Tuesday, 31 May 2011

25 Years of Cardinal Hume Centre

Sarah, another success for the Cardinal Hume Centre
The Cardinal Hume Centre is this year celebrating 25 successful years of enabling homeless young people and local families to turn their lives around and build better futures.

The Centre was set up in 1986 by Cardinal Basil Hume in response to seeing young homeless people sleeping on the streets around the Cathedral. Today that legacy lives on and the Centre reaches out to some of the most marginalised people in society - young homeless people, families living in overcrowded accommodation, asylum seekers, recovering addicts and the unemployed. At its heart is the Benedictine ethos that all are welcome.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Patron of the Centre today said: “The important thing about the Cardinal Hume Centre first of all, is its presence as somewhere for people to go. Then, once they’re there, it’s the quality of what happens inside, and it’s not just the professional quality, but it’s the spirit, the ethos in which that service is delivered, inspired by Cardinal Hume, by his profound sense of Christian service.

“The breadth of services offered by the Cardinal Hume Centre is clearly important today because in this part of London, there are great contrasts. On the one hand there are busy offices and on the other there are very poor families and immigrant families living in the area. There are also local families under great pressure and it’s marvellous indeed that the Cardinal Hume Centre responds to the need that is around it and offers help.”

On one site in Westminster the Centre provides job skills training and advice; IT, literacy and English language classes; parenting and life skills lessons; and immigration and debt counselling. It also provides a comprehensive mentoring service – staffed largely by volunteers – who help some of its 1000 plus clients on their road to independence.

The Centre keeps its commitment to young people and has a 32 bedroom hostel for 16 to 21 year olds and an eight bed hostel for people in recovery from substance misuse. There is a one year limit on staying in the hostels, as the emphasis is very much on supporting residents to build an independent, fulfilling future for themselves. While in the hostels – which are similar to university halls of residence – the young people attend college or work in preparation for independent living.

“When working with young people, staff at the Centre spot neglected talent, they spot talent that seems to have no hope and translate something that is a frustrated, no hope youngster into somebody who slowly grows in confidence, slowly is able to speak, express themselves, find and develop their talents and then become a contributor to society. That’s the appeal of the Cardinal Hume Centre and I’m sure there are many people out there who recognise the importance of young talent today and making the most of their future”, added Archbishop Nichols.

Chief Executive of the Centre, Cathy Corcoran said: “Our emphasis is on enabling the people we work with to live dignified and fulfilling lives. In the current harsh, economic climate it is even more important to equip people with the means to help themselves as well as supporting them through a time of transition. As the Government cuts begin to bite we will undoubtedly begin to see more and more young people and families in need. We are prepared to face this challenge and will do everything we can to continue the work the Cardinal started a quarter of a century ago”.

The picture shows Sarah who came to the Cardinal Hume Centre after becoming homeless. She's now at college studying and looking forward to a brighter future.  You can hear Sarah's story on the Cardinal Hume website www.cardinalhumecentre.org.uk

Monday, 30 May 2011

Facefaith week: spread the love of the faith

© Charlotte Bromley Davenport//www.thepapalvisit.org.uk
Pope Benedict XVI has invited people to proclaim the Gospel message through the internet, and young Catholics are responding during Facefaith week (30 May - 5 June), the week leading up to World Communications Day. Inspired by Pope Benedict's visit to the UK and his World Communications Day message, they are spreading their love of the faith, blessing their Facebook friends with inspiring status updates, pictures and videos.

The idea is to share anything which expresses the Gospel message with friends. This could mean posting a prayerful reflection, an inspiring song or video, photos of a sacred place, a pilgrimage journey or some words of encouragement. To join in, upload your messages of faith to your Facebook profile from 30 May to 5 June. Spread the love of the faith with the 11,000-strong Papal Visit Facebook community at www.facebook.com/papalvisit.

Pope Benedict XVI said in his World Communications Day message: “The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness. In this field too we are called to proclaim our faith that Christ is God, the Saviour of humanity and of history, the one in whom all things find their fulfilment. The proclamation of the Gospel requires a communication which is at once respectful and sensitive, which stimulates the heart and moves the conscience.”

