Friday, 26 February 2010

Support Pope's Visit to UK

Fr Terry Martin from St John's parish, Horsham writes:

"There are a number of petitions out there calling for signatories to object to the forthcoming Papal visit. [We believe on the contrary that] The Holy Father will bring much blessing and joy to these islands when he comes and the expected beatification of the most Venerable John Henry Newman will be a real source of strength and encouragement to the Catholic faith in Britain.

Please please please sign this petition expressing your support and gratitude for the proposed visit of the Supreme Pontiff. Get your friends and family to do the same asap."
Picture above shows the Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Comment from the Archbishop of Cardiff on Publication of DPP's Assisted Suicide Guidelines

“I welcome the revised Guidelines published by the DPP this morning. He was given a near impossible task by the Law Lords and many people were extremely concerned by the wording of the interim guidelines and some of the factors to be taken into account against prosecution.

“In issuing these Guidelines it is clear that the DPP has listened very carefully to, and taken account of, the many representations made to him during the consultation. Our particular concerns were that the interim Guidelines gave less protection under the law to disabled or seriously ill people, and to those who had a history of suicide attempts and were likely to try again. There also appeared to be a presumption that a spouse or close relative would always act simply out of compassion and never from selfish motives. These factors have been removed from the new Guidelines which now give greater protection to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. There is also a greater stress on the fact that the law has not changed, that all cases will be investigated and that no one is being given immunity from prosecution under these Guidelines.”

The Most Reverend Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bishop Mark Davies ordained as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Shrewsbury

As a former inhabitant of Stalybridge in the Diocese of Shrewsbury I was pleased to receive the following press release from the Catholic Communications Network:

Bishop Mark Davies was ordained as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Shrewsbury at a ceremony held in St Anthony’s Church, Wythenshawe, Manchester on Monday 22nd February 2010, the feast of the Chair of St Peter. Bishop Mark will assist Bishop Brian Noble, who was the principal celebrant at the Mass, until Bishop Noble's retirement. The new Bishop is no stranger to the area, having spent over 25 years as a priest in the neighbouring Diocese of Salford, and large numbers of clergy and people attended from across the river Mersey, joining their Shrewsbury neighbours in the impressive ceremony. Assisting the Bishop of Shrewsbury during the Ordination ceremony was the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Revd. Patrick Kelly, and the Bishop of Salford, the Rt Revd. Terence Brain. Bishop Mark served both during his time in Salford, as Secretary and Vicar General respectively.

The new Bishop learned of his appointment shortly before Christmas, and since then has accompanied the Bishops of England & Wales on their recent Ad Limina visit to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope’s letter of appointment was read out during the Mass.

In his homily, the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Revd. Bernard Longley, Metropolitan, spoke of the role of the Bishop and the mystery of Christ’s identity. “Who do you say I am? It is a question asking whoever answers to search deeply within, and to continue searching until he find Peter’s affirmation: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Guests at the ceremony included the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, some 30 Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops, several ecumenical guests including the Anglican Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead, together with the local Member of Parliament, Paul Goggins, other civic dignitaries and parishioners from the parishes of the Shrewsbury Diocese, and from the Salford Parishes where Bishop Mark had previously ministered.

St Anthony’s Parish have been working overtime in ensuring some wonderful hospitality was extended to the 1000 or so visitors who packed into their church, and were then treated to a splendid reception at nearby St Anthony’s Primary School. The parish priest, Revd Michael Murray added, “It was an honour and wonderful occasion for St. Anthony’s and for Wythenshawe to host the Ordination of Bishop Mark. It made a great impression on us all, especially the young people present. Thanks to all those people who worked hard to make such a memorable day.”

