Friday, August 26, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Friday, August 12, 2016
|WYD Pilgrims at prayer during Saturday Vigil|
The biggest football matches in this country draw about 90,000 people. Glastonbury this year drew almost twice as many. If you were at Festival 50 last July, you were probably one of around 11,000, and if you went to Big Church Day Out this year, you were in among 25,000.
As impressive as those numbers are though, a group of pilgrims from our Diocese were part of an event in last month which drew more than three million! That’s seventeen times larger than Glastonbury, and more than a hundred times bigger than Big Church Day Out. We’re talking, of course, about World Youth Day 2016. According to Wikipedia, one of the thirty-or-so largest gatherings of any kind ever!
World Youth Day started back in the mid 1980s, the brainchild of Pope Saint John Paul II. It takes place locally every year (in the UK, we mark it with ‘National Youth Sunday’ in the Autumn) but every two or three years, it’s marked with a huge international gathering. In 2011, it was in Madrid, in 2013 in Rio, and in 2016 it was the turn of the beautiful city of Krakow in Poland. 49 A&B pilgrims joined pilgrims from all over the world and, importantly, the Holy Father!
The choice of Krakow is an interesting one. Krakow, of course, is synonymous with Saint John Paul, the founder of World Youth Day. This festival gave us not only a chance to celebrate him, but also to focus on the city that produced him, together with its rich Catholic heritage.
The phrase ‘World Youth Day’ is actually a bit misleading. It all culminates in Sunday Mass with the Holy Father, but leading up to that is a week of events all focused on the host city.
|A&B WYD Group|
Our first obstacle was to clear Dover. This was the weekend where the media were reporting huge delays at Dover. Luckily, we cleared Dover with no delay at all. Proof, if proof were needed, that prayer works - we all got on the case, as did the people gathered for the Lourdes briefing back home!
The journey to Krakow was plain sailing until we hit the Polish border. The four-hour delay while the coach driver registered with the Polish authorities was an annoying setback, but it gave us a great chance to mix with thousands of other pilgrims who were in the same boat – our first taste of the crazy festival atmosphere of World Youth Day.
Ahead of the weekend, the events of WYD follow a simple format. There are three large events, attended by everyone, punctuated by a load of smaller ones.
The three large events are the Opening Mass, the welcome ceremony for the Pope, and the Stations of the Cross. The Opening Mass in particular, gave us our first taste of huge crowds, and our first chance to explore the themes of WYD. Ahead of the Pope’s arrival, it was celebrated by Cardinal Dsiwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow, and John Paul’s long time secretary.
|WYD English speakers at catechises session|
|A&B Group at WYD Saturday night in Campus Misericordiae|
|WYD Saturday night in Campus Misericordiae|
We were led on our pilgrimage by Fr Aaron Spinelli, the Diocese’s Priest Adviser for Youth Ministry. He was helped out by four other chaplains, who helped to animate and explain what was going on within our group and who were on hand to hear confessions and celebrate Mass for us throughout the week. One of the key things they kept telling us was that we had come to Krakow at the invitation of the Pope, but we had really come to meet Christ!
By the end of the week, it was clear that the week had affected everyone. Before we left, we talked about how we are going to continue what we’ve started back home. During his homily on the Saturday night, Pope Francis challenged those present not to be stay “on the couch!” It’s tempting, he remarked, but in reality it limits our freedom and stifles who we really are. If we want to see a change in the world, we have to bring the best version of ourselves that we can. A great challenge for young people everywhere!
|Fr Aaron with some of the A&B WYD group|
Friday, August 5, 2016
|One of Benches to be blessed|
|Blessing of Benches by Bishop Richard|
|Bishop Richard with Lady Herries (sister of Lady Sarah), Mgr Barry Wymes and Mr Francois Labadie, Director of the Accueil Notre Dame, Lourdes Sanctuary|
|In memory of Lady Sarah Clutton|
Thursday, July 28, 2016
|Newly Ordained Deacon Duncan Brown with his parish priest Fr Seamus Stapleton SCA and Bishop Richard Moth|
Surrounded by his wife Kathy and children William and Eliza, his many other family members, friends and fellow deacons, Duncan was ordained a Deacon.
The church was packed with a joyful congregation from ‘St Mary, Star of the Sea’ and the nearby ‘Parish of the Good Shepherd’. Duncan’s friends from ‘The Holy Redeemer’ and ‘St Thomas & the English Martyrs’ were very well represented in this happy throng. Their voices joyously sang Charles Wesley’s hymn ‘O Thou who camest from above’ and almost raised the roof with their rendering of George Timms’s ‘Sing we of the Blessed Mother’. The choir and accompanying musicians quite outdid themselves in remarkable renditions throughout the service.
The celebrations continued after the Ordination in the church-hall with a very generous buffet including some pretty stunning cakes.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
|Bishop Richard Moth|
Bishop Richard said: “I ask you to pray not only for all those killed and injured in this present attack in Northern France, but for all those affected by terrorist attacks wherever that may be in the world.”
Bishop Richard was joined in this call for prayer and condemnation of the attack by Pope Francis who has spoken of “the pain and horror of this absurd violence.”
The Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, who is the Bishop responsible for this area of northern France and who is at World Youth Day with millions of young Catholics in Poland, said: "I cry out to God with all men of goodwill. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry. The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men."
Many Christians throughout the world, especially in the Middle East face similar trials and tribulations at the hands of Islamist Militants, who have particularly targeted churches, clergy and Christian faithful as well as other minority groups.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Bishop Richard Moth Travels to Lourdes with 750 Pilgrims and Celebrates the Memory of Lady Sarah Clutton
|Two Lourdes Helpers mark the spot for the benches in Lourdes in front of the Accueil
©Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage Trust
On Friday 29th July Bishop Richard Moth from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton joins with 750 pilgrims from Sussex and Surrey as they make their way to the Shrine of Our Lady in Lourdes, Southern France. The theme of the pilgrimage this year is ‘Be Merciful Like the Father.’ The pilgrims both sick, disabled and able bodied go to Lourdes to encounter God not just in the Masses, prayers and other religious activities, but also in each other.
There will be a special event as part of the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Diocesan pilgrimage as the Lourdes authorities have bestowed a singular honour on Lady Sarah Clutton RIP by agreeing that two benches will be erected in her memory and placed in front of the Accueil which welcomes sick and disabled pilgrims. After 37 years of service to the Arundel & Brighton Pilgrimage, this is a fitting tribute to Lady Sarah following her retirement from leadership of the pilgrimage and her subsequent death in 2015.
The idea of benches came from some of Lady Sarah's Arundel friends who have been regular pilgrims to Lourdes. A letter was sent to the Rector of Lourdes asking if we could erect a bench in her honour, and he came back with a positive response with one condition - it had to be two benches not one! The reason for this is that the Accueil is a symmetrical building with 2 wings and the positioning of the benches will reflect that (see picture).
This year on the 2016 Pilgrimage between 29th July to 4th August the benches will be blessed by Bishop Richard. He said: “This is a fitting tribute to someone who spent herself untiringly for the sick and disabled over many years, and who helped to shape the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage into what it is today.”
You can see more photos of the event on the Lourdes website www.ablourdes.org