Niamh Moloney, 26, the young Catholic well-known for her Papal Visit banner ‘We love you Papa more that beans on toast’, is encouraging people to spread the love of the faith: “It's a week for us truly to become digital disciples by spreading the love of the faith on Facebook. I've seen the power of spreading joyful noise when the picture of my banner went round the world and I think this week is an opportunity for us all to do this.”

On World Communications Day (5 June) the Church prays for communications professionals and there will be a collection in parishes for the Catholic Communications Network (CCN). The theme this year is ‘Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age’.

World Communications Day web page: www.catholicchurch.org.uk/world-comms-2011 includes parish resources for World Communications Day, Pope Benedict XVI’s message for World Communications Day, and an article on the Virtual Visit.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Golden Days at St Pancras - Lewes

Bruce Byrne from St Pancras Lewes reports that: "Former Lewes Town Clerk Chris Walsh and his wife Jane celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary recently.

Mass was conducted by Father Jonathan Martin at St Pancras Church attended by many family and friends - some as far away as Australia. At the end of Mass Chris and Jane received a Papal blessing - afterwards guests retired to the 'Challenor Room' to be entertained by the Parish Choir who sang various variety songs. The evening concluded with a reception in the Parish 'Wood Room'."

Chris and Jane cutting the cake - Photo Sean Walsh

Many congratulations!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Farewell to Sister Philomena

Sister Philomena and Father Chris Spain taken by Michael Haywood
Sue Lee from Holy Redeemer Hollington reports: "On Saturday 30th May there was a special Thanksgiving Mass at the Holy Redeemer to say farewell to Sister Philomena McGroarty. Sister Philomena has been the Hospital Chaplain and a parishioner of the Holy Redeemer for the last sixteen years. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Chris Spain, the Dean; Father Ian Byrnes, our Parish Priest, and Father Desmond Baker. Father Chris and Father Ian first met Sister Philomena when they were in parishes in Brighton.

She will be greatly missed both in our parish and in the Deanery, especially for her work in the Chaplaincy; where she set up a support team of parishioners from the Deanery, who visited Catholics in the hospital daily.

After Mass there was a Buffet in the hall prepared by the Union of Catholic Mothers with food donated by parishioners. After cutting the beautifully decorated cake Sister Philomena was presented with gifts from both Holy Redeemer and St Thomas’ parishes and we wished her well in her new appointment with Our Lady of the Missions in Dublin."

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Three Deacons for the Ordinariate Soon to Become Priests

Bishop Kieran with 3 Deacons and Mgr Keith Newton
On 4 May 2011, Bishop Kieran ordained to the Diaconate three members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Arundel Cathedral.  Pictured from left to right are: Deacon Geoffrey Cook, Deacon Neil Chatfield, Bishop Kieran, Deacon Ronald Robinson and Mgr Keith Newton (the ordinary of the ordinariate).

The three Deacons will be ordained Priests by Bishop Kieran on Friday 17 June at 7.30pm in Arundel Cathedral.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

St Dunstan’s Parish say Goodbye and Thank You to Fr David Parmiter

Fr David addressing St Dunstna's Parish
When Fr David left St Dunstan’s Woking in March, it was at very short notice and so arrangements were made for him to return once the busy Eastertide was coming to an end so that the parish could give him the send off he so richly deserved.

That event took place on Sunday 15th May when parishioners gathered in the function room to share plates of food that they had brought and to listen to Mary Smith (deputising for Peter Hogan the Parish Chairman) setting out the many achievements of Fr David during his time in Woking.

Canon Frank presented a cheque on behalf of parishioners to mark their friendship and appreciation for Fr David.

We wish him well in his future parish(es): their gain is our loss.

[Words and Photo by Kevin Wallace]

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

St Richard’s Catholic College’s pilgrimage to Lourdes

St Richard's HCPT Lourdes Group
St Richard's reports that: "Twenty-one Year 11 pupils and 3 staff from St. Richard’s Catholic College, Bexhill, joined the HCPT Pilgrimage to Lourdes at Easter as a Service Group. During the week the pupils supported the whole pilgrimage activities including marshalling the torchlight procession of 8,000 people and carrying banners in processions.

