Sunday, 30 June 2013

Ecumenical Action for the Homeless at St Anne's Brighton

On 27th September there will be a concert in aid of St. Anne’s Day Centre.  Fittingly for this excellent homelessness project this is a truly ecumenical event.  Organised by Heather Kearon of the parish of St. Thomas More, it will be held in the Anglican Church of St. Mary’s in Kemptown in Brighton.  Bishop Kieran and Bishop Mark Sowerby (Suffragan Bishop of Chichester) will be there and music will be provided by The Mandolins, St. Paul’s Catholic College and the Anglican Ardingly College.

St. Anne’s Day Centre was founded to help men and women who are underprivileged members of our community.  Central to their work is the homeless and those living in unsuitable, usually temporary accommodations.  Family breakdown, mental illness, poverty and social exclusion are all too familiary, as are the problems associated with addiction to drugs or alcohol.  The Centre offers a safe, friendly environment where our visitors are made to feel welcome and where they have the chance to socialise.  Hot meals and washing facilities are available, as is advice and signposting to outside agencies and other professional bodies.  St. Anne’s is a Christian based organisation, but they do not preach religion.  They draw their inspiration from Christ’s wonderful message of love.  They rely solely on the generosity of charitable donation.

Tickets are available from Lorraine Burrows at (telephone -01293 651163) at £5 each. 

If you would like to know more about the Concert or about the wonderful work of St. Anne’s please contact Sue O’Brien, Mission & Unity Adviser at DABCEC ( or telephone 01293 651162.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Helping People to be Good Parents

Louise Kairns with Sr Mary
We all know that being a parent is never easy, but there is some help at hand in the Bognor parish of Our Lady of Sorrows. There Sister Mary Ghent OSM offers a course to mums and dads, helping them to develop skills that will enable them to become more confident parents. The eight week course is based on the Parenting Training Course (P.E.T.) developed by Dr Thomas Gordon, the aim of which is to learn how to build better child/parent relationships that will lead to happier families with well-adjusted children who will become responsible and caring adults. With the help of a parishioner Mrs Louise Kairns who has herself be a previous participant, Sister Mary runs the course at Villa Maria Convent in the parish.

At the end of the Spring Term eight mums and dads received their certificates, presented by Fr Peter Finch, showing they had completed the course successfully. In feed-back from the parents, the general feeling of the group was that they were glad to have taken part. Besides learning some helpful skills they also made new friends and gained support and encouragement by sharing with each other their common difficulties, finding solutions to them together.

One parent said ‘It is great to talk through real live experiences and situations, learning new solutions and insights from each other’. Another said ‘It it is good to know that I am not alone, and the difficulties I have with my children are common to most parents.’ With help and support from Sr. Mary, Louise Kairns has begun to work towards training as a P.E.T. instructor and it is hoped that other parents will be encouraged to do the same. Sr. Mary’s dream is that there should be enough instructors to help many more parents develop better parenting skills.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Action on Global Hunger - IF

A few weeks after the event, but still worth reminding ourselves of the challenges of Global hunger and the need for action as one of this site's recent blogs on 8 June from Pope Francis about the issue reminded us.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pray for Catholic Priest Killed in Syria - A Martyr for Peace

Ruined  Basilica Church of St Simon Stylites in Syria
©Mark Woods
Fides News Agency reports:
On Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest François Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge. This is confirmed by a statement of the Custos of the Holy Land sent to Fides Agency. The circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.

Father François, 49, had taken the first steps in the religious life with the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, and with them he continued to share close bonds of spiritual friendship. After being ordained a priest he had started the construction of a coenobitic monastery dedicated to St. Simon Stylites in the village of Gassanieh.

After the start of the Civil War, the monastery of St. Simon had been bombed and Fr. Murad had moved to the convent of the Custody for safety reasons and to give support to the remaining few, along with another religious and nuns of the Rosary.

"Let us pray," writes the Custos of the Holy Land Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM " so that this absurd and shameful war ends soon and that the people of Syria can go back to living a normal life." Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the Syrian Catholic archeparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis reports to Fides: "The whole story of Christians in the Middle East is marked and made fruitful by the blood of the martyrs of many persecutions. Lately, Father Murad sent me some messages that clearly showed how conscious he was of living in a dangerous situation, and offered his life for peace in Syria and around the world."

Please pray for all the people of Syria that peace and justice can reign in this troubled country

Monday, 24 June 2013

Diocesan Festival a Big Success

Bishop Kieran carries Blessed Sacrament during procession at Diocesan Festival
Bishop Kieran closed the day attended by over 700 people with a wonderful celebration of Mass. He gave thanks for all who had prepared and participated in the day. A day which was in part an experiment as we move towards and plan the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese in 2015.

This day provided opportunities to learn about and experience different forms of prayer and devotion from a beautiful Blessed Sacrament Procession to Silent Meditation.

St Wilfrid's Catholic School in Crawley was filled with people who looked around the many stalls, sat and chatted over lunch or joined in the many workshops. For young people there were inspiring youth activities with Edwin Fawcett and for the little ones games, face painiting and bouncy castles.

Next year don't miss out. Date to be announced soon

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Diocesan Festival - Come and Celebrate Sunday 23 June

Bishop Kieran is encouraging as many people as possible to join him from 10am at the Diocesan Festival this Sunday 23 June 2013 at St Wilfrid's Catholic School Old Horsham Road, Southgate, Crawley, W.Sussex, RH11 8PG.

Whilst Bishop Kieran will not be supplying the wine for your picnic he will be leading the day in prayer at the beginning of the day and in the Mass at the end of the day as well as sharing his reflections in the afternoon on how to pray through art.

