Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Romantic Cookery Demonstration

Fr Dominic and Rosemary cooking up a storm
Littlehampton Parish report:
Celebrity chef and food writer Rosemary Moon gave a highly entertaining and informative cookery demonstration at St Catherine, Parish Hall, Littlehampton. Parishioners from several parishes gathered together to witness the culinary skills of professional chef Rosemary.

As Valentine’s Day was just around the corner the theme of the demonstration was ‘Food for Love’. Rosemary uses, where possible ingredients which are locally sourced or from Fairtrade producers. Rosemary’s very able and willing assistant for the evening was none other than Fr Dominic O’Hara, dressed for the occasion in a chef’s outfit.

This extremely amusing duo produced some wonderful ‘romantic recipes’ and the audience were privileged to taste all the delicious creations at the end of the evening. There was one new creation added to Rosemary’s repertoire during the evening which Fr Dominic spontaneously entitled ‘L’amour Squidy’. Rosemary’s demonstrations are well worth attending.

Some of her recipes can be found on her website, Moonbites:http://www.moonbites.info/ Video extracts from the ‘Food for Love’ evening can be viewed on St Catherine’s website: http://www.stcatherineschurchlittlehampton.org/

The evening raised £700 which is to be divided equally between two worthy causes. The Bortnyki Boys Orphanage in the Ukraine and a school rebuilding project in Indonesia.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Young musican part of 12 hour music marathon
Julia Steele from Guildford Parish reports:
Talented young musicians from our St Pius, Merrow and Burpham were among those involved in a 12 hour music marathon held at St Mary’s, Rydes Hill, Guildford. The event, organised in aid of LIFE and the SVP, attracted performers of all ages, and finished with the organiser, Laura Brown, chairman of LIFE, conducting her adult choir in an assortment of songs from various centuries.

Monday, 27 February 2012

100th Birthday Celebrations for Peacehaven Parishioner

John and his wife, Charlotte at Mass
Cathy Greegan from The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Peacehaven, reports:
"We had great cause for rejoicing recently as John Morrow celebrated his 100th Birthday. As many as 100 family members travelled from as far afield as Australia, Ireland and Wales to mark this special milestone. John received a Birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen, as well as congratulations letter from Mr Michael Higgins, President of Ireland.

John and his wife Charlotte, also celebrated their 72nd Wedding Anniversary a few days later. They have 7 daughters, 22 grandchildren and 34 great grandchildren.

John is a devout Catholic and until recently attended daily Mass whenever possible. He was a SVP member for some 30 years, as well as church treasurer and he was a reader at Mass until his late nineties.

The congregation joined the family for a celebration buffet in the packed church hall after mass."

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Lourdes Live Concert March 25

St Bernadette of Lourdes
There will be a Lourdes Live concert at Worth Abbey Church at 7.30pm on Sunday 25th March in aid of the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Sick Fund.

Professional and amateur musicians from the diocese will be coming together at Worth to perform a varied programme of vocal and instrumental music to raise funds urgently needed to continue taking our sick and disabled to Lourdes.

The concert, which will be opened by Bishop Kieran, will include a short address delivered by Adam Simon, President of the Arundel and Brighton Hospitalite, and His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor will be in attendance.

This is an all-ticket event. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £6 for children and students/unemployed, and will be available in each parish from the Parish Lourdes Liaison Person – if you don’t know who it is your parish priest or the Lourdes office will be able to advise you. Unsold tickets may be available at the door.

For further information contact Sally Nicholls on salnicholls@hotmail.co.uk

Friday, 24 February 2012

Women’s World Day of Prayer - 2nd March

On Friday 2nd March 2012 over 3 million people will be praying and worshipping together during an annual day of prayer, using a service prepared by Christian women in Malaysia on the theme 'Let Justice Prevail'.

The prayers sweep around the world beginning with the first service in Tonga and finishing some 35 hours later with a service in neighbouring Western Samoa. The service will be celebrated in 170 countries and over 6,000 services will be held in the British Isles.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country; about 7% of Malaysians are Christian. Malaysia is one of wealthiest and most developed countries in South East Asia. Women have made important contributions to its social and economic development but, nevertheless, they still face discrimination and violence at all levels of society. Even today a girl child is seen as less valuable than a boy. Malaysia is now the most popular destination country in Asia for migrant workers and human trafficking has become a sophisticated and organised operation.

The services on 2nd March will be a time to reflect on the challenge that we all have in our daily lives to stand up for justice within our community, our country and the world. The prophet Micah wrote' What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?' (Micah 6:8).

The Women’s World Day of Prayer is for everybody to demonstrate solidarity with Christians in other countries. Local ecumenical services have been organised by women representatives from Guildford churches and will be followed by refreshments. Everyone is welcome to the services, men, women and young people.

