Thursday, 27 March 2008

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy is this Sunday

Our Blessed Lord appeared to Sr Faustina and revealed to her His Divine Mercy for the world. The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale rays represent Water which makes the soul righteous. The red rays represent Blood which is the life of souls. "These two rays issued forth from My Tender Mercy when My Agonised Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross."

This Sunday we will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, veneration of the image of Divine Mercy, recitation of the Chaplet and an opportunity for Confession and we will conclude with Benediction.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Seminarian visiting parish

We welcome back to the parish Karl Best, one of six Arundel & Brighton students currently in formation for the priesthood at St John's Seminary, Wonersh. I am sure he will receive a typically warm welcome from our parishioners in the short time he is with us.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Easter Vigil - Welcome

Welcome to Kevin who was received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.

In the photo with Kevin are his sponsor Mark; Kevin's mother; his wife Jo-Anne and their three children.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Good Friday and Easter Vigil

The altar on Good Friday evening after the liturgy.

Holy Saturday morning and the 'ladies of the parish' are busy preparing for the Easter Vigil. Our new altar cloth must be ironed to make sure everything in church is looking at its best for the Great Feast of Easter.

The flower arrangers busy at work, smiling all the while.

One of many beautiful flower arrangements which will enhance the sanctuary for the greater glory of God.

The new altar cloth in situ, ready and waiting, as we all are, for the coming of our Risen Lord.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Holy Thursday

This photo of our Altar of Repose was taken at midnight on Holy Thursday immediately after the Blessed Sacrament was transferred.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Chrism Mass

Last evening the bishop, priests, religious and many of the laity from around the diocese gathered at our cathedral in Arundel to celebrate the Chrism Mass. There, in solemn ritual, the holy oils used throughout the year in our diocese were blessed.
There are three oils. These are; the Oil of Catechumens, used to anoint those preparing for baptism, infants as well as adults; the Oil of the Sick, used in the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Both of these oils are blessed while the third oil, the Oil of Chrism, after it has been mixed with the perfume balsam, is consecrated. This oil is used in baptism, confirmation and ordination as well as the dedication of a church.

These oils are taken back to the Deaneries and from there to each of the parishes in the diocese.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

RTÉ Television - The Late Late Show

This video really is worth watching. It shows an interview with some of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal on Irish Television talking about their work in Moyross.

Limerick's Moyross estate has a formidable reputation
for drugs, crime and poverty. Enter a group of Franciscan Friars including
an American rapper: Brother Shawn, Brother Martin and Father Sylvester."

Sunday, 16 March 2008

More on the Friars of the Renewal

If you would like to learn a little more about the work of the Friars with the poor and the homeless please follow these links to slide shows on their web site.

If you look carefully in this first slide show you should be able to spot Br Francis who was among the group of Friars who visited us.

This second slide show shows photos of a Way of the Cross led by the Friars in New York.

The final slide show gives a 'snap shot' of the Friars' way of life and the work they do

There is a lot more information on the web site,

Mission - Healing

Father Augustine and Brother Barnabas visited Downs Cottage Nursing Home. The Friars were able to visit many of our local Nursing Homes and the sick and housebound in their own homes.

Our final evening mission event on Saturday was on the theme of 'Healing'. Br Barnabas referred to several instances of Jesus' healing ministry as related in St John's Gospel; the healing of the paralytic man who was lowered through the roof by his friends; the healing of Jairus' daughter and the woman who had suffered from hemorrhaging for many years. He continued by saying that this same Jesus we hear about in the gospels is still interested in healing us today.

After a testimony by Br John Bosco about his own personal experiences of healing, members of the congregation were invited to come forward and kneel at the steps to the sanctuary while Fr Raphael prayed over each one individually with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance.

On Sunday, the final day of our mission, in spite of the rather wet and miserable day, we had a packed church for all the Masses, many parishioners returned for a second Mass in the evening to say goodbye to the Friars.

We look forward to a return visit by some of the brothers in the autumn.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

More on the Mission

It's difficult to find all 8 Friars in the same place at the same time but we managed it for this photo call!
It has really been a delight to have the Friars around the past few days. They have managed to achieve a lot in such a short period. They were delighted to visit some of the local Nursing Homes; and the sick and housebound in their own homes. They also found time to visit our parish primary school of St Anne's and our Deanery Secondary School, St Andrew's. All these visits have been well received with everyone very happy to see them.