Bishop Brian, following the Ordination, expressed delight on behalf of everybody from Shrewsbury Diocese in welcoming his new associate, “Bishop Mark’s Episcopal Ordination today has shown our Diocese of Shrewsbury at its best – good liturgy, prayerful participation, generous hospitality and, most of all, a warm welcome to the one who eventually will become our Bishop. I’m immensely grateful to all who contributed to the day. I offer Bishop Mark our congratulations and the promise of our on-going support and prayer.” +Brian M. Noble, Bishop of Shrewsbury

Bishop Mark takes up his new duties with immediate effect. I wish him well.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Record Number of Catechumens Attend Rite of Election

This year was a first for Arundel & Brighton as Bishop Kieran welcomed Catechumens and Candidates at a double Rite of Election at Arundel Cathedral. Over the years the number of Catechumens and Candidates attending the rite had increased dramatically so it had been hardly possible to squeeze them all in last year. So this year the Bishop carried out the rite in two separate services in the morning and evening on Saturday 20 February.

This year there were 70 Catechumens presenting themselves for enrollment in the Book of the Elect and 110 Candidates accepted together with their godparents and sponsors as well as RCIA catechists and family members.

Both of the ceremonices were a wonderful occasion, not only for those looking forward to full reception into the Church at Easter, but also for all those already Catholics as they were able to see now many were willingly to begin a new life in faith in the Church. Bishop Kieran echoed the sentiments of many when he commented that the Rite of Election was one of the most joyful and happy events he presided at in the Cathedral. After the ceremony Bishop Kieran individually greeted each of those present. (The picture shows some of them meeting the Bishop)

Please pray for all them as the walk through Lent to the joy of Easter.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Lenten Fasting and Abstinence

Lent - Now is the Favourable Time
Everybody knows Ash Wednesday is a day for Fasting and Abstinence but I am sure some won't have realised that all Fridays in Lent are also days for Abstinence i.e. no meat.

Fr John Harvey from Brentwood Diocese sets out the Lenten Fasting Regulations below:

1) Abstinence on all the Fridays of Lent, and on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
No meat may be eaten on days of abstinence.
Catholics 14 years and older are bound to abstain from meat. Invalids, pregnant and nursing mothers are exempt.

2) Fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Fasting means having only one full meal to maintain one's strength. Two smaller, meatless and penitential meals are permitted according to one's needs, but they should not together equal the one full meal. Eating solid foods between meals is not permitted.
Catholics from age 18 through age 59 are bound to fast. Again, invalids, pregnant and nursing mothers are exempt.

3) Friday Abstinence Outside of Lent.
It should be noted that Fridays throughout the year are designated days of penance. The Code of Canon Law states that Friday is a day of abstinence from meat throughout the year. The American Bishops have allowed us to choose a different form of penance rather than abstaining from meat, but there must be some form of penance, for this is the day we commemorate Christ's suffering and death. The bishops stress that "[a]mong the works of voluntary self-denial and personal penance...we give first place to abstinence from flesh meat" (Pastoral Statement on Fasting and Abstinence.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

World Youth Day Website Now in English

For anyone not a Spanish speaker the website for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid is now available in English. The site can be found at

Arundel & Brighton Youth service will be taking a group of young adults to Madrid. If you are interested in coming to Madrid and will be aged between 16-35 in August 2011 then why not get in touch.

Application forms will be sent out to those who have expressed an interest on 1 March 2010 and will be posted online on the Youth website at the same time:

Interest levels are extremely high. Please do therefore ask anyone interested to contact us so they can be among the first to receive an application pack. Contact details:, or call Lucy on 01293 651 162.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

New DVD on life of English Martyr, St Margaret Clitherow

Mary's Dowry Productions is pleased to announce the release of a new DVD film "Saint Margaret Clitherow":

Saint Margaret Clitherow depicts the life of an English Catholic Martyr, beginning in York in Sixteenth Century England and ending with martyrdom at thirty years of age. Using original visuals to provide imagery in Saint Margaret's unfolding story, the encounter is moving, inspiring and shocking. She was a normal young woman, the wife of a wealthy butcher, a mother and a recusant Catholic. She hid hunted Catholic priests during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and was subsequently executed in one of history's most unusual death sentences. Historical, beautiful and absorbing, this film presents a personal encounter with a great English Catholic Martyr, providing imagery and narration for a relevant journey with an inspiring English woman.