The group acted as specific helpers for the children in Group 154. On the Friday, there was a coach journey up the mountain to Gavarnie. The St. Richard’s pupils had a day playing with the children, helping them enjoy donkey rides, playing football and leading the music for a Mass for both groups which was held in the open air with the snow-capped mountains in the background.

Other highlights of the week included a visit to the grotto, where prayer requests from school and parishes were placed, as well as placing a large candle decorated by the pupils with the names of people they wanted to pray for.
The year 11s enjoyed getting to know the children from Group 154, singing in the choir at the Regional Mass and taking part in the sing-songs in cafés around Lourdes. One pupil summed the whole week up: “It was an amazing experience and I definitely want to go back.”

The pupils shared their faith, their kindness and their time with thousands of pilgrims, to ensure that disabled and disadvantaged children have an amazing Pilgrimage in Lourdes. The pupils are keen to continue to support the work of HCPT and return as helpers in the future. Angela Brennan, chaplain at St. Richard’s, said: “I am so proud of the pupils’ hard work, enthusiasm and care that they showed to everyone they met in Lourdes. We would like to thank all the clergy, parishioners, family and friends who supported their fundraising efforts.”

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Red Box: Celebrating 75 years of generosity and faith!

Missio reports that: "2011 celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Red Box and the support given by the Catholics of England and Wales to countless missionaries, missions and people in countries where the Church is young and poor. Today the iconic Red Box, unique to England and Wales, is present in more than 200,000 homes. Thanks to the generosity of so many people, in 2010 the Catholics of England and Wales contributed more than £3 million to 39 dioceses in 5 countries and to Mill Hill’s work with the poor in 27 countries.

The Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) and the Mill Hill Missionaries agreed to work together in 1936 and so the APF-Mill Hill Red Box was born. The sides of the first Red Box declared that ‘The APF supports the work of spreading the Gospel throughout the world’ and that Mill Hill Missionaries are ‘Britain’s own Missionary Society of Priests, Brothers and Associates’. The familiar circle encompassing the black and white APF-Mill Hill insignia was replaced by a picture of the world with the Cross both at its centre and in its foreground. Yet just as life is not static, neither was the Red Box! The next version bore a more colourful label, but retained, both, ‘To be a Christian is to be a missionary’ and the reminder to pray for the Missions.

Today’s Red Box looks very different from its predecessors, but its function and message are the same: to be a Christian is to be a missionary.

In order to mark the 75th anniversary, a special Mass of Thanksgiving will be concelebrated in each diocese in England and Wales between 28 May and 23 October. In Arundel & Brighton Diocese it will be on Saturday 10th September at the Friary, Crawley with Bishop Kieran.

So what does the Red Box do?

The money given to the APF through the Red Box goes directly to the bishops of the dioceses where it will be used.

So how do your Red Box contributions bring faith and new life communities around the world?

• Catechists and Prayer Leaders are trained, bringing people together when the priest can only visit a village a couple of times each year. Thus, even in the most remote places, villagers are prepared for the Sacraments, babies are baptised and funerals are conducted. Often the catechists’ wives teach women to read and write.

• Newly-weds begin their life together within a supportive faith community that helps mothers find medicines for sick children, fathers learn job skills and children to live beyond infancy. All this happens because the Red Box builds churches, schools and hospitals.

• Families have dignity and hope because development and health education become a reality, avoiding and reducing disease.

• Sisters continue to equip and run schools, clinics and hospitals in towns and in rural areas, offering dignity and hope to the poor, love to orphans, food and education to hungry children, medicine to the sick and skills-training to young people.

• The Red Box support for the local Church wherever it is young or poor means that dioceses have priests and new priests can be assigned to a parish community, making the Sacraments available even in remote areas.

• The guarantee of support through the Red Box enables the continued existence of dioceses and parishes and the opening-up of new dioceses and parishes, spreading faith, hope and life in a world that urgently needs to know and experience the love of God.

