Friday, January 15, 2016

The Name of God is Mercy - Pope's New Book

New Book from Pope Francis
"The Name of God is Mercy", the book in the form of an interview with Pope Francis by the Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, has been released today in 86 countries and was presented this week in the Augustinianum Institute, Rome by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and the actor Roberto Benigni during a conference moderated by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. The event was also attended by Msgr. Giuseppe Costa, director of the Vatican Publishing House (LEV), and Zhang Agostino Jianquing, a detainee in the prison of Padua, Italy who has converted to Christianity and received Baptism, the Eucharist and Confirmation last year. An extract of one of the Oscar winner Roberto Benigni's readings dedicated to "The Ten Commandments" was used by the Pope in the homily he pronounced during the end of year Te Deum in 2014, in which he spoke of the weakness of the human being, who at times tends towards slavery and sin for fear of freedom.

The book, whose cover bears the signature of the Pope in the Italian, Spanish, French, English and Portuguese editions, is divided into nine chapters. It begins with "The Time of Mercy" and concludes with "How to live the Jubilee well". Throughout the other seven chapters Francis dialogues with Andrea Tornielli – whom during a four-hour interview this summer, in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, asked him forty questions on issues linked by the common thread of mercy, described by the Pope as "God's identity card". Confession as "neither a whitewash, nor a form of torture", based on listening rather than interrogation, recognising oneself as a sinner and the Church's condemnation of sin and embracing of the sinner, the Pope's acknowledgement that he too is in need of divine mercy, the need to get up again after a fall, the assertion that God's logic is a logic of love that scandalises the doctors of the Law and that formal compliance with rules leads to a decline in our wonder at the salvation God offers are some of the issues that the Holy Father considers. In Chapter 7 he notes that corruption is a sin raised to a systemic level, and also reiterates that compassion overcomes the globalisation of indifference, while shortly before the end of the book he emphasises that practising works of mercy is the cornerstone of Christian life.

In the book, considered by many to be a summary of Francis' teaching and papacy, the Holy Father explains to the Vatican commentator of the Italian newspaper "La Stampa", incorporating anecdotes from his youth and his experiences as a priest, the reasons why he chose to convoke a Holy Year of Mercy, the key word of his teaching.

The book is available from the Diocesan Bookshop - Tel: 01293 651165 or Email: bookshop@dabnet.org 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Thought for Christmas from Bishop Richard Moth

Bishop Richard Moth
On December 8th, Pope Francis opened the "Holy Door" in St. Peter's in Rome. This ceremony marked the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a time that Pope Francis has called the Church throughout the world to celebrate. By the time the Year of Mercy ends in 2016, countless pilgrims will have walked through the Holy Door, offering prayers and opening their minds and hearts to a God who calls us to share His love and mercy with others.

Pope Francis also asked that the Cathedral Churches of the world open Holy Doors, to enable people to make a special pilgrimage during this year. So, on 13th December, the Holy Door of the Cathedral Church in Arundel was opened. It was a wonderful celebration with people from all over the Diocese joining together to mark this special year.

Holy Doors are helpful signs for us. The open door is a reminder that we must open the doors of our minds and hearts to the wonder of God's love for us and to those around us too. This can be challenging and uncomfortable. I may not feel ready for others - of for God. I may fell a little bit vulnerable as I open myself to God,s love and his call to go out to others.

Christmas is the day on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, We see the Christ-child, vulnerable as all babies are vulnerable, relying completely on the love and care of Mary and Joseph. He is born in poverty, soon to be a refugee in a foreign land. This infant, whose birth we celebrate is God-with-us. In Jesus we see God becoming vulnerable with and for us.

He invites us to open to door of our hearts to mercy. He invites us to open the door of welcome to others, especially to those who are themselves weak, alone, poor, unwell in mind or body, to the refugee, the prisoner and the one affected by crime, to those are searching for mercy themselves. In being merciful, we find true happiness and wholeness in our lives.

