Monday, 30 August 2010

Blog on Holiday

This Blog will be on holiday until 13th September!

Back in time for the Papal Visit 16-19 September

Thursday, 26 August 2010

A Postcard from Valladolid!

Stephen O'Brien from Arundel & Brighton Diocese talks about his vocation to the priesthood and his first year of training in a Seminary:

Looking back on the last year, I cannot believe how much we managed to do in such a short time! Thirteen people, from several dioceses, set off last September to the Royal English College in Valladolid, knowing neither each other nor much about what we were going into. Now we are all good friends, and most of us are preparing to move on to the next stage of our formation.

The training in Valladolid is designed to give those beginning their training a firm footing for their studies. Academically, Father John, the Vice-Rector, did a fantastic job by taking us through the Catechism, and thus giving us the best possible knowledge of our faith. The Rector, Father Michael, complemented this by preparing us for the challenges which face us as humans. We also, for more practical reasons, studied Spanish!

The Spiritual Director, Father Tony, helped to form our prayer and devotional lives, while we received guidance from Sister Amadeus in parish life. This was enhanced by a month spent on parish placement. This took place for me, not in the Diocese, but in St Annes in Lancashire, and was a delightful time.

We also became steeped in the distinctive Spanish spirituality of the College, through our celebration of College feasts, and a pilgrimage to Seville.

So a good time? Yes, but so much more! I now am ready, together with my fellow “Vallisoletans”, to move on in our studies, prepared for our work, and confirmed in our belief in our vocation.

Stephen is off to Rome shortly to continue his training at the Venerabile English College. His first job will be to learn Italian so he can study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Good luck and many prayers for the years ahead!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A&B Priest Organises Successful Summer Conference

Fr Andrew Pinsent, (pictured above first on left on floor) priest of this diocese has just come back from taking part in and helping organise the Third Evangelium Summer Conference. He said that it was been a great success, attracting more than 170 participants and a wide range of speakers from Europe and the United States. Young people attending the conference described it as ‘inspirational’, a great opportunity to meet with other Catholics and a source of renewed hope and vigour for their own faith.

The Evangelium Conference brought world-class, seasoned campaigners, philosophers and theologians together with young Catholics to the beautiful Reading Oratory School in Berkshire. The wide range of speakers included Steve Ray, a former Baptist who is now a world famous Catholic evangelist, Prof. Roy Schoeman, a Harvard professor and author of Salvation is from the Jews, Prof. Maria Fedoryka from Ave Maria University, Fr Aidan Nichols, and many others.

This year, with the forthcoming visit of the Holy Father, the main themes were John Henry Newman, conversion and the Papacy.

Fr Pinsent as well as working in a parish in the diocese also works at Oxford University. He described the approach to the conference as follows, “Speakers with a depth of scholarship and love for the Catholic faith can be immensely powerful witnesses to the young. What we aimed to do with this conference was to bring them together in a prayerful atmosphere, with beautiful liturgy. The enthusiastic response of those present confirms the fruitfulness of this approach.”

Fr Pinsent organised the Conference with Fr Marcus Holden in association with the Catholic Truth Society. They are both involved with Evangelium Project.
The Evangelium Project is planning to organise a fourth Conference at the Reading Oratory School next summer, 5th – 7th August 2011. The details will be posted at the Evangelium website as they become available.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Arundel & Brighton Parish Supports Married Life

The parish of Our Lady Help of Christians in West Byfleet, Surrey recently celebrated the 50th Wedding Anniversary of two parishioners. The couple Robert and Mary Hernandez began their celebrations for their Golden Wedding Anniversary when during a recent Sunday Mass they renewed their marriage vows, their pledge of love for each other. As Fr. Anthony highlighted, their lives had been a true example of Christian love for all to see.

Robert and Mary have worshiped in West Byfleet for 16 years when they came from Trinidad. They are both still very active in the Parish.

We trust that God will bless them with many more years of happiness and married Christian witness.

A fuller story should appear in a future edition of the A&B News.

Picture: Margaret Tipple

Monday, 23 August 2010

Bishop Mervyn Alexander RIP

Right Reverend Mervyn Alban Alexander DD LLD (Hon), the eighth Bishop of Clifton, died on 14 August 2010 at St Angela’s Home in Clifton, Bristol. Bishop Declan Lang, the current Bishop of Clifton will celebrate Bishop Mervyn’s Requiem Mass on Tuesday 24 August at 11.30 am. This will be followed by burial in the Cathedral grounds. The Cathedral will be open from 10.00 am. Please arrive early to ensure a seat.