Services are being held all over the diocese. Contact your local Catholic parish for information.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Give it Up for Lent - CAFOD Lent Fast Day

Ian Hamilton from CAFOD Arundel & Brighton reports:
"During this year’s season of Lent CAFOD will be focussing on the subject of water and sanitation or rather the lack of it for millions of people living in poverty in the developing world. There is very good reason to focus on this issue. More than one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. This week alone 42,000 people will die from diseases related to low quality drinking water and lack of sanitation. 1.4 million children die each year for the same reasons. By 2025, it is estimated that two thirds of the world’s population, will live in areas facing moderate to severe water scarcity.

CAFOD provides practical help to tackle water poverty – such as digging wells and boreholes, installing rainwater tanks and building hygienic toilets – as well as campaigning to address the root causes of the problem.
This year the UK government will double what we raise during CAFOD’s Lenten appeal from mid-February to mid-May – including funds raised for Fast Day. UK Aid Match allows the UK public to have a say in how some of the government’s existing international aid budget is spent.

Will you help your fellow parishioners to ‘Give it Up’ for Lent?"

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Arundel & Brighton Schools to Visit Taizé


Fifteen school groups from England and Wales have decided to visit a French religious community this July including two from Arundel & Brighton Diocese, Chatsmore Catholic School from Worthing and Cardinal Newman School in Hove.

The Taizé Community, in Burgundy, south-eastern France, welcomes young people from various Christian denominations, and none, who want to spend a week living as part of the Community. Around 80,000 young people participate in these “international meetings” every year.

This year, Taize has designated two weeks as UK School Weeks at the beginning of July. School and college groups including Year 10 - Year 13 students have been especially invited.

So far, around fifteen schools have indicated that they are taking up this invitation.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster and former Bishop of Arundel & Brighton has taken groups to Taize. He says:
“I am very pleased that a good number of Catholic schools are taking a group to Taizé and I know it will be a very fruitful and happy experience. My last visit to Taizé was with an Anglican bishop-friend and 50 young people, Anglicans and Catholics. I warmly commend the School Weeks in July and hope there will be very many young people who will be able to share in the Taizé experience which is at the service of the Church.”

Some schools are holding occasional prayers and exchanges in small groups as part of the preparations for their visit: Steve Emerson, head of RE at Chatsmore Catholic High School in West Sussex said:
"It has been the special Friday evening prayers that have generated interest in the main trip for me. If it wasn’t for them I’m not sure we would be going."

In South London, students from various schools have been invited to a Friday "prayer around the cross" in Southwark (Anglican) Cathedral on Friday 24 February. A brother of the community will be there.

There is information about the Taizé School Weeks at: www.taize.fr/schools including information for teachers and group leaders. The response for 2012 has led to three further weeks being planned for 2013, from 30 June - 7 July, 7 - 14 July and 14 - 21 July. Volunteers will again visit the UK in November 2012. To request a school visit, contact UK Co-ordinator Jane Shields: jane@laloge.co.uk, or 01924 377921. For enquiries about Taizé School Weeks, contact Brother Paolo: brpaolo@taize.fr

Monday, 20 February 2012

Queen's Diamond Jubilee

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years since her accession on 6th February 1952. While there will be numerous celebrations throughout the year there will be a special extended bank holiday central weekend in the United Kingdom on 2nd-5th June.

Be a part of itThere are two ways in which you or your church can do this:
The Big Lunch, where groups can organise big party events for their church and community. You can find out more on http://www.thebiglunch.com/ or email: info@thebiglunch.com, or phone: 0845 850 8181.

The Lighting of a Beacon: To commemorate Her Majesty The Queen's 60 year reign over the UK and as head of the Commonwealth, thousands of beacons will be lit around the world on the 4th June 2012. Details of how to register and take part in the beacon network can be found on http://www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk/, or phone: 07737 262 913, or email: bruno@diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk

The main website to find out information about the Jubilee can be found on www.direct.gov.uk/diamondjubilee.

The Queen’s Jubilee engagements On Saturday 2nd June, The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby.

On Sunday 3rd June the Big Jubilee Lunch and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place.

On Monday 4th June a concert will be held at Buckingham Palace and a network of beacons will be lit throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.

On Tuesday 5th June a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which will be followed by a formal carriage Procession.

The Queen will also be embarking upon a tour of the regions and she has set aside Monday 25th June and Wednesday 25th July to visit the South East.

Diamond Jubilee Prayer
A prayer written at The Queen’s Direction by the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee has been released. It will be used in the Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday, June 5th. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have commended it for use throughout the Church of England and other Churches are also welcome to use it.

The Diamond Jubilee Prayer reads:
God of time and eternity,
whose Son reigns as servant, not master;
we give you thanks and praise
that you have blessed this Nation, the Realms and Territories
with ELIZABETH,
our beloved and glorious Queen.
In this year of Jubilee,
grant her your gifts of love and joy and peace
as she continues in faithful obedience to you, her Lord and God
and in devoted service to her lands and peoples,
and those of the Commonwealth,
now and all the days of her life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

CATHOLICS - The BBC 4 Series

A new three part BBC Four series on Catholic lives starts on Thursday 23rd February at 9 pm.

