Nation reflects on Baptism of Christ with broadcast from St. David’s Cathedral

St. David’s Cathedral was once more in the spotlight this morning with Mass of the Baptism of the Lord being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 ‘Sunday Worship’ programme.

The live broadcast meant it was an early start for the young choristers from St John’s College, who make up the Metropolitan Choir, and had followed a four-hour rehearsal the previous day.
Under conductor Dominic Neville, the choir gave a splendid performance and, according to one listener showed themselves to be one of the best cathedral choirs in the country, highlighted during the Mass by a most moving Communion Motet ‘Os Justi’ (Anton Bruckner).  They were accompanied on the organ by Dr. David Neville.
The Dean of the Cathedral, Canon Peter Collins, introduced the broadcast and presided at the celebration of this great Feast.  Archbishop George Stack gave the homily focusing on the imposing character of St. John the Baptist and how the Baptism he imparted was more than a ritual cleansing.  It marked a change in the way of life of the one being baptised.  With John the last of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus the link who brings to fulfilment everything the Old Testament contains the Baptism we enter into within the Church marks a new way of life, through the action of the Holy Spirit, to a new life in Christ.
The Sunday Worship programme is available for catch up on BBC iPlayer by clicking the icon below.

Annual Academic Mass celebrated


The annual Cardiff University academic Mass took place on the 12th of October at St. David’s Metropolitan Cathedral, and was well attended by professors, emerita, students and alumni.

The tradition of celebrating the academic Mass stems from the notion that the role of the academic is rooted in the service of people, and marks thanksgiving to those who ensure academic life in Cardiff is a continued success. Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Gareth Jones of the Catholic Chaplaincy, and Fr. James Siemens of the Eastern Rite Chaplaincy concelebrated. Professor Elizabeth Treasure, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor was also in attendance, and was escorted by the Cathedral Dean, Canon Peter Collins, The occasion was also attended by chaplains from all of the other major chaplaincies including the Muslim, Jewish and Christian chaplains.

It was a beautiful occasion; the academic staff were all in dress robes as well as the clergy present, and the Cathedral choir provided the perfect backdrop to the sung ceremony. Following Mass, refreshments were made available to all parishioners and students in the Cornerstone opposite the Cathedral, which proved to be a good opportunity for religious students of different faiths to meet.

Long may the tradition continue.

By Jonathan O’Connell

Photograph Courtesy of Damien Dellon

Welsh Churches to celebrate Family Life at St David’s Cathedral

On Saturday 8th March 2014 at 12 noon, St. David’s Cathedral, Cardiff, will play host to an Ecumenical Celebration of Family Life.

Celebrating Family Life Logo

Working with CYTUN,  (Churches together in Wales), the Archdiocesan Commissions for Family Life and Christian Unity are organising a special non-eucharistic liturgy in celebration of family life in the presence of Archbishop George Stack.

Anne Ballard, Chair of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission recently reminded the clergy of the diocese that “The family is a place not only for couples, siblings, children and parents but also for the single, communities of religious, the bereaved, the divorced and the lonely. The family can be a place of great joy and blessings, but there are also times when it may experience difficulties and challenges. Those moments are where the light of God can enter in – where and when it’s most needed”.

The service will reflect the reality of the family life we heard about during Listening 2004: blessed, broken but always living love. The Commissions for Family Life and Christian Unity hope that you can join them for this celebration, and that you will encourage others to join them in celebrating God’s love at work in our everyday lives.

If you would like to advertise this event – Download Event Poster

For more information keep an eye on the Celebrating Family Life page

Archbishop ordains member of the Ordinariate to the Diaconate

Rev. Dr. Bernard Sixtus and Archbishop George

The newly ordained Rev. Dr. Bernard Sixtus with Archbishop George Stack

On Sunday 5th January (the Solemnity of the Epiphany) Archbishop George Stack ordained Rev. Dr. Bernard Sixtus to the Diaconate for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.  The Ordinariate was established by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a way for members of the Anglican Communion to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church whilst maintaining elements of their patrimony and worship.

