Monday, 30 January 2017

Bishop Richard Moth Inducts Two New Parish Priests in Surrey

New Parish Priest for English Martyrs Church, Horely
On the cold and snowy evening of 12th January 2017, the parishioners of English Martyrs warmly welcomed their new parish administrator, Father Francis Ezennia, MSP (a Nigerian Missionary order) at an Induction Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Moth.
Guests included the clergy from Redhill and the Missionaries of St Paul, the Town Mayor of Horley Cllr Mike George, representatives from the Anglican, Baptist and Methodist churches, and a coachload of parishioners from St Edmunds, Edmonton, and Our Lady of the Rosary, Brixton, where Father Francis was previously assigned. At the reception that followed, everyone was treated to a spread of English and African food.  

New Parish Priest for St John the Evangelist
Former Royal Naval Chaplain, Monsignor Richard Madders MBE was canonically inducted as the new parish priest of St. John the Evangelist Catholic parish, Tadworth, by the Right Reverend Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel & Brighton diocese during a special Mass held at St. John’s the evening of 24 January. A packed church, which included local clergy also children from St. Anne’s School, Banstead, attended the colourful ceremony in which Mgr. Madders received the keys of the church and was formally given the responsibility of providing spiritual and pastoral care to the parish. Mgr. Madders spent 22 years in the Royal Navy as a chaplain providing support and pastoral care to sailors in ships on deployment and ashore at various naval bases. Since leaving the navy in 2007 he served as parish priest of Camberley & Bagshot parish. Mgr. Madders succeeds the sadly missed Father Martin Breen who died in November 2015. At the end of the Mass Mgr. Madders thanked Father Anthony Hale who celebrated Mass each weekend for the parish for over a year since Fr. Martin’s death. He also thanked Mrs. Margaret Tickner, who as Parish Secretary, had maintained parish administration. Surprising and delighting all present Mgr. Madders announced that Margaret would now serve as Parish Chairperson.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Defending the Catholic Faith without Shouting - Diocesan Event with Austen Ivereigh

Austen Ivereigh
Defending the Catholic Faith without Shouting
The Diocese invites you to a Formation Day on Saturday 11 February 2017 Christian Education Centre, Crawley RH10 6RP with Austen Ivereigh, Papal Biographer, Coordinator and Co-Founder of Catholic Voices and a contributing editor for Crux. 

The day begins at 9.30am (coffee and registration from 9am). Ends at 3pm. Please bring a packed lunch. All welcome to attend. 

You can book online or contact Mark Woods on 01293 651170 or email:

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Fatima Celebrates 100 Years since the Apparition of Our Lady

The Three Children:
Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco

In the midst of the horrors of the First World War three Portuguese children who were shepherds had a vision of Our Lady in 1917.

The Shrine of Fatima is a place of pilgrimage, which celebrates the memory of its founding event, the apparitions of Our Lady to the three little Shepherds. The pilgrim’s pastoral hospitality is a key element to its mission.

The Shrine of Fatima keeps the memory of the event and the message of Fatima. It has the mission of studying and diffusing this message, worked as a means of evangelisation in Portugal and worldwide.

You can find out more about Fatima and the centenary celebrations on the Shrine website.

In the England & Wales on Sat 18th Feb, Cardinal Nichols will receive, bless and crown the World Apostolate of Fatima, National Pilgrim Virgin statue in Westminster Cathedral at the opening of the Fatima Centenary year 2017. During the celebration Cardinal Nichols will renew the consecration of our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that was made by Cardinal Griffin on 16th July 1948.

The statute will come to Arundel Cathedral in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton on 1-2 July 2017.

For more information on England & Wales and the Centenary Celebrations visit the World Apostolate of Fatima website.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

'Am I A Good Neighbour?' - Globalisation and the Fair Society - Diocesan Event

A&B Justice & Peace Assembly 2017: 'Am I A Good Neighbour? - Globalisation and the Fair Society' with Bishop Richard, Fr Augusto Zampini-Davies and Jenny Sinclair on Saturday 28 January, 10am-4pm at Christian Education Centre (DABCEC), 4 Southgate Drive, Crawley RH10 6RP.

Fr Augusto Zampini Davies

Fr Augusto Zampini Davies, Theological Adviser to CAFOD, will reflect on Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home), published by Pope Francis in June 2015. This is a love letter to all mankind and an urgent call to tackle the global human and ecological crisis. With an emphasis on integral human development and the interconnectedness of the ‘Cry of the earth’ and the ‘Cry of the poor’, Fr Augusto will share thoughts on how we are all both part of the problem and part of the solution.

