Thursday, 31 July 2014

Festival 50 @Amex Stadium - Diocesan Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Put the date in your diary - 5th July 2015 from 10am till 4.30pm 

A day to celebrate 50 years of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton and to look forward to the future with Bishop Kieran.

Great speakers, fun happenings, great food and above all Holy Mass celebrated by the whole Diocese.

For more information, updates and to volunteer visit the Festival 50 page on the Diocesan Website.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

13th National Pilgrimage for Catholic Grandparents in Walsingham, 26th July 2014

This year the England and Wales National Pilgrimage, organised by the Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) will take place on Saturday 26th July, the feast Day of St Anne and St Joachim, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk. This will be the 13th time that grandparents from all over the country gather to honour the patron saints of all grandparents and to recognise their own vocation.

This year, for the first time, the CGA will be staging The Walsingham Story which has been written especially for the pilgrimage and will be performed by local actors and children. The day will begin at 11.00 with a service of reconciliation and conclude at 5.00 pm. Throughout the day there will be a full range of faith and fun activities for all ages. Everybody is welcome.

For more information e-mail the Association or telephone Phil Butcher on 01328 560333

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Words and Action on Assisted Dying Bill

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain are amongst the 24 faith leaders who have today voiced their shared concerns about Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill.

In a joint statement to Members of the House of Lords they say:"While we may have come to the position of opposing this bill from different religious perspectives, we are agreed that the Assisted Dying Bill invites the prospect of an erosion of carefully tuned values and practices that are essential for the future development of a society that respects and cares for all."

The leaders and senior representatives are drawn from a broad coalition of Christian churches and denominations, and from the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Zoroastrian faiths.Lord Falconer's Bill will be debated in the House of Lords on 18 July 2014.

For the full statement see the Catholic Bishops' Conference website.

To see what action you can take including contacting a Peer go here.

Arundel & Brighton Diocese Certificate in Catechesis - Coming Soon

Arundel & Brighton Certificate in Catechesis - Coming soon, book now!

Session 1 - Sat 11th Oct 2014 

Speaker - Fr Stephen Ortiger OSB
‘Retreat Day – ‘Called by Jesus Christ to be a Catechist’

Session 2 - Sat 22nd November 2014

Speaker - Fr Kevin O’Donnell
‘Encountering Jesus—Scripture, Church and Sacraments’

Session 3 - Sat 24th January 2015

Speaker - Fr Rob Esdaile
‘Not Less Than Everything - The Catholic Way of Catechesis’

Session 4 - Sat 7th March 2015

Speaker - Fr Jonathan How
‘Celebrating the Christian mystery in Liturgy’

Session 5 - Sat 18th April 2015

Speaker - Sr Anne Dunne 
‘Personal spirituality and leading others to prayer’

Session 6 - Sat 6th June 2015

Speaker - David Wills
‘Mission – being and bringing the Good News to others’

Booking is essential – places are limited so please discuss your application with your Parish Priest.

For further information, or to book, please contact David Wills on 01293 651157 or

Monday, 14 July 2014

St. Bernadette’s Primary School Brighton Celebrates

Bishop Kieran,  Jacqueline Lance (Head Teacher) and Mary Reynolds (Diocesan Director of Schools).
Bishop Kieran Conry celebrated with the community of St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School in Brighton as they marked the 40th Anniversary of their school.

St Bernadette’s opened in 1974 after Lourdes Convent left the site and amalgamated with other local Catholic secondary schools to establish Cardinal Newman Catholic Comprehensive School.
Bishop Kieran was joined by the Rev. Mgr. John Hull, Father Bruno Witchalls, Mrs Mary Reynolds, the Director of Catholic Schools for Arundel and Brighton, as well as former head teachers, deanery head teachers, staff, governors, parents and children.

St Bernadette’s is blessed with beautiful grounds and the Liturgy took place within them. The pupils contributed to the occasion with hymns, a celebration song, liturgical dance and prayers. The psalm was read in English and ten different languages to reflect and celebrate the diversity of the school. Past and present pupils shared what St. Bernadette’s meant to them. A Year 1 pupil revealed that the school felt ‘like home’. In his address, the bishop spoke about the palpable sense of family within Catholic schools and how the people within them cared for and looked out for each other

At the end of the liturgy, Bishop Kieran blessed three commemorative trees, which will be planted in the school’s new Ruby Jubilee Garden and a selection of healing plants, which will be added to the garden of the Sacrament of the Sick.

After the Liturgy the guests were invited to enjoy an Afternoon Tea. 

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Congratulations to Deacon Hilary Parsons on 30th Anniversary of Ordination

Deacon Hilary with his Icon presented to him by Bishop Kieran
Congratulations to Deacon Hilary Parsons who has just celebrated 30 years of ordination as a Permanent Deacon. He was one of the first to be ordained in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton following the setting up of the Diaconate Formation Programme in 1981. The first Permanent Deacon ordained in the Diocese was Eric Kilminster (RIP) who worked in the Gulf States as a Deacon before returning to the Diocese. Deacon Hilary was ordained in St Richard's, Chichester on 29 June 1984 by then Bishop, now Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. He served for many years in that parish before retiring to the New Forest where he continues to live.

