Thursday, 31 March 2011

Vocation Voices Initiative with Fr Christopher Jamison

Fr Paul Turner, the Diocesan Vocations Director reports:

Fr Christopher Jamison
"I was delighted to hear that Fr Christopher Jamison had been appointed in September 2010 as Director of the National Office for Vocation. He will bring his great wealth of experience as former Abbot of Worth Abbey and head teacher of Worth Abbey School to the post. Fr Christopher is also well known for his work on television shows ‘The Monastery’ and ‘The Big Silence,’ in which he brought a greater insight for the public into monastic life and the need to promote a culture of vocations in the UK. These programmes allowed people to see a glimpse of what renouncing oneself to follow Christ really means, and how fulfilling the pursuit of a deeper personal relationship with God can be.
One of his first initiatives is that of Vocation Voices. This will be when young people, whether already seminarians for the Priesthood or enquirers to religious or those still discerning their vocation, speak in many of our churches in the Diocese on Good Shepherd Sunday, also known as Vocations Sunday, on the 15th May 2011.

The experience of the recent Papal Visit to the UK has shown the power of personal testimony and so the Vocation Voices will be a great witness to how God is calling young people to serve the mission of His Church.

In a recent letter to parish Priests Fr Christopher said:
“This coming year will see many opportunities for us all to promote the culture of vocation: preparing for World Youth Day, following up the 2010 Papal Visit and building on the recent increase in those joining seminaries and novitiates.”

We wish Fr Christopher well as Director for the National Office for Vocation and all young people who will be Vocation Voices in our diocese this Good Shepherd Sunday."

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

St Peter's Catholic Primary School Choir
 St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Leatherhead reports:
The St Peter's School Choir (Years 3-6, approximately 58 children attended) took part in the Leith Hill Musical Festival U11 Large Choir class on Saturday 19th March at Dorking Halls, and were awarded the Shalford & Capel Centenary Cup, a beautiful silver trophy.

They sang 'Oh Happy Day' and 'Pop Idol'. They were competing against six other choirs, and were complimented on their dynamic range, beautiful clear enunciation and the vibrant presentation of the songs.

The accompanist was Cathy Smith and conductor was Jacqui Shabankareh.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Invocation 2011 - A Festival of Priestly and Religious Vocations

“Invocation 2011” is a national festival for young adults, to be held in the grounds of St. Mary’s College, Oscott in the Archdiocese of Birmingham from 17 - 19 June 2011.

It is aimed at young men and women aged 16-35, who are looking to deepen their relationship with Christ and who are searching for the knowledge and tools to develop their own personal formation, discernment and understanding of God’s will for their lives, for some this may mean being open to the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.

The cost for the weekend is only £50. This includes admission for the weekend events, all your food and either you tent pitch or place in the sleeping marquee. For alternative accommodation the invocation website lists local B&Bs and hotels.

For more information and reservations please visit and contact Fr Paul Turner (Diocesan Vocations Director) on or 01293 603773

Monday, 28 March 2011

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe

A forthcoming exhibition at the British Museum, entitled Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe, is to take place shortly which features relics and reliquaries from the 5th to the 16th centuries.

Treasures of Heaven will feature objects drawn from church treasuries across Europe (including the Vatican), museums in the USA, and the British Museum’s own collection. It will bring together some of the finest sacred treasures of the medieval age, not seen in such significant numbers in the UK since the religious upheaval of the 16th century. Over 150 objects will be on display, including three thorns from the Crown of Thorns, fragments of the True Cross, the rib of St Peter, and the Mandylion of Edessa from the Vatican. There will also be a related events programme, including a conference, lectures, talks and debates.

There are special rates for group visits of parishioners who would like to visit the exhibition as part of a larger group, or to partake in exhibition lecture packages (these include coffee and cookies, entry to the exhibition and a lecture by a British Museum expert). Group offers start from as little as 8 people.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Making Saints – An Adventure in Love

Over 700 adults engaged in Youth Ministry in England and Wales assembled in London (on Saturday 12th March) for a National Congress. The theme: “Called to a Noble Adventure – A Vision for Youth Ministry”.