There is all this from the Bishop as well as some 30 workshops on different aspects of prayer over 3 sessions as well as fun activities for families and children, and a fantastic youth stream with Edwin Fawcett.

Don't be square just be there!

For information go to 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Diocesan Festival Only a Few Days Away!

Bishop Kieran leading Adoration and Benediction of Blessed Sacrament in Arundel
Bishop Kieran was pleased to hear that so many people are planning to come to the Diocesan Festival on Sunday 23 June at St Wilfrids School in Crawley . As well as presiding at the closing Mass at 2.30pm he will be leading Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament before lunch and then after lunch offering a workshop on 'Praying through Art'.

To come along you just need to turn up on the day, but if you want to pre-register for workshops which have limited space then go to and register now.

Sorry about last blog which mentioned YouTube video of Bishop Kieran, but unfortunately the video was cancelled. Sorry if you tried to find it, but hoped you enjoyed Fr Kevin Dring.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Bishop Kieran Uses YouTube to Invite All to Diocesan Festival

Bishop Kieran has issued an open invitation for all to join him at the Diocesan Festival on 23 June on YouTube at

Sorry no video taken but come to the festival anyway!!!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Bishop Kieran Invites All to Diocesan Festival

Bishop Kieran has sent an open invitation to everybody to join him for the Diocesan Festival at St Wilfrids, Crawley on Sunday 23 June from 10am-4pm. This day will provide opportunities to learn about and experience different forms of prayer and devotion as well as being a day of fun for all the family. The day culminates with Mass celebrated by Bishop Kieran.

More information go to and don't forget to register online for the workshops.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Monday, 10 June 2013

Speaking out for the Hungry - CAFOD IF G8 Event

Some of CAFOD supporters from Ewell in Hyde Park
On Saturday, just gone,8th June, 10 members of St.Clement's, Ewell CAFOD group traveled out from their parish to London to show their refusal to stand by and let millions of people go hungry every day. Hunger is the biggest scandal of our generation and we are all here to tell the G8 they must put an end to it.

Together we will make that difference. We joined with 3,500 people at Westminster Central Hall for an uplifting ecumenical service led by Archbishop Vincent Nichols and with a video message from the Archbishop of Canterbury. I sat next to and chatted with a wonderful Dominican Sister Sheila from Bushey Hertfordshire who had previously come to the religious rally in parliament on 16th May. On that occasion Ed Miliband had told her, "I want to pay tribute to CAFOD and the incredible work CAFOD does - they're not only a fantastic organisation, but an organisation that is literally changing and saving lives around the world. I warmly endorse the IF campaign. It's a very easy campaign to remember: it's about aid, it's about tax and it's about transparency. All of these things make an enormous difference to people in the world.

In a very moving and tearful interview Ruth, Valerio, Spring Harvest spoke with Aimee Manimani, World Vision DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) about her experience of hunger and other issues.

We walked spirit-filled on a circuitous route to the main rally at Hyde Park where 45,000 Enough Food for Everyone IF supporters gathered in blazing sunshine. The excitement and passion from the crowd was evident as inspiring words were spoken from the main stage by Bill Gates, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, CAFOD ambassador David Harewood, film director Danny Boyle, BBC DJ Lauren Laverne and singer Angelique Kidjo. David Beckham sent a special video message and told supporters to tell Prime Minister David Cameron "the time for the G8 to act is now".

At 5pm Rowan Williams led the crowd in a minute's silence as an act of respect for the millions who have died of hunger.

The Big IF event was an amazing day with so many young people joining in. It was just the start of the build-up to the G8 meeting.

The opening prayer at the service said it all:
Father of all, we come before you today,
United in the belief that all good things come from you.
Open our hearts to your word and
Help us to listen and respond as one family 
So that through your grace and our actions
We may glimpse your kingdom here on earth - A kingdom of welcome and plenty for all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord

Friday, 7 June 2013

50th Anniversary of Priestly Service - Fr Seamus Hester

R-L: Fr Seamus, Bishop Kieran and current Eastbourne PP Fr Rags Hay-Will
Fr Seamus Hester, now retired to Littlehampton celebrated 50 years of priestly ministry with a wonderful Mass of celebration at Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne where he had served his last stint as a parish priest. There were people from all over the diocese from the parishes he had served in, together with many from the Diocesan Lourdes Sick Pilgrimage with which he had been deeply involved over the years.

He was also joined by Bishop Kieran who preached and some 30 priests as well as deacons and a full Church of lay people.

His opening words were that he had never regretted becoming a priest.

You can see all the pictures from the Mass at or on

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Carpet of Flowers and Corpus Christi Procession in Arundel

Below are a few pictures from the Carpet of Flowers in Arundel Cathedral and the Blessed Sacrament Procession taken for the Bishops' Conference at  (All pictures © Mazur/

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Diaconal Ordination of Stephen Sharpe

New Deacon Stephen Sharpe at the back with Bishop Kieran and his wife and
children in front together with left Fr Dominic and right Stephen's dad Fr Alan Sharpe
Congratulations to Stephen Sharpe who was ordained on Friday 31 May at St Peter's, Shoreham for Our Lady Queen of Peace parish which includes St Peter's, Christ the King, Steyning and Towers Convent, Upper Bedding.

Stephen's was ordained by Bishop Kieran Conry in the presence of his wife and four boys as well as his dad, Fr Alan Sharpe who was himself ordained a Catholic priest last year.

Also present were his parish priest Fr Sean Finnegan, fellow parish deacon Richard Edwards and the two retired priests in the parish Frs Tony Lovegrove and Brian O'Sullivan.

A beautiful ordination Mass was followed by a reception in the parish hall.
A wonderful occasion for the diocese as another deacon was added to our number.