We hope you will join us in giving thanks for this great initiative which builds communities of faith here and throughout the world. 75 years of generosity and faith are worth celebrating!"

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Love, Marriage and Fertility Seminar

On Thursday, 30th June 2011 from 7.30pm – 9.30pm at the Diocese of Brighton & Arundel Christian Education Centre, 4 Southgate Drive, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 6RP. For a map and directions click here.

If you are over 16 then you are warmly invited to a seminar on 'Love, Marriage and Fertility', including a talk on married love and fertility awareness which reflects the Church's teaching on these issues. This is especially suitable for those thinking of marriage, engaged couples, those encountering fertility problems or those seeking safe and effective ways of planning pregnancy.

There will be talks by Elaine Cook (trained fertility educator) and Fr Graham Ricketts

For more information or to book a place contact the Parish Office, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Eastfield, Steyning Road, Rottingdean, Sussex BN2 7GA (tel: 01273 302903) or deans.parish@ntlworld.com

There is a suggested Donation of £20 per couple

Refreshments provided; Free Parking

Booking Advisable

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Roman Catholic Chaplain Wanted for Conquest Hospital

Roman Catholic Chaplain (Sessional) - Chaplaincy: Clinical Governance - Conquest Hospital, St Leonards-on-Sea.

11.25 hrs pw, Band 5, £21,176 - £27,625 per annum pro-rata (an on-call allowance may also be payable). Reference: LC105C. Equivalent of 3 Sessions of 3.75 hrs per week (working days and on-call contribution negotiable)

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust recognises the importance of meeting the varied pastoral, spiritual and religious needs of patients, relatives and staff in its hospitals. The Chaplaincy has a key role in meeting those needs through a team of lay and ordained staff and volunteers. The holder of this post would be an integrated member of that team, assisting the Conquest Hospital Chaplain in its management with a particular responsibility for those whose religious faith is expressed in membership of the Roman Catholic Church.

For more information and an informal discussion please contact Reverend Clive Woodward on tel: 01424 755255 ext 8311/7088

Apply online at www.esht.nhs.uk/recruitment
Closing Date for completed applications: 31st May 2011 - Interview Date: 17th June 2011

Monday, 16 May 2011

Honouring Our Lady at St Hugh of Lincoln

Flowers around Our Lady's statue
Pupils and staff at St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary School in Knaphill celebrated the beginning of the month of May with a special Mass in honour of Mary. With Parish Priest Mgr Jeff Scott enjoying a well deserved break, we were delighted to welcome Fr Alex Hill to celebrate Mass. Making the most of the lovely weather, Mass was celebrated outside, using our new outdoor stage.

Every child in the school brought in a bedding plant on the day of our Mass. The children planted these in planting boxes around the school, making our school grounds look beautiful.

Mass then began with a procession, in which a child from each class brought forward a posy of flowers which were used to adorn the statue of Mary placed beside the altar. In his homily, Fr Alex referred to the beautiful flowers around the school and around the statue of Mary, and encouraged the children to strive to make the world more beautiful still through the signs of love that they show to one another.

The Mass was a very fitting way to honour Mary and to ask for her prayers.

Words and pictures: Michael George

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fr Brendan Burke RIP - A Reflection on His Life

Fr Brendan Burke RIP
Fr Martin Breen preached the following at his recent Funeral Mass:
"So often we hear of scandals and bad examples within the priesthood. In reality, these priests constitute but a small percentage of the priesthood. Rarely do we hear about one of God’s faithful servants who (like the large majority of priests) day in and day out fulfils his ministry in quiet fidelity and love. Fr. Brendan was one such faithful priest. He faithfully fulfilled his ministry up until his death. We won’t read about extraordinary accomplishments in his life. Nevertheless, he gave an inspiring witness of his love for God and self-sacrificing service in his priestly ministry.

The death of a priest is unlike the death of any other: we feel it differently, deeply. We sense that in losing him, we have lost not only the man but also his unique way of manifesting God. The voice that spoke of God has been silenced; hands that once blessed are impotent. Since a priest is one who takes on the person of Christ, his leave of us is somewhat of a loss in our very communication with the Lord. No one will ever again exemplify Christ for us in the singular way that Fr. Brendan has done.

