Monday, 28 February 2011

Surrey Based Order Celebrates New Postulant and Golden Jubilee

From left to right: Sr Philomena Hynes, Regional Leader, Sr Hazel Buckley, Golden Jubilarian,
and Lorna Diesta, Postulant
On Sunday 7th February, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood Congregation accepted a new Postulant, Lorna Diesta, to their Clapham community. Exactly one week later, on Sunday 13th February, Sr Hazel Buckley celebrated her Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession.

Sr Hazel grew up in a warm, deeply-committed Anglican family, but became a Catholic at the age of 19. Four years later, in 1956, she entered the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood at Ladywell Convent, the Congregation’s Motherhouse in Godalming, Surrey. Sr Hazel took her first vows on 13th February 1961 and made her Final Profession five years later in New York State, where she was missioned as a teacher to a small parish school. After Final Profession she became Novice Mistress before going out, first to Australia and then to New Zealand. Nowadays, the Golden Jubilarian spends much of her time in Spiritual Direction. She is also the one whom the Congregation has appointed to walk with Lorna during the coming months of her Postulancy, an important time of discernment for both Lorna and the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations took place at Mass in Holy Ghost parish in Balham where, at the end of the Liturgy, the parish priest , Fr Stephen Langridge, presented Sr Hazel with a framed Papal blessing, acknowledging the many years dedicated to the Lord.

Friday, 25 February 2011

And With Your Spirit: Bishop Kieran Introduces New Translation of the Roman Missal to Arundel & Brighton Diocese

Bishop Kieran
With the introduction of the new English translation of the Roman Missal planned for this Autumn, 2011, Bishop Kieran is to introduce it at three evening sessions offered by the Diocese. These sessions which are open to all will take place on Tuesday 15th March at St Martha's, Bexhill, Wednesday 16th March at St Joseph's, Epsom or Thursday 24th March at St John's, Horsham.

The Roman Missal contains all the prayers used during a Catholic Mass. The Bishops of England and Wales, following the Holy Father’s encouragement that this new translation is an opportunity for ‘in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration’, have decided that from September 2011 the Order of Mass in the new translation will be used in parishes in England and Wales. The Order of Mass contains those texts of both priest and people which are constant at each celebration of Mass. For 3 months from September 2011 until December 2011 there will be catechesis (training and preparation) in parishes both on the new translation and on the Mass itself. This will precede the publication of the entire newly translated Missal which at the earliest is expected by Advent 2011.

In the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Bishop Kieran and all the clergy have had the opportunity of training with leading liturgist, Canon Alan Griffiths. One attendee, Deacon Mark Woods said “There were extremely positive conferences. We all came away knowing much more about why the changes are happening, how we can present them to our parishes, and more importantly about the chance this gives for a deepening of our understanding of the celebration of Mass.”

The Bishop also leads a working group which has arranged a whole series of events for the coming months which will be open to parish leaders and parishioners over the coming months. These include sessions with leading liturgists Canon Alan Griffiths from UK and Fr Paul Turner from USA. They will also be numerous opportunities to look at the many resources available for use in parishes. More information can be found on the diocesan website

In parallel with the work of the diocese the Conference of the Bishops of England & Wales has produced an excellent resource in a new website which is to be launched shortly. This will be a gateway to a whole raft of materials for individuals and parishes to use. There is also an excellently produced CD-Rom ‘Become One Body One Spirit in Christ’ with an almost exhaustive list of materials, videos, music and other items which can be obtained via the websites mentioned above.

The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton is in a good position to make the best of this change, not only in explaining why it is happening but giving all Catholics an opportunity to deepen their faith and understanding in and of the Mass. We are confident that on the first Sunday in September when the Priest greets the people at the beginning of Mass with ‘The Lord be with you’ the response will be a heartfelt ‘And with your spirit!’

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Petals of Prayer - Reflections and Resources for Dementia Sufferers

Prayers for Dementia Sufferers
Sister Siobhán O'Keeffe of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Chigwell Sisters) reports: "My ministry is the support or younger people with early onset dementia. As you are aware, society is becoming increasingly concerned about the rising incidence of dementia and the challenges faced by people living with dementia, carers, service providers and third sector organisations.