CYMFed – the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation – organised the event in the knowledge that those present represent work and ministry with over 100,000 young people per year, committed to a vision of vibrant Youth Ministry in the Church. During the Papal Visit one of the key things that the Holy Father reminded us was to ‘know our purpose’. This Congress, in part, prompted all to know that their calling and work makes a unique contribution to the mission of the Church.

Keynote Speakers were Reverend J-Glenn Murray, SJ, Michelle Moran and David Wells with input from Cardinal Peter Turkson and Paschal Uche.
Fr J-Glenn Murray SJ speaking at the Congress
© 2011 Catholic Youth Ministry Federation.
All rights reserved

Fr Murray told the gathering that as children of God we should not be afraid. In the ordinary things we do are the characteristics of saints. Saints of old lost their tempers and made mistakes. Our job is to make saints and we walk in good company on this noble adventure.

Michelle Moran emphasised the need for authentic catechesis alongside experiential faith. We seriously need to ensure that our ministry has both of these things; without either it is lacking.

David Wells advised that if you lose your vocation, or the passion of love, then go back to the beginning of your dream, to the place where you first fell in love.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, reminded us to keep working against poverty and injustice. On our behalf he has called on world leaders to keep their promises of investing in material poverty. He challenged everyone to also address spiritual poverty.

Paschal Uche, who welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on behalf of Britain's young Catholics last September, spoke of the importance of his Christian Faith and that it is part of who he is, the Papal Visit and how events like the Congress give an immense feeling of family.

At this year’s Congress there was a sense of joy, community and a common purpose among those who gathered. Youth Ministry in England and Wales has to be a life-changing adventure of making saints because our God demands nothing less from us. It is an adventure of embracing the Gospel in its fullness and being radically transformed by it. It is an adventure full of love and the adventure continues following the announcement of Flame - a National Congress for Young People in March 2012.

Friday, 25 March 2011

I Like A Nice Cup of Coffee

Fr Rick McGrath gratefully receives a cheque from the local Catenians
for parish redecoration

Burgess Hill parish report:
John Goulding President of Haywards Heath Catenian Circle presented a cheque to Fr.Rick McGrath for £535.00 towards the cost of the redecoration of St.Wilfred's Church in Burgess Hill, Sussex.

The money was raised by the Brothers and wives of the Circle organising a coffee morning with a tombola and a sale of cakes and books.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Holy Socks Batman!

A Gamarelli Red Sock
Gamarelli's, the leading Rome ecclesiastical retailers who dress Popes, Cardinals, Bishops and other clergy have struck a deal with a French online retailer Mes Chausettes Rouges to provide red, purple and black socks for sale via the Internet.

The socks are popular not just with clergy but also with politicians and it is rumoured that the French Prime Minister Francois Fillion wears them.

Obviously any clergy who are not Cardinals or Bishops should purchase according!

The socks are high quality and are hand stitched which apparently makes them more comfortable to wear. They do however come with a fairly hefty price tag of 19,90 euros.

This is a slightly frivolous entry but thought it would amuse and entertain, and of course socks may be your thing!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Facebook and Youtube Pages on John Paul II Beatification

The Holy See Press Office has published the following communique:
"In view of the beatification of John Paul II on 1 May 2011, Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) have organised a number of initiatives and made a wide range of documentary material available.

"A new page dedicated to John Paul II for his beatification has been activated on Youtube. The page is available at the following address: and includes video clips on the pontificate year by year, as well as video clips with the Pope's voice in various languages and situations (on trips and in the Vatican).

"These are audio recordings supplied and selected by the language programmes of Vatican Radio, which have then been mounted onto video by CTV. The audio of the Pope will be in the original language in which it was pronounced, with English-language subtitles indicating the place (country), day, month and year of the event.

"The dedicated Youtube page - as well as the normal channel which has existed for some time in four languages - will be supplied with video clips of current events and information concerning the days of the beatification.

