Friday, 30 October 2009

Cardinal Cormac Lecture and Appointments in Rome

After the excitement of Cardinal Cormac's Lecture at Worth Abbey yesterday on Ecumenism it is interesting to note that as the recent press release from the Catholic Media Office states "In a mark of extraordinary esteem, Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor to two important Vatican congregations including that which selects bishops for most dioceses of the Latin-rite Catholic Church worldwide. The German pontiff has named him to both the Congregation for Bishops and of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples." It is certainly going to be a busy retirement for the Cardinal as there are regular meetings in Rome of these two Congregations each month. Many congratulations on these appointments from all in A&B.

You may be interested either to hear or read what the Cardinal said in his Lecture and these can be found on the Diocesan Website by following this link. It was a wonderful evening with a packed Abbey Church with people coming from all parts of the diocese and many other churches and ecclesial communities.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Rev Provost Bernard Thom RIP

We were sad to hear recently of the death of Reverend Provost Bernard Thom who was a priest of the diocese and died in retirement on Saturday 24th October aged 80 years. Ordained in 1954 he served the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton from its inception in 1965 in many different parishes. He was a great lover of art and his final achievement before illness overtook him was to organise an exhibition of art by clergy and religious of the diocese at St John's Seminary in Wonersh to raise money for CAFOD.

As a Provost and Canon of the Cathedral his body will be received there on Wednesday 4th November at 5pm including Solemn Vespers. His Requiem Mass will be at the Cathedral the next day, Thursday 5th November at 12 noon.

All are welcome to attend but any clergy attending are asked to let the Cathedral Administrator know on by 2nd November.

Please pray for the repose of his soul - May he rest in peace

Friday, 2 October 2009

On Retreat - Taking Time Out

This week together with the Bishop many of the priests and deacons are on retreat in Northern France at the Maison Diocesaine D'Accueil, Merville, France (pitured right). This is a former seminary and now retreat centre between Dunkirk and Lille. Being just across the channel it makes sure those who attend are not tempted to pop back to the parish. I am sure this uninterrupted time away has been a fruitful time of renewal for those who went.

This Diocese has its own retreat centre at St Cuthman's, Coolham near Horsham. This is a beautiful old house overlooking a lake (pictured left) with a beautiful, simple chapel. Previously an Anglican retreat centre it was taken on by the diocese in recent years and has been upgraded and adapted for modern retreat needs. After recent repairs to the roof it is now fully open again for indivdual and group retreats. In addition it has a meeting room for up to 22 people away from the retreat house in the grounds for day groups and meetings.

Blessed with a beautiful setting, and excellent accommodation and food it is an wonderful place for a few days or more rest, relaxation and retreat. It forms part of the pastoral care of the diocese both to Catholics, ordained and lay, and many others where they can come away on retreat. My own parish priest regularly stays there in order to refresh himself spiritually for life in the parish and I was myself recently there for a couple of days to work on my Masters.

Retreats are a wonderful opportunity to refocus our lives on God. You can find out more about retreats in other places through the Retreat Association. As Advent approaches it might be a good time to think about a retreat for a day, a few days or a week as we approach the great mystery of the incarnation, the Word made flesh. And why not give St Cuthman's a try!

'Harden not your hearts today, but listen to the voice of the Lord' (ps 94:8)