Mervyn Alban Alexander was born on 29 June 1925 in Highbury, London, the eldest son of William and Grace Alexander. The family moved from London to Salisbury, Wiltshire, when he was one year old.

He began his schooling at the Bishop Wordsworth Grammar School in Salisbury and later went to Prior Park College, Bath. He trained for the priesthood at the Venerable English College, Rome and was ordained priest on 18 July 1948 in the Leonine College, Rome. He continued his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and obtained his doctorate in divinity in 1951.

Returning to England he was appointed assistant priest in the Cathedral parish, Clifton, Bristol, where he served from 1951 to l964. He acted as Chaplain to the Bristol Maternity and Homeopathic Hospitals. He also became part-time Chaplain to the University of Bristol in 1953 and was appointed full-time Chaplain in 1964. During this time he opened the University Catholic Chaplaincy on Queens Road as a study and residential centre for students. The Chaplaincy continues to serve students today.

In 1967 he was appointed as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, Weston-super-Mare, until he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop in the Clifton Diocese on 25 April 1972. On 20 December 1974, he was made Bishop of Clifton.

In addition to his work in the diocese he held a number of national posts. He was a member of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Believers (1973 to 1983), and Chairman of the National Commission for Non-Believers (1973 to 1983), Vice-Chairman of the Liturgy Commission (1977 to 1983), and Episcopal President of the Catholic Child Welfare Council (1976 to 1983). His interest in ecumenism was reflected in his role as Co-Chairman of the Roman Catholic / Methodist Committee (1976 to 1980), and his appointment as Co-Chairman of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1977. In 1982 he was Chairman of the committee concerned with spiritual preparation for the visit of Pope John Paul II to England and Wales. He was Chairman of the Committee for Art and Architecture (1983 to 1999), as well as Episcopal Adviser to Marriage Encounter from 1980. He presided at a Diocesan Synod which took place from 1987 to 1988.

In February 2001 Bishop Mervyn was recognised by the University of Bristol for his contribution to the life of the city and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws. The commendation speech was given by the then Bishop of Bristol Right Reverend Barry Rogerson.

He was succeeded as Bishop of Clifton by Bishop Declan Lang on the 28 March 2001. On his retirement as Bishop he returned to Weston-super-Mare, as Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, a role he fulfilled until 2008. He then moved to live at St Angela’s Convent in Clifton, Bristol.

The Bishop of Clifton, the Rt Rev Declan Lang, paid this tribute to Bishop Mervyn Alexander:

“I would like to pay tribute to a good and holy man who welcomed me with friendship when I was appointed as his successor. At the heart of Bishop Mervyn’s ministry was the model of the Good Shepherd who both knew and lay down his life for those he was called to serve.

“In his years as Bishop of Clifton, Bishop Mervyn guided the diocese through many changes and developments which originated from the Second Vatican Council. There were joys and tensions but in all of this Bishop Mervyn remained a loving pastor who had a deep love for God and people. He was intellectually gifted but was very unassuming about this. He also had a great sense of humour which helped everyone put things into perspective. That humour was appreciated by his fellow bishops who regarded him with great respect and affection.

“When he retired as bishop of the diocese, Bishop Mervyn asked to take care of St Joseph’s, Weston-super-Mare. He was able to be what he had always wanted to be - a parish priest who was a good pastor. Our diocese owes Bishop Mervyn a depth of gratitude for his time as bishop. May he come to his fullness of life in God.”

May he rest in peace

Photo: Clifton Diocese

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Vistation Order Celebrates 400th Anniversary this Saturday

The Order of the Vistation Monastery in Waldron Green, East Sussex is, with the rest of the order of Vistation Nums, celebrating 400 years since their foundation in Annecy, France in 1610 by St Francis de Sales and St Jane de Chantal.

They are the only Order of nuns to have ever been under the personal protection of a Pope and are in fact the resident contemplative community in the Vatican. Amongst other interesting facts they provided refuge to two exiled Queens of England, one of whom actually founded one of their Monasteries.

Although they are a contemplative order, not working in the world, they work hard within the Monastery to provide for their own needs and also pray daily for the needs of the world and the Church. They invite people to send in prayer requests and also welcome women for retreats.

