Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Arundel & Brighton Based Catholic Internet Radio Station Goes Live


New Catholic Internet Radio Station based in Surrey goes live this weekend
Don't forget to listen in! www.hguh.co.uk


Monday, 29 October 2012

Conclusions of the Synod on the New Evangelization



Watch this brief video on the final press conference of the Synod on the New Evangelisation. For the full text of the Synod Fathers go to http://visnews-en.blogspot.co.uk/ or www.zenit.org

Friday, 26 October 2012

Parish Pilgrimage to Newman’s College at Littlemore

Esme Howard reports from Heron’s Ghyll Parish:
The parish pilgrimage to Newman’s College at Littlemore took place earlier in September when a group of eleven parishioners, led by parish priest Fr. Stephen Hardaker, made a pilgrimage to John Henry Newman’s College at Littlemore, just outside Oxford. This is one of four Newman centres administered by the religious community of The Work.

The party were warmly received by Sr. Bianca. Newman went into almost monastic seclusion here in 1841 after his controversial Tract 90 for the Oxford Movement. Here, too, in 1845, he was received into the Church. Mass for the party was celebrated by Fr. Stephen in Newman’s tiny chapel. It was moving indeed to be able to sing ‘Lead Kindly Light’ in that place, so filled with Newman’s presence. After the tour Sr. Bianca gave the party a short talk about Newman’s life and personal association with Littlemore.

The listed buildings, open to the public, are beautifully maintained by the community who, over the years, have assembled a first-class collection of Newman’s written works and memorabilia. Since Newman’s beatification in 2010, the number of annual visitors and private retreats has considerably increased. Littlemore remains, in every sense, a place of prayer and reflection.

For all details see: www.newmanfriendsinternational.org

To arrange a visit contact: littlemore@newman-friends.org

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Do some Smart Loving - Supporting Marriage

Have a look at the newly rebranded site of SmartLoving who have a Marriage Seminar coming up in UK in November. They also offer information on Natural Fertility planning and much more.

SmartLoving (Formerly known as CelebrateLove) PMRC in Australia, the authors of CelebrateLove, has recently celebrated 20 years of their marriage enrichment seminar by rebranding, in response to feedback from couples wherever it is being used.

CelebrateLove will now be known as SmartLoving Marriage www.smartloving.org/marriage/
Engage will now be known as SmartLoving Engaged www.smartloving.org/engaged/
PMRC will now be known as The Marriage Resource Centre www.marriagerc.org

Content and format of CelebrateLove and Engage remains unchanged, it’s simply that the name and image has been updated.
The Marriage Resource Centre website will be helpful to facilitators, marriage educators and clergy. Scroll down the homepage of www.marriagerc.org to see the wealth of information and resources available.
www.smartloving.org has regular blogs, course details, resources for purchase and a free e-book.

Visit the website, www.SmartLoving.org and
o download your free e-book
o comment on some posts
o give the posts you read a ‘star’ rating by clicking 1-5 stars

Friend/follow/like them on whatever social media you have: Search for SmartLovingMRC
o Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SmartLovingMRC
o Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/SmartLovingMRC
o Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/SmartLovingMRC/
o Google+: coming soon
o YouTube: coming soon

Please spread the word about the rebranding and website.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A Lourdes Redshirt Reflection

A&B Redshirts hold umbrellas over Pilgrimage 'VIPs' in rain at Lourdes Grotto
The annual Arundel & Brighton Lourdes Pilgrimage takes place every year in late July and a great part of that pilgrimage is the group of Redshirts, years 10 and 11, who provide a welcome and support to the main pilgrimage. Below some of those young Redshirts reflect on their experience:

"Lourdes has developed my relationship with God greatly, but the greatest thing that Lourdes has given me is friendship. There are a lot of great experiences in Lourdes and a lot of emotional times, and sharing them as Redshirts builds the greatest friendships." Carl

"Being a Redshirt had made me be a happier and grateful person. I have learned not to judge anyone as you do not know their story. It has also made me realise that doing so little for someone you do not know really can make a huge difference, and I will hope to come back as a Redshirt next year and a helper in the years to come." Nadia

"My Redshirt experience far exceeded my expectations, as I was quite fearful in the first meeting, and was not expecting to make so many close friends, also I was able to relate to the religious services more than I had had believed I would, as well as touching me deeply." Anna Marie

