Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Premier Christian Radio Comes to Surrey

Late last year, Premier had the opportunity to take over the AM frequency from Eagle Extra and you can now hear Premier Christian Radio on 1566 MW across West Surrey and NE Hants. 

At a time when Premier's national DAB broadcasting rights are under threat of being replaced by a pop station (see, this will ensure that Premier Christian Radio can still be easily accessed in this region. Premier Christian Radio is also available online and on Freeview 725.

Why not give it a listen.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Simbang Gabi in Redhill Surrey

Fr Chris Spain (back) and Fr Aaron Spinelli (at table) with Redhill Filipino community

In what has now become parish tradition Mass was celebrated at 7am by Fr Aaron Spinelli for and with members of the Redhill Filipino community and other members of the parish.

The tradition of nine Novena Dawn Masses called Simbang Gabi celebrated before Christmas is one particular to the Philippines, and although nine masses were not celebrated at dawn or otherwise, the parish got into the spirit of Advent by gathering early for Mass in the dark and enjoying a breakfast before  the day begins.

Songs were sung by a group of Filipino singers, and then after Mass, a nice group went to the hall for a shared Filipino breakfast. It was impressive to see many children and families present, as we offered Mass for the victims of the recent Typhoon to affect the islands.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Fr Frans van der Lugt SJ Killed in Syria April 2014
 According Fides Agency of the Vatican during 2014, 26 pastoral care workers were killed worldwide, three more compared to 2013. For the sixth consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral care workers killed is the Americas.

In the past decade (2004-2013), 230 pastoral workers, including 3 Bishops were killed worldwide.
The pastoral care workers who died violently in 2014 are: 17 priests, 1 religious man, 6 religious sisters, 1 seminarian, 1 lay person. In America: 14 pastoral care workers were killed (12 priests, one religious man, one seminarian); in Africa 7 pastoral care workers were killed (2 priests, 5 religious sisters); in Asia two pastoral care workers were killed (one priest, 1 religious sister); in Oceania two pastoral care workers were killed (1 priest, 1 lay person); a priest was killed in Europe.

We cannot but mention those who were killed not by the hand of a criminal but by the Ebola virus, which is claiming thousands of victims in West Africa, where the Catholic facilities, and not just healthcare, have been mobilized since the outbreak of the epidemic. Four confreres who belonged to the Religious Family of the Hospitaller Brothers (Hospitaller Order of St. John of God) died in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and a religious sister and thirteen employees of the hospitals in Monrovia and Lunsar died after having contracted the virus. "Our Confreres gave their lives for others, just like Christ, to the point of dying infected by this epidemic" wrote Friar Jesús Etayo, Prior General.
A similar fate befell the six Italian missionary Sisters of the Poor of Bergamo who died in Congo in 1995 after having contracted the Ebola virus in order not to leave the population without health care. In 2013 the beatification process of the six Italian missionaries was opened.

As it has been for some time, Fides’ list does not only include missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but all pastoral care workers who died violent deaths. We do not propose to use the term "martyrs", if not in its etymological meaning of "witnesses" since it is up to the Church to judge their possible merits and also because of the scarsity of available information in most cases, with regard to their life and even the circumstances of their death.

Once again the majority of the pastoral care workers in 2014 were killed in attempted robbery, and in some cases violently attacked, a sign of the climate of moral decline, economic and cultural poverty, which generates violence and disregard for human life. They all lived in these human and social contexts, carrying out the mission of proclaiming the Gospel message without making sensational acts, but by witnessing their faith in the humility of daily life. 

Some were killed by the same people they helped, others opened the door to those who asked for aid and were attacked, others were killed during a robbery, but the reason why many other assaults and kidnappings ended tragically remain unclear.

In 2014 the murderers of the Bishop of La Rioja (Argentina), Mgr. Enrique Angelelli were sentenced, 38 years after the assassination of the Archbishop and where it was thought that he had died because of a car accident; also the instigators and perpetrators of the assassination of Mgr. Luigi Locati, Apostolic Vicar of Isiolo (Kenya), who was murdered in 2005, were sentenced; those responsible for the death of the Rector of the Seminary in Bangalore (India), Fr.Thomas, killed in 2013 were also arrested.