As a Christian community, we in the Catholic church desire to reach out and support all living with this physical disability in every way that we can through the lens of the Gospel. In response to a pastoral need, I have written a book of prayers and reflections for people with dementia and their carers. Each prayer is supported with appropriate scripture references. It is entitled, "Petals of Prayer" and has been published by Kevin Mayhew."

The book is available to view on The book also contains factual information about dementia, resource lists, and signposting to helpful organisations. It costs £9.99.

She has also compiled a CD of some of the reflections in the book and these are backed with gentle reflective music. These can be obtained directly from her at the Sacred Heart Convent, Goresbrook Road, Dagenham, Essex RM9 6XD.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Notre Dame Prep Run into the Record Books… Surrey Cross Country Champions!

Surrey Cross Country U12 Champions from Notre Dame
Notre Dame School, Cobham reports: Prep 6 Cross Country girls certainly put the Elmbridge school on the map at the Surrey Schools' Cross Country Championship! 18 top schools and lots of club runners were represented in the U12 category at Reigate recently.

This is the highest achievement so far in the school's cross country history. Head of Sport, Kia Nielson said, "We are so proud of them.....we are now looking forward to the Nationals in March!" Our top 3 runners finished in the top 20 and we were delighted with the result as the girls have worked so hard.

NDPS has become used to being in front as the school successfully defended its National Catholic Athletics title last year. Indeed, the school’s Sports For All programme allows all the girls to compete in a large range of both cooperative and competitive pursuits. To find out more……..

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Scottish Baird Helps Young People to Reach Madrid

The Nativity of the Lord parish reports:
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet ... and get our young people to Madrid!  As part of their fundraising to help send young people to World Youth Day this year, the parish of the Nativity of the Lord held a Burns Night Supper on 22nd January. 

The Haggis is piped in!
The room was decorated with tartan cloth, with candles and silver goblets on the table.  Chris Bayley a parishioner offered his services as piper and piped in the haggis which was carried in by Nicky. We had a traditional Burns Supper including neeps and tatties with Cranachan Cream for dessert.  This was followed by traditional speeches including a brief synopsis of Burn’s life, an address to the lasses and a humorous response to gentlemen, plus a short selection of his poems, finishing the supper with Auld Lang Syne. Traditional Scottish dancing followed."

Monday, 21 February 2011

Battle of Hastings: St Mary Star of the Sea School Year 6 Pupils Takes on “The Times”

Year 6 St Mary's Primary School, Hastings
St Mary's reports:
"Following the fire which destroyed Hastings Pier late in 2010 there was some negative coverage of our town in the national media. “The Times” in particular caught our attention when it compared the destruction of the pier to the demise of Hastings, implying it was a run-down sea-side town.

Year 6 took exception to this and the whole class brainstormed a letter to the editor of “The Times”, pointing out the many wonderful aspects of their town – and the error of their reporting!

Never expecting to hear back from them we were delighted when “The Times” got in touch and, just before Christmas, sent journalist Damian Whitworth and photographer Richard Pohle to meet Year 6 and have a tour of the children’s favourite parts of Hastings.

Following visits to Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, The Fishermen’s Museum, Alexandra Park and the famous local shop “Made in Hastings”, not to mention a trip to the beach and fish and chips, courtesy of The Times, we were all very pleased at the positive article which appeared in Times 2 on Tuesday 1st February, featuring our school and our lovely town!"

Well done Year 6!

Friday, 18 February 2011

40th Anniversary Memorial Mass for Bishop David Cashman

Bishop David Cashman
This is a special 40th Anniversary Memorial Mass for Bishop David Cashman who was the first Bishop of Arundel & Brighton.

The Mass will take place at 1pm Monday 14th March 2011 at Arundel Cathedral. This will be followed by a reception in St. Mary’s Hall.

All are welcome to attend.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Holy Redeemer Parish, Hollington reports:
"On Saturday 5th February Bishop Kieran concelebrated Holy Mass with Fr. Ian Byrnes and Fr Desmond Baker before distributing the Benemerenti Papal Awards to Barbara High and Patrick Lee, long time parishioners at Holy Redeemer. Barbara has worked tirelessly for the Parish since she was received into the Church as a young woman. For over 55 years she has taught the children of the Parish, both as Head of Infants at St. Mary, Star of the Sea School, and in the Parish itself, taking the First Holy Communion children for over 40 years and leading the team taking the Children’s Liturgy on Sunday. She also ran the Parish Guides for many years and is a member of the Trefoil guild.

Barbara has raised thousands of pounds for the Parish and has made vestments for the Priests, cloths for the Altar and has used her creative talents to build a small lectern for the priests and ambos for the choir. She has made and painted the Christmas crib and the Easter garden, Stations of the Cross in the grounds and set up the Garden of Remembrance for deceased Parishioners. She is currently the Liturgy Rep on the Parish Pastoral Team; Sacristan and leader of the Choir. Until recently she was a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Team. The Parish are delighted that Barbara has received this Award for her boundless enthusiasm for projects around the Church.

Pat Lee has served the Church at Holy Redeemer both boy and man! After he made his First Holy Communion he became an altar boy and 65 years later he still regularly serves at Holy Mass. As a young man Pat helped the Parish Priests to set up a youth club, ran a successful football team and took part in Parish Pantomimes, Passion Plays etc. He joined the SVP when it started in the parish and has continued to be heavily involved with it since and he visits the sick and housebound regularly. Pat is the Mission Rep on the Parish Pastoral Team.

Pat, too, has creative talents, having trained as a baker and confectioner – every Parish celebration for the last 40 years has had a Pat Lee decorated cake. His Eccles cakes are famous as are his Christmas cakes. Whenever a job needs to be done, Pat is your man, he is always one of the first to offer help and a good job can be relied upon. Pat is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. Pat is one of the best loved Parishioners and as a Parish we are so happy that he has been recognised with this special Papal award.

After Mass the Parish celebrated in the Hall with a buffet in true Hollington style.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bishop Kieran’s Appeal To Pray For The Pope And Bishops

As the Bishop responsible for Evangelisation and Catechesis in England and Wales he is currently appealing to the Catholic Community to pray especially for the Pope and all the Bishops as an expression of the legacy of the Papal Visit to the UK. In a text that has been prepared for the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Apostle (22 February), Bishop Kieran, who is Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, writes:

Pope Benedict and Bishop Kieran
‘This feast celebrates how the See of St Peter is a symbol of the unity of the Church founded on the Apostle Saint Peter. Peter was given a unique mission as teacher and pastor which is continued in an unbroken line to the present Pope. We are also invited to pray for our Pope and for our Bishops who teach with the authority of Christ. Nearly six months ago His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, visited the UK for four days on the first ever state visit of a Pope… In prayer we give thanks to God for those joy-filled days of grace. Today, now or later on, you are invited pause for a moment to bring to mind your memories.’

‘Blessed John Henry Newman wrote of this teaching authority, also called the Magisterium: ‘I shall drink—to the Pope, if you please,—still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.’ (Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, 1875) Today’s Feast does not mean that we are being invited to celebrate and encourage a blind and unquestioning following of teaching imposed by others: This is a misunderstanding of the role of the Pope and Bishops. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that: ‘Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. "He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”’ (1782)

However, we also have a duty to develop a well-informed conscience. The Catechism reads: ‘Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened,’ (1783) and the Magisterium is a gift to each one of us as instituted by Jesus Christ. He conferred on St Peter and the other Apostles the authority to teach and interpret the truth of Faith. So too do his successors, the Popes and Bishops. They judge authoritatively what is in accord with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what is not.’

He added: ‘Another key truth that today’s Feast invites us to reflect upon is the Church’s call to witness to our faith, to evangelise. In today’s Gospel, St Peter proclaims on the Sea of Tiberias, ‘“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”’ (Matthew 16:13-19) … Whilst Peter and his successors lead the Church, we are reminded that every follower of Jesus Christ receives the call to proclaim confidently God’s unconditional love and mercy in their lives and in the lives of others.’

To support Catholics to evangelise a free leaflet is provided by the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk called Everyday Evangelising. It can be downloaded from the Home Mission page of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website:  The leaflet offers simple ideas about how to proclaim your faith in your daily life whether at home, work or play.

For the Bishop’s full text see:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Transformed in Christ

People might be interested in the following:
A Retreat for Young Adults @ Worth Abbey Benedictine Monastery 11th - 13th March 2011

A Lenten retreat weekend for young adults offering an opportunity to reflect on our journey of transformation in Christ through the Easter mystery, with talks from monks of Worth and members of the Lay Community of St Benedict.

The retreat provides an experience of the Benedictine way of life, and a chance to take a step back from busy lives and reflect in the beautiful surroundings of Worth Abbey in Sussex.

The group will participate in the monastic rhythm of prayer in the Divine Office, lectio divina, and silence. There will also be time for personal reflection, walks, discussion, and building community.

Cost: Donations per person between £62 and £92 . For more information or to book, contact the bookings secretary:

Friday, 11 February 2011

Shoreham Justice and Peace Group Thanksgiving Mass

On Friday 28 January, Shoreham Justice and Peace group celebrated 25 years of activity with a Mass at St. Peter’s Shoreham. Past and present members, representatives of other Shoreham churches and from other parishes in the deanery were present. Some were unable to attend because of frailty and illness; some others have gone to their rest and all were remembered during the Mass.

Fr. Dominic O’Hara, presided; in his homily he commended the group for their work, and reflected that the world has changed in 25 years, but he suggested that by no means perfect, it was generally for the better. He said that the church needs to be involved and committed to justice, and as Pope Benedict said in his speech at Westminster Hall, Christian thinking must inform politics.

At the offertory three symbols were taken up: a cross as a symbol of the suffering of Christ in the world; a candle as the light of Christ in the world a Dove as the peace which the Spirit brings.

Photographs and reports of activities of the early days were displayed in the porch. Some activities over the 25 years included Prisoners of conscience, Debt relief, Jubilee 2000 in Birmingham and Cologne and holding Poverty Hearings; they are currently are involved in Fairtrade, Adur District Council Homelessness forum, supporting Worthing Churches Homeless Projects and taking part in environmental programmes

Members and visitors enjoyed light refreshments and socialised in the hall.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Diocesan Clergy Attend New Translation Training

Canon Alan Griffiths in full flow!
The final of three training sessions across the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton for Clergy on the new translation of the Roman Missal took place this week. Some 50 clergy, priests and deacons, mainly from Surrey gathered with Bishop Kieran and prominent liturgist, Canon Alan Griffiths. He led them in a discussion and reflection on the changes that are taking place, why they are taking place, and what they mean.

He said that these changes gave the Church in this Diocese "the opportunity to revisit the dynamics of liturgy that arose from the Second Vatican Council." This council of the Church in 1960s made it possible not only to have the liturgy in the vernacular but to rediscover that liturgy, especially the Mass is above all about Christ. It is not about what we do as Christians. It had been an opportunity to rediscover the dynamic presence of Christ in those gathered, in the Word proclaimed and especially in the Eucharistic elements of the body and blood. The Church in Surrey and Sussex was now able to  reconsider and deepen this understanding as a result of the changes.

We heard from the Priest Adviser on Liturgy, Fr Martin Jakubas not only of the timetable for the introduction but of the many resources including an excellent CD Rom and various books that are becoming available. Most these can be accessed via the Diocesan Website or from the Diocesan Bookshop in Crawley.

Canon Alan finished his reflections on liturgy by saying that liturgy is art, a 'beautiful completion', that it should be characterised in the Roman rite by noble simplicity and finally that it should engender and be engendered by imagination.

Most of the clergy, after a final Mass using the new translation, even if they arrived with trepidations, went away filled with confidence and inspired after these two days under the tutelage of Canon Alan. 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Sister Angela from Littlehampton Dies

We are sad to report that Sister Angela from the Franciscan community in Littlehampton has died. Please pray for the repose of her soul.

May she rest in peace

Weybridge Parish Hosts Holocaust Memorial Event

Christ the Prince of Peace in Weybridge reports:
"For some years the North West Surrey Synagogue, Weybridge, has organised a Holocaust Memorial Day event. Following an invitation from Rabbi Jacquie Tabik, Fr Tom Treherne, our parish priest, willingly agreed that we should host the event this year in our church, Christ the Prince of Peace. While the appalling atrocities of Auschwitz- Birkenau remain foremost in all our minds, it must be remembered that, since its inception in 2001, Holocaust Memorial Day recalls all the hideous genocides that have scarred history, including the relatively recent atrocities in Bosnia and Darfur.

The event took place in our church on Thursday 27th January 2011 and was attended by an extraordinarily wide range of people - the very old and very young, Jews and Gentiles, lay and clergy. It was particularly encouraging to see such good representation from Churches Together in Weybridge as well, of course, as a large number from the local synagogue congregation. All were rewarded with an outstanding evening of song, readings, anecdotes, dance and mime. There were contributions from local schools, A&B's Hand in Hand, our own Youth Group, and a most moving address by a lady saved by the Kinder Transport. The atrocities of Auschwitz, Darfur, Rwanda and others were recalled, but all presented in a way that inspired hope as well as remorse – ‘he who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it’. This must have been one of the most moving events ever staged in our church, and Fr Tom and the organisers can be proud of meeting the challenge so very well.

Weybridge Youth Group present the story of
St Maximilian Kolbe, martyr of Auschwitz

Monday, 7 February 2011

Classics Not Forgotten

It was with immense pleasure that the Classics department at Farnborough Hill recently announced that Year 10 student Paloma Vince had won the prestigious Jowett Sendelar Essay competition. This national competition is organised by the Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT) and receives many hundreds of entries from top independent and state schools. Another Farnborough Hill student, Rebecca Eva, was commended for her work on Greek Gods. Classics teacher, Miss Danni O’Laoire, was thrilled, commenting ‘I would like to congratulate both girls on such a great achievement. The standard of entries is always very high, so I was delighted to have two students mentioned in the adjudication.’

The competition was held In the Summer Term 2010 when the girls were in Year 9. Students were offered a choice of questions on different topics ranging from Greek Gods to The Early Heroes of Rome and had to write between 1,500-2,500 words. Paloma chose to answer a question on Greek mythology, “Medea killed her two children when Jason abandoned her. As counsel for Medea OR Jason (but not both), present your case to the judges…”

Her work impressed the judges greatly and they wrote this glowing review of her cartoon version of the trial: "A cartoon style account of a defence of Medea on grounds of insanity. Your encyclopaedic knowledge of the details of the myth is matched by the inventiveness of the defence: Medea is the victim of a conspiracy on the part of Creon and Jason, designed to escalate her post natal depression into a full blown guilt complex. Your use of psychological details is ingenious: in particular, Medea’s response to the Rorschach test is priceless. A remarkable piece of work."

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Celebrating His First Mass

Fr Gerard Hatton celebrates his first Mass at Christ the King of Peace, Weybridge. Deacon David King assists him at the altar as he prepares for his priestly ordination in the summer.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Following the Gospel in the Footsteps of St Francis and St Clare

Fr Andre OFM
Sr Anatasia from Littlehampton reports that: "A powerful and spiritual retreat was presented to forty-six Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Littlehampton and others, by Fr Andre OFM and Sr Anne OSF. They are both international speakers holding great knowledge and wisdom, which they delight in passing on. Saints Francis and Clare took to heart what Jesus said and did in the Gospels. The retreat emphasised the five major movements involved in living the evangelical life. Conversion, Contemplation, Fraternitas, Mission, and the Cross.

Using Franciscan theological writings and scripture a day was spent on each movement. Conversion – returning to God with your whole heart enables you to open your eyes and see God and gaze in Contemplation. In that loving look at God and God gazing back, we see Fraternitas, in our own lives, in our relationship with God, with others and creation. Once we see this, we can make visible that what we see in Mission – namely Christ. If we are truly sincere about manifesting Christ, we will ultimately experience the Cross, for Jesus reveals the true nature of God – that of self-giving. This is just the start of the journey, which challenges us on a daily basis in order that we may genuinely live the Gospel."

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Bishop's Brithday Present of a New Priest

Gerard Hatton listening to Bishop Kieran's Homily
Photo credit: Jonathan Krarup

Bishop Kieran celebrated his 60th birthday by ordaining Gerard Hatton to the priesthood in the Nativity parish at St Joseph's, Redhill. The large church was filled to capacity with standing room only as we saw the ordination of the third priest for the diocese this year. Fr Alex Hill and Fr Kevin O'Donnell were ordained in January in Guildford and Hove respectively, and on 1st February it was completed by this third ordination. The Bishop was also able to welcome Fr Gerard to the presbyterate along with some 75 other priests from this diocese and elsewhere.

We are also looking forward to a further priestly ordination in the summer of a fourth person along with four ordinations to the permanent diaconate. A truly blessed year for the diocese.

Many congratulations to all 3 new priests on their ordinations and to Bishop Kieran on his birthday!