"It’s made me realise how much I take for granted and how much I don’t give thanks for. But now...! Seeing all the sick pilgrims and the amount of courage and faith they have has made me want to help people more than I do! And go back every year!" Keeley

To find out more about the redshirts go to www.yaab.co.uk

Monday, 22 October 2012

Praying the Rosary - A Plea to All

Pope Benedict XVI praying the rosary
Emmanuel Chimezie from St John the Evangelist, Horsham writes:

"Never before in recent history has the need for the Rosary been so pronounced than now. What with all the conflicts in various parts of the globe, the spiralling, intractable economic crisis which seems to be defying every application of scientific and business know-how, the instability in homes and marital relationships, the resurgence of forces inimical to Christianity. The litany of woes afflicting the world now is endless. It is as if the globe is sitting on a keg of gunpowder ready to explode with the strike of a match.

We need the Rosary very desperately at this moment. Our Lady has repeatedly appealed to us to recite the Rosary every day. In a 1957 interview organized for Lucia, one of the three shepherd children Mary appeared to at Fatima(1917), she opined:
“The most Holy Virgin, in these times in which we live, has given new efficacy in the recitation of the Holy Rosary.

She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in families, of families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary.

There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Rosary, we will save ourselves. We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls”.
In particular, the month of October is a good time to commit to praying the Rosary everyday. The Rosary will bring peace and holiness to our lives. As a powerful instrument for conversion and fighting vice and false teaching, the Rosary is rated the best method of honouring Mary and keeps the Church safe from the attacks of the enemy."

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Half way through Synod: Archbishop Longley takes stock


Archbishop Bernard Longley
photo Vatican Radio
 Vatican Radio reports Half way through the three week Synod of Bishops on New Evangelisation taking place here in the Vatican, there are several key themes that have emerged as essential for the revitalisation of the faith in different countries around the world.

Formation, a solid grounding in the faith and better training for priests and lay people has been seen as a number one priority, alongside the ability to live out the Christian faith in love and solidarity, in concrete gestures of charity and closeness to all those who suffer or seek a sense of meaning in their lives.

As the Synod fathers gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council last week, participants have also stressed the ecumenical imperative, that overcoming “the scandal of divisions” is more essential than ever before if we are to be effective witnesses to Christ in our secular world.

Among those who chose to focus on the importance of ecumenism was the Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley, co-chairman of ARCIC III, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and former priest of Arundel & Brighton Diocese.

He shared some insights with Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen... http://media01.radiovaticana.va/audiomp3/00339224.MP3

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Poland in Bognor Regis - A New Catholic Community


Polish Priest with altar servers
Recent years have seen a huge influx of people from Eastern Europe into the Bognor area. Most of these are from Poland but we also have people from Latvia and Lithuania. The majority of them are young people, and many of them are here to work and earn money with the intention of returning home in due course. At the same time we have a growing number who want to settle here and make their home here. Inevitably the great majority of them are Catholics, although many are not practising.

The Polish Mission has appointed a Polish priest to live in this area and to serve the needs of the Polish Community. Father Antoni Prosowicz is a Franciscan, and is responsible for the communities in Bognor Regis, Chichester and Goring. He celebrates two Polish Masses each weekend, one in Rose Green on Saturday evening, and one in Our Lady of Sorrows in Bognor on Sunday afternoon.

He attracts between 200 and 300 each weekend. He is also celebrating Mass in Chichester and Goring.

The congregation, mostly young people and young families have created a music group to enhance the Liturgy. Fr Antoni has a team of reliable altar servers and group of active young lay people to support him in his demanding work.

From Fr Tony Churchill, Parish Priest of Bognor Regis

Friday, 19 October 2012

Canon Dermod Fogarty RIP

Please remember Canon Dermod Fogarty who died in the early morning of 15th October. Canon Fogarty who was in his nineties had been retired for many years and had been living in Bognor Regis before he was admitted to nearby Chichester Hospital.

Reception of his body will be on Sunday 28 October at 5.30pm followed by Mass in Our Lady of Sorrows, Clarence Road, Bognor Regis PO21 1LK.

His Funeral Mass will be on Monday 29 October at 12.30pm in Our Lady of Sorrows, Bognor Regis.