Visit their website for more information on this film and other new releases. The DVD is available to purchase from our Online Shop and is available worldwide.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Pope Invites Priests to International Meeting in Rome

The Pope has invited priests to participate in the International Meeting of Priests for the closure of the Year for Priests, Rome, 9th-11th June 2010

“May the Year for Priests be a further occasion for religious priests to intensify the journey of sanctification, and be, for all consecrated men and women, a stimulus to support and sustain their ministry with fervent prayer. This year of grace will reach its culmination in Rome, next June, in the International Meeting of Priests, to which I invite all those who exercise the Sacred Ministry”.

Pope Benedict XVI,
Homily of Vespers of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord,
2 February 2010

For information and a programme please click here

Thursday, 11 February 2010

World Day of the Sick - Catholic Commitment around the Globe

February 11th is the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, Fides has published the numbers of health and social care institutions run by the Church worldwide, from the latest Statistical Yearbook of the Church.

They include: 5,378 hospitals with the majority being in America (1,669) and Europe (1,363), 18,088 dispensaries, mostly in America (5,663), Africa (5,373) and Asia (3,532), 521 leprosy colonies distributed mainly in Asia (293) and Africa (186); 15,448 homes for the elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped, mostly in Europe (8,271) and America (3,839); 9,376 orphanages with about one third in Asia (3,367); 11,555 kindergartens, 13,599 marriage counseling centres distributed mostly in Europe (5,919) and America (4,827), 33,146 centers for education or social re-education centres and 10,356 other institutions.

Here is the breakdown by continent:

AFRICA: 1,074 hospitals, 5,373 dispensaries, 186 leprosy colonies, 753 homes for the elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped, 979 orphanages, 1,997 kindergartens, 1,590 marriage counseling centers, 2,947 educational or rehabilitation centres, 1,279 other institutions.

AMERICA: 1,669 hospitals, 5,663 dispensaries, 38 leprosy colonies; 3,839 homes for the elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped, 2,463 orphanages, 3,715 kindergartens, 4,827 marriage counseling centres, 13,652 education or rehabilitation centres, 4,239 other institutions.

ASIA: 1,102 hospitals, 3,532 dispensaries, 293 leprosy, 2,095 homes for the elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped, 3,367 orphanages, 3,211 kindergartens, 969 marriage counseling centres, 5,379 education or rehabilitation centers, 1,870 other institutions.

OCEANIA: 170 hospitals, 573 dispensaries, 1 leprosy colony; 490 homes for the elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped, 87 orphanages, 108 kindergartens, 294 marriage counseling centers, 592 education or rehabilitation centers, 207 other institutions.

EUROPE: 1,363 hospitals, 2,947 dispensaries, 3 leprosy; 8,271 homes for the elderly, chronically ill, and handicapped, 2,480 orphanages, 2,524 kindergartens, 5,919 marriage counseling centres, 10,576 education or rehabilitation centers, 2,761 other institutions.

This is an incredible commitment on the part of the Catholic Church to bring the healing of Christ to the sick and needy of the world.

Many countries, many peoples, many languages

The London hospital prided itself on catering for people of 94 different languages. Every ward and department possessed a list of interpreters who could be called in, at a moment’s notice, for translation purposes. On the whole, the system worked well, although there were some inevitable delays as interpreters were located and travelled to the place where they were needed.

However there was a day when one clinic had a greater than usual number of refugees from Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia who spoke little or no English. One tired nurse was puzzled. ‘We have so many interpreters’, she said, ’Why doesn’t the list include someone who speaks African?’ Obviously, she did not realise that there are 52 countries in Africa, each with many indigenous languages and probably an uncounted number of dialects, not all of them in a written form. Nigeria alone has 634 identifiable languages.