Film 1 looks at the lives of ‘Priests’. Filmed at Allen Hall Seminary in Westminster, it presents a portrait of seminarians at the start and end of their priestly training.

Film 2 ‘Children’ moves north to the village of Chipping in rural Lancashire and the tiny Catholic primary school where 6 of the 33 pupils are preparing for their First Holy Communion.

‘Women’, the 3rd and final film in the ‘Catholics’ series gains exclusive access to Westminster Cathedral where the Producer/Director Richard Alwyn interviews female members of the congregation, staff and volunteers about what life is really like as a woman in the Catholic Church in Britain today.

Catholics – The Series runs for 3 consecutive Thursdays – 23rd February/1st March/8th March

“Not to be missed” says the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols “A call to the priesthood is a wonderful gift of God for a Catholic man today. This truth is explored, and beautifully portrayed, in a BBC documentary to be broadcast on BBC4 on Thursday 23rd February. It is not to be missed. This film entitled ‘Catholics: Priests’ is followed by two further documentaries on ‘Catholics: Children’ and ‘Catholics: Women’. Each has been made with great sensitivity and real beauty. I recommend them.”

CATHOLICS is a Wingspan Production in association with Jerusalem Productions.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Presentation of Message for World Communications

Young Catholics praying in silence
(c) Catholic Church England and Wales
The Vatican reports on Benedict XVI's Message for the forty-sixth World Day of Social Communications which will take place on 20 May, entitled: "Silence and Word: Path of Evangelisation". Participating in the press conference were Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, Msgr. Paul Tighe, Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti and Angelo Scelzo, respectively president, secretary, adjunct secretary and under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Archbishop Celli recalled how, "each year in his Message for the World Day of Social Communications, the Pope has sought to analyse the culture of communication, offering guidance to modern man and directing the pastoral activity of the Church. Over recent years the Pope has been very attentive to the process and dynamics of communication, especially in the context of the cultural transformations that have arisen as a result of technological progress".

This year, however, "the Holy Father turns his attention to a 'classic' aspect of communication: 'silence'; or rather, the pairing of 'silence and word'. This aspect ... is becoming increasingly important in the context of digital culture", noted the president of the pontifical council, going on to explain how Benedict XVI focuses upon the importance of silence as part of authentic communication. Silence can be a vehicle of expression, it gives others the chance to speak and us the opportunity to listen, think and reflect, the archbishop said. "In essence, it is in silence that I am able to give communication its correct significance, and to avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of communication itself.

"Silence has particular importance in the context of that incessant flow of questions which, in a certain sense, is the driving force of modern communication culture", he added. The Pope suggests "that at the heart of this flow of questions lies a fundamental question, which is the search for Truth. Here again the importance of silence emerges, as a place where human beings must face themselves and God". In silence mankind discovers "the possibility to speak with God and about God". For this reason Benedict XVI reminds people engaged in the task of evangelisation that "both silence and word are essential elements, integral to the Church's work of communication for the sake of a renewed proclamation of Christ in today's world".

For the full text visit the Vatican website

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Custos of the Holy Land's appeal: Emergency Syria

The Latin Rite Catholic Church in Aleppo, Syria
Visited during A&B parish pilgrimage in 2010 (c) Mark Woods
The situation in Syria is very concerning especially for the Christian community there both Catholic and other. The Custos of the Holy Land which includes Syria asks for our help and reports:
"After the great changes that have taken place in Egypt, the situation in which Syria now finds itself shows in an unequivocal manner how the Middle Eastern panorama is being rapidly transformed. A year ago such scenarios would have been impossible to envisage.

In these months of great tension, when Syria is being torn apart by internal clashes, and where the conflict seems to be assuming more and more the form of a civil war, the Franciscans, together with the few other members of the Latin Church, are committed to supporting the local Christian population.

The Custody is present in various areas within the country: Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Orontes.

The medical dispensaries in the Franciscan monasteries, following the tradition of the Custody, have become places of refuge and hospitality for everyone, regardless of whether they are Alawite, Sunni, Christian, rebels or government-supporters.

At a time of total confusion and dismay, many businesses, especially exporters and importers, have closed their doors. Only bare traces remain of the thousands of tourists who until recently were the lifeblood of a modern and flourishing industry which had created hundreds of jobs in the transport, lodging and service sectors.

Agricultural production is also facing grave difficulties. The international embargo prevents any possibility of exporting and prices have collapsed. The weakest elements of the population have inevitably been the hardest hit, and are suffering in particular from energy and water shortages. In the major cities there are power outages at various times during the day, if not for the entire day, and gasoline is rationed. All of this has created enormous difficulties for the population, who are forced to face the harsh winter temperatures with no means of heating their homes.