"A new page has also been activated on Facebook concerning John Paul II in view of his beatification. It may be consulted at this address: All the video clips uploaded to the Youtube channel will be available at the same time on this page.

"The aim is to diversify the instruments so as to give this initiative as great an exposure and as wide a coverage as possible. Unlike other initiatives already present on the Internet in various forms, initiatives by private individuals not associated with the Holy See, this carries the joint signatures of Vatican Radio and of the Vatican Television Centre, it has been agreed with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and is, of course, open to all users of Facebook.

"The general objective is to accompany the course of the beatification using the instruments technology makes available, making full use of the resources at our disposal and, at least in part, of the vast documentary archives held by Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre".

Monday, 21 March 2011

It's All a Pantomine in Bognor Parish

The parish of Our Lady of Sorrows recently put on a parish pantomine 'Mother Goose'. It is understood great fun was had by all including the 3 priests in the parish Frs Anthony Churchill, Jonathan Martin and Peter Hart. Each braved the stage to give a performance of a lifetime!

Bognor Parish Panto in full swing
We understand that the rumours that it will be taken to the West End are untrue.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Douai Abbey Welcomes A&B Deacons and Wives on Retreat

A&B Deacons and Wives with Br Christopher in the Abbey Church
Last weekend 20 or so Arundel and Brighton Deacons and Wives travelled to Douai Abbey near Reading for a retreat. We were warmly welcomed by the Guestmaster, Br Christopher who is a deacon himself. The Abbey now has wonderfully new guest facilities which provided a pleasant and comfortable environment for the retreat.

On the Friday evening we were led in our initial reflection by Bridie Stringer who had recently completed a thesis on the work and role of deacons. It was an interesting and stimulating reflection that gave rise to much discussion. She reminded us that the diaconate is not about 'table service' but a much wide ministry on behalf of the Church which involves liturgy, word and charity.

On the Saturday and the Sunday we were led by Br Christopher and Vincent Malone to reflect on our ministry and to deepen our understanding of it spiritually and personally. Part of the afternoon involved a silent walk in sunshine in the beautiful woods surronding the Abbey. We were also encouraged in the homily at Saturday morning Mass to make Christ the centre of all they did.

Being a Catholic do many of the deacons and their wives met at the end of the day to socialise with a glass of wine or beer and share conversations and reflections on the diaconate and their roles in the Church.

The final act of the retreat was to share in the Sunday liturgy of the Abbey celebrated with prayerfulness and joy, encouraged to see Deacon Br Christopher participating fully in the monastic liturgy. We all went away from the weekend inspired and uplifted ready for the rest of Lent and the joys of Easter.

Deacon Mark Woods

Friday, 18 March 2011

Helping Young People to Volunteer Overseas

If you know of a young person who wants to volunteer overseas then why not point them in the direction of Progressio Empower is a brand new scheme run by Progressio, a Catholic development charity. If they are 18-22 (or older if you want to be a leader), they could be heading to Malawi, Peru or El Salvador for 10 weeks in July, October or January, possibly for FREE.

You'll find out about life in a developing country, make a real difference overseas and bring back your experiences to your community in the UK. But act fast - places are limited and if you want to go for the summer you'll have to apply by March 13. Register now to be among the first to apply at

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Libya Uprising and the Regional Context - A Catholic Perspective

Dr Harry Hagopian
© Catholic Communications Network
When does an anti-Government uprising become a Civil War? Can the rebels wage a proper united campaign? How will the West proceed in its dealings with Libya and the wider North Africa Middle East (MENA) region?

These are some of the issues discussed by Dr Harry Hagopian in his latest podcast on

Dr Hagopian is an international lawyer and consultant to both the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and the Middle East Council of Churches. The Bishops’ Consultant on the Middle East reflected upon the current situation in Libya, the issue of a no-fly zone over the country, assessed the serious uprisings in Yemen, Jordan and Bahrain. "People Power" has come to the fore, but where will this lead?