They were the first contemplative order of nuns to be allowed into this country after the Reformation. They brought  with them to this country the devotion to the Sacred Heart. In 1816 they opened in this country the first chapel for devotion to the Sacred Heart. They were the first to receive permission from the Pope to have Mass of the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of every month.

In the light of the forthcoming Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman it is reflective of their influence on the Church in this country that only did one of their members regularly corresponded with Cardinal Newman but that an expression of their Founder: Cor ad Cor Loquitur (Heart speaks unto Heart), was adopted by Cardinal Newman as his own motto.

Bishop Kieran Conry will join them for their celebrations this Saturday and will celebrate Mass with them. And tomorrow Sunday August 22 , the Mother Superior of the Monastery, Sister Jane Margaret, will be  interviewed on the Sunday Breakfast Radio Programme on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey. The interview will be broadcast live at 7.20am on Sunday morning.

Many congratultions to all the community

Friday, 20 August 2010

Arundel & Brighton Group Supports Muscian

The Haywards Heath Catenian Circle, a Catholic Men's Association, recently presented a much welcome gift of funds to a budding musical composer, Nikki Franklin.

The cheque will help her towards the cost of obtaining a Masters in Composition from the Royal Academy of Music, for which there is no government or Arts Council funding.

The full story should appear in a future edition of A&B News.

The picture shows Catenian Circle President John Goulding with Nikki

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Congratulations to all Catholic Schools Students on A Level Results

Congratulations to all A level students on their results. Catholic School pupils have undoubtedly done well. Several Schools have contacted me to inform me of their successes. We wish all students well as they go on to further studies or work. For those who have perhaps been disappointed with their results we hope they will find, through God's guidance, the strength to review their options and take fresh positive steps for the next stage of their lives.

In particular Mayfield Catholic Girls Sixth Form in East Sussex informs me that they have had a very succesful series of results. One student Josephine Cole (pictured right), who for the last two years has devoted her Saturdays to volunteer work with the Red Cross and is now one step closer to fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor, having secured her place to study Medicine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Josephine achieved three A* grades, in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, and an A in German.

Well done to everyone including teachers and school staff for all their support and encouragement of their students.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Bognor Parish Celebrates 65th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination

The Catholic parish of Bognor Regis recently celebrated the 65th Anniversary of Ordination of Canon Dermod Fogarty as well as remembering the Year of the Priest which has just ended.

The picture shows:
Front row, left to right: Fr Victor Cook (50 yrs), Canon Dermod Fogarty (65 yrs) and Canon Dennis Barry (54 yrs);
Back row, left to right: Fr Stephen Dingley (13 yrs), Fr Tony Churchill (39 yrs) and Fr Dominic O'Hara (3 yrs)
A grand total of 224 years of priesthood! Many congratulations.

A fuller story can be found in a future edition of A&B News

Saturday, 14 August 2010

A&B Pro-Lifer Cycles to Auschwitz to Remember St Maximillian Kolbe

On Tuesday July 27th Bishop Kieran Conry led a service at the Memorial to the Unborn Child at Mount Noddy, East Grinstead to celebrate the start of Les Whittakers sponsored cycle trip to Auschwitz to mark the anniversary of the death of St Maximillian Kolbe on August 14th 1941, in memory of the 6 million men, women and children who died during the Holocaust and to highlight the loss of 7 million babies who have died in Britain as a result of abortion since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act.

The period of the bike ride matches the same dates that the Saint spent in the starvation bunker in Auschwitz with 9 other prisoners as a reprisal for an escaped prisoner. Maximillian was in that bunker because he had volunteered to take the place of a prisoner who was due to die. That man, Francis Gajowniczek survived the war, lived to the age of 89 and attended the canonisation service in 1989. The sacrifice made by Maximillian became an example of man's love for his fellow man and a sign of hope for the other prisoners in the camp.

Les has has managed over 1,100 miles to reach Auschwitz today on August 14th 2010 69 years after St Maximillian's death. Many Congratulations!

For the full story see a future edition of A&B News

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Union of Catholic Mothers Celebrate 50 Years in Hollington, East Sussex

Recently the parish of Holy Redeemer, Hollington, St Leonards-on-Sea celebrated the Parish Foundation of the Union of Catholic Mothers (UCM). It was fifty years ago that they were initiated by the late Canon Cox in 1960. Father Ian Byrnes celebrated a special Mass and blessed a beautiful stained glass window depicting Our Lady with the Child Jesus, designed and installed by local Artist, Alan Wright.