To be with the people, to welcome and assist those in need, without regard for race, religion and nationality. To guarantee, through its confident presence, religious services to the faithful because they understand the importance of remaining in one’s own country. This remains the sense of the Franciscan mission. In times not dissimilar from those in which Francis addressed the friars, exhorting them to maintain firm the values of the Gospel. In his simple exhortations Francis reflected the grace received from the Lord, and through his daily life testified to the acceptance of faith as the most dear and precious thing to be cultivated and strengthened. We friars, who find ourselves enriched by his extraordinary example, inherited without any merit on our part, have the task of emulating and transmitting the teaching of our master to future generations, so that they will be able to continue along the path traced out by him with such immense love and humble dedication.

We ask all friends of ATS pro Terra Sancta to support, through a concrete gesture, the numerous Syrian Christians and the charitable works of the Custody of the Holy Land. The funds collected will be delivered rapidly to the resident friars in Syria, who will ensure they are used wisely and carefully.

We would be grateful if you could transmit this appeal widely, and we send our best wishes for Peace and Goodwill!"
Fra Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM

Your online contribution (credit card – VISA/MasterCard – or PayPal)
http://www.proterrasancta.org/it/aiutaci/

Your contribution via bank transfer
ATS – IBAN: IT67 W050 18121010 0000 0122691
For further information on the situation in Syria: http://www.terrasanta.net/

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Farewell to Fr Victor Cook RIP

Fr Dominic Rolls offers a few words about the life of Fr Victor who died recently. May he rest in peace:
"Fr Victor Cook was born in Walton-upon-Thames on 23rd September 1931. He was the eldest of two boys and went to the Salesian school in Chertsey, where he was very happy despite wartime depredations. The start of the National Health Service in 1948 saw Victor working in an administration office of what was to become St Thomas's Hospital in London. Though based in Covent Garden, he regularly attended daily mass at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane. Thoughts of the priesthood grew stronger and he decided to offer himself for the diocese of Southwark. As a late vocation, Victor was sent to the house of further studies at Walworth, where the rector, Fr Edward Holloway, became a life-long friend. In fact, Victor was eventually to give shelter to Fr Holloway in the last 13 years of the latter's life. A pattern of care and concern for brother priests was always a feature of Fr Victor's goodness.

Major seminary at Wonersh from 1954-1960 was a good time for Victor. Always prone to nervousness and anxiety, he was cured of a stammer whilst there as he grew in self confidence and matured in his journey to priesthood. He could always remember who sat where in the chapel, even in his final years when other memories were fading fast. Victor was ordained priest on June 11th 1960, and took up his first appointment with Fr Costello at St John the Baptist's in Brighton. Life was not easy, but Victor's humour never failed him. The parish priest's sister was a hard housekeeper, and Victor used to remark that she had been awarded the DFC - this meant 'Dragon First Class'.

After eight years in Brighton - and now a priest of the new diocese of Arundel and Brighton - Victor was moved to Horley, and was to serve further in his 51 years as a priest in Camberley, Cranleigh and Warlingham. He retired to Dorking for 3 years in 2006, before moving to the care of the Grace and Compassion sisters in Bognor Regis for the final years of his life. Special mention should be made to the sisters who attended him so selflessly and well in the last years of his life. Also, the fathers of Opus Dei at Wickenden Manor deserve a special acknowledgement, as Victor attended their monthly Days of Recollection regularly for over forty years. Victor struggled at times, but was unerringly faithful to his vocation. May he rest in peace and rise in glory."

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Brighton Church Celebrates 150 Years

150 Year Celebration Poster
The parish of St Mary Magdalen's Brighton is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. They begin with Solemn High Mass on 27th February 2012 150 years from the official opening of the Nave.

The music will be Schubert's Mass in G and a world Premiere of a new 'Tu es Petrus' written by a young composer Tom Bennett.

Monday, 13 February 2012

We Are the Champions!


Jubilant winners!
 On Saturday 28 January the girls football team from St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary School, St John’s, Woking, competed in the Surrey county round of the Tesco Cup, a national football competition. They had won the right to play in this prestigious event having won the Woking district round of the competition last October. After playing four matches against the winners of district competitions from other parts of the county the St Hugh of Lincoln team emerged winners!

To be crowned Surrey county champions was a great achievement for the school. The team are now looking forward to the opportunity to represent Surrey in the south-east England finals which will be staged in London in March.

Words and picture: Michael George

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Farewell to Fr Joe Ware RIP and Canon Dennis Barry RIP

Fr Joe (left) with Canon Dennis Barry in Lourdes
Recently the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton has mourned the death of 2 of its priests Fr Joe Ware and Canon Dennis Bary. We reproduce below the homily by Fr Chris Bergin from Fr Joe's Requiem Mass:

As the Bishop said at the beginning of Mass, we have come here to this Church to pray – to pray firstly for Joe, to commend him to the love and mercy of God; and to pray for his family, his friends, former parishioners, brother priests – to pray for and support each other in a time of sadness; but we come together to pray in faith, a faith Joe shared and loved throughout his life. Perhaps we come with our own individual memories of Joe; we pray that each fond memory may become a prayer of thanksgiving.