In recognition of his long service to the ordained ministry and the Church, Bishop Kieran presented him with a icon of Christ washing the feet of the disciples.

May he have many more years of joyful ministry. Ad Multos Annos!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bishops of Holy Land Criticize 'Collective Punishment' of Palestinians

Pope Francis with Jewish Rabbi and Muslim Imman at Wailing Wall
Bishops criticize 'collective punishment' of Palestinians By Catholic News Service, JERUSALEM (CNS via CNUA) Catholic leaders in the Holy Land called for an end to the cycle of violence and criticized Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and its collective punishment of Palestinians. "Using the death of the three Israelis to exact collective punishment on the Palestinian people as a whole and on its legitimate desire to be free is a tragic exploitation of tragedy and promotes more violence and hatred," said a July 8 statement from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land. "We need to recognize that the kidnapping and cold-blooded murder of the three Israeli youth and the brutal vengeance killing of the Palestinian youth are products of the injustice and of the hatred that the occupation fosters in the hearts of those prone to such deeds," the church leaders said, but added that the deaths "are in no way justifiable."

In early July, Israel launched airstrikes into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, killing more than 40 Palestinians -- including children, elderly and militants -- in a circle of escalating violence that began with the discovery of the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens and the brutal apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teen. The Israeli offensive, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, has hit hundreds of targets, while more than 100 missiles have been launched into southern Israel, reaching into the center of the country and Jerusalem as well. The ordinaries, who include Catholic bishops and the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land, called the situation in Gaza "an illustration of the never-ending cycle of violence in the absence of a vision for an alternative future."

They criticized Israeli "leadership that continues to foster a discriminatory discourse promoting exclusive rights of one group and the occupation with all of its disastrous consequences. Settlements are built, lands are confiscated, families are separated, loved ones are arrested and even assassinated. The occupation leadership seems to believe that the occupation can be victorious by crushing the will of the people for freedom and dignity. They seem to believe that their determination will ultimately silence opposition and transform wrong into right." "Resistance to occupation cannot be equated with terrorism," they said. "Resistance to occupation is a legitimate right, terrorism is part of the problem." The church leaders said the mourned all those, Israeli and Palestinians, who had died. "Some of their faces are well known because the media have covered in detail their lives, interviewing their parents, bringing them alive in our imaginations, whereas others -- by far more numerous -- are mere statistics, nameless and faceless. The selective coverage, mourning and memory are themselves part of the cycle of violence," they said.

The church leaders also said the "violent language of the Palestinian street that calls for vengeance is fed by the attitudes and expressions of those who have despaired of any hope to reach a just solution to the conflict through negotiations. Those who seek to build a totalitarian, monolithic society, in which there is no room for any difference or diversity, gain popular support, exploiting this situation of hopelessness. To these we also say: Violence as a response to violence breeds only more violence." "We need radical change," they said. "Israelis and Palestinians together need to shake off the negative attitudes of mutual mistrust and hatred." 

They called for educating the younger generation "in a new spirit that challenges the existing mentalities of oppression and discrimination," but they also called for a change in political leaders. "We must find leaders who are clear-sighted and courageous enough to face the urgency of the present situation and to take the difficult decisions that are needed, leaders who, if necessary, are ready to sacrifice their political careers for the sake of a just and lasting peace. Such leaders have the vocation to be healers, peacemakers, seekers of justice and visionaries of the alternatives to the cycle of violence," they said, recalling Pope Francis' separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his May visit to the Holy Land and "his incessant call for justice and peace."

The complete statement can be found at

Let us pray for peace, reconciliation and justice between Israelis and Palestinians

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Pope meets with six victims of sexual abuse

On 7th July Pope met with six victims of sexual abuse for over three hours at the Vatican

Pope Francis met for over three hours with six victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests, three men and three women, from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

He met individually with each person for about half an hour, to listen to their stories and experiences.

"It was not a superficial meeting, even the length of this meeting shows his commitment and intentions to listen, to understand. If was a mere formality, it would have been much shorter.”

The Vatican spokesperson explained that each individual meeting was highly moving, not just for the victims, but also for the Pope.

"I can tell you that the feeling was mostly deep, positive and serene. We saw people that were deeply touched, happy and grateful for the chance to live out this moment, this meeting. Towards the end, I saw the Pope very emotional. Any person, any priest, any pastor that experiences a meeting of this nature, with people who have suffered greatly, with the wounds of the pain they've lived through, it's always an extremely taxing encounter.”

The six victims began arriving to Santa Marta on Sunday. Some were joined by their families. During dinner, the Pope greeted them briefly. On Monday, they took part in the morning Mass at Santa Marta, which also included the members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors.

This group, led by Boston Card. Sean O'Malley, met at the Vatican over the weekend. According to the Vatican spokesperson, they talked about naming delegates to other continents, as well as establishing work groups. The Commission will meet again in October.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Diocesan Festival - More Pictures

Volunteers with Bishop after Mass
All ages here to help!
Why not volunteer for Festival 50
Sing praises to the Lord!