Fr. Brendan loved being a priest. He once said; ‘if I had a thousand lives to live I would live each one of them as a priest.’ He enjoyed the great adventure of a life completely dedicated to Christ in his Body, the Church.

Our Lord Himself indicated that special relationship He enjoyed with His priests when, at the Last Supper, He poured out from His Sacred Heart His own priestly prayer: “Father, I pray for those you have given Me; keep them in Your name; they are not of the world; sanctify them in truth; may the love with which You loved Me be in them, and I in them” (cf. John 17). And our Gospel today; ‘Now the will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, and that I should raise it up on the last day.’

It was this union with Christ that guided and shaped the life of Father Brendan. In his case this was so much so, that it would be difficult to define his personality, even to conceive of his life, apart from the priesthood.

Always dignified, courteous, humble and kind.

I find it remarkable that this man—who was a rather private person with a small number of friends, one who did not call attention to himself or accomplish feats that would be regarded as great by the world—was, notwithstanding, so deeply appreciated and loved by so many.

The thing that stands out in my own mind about Father Brendan was his fidelity to prayer - his daily Office. Father had a more direct and visible contact with people through his sacramental ministry. Here I am thinking about his daily Mass, which he continued to offer every day, his devotion to Mary, his visits to the sick and his First Friday Communion calls; and, perhaps most noteworthy of all, his dedication to the confessional. The mission of a priest is built on a life of daily prayer and centred on the Eucharist.

If I may also mention it, Father was hardly a person much attached to worldly possessions. He had little and seemed to need little. But he was generous.

Fr. Brendan had a great sense of humour and he was a great story teller, as those who ever listen to his homilies will vouch for.

We remember his great love for animals, especially dogs. To welcome Fr. Brendan one had to welcome his dogs, which were always well trained. He was a recognised authority on breeding certain dogs.

He was a passionate supporter of Man United. I wonder how would he have taken last Saturday’s results?

He loved his family, Patricia, Clair, Teresa and Philomena and his nephew Padraig. How proud he was of Patricia’s achievements in the literary world! His annual visit to you in Galway was the most looked forward event of the year and how he planned for it.

And your visits to him during the year were occasions for celebrating and I was honoured to share some of them. His roast beef was something to die for!

I suppose our 1st Reading could have some relevance to his love of cooking

‘On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food.’

I wish to say one last thing about Father Brendan. It was his bearing in silence bodily pain and mental anguish. He kept hidden from nearly everyone the pains he was made to endure.

I wish to thank Father, belatedly, for his life as a dedicated priest and a dear friend.

And I want to thank you, people of this parish and the other parishes where he ministered for the manifest love and support you have shown to Father and for your prayers for him. You took him to your hearts and appreciated him and made him feel as one of the family. I remember a retreat master saying that isolation and lack of appreciation were the two reasons why priests left the priesthood.

I especially wish to single out Patricia who was as a second “guardian angel” in caring for Fr. Brendan.

We will all miss Father Brendan, but we will rely on his continued help from the next life. We yet have much to learn and are given a certain time yet to live as Christians-in-the-making. In the meantime, we will remember Father Brendan in our prayers and Masses, imploring the good Lord soon to grant him fellowship with the saints, and unbounded happiness and everlasting union with Jesus and his beloved “Blessed Mary Virgin”.

‘For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ.’

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen."

Post-Script - Manchester United look like winning the Premiership again so his prayers in heaven are proving effective!

To Be A Pilgrim

Peter Biddlecombe reports on an extraordinary lifetime of pilgrimage:
"An 83-year-old Seaford resident , who is not only a barrister but also a national gold medal ballroom and Latin American dancer, has just completed his 30th pilgrimage in 30-years in honour of both St Joan of Arc and St Thomas More.

But this time he made the almost 1,000-mile six-day round-trip journey to Domremy in Northern France, the birthplace of St Joan of Arc - by a Newhaven taxi.