And we do come to pray in thanksgiving, as there is much to thank God for – we thank God for Joe’s 48 years as a priest, his service to various parishes, his work with the Catholic Nurses Guild; but we might also thank God for Joe’s love of reading, or his love music: he was brought up in London, and liked to sing the old music hall songs; he seemed to have no difficulty remembering the words; and before entering the seminary, Joe was eight years in the Navy. I dare say there were Navy songs, too, but if Joe remembered these lyrics, he was always quite discreet about them…

But our prayer of thanksgiving is made in the Mass, and that’s as it should be because thanksgiving is at the heart of the Mass. And Joe loved the Mass. During his active priestly life, during the time he was disabled, the Mass was very important to him, and that’s the way it always seems to have been. I believe that when Joe was in the Navy, whenever his ship called into port, Joe was allowed ashore to go to Mass because he always made a point of going; apparently, when others asked if they could join him, permission was refused. He goes, they were told, because he’s serious about it. Serious, and dedicated; this was true of Joe on so many levels, even if on occasions, it bordered on what we might call these days, ‘strong-willed’. Mum tells the story of a conversation held one day between Joe and one of the carers. The carer said to Joe, Fr Joe, could you just lift your arm up for me? Joe replied, Not for you, I won’t, I’ll do it for God. ‘I’ll do it for God’ – perhaps that describes Joe’s sense of vocation and commitment to his priesthood, both before and after his accident. However it was to be lived out, Joe would do it for God.

But we aren’t here really to think about what Joe did for God, or what Joe did for others. But about what God has done for us. God makes an invitation and we respond – our response isn’t irrelevant, but we pray for Joe in the Mass, in the celebration of the Eucharist, and we celebrate the gift God makes of himself – I wonder how many times Joe celebrated funerals in his various parishes and raised the host above the coffin and said, This is my body which will be given up for you? Now the host is raised up over his coffin and those words are said again; this being raised up with Jesus is comfort for us, and our hope for Joe – as we heard St Paul say to the Romans in our second reading, after such a gift, could the Lord refuse us anything? No, on the contrary, the same Jesus raised up in the host at Mass, rose from the dead and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us. This gift, freely given, gratis, grace; given up, poured out, for the forgiveness of sins – this is grace and mercy; words from the end of our first reading – grace and mercy await those he has chosen. Although written hundreds of years before Christ, the vision of the first reading from the Book of Wisdom can help us understand the sacrifice of the Mass.

Written in one of the condolence cards given after Joe died were a few words quoted from another Joseph, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, taken from an address he gave at Georgetown University, a couple of months before he died, and let me conclude by reading them to you: As a person of faith, of resurrection faith, I see death as a friend, not a foe; and the experience of death is, I am convinced, a transition from life to life, from grace to glory. Joe’s faith, and ours, is a resurrection faith, a Eucharistic faith – by the Lord’s grace and mercy, may he see him in glory.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Carry A Faith Card

Newman Prayer on Reverse of Faith Card
A card to communicate that the carrier is a baptised Catholic is to be distributed nationally as an initiative of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

One million cards will be made available to twenty-four Catholic dioceses, including the Bishopric of the Forces and the Ordinariate, as a reminder that all baptised are invited to know and share their faith. The credit-card-size resource features on one side, a space for the owner to sign, a clear statement that the carrier is a Catholic and a list of six things that Catholics are called to do. There is also a sentence that reads: ‘In the event of an emergency, please call a Catholic priest.’ The other side of the card has a quote from the recently beatified Blessed John Henry Newman, focusing on the call to serve and affirming that everyone has a mission.

Bishop Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton), Chair of the Bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said:

“We all carry a variety of cards in our purses and wallets which reflect something of our identity and the things that are important to us. The faith card for Catholics aims to offer a daily reminder of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t summarise the whole of our faith in bullet points, but we hope that the card simply inspires people to do, read and learn more.”

Bishop Kieran added:

“The card is also designed to give Catholics confidence to share their faith – often people need help knowing what to say. Faith is a not a private matter. This is something that Pope Benedict reminded the Catholic community in his recent letter announcing a Year of Faith, beginning in October 2012. Carrying a faith card takes courage, it signals to others, every time you use your wallet or purse, that you believe in God, that your life has a purpose, that you are trying to love and serve your neighbour. We hope that Catholics will use it to witness to their faith. If someone asks a question about Catholicism, a starting point could be to show the card and to take it from there.”

The resource is free and will be distributed to diocesan offices during February and March 2012 for local circulation.

To view the Faith Card (pdf) please see: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/faith-card-news

Friday, 10 February 2012

Great Chieftain O' the Puddin-Race!

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
On Saturday 28 January 90 parishioners of St John the Evangelist in Horsham celebrated Burns Night with the traditional meal of haggis, neaps and tatties followed by cranachan while we were entertained by poems and songs.

Pictured is parish priest Fr Richard Biggerstaff leading the party piping in the haggis followed by piper Robin Landells and Bill Wickham who recited the 'Address to the Haggis'. After costs were covered a donation of £400 has been given to assist a parish family to take their daughter to Lourdes this year.