There is still much concern regarding the fate of other pastoral care workers kidnapped or have disappeared, of whom we have not had any news, such as the three Congolese Augustinian priests of the Assumption, kidnapped in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo in October 2012, the Italian Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, abducted in Syria in 2013, or Fr. Alexis Prem Kumar, who was kidnapped on June 2 in Herat, Afghanistan.

On May 24, the PIME missionary (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) Fr. Mario Vergara, and the lay catechist Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, killed in hatred of faith in Burma, in 1950, were beatified. "Their heroic fidelity to Christ can be encouragement and example to missionaries and especially to catechists who in mission lands carry out a valuable and irreplaceable apostolic work", said Pope Francis.

The provisional list compiled annually by Fides, must therefore be added to the long list of many of whom there may never be news, who in every corner of the world suffer and even pay with their lives for their faith in Christ.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Arundel & Brighton Justice and Peace Assembly 2015

The annual Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Justice & Peace Assembly will take place on 31 January 2015 from 10am-4pm at the Christian Education Centre, 4 Southgate Drive, Crawley RH10 6RP on 'Taking Action in solidarity with immigrants, migrants, refugees and people on the move' with Sarah Teather, MP. 

Sarah is currently chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and is chairing a cross party inquiry into immigration detention. She previously chaired an inquiry looking at financial support for young asylum seekers and their families.Sarah is a practising Catholic and is active in her local church, she announced in September 2013 that she would not be restanding for Parliament.

To book and for more information contact Ruth Gerun on 01293 651164 or email

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Servers of Guildford Celebrate St Stephen's Day

The servers, priests and deacon shown attended the Mass on St. Stephen's feast day, 26th December 2014 at St Mary's Rydes Hill, Guildford. Some of the servers in the front rows were enrolled that day into the Archconfraternity of St Stephen and others were awarded certificates of merit for five years service. The combined servers were from the Guildford group of churches of St Joseph's, St PiusX and St Mary's.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A look at the soon to be Cardinals of the Catholic Church says: The Pope started off 2015 by announcing the list of soon to be Cardinals. They include 15 Bishops and Archbishops from 14 different countries. In addition to their roles back at home, cardinals are the Pope's main advisers.

The Pope's picks are significant for many reasons, especially since it includes countries that have never had a Cardinal, or nations with a Christian minority. From Vietnam all the way to Ethiopia.

The list includes Dominique Mamberti, who serves as the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. In fact, he is the only new cardinal named from within the Roman Curia.

From New Zealand, there's John Atcherley Dew, who serves as the Archbishop of Wellington.

The Archbishop of Morelia, Mexico, Alberto Suarez Inda is also listed.

From the Tonga Islands, there's Soane Patita Paini Mafi, who at 53 will be the youngest in the College of Cardinals.

The represented countries also include Italy, Thailand, Portugal, Uruguay, Spain, Panama and Cape Verde.

This list breaks down to five new Cardinals from Europe, three from Asia, another three from Latin America, two from Africa and two from Oceania. There are no new cardinals from the U.S or Canada.

In addition to the new 15 cardinals, another five retired Archbishops will also be created cardinals by Pope Francis, but they will not be cardinal electors, meaning they will not vote in an eventual conclave.

The nominees are not officially cardinals though. They will take on their new role during a Consistory held on Saturday February 14th in the Vatican.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New Things for the New Year

The Diocese of Arundel & Brighton has lots of new things happening this New Year. First a new Director of Education, Marie Ryan has begun her role taking over from Mary Reynolds who did such great work over more than 20 years.

Marie Ryan

The Diocese has also appointed a new Youth Worker, Jack Regan who takes over from Ray Mooney who continues to serve the Diocese in his work with the Redshirts and Lourdes.

Jack Regan

Finally the Education Service of the Diocese has launched a new website which can be found at 

Happy New Year!