May this Christmas, in this special Jubilee Year of Mercy, be a time when every one of us finds afresh the mercy of the God who loves us and a time when we are truly merciful to others. May our homes, our places of work, our churches, our shops and streets be places of mercy - and may you and your loved ones have a truly happy and blessed Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bishop Richard Moth Opens a Holy Door to Begin the Year of Mercy

Bishop Richard Moth (Centre) with on the left Anglican Bishop of Chichester,
Rt Rev Martin Warner and Dean of Chichester Cathedral, Rev Stephen Waine.
Bishop Richard Moth opened a Holy Door at Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 13th December to officially begin the Year of Mercy, called by Pope Francis, here in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Several hundred people from around the Diocese including clergy along with ecumenical presence of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester, Rt. Rev Martin Warner, were present for the opening of the Holy Door.

Pope Francis had already opened a Holy Door on Tuesday 8th December at St Peter’s in Rome and had called upon fellow Bishops around the world to open a Holy Door in their own Cathedrals and important churches in their diocese for the Year of Mercy.

Doors are a symbol of openness to God’s mercy. Bishop Richard said in his recent Pastoral Letter to the Diocese “The Holy Door of Cathedral or Church must be a reminder to us of the door of the heart and the Gospel calls us to open the doors of our hearts and minds to the gift of mercy. We must be bearers of that mercy to the refugee, to the asylum seeker, to the prisoner and the victim of crime, to the one who is homeless, to the one who may have a roof over their head but seeks the peace and mercy that comes in knowing Christ.”

Two other Holy Doors were opened across the Diocese on the same day, at The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead, West Sussex and at the Parish of Christ the Prince of Peace, Weybridge in Surrey. A third door is to be opened at the start of the new term in January in the chapel at Mayfield School in East Sussex.

Bishop Richard called on the people of the Diocese, during his sermon at the Mass for the opening of the Holy Door, to be missionaries, sharing God’s mercy with the world and pointing the way to Jesus Christ. He said “We must find the joy of the Gospel in the depth of our being.” A joy to share with the whole world.

He also called for a renewal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) just as he had in his recent Pastoral Letter Bishop Richard where he also charged the people of the Diocese “to reach out to those who are estranged from the Church or who, for whatever reason, have not heard the message of the Gospel.”

Finally in his homily he left us with the prayer that for ourselves and for others: “We may be ever open to God’s mercy.”

The Mass concluded with the blessing of an Icon of Our Lady of Consolation, a copy of the Icon at the shrine in West Grinstead, which is to travel around the Diocese to parishes, prisons and schools in the course of the year. A sign of the mercy of God received through Mary, the mother of Jesus.

During the year he wishes the people in the Diocese not only to carry out acts of mercy for our neighbours, to reach out to all distanced from the Church, but also to deepen their life of prayer and their relationship with God, and finally to go in pilgrimage to one of the designated Holy Doors.

There is a full programme of events now in place to support all these aims, details of which are on the Diocesan website – www.abdiocese.org.uk.

Mass celebrated in front of the Icon of Our Lady of Consolation

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bishop Richard to Open Holy Door for Year of Mercy in Arundel

Bishop Richard Moth is to open a Holy Door at Arundel Cathedral for the Year of Mercy on Sunday 13 December beginning at 5pm in the Cathedral Centre.

All are welcome to attend.

For more information on the Year of Mercy see www.abdiocese.org.uk where you can also hear or read his Pastoral Letter announcing the Year of Mercy in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bishop of Arundel & Brighton joins with Anglican Bishop of Chichester to open their Holy Door

Bishop Richard Moth with Bishop Martin Warner
at Chichester Cathedral
Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel & Brighton Diocese was pleased to join Bishop Martin Warner from the Anglican Diocese of Chichester for the opening of a Holy Door at the Anglican Cathedral in Chichester to celebrate a Year of Mercy in the Anglican Diocese of Chichester at the same time as it is celebrated in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton and worldwide within the Catholic Church.

Bishop Richard also issued a Pastoral Letter the weekend 5th/6th  December about the Year of Mercy. You can listen to or read his letter in full here.

Bishop Richard will himself open a Holy Door on Sunday 13th December at 5pm at Arundel Cathedral following the opening of a Holy Door at St Peter's in Rome by Pope Francis on Tuesday 8th December.