Story and picture: David White

Thursday, 9 February 2012

New Altar in the Martyrs Chapel at St John's, Horsham

Martyrs Chapel Altar
St John the Evangelist parish, Horsham reflects on its 3 Martyr Saints on the new side Altar:
"St Robert Southwell (1561-1595)
St Robert was brought up at Roffey Place near Horsham and was related to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley through his grandmother. Brought up in a staunchly Catholic environment during a time of Catholic persecution he was sent to France , at the age of 15 to be educated and to become a Jesuit priest. From the beginning he showed signs of having a gift for writing; one of his poems, New Heaven, New War was incorporated into a carol by Benjamin Britten in 1942.

St Robert returned to England to work secretly as a priest and became Chaplain to Anne, wife of Philip Howard, 1st Earl of Arundel. He was betrayed under torture by the daughter of one of the Catholic families he ministered for and was imprisoned. In 1595 he was hung, drawn and quartered, having been charged by the Privy Council with treason, a charge he denied, pointing out that his only purpose had been to administer the sacraments according to the rite of the Catholic Church. He stands as an exemplar of fidelity and integrity.
One of our Catholic primary schools in Horsham is named after the Saint

St Philip Howard (1557-1595)
St Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, is the patron saint of our diocese of Arundel & Brighton. St Philip was a favourite at the dazzling court of Queen Elizabeth I and his daughter was baptised into the Protestant faith and named after the Queen.

However St Philip had long battled with his desire to return to the Catholic faith of his baptism. When he heard the charismatic teachings of Edmund Campion, he could no longer deny the longings of his soul and was received back into the Catholic faith in 1584. He was arrested and condemned to death as a traitor to the Queen.

St Philip was incarcerated into the Tower of London for eleven years and denied the opportunity to see his wife and child. The Saint was afforded comfort and companionship from his faithful dog and, through letters, he formed a close bond of friendship with St Robert Southwell. St Robert’s letters to St Philip were later published as An Epistle of Comfort. The Queen offered pardon if he would take up the Protestant faith, but he refused and remained in the Tower until his death, aged 36.

St Thomas Garnet (1575-1608)
St Thomas Garnet was born in Southwark into a prominent Catholic family. He was educated at Horsham Grammar School and then, because all English Colleges had been turned over to Protestant authority, continued his education abroad.

At the time of the Gunpowder Plot, St Thomas was arrested and interrogated to provide information about his uncle, Henry Garnet, who was subsequently executed for his alleged involvement in the conspiracy. St Thomas was banished to the continent where he was ordained as a Jesuit priest.

Only six weeks after his return, St Thomas was arrested, found guilty of being a Catholic priest and executed on 23 June 1608. His bravery and selfless service earned him a well-deserved place amongst the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales."

Thank to David White from the parish for this article

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

All Hallows Celebrate Catholic Education


All Hallows Presentation Evening
"All Hallows Catholic school and 6th form college in Weybourne held its annual Presentation Evening at the Farnham Maltings on Thursday January 5th 2012. The Great hall was filled to capacity with parents and family members to see students receive their examination certificates and award winners receive their prizes and shields.

The guest of honour was Mrs Anne Hutchinson, Head of Glebelands School, and formerly Deputy Head at All Hallows. She received a very warm welcome from the audience and spoke eloquently about her belief that we need to set ourselves ever more demanding goals so that we can improve our performance. She cited David Beckham and other successful stars who had achieved greatness not just through innate talent but through dedicated and regular practice to achieve perfection.

Mrs Hutchinson recalled that she started her career as a young teacher at All Hallows and amused the audience with some tales of her early experiences. She emphasised how special the All Hallows community has become, not just through its reputation for exceptional examination performance, but also in the friendships and mutual support which are such a strong feature. She linked this to the school's Faith status and the fact that the gospel values of Jesus Christ are at the heart of everything the school tries to do.

Before Mrs Hutchinson carried out the presentations, Head Mrs Elizabeth Lutzeier spoke of the school's achievements in 2011 and congratulated the students and their parents on such outstanding results. She also encouraged the young people to go out and make a difference in the world. She said that school and parents had now done their job in offering support, encouragement and protection during the formative years, and now it was the students’ opportunity to make the world a better place.

The event was enriched by several musical performances. The girls' choir, Cantamus, conducted by Mrs Sprague and accompanied by Mrs Nagatomo-Banks, performed two pieces, 'For the Beauty of the Earth' and 'Super Trouper'. Sixth-former Jessica Bartlett entertained on the grand piano with 'Nocturne op. 32 No 1' by Chopin, and the Jazz Band had everyone engaged with their rendition of the 'Pink Panther' theme and 'Saint Thomas'.

