Portsmouth: Bishop to open ‘powerhouse of prayer’ in Channel Islands

The Bishop of Portsmouth has announced the opening of a centre dedicated to the work of the New Evangelisation. Bishop Philip Egan will open the Adoremus Centre on Alderney, the Channel Islands, in September.

He has described the initiative as “an important new project”, and said that he hopes the centre will grow into a “powerhouse of prayer” for the renewal of the Church and the re-evangelisation of the Channels Islands and the south of England.

The Bishop has appointed Fr John Lavers to oversee the project. He will be the first resident parish priest in Alderney in six years.

Fr Lavers will be joined by a community of at least six Marian Franciscan Sisters who will support the work of the centre through continuous prayer, petition, self-offering and by the perpetual adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist.

The centre will also be a diocesan and Channel Islands “house of prayer” for vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, and especially to the priesthood, seeking to support with prayer the work of priests already ordained as well as seminarians in training and young men considering a vocation to priestly ministry.

Once established, the faithful will be invited to send email petitions to the centre for prayers related to the work of evangelisation, vocation and discipleship. Mass and other liturgical ceremonies at the centre will be “live-streamed” on the internet each day.

Bishop Egan has requested that the centre, which will be situated in the parish of St Anne and St Mary Magdalen, will be in the Marian and Franciscan traditions, with total dependence on the Holy Spirit and a focus on poverty and the love of Creation.

The Sisters, part of the Franciscan Family of the Immaculate Heart and St Maximilian, will be allocated the convent formerly occupied by the Sisters of Mercy from which to carry out their new mission.

Bishop Egan announced the Adoremus Project in a letter to the parishioners of Alderney on the August 15th Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Bishop Egan said: “Given the challenges Catholics face in evangelising contemporary culture, I believe this project, which is about our total dependence on God’s providence, is crucial both for the future of the Diocese and for the peoples of our lands.

“So I wish to invite you, the people of the parish, to join Fr John and the Sisters in this new venture and to support it in every way you can, so that Alderney can become a powerhouse of prayer supporting our Diocese. I am sure you will feel inspired by this venture.”

Bishop Egan added: “I am especially grateful to Mother Bernadette and the Sisters of Mercy in Guernsey who have kindly allowed the new sisters to use their convent on Alderney. The Sisters of Mercy have given a wonderful witness of prayer and dedication to the Lord over many years in the Channel Islands and I am delighted that their legacy will be expanded and continued.”

For further information see: www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

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