Listen to the podcast to hear the insights of Dr Harry Hagopian:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Canon Seamus Hester Presides at Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Canon Seamus seated with (left to right) Fr Tim Hunting, Fr Rags
Hay-Will and seminarian Simon Dray
Father Raglan was delighted to invite Father Seamus to celebrate Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes especially as he was director of the diocesan pilgrimages for many years. The Mass was also held in thanksgiving for his many years as parish priest.

The church was full with the children from St Thomas a Becket Junior school choir also attending to sing together with musicians from Our Lady of Ransom, St Gregory and St Agnes. Both the infant and junior schools presented Fr Séamus with gifts. There was a procession of flags from St Richard's Catholic College students and the church's brownie and cub scout groups. His Stole, a symbol of his parish ministry, was also carried up to the altar. Fr Séamus thanked everyone including members of other churches in the town for their prayers during his illness and he was overwhelmed to see so many parishioners from all three churches in the parish in prayer together.

At the end of Mass the church was ablaze with light as candles were lit as a tribute to Fr Séamus’ ministry in Lourdes. They were held up by the congregation whilst the Lourdes Hymn Immaculate Mary was being sung. Many parishioners commented that this was a very moving moment for them. A celebration was held in the parish centre afterwards with food from many different cultures being
donated for the evening.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Rite of Election Welcomes Even More People Becoming Catholics this Year

57 people preparing for baptism in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton met with Bishop Kieran Conry on Saturday 12th March at Arundel Cathedral. They were joined by 114 people already baptised who will be received into full communion with the Church at Easter. In addition 25 people from the new Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were also welcomed. There were all joined in this Rite of Election and Acceptance by sponsors and catechists. 
Eastbourne Group of the Ordinariate with Bishop Kieran
The numbers of those preparing for baptism and reception and attending the Rite of Election and Acceptance at the Cathedral in Arundel has grown so much over the last few years that it has become necessary to have two separate services for different parts of the diocese. It is a moving experience for these Catholics-to-be to see they are not alone in their journey and to appreciate the Church as the diocesan family.

One of those attending as a candidate to be received into full communion was Sarah Ross who had acted as the Papal visit coordinator for the diocese last September. Following the visit she had decided to join the programme in her parish and will be received at the Easter Vigil at the Holy Name church in Esher by Mgr Benny O’Shea. The Diocesan Communications Officer, Mark Woods who had worked with her during the preparations for the Papal Visit said; “Sarah has already done so much for the Church before, during and since the Papal Visit. It will be wonderful for her to be able to participate fully in the Mass and receive Christ’s body and blood for the first time as a Catholic.”

Bishop Kieran during and after the ceremony makes a point of speaking and welcoming each person and their sponsors and family, and through this welcome they were made to feel part not just of the local parish but also of the wider Church. He also warmly welcomed those members of the Ordinariate who will become fully part of the Catholic Church at Easter.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Worthing Based Mary’s Dowry Productions Present 3 New DVDs

They have produced three new DVDs about British Saints:
Saint Polydore Plasden - One of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.
A gripping and moving telling of the life and mission of a young Catholic priest who was martyred during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I for his priesthood. Sir Walter Raleigh tried to secure a reprieve for him after hearing his speech at the gallows.

Saint Margaret Ward - One of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales
Spirited, brave and perfectly Catholic, her story takes place in London in the 1580’s and is one of drama, beauty and suspense. This sadly little known Elizabethan Catholic woman’s life and fascinating mission is presented here for the first time in film.

Saint Winifred and her Well
In 7th Century Wales, Saint Winifred’s story is one of history, devotion, and drama. The niece of St. Beuno, a wicked prince took a dangerous interest in her with dramatic consequences. Miracles and beauty abound in the life of this Catholic Saint whose healing well is still a place of pilgrimage in Wales today.

These DVDs are now available worldwide from their online shop, by telephone or at Amazon UK (Amazon UK/Europe residents only). or

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Retreat Day for Camberley and Bagshot Parish

Camberley and Bagshot Parish reports:
"Parish Priest Fr Richard startled his parish one Sunday in November when he said at all Masses, “I love you dearly but I want empty churches on Sunday 6 March”. To some relief he then went on to invite everybody to attend the Parish Retreat Day on Sunday 6 March 2011.

