Monday, 23 May 2016

New Lectio Divina Leaflet for Year of Mercy

Praying the Scriptures
Bishop Richard Moth in his Pastoral Letter for Trinity Sunday 2016 spoke about prayer and the Year of Mercy and especially the way of praying known as Lectio Divina. Under his guidance the Diocese has produced a leaflet outlining how to pray with the Scriptures in this way.

Copies of the leaflet have been sent to every parish in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton

To find out more you can find the leaflet here.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Pastoral Letter for Trinity Sunday from Bishop Richard Moth

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This occasion of Trinity Sunday invites us to reflect on the wonder of the One God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The relationships that exist in the three Persons of the Trinity invite us to think about our own relationship with the One God in whom we believe and who invites us to be in relationship with Him – through the person of the Son and through the understanding and knowledge that are gifts of the Spirit.

The encounter that we have with God in prayer is, therefore, of the deepest importance in our lives.  Prayer is not merely an option – it is a key element in the life of each one of us.

In this Year of Mercy we are called, by the Holy Father, to encounter God afresh in his Word to us in the Scriptures.

“[Mercy] is a programme of life as demanding as it is rich with joy and peace…In Order to be capable of mercy, therefore, we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God.  This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us.  In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle.”[1]

The experience of the Church down through the ages has brought to us a wonderful way in which to respond to the Holy Father’s call to us.  Lectio Divina – Holy Reading – enables us to listen to God’s Word in a way that is simple and refreshing.  Spending a little time each day with a short passage from the Scriptures, reading it through a number of times and pausing to allow the Word to dwell in the depth of the heart, enables us to hear what God wishes to say to us.   I would recommend taking a Gospel to begin with and working through slowly, reflecting on a short passage each day.

It is truly wonderful to realise that God wishes to say something to you and to me, as individuals whom he has formed and whom he loves.  Through this short time of meditation on the Word of God, we are – over time – formed by the Word.  God speaks to us and we are transformed.  We become the people He wishes us to be and, as the Holy Father has explained, it is only then that Mercy can truly be our lifestyle.

There will be many in the family of the Diocese who have already adopted this practice of Lectio Divina.  Already, one of the great blessings for me during this Year of Mercy has been the gatherings with the young people of the Diocese – well over three hundred of them – to reflect on the Word of God in this way.  Meetings with many of our teachers and in a number of parishes have provided similar opportunities.  The increasing practice of Lectio Divina will, I truly hope, be a major feature of the life of our Diocesan family.

This prayerful encounter with God’s word to us will indeed form us as individuals as we “listen with the ear of the heart”[2] to the Father who loves us.

We can be formed, too, in the many groups in which we gather.  There are many means of formation in the life of the Church, of course, but through opening the mind and heart to the Word of God our formation will be rooted in the love and mercy of the Father.  This will have the most profound effect on the Mission to which the Lord has called us.  It is a foundation on which we can build.

I cannot encourage you strongly enough to take a little time each day to reflect on the Word.  Accompanying this Pastoral Letter, leaflets are available describing Lectio Divina.[3]  Take one of these leaflets with you and set aside a short time to listen to the Father who seeks to speak to your heart.  Practice this Holy Reading in schools, in parish groups, catechetical formation and gatherings – for through our encounter with the Word of God we shall become a people of Mercy and enabled to carry out the Mission to which we have been called.

With every Blessing as we continue together this Jubilee of Mercy,


Bishop of Arundel & Brighton

[1] POPE FRANCIS, Bull of Indiction Misericordiae vultus of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, n. 13.

[2] The Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue, 1.

[3] Also available on the Diocesan Website.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Fr Dominic Rolls RIP

Fr Dominic Rolls RIP
Please pray for Fr Dominic Rolls, a priest of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton who died on Friday 29 April 2016 in St Columba's Hospice, Edinburgh from cancer.

His funeral will be on Wednesday 18 May at 12 noon at Worth Abbey with a Vigil Mass (with Reception of the body at 3.30pm) on Tuesday 17 May at 7pm at St Joseph's, Dorking where he had been parish priest.

Please pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.

Brief Biography of Fr Dominic Rolls

Born on 2 July 1963 in Liverpool

Educated at Worth School and St. Andrew’s University, Fife, Scotland  (MA/Hons)
         Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir School.

Seminary Formation at the English College, Rome,  1987-1993
Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, STL

Ordained to the Priesthood on 25th July 1993at Arundel Cathedral

Appointments: Assistant Priest: St. Joseph’s, Epsom 1993-1998
Our Lady of Ransom, Eastbourne 1998-2001

Parish Priest: St. Joseph’s, Dorking 2003

Part time Lecturer at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh.

Dean of the Epsom Deanery.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Cardinal Cormac Murphy – O’Connor blesses and opens ‘The Ark’ at St George’s Junior School, Weybridge

Cardinal Cormac with Headmaster Mr Anthony Hudson (on Cardinal's left)
CARDINAL Cormac Murphy – O’Connor, retired Archbishop of Westminster blessed and formally opened new building at St George’s Junior School - ‘The Ark’ - in Weybridge today (22 April 2016), the day before the Feast Day of St George.

Imaginatively built and brightly decorated throughout, ‘The Ark’ provides 240 girls and boys in the Lower Years with a range of modern learning facilities, including animal themed classrooms, cleverly designed resource areas, a dedicated IT suite, a new ‘Rainbow Room’ for assemblies and various outdoor learning spaces, as well as a living grass ‘sedum’ roof to help the building blend into its surroundings. Construction of the new building started in 2014 and the facility opened its doors in November last year (2015), since when it has been extremely well used and liked.

Today, with the whole Junior School in attendance, all 650 girls and boys aged 3 to 11, Governors, staff and guests warmly welcomed the Cardinal with great excitement, with all pupils having paraded outside and formed a guard of honour to welcome him by singing a powerful and moving rendition of the Easter hymn ‘Rise and Shine’.

The first part of the ceremony involved the laying and blessing of a time capsule containing various aspects of current life at St George’s, which will be opened in 50 years’ time in 2066.

The Cardinal was then shown around ‘The Ark’, unveiling a plaque and seeing the location of the new Nursery building next door for 90 girls and boys, which opens soon.

Before making his way over to bless the newly constructed Performing Arts Centre for all Junior School pupils, all the children from Nursery – Year 2 sang ‘Shalom’ before the guests were treated to some ‘Super Strings’ and the School’s Chamber Choir performing.

From that vantage point, Cardinal Cormac and the assembled guests were able to admire the Junior School’s recently acquired 40 acres of new land, offering outdoor learning to all pupils, an area that is now part of daily life for all at the School.

During his visit, Cardinal Cormac said:
“I am delighted to be here today; within just ten minutes of being here at St George’s Junior School, you can really sense the wonderful spirit of the place.

“Congratulations to everyone who has worked on this huge project – I hope it continues to flourish and grow.”

Speaking of the occasion, Antony Hudson, Headmaster of St George’s Junior School, said:

“The opening and blessing of The Ark, Performing Arts Centre and New Land at the Junior School by Cardinal Cormac is a real celebration of how St George’s is building for future generations.

“It is the culmination of a journey lasting nearly five years since initial planning began, and the joy on the faces of the pupils and staff as they sang ‘Rise & Shine’ enthused all the guests who witnessed it, making links across the School generations to come, as the time capsule was presented and blessed giving great hope that the School will be in even more wonderful shape when it is opened in 50 years’ time in 2066!”