The picture shows Father Ian Byrnes, Alan Wright, and Judy Harkins, President of the Holy Redeemer UCM

A fuller story will apear in a future issue of the A&B News
Photo taken by Anthony Willson-White

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

50 Years of Service at the Altar

Fr Dominc O'Hara, Diocesan Director of the Archconfraternity Of St Stephen for Altar Servers recently presented Mr Tony Wagstaff with a Gold Medal for 50 years of service at God's altar. Tony is a parishioner of Holy Family, Heath End near Farnham.

The picture shows Fr Dominic with Tony.

To find out more about the Archconfraternity click here.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Catholic Deacon Appointed Chaplain at Anglican School

Deacon Richard Edwards from the Parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Adur Valley incorporating St Peter’s, Shoreham-by-sea; Christ the King in Steyning and the Towers Convent in Upper Beeding, has recently been appointed Chaplain at the Church of England controlled Steyning Grammar School which is also a Specialist Technology College with a student population of just over 2000 .

He will be one of the first Roman Catholic chaplains to be appointed to a C of E school.

Deacon Richard, who also teachs Mathematics at the Grammar School, will from 1st September combine this role with that of part time Chaplain. He has the full support of both Bishop Kieran of Arundel & Brighton Diocese and all the clergy of Steyning.

For the full story see a future issue of the A&B News

Friday, 6 August 2010

Day of Relection at St Cuthman's for Breaved of Thames Ditton

Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Thames Ditton, held a day, open to all parishioners who had been bereaved in recent years, at the Diocesan Retreat Centre, St. Cuthman’s, Coolham for a day.

On June 23, fifteen parishioners joined Fr. Rob Esdaile for a day's prayer and reflection, exploring the issues of loss, remembering their loved ones, and hope amidst bereavement.

Fr. Rob said: “The beautiful setting of the House, Chapel and grounds at St. Cuthman’s was ideal for helping people to explore their loss and seek hope amidst the sadness of their bereavement. One of the important features of our Catholic faith is both that we honour the dead, commending them to God’s mercy in our prayer, and that we try to walk alongside those who grieve.”

St Cuthman's currently has an August Bank Holiday Weekend Offer: Stay for the weekend (the nights of Friday 27th, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th) and get the Sunday night for £36.50 pppn - half the normal rate. For more information and to book click on one of the links above.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Silver Jubilee for St Mary's, Rydes Hill, Guildford

St Mary's, Rydes Hill near Guildford in Arundel & Brighton Diocese recently celebrated the Silver Jubilee of its Consecration with Bishop Kieran. A party was held afterwards and a special cake was cut by one of its long standing parishioners.

Many congratulations.

A fuller story will appear in a future issue of A&B News

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A new DVD was launched in Arundel & Brighton Diocese on Thursday 22nd July 2010, at St Wilfrid’s Catholic School, Old Horsham Road, Crawley, West Sussex by Hand in Hand, a group of adults with and without learning disabilities, who worship and pray regularly together.

The DVD is a moving witness to Hand in Hand’s unique spirituality, through their prayer, openness to God and to one another. It also provides a clear example of how the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in the life of the Christian community can enrich and enliven it. It is a powerful resource for the Church.

Support for the project has come from many quarters. The original impetus, to get the ball rolling, came through a grant from the ‘Day for Life’ committee at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who has encouraged Hand in Hand from their earliest beginnings, was very happy to be involved, contributing on the DVD itself, “What it means to the members (of Hand in Hand) is that they feel part of the wider community of the Church and instinctively they know they are contributing something valuable… something pleasing to God.”

The picture above shows some of the members of the Hand in Hand group.

A fuller story will appear in a future edition of the A&B News

Monday, 2 August 2010

St Wilfrid's, Burgess Hill Beautifully Re-Ordered

Burgess Hill on Saturday July 17 saw the culmination of several years of planning, fundraising and hard work when Bishop Kieran celebrated Mass in St Wilfrid’s newly re-furbished and re-ordered church on the 70th anniversary of its opening. This is one of a number of beautifully re-ordered churches that has taken place in Arundel & Brighton Diocese over the last couple of years.

For a fuller story see a future edition of the A&B News.