Last night's Mission event was a great success. Over 200 people were in church to hear Fr Bernard who is a wonderful speaker. He spoke to us about God's mercy and the Sacrament of Reconciliation - all good, solid Catholic teaching. This was complimented by testimonies by some of the other Friars and a very comprehensive Examination of Conscience. All this once again to the accompaniment of beautiful music thanks largely to Br John Bosco and Br Barnabas and Br John Paul.

Throughout the evening many people took the opportunity to go to Confession which is always a great joy. Plus of course the whole evening event took place with the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance on the altar - perfect!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Parish Mission

First there were 3 Friars. Allow me to introduce you to
(from l to r) Br Dominic, Br John Paul and Fr Raphael.

Then 3 became 6 as we welcomed Br John Bosco, Fr Augustine
and Br Barnabas.

... and finally, we were joined by Br Francis (seated left)
and Fr Bernard.

Our Parish Mission got off to a wonderful start with the Holy Hour at St Anne's School on Thursday evening. About 100 parishioners were there to welcome, and be welcomed by, the Friars of the Renewal. It was a wonderful atmosphere with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by inspiring talks, beautiful music and concluding with Benediction. More later on this evening's Holy Hour on the theme of God's Mercy and the Sacrament of Reconciliation; and the following two days events.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Passiontide Atmosphere


The atmosphere of Lent has a solemn mood. The penitential colour of purple is visible in vestments and church decoration. The sanctuary is devoid of its usual festive decor.

In some churches, beginning around the year 900, one large cloth was hung between the people and the altar from the beginning of Lent. This was done to conceal the heavenly glory depicted by images of Saints and Crosses with the figure of the risen and triumphant Christ. Since about 1600, the veiling was limited to Passiontide which begins on the 5th Sunday of Lent, this Sunday was originally called 'Passion Sunday'.
The custom of veiling images of the Saints and Crucifixes in church with a purple cloth symbolises sadness and mourning - On the 5th Sunday of Lent (Year B) the final words of the Gospel are 'At that they picked up stones to throw at Jesus, but he hid himself.' (John 8: 59)

This weekend, along with other Catholic churches throughout the world, we at St Ann's followed the 'Passiontide' practice of veiling the crucifix and statues in our church. Our beautiful large, 'Christus Rex' crucifix behind the altar showing Christ in Glory as King and High Priest is not an easy object to veil but thanks to two of our parishioners and their ingenious scheme for raising the veil on extendable poles and securing it to rest on two brackets, it was successfully accomplished (and within health and safety guidelines too!)

The crucifix will remain covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord's Passion on Good Friday. Images remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Welcome to St Ann's, Joshua

Welcome to another new member of our parish family. Joshua Benjamin Heather was baptised at St Ann's recently and here you can see a delightful reminder of his 'big day' pictured here with his parents, Ben and Kelly

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Joanna Bogle

This Saturday, after our parish Mass, I joined our Confirmandi and their Catechists on their day away at the nearby parish of St Joseph’s, Epsom. We try and arrange a day away for our Confirmandi at about this time in their Confirmation programme and offer them an opportunity to reflect on the Sacrament they are preparing for and combine this with an opportunity to make their Confession. I was delighted that Joanna Bogle, a well known Catholic writer, agreed to come and talk to our young people on this occasion. Joanna came to talk to the parents of our First Holy Communion group not so long ago and I’m very grateful to her for the very positive input she was able to make on that occasion.

In her talk to our Confirmandi, Joanna traced the history from the birth of Jesus to Pentecost and the sending out of his disciples.

Confirmation is a very important moment in a young person’s life; becoming a full member of the Church brings with it new responsibilities. Joanna spoke about the need to prepare well for the Sacrament of Confirmation which includes going to Confession and the important of choosing a Confirmation name that has some meaning and significance to the candidate.

I was very pleased to hear Joanna Bogle say that Sunday Mass is NOT just an option but essential to our Catholic faith and practice . The Church is going through difficult times because the values of the Church are not always in line with secular values. This is not new and will probably always be so. This is why the Church needs you, (young people) now.