Retreat Giver David Payne (centre)
with Fr Richard (far right back) and the Parish Evangelisaton Team
On the day 130 parishioners gathered at St Augustine’s Primary School in Frimley by kind permission of the Head, Mrs Carmel Smith. CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) Director David Payne powerfully led morning and afternoon sessions on the subject of love supported by Steve Murray who expressed the same message through the medium of mime. The children had their own special time and after a rather fun Retreat Day inside picnic lunch presented everybody with pictures and song centred on the Gospel of the day.

A joyful celebration of Mass concluded the Retreat. After Mass it was gifts all round as David and Steve were thanked as were members of the C&B Parish Evangelisation Group led by Mrs Mary Guinan-Casey who, with many helpers had made the day possible."

Friday, 11 March 2011

Publication of Second Volume of Pope's Book on Jesus

A thoughtful Pope Benedict
© Mazur /
The Vatican News Services reports: In the Holy See Press Office yesterday afternoon, the presentation took place of the second volume of Benedict XVI's book on Jesus of Nazareth: "From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection". The press conference was presented by Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S. prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Claudio Magris, a writer and German scholar.

The book has been published in seven languages - German, Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish - and has nine chapters and an epilogue.

In an interview published by the "Osservatore Romano" Fr. Giuseppe Costa, director of the Vatican Publishing House which holds the copyright on the Pope's works, explains that there will initially be seven editions of the book with a print run of 1,200,000 copies, and that contracts have been signed with twenty-two publishing houses throughout the world. The work is also available in an e-book edition.

Fr. Costa dwells briefly on the history of the publication, recalling how nearly a year and a half ago Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, private secretary to Benedict XVI, consigned him the text, the last part of which was written in pencil "in the Pope's unmistakeable tiny handwriting".

On the subject of the translations, Fr. Costa explains how "the Italian, in particular, was not easy, because over the decades Joseph Ratzinger's books have been translated by various individuals and the challenge was to achieve a certain homogeneity of language. Furthermore, it was important to avoid the risk of the translations in the various languages failing to conserve, or even betraying, the author's ideas".

"Not all the publishing houses of the first volume have also printed the second", Fr. Costa notes. "The choice was made on the basis of various criteria including editorial and organisational structure, but also reliability. We chose publishers capable of promoting not just the book but also its contents".

In his preface the Pope announces a third book, which he intends to dedicate to the Gospel accounts of Jesus' infancy. This could not enter directly into the current volume, says Fr. Costa, which focuses on the figure of Jesus, His words and His actions. But, as the Pope writes in his preface, "I wish to remain faithful to my promise and present a small work on this subject, if I am granted the strength to do so".

Why not order your copy from the Diocesan Bookshop - email: or telephone 01293 651165

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain presents his diplomatic papers to the Queen at Buckingham Palace

His Most Reverend Excellency, Antonio Mennini speaks about his special audience last week with the Queen:
Archbishop Mennini with
Archbishop Nichols
© Mazur/
“First of all, I passed on the Holy Father’s warm greetings and told her that His Holiness often remembers his visit to the United Kingdom and has enormous gratitude for the kind welcome he received.
“I told the Queen that the aim of my mission is to strengthen the already existing good relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See and to strengthen the good fraternal relations with the Anglican Church in order to give a common witness to the values of the Gospel.