May he rest in peace.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Faith Changes Everything - World Mission Sunday

Sister Mambwe Mupeta, a Franciscan Missionary of the Divine Motherhood
‘Faith changes everything’. This is the theme of this year’s World Mission Sunday campaign in England and Wales and features the work of St Anthony’s orphanage in Zambia which is run by Religious Sisters (see more on orphanage below).

Sunday 21 October is World Mission Sunday, the day that, each year, the whole Catholic Church comes together to support the work of missionaries and those who work to share the Catholic faith worldwide.

Missio, the official organisation for the overseas mission of the Church, proclaims that ‘Faith changes everything’, highlighting that faith is the driving force behind the entire missionary activity of the Church. It is faith which gives meaning, direction and focus to the continuing spiritual and material support of the Church in the developing world.

Canon James Cronin National Director of Missio England and Wales said: ‘Faith plays a crucial role in the work that missionaries carry out. Often their good works such as building schools, providing healthcare and food could be done without their faith, but it is faith that changes these actions and stops them being merely sentimental or patronising. Faith means that every person is seen with eyes of love. Faith is the source and the result of their love.’

Pope Benedict XVI in his 2012 World Mission Sunday message said: ‘The concern to evangelise must never remain at the margins of Church activity and of the personal life of Christians. Rather, it must strongly characterise it. Faith is a gift that is given to us to be shared… It is the most important gift that has been given to us , one which we cannot keep to ourselves.’

The little girl featured on this year’s World Mission Sunday poster has had her life changed through the faith of the Sisters who look after her in St Anthony’s orphanage in Zambia. We hope to encourage others to see that it is faith that drives these good works.”

To make a donation or to find out more, please visit www.missio.org.uk

St Anthony’s Orphanage factual info St Anthony’s orphanage in Ndola is one of Zambia’s specialised orphanages, in the care of Dominican Sisters who cater for 107 children, most of them between the ages of 2 and 6, with a number of carers, each of whom looks after 20-30 children. Some of the little ones are orphans as a result of HIV/AIDS, but many have the added complication of physical disability or profound learning difficulties. Often, with the right care and support, such youngsters can have a full and happy life within the limitations of their condition. Sometimes they discover new and exciting possibilities as these children are helped to push back their boundaries to unimagined horizons.

The Dominican Sisters care for most of the children’s needs but do not have the physiotherapy skills which the conditions of some of their little ones require. The 800 year-old close friendship between Dominicans and Franciscans has proved, yet again, to be a source of hope and a force for change as they found a young Franciscan, Sister Mambwe Mupeta, a Franciscan Missionary of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM). She is also a physiotherapist.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Feast of St Philip Howard - Celebrate it this Weekend

St Philip Howard, Layman and Martyr

Mass for the Feast of St. Philip Howard, Sunday 21st October 3.00pm at Arundel Cathedral, followed by tea in the Cathedral Centre.

All welcome!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mayfield Parish Celebrates the Harvest

Sanctuary decorated for Mass
Lucy Nolan from Mayfield Parish reports on their recent Harvest Festival:
For our Harvest Festival celebration this year at St Thomas of Canterbury, Mayfield, Fr Mario requested that gifts were donated by the parishioners and put up on the altar at the beginning of mass for all to see and enjoy.  

There were a wonderful variety of freshly picked fruits from the garden, locally grown vegetables, homemade cakes and preserves and a selection of biscuits, tins and other useful produce. After a wonderful liturgy and some aptly chosen Harvest hymns, the altar servers, children and others helped carry all the donations to tables outside the church and they were all sold in aid of CAFOD

Parishioners buying the fruits of the harvest after Mass

Monday, 15 October 2012

Blessed John Henry Newman - A New DVD

DVD on Bl John Henry Newman and Other Blesseds
Local film company, Mary's Dowry Productions have recently produced a new DVD on some of the newly beatified men and women of the Church including Cardinal John Henry Newman who was beatified during Pope Benedict's visit to England in 2010.

Blessed John Henry Newman is, however, just one of the six well known Blesseds of the Church who feature on a new DVD from Mary’s Dowry Productions – Well Known Blesseds Volume One.

Each short film tells the life of a particular Blessed and volume one focuses on the lives of Blessed John Henry Newman, Blessed Mother Teresa, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa and Blessed Dominic Barberi.

