Pope Francis appoints Fr Adrian to Pontifical Biblical Commission

Rev Dr Adrian Graffy, scripture scholar, author, director of CEF and parish priest in the Diocese of Brentwood has been appointed by Pope Francis to become a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

This commission, established in 1902, has the task of promoting the study of the Bible among Catholics and to illuminate and discuss issues arising from interpretations of Sacred Scripture.

On his appointment, Fr Adrian said, “It is an honour to be nominated by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I feel humbled and very much look forward to being of service to His Holiness and the Church.” Fr Adrian at Scripture ConferenceHe added, “A great deal has been achieved in England and Wales in recent years by many co-workers to advance Biblical scholarship and the provision of easy-to-use resources. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis for promoting understanding and love of the Bible, particularly through the publication of the teaching documents The Gift of Scripture and the study guide to Verbum Domini, The Word of the Lord.”  (Links to these two CTS publications can be found on WhatGoodNews’ home page.)

Rt Rev Alan Williams, sm, Bishop of Brentwood, said: “Fr Adrian takes an enormously valued lead in supporting parishes in our diocese to know their faith better so as to be able to share it. The news of his appointment by Pope Francis is wonderful and a cause of celebration. It serves as a reminder of the centrality of the Scriptures to the Christian life and is a source of encouragement for us all to seek ways of deepening our prayer with, and understanding of, God’s Word. This is a great honour for Dr Graffy and a great honour for the Church in England and Wales.”

Rt Rev Seamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle Diocese and member of the National Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: “This is a tremendous honour for Fr Graffy and I am delighted for him. It is a just affirmation of his tireless work to encourage the Word of God to be read and heard. The Bible, as the Sacred Scripture, is a living Word which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, changes lives. The work to which Fr Graffy has been called to do by His Holiness is invaluable.”

Fr Adrian received his doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome in 1983. He taught for over 20 years in St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, and is Chair of the National Scripture Working Group, which is an instrument of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.  He is parish priest of Christ the Eternal High Priest in Gidea Park, Essex and Director of Brentwood’s Commission for Evangelisation and Formation which publishes this website.  Among his most recent publications are The Gospel of Mark and the Letter to the Romans (part of the Take and Read series, edited by Fr Adrian and published by Alive Publishing).  His weekly gospel reflections can be found on WhatGoodNews.

The appointment to the Pontifical Commission is for five years. The next plenary session of the twenty members of the Commission is 13-17 April, 2015.

The Commission for Evangelisation and Formation offer their good wishes as Fr Adrian continues to promote Scripture in his new role.

The Joy of the Gospel: National Evangelisation Conference

Save the Date:  Saturday, 11 July 2015, Birmingham

‘The Joy of the Gospel: Building a Missionary Parish’ – A National Evangelisation Day Conference to be held in Birmingham.  Speakers to include Cardinal Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster), Archbishop Bernard Longley (Archbishop of Birmingham),
Michelle Moran (Pontifical Council for the Laity, The Vatican) and many more. A team of leading evangelisation workshop providers will energise and equip you and your parish to share the joy of the Gospel.

“I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.”  Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 1

“This pioneering day conference, inspired by Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium, is for all clergy, religious and lay people. Why? Because we all share the one mission – to proclaim the joy of the Gospel. The wide range of practical ideas offered for planning and carrying out fruitful parish evangelisation will help us all to be better missionary disciples. Please put the date in your diary. I look forward to seeing you there.”  Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

For more information go to: www.catholicnews.org.uk/gospeljoy or telephone: 020 7 901 4816.  To register your interest in attending please email: gospeljoy [at] cbcew [dot] org [dot] uk.  (Please indicate of which diocese you are a member.)  Additional information will be made available soon.

‘The Joy of the Gospel’ initiative is being coordinated by the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

‘Heart speaks unto Heart’ – Pope Benedict praises God for the example given to us in Newman

At the Mass of Beatification in Cofton Park, Pope Benedict reflected on different aspects of John Henry Newman’s life, as preacher, theologian, and priest, and invited us all to learn from Newman’s insights into the Christian life as a call to holiness and more intimate union with the Heart of God. Continue reading

‘The truth that sets us free cannot be kept to ourselves’ – Pope Benedict at Hyde Park

Pope Benedict spoke to a huge gathering at Hyde Park as a true Father, encouraging us to bear witness to our faith and to be generous in saying ‘yes’ to whatever God asks of us. And yet this was no rock concert, we were not there to worship the man who stood on the stage: at the conclusion of the Holy Father’s address the Blessed Sacrament was placed on the altar, and there was total stillness as thousands knelt in adoration before Our Lord, mysteriously present in the consecrated bread. Continue reading

‘We were made to know the God of love’ – the Holy Father addresses young people at Westminster Cathedral

Following the Mass at Wesminster Cathedral, a young man from the Diocese of Brentwood, Paschal Uche, greeted His Holiness on behalf of all the young people gathered in the cathedral piazza, describing the occasion as a ‘family reunion’ and quoted Pope John Paul II’s description of faith as a ‘noble and authentic adventure’. In reply, the Pope spoke movingly about what it means to be made in the image of God who is love. Continue reading

‘Our commitment to Christian unity is born of nothing less than our faith in Christ’ – Pope Benedict at the Ecumencial Celebration

The Holy Father’s address at Westminster Abbey reminds us that Christian unity is  grounded in the faith handed down by the apostles and, calls on all Christians to witness to the hope and joy of their faith in Christ in an often hostile society. Continue reading

‘Religion is a vital contributor to the national conversation’ – Pope Benedict at Westminster

In a powerful and historic speech to politicians, diplomats and business leaders in Westminster Hall, the Holy Father spoke about catholic social teaching, the financial crisis, and above all the danger of marginalizing faith or excluding it from the public forum. Continue reading

‘The crucified Lord stands above and before us as the source of our life and salvation’ – Pope Benedict’s Homily at Westminster Cathedral

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Cross, and so it is most fitting to look back at the homily Pope Benedict preached at Westminster Cathedral on the third day of his visit, drawing attention to the great crucifix above the altar and inviting us to unite ourselves to Christ’s sacrifice, and thus become ‘witnesses of the beauty of holiness, witnesses of the splendour of truth, witnesses of the joy and freedom born of a living relationship with Christ!’ Continue reading