“The Queen said that she believed all Christians should work together to achieve this goal. She underlined the fact that the Holy Father’s visit was a big success and allowed both the United Kingdom and the Holy See, not only to highlight the areas of current joint working, but to look into new areas of effective co-operation for the well-being of the entire human family.
“I told the Queen that I was very happy that the Holy Father had appointed me to be the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain - a nation whose culture I appreciate very much. I also recalled some of the Holy Father’s words from his speech at Westminster Hall when he underlined the role that the democratic institutions of Great Britain play – not only in Great Britain - but across many countries all over the world.
“She asked me about the state of Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz’s health and sent on her kindest wishes. She also asked me to tell the Holy Father that she often remembers his visit with fondness and with thanks. She said that the visit could constitute a blueprint, not only for relations between the Holy See and the UK, but for many countries.
“Coming towards the end of the audience, the Queen asked me about my background. I said that I came from central Italy; that I had entered seminary after some years at university, spent time working as an assistant priest in Rome and then served in Uganda; then in Russia. She also asked whether I intended to travel within the UK. I said that I was looking forward to getting to know the country; the culture, the Catholic Church in Britain, other communities and churches.
“She concluded by saying that my work will be challenging, but very important and very interesting.”

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Seafarers Given The Opportunity To Celebrate On Ash Wednesday

The Apostleship of the Sea says:
In his Lenten message this year, Pope Benedict XVI, calls us to reflect on justice, on how each person can be given their ‘rightful due’. The port chaplains of the Apostleship of the Sea including Deacon Roger Stone from Arundel & Brighton Diocese will be taking up this call on Ash Wednesday. Deacon Roger is based in Southampton as full time chaplain but his ministry stretches across to the Sussex coast.

AOS Priest Chaplain distributes ashes aboard ship
The Holy Father says that each person’s due is not only to receive their physical needs; food, water, medicine, but also to receive that which will help them live their life to the full. This Ash Wednesday, AoS port chaplains, as on every other day of the year, will do just this, attend to the physical needs of seafarers; help them communicate with loved ones, lend a listening ear, and also to help them live their life to the full and for those who want to, to celebrate Ash Wednesday, even in the midst of a busy industrialised port environment.

The Catholic Faith as with all other religions has many days within its calendar that are special to its followers; times for them to re-affirm their faith and to celebrate their spirituality. Ash Wednesday is one of these special days. Often these celebrations are taken for granted by those who have easy access to them, however for many individuals these times to celebrate are not always a ‘given’.
Seafarers, whilst working on ships, are often unable to celebrate their faith as they would like. They do not have the opportunity to attend services. They are often at sea on special feast days and miss crucial spiritual events. Research by the International Transport Workers’ Federation Seafarers’ Trust (ITF) already shows that seafarers recognise their spiritual needs are just as important as their physical welfare, and the inability for them to practice their faith often has a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing. (Taken from ITF/SIRC 2007 report Port Based Welfare Services for Seafarers)

Apostleship of the Sea enables seafarers that visit the UK to celebrate their faiths in the ways they so wish. They enable seafarers of any faith to attend faith services and visit places of worship. For Catholic seafarers they arrange Mass onboard or off ship, provide faith resources, help to celebrate important feasts, allow access to the sacraments and help seafarers feel they are fulfilled spiritually.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Adult Confirmation in Knaphill

Sue Royston from St Hugh's, Knaphill reports:
On the last Sunday of February, Bishop Kieran visited St Hugh’s to join us at Mass and celebrate the Confirmation of Haobin Song.

Bishop Kieran told us that Haobin’s Confirmation was the first of approximately 1000 Confirmations expected in the Diocese this year! He added that this was an appropriate time for all of us to reflect on our faith and what we truly believe in.

Bishop Kieran with Haobin and his wife
Haobin and his wife joined many well-wishers in the hall after Mass to enjoy refreshments and a delicious celebration cake made by parishioner Doug Carr.

Monday, 7 March 2011

PONTIFICAL YEARBOOK 2011 - Number of Catholics and Clergy Increases

Recently, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs, presented the Holy Father with the 2011 edition of the "Annuario Pontificio" or pontifical yearbook. Also present were the officials responsible for compiling and printing the volume.

© Osiowy /
Beatification of John Henry Newman, Cofton Park, Birmingham
A note concerning the presentation highlights some of the facts contained in the new edition. In 2010, the Pope erected ten new episcopal sees, one apostolic exarchate and one apostolic vicariate. One diocese was elevated to the rank of metropolitan see, two prelatures to the rank of diocese, and two apostolic prefectures and one apostolic administration to the rank of apostolic vicariates.