For more information on the Year of Mercy see here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Deacon Ted Connelly Dies Aged 102

Deacon Ted proclaiming the Gospel aged 100
Please pray for Deacon Ted Connelly who died recently at the age of 102, a deacon of Northampton Diocese who was living in the parish of Camberley and Bagshot in Surrey in this Diocese. Not only was he one of the first deacons in England and Wales, being ordained in 1976, but he was probably the oldest living Latin Rite Deacon in the world.

His Funeral will take place on Wednesday 16th December, 10.30am at SS Peter & John, Camberley.

Ted was born 10th January 1914. The family joke is that his birth started the First World War. He was born to Hannah and John and was one of four boys. He lived in very poor conditions in the notorious “back to back” houses of Birmingham. Only 12 such houses remain as a museum near the city centre. The rest were knocked down as slums 50 years ago.

He was a bright boy and got a place in the Catholic Grammar School of St. Phillips which still exists today, albeit in a different form. He ended up as head boy and captain of football, cricket and athletics. He was academically very intelligent and his Bishop gave this poor boy a scholarship to Birmingham University where he got a first class honours degree in Chemistry.

He was courting his beloved, Dolly, when he moved to ICI Paints Division in Slough. They were married for over 50 years with two children, David and Mary. Ted absolutely adored her. He commuted back and forth to Birmingham whilst courting until they married just before the Second World War. As a research chemist working on camouflage paints for warplanes he was not called up and ended up in the Home Guard.

Ted was a senior manager in research and development at ICI. After 30 years he retired early and began his next career.

From home Dolly and Ted began making shopping bags and handbags. They designed and made the templates. Dolly did most of the sewing. The marketing was by word of mouth and friends and family were inveigled into becoming unpaid salespersons.....and so it continued for over 10 years.

And so to his last career! In his late fifties, Ted had a spiritual transformation where his religion moved from theology to an experiential relationship with God. He talked to his son David about meeting his “Dad” who was God the Father whom Jesus also called Dad (Abba). Quite amazing really when you understand the brokenness of his own biological father who had been an alcoholic and had abandoned his family to poverty. Fr. David Woodward called him to be a deacon and was ordained as one of the first permanent deacons in the country together with three others from the parish on 9th July 1976. He retired from active ministry when he was ninety!!!!! Ted officiated at marriages, funerals and baptisms. He was active in the SVP and was a regular hospital visitor. He also preached regularly and typed out every one.

Ted was a man of huge determination and iron will. He was also a gregarious, passionate man with a generous heart. As he has got older, he has grow ever closer to his Lord and you would find him reading the scriptures whenever people visited him. He delighted in Mass and the Eucharist which he received every day. He was loved by many. He was a great and a holy man “in whom the Lord is well pleased”.

A full life well lived. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fr Martin Breen RIP - Funeral Mass

Fr Martin Breen's funeral took place on Wednesday 25 November at St John the Evangelist in Tadworth, Surrey. The Mass was offered for repose of his soul by Bishop Richard Moth from Arundel & Brighton Diocese who was joined by priests and deacons from the Diocese as well as friends, family and parishioners.

Fr. Martin was born on 7th July 1933 and was educated in the CBS School, Co. Limerick, and the Thames Poly in Woolwich. He joined the De La Salle training college in Manchester and became a Brother, F.S.C. Among his teaching posts was one in Burma which ended at Independence.

Between January and June 1978 he studied for Priesthood at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh before joining the Beda College in Rome, October 1978 – June 1981. On the 14th July 1981 he was ordained a Priest along with Canon Bill Davern by the then Bishop Cormac in the Parish Church of Hospital, Co. Limerick.

Following ordination he was appointed as Assistant Priest to St. Paul’s, Haywards Heath 1981-1984. The Sacred Heart, Caterham 1984-1985 and St. Joachim’s, Hampden Park 1985. His first post as Parish Priest was to St. Charles Borromeo, East Worthing 1985-1991 (on his Feast he died), Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Frimley 1991-2000.

Marking the Millenium he took a sabbatical at Marianella for the Pastoral Ministry Programme. On return he ministered as Parish Priest of St. John the Evangelist, Tadworth from 2002 to his death on 4th November 2015.

The Diocese has lost a faithful, prayerful and gentle Priest – and a gifted golfer.

May he rest in peace.