The DVD is available worldwide from www.marysdowryproductions.org or through Amazon.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Celebrating Grandparents Week in Horsham

Fr Richard Biggerstaff with some of the grandchidlren of the parish
David White from St John the Evangelist in Horsham reports:
The parish celebrated the start of our first Diocesan Grandparents’ Week on Sunday 30 September with a special Mass organised by the parish Grandparents Group led by Christine Evans. The parish is following the diocesan lead to try to strengthen the wonderful relationship between school and parish to raise the profile of grandparents and to support them in their role.

All welcomers, musicians, singers, readers, those taking up the gifts and the special Eucharistic ministers were grandparents. Fr Richard's homily was most meaningful to all and special mention was made in the Eucharistic Prayer to Sts Joachim and Anne the parents of Our Lady and grandparents of Our Lord. Many grandchildren attended and at the end of the Mass they processed with Fr Richard to the chapel of Our Lady where each was presented with a copy of the universal prayer for grandparents composed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 for the National Grandparents Pilgrimage.

Refreshments and snacks, courtesy of the parish, followed in the hall and grandchildren from our primary schools entertained their grandparents and others singing 'If I were a butterfly'.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bishop Kieran Speaks on Evangelisation on Vatican Radio

Bishop Kieran speaking at Conference on the New Evangelisation
© Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk
Vatican Radio reports:
"The Year of Faith will have a special significance for the English Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. Bishop Kieran Conry is using it to launch a four year programme leading up to the Diocesan Jubilee in 2015. Each year will be dedicated to a different major document of the Second Vatican Council, and hopefully lead to a deeper understanding of what it means to be Catholic in southern England in the 21st century.

Bishop Conry is also a Synod Father at the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

He spoke to Vatican Radio about the problems facing the Church, especially with “lapsed” or “non-practicing” Catholics. “It’s a problem everywhere,” he said. “It’s a problem that’s being addressed, although not sufficiently I think, so far in the Synod.” He said the problem should be seen as a challenge. “The first challenge is to know why have they gone? What didn’t we do for them?”

Bishop Conry told Vatican Radio that although in the past, people often left the Church because of specific issues, such as an argument with a priest, nowadays the reasons are less exact. “Very often we find it’s not hostility, it’s not anything specific,” he explained. “It’s just a change of circumstances, and just a gradual drift away. People find they miss one Sunday for some reason, and then they miss it again, and suddenly they are missing it more often than not, and find they don’t miss it, as it were.”

Listen to Philippa Hitchen's full interview with Bishop Kieran Conry: http://media01.radiovaticana.va/audiomp3/00337811.MP3

Thursday, 11 October 2012

50 Years of Vatican II and Start of Year of Faith

The Bishops at the Council in session in St Peter's Basilicia
We are, of course, in Arundel & Brighton Diocese celebrating 50 years of Vatican II (the gathering of the Bishops of the Church in Council in Rome) as we prepare for our own Golden Jubilee especially through the programme of reflection and study of the 4 major constitution of Vatican II. You can read all about this at www.dabnet.org/ab2015

The Press Office of the Holy See speaking about both events through Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, "It is particularly significant", the archbishop explained, "that the beginning of the Year of Faith falls on the day of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II. This is no coincidence. ... Rather, it is an opportunity to revisit that event which left such a deep mark on the life of the Church in the twentieth century, and to examine the influence its teachings have had during the intervening decades and will have over the coming years of Church commitment to new evangelisation. In fact, Vatican Council II was itself intended as a special moment of new evangelisation".

Thus the anniversary of the Council "deserves to be not only commemorated but also celebrated by the Church". Part of that celebration is the Year of Faith, which "is a good opportunity to revive the faith of believers, animating them with a new and more convincing spirit of evangelisation". The Year will also be "dedicated to the study and examination of the conciliar teachings, that they may help in the formation of believers - particularly through catechesis - in the sacramental life of the Christian community and in its life witness".

"The years pass", said Archbishop Fisichella concluding his presentation, "but the power of Vatican II remains, with all its cargo of hope that the entire world may come to know the Gospel of Christ. Our intention is to offer Christians a further reason to feel that they are part of one Church, which knows no frontiers and which daily renews her faith in the Lord through the commitment of her life".

