Pope Francis has appointed Fr Paul Mason as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark.
Bishop-elect Mason, a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark, is currently the Episcopal Vicar for Kent. His Episcopal Ordination of the bishop-elect will take place in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on May 31, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
When Bishop-elect Mason learned of the appointment, he said he felt a “seismic shift”.
“Although I have been working as Episcopal Vicar for Kent for just over two years, I still experienced something of a seismic shift when the Nuncio, Archbishop Mennini, handed me a letter saying that Pope Francis wished to appoint me as Auxiliary Bishop for Southwark,” he said.
“Southwark is a wonderful diocese with great energy and diversity where the clergy are not only very supportive but also a delight to work with. I look forward to continuing my ministry with Archbishop Peter (Smith) and to do all I can to support and promote the Catholic faith and help share the love and mercy of God, particularly to the people of Kent and the Medway.”
Archbishop Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, added: “I was delighted to hear the news that Pope Francis has appointed Fr Paul Mason as an Auxiliary Bishop in Southwark. He has served this diocese for many years, recently in working with me in the care of the people in Kent as my Episcopal Vicar to them, following Bishop John Hine’s move to Tenterden.
“I am very happy that the Holy Father has once again appointed a third auxiliary to Southwark, and I am sure that as Paul begins this new stage in his ordained ministry he will work with the clergy, religious and lay faithful of Kent with the same energy and enthusiasm he has demonstrated as a priest.”
Bishop-elect Mason was born in 1962 in North Shields, Tyne and Wear. He attended St Anselm’s Roman Catholic High School, in North Shields, and went on to study at Kings College London.
After working for Olivetti and Hewlett-Packard, he trained as a priest at Venerable English College, Rome, and was ordained on July 25, 1998.
He was assistant priest at St John the Baptist, Purley, from 1998 – 2001, and then spent more than a decade as full-time hospital Chaplain at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust.
Bishop-elect Mason will join Bishop Patrick Lynch and Bishop Paul Hendricks as Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Southwark, succeeding Bishop John Hine.