The Evening was presided over by Chair of Governors Mr Tim Bradley who greeted the honoured guests, the Mayor and Mayoress of Waverley,(Cllr Richard Gates and Evelyn Gates), the Mayor of Farnham (Cllr Jill Hargreaves) and Mrs Hutchinson. They were joined on the stage by Assistant Headteachers Mr Chris Rees and Mr Barry Laker. Compere for the event was Assistant Headteacher Mr David Spare.

Senior Students Laura Powell and Sam Mouat gave a vote of thanks to Mrs Hutchinson and she was given an original piece of artwork created by student Baptiste Johnson."

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Farewell to Fr Niven - Seaford to Farnham

Fr Niven at his farewell party
Deborah Berrridge reports:
"St Thomas More parish in Seaford gathered in force to say a fond farewell to Fr Niven Richardson and to thank him for all his hard work, kindness and support during his time in the parish. Following the Mass there was a wonderful celebration party in the parish garden with a delicious buffet and refreshments. Parishioners presented Fr Niven with cards, a cheque, presents and a special cake and wished him well in his new parish of Farnham."

Fr Paul Jennings is their new parish priest. He is also Judicial Vicar for the Diocesan Tribunal.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Fr Charles’ Farewell - Nativity of the Lord

 L - R: Fr Tim Hunting, Dcn Tim Murrill, Fr Emmanuel Agius, Fr. Charles,
Fr. Chris Spain (Moderator) and Fr Andrew Moss.
Photo Janet Franklin

Ann Lardeur from Nativity of the Lord Parish reports:
A Votive Mass of The Most Holy Trinity was Fr Charles Howell’s choice for his Farewell Mass held on Friday 20th January in St. Teresa’s Church, Merstham.   Place and Mass could not have been more fitting;  he was ordained on Trinity Sunday 2000, and became the last Parish Priest of St. Teresa’s, Merstham six years ago. In 2009 it was merged with Redhill and Reigate to form The Nativity of the Lord.  

Drawing on the quotation from the Book of Proverbs, “ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in the world....” Fr Charles homily focused on the qualities of delight and enjoyment that Father, Son and Holy Spirit experience in their inner life, the mystery at the heart of our faith.   Whilst it was important to take our faith seriously, it was equally important those same qualities should be displayed in our lives too, especially if it was to be attractive to others.

At the end of Mass Deacon Tim Murrill, the longest serving member of the clergy team presented him with a handsome cheque and a card with a huge number of signatures from parishioners. There followed a grand feast, wine, and a cake especially designed for the occasion.  

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Story of Kateri Tekakwitha - Native American Saint

From Mary's Dowry Productions comes a film on the life of Kateri Tekakwitha. This new film follows the journey of a determined young Mohawk woman who was baptised by the French Jesuit Missionaries in the 17th Century. Filmed on locations that include stunning redwoods, creeks, waterfalls and forests, combined with Native American paintings and a narrative that is from Kateri Tekakwitha's point of view, walk the 24 years of this woman's life in a 50 minute original documentary making her accessible to all.

Kateri Tekakwitha is set to be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012.

The DVD has a run time of 50 minutes and is available worldwide in all region formats.

Order online at http://www.marysdowryproductions.org/ or though Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Friday, 3 February 2012

Peter Hutley - A Man for All Seasons Part 2

Peter Hutley with his wife Ann
In this concluding article, Peter Hutley MBE KSG is in conversation with A & B News’ special correspondent, Peter Burholt, covering the influence of Medjugorje on his life, his conversion to Catholicism, the Wintershall Plays and a hint of his next major evangelisation project. (Read Part 1 here)
Part 2: Growing in Faith
Q: We left our last conversation at the point where you expressed your doubts about the legitimacy of the Anglican faith. Now we turn to another key event. Medjugorje and the parish priest, Fr Jozo, have featured strongly in your life. What is that all about?
A: I must admit I had had a lukewarm attitude to religion before Medjugorje. But my daughter, Charlotte, went on a pilgrimage to that place and returned so full of excitement about her experience she persuaded my wife, Ann, to go. Later I was curious to find out what this was all about and I went and spent many long hours with the Franciscans and the parish priest, Fr Jozo. I was in church every day – what a place to be inspired, everyone should go.

Back home I then conferred with Fr Peter Hall on how to covert to Catholicism. I remember announcing that I was ready and “Could I do it this weekend?” The reality was that it took a year! Ann had a great battle in being converted as she had strong ties with the Anglican Church at Hascombe.

Since my first visit to Medjugorje I have been back on over 20 occasions and, at one point, I persuaded Cardinal Cormac to come and mediate between the friars and the local bishop. There is, sadly, still some conflict there about what did or did not happen, and the proposed enquiry into those events which surrounded the children and Our Lady has never taken place.

On my trips to that part of the world I could see the unrest that was happening so I organised Fr Jozo to come to England, when he addressed a large number of people in 5 cathedrals and both Houses of Parliament. We also managed to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Coggan.

