Monday, 16 October 2017

Norfolk convent welcomes “party girls” for new TV documentary

The sisters with the five girls

During their stay, the five girls gave up their smartphones, alcohol and make-up and helped the Sisters with their community outreach duties.

Sr Francis Ridler from the Convent, who is also headteacher at the associated Sacred Heart School, said: “It is all about five girls who are not satisfied with their lifestyle, drinking, spending too much money on make-up and the good life as it were.

“They were told they were going on a spiritual journey, but not told where. They were brought to Swaffham one by one. When they found out it was a convent they were very surprised.

“We tried to involve them in the life of the convent, in our prayers and community activities. It is a very down-to-earth film and although there were some scary moments, we feel it is an honest portrayal and good for the church.

“When one of them went out and brought a bottle of vodka back – we told them it not appropriate and after discussing it with us they took the vodka and poured it down the sink. I was as concerned about the waste as about them bringing the vodka back, which surprised the girls.”

“I am happy with the film as entertainment and we think it will bring the lives of the Sisters into people’s homes and help them to understand better what we do and are all about. I think that the producers edited it for an audience that is not used to religion and spirituality,” said Sr Francis.

“I can honestly say we felt we made a difference to their lives.”

Series producer Elaine Hackett said: "It is a real privilege to be granted access to a convent and to nuns who were willing to share their world.

Channel 5 factual commissioning editor Guy Davies said: “It's not a finger wagging exercise at young millennial women. Bad Habits is a really popular and entertaining way of asking some serious questions about how we live our lives.”

Bad Habits, Holy Orders starts on Thursday October 19, 10pm on Channel 5.

You can see the Sisters talk about the programme on the One Show on BBC1 at 6.15pm on Wednesday October 18 and on This Morning on ITV at 10am on Thursday October 19.

There are also plans for the Sisters to run a free pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch in London on October 18 and 19. It will be called Nundos.

http://fdc-sisters.org.uk/about-us/

Pictures from Channel 5.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Canon Gerald Coates RIP

Canon Gerald Coates RIP
Please pray for the repose to the soul of Canon Gerald Coates, priest of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton who died peacefully in the early morning of Tuesday 10th October in Holy Cross Care Home, Cross in Hand, Heathfield, East Sussex.

Details of his funeral will follow.

May he rest in peace

Monday, 9 October 2017

Jon Harman Takes Next Step to Diaconate Ordination

Bishop Richard Moth with Jon, his wife Nicki and two of his children
On Friday 6th October Jon Harman from Chichester and Wittering parish was instituted as an acolyte by Bishop Richard Moth at St Richard's, Chichester. The ministry of acolyte is the final step before ordination to the diaconate and involves service at the altar including distribution of the Eucharist.

Jon as well as training for the diaconate is also the Director of St Cuthman's, the Diocesan Retreat Centre www.stcuthmans.org

Please pray for him and his family as he continues his formation before ordination next year.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Requiem Mass for Cardinal Cormac at Arundel Cathedral

Cardinal Cormac at the Grotto in Lourdes with the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton pilgrimage
On Sunday 1st October Bishop Richard Moth of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton celebrated a Requiem Mass at Arundel Cathedral for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor who died on 1st September 2017 and was buried in Westminster Cathedral on 13th September 2017.

Cardinal Cormac was Bishop of Arundel & Brighton from 1977-2000 and left an incredible legacy in the Diocese before his move to become Archbishop of Westminster and a Cardinal. As bishop of the diocese he early on engaged in a round of parish and school visitations, opening up his large house at Storrington for special events and adopting the American ‘RENEW’ programme. This was inspired by his belief that the Church should be ‘experienced not as a faceless institution but as a community, a family, to whose life all its members contribute’ and involved the creation of ‘small communities’ in parishes.

This sense of family was reflected in those who attended the Mass. Not only were there members of his actual family, but also a Cathedral full of priests, deacons and lay people from all over Surrey and Sussex and beyond who all brought with them fond memories of their friendship with the Cardinal when he was bishop in the diocese.

