Saturday, 16 January 2016


The Down and Connor website says: "Fr Hugh Kennedy to be Chaplain to the Congregation of Our Lady, More House, Archdiocese of Westminster, London".

More House

That statement implies that the Dean Emeritus is becoming a chaplain to a convent of nuns?

Yet  the Dean Emeritus himself said at last Sunday's Mass in St Peter's Cathedral that he had been invited to join a university chaplaincy team in London?

According to the More House website More House is a residence for university students run by the CANONESSES OF SAINT AUGUSTINE.  To assist the Blog readers I include some information from Wikipaedia on the Cannonesses below:

Some canonesses

The Canonesses of St. Augustine of the Mercy of Jesus are a Roman Catholic religious order of canonesses who follow a semi-contemplative life and are also engaged in the ministry of caring for the sick and needy, from which they were also known as the "Hospital Sisters".
The canonesses' origins were in the 13th century, when a group of women in France joined together to assist the Augustinian Hermit friars who cared for the poor and the sick at the Hôtel-Dieu of the fishing port of Dieppe. Known originally as the "Hermit Sisters of St. Augustine", they formed a lay confraternity following the Rule of St. Augustine, living on goods held in common and on alms, and under a set of constitutions drawn up for their use. Apart from the services they rendered to the Hôtel-Dieu, they were also employed in assisting the sick poor in all quarters of the city. They would visit and care for the destitute living in their hovels, or even lodging in caves hollowed into the cliffs of the region.
Eventually they were formed into a religious congregation under the spiritual authority of the friars. The constitution of the new congregation established two classes of religious: lay sisters and canonesses. The former were employed at the manual tasks of the community, in order to relieve the canonesses. They were not obliged to recite the Divine Office, nor did they nurse the sick. The canonesses were obligated to recite the Divine Office in common, and daily employed in attendance on the sick. They were required—as far as health permitted—to go at least once a day to the hospital to render some service to the poor. Two of their number took in turn the night watch in the wards.
The General Chapter was composed of all who are ten years professed. They elected a Superior General triennially, but her charge could not be prolonged beyond six years. They also elected the Assistant Superior General, the Mistress of novices, the treasurer, and four other advisers, thus forming a council of eight principal officers. The same officers could be retained as long as they had the majority of votes in the chapter. The religious habit of the canoness is a white tunic girdled by a leather cincture. On their head they wear a black veil for the professed—with a white veil for the novices—formerly attached to a coif and bandeau. To this was added a starched guimpe covering the neck and chest, and for choir duties, a rochet, all covered by a black cape, before the simplification of the habit in the 20th century.
In the early 17th century, the canonesses established their first hospital outside of Europe in New France, with the establishment of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, which was the first hospital in North America north of Mexico. By the 19th century they had communities in France at Dieppe, Rennes, Eu, Vitré, Château-Goutier-St-Julien, Château-Goutier-St-Joseph, Malestroit, Auray, Tréguier, Lannion, Guingamp, Morlaix, Pont-l'Abbé, Gouarec, Fougères, Harcourt, and Bayeux; and in Quebec, in addition to the foundations in the city of Quebec, there were communities in Lévis and Chicoutimi. They became established as well in South Africa, where communities were founded atEstcourtNatalDurbanLadysmith, and Pietermaritzburg. Communities also were established in the Netherlands at Maasbracht; and in Italy, at Turin. They arrived in Britain in 1902, establishing over the years nursing homes in Waterloo and in Cumbria (1921).[1]
During the Second World War, the canonesses of Dieppe ran an underground hospital, La Bimarine, where they cared for wounded French and Allied soldiers.[1]

A canoness has been honoured by the Catholic Church for the holiness of her life. The Blessed Catherine of St. Augustine, O.S.A., who was among the first volunteers to go to Quebec, was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1989.

I suppose being being a chaplain to canonesses has a lot more prestige that being a chaplain to ordinary nuns?

Will Hugh just be chaplain to nuns or to the 80 students as well?

More House residents
I'm just glad for the Dean Emeritus' sake that the canonesses have stopped living in caves.

And I suppose an address situated in the Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea areas is a big come up from an address in the Lower Falls in Belfast?


  1. What in heaven's name is an elderly man doing hanging around a Youth Hostel in London anyhow???

    1. Saying Mass and confessing the canonesses?

  2. Dean Kennedys new posting is but a stone's throw away from the famous London Oratory where the 11 Mass on Sunday attracts many well known "faces" and a large gathering of the city's "pink prayers" all enthralled by the bells and smells and Latin chanting of the Oratory choir. Perhaps a few Sunday's visiting there may well persuade the former cathedral Dean from Belfast that taking up with the Oratorians ( a complete bunch of strange oddballs) might well serve his needs better.

    1. Indeed The Oratory might suit Hugh. Many of the priests there are men of means in their own right. They are a collection of eccentric men living private lives in a loose community. They are certainly into the liturgy. And they do mix with the "great and the good".

  3. Pat you are right as is the contributor 18-16.
    I worked in the V&A for many years and I lived locally and although I don't know this Fr Kennedy personally but only what I've read on here,I think he would be well suited to the Oratorians.
    He possesses a number of important credentials. He likes the high liturgy, is a man of financial means and if your various corespondents are to be believed,he is no stranger to the Pink constituency.
    Could I suggest that he hyphenates his name to give it a more upper crust ring. Perhaps he could become Dr Hugh Divis-Kennedy. That way he would fit in well with the chattering classes around the Brompton Road and Knightsbridge. He might even get invited by a posse of ageing,Catholic,well heeled spinsters and widows for tea and cake (Divis-Kennedy's of course!) and a rubber of bridge to pass the afternoon when not confessing the Canonesses or attending to the needs of the young students.
    I do think he would be such a perfect fit, terribly so,my dear chaps !

    1. Thank you for that excellent insight.

      I do not think that the name Divis is suitable - its too low class sounding.

      I think "Durufle Kennedy" would be more appropriate as the Dean Emeritus often refers to the French composer in his homilies.

      The Very Reverend Dr Hugh Dean Emeritus Derufle - Kennedy of More House.

    2. Durufle is lovely. Personally I enjoy his work for the organ and his piece for 4 hands.

      Joy Rider Divis.

  4. I hope Fr Graham will continue the "good work" of the Dean ?
    He inherits a rich pasture.


    1. Fr Graham, rather, will need to plough a new furrow and clear the debris from St Peter's. He will have to rebuild and heal a parish after several disgraceful episodes. My prayers are with him.

  5. The Very Revd. Dr. Dean Hugh Kennedy-vonKimptock sounds best.

    Liturgical observers describe the Dean as liturgically clumsy and graceless and possessing only 'pidgin' Latin; but, perhap, the Oratorians could find a lowly post in the community for him. Almoner, perhaps? Or Doorkeeper?