As for Asia, there are 32 countries, as varied as are Italy, Norway, Wales and Poland are within Europe. Just as it makes little sense to speak of Italy, Norway, Wales and Poland as if they were one country, so it is illogical to refer to Asia or Africa as if both continents were homogeneous.

In a recent interview, Fr Adolpho Nicolàs, the Jesuit Superior General declared: ‘It took me some time to realize that there is no Asia, an Asia we can speak about in one line of conversation. Asia is many countries, many cultures, many traditions, many histories and peoples. If Africa is still "one Africa" for me, it means that I do not yet understand it. I really hope that, as I grow in understanding Africa, I will come to the realization that there are many peoples, many languages, many traditions, many cultures... in Africa as well. And then comparisons become concrete and limited. I find it very hard - that is, impossible - to compare Asia and Africa. I would have to ask which Asia? And which Africa?’

Fr Nicolàs has summarised the mission of the Church in one short paragraph!

In any country, the Church needs indigenous priests, Religious and laity to whom God has revealed himself through the beauties of a shared cultural heritage.

The Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA) exists in order to ensure that every mission diocese in every mission territory across the world has priests who are of the people and for the people. It is the only Church organisation officially mandated to support the seminaries and more than 30,000 seminarians who will later help to supply the 1,069 dioceses where they will be assigned.

Fortunately, thanks to the Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA) in England and Wales and some generous individuals who take it upon themselves to personally support a seminarian through the SPA, many young men are able to follow their call to the priesthood whose families would otherwise never be able to afford the cost of seminary studies.

The picture above shows the French lay woman, Jeanne Bigard whose dedication and commitment to providing priests to new Catholic diocese around the world was the inspiration and founder of the Society of St Peter. The Society worldwide now supports over 30,000 major seminarians and 10,000 religious. The SPA continues to bring Christian missionaries throughout the world in communion with each other and tries to ensure that good vocations are not turned away through lack of financial resources. The SPA also enables us to take up our duty as missionaries and followers of Christ to make both spiritual and financial sacrifices, continuing the work begun by a young woman over 100 years ago.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

ANNULMENT - A Fresh Start?

The Diocesan Marriage Tribunal has produced a new leaflet to help anybody considering an Marriage Annulment:

The leaflet starts with a series of statements - true or false?
 An annulment is only the Church’s way of letting Catholics divorce
 A former spouse can veto an annulment
 Children of an annulled marriage are automatically illegitimate
 Excommunication automatically follows a divorce
 Having an affair enables you to get an annulment
 Having children prevents a marriage being annulled
 The Church doesn’t recognise any marriage being annulled
 The Church doesn’t recognise any marriage between non-Catholics
 You have to have money to get an annulment

Surprisingly ALL of the above statements are UNTRUE!

This New Year sees the launch within our diocese of a new information leaflet covering the sometimes thorny topic of Marriage Annulment.

Put together by a team of laypersons and clergy from the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal the leaflet aims to be a useful introduction as to what an annulment actually is. The leaflet takes a look at what reasons there may be that a wedding ceremony did not actually result in what the Catholic Church would deem a ‘valid’ marriage and the effects to the couple concerned (and their children) of an annulment being granted.

The leaflet is available now in every Parish of the diocese (if you cannot find one have a word with your parish clergy) or you can get more information from the diocesan website.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


CAFOD Diocesan Manager for Arundel & Brighton writes to tell us that after more than 30 years’ involvement with CAFOD, he has decided it is time to retire as the Manager for A&B. He says "I do this with some trepidation, as CAFOD has been such a major part of my life for so long."