Christopher McOustra outside the chapel in the forest at Domremy where,
as a child, St Joan of Arc used to pray every Saturday. With him and his Newhaven taxi are
Mr and Mrs Alain and Martine Olivier, who have spent the last 40-years
restoring it to its original condition.

He is Christopher McOustra, who lives in Crooked Lane.

“In the past,” he says, “I’ve made the trip by train, by coach and by train and coach. This time I thought, Why not by taxi? I rang up Jimmy Moxon at Newhaven Taxis. He said, Yes. Why not? That was it.”

Day one. They crossed the Channel from Newhaven to Dieppe and drove to Rouen where Joan of Arc was burnt to death on May 20 1431.

Day two. They drove from Rouen to Domremy, where Joan of Arc was born in 1412.

For the remainder of the pilgrimage Christopher, who is a Reader at St Thomas More Roman Catholic Church, Seaford, visited all the sites and scenes associated by the French with Joan of Arc’s success in conquering the British during the 100-years war, which dominated Anglo-French relations throughout the Middle Ages.

He visited Reims, today’s champagne capital of France, where on July 16 1429 she virtually forced the Dauphin, Charles, to be crowned King of France as well as Compeigne where, a year later, she was captured by the Duke of Burgundy which eventually led to her death.

While in Domremy Christopher also visited the world famous Basilica dedicated to St Joan of Arc, where he was invited to speak to the French congregation from the pulpit.

Says Christopher, who founded the Association of St Joan of Arc and St Thomas More in 1982 with with Mrs Joan Chidson, who lived in Alfriston until her death in 2008, “Wherever I went people wanted to know why a special society for Joan of Arc and Thomas More. I kept telling them, Because they are such opposites. One’s a woman. One’s a man. One’s French. One’s English. One was a peasant girl. One was Lord Chancellor of England. One was a virgin. One was twice married and had four children. But they are both examples of people who didn’t knuckle under. They were both unjustly condemned and executed because of their beliefs. You couldn’t find two human beings who are so utterly different. I wanted to celebrate that difference.”

The years Christopher was not making pilgrimages dedicated to Joan of Arc, he spent making pilgrimages together with members of the congregation of St Thomas More to places dedicated to Thomas More.

“We visited the place where he was born,” he says. “We visited the house where he lived. We even had a special Mass in his memory in the cell in which he was imprisoned in The Tower of London.

“But now I’m beginning to run out of puff. This will probably be the last of my pilgrimages.”

How much did the taxi cost from Seaford to Domremy and back to Seaford ?

Says Christopher, “About half the price of a hamper from Fortnum and Mason.”

Adds Jimmy, the taxi driver who lives in Sherwood Road, Seaford, “It made a change from going backwards and forwards to Morrisons.”

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Donkey leads uplifting week in Hove

Anna Hayward from Sacred Heart, Hove reports that:

Fr Kevin Dring and Mabel the donkey led the congregation of the Church of the Sacred Heart, Hove on a Palm Sunday procession to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, as he entered Jerusalem. On a glorious morning, children held palm fronds aloft and spread out cloaks as the donkey reached the Church entrance, accompanied by all in song.

Fr Kevin with his 'burro' and parishioners
It was the start of a prayerful and joyful week for the Parish, Fr Kevin’s first at Sacred Heart. Many Parishioners responded to the invitation to participate in all the liturgies of the Easter Triduum as a whole. The Parish also joined with other Christians for the Good Friday Walk of Witness in Central Hove, again blessed by fabulous sunshine, stopping at Sacred Heart for the first time for prayer and reflection at the second Station of the Cross.

At the Easter Vigil, eight adults were baptised and received, a fitting celebration to end an uplifting Holy Week.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Vatican Comments on Death of Osama Bin Laden

The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., released the following declaration on the news regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden:

"Osama Bin Laden, as is known, claimed responsibility for grave acts that spread division and hate among the peoples, manipulating religion to that end. A Christian never takes pleasure from the fact of a man's death, but sees it as an opportunity to reflect on each person's responsibility, before God and humanity, and to hope and commit oneself to seeing that no event become another occasion to disseminate hate but rather to foster peace".

Friday, 6 May 2011

Our Lady Queen of Peace – Adur Valley Has Tallent!