Jenny Sinclair

Jenny Sinclair, Founder and Director of Together for the Common Good (T4CG), will talk about the radical approach needed to make our church outward-facing and acting in the interests of all in society. By working both ecumenically and across all traditions, Jenny will explore and celebrate different ways to foster the relationships necessary for a just and peaceful common life together.

There will be plenty of opportunities to network with others and learn more about initiatives throughout the diocese including our response to the Refugee Crisis. A Fairtrade stall selling goods from marginalised producers and farmers in the developing world will be available throughout the day and will have information on how to become a Fairtrade parish.

Book your place at this exciting event by contacting Ruth Gerun t: 01293 651164 e: or visit

Friday, 20 January 2017

Bishops thank Nuncio for six years of dedicated service as he ends his time in Great Britain

His Excellency Monsignor Antonio Mennini speaking at St John's Seminary
Wonersh in June 2014 © Diocese of Arundel & Brighton
At the request of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, His Excellency Monsignor Antonio Mennini, is being transferred from his current responsibilities to serve directly in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, assisting in its work in relation to States. In this capacity, Archbishop Mennini will serve the Holy Father with particular reference to the State of Italy. In these matters Archbishop Mennini has unique experience and knowledge which is much appreciated by the Holy See.

Archbishop Mennini has served as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain for nearly six years, being appointed on 18 December 2010 and presenting his credentials to Her Majesty the Queen on 2 March 2011. He will leave London during the first full week of February.

On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and in the name of the entire Catholic community, I express our warmest thanks to His Excellency for the service he has given to the Church in our countries. He has been most attentive and sensitive to our needs and situation, while always representing the Holy Father with precision and clarity and sharing insights into the needs of the Universal Church.

His presence amongst us bishops has always been that of a brother and we have never failed to appreciate his kindness and hospitality.

We now wish him well in his new appointment to which he will bring insight and wisdom. We assure him of our prayers for this mission and for his own health and well-being.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster
President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Bringing Your Parish From Maintenance to Mission - A Day for the Diocese

This coming Saturday 21 January from 10am-4pm, at DABCEC, Crawley there will be a day looking at how you can move your parish from maintenance to mission as part of the New Evangelisation.

The guest speaker is Michael Roche from Alpha in a Catholic Context. Michael will explore how we can make our parishes more responsive to the call of the New Evangelisation. He will draw on lessons from the “Divine Renovation" books. These make suggestions as to how we might change the culture within our Parishes, so as to create the right conditions for Evangelisation to take place.

Booking and further information please contact David Wills on (01293) 651157 or email:  or book online.

You can buy copies of the book from the Diocesan Bookshop ring 01293 651165 or email:

Sunday, 15 January 2017

From the Vatican - Pastoral Care Workers Killed in 2016

Christians praying at Mass in Gaza
Photo: ©Mazur/ 
In the year 2016, 28 Catholic pastoral care workers were killed worldwide. For the eighth consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral care workers killed is AMERICA, 9 in 2016, more than double the number compared to 2015.

According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, in 2016 14 priests, 9 religious women, one seminarian, 4 lay people died violently. In America 12 pastoral care workers were killed (9 priests and 3 religious sisters); in Africa 8 pastoral care workers were killed (3 priests, 2 nuns, one seminarian, 2 lay people); in Asia 7 pastoral care workers were killed (1 priest, 4 nuns, 2 lay people); in Europe one priest was killed.

Once again the majority of the pastoral care workers in 2016 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. 

In these situations, the priests, religious sisters and lay people who were killed, were among those who loudly denounced injustice, corruption, poverty, in the name of the Gospel. Fr. José Luis Sánchez Ruiz, of the Diocese of San Andres Tuxtla (Veracruz, Mexico) was one of the victims who was kidnapped and then released with "obvious signs of torture", according to a statement from the diocese. In the days before the kidnapping he had received threats, surely for his harsh criticism against corruption and rampant crime (see Fides 14/11/2016). As Pope Francis recalled on the feast of the protomartyr St. Stephen, "the world hates Christians for the same reason it hated Jesus because He brought the light of God and the world prefers the darkness to hide its wicked works". (Angelus 26/12/2016).

They all lived in these human and social contexts, administering the sacraments, helping the poor, taking care of orphans and drug addicts, following development projects or simply opening the door of their home to anyone. And some were murdered by the same people who they helped. Hardly any investigations conducted by the local authorities lead to identifying the perpetrators and the instigators of these killings or the reasons why they were carried out.

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.

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 scarcity of available information in most cases, with regard to their life and even the circumstances of their death.