Roger has spent 10 years employed with CAFOD in various capacities but he had long before that been active as a volunteer with CAFOD in Southwark Diocese as fundraiser, campaigner and parish contact. Roger has loved his time in Arundel & Brighton and says " It has been an enormous pleasure and privilege to have met and worked with all the CAFOD supporters in the Diocese and I owe you all a massive debt of gratitude for what you do."

To read the full story in the Lent edition of the A&B News

The photo shows Roger in Ndgir in Diocese of Marsabit, Kenya.
Photo credit Bridget Burrows/CAFOD

Monday, 8 February 2010

Arundel & Brighton Parish CD supports Hospice

The Schola of the church of Saint Peter and Saint John, part of Camberley and Bagshot Parish, recently teamed up with a recording studio to raise funds for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Farnham.

The result is a CD entitled Be Still for the Presence of the Lord – a collection of eighteen pieces including early motets as well as more recent compositions such as David J Evans’s hymn that lends its name to the album. Also featured is the first recorded performance of parishioner David Lloyd’s composition Just a Still Small Voice.

The CD includes a Holy Week sequence – seven pieces to aid reflection on the events of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday. Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Extracts from the recording and links to buy the CD can be found by visiting

For the full story see the Lent edition of the A&B News

Friday, 5 February 2010

Bishop Kieran returns from Ad Limina visit

Bishop Kieran meet with Pope Benedict recently when he was in Rome with the rest of the bishops of England and Wales in their visit Ad Limina Apostolorum. This is the meeting, which normally happens about every 5 years in which they meet with the Pope and the various other offices in Rome to speak about their work, joys and concerns in their dioceses and in the country as a whole. The visit also includes masses at the tombs of St Peter and St Paul, and it is from this that the visit gets its name - Ad Limina Apostolorum literally means 'to the threshold of the apostles'. Bishop Kieran is now back in the Diocese.

During the visit the Pope confirmed that he would be visiting Britain in the autumn though no dates have yet been officially confirmed. It is presumed that he will during his visit that the Pope will beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890). On their Ad Limina visit, the Bishop visited two places connected to the life of  Cardinal Newman : the “Capella dei Magi” (Three Kings Chapel) and the Cardinal Newman Chapel, both located at the “Palazzo di Propaganda Fide,” headquarters of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the International Secretariat of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

To read the Pope's address to the Bishops of England and Wales go to the Bishops' Conference website.

Picture Copyright Servizio Fotographico de L'OR

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Brighton and Poverty and Homeless Week 31 January-7 February

The arctic weather conditions in Brighton during December and January have highlighted the daily hardship faced by homeless people. While severe weather shelters were opened to provide emergency beds for those without accommodation, rough sleepers also needed the support of day centre facilities more than at any other time to avoid the very real risk of hypothermia during the day time.

So it’s fitting that Poverty and Homelessness Action Week 2010, which runs from 31 January to 7 February, is highlighting the needs of homeless and vulnerably housed people with the challenge for everyone to take action to bridge the growing gap between rich and poor.

Young people are especially vulnerable to homelessness, its impact and consequences. One of the main reasons young people leave home is because they have fallen out with their families but many have also recently left care. When this happens, only a few have the skills, knowledge or resources to find and secure safe accommodation. A large proportion end up seeking support from the Council and homeless agencies, sleeping rough, squatting or sofa surfing. The impact of losing your home at this age is huge: young people lose the emotional, financial and practical support they get from their families. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation by older, more street-wise homeless people, sexual predators, and more at risk of alcohol and substance misuse.

The Clock Tower Sanctuary (CTS) is one of the city’s three day centres and provides support exclusively to young people six days a week. It supports up to 200 young people each year providing short-term information, advice and support to the newly homeless and long-term support to those who are insecurely housed to help them move onto independent living.

When Ben, a young homeless man who ended up living in a squat came to CTS for help, he not only had the chance to cook himself a hot meal, but he was signposted to agencies who could offer help with housing, given a crisis payment to buy a new pair of shoes and has taken up training courses through the Centre. Ben said: “The Clock Tower Sanctuary has helped me when I’ve been at my lowest. I’d have been stuck in the rain, hungry many times without it.”

