Friday, 27 November 2009

A Cardinal, an Archbishop and a Deacon

Deacon Roy Waters from this Diocese writes: "Following the Holy See’s acceptance of Deacon Jack Sullivan’s cure as a miracle, and so aiding Cardinal Newman’s progress on the road to eventual canonisation, Deacon Jack was invited by Archbishop Vincent Nicholls to London. After a press conference, widely covered in the national press, he was invited to preach at the Sung Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Monday 9th November. During several conversations with Jack he impressed me as a very humble and warm hearted person."

Deacon Roy also ministered on the sanctuary alongside two Westminister Deacons.

Deacon Jack is second from the left and Deacon Roy is on the far right.

For the full story read the January edition of the A&B News

New Cathedral Provost at Arundel

Congratulations to the appointment of Canon Tony Whale as new Provost of the Cathedral Chapter of Canons following the death of Provost Bernard Thom. He acts as head of the Cathedral Chapter who advise the Bishop and support the life of the Cathedral.

The full story can be read in the January edition of A&B News

Thursday, 26 November 2009

New Icon of Christ the Prince of Peace

The church of Christ the Prince of Peace in Weybridge is about to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of its consecration. To mark this special occasion an imposing icon has been specially commissioned and now hangs in the Church.

The icon is in the Coptic style of sacred art and depicts Christ as Pantokrator (The Almighty). Our Lord is seated on a throne with His right hand raised in blessing and a book in His left hand bears the text "Peace I give you". The icon was created by Dr Stephane Rene, a leading exponent of the Neo-Coptic school of iconography.

For the full story see January's edition of the A&B News

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Roma, Roma, Roma!

Last week with other Communications Officers from England and Wales I was in Rome and on the Wednesday morning at the Papal Audience. The image you see on the left is provided by Vatican Radio who is responsible for sound and visual recording of audiences and other Vatican events.

Pope Benedict spoke last Wednesday about the medieval  Monastism of Cluny in France which spread throughout Europe, and of the fruits it bore in the spread of human values especially through its commitment not only to work of the liturgy but also the work of peace.

As we listened the audience was broadcast around the world by radio, television and internet. Why not have a listen yourself via the internet to Vatican Radio and the daily English Language programmes which it produces. The Pope's audience also appear on YouTube and there is also a Papal Facebook site which can be reached by the Pope2You site. So although the press in the form of L'Osservatore Romano is still part of the Vatican media output there is also a move to greater use of new media as tools of evangelisation and information. There is still much to be done in ensuring it all works together but at least a start has been made. We were also impressed by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications which under Archbishop Celli is  making real strides to lead and coorodinate on the new media. It is no easy task but we all wished them well.

Jesus said "If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace." (Lk 19:41)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Farewell Good and Faithful Servant

Yesterday was the funeral of Canon Bernard Thom at Arundel Cathedral (see right - funeral procession exiting Cathedral). Fr Colin, his friend and former curate spoke warmly of Canon Bernard but did not avoid the difficult areas of his life. It was he said "a story of dark and light, of death and resurrection." Earlier in his life and priesthood Canon Bernard had become addicted to alcohol. Thanks to the help and support of his family, friends, the Church and above all the Good Lord through the agency of Alcoholics Anonymous, he had recovered and become in his words 'a non-practising alcoholic'.

Out of the pain and suffering of this period there emerged a man who was full of compassion, and who continued to support and help many people through Alcoholics Anonymous and otherwise to bear the burdens of addiction and find their path in life. In this Year of the Priest he is an example of priesthood who lived his diocesan priesthood daily in placing the needs and concerns of others before his own and understood that love bears all. he is

I am certain he will be welcomed at the gates of heaven as that 'good and faithful servant'.

Below Bishop Kieran blesses his coffin with Holy Water as the clergy of the diocese gathered around to sing the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) as a final farewell.