchester for a joint pastoral visit to Southampton city centre on the same day.
ARUNDEL and Brighton diocese is holding a fiesta for people with handicaps and their friends in the cathedral, followed by a picnic in the park, on May 25. Contact the Youth Office on (0293) 612299 for more information.
"MANAGEMENT of Change" is the title of the annual seminar of the Federation of Catholic Hospitals and Health Care Institutions, taking place on May 27 at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in London. Details on 071-286 5126.
A PR1FST for almost 47 years. and Vice Rector of the Beda College in Rome during the 1970s, Mgr John McDonald, has died after a short illness. He was 78.
John Francis McDonald was born in 1913 in Kilmaine, County Mayo, one of 11 children. At the age of nine, he came to England and was educated at St Brendan's College in Bristol. He studied philosophy at the Salesian Hall of Residence in Oxford and in 1941 transferred to St Edmund's College, Ware, to study theology.
He was ordained by Cardinal Griffin in Westminster Cathedral in May 1945 and went straight on to St Patrick's College, Maynooth, from where he graduated in 1947 with a Licentiate in Canon Law.
His first appointment was to Holy Redeemer in Chelsea, and in 1954 he went to Allen Hall to teach Moral Theology, before taking up the post of parish priest at Our Lady of the Assumption Warwick Street in Westminster.
In 1970 he was appointed Vice Rector of the Beda College in Rome, and remained in this post until 1976 when he became executive secretary to the Vatican agency Agrimissio. He retired in 1984.
Mgr McDonald served as Ecclesiastical Adviser to the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council and was also chaplain to the Guild of Catholic Bankers.