Pope Benedict XVI speaking on the eve of the celebration said "The documents of Vatican Council II are, even in our own time, a compass guiding the ship of the Church as she sails on the open seas, amidst tempests or peaceful waves, to reach her destination". Vatican II, in which Pope Benedict participated as a young professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn, was, he said, "a unique experience" during which "I was able to witness the living Church ... which places herself at the school of the Holy Spirit, the true driving force behind the Council. Rarely in history has it been possible, as it was then, to touch almost physically the universality of the Church at a moment of peak fulfilment of her mission to carry the Gospel into all ages and unto the ends of the earth".

In Church history Vatican II was preceded by many other Councils such as Nicea, Ephesus, Chalcedon and Trent. In general though, they met to define fundamental elements of the faith, and particularly to the correct errors endangering that faith. This was not the case with Vatican Council II, because at that time "there were no particular errors of the faith to correct and condemn, nor were there specific questions of doctrine and discipline to be clarified. ... The first question that arose during the preparation of this great event was how to begin, what task to give it. Blessed John XXIII in his opening address of 11 October fifty years ago gave some general guidelines: the faith had to speak with a 'renewed' and more incisive voice, because the world was changing rapidly, but it had to maintain its perennial message intact, without giving way or compromising.

"The Pope", Benedict XVI added, "wanted the Church to reflect upon her faith and upon the truths that guide her. But that serious and profound reflection ... had to be the starting point for a new relationship between the Church and the modern age, between Christianity and certain essential elements of modern thought, not in order to seek conformity, but to show our world, which tends to distance itself from God, the requirements of the Gospel in all its greatness and purity".

"The age in which we live continues to be marked by forgetfulness and deafness towards God. I believe, then, that we must learn the simplest and most fundamental lesson of the Council: that the essence of Christianity consists in faith in God, ... and in the individual and community encounter with Christ Who guides our lives. ... The important thing today, as was the desire of the Council Fathers, is for us to see - clearly and anew - that God is present, that He concerns us and responds to us. And when faith in God is lacking our essential foundations give way because man loses his dignity. ... The Council reminds us that the Church ... has the mandate to transmit God's salvific word of love, so that the divine call which contains our eternal beatitude may be heard and accepted".

The Pope then went on to mention the four conciliar Constitutions, describing them as "the four cardinal points of our guiding compass": "Sacrosanctum Concilium" on the sacred liturgy, which speaks of the centrality of the mystery of Christ's presence in the Church; "Lumen Gentium" which highlights the Church's fundamental duty to glorify God; "Dei Verbum" on divine Revelation, which speaks of the living Word of God that unites and animates the Church throughout history, and finally "Gaudium et Spes" which deals with the way the Church transmits to the world the light it received from God.

"Vatican Council II", Benedict XVI concluded, "is a powerful appeal to us to make a daily rediscovery of the beauty of our faith, to understand it deeply through a more intense relationship with the Lord, and to live out our Christian vocation to the full".

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Young People of A&B Diocese Celebrate Faith

Some of the Young People Gathered at Effingham
Ray Mooney, A&B Youth Adviser reports on Youthgather 2012:
St. Theresa’s School , Effingham welcomed over 340 young people, youth workers, school chaplains and teachers to this year’s annual youth ministry gathering. The largest attendance for over 10 years.

The day was blessed with good weather which enabled everyone to experience a beautiful 7 mile countryside walk from the school to the National Trust site at Polesden Lacey for lunch and back to St. Theresa’s. Along the route several students from the school recited speeches from well known characters in history such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Rosa parks, Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa. Other entertainment was provided by the Penny Royal Clog Dancers.

These moments along with displays of paralympians perfectly reflected the theme of the day “DARE TO BE DIFFERENT”. In addition workshops were held on topics of Drama & Dance, Fun & Games, Music, Art and a quiz run by CAFOD. Displays on behalf of the charities chosen to receive monies raised attracted much interest throughout the day. Cherry Trees Hospice, Chernobyl’s Children’s Group and the Community of Puentecitos will be the recipients of the funds raised.

The day started with a beautiful celebration of Mass led by Bishop Kieran with music provided by students and staff from Cardinal Newman School, Hove. Students from Cranmore School, West Horsley came to serve at the Mass. Young people from Weybridge Youth Group provided a wonderful surprise Flash Mob song after Mass. Many parishes and schools processed to the altar with their community banners.

The closing liturgy was provided by students from St. George’s, Weybridge, St. Leonard’s Mayfield and St. Peter’s in Merrow.