In his homily, Provost of Arundel Cathedral Chapter, Mgr John Hull who had worked closely with the Cardinal in the diocese reflected that the main memory all of us had of the Cardinal, as well as that great sense of family, was joy. The word joy was contained in the Cardinal’s coat of arms, but it was also to be seen in the many pictures on the back of the Mass booklet of a joyful Cardinal Cormac.

A spokesperson for the diocese said: “In celebrating this Mass as well as praying for the repose of his soul it was also a wonderful opportunity to remember with love the joy and hope that Cardinal Cormac brought to all he met and to share these memories with each other.”

He continued: “In the Mass we were able to offer the greatest prayer of all for him, a great final ‘Thanksgiving’ for his faithful service to the Church at large but to this particular Church in Surrey and Sussex.”


Photos: Provost Mgr John Hull (higher resolution picture available) Photo © Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

More Pictures available at Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/arunelandbrigtondiocese/albums/72157687415147714 Photos © Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

Monday, 18 September 2017

We Press on – together- In Hope: Support Pact this Prisoners’ Sunday

Prisoners' Sunday 8th October
“My upbringing was very dysfunctional; at the age of ten I found drink and drugs. I’m a person who has spent nineteen years of my life in prison and Pact support gave me hope, not only to stay out of prison but to help me find meaning in my life. It helped me when I had no food, no travel, and no job. The mentoring service has built my self-confidence, has given me a life worth leading and given me a future.”  David, User of Pact services

At the age of 45, David had spent almost half of his life in prison. With no support network David was anxious of falling back into old habits. He met with a Pact Worker whilst in prison who set him up with a group of volunteer mentors, motivated by their faith, who could offer him practical and emotional support for the first crucial months after release. This gave David immense hope, helped him find his feet, resettle back into the community and build a life. Thousands of men like David leave prison every day, many of whom are homeless with no support network. They are often some of the most marginalised people in society; and yet most in need of hope for a fresh start. Without support, men like David may not have the chance to get back on the right road.

On October 8th this year we mark Prisoners’ Sunday, the national day of prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants. Our theme, ‘We Press on –together- in Hope’, recognises the vital role we all play in coming together, as a Catholic community working to bring light and a fresh start to people affected by imprisonment. We ask you to put your faith into action and help us to support more people like David.

A resource pack will be sent to every Parish Priest across England and Wales with more information. Please encourage your relevant celebrant to make use of the resources to mark the day. Additional resources such as children’s activities & liturgy and discussion group topics are available on Pact’s website from early September. If you would like to get involved or host a talk on Pact’s work in your community please get in touch with Naomi on the details below.

www.prisonadvice.org.uk

Parish.Action@prisonadvice.org.uk

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Funeral of Cardinal Cormac - Photos and story

Bishops in porcession past the coffin of Cardinal Cormac
(c)Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk 
The funeral of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, former Archbishop of Westminster, took place at at Westminster Cathedral today. Cardinal Vincent Nichols was chief celebrant. Archbishop George Stack gave the homily.

More than 1,200 people attended, among them the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the former Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, Coptic Archbishop Angaelos, many politicians, including former Irish president Mary McAleese and Conservative MP Jacob Rees Mogg, together with 47 bishops and more than 250 priests.

Cardinal Cormac died on 1 September after a short illness. He was 85 years old. His body was first brought to the church of Our Lady of Grace in Chiswick, west London - the parish where he lived in his retirement - and then to Westminster Cathedral where he lay in state yesterday. The Cardinal's nephew, Patrick Murphy-O'Connor, said there were around 95 relatives present. Patrick paid tribute to his uncle's devotion to his family, saying he was "much-loved and he would do anything for his family."

Cardinal Cormac will be buried under the tenth Station of the Cross in the Cathedral - a place he chose himself.

Adam Simon from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who attended the funeral told Premier it was “a very reverential occasion”.