Q: Today, you are best known for the Life of Christ productions on the estate. By anyone’s standards it is a massive undertaking – with a 200 strong cast, animals and the use of the natural backdrop of the land. Why did you start it and was it a big risk personally?
A: I stumbled on finding a way of evangelising through drama. It all began when one of my daughters suggested one Christmas we put on a Nativity play in Holly Barn. I remember we had to push the cows out first and lay down some straw before we could invite the neighbours! In my life I have taken many chances, but in putting on these plays I felt I was led so I did not feel at risk.

Q: You write the plays – are you an experienced writer? I understand it was as a result of the Pope’s call to action you wrote your major play as the proper celebration for the Millennium.
A: I have no experience of writing and I guess you are correct, I have learnt on the job. In fact, I have written all the Wintershall plays and the Pope’s call to have a proper Millennium celebration led me to writing the Life of Christ. There would not be a millennium without Jesus!

Q: Does your play go through a censor for accuracy?
A: Not as such, but I do take the trouble to refer what I have written to two or three priests for the biblical content and style. I am very keen to keep the story of the Bible accurate and in a language which everyone can understand. Producing the plays now continues all year, but fortunately I have been blessed with organisational skills.

Q: Do you ever get criticised for being so public about your Faith?
A: I have got faith, so I am quite relaxed about any other views people might have about what I do. Maybe they giggle behind my back, but what I do is in obedience of the Church. God has been good to me and I want to use these “assets” for others. I find that I have always been led by God and I want to go out and spread the Word, as we all have been instructed to do.

Q: How did you get permission to stage the Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square with 107 actors, two horses and a donkey in the centre of London?
A: It did take a bit of pushing in various directions. Security is an issue given its location, but I do get the support of our own church and the Bishop of London. It is certainly something the average visitor to Trafalgar Square doesn’t expect to see.

Q: What about your own family?
A: Yes, I have two sons and two daughters who, between them, have given us 15 wonderful grandchildren - all but one live on the estate, either being involved in the plays or the farm. My daughter, who lives in Fife, puts on our plays at her home and in Dundas Castle. I am proud to say that nearly all our family have been involved in what we have done over the years.

Q: Do you make money out of these activities?
A: Sitting up straight, Peter’s emphatic reply came in one word “No!”

I used to have funds left over, which were donated to charity. Today it is a financial drain. For instance, the Trafalgar Square production costs £80,000 to put on; the Life of Christ on the estate costs £140,000. Now the cupboard is almost bare.

Q: You established HASTE (Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavour) as one of the beneficiaries of your charitable trust. How did this come about?
A: About 10 years ago I had a bit of a scare about my health. However, I was so grateful to be given the all-clear. It was a few weeks later my consultant came to me with an urgent plea for funds to help those suffering from heart problems and strokes.

The situation was dire, so I got on with fund raising and managed to gather nearly a million pounds to build the Haste Wing at the Royal Surrey Hospital. I’m very privileged to have been able to help in some small way and I continue to thank God for my own health. Recently we have set up a research foundation jointly with the Surrey University and the Royal Surrey to find the cause and cure for atrial fibrillation. This was another half a million!

Q: What gives you pleasure?
A: A night off from reading papers and early to bed – that would make me very happy indeed!

You asked me if I could give this all up. Subject to the rules being changed about being married, I could quite easily be content with being a friar. Of course, that would have to be with my wife, Ann.

Q: What makes you sad?
A:  Pain, hardship and deprived children are some of the things that make me sad. Did you know that half the world’s population is starving? Any way, who said life would be easy? But I do keep optimistic.

Q: How would you like people to remember you when you have departed this world?
A: This last Christmas I reached the old age of 85. When my time eventually comes I hope people will say that he used his creative skills for the benefit of others and he tried to do his “bit” for life. In the meantime, I start work at 7.45 am and carry on until 5 pm – I have to work hard to keep everything going.

Where would you and I go after this fulfilling life? Most likely we would happily settle for a gentile rest home. Not this man for all seasons. He eagerly talked about his next aspiration –still on the drawing board and not for this paper just yet, but it does involve a very large auditorium in central London for a major Christian play. Watch this space, Peter Hutley is not done yet!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The New Evangelisation - How to Reach Non-Churchgoing Catholics?


Join us on 3rd March at the Christian Education Centre, Southgate Drive, Crawley RH10 6RP from 10am with Archbishop Peter Smith and Bishop Kieran Conry
Contact missionvolunteer@cbcew.org.uk or telephone 0207 901 4818 to book a place

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

New Altar Server Guild Members in Lewes

L-R: Fr Martin, Servers, and Fr Richard
Photo credit: Bruce Byrne
Bruce Byrne from St Pancras parish, Lewes reports:
Altar Servers from the Lewes St Stephens Guild attended the annual Mass at St Pancras Church to celebrate the feast day of their Patron Saint. Two new servers - Annie Trott and Molly Underhill were admitted to the Guild by Father Jonathan Martin who thanked all the Alter Servers and MC Chris Johnston for their continued service and dedication.

Also in attendance was our former Parish Priest - Father Richard Biggerstaff now at Horsham who was visiting our Parish with his family.