By their presence at Mass and the various elements of the day all who came to YouthGather 2012 DARED TO BE DIFFERENT!

Young people at the day said:
"Youthgather gave us all a chance to catch up with people we haven't seen since Lourdes, but also to meet some lovely new people! I didn't think the walk was going to be much fun, but I loved it, we didn't get lost luckily and we all stayed together (mostly!) it was really really good and I'm going next year too!" Faye

"Youthgather 2012 was so much fun as it was a great experience to catch up and meet new people my age who I share my faith with. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed getting to know new people on the walk and sharing sweets with them! The atmosphere of the whole day was great as everyone was having a good time, and I will definitely be going again next year!!" Niamh

"Youth Gather was fantastic, I was able to meet people of a similar age who shared my belief, as well raising money for a well deserving charity with my friends at my side. I can't wait for next year, and hope that Ray hasn't lost his job by then to share it with us." Anna.

"What a Fantastic day! Thank you so much for organising it. So many people turned up! Days like this are so important and give so much back to those involved - Thank You... " Anon

"Great to see so many "Nice" people" Anon

"I really enjoyed Youthgather 2012, not the least because it was so close to my home but also because it was chance to meet other young people in the diocese who are just as passionate with youth events as the redshirts and I are. I made some very good friends as well as bonding further with the redshirts who were present." Anon

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Harvest Feast in East Worthing for the Poor

Harvest Altar, Holy Family, Lancing, East Worthing Parish
Sean Morris from East Worthing parish reports: The picture above shows the items of food donated by the Parish of East Worthing for the homeless project in Worthing - Worthing Churches Homeless Project.

To make this event an occasion to remember on Friday 5th October the parish had the evening mass celebrated with Fr Daryl followed by a Harvest supper in the Parish centre which was prepared by Fr Daryl himself and the CAFOD group. Friday 5th Ocotber was the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day.

They also had a raffle and raised £75 which was added to the Sunday collections. Then after the 10.30am Sunday Mass the food items were taken to the local day centre for the homeless.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Bishop Kieran Attends Synod on New Evangelisation

Bishop Kieran Conry
© Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk
Bishop Kieran Conry, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and Chair of the Bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, is attending the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to reflect on the theme of 'The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith'. He is one of two bishops, along with Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster OSA, representing the bishops of England and Wales at the gathering from 7 – 28 October with Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Bernard Longley (Birmingham) will also be participating as a Synod Father and member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation.

Our Bishop together with hundreds of delegates arrived in Rome at the weekend for a worldwide gathering on evangelisation with the Pope, and reflects on his expectations for the meeting.

Interviewed for a podcast ahead of his departure to Rome, Bishop Conry said: “I hope it will give the Church in Europe new breath. I think essentially that’s the urgency of the question because the world around us here in Europe has changed enormously in the past 50 years since the Vatican Council was first called. The way in which the world has changed, our society and culture has changed, has had an enormous impact on the Church. The way in which people listen, the way in which people perceive truth, the way in which people experience faith; all these have made a Synod gathering like this, I think, a very very important moment.”

Two lay people from England and Wales have also been invited to attend the Synod as experts: Dr Petroc Willey is Deputy Director of the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham and Dr Caroline Farey is Head of Catechetical Formation at the Institute.

Bishop Conry’s podcast is available at http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/Featured/Year-of-Faith/Bishops-Meeting-on-New-Evangelisation Updates and reflections from the Synod can be followed on the Bishops’ Conference twitter account - @Catholicew – and will also feature on www.facebook.com/cbcew

The Synod also coincides with the opening of the Year of Faith on 11 October, with daily ‘faith tweets’ being offered in partnership with the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk and the Bible Society at @YoFtweets.

Friday, 5 October 2012

A&B Justice and Peace Assembly 2013 - Advance Notice

The next Arundel & Brighton Justice and Peace Assembly will take place on Saturday 26th January, 2013. Entitled “Prayer and Protest”, the Assembly will explore the stark contrast in ways in which we can work for justice and peace in our society in order to achieve preferential protection of the poor and vulnerable in our world today. It will be an absolute must for Justice and Peace enthusiasts to attend.

After initial input from a main speaker, there will be a number of workshops arranged for attendees to participate in. These workshops will explore various different ways that we can actively raise our voices of concern and be heard above the background noise of secular society.