He said his lasting memory of the Church leader is that “He was beacon of light, a father like figure, a rock to us all. I have a photo of Cardinal Cormac he was blessing our children but he was blowing bubbles with them… that was the type of person that he was. He was a holy man but he was a human person and he was a friend to the family and to so many people.”

The Most Revd George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, preached the homily at the Funeral Mass of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor in Westminster Cathedral today.

One of Cardinal Cormac's auxiliary bishops serving the diocese of Westminster in the early 2000s, Archbishop Stack praised the late Cardinal and the ease with which he lived his vocational calling:

"He was comfortable in his own skin. He was aware of his failings, yet supremely confident in his calling. He was a gifted man who would have made a success of whatever career he chose. Medicine or music - maybe even golf or perhaps rugby like his brother! Yet from an early age he was convinced he should be a priest, like his two other brothers."

Archbishop Stack lauded how Cardinal Cormac put his skills at the service of the Church and society at large - his heart for Christian unity most apparent:

"He was able to reach out in meaningful and constructive ways to other churches. His membership and scholarly contribution to the conclusions of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission. Much to his delight the fruits of his work were captured this year in the publication of all five ARCIC documents in one volume. His conviction that unity of mind and heart amongst the followers of Christ were not optional extras but sorely needed in a fragmented world."

Cardinal Cormac was often seen as a genial, friendly man. Archbishop Stack reflects further:

"His gift of hospitality. He took the words of Jesus seriously 'Love one another as I have loved you'. These gifts, and the generous way he used them, were expressive of the fact that he liked people and liked being with them. He drew the best from others and gave them nothing but the best of himself in return. But his was not superficial friendliness. He was convinced that people could and should share their faith and learn from the life experiences of others."

The homily also focused on where the Cardinal is to be buried - beneath the tenth Station of the Cross in the Cathedral. Archbishop Stack believes this shows us something of Cardinal Cormac's humility:

"This Station has a special lesson to teach us. Jesus is stripped of his garments. Our faith and devotion teach us that the seamless robe of his revelation of divine love, the integrity and compassion of Jesus, is torn away. The Jesus who stands before us naked and unashamed calls us to pay more attention to who we are rather than what we have so cunningly conspired to be.

"Cormac knew well what it was like to have judgments questioned, decisions criticised, mistakes analysed. That 'stripping away' could easily have made him angry and cynical, causing him to retreat from the public arena. Yet he acknowledged his mistakes. He made no excuses. He said the most difficult words of all. "I’m sorry". He learned a huge lesson and proceeded to establish the most robust safeguarding mechanism possible, a model for other institutions. Humility and action were part of the robe that he wore."

Read Archbishop’s Stack’s homily in full here: Cardinal Cormac was a priest to his fingertips -www.indcatholicnews.com/news/33308

You can see photos of the Funeral on the Catholic Church of England & Wales Flickr site - https://www.flickr.com/photos/catholicism/albums/72157686518137433/with/37015576216/

Story:

Jo Siedlecka, CCN and Premier

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Icon of the Holy Family Written for Holy Family Church, Reigate

Sr. Aelred beside the icon
A beautiful icon has been presented to Reigate church in Nativity of the Lord parish to be hung in the new hall alongside the church.

“Written” by St. Aelred Erwin, a Benedictine nun from the ancient Abbey of St. Mildred at Minster in Kent, and donated in memory of Sheila and Ted Bentall by their family. 

It was anointed, in the presence of family and friends, by Bishop Richard. He explained that icons are very different from statues. The purpose of a statue is to remind us of the saint to whom we are praying. Icons are the product of much prayer and fasting too; hence they are written as result of contemplation and spiritual experience rather than being the product imagination. They lead us deeply into heavenly presence. This is why rather than being blessed they are anointed with chrism on the back in recognition of their holiness.

The icon shows the child Jesus holding the hands of Mary and Joseph in front of the Holy Family Church, Reigate, and above the entrance, the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove.

Text and photo, Ann Lardeur