For more information see: and

Arundel & Brighton Diocese helping in Haiti

Fr Ian Doyle, a priest of Arundel & Brighton Diocese writes to inform us that he has been asked again to assist in another International medical mission . He previously went to assist in Gaza after the Israeli bombardment. He shall be flying to London on February 6th for a briefing meeting and then on to Miami, Florida on February 9th. Thereafter he is to collect supplies and fly to Haiti.

He shall be in Haiti for 20 days (approximately). He will then be back in the UK for de-briefing for a few days. After that he is back to the clinics in South Africa where he currently works. He said "This year sees my five year contract finish with the clinics in South Africa. So hopefully, I shall be back in A&B for a period of time with all my dear friends."

We wish him well and pray for the success of his work Haiti and in South Africa. For anyone who would wish to donate to the Catholic agencies, CAFOD or Missio for their emergency work in Haiti then please go to their websites or

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Apologia: Hard Questions – Catholic Answers

We are pleased to pass on the information about a new book produced by an Arundel and Brighton priest, Fr Andrew Pinsent.

He has just published Apologia, an excellent pocket sized compilation of 88 challenging questions and answers about the Catholic Faith. Apologia responds positively to questions about the existence of God, about science and faith, the Bible, the Church and the Sacraments and morality, setting out a reasoned defence of the truths of Faith that lead us to true happiness. The booklet, printed in full colour, includes many beautiful and insightful images, such as pictures of Mgr Georges Lemaître, the Catholic priest who invented the ‘Big Bang’ theory, and Fr Gregor Mendel, the monk who invented genetics.

Apologia has been written by Fr Marcus Holden and Fr Andrew Pinsent. Fr Pinsent works part time at the parish of St Joseph’s, Epsom, and is also Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at the University of Oxford. He has also co-authored, with Fr Holden, the Credo pocket catechism and the Evangelium course which have already sold over thirty thousand copies worldwide. The Evangelium course was specifically recommended for parish renewal by Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue in Fit for Mission?

Monday, 1 February 2010

Pope Encourages Priest to go Digital

The Vatican's Council for Social Communications recently announced the Holy Father's Message for the forty-fourth World Day of Social Communications, which will be celebrated on 24 May and has as its theme: "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word".
Excerpts from the English-language version are given below:
"Church communities have always used the modern media for fostering communication, engagement with society and, increasingly, for encouraging dialogue at a wider level. Yet the recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry.

"Priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different 'voices' provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources".

"Our pastoral presence in that world must thus serve to show our contemporaries, especially the many people in our day who experience uncertainty and confusion, 'that God is near; that in Christ we all belong to one another'. Who better than a priest, as a man of God, can develop and put into practice, by his competence in current digital technology, a pastoral outreach capable of making God concretely present in today's world?"

"At the same time, priests must always bear in mind that the ultimate fruitfulness of their ministry comes from Christ Himself, encountered and listened to in prayer; proclaimed in preaching and lived witness; and known, loved and celebrated in the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. ... May the Lord make all of you enthusiastic heralds of the Gospel in the new 'agora' which the current media are opening up".

Mgr Paul Tighe, the Secretary of the Council said "The Pope invites priests, and by implication all believers, to use the web to create a space of dialogue where Christians, believers of other religions and non-believers can encounter each other in a respectful search for truth and wisdom." Referring then to specific initiatives in the digital field - such as the website of the Congregation for the Clergy dedicated to the Year for Priests: - the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications noted how "around the world the new technologies are being used to promote the ongoing theological and spiritual formation of priests. ... In addition, there have been many worthwhile personal efforts by individual priests, often supported by lay people with developed technical proficiencies and media competencies, to use the new technologies to give a new dimension to their pastoral mission".