The number of Catholics in the world increased from around 1,166 million in 2008 to 1,181 million in 2009, an increase of fifteen million faithful which corresponds to a growth of 1.3 percent.

The distribution of Catholics between the continents is notably different from that of the general population. Between 2008 and 2009 the Americas maintained their proportion of the global population fixed at 13.6 percent; by contrast, over that two-year period Catholics there reached 49.4 percent of the Catholic population of the world. Over the same period, Asia's Catholic population increased from 10.6 percent to 10.7 percent of the world total, considerably lower than the 60.7 percent of the global population living in that continent. Europe's share of the world population is three percentage points lower than that of the Americas, but its share of world Catholics is nearly half that of the Americas, at 24 percent. For States in both Africa and Oceania, their share of the world population differs little from their share of the world Catholic population (respectively, 15.2 percent and 0.8 percent).

The note also indicates that the number of bishops grew between 2008 and 2009 from 5,002 to 5,065. As for priests, both regular and diocesan, their numbers have increased over the last ten years from 405,178 in 2000 to 410,593 in 2009, although their distribution differs considerably from continent to continent. Numbers of diocesan clergy are falling in Europe and increasing in all the other continents, while numbers of religious clergy are in general decline, with the exception of Asia and Africa.

Numbers of permanent deacons have increased by 2.5 percent, from 37,203 in 2008 to 38,155 in 2009. Their presence grew more rapidly in Oceania (19 percent) and in Asia (16 percent), while in Europe and America the increase was of 2.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Among the pastoral workers who assist bishops and priests in their activities, female religious remain the largest group, although their numbers fell from 739,067 in 2008 to 729,371 in 2009. The crisis continues despite the fact that numbers have increased in Africa and Asia.

The number of candidates to the priesthood grew by 0.82 percent, from 117,024 in 2008 to 117,978 in 2009. Here too the different continents show a different evolution, for while in Africa and Asia numbers grew by 2.39 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, in Europe and America they fell by 1.64 percent and 0.17 percent.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Healthcare Allocation & Justice Booklet from Surrey Deacon to be

Paul Gateley reports:
This CTS Booklet written by Professor David Jones, the leading Catholic Bioethicist in the UK and adviser to Bishops' Conference, Father Ashley Beck, Dean of Studies for the Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme, based at Wonersh and Paul Gateley, Surrey Deacon to be. More details are available on the link below.

Paul says "Although primarily intended for healthcare professionals, it will also appeal to those for whom Social Justice is of great importance based as it is on the Church's affirmation of the inviolable dignity of the human person. I believe deacons in particular will be interested in this and hopefully will want to make copies available in their parishes."

Copies can be bought via the Diocesan Bookshop in Crawley
CTS link:

Friday, 4 March 2011

Notre Dame Flyers—Team Madden Win Commonwealth Medical Games

Notre Dame School Cobham reports:
Below is a photograph of Professor Brendan Madden and his daughter Aoife Madden outside The Commonwealth Games Nehru Stadium at Entrance 1, the Competitors' entrance.

They won their competition, breaking their previous record and succeeded in securing £10,000 for the E.C.G. machine for the Cobham Sisters' charity hospital in the Congo.

Brendan ran a mile in 3 mins 55.8 sec and Aoife won her half mile race in 3 mins 3 sec. The Kenyan team came second with Australia third.

Brendan and Aoife Madden
The money raised from Aoife and her Dad’s run in India in February 2011, has raised £10,000. The money will purchase a new Cardiac ECG machine for the small Company of Mary Our Lady hospital in Kyondo. This will be immensely valuable to them as Rheumatic Fever is still a big problem in their country.

