More than 700 people took part in centenary celebrations for the church of St Alban and St Stephen in St Albans recently. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was chief celebrant at the centenary Mass on 12 June. Bishop Hugh Slattery, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, and Bishop of the diocese of Tzaneen in Pretoria, South Africa, priests from the diocese, representatives of other churches in St Albans, the Mayor and civic representatives also attended. Children from the parish schools took part in the readings and singing. After the Mass there was a reception in the parish hall. SS Alban and Stephen's is run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Parish Priest Fr Pat Courtney will soon be leaving the parish in order to take up a new role as Provincial of the order. After his visit, Cardinal Cormac wrote to Fr Pat saying: "It was really good to be with you at the Centenary Mass. I was very encouraged and moved by the celebration. I congratulate you and the community on building up such a fine parish. There seems to be a great community spirit with so many people willing to contribute in all kinds of different ways. Please express my grateful thanks to the community. I am sorry you have to leave us this summer and wish you well in your new responsibilities as Provincial." For much more information, including pictures and a detailed history of the parish visit: www.albanstephen.com
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