Born in Bremen, Germany, Dr. Sixtus was brought up in an Anglo-German family. In 1987 he enlisted in the German Army as an Officer Cadet and completed a degree in Pedagogy/Educational Studies in 1993.  He left the Army in 2001 and began training for the Anglican Ministry within the Church of England obtaining a Masters degree in Theology and Religious Studies from Leeds University.  Dr. Sixtus also holds a PhD in the Philosophy of Education.

Dr. Sixtus has previously served as Assistant Chaplain of St. George’s Anglican Church in Paris, and Assistant Vicar of the Abergavenny Anglican parishes (Church in Wales).  He was received into full communion with the Catholic Church as a member of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in March 2013.

The ordination took place during the regular 11:00 am Sunday Mass at St. David’s Cathedral, Cardiff.  Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate presented the candidate for ordination, after which a prayer of thanksgiving recognizing his previous ministries within the Church of England and Church in Wales was said.  Also present were Dr. Sixtus’ wife and children who took part on the Offertory Procession.

With his background in Education and Pedagogy, Dr. Sixtus will serve as full-time Diocesan Director of Religious Education in Schools.  He is also the first ordained member of the Ordinariate to have come from the Church in Wales.

We wish Dr. Sixtus well in his future ministry. Ad multos annos!

Rev. Dr. Bernard Sixtus and Monsignor Keith Newton

Rev, Dr Bernard Sixtus with Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordianary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

(For further information regarding the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham visit

A First for St. David’s Cathedral Choir


The National Museum of Wales will host the choir of St. David’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Cardiff, on Wednesday 11 December at 1.00pm. The choir will sing a program of Christmas Carols including:  Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, Up! Good Christian Folk and listen and many other carols. They will conclude with the traditional Czech carol, Rocking.

Admission is free and all are invited to share in this unique occasion, setting the scene for Christmas in the beautiful surroundings of the National Museum.

The choir of St. David’s Roman Catholic Cathedral is composed of choristers from St. John’s College in Old St. Mellons. They are joined by stuedents from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and sing a wide range of polyphony and plainchant during Mass at St. David’s each Sunday at 11am. A full Christmas program is available on the Cathedral website:

Archbishop reopens and blesses Cathedral North Doors


Today at Solemn Mass for the Solemnity of Christ the Universal King, Archbishop George blessed and reopened the North doors of St. David’s Cathedral.  The North doors had been locked for a number of years to allow the porch to be used as a chapel for the beautiful statue of the Pieta.  However during recent works at the cathedral a new side chapel was opened and the Pieta moved.

Better access for wheelchairs and shoppers

As part of the celebrations of today’s feast and the closing of the Year of Faith, the Archbishop formally reopened the North entrance allow better wheelchair access to the cathedral, and provide a point of entrance more convenient for those coming via St. David’s Shopping Centre.  This makes the cathedral more accessible to passing shoppers and is an opportunity for evangelisation.

Behold I stand at the door and knock

The Mass started with the Archbishop and sanctuary party (minus the Dean of the Cathedral) making their way to the locked North doors.  Then in a scene reminiscent of Black Rod and the state opening of Parliament, the Archbishop used the asperges sprinkler to knock three times on the door to gain admittance.  The doors were opened by the Dean of the Cathedral, Canon Peter Collins, and the blessing ceremony took place.  Mass then continued as normal.

More works to follow

The works undertaken at the cathedral that enabled the reopening of the doors has seen the addition of four side chapels and the redecoration of the Sanctuary.  The year 2016 will mark the centenary of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, at which time it is planned that the Cathedral church will undergo major rennovations.

Photographs of the blessing may be seen on the diocesan website, courtesy of Mr Patrick Smalley.

Archdiocese to join in prayer with Pope Francis

Pope Francis I has invited Cathedrals throughout the world to join him in hosting one hour of Prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday 2 June at 4.30pm. This will be part of the celebration of the Year of Faith initiated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

At 11.30am on Friday 7 June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, there will be Holy Hour of Prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. David’s Cathedral to which priests and people are invited. Mass will be concelebrated at 12.45 in thanksgiving for the blessings received through the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.