Penny Richardson and Richard King report from Adur Valley Parish:
"The three areas of the parish, Upper Bedding, Steyning and Shoreham worked so well together to produce this wonderful concert held at St Peter’s Church and Hall in Shoreham-by-sea.

The first half took place in the church and consisted of choral pieces, poetry and readings of a spiritual nature rendered by people from St Peter’s, from Christ the King at Steyning and The Towers. It would be unfair to name individual artists as they were all so talented. However I will in fact name one -William Hyatt who gave us a reading entitled 'Simon the Cyrenian speaks' a 9 year old reading this so sensitively was very moving.

After this there was time for refreshment followed by the second section in the hall with items of a less spiritual nature with Poetry, amusing narrative prose and humour; music in abundance from piano, contrabassoon, song, accordion playing and even a bit of unexpected congregational singing.

Overall the quality of the entertainment was so professional, evident in the number of encores.

Attended by over 100 people it raised £450.00 which will be split between the St Peter’s Church funds and the Chestnut Tree House."

Photo showing some of the CTK choir rehearsing by Penny Richardson.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

One Person's Journey into the Catholic Church

Sarah Ross from Esher Parish reports:
"Father Benny O'Shea the parish priest of Holy Name church, Esher baptised a baby on Easter Sunday and two people were received into the Church at the Easter Vigil – one of them being myself.  It was a wonderful celebration – having taken me some 15 years of attending the Church with my husband and children to finally make the decision to become a Catholic.  It was great to share it with so many people who have become very good friends and helped me on my journey of faith.  Anne Lawrence, who was also received into the Church, was accompanied by family members and her Sponsor, Beth Parks, who came all the way from Denver, Colorado, for the celebration.  (We are both pictured next to Father Benny with our sponsors).

Fr Benny O'Shea with Anne on his right and Sarah on his left with their sponsors
Father Benny calmed any nerves that Ann and I had on the evening and made the whole celebration very special and personal. There are a number of pieces of a jigsaw that have led me to making this decision, not least having had the opportunity of coordinating the Pope’s visit to the UK last year for Arundel and Brighton.  I spoke to so many gracious pilgrims so dear to their faith and ever grateful for the opportunity to visit the Holy Father – very humbling. It will be nice to finally be able to join in the Eucharist rather than being left on the bench!"

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Welcome to All New Catholics

The highlight of many parishes' Easter services was the baptisms and receptions into full communion in the Catholic Church of several hundred people. We also welcomed groups of former Anglicans mainly from Eastbourne as part of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walshingham into full communion.

Fr Kevin Gaskin with new Catholics and their sponsors

The parish of The Sacred Heart, Wadhurst reports that:
"The highlight of Easter for our Parish and the Kent family was the reception of Clare, Thomas and William into full Communion during the Easter Vigil.  Noel Kent became a Catholic shortly after the family came to Wadhurst a decade ago when the boys were small and Clare his wife cites the Papal visit and our Parish Priest as vital in their conversion.  Clare says "Father Kevin has been a tremendous source of wisdom, guidance and inspiration, providing us with a wonderful insight into the teachings of the Catholic Church and its relevance to our lives".  The whole Parish welcomed and toasted them with champagne after the Easter Service."

Congratulations to one and all!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Happy Birthday Fr Michael Perry

Fr Michael (standing centre) Cuts his Cake
St Edmund's Godalming reports that:
"A parish lunch was organised to celebrate Fr. Michael Perry's 75th birthday. Fr. Michael is very popular in the parish and well over 100 people were able to enjoy his party on Easter Monday.
Fr. Michael was presented with a gift to attend a sporting event or concert of his choice".

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Beatification of John Paul II

Pope Benedict XVI today presided over the beatification Mass at 10 am, May 1, in St Peter’s Square of Pope John Paul II. Immediately after Mass, the faithful prayed before Pope John Paul’s mortal remains, which were set in front of the main altar in St Peter’s Basilica.

BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey did there Sunday morning on his beatification.

You can also find more on the Vatican website.

Blessed John Paul II pray for us!