Sister Bernadette, who is a Doctor working in the hospital, will be visiting UK this year. She will spend some time training at St. George’s Hospital, Tooting, under the instruction of Professor Madden, who has set up a Training Fellowship specifically for this purpose. Other Sisters may follow to learn to use a Cardiac ECG machine and learn other vital information related to the human heart and its function.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Wear Your Ashes To Witness To Your Faith

On 9 March Catholics across England and Wales are being invited to wear their ashes with confidence to witness to their faith. Speaking ahead of the day, our won Bishop, Kieran Conry, Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: 

 ‘Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent when we are invited for forty days to set aside more time for prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter. The Ashes, made in the sign of the cross on our foreheads on this day, are an outward sign of our inward sorrow for our sins and of our commitment to Jesus as Our Lord and Saviour.

Ash Wednesday ashes worn proudly
Photo credit Mazur/
‘The wearing of the ashes provides us with a wonderful opportunity to share with people how important our faith is to us and to point them to the cross of Christ. I invite you where possible to attend a morning or lunchtime Mass. Please try not to rub off your ashes as soon as you leave church, but take the sign of the cross to all those that you meet - in your school, office, factory, wherever you may be. This might just make people curious and wonder why you would do this. If you explain about Lent and Easter it might just make them think and may even awaken in them the questions that might lead to faith. Many people have a dim awareness of Lent and even ashes. It would be good to make this clear rather than dim.

‘Don’t underestimate the power of this simple action and wear your ashes as not only a sign of the beginning of your Lenten journey, but also to witness to your greatest treasure in life. This small step could awaken faith in the hearts of many that you meet in a way that words could never do so.’

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

St Peter’s Catholic School Guildford - Commitment to Charities

St Peter's Catholic Comprehensive School in Guildford reports:
Over the last term St Peter’s Catholic School in Guildford raised a stunning £2852 for charities. This came from the Carol Service, Christmas card sales, the Staff Pantomime and various general collections and House competitions. During this time when budgets are being cut and people are feeling growing financial pressures we were delighted with the charitable support the community of St Peter’s continue to show. Generosity and a caring ethos is a characteristic of St Peter’s Catholic School Community and is something of which we are proud. Staff also collected to provide hampers of luxury goods for the local Women’s Refuge.

The money raised will make a massive difference to the people of Pakistan as they rebuild after the devastating floods. It will help people with learning difficulties, physical and mental disabilities to integrate further into the community by exploring the visual and performing arts. It will help to support those suffering homeless as well as isolated families. Finally it will provide vital support and care to premature and sick babies across the UK. Bliss is a charity especially close to St Peter’s as Head of PE Mr Hogan and Head of Art Mrs Bruce have both recently had premature babies who have received wonderful care at St Peter’s Hospital Chertsey. Student Voice chose to support Bliss as one of our chosen charities because all our thoughts were with Mr and Mrs Hogan and baby Imogen, and Mr and Mrs Bruce and baby Henry. Some of the staff involved in the Pantomime went to present the cheque to Bliss, and were able to see the amazing work that St Peter's Hospital are doing to help Imogen and Henry.

The money was donated to the following charities:-

• Cafod

• Artventure

• Guildford Action

• Bliss

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Obituary for Sr Angela FMSL

We are deeply saddened to announce Sister Angela Baughen died 7 February 2011. Sr Angela entered the FMSL in 1967 taking the name Sr Aloysius. She trained as a nurse and made her final profession 1 February 1981 reverting to her baptismal Angela. She went on to become our Nursing Manager at St Joseph’s, Littlehampton.

Our mission in Santa Rosa, Peru was very close to Sr Angela’s heart. When she was not caring for the frail and vulnerable patients in our Littlehampton Nursing Home, she was either visiting Peru or, busily organising fund raising events. Sr Angela possessed a beautiful and powerful singing voice, which she used to praise God and raise money for our Peru mission. She was a very active and enthusiastic member of The Barn Choir, and instrumental in organising their 23 concerts in Littlehampton. Since 1999 a grand total of £22,610.00 has been raised through these concerts for our mission in Peru. This is a magnificent sum and has achieved so much for the people of Santa Rosa, the mission and their surroundings. Sr Angela’s death will leave a great void in many people’s lives and she will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.

Please pray for Sr Angela, her family and all the FMSL Sisters. Sr Angela’s Eulogy can be seen in full on the Sisters website: