Monday, 17 October 2016

Healing the broken-hearted this World Mission Sunday 23 October

It has been over twenty years since the genocide that devastated Rwanda. And while the saying ‘time heals all wounds’ may ring true, many people across this small African nation are still in need of practical, spiritual and emotional support. This World Mission Sunday, Missio, the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission, will be appealing to the faithful to help heal the broken-hearted.

Following years of ethnic tension, a series of mass killings violently broke out in Rwanda in April 1994. In one hundred days approximately one million people – twenty per cent of the population – were brutally tortured and killed in one of the worst genocides the world has ever seen.

Fr Emmanuel Nsengiyumva was just eighteen years old when the systematic slaughter began. He lost two of his brothers and knows well the deep emotional wounds of his people: ‘Your relatives, your mother, your father, your brothers, is not only killed but they torture him in front of you. Some of them would die in two days… two days of agony.’

With the support of Missio, Fr Emmanuel has dedicated his life to reaching out to his fellow Rwandans as parish priest in Nyamata. His desire for his people is that through forgiveness their broken-hearts may be healed.

Fr Anthony Chantry, National Director of Missio in England and Wales, says ‘There are some wounds so deep in human experience that they require the healing touch of God’s love. The Church with its vital ministry of caring for victims of senseless and appalling violence allows God’s grace to heal those whose lives are broken.’

World Mission Sunday is celebrated by Catholics in every country where the Church is present. On 23 October, parishes all over the world will be encouraged to pray for the missionary work of the Church and share what they can to support faith communities overseas which are in urgent need.

Two of the many Rwandans that are working through their pain are Edouard and Immaculée, who have been married for 23 years and feature on the World Mission Sunday poster. Devastatingly in the space of one week, more than ten thousand people - including Edouard and Immaculée’s parents, as well as fifteen brothers and sisters between them - were brutally killed in and around the local Catholic Church in Nyamata. Both carry deep wounds and struggle with the trauma of their past. Edouard recalls: ‘Just after the genocide we visited the church and tried to find our relatives, but it was impossible because there were just so many dead bodies.’

After the genocide, many perpetrators were brought to trial and imprisoned. Having served their time, many of these prisoners are now returning to the neighbourhoods they brutalised. Many priests, sisters and brothers in Rwanda are supporting these communities through counselling and healing workshops, which focus on forgiveness and mercy. Edouard explains, ‘The church has helped us to be strong, the priests have tried to bring our community together.’

In the Nyamata parish alone, two hundred people, both former prisoners and survivors, are currently engaged in a ‘Two Ways Healing’ programme where the perpetrators have ‘the key of asking for forgiveness’ and the survivors have ‘the key of forgiving’. In this Year of Mercy, this programme encourages the perpetrators to truthfully ask for forgiveness from survivors, whom they know and live with daily. While the survivors are encouraged to forgive sincerely, helping both in their mutual journey of healing and reconciliation.

This process, supported by Missio, is conducted within an intensive pastoral care programme. The former prisoners meet every week for six months and after three months, they begin to connect with the survivors, asking for forgiveness and gradually reconnecting with their communities and with the Church. This World Mission Sunday, the support of Catholics all over the world will help more parishes implement and conduct similar life-giving programmes.

Through this programme, Fr Emmanuel is supporting those whose lives have been shattered look to the future with hope. His work is supported by Missio, which works to answer the call to love God and to love our neighbour by bringing the hope of the Gospel where there is turmoil, poverty and uncertainty. The Pope’s worldwide collection is a real sign of God’s mercy and love to our sisters and brothers around the world who are suffering through war and conflict.

To make a donation, or to find out more, please visit

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Peace in the Middle East? - Bishops' Conference Podcast

The latest Middle East Analysis podcast from the Bishops’ Conference, sees a welcome return to studio duties for Dr Harry Hagopian – the Bishops’ consultant on matters relating to the Middle East North North Africa (MENA) region.

After a two-month Summer hiatus, there was much to talk about when he popped into the studio with James Abbott. Rather than pursuing the futile task of trying to catch up with eight weeks’ worth of events in a region racked by explosions of violence, tension and uncertainty, they focused on three things:
  • The US-Russian brokered ceasefire in Syria
  • The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants held in New York on Monday 19 September 2016
  • World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel #DismantlingBarriers

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Diocese Seeks New Volunteer Editor of A&B News

A&B News needs you!
The current Volunteer Editor of A&B News, the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton is retiring at the end of the year and the Diocese is looking for a new Volunteer Editor. The Editor works as part of the Communications Team and is responsible to the Communications Officer. There is part-time secretarial assistance to the paper. Travel and other appropriate expenses are paid. Work space is provided at the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Christian Education Centre in Crawley.
You can see a full Job Description, Person Specification here to download. Otherwise ring Ruth Gerun on 01293 651164 or email
Interested individuals should send in a CV and covering letter explaining their interest in the role to Mark Woods by 31 October 2016. If anyone wishes to discuss the position further then please contact Mark Woods, Communications Officer on 0752 843 8042 or email