Pope names auxiliary bishop for key English archdiocese

Msgr. Nicholas Hudson, newly appointed auxiliary bishop of Westminster, speaking with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Pope Francis appointed a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Westminster Monday: Monsignor Nicholas Gilbert Hudson, a parish priest of the Southwark archdiocese.

Msgr. Hudson said he felt “honored and humbled” at the appointment.

“It is exciting to be a Catholic in this second year of the pontificate of Pope Francis. I pray that I might emulate the Holy Father’s radical simplicity and outreach to those on the margins of society and of the Church,” he said March 31.

Msgr. Hudson’s appointment will move him across the Thames, within London: north of the river, the city is part of the Westminster archdiocese, while the Archdiocese of Southwark serves London south of the Thames.

The Westminster archdiocese is led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who welcomed his new auxiliary and thanked Pope Francis for the appointment.

“Msgr. Hudson will bring wide experience and fine personal qualities to our diocese,” Cardinal Nichols said. “I know that he will be received enthusiastically on this side of the Thames by both clergy and laity. We look forward very much to the start of his ministry among us.”

Msgr. Hudson is presently pastor Sacred Heart in the London district of Wimbledon -- the same parish where he was baptized and ordained.

The 55-year-old was ordained a priest of the Southwark archdiocese in 1986. He had graduated from Wimbledon College in 1977 and Jesus College, Cambridge in 1981.

He attended the Venerable English College in Rome, where he received a licentiate in theology, and also studied at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

Msgr. Hudson has served as parochial at St. Thomas of Canterbury parish in Canterbury; was director of the Southwark Christian Education Centre from 1992 to 2000; and was vice-rector and then rector of the Venerable English College from 2000 to 2013.

He said his most precious gift during his time in ministry was the “privilege of knowing people with severe disabilities, who call us to make a place always for the poor at the heart of the Church.”

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark voiced regret that Msgr. Hudson would no longer be in the Southwark archdiocese, though he praised the priest’s “wide experience of dedicated priestly ministry over the past 28 years.”

Msgr. Hudson said he looked forward to getting to know the Archdiocese of Westminster much better. He will be consecrated a bishop at Westminster Cathedral June 4, 2014, and joins Bishop John Arnold and Bishop John Sherrington as auxiliaries of the archdiocese.


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