The provisional list compiled annually by Agenzia 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. Pope Francis often reminds us that "Today there are Christians who are murdered, tortured, imprisoned, slaughtered because they do not deny Jesus Christ" ... "the martyrs of today are more numerous than those of the first centuries". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/12/2016)

For a full report see link below:

Friday, 6 January 2017


Fr Cormac being ordained in Rome by Bishop Luigi Traglia

How many of us stay with the same employer? How many of us work more than 45 years? How about the same boss for 60 years? Cardinal Cormac is in conversation with the A&B News’ Peter Burholt on his 60 years in priesthood – a reflection on his life, both the ups and the downs.

When did you think about being a priest? Did you just fall into priesthood and follow a family tradition, grow into it or was there a ‘Damascus’ moment in your life?

No, I do not remember a dramatic ‘Damascus’ moment in my life. I come from a very Catholic family with uncles who were priests, so it is not surprising that I might consider a vocation to the priesthood. I remember when I was about 15 I was out with my father on his calls - he was a doctor – when he turned to me and asked ‘What do you want to be?’ I said, without hesitation, that I wanted to become a priest. And I never changed my mind.

What were your aspirations when you were going through seminary in Rome? Was it to become, one day, a bishop or a cardinal?

Having expressed my wishes to my father when I was 15, I never really deviated from that by the time I left school at 18. I was convinced I wanted to be a priest and that was the only thought when I went through seminary. No, I had no idea of what the Good Lord had in store for me. Perhaps that was fortunate!

After seminary, what was your first appointment?
This was as a curate in Portsmouth, then a very poor parish where people were mostly dockyard workers or widows from the War. Many were lapsed and I quickly learnt that there was no point in asking why they did not come to Mass.

In time I evolved the idea of starting courses for non-Catholics wishing to know more about the Faith, which were very successful. After four years I moved to another parish and put in place what I had learnt in Portsmouth – it revolutionised the parish.

Do you recall any particular parish experience which has helped you moving forward?
For a moment Cardinal Cormac pondered this question. With a wry smile he replied.

Yes, there was. When in Portsmouth members of the Catholic Evidence Guild would speak about the Faith in Southsea. I went to join them on one occasion and there was a big crowd. The speaker before me was excellent. To my horror, when I started to speak they started moving away because they became bored. That taught me a bit about speaking.

Cardinal Cormac is well-known today for his humorous stories and his ability to hold an audience.

What do you count most precious in your life?

The family is absolutely crucial. The greatest evil of life today is the break-up of families. It has such an effect on the children. The work the Church does in trying to hold marriages together is hugely important.

It is quite common for priests to be tested at some point in their lives. Has this happened to you?

You are right. And I have had my fair share, after all we are human. I must give credit to my family, as well as my Faith and friends for weathering the storms of life. You will always find the cross in life in ways that you hadn’t expected. Even during times when you do not get a result, you realise through it all that the Good Lord was there in the community of the Church.

As a priest, what makes you sad?

There were sad times when I accompanied people as they were dying or families in their bereavement. You get to see the will of God or in the providence of God in everything.

In contrast, the most worthwhile thing about being a priest is being with people. I remember the experience I had of a married couple who were childless for 10 years. They came back, hand-in-hand, to give me the great news that a baby was expected. These are the small things that give me great joy.

If you were not a priest, where do you think your calling would have been? Would it have been a concert pianist or a co-presenter with Chris Evans on BBC2? Or ……………….?
Interesting question. I had thought about being a doctor, like my father, or a musician – or in today’s terms even a DJ. Yes, the Cardinal did say DJ!

We have a strong culture of vocations in the family, there are doctors, teachers, lawyers and business people. I would have liked to have been a teacher. It is a very noble profession and a demanding one. Teachers and priests are similar in that they both have the task of forming the whole person for the greatness of life.

In celebrating your Jubilee, is there a moment which stands out from all the other events?

People have been so kind to me in offering their prayers and good wishes, but I think it was my special trip to Rome when I was joined by 28 of my family. We met the Holy Father, who said that when you get older, you become wiser and more compassionate; wiser because you learn from other people and your own experiences in life; more compassionate because you understand more – therefore, you give more and you learn that you need to be forgiven yourself for your own faults and weaknesses. Wisdom and compassion are the good qualities that good priests have as they become older.

I will tell you something else you need, patience and perseverance.

I remember as I was setting off to Rome to start my formation at the seminary all those years ago, I went to see my parish priest to ask for advice. I thought he would say ‘the harvest is great and the labourers are few’ but he didn’t. Instead, he just said ‘pray for perseverance’. I thought that it was very boring advice, but it has proved to be very true.

Being with Cardinal Cormac talking about some of his reflections on 60 years of priesthood is an honour. However, the one problem is that small matter of time – it was time for the Cardinal to fulfil his next commitment. But that same time has given us a great man over his 60 years of priestly fulfilment. With our prayers and blessings we say ‘Well done for getting this far and may we continue to experience your wisdom and enjoy your humour for many, many years to come. Amen’