Please put the date in your diary. Further details will follow once speakers and workshop leaders have been confirmed. In the meantime, for more information, please contact David Thomson, Diocesan Justice and Peace Adviser at david.thomson@dabnet.org or on 01293 651155.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Let’s make 20 million Christmas trees more meaningful

It seems a bit early to think about Christmas, but it is appropriate to mention this opportunity to support Fairtrade at Christmas:
"Meaningful Chocolate Tree Decorations are now available and are an opportunity for parents, grandparents and Godparents to buy a gift that allows the sharing of the Christmas story while making the family Christmas tree a bit more Meaningful.

Each box contains a new limited edition Christmas story booklet, a nativity character sticker set and five hand-wrapped blank chocolate discs.

The Christmas story booklet allows adults and children to share the Christmas story while placing nativity character stickers on the blank discs. Once completed, the five decorations can be hung on the tree as a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.

Each decoration is made from Belgian Fairtrade chocolate so the biggest problem will be keeping them on the tree for any length of time.

David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company, said; “Research has found that only 12% of adults, and only 7% of people aged between 18-24, know the Christmas story. So these decorations can help adults communicate the essentials of the Christmas story to the next generation.”

The Meaningful Christmas Tree Decorations cost £4.20 or £4 if more than 20 boxes are ordered at a time. Church orders can be made through www.MeaningfulChristmas.co.uk or exclusively from Traidcraft. Orders should be made by the end of November 2012 as supplies are limited."

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Syria Appeal - A Concert in Support

 
Richard Veitch and Ben Pugsley
There will be a concert in support of those in need in Syria as a result of the ongoing civil war. Proceeds from this concert will benefit the CAFOD Syrian Appeal and Christian Aid.

The concert will be given by 'Guitars of Agua Negra' (Black Water) with Richard Veitch and Ben Pugsley on Saturday, 17th November 2012 at 7.30 pm in The Holy Angels Church, Church Road, Ash, Aldershot,
Hampshire GU12 6LU.

Ticket Prices (On the door) are Sitting: £8. Concessions (65+/Under 16): £6. Standing: £2. Cheese and Wine included. There is Wheelchair Access.

Enquiries: AM: tel: 01252 321422
                PM: tel: 01252 647469

Travel Directions: www.holyangelsash.org

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Stop press! Only £60 for 24 hour stay at St.Cuthman’s this Weekend

St Cuthman's Retreat Centre viewed from the Lake
A rare one-off opportunity (due to timing of a group arriving / departing) to have a one night weekend retreat experience at a reduced rate. Enjoy our beautiful house with comfortable bedrooms, take a walk through the autumn colours in our 20 acre grounds or curl up with a book in our well- stocked library.

Arrive Saturday 6 October from 2pm for afternoon tea. Price includes supper on Saturday night, breakfast, morning coffee and Sunday roast lunch, departing 2pm on Sunday 7 October. Mass is being celebrated Saturday evening and Sunday lunchtime. Bring a friend or relative, as at this price places are sure to go fast!

Monday, 1 October 2012

God Lights the Way - CAFOD Harvest Fast Day

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day
As CAFOD Harvest Fast Day approaches, Martin Brown, CAFOD Diocesan Manager reflects on what inspires him:
My first memory of CAFOD was walking across my primary school hall to put 3p into the CAFOD box. We had probably had an assembly and were asked to help the poor people. It was pretty simple but I think the idea that people didn’t have enough food or water was enough to move me to prioritise helping them over buying some more football stickers. A small flame of ‘care for the poor’ was lit within me. At university I discovered prayer such as Lectio Divina, the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius and daily Mass and the flame came alive. I came into relationship with Jesus who cared passionately for people, especially for those who were poor or outcasts. I knew in some simple way I was meant to join him in this work. I was later introduced to the Sion Community and evangelism - the sharing of the good news of our faith - and the work of the Holy Spirit, both of which are simply vital for our Church.

Life isn’t as simple as it was for me when I was seven years old. I realise that the flame isn’t my care for the poor, but God’s own love which has carved out a space within me. I realise I have some duty of care to that flame; Put simply, I am to allow it to grow amid the complexities of life and I am to try to make sure the love God has for the poor is reflected in my own life. Thank you to all those who do the same.

What lit your flame? www.cafod.org.uk/about-us/what-lit-your-flame