Introducing a fresh, weekly journal/newsletter by His Grace, ✠Jerome Seleisi, providing informative news and thoughtful reflections to enlighten, educate, and inspire action.
On Sunday, in response to the distressing Hamas incursion into Israeli border towns and villages on Saturday, October 7, coinciding with the observance of Our Lady of the Rosary, ✠Jerome issued a formal Statement expressing unwavering solidarity with the Israeli people. The attack, widely condemned as one of the most egregious assaults against Jews since the Nazi pogroms of WWII, surprised the world with its barbarity and desecration of innocent men, women and children.
On Monday ✠Jerome expressed solidarity with the local Jewish community in Brighton & Hove at a vigil held outside Hove Town Hall. Several hundred members of the local community gathered to hear local Rabbi’s express sadness yet offer consolation for the atrocities. Many have friends and family in Israel, some had lost loved ones, others were waiting anxiously for news. ✠Jerome introduced himself to individual attendees to commiserate with them.
On Tuesday, ✠Jerome, former Chair of the City Faith Council, expressed his sincere concern and empathy for the local Jewish community. Recognizing the importance of fostering unity and understanding, he took it upon himself to personally reach out to the local Rabbis. This gesture aimed to convey his unwavering solidarity and offer any support that they may require during these challenging times.
During his conversations with the Rabbis, ✠Jerome expressed his willingness to provide any assistance deemed necessary. Whether it be through organizing community events, or addressing specific concerns, he assured the Rabbis that his support and resources were at their disposal. By extending this offer, ✠Jerome aimed to strengthen the bond between religious communities and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and supported.
On the same day, ✠Jerome took the initiative to voice his concerns to the Chief Constable of Sussex regarding the pro-Palestinian rallies that had taken place in the city center on Sunday. It was disconcerting to witness the actions of several speakers who openly praised, applauded, and glorified Hamas during these gatherings. It is important to note that in the United Kingdom, Hamas is designated as a proscribed terrorist organization. Consequently, promoting Hamas can lead to severe legal consequences, including a custodial sentence of up to fourteen years.
✠Jerome brought attention to the fact that there appeared to be a lack of police presence at these rallies, and sought assurances from the Chief Constable that the law would be upheld during any similar events in the future. It is essential to maintain public safety and ensure that the principles of the law are respected and enforced, particularly when it involves the promotion of organizations implicated in acts of terrorism.
The email, which served as the means of communication for the letter, was thoughtfully copied to two prominent figures within the Brighton & Hove community. Councillor Bella Sankey, the political Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, and Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw, the Brighton & Hove Divisional Commander, were both included as recipients of this important message.
By including these notable individuals, ✠Jerome sought to ensure that the concerns expressed within the letter would reach the highest levels of authority within the city. With their inclusion, he aimed to emphasize the importance and urgency of the issues raised in the letter, hoping to garner attention, support, and ultimately, positive action in response to the concerns put forth.
His Grace received the following reply:
On Tuesday evening, Jerome, along with his co-founders of PSHEbrighton, convened to address the growing concerns raised by parents regarding the implementation of the PSHE/RSE curriculum in local schools. The meeting served as a platform to discuss the progress made thus far and to devise strategies to address these concerns effectively.
One of the key topics on the agenda was the development of a public petition. Recognizing the importance of garnering community support, the team brainstormed ideas to craft a compelling petition that would resonate with parents, educators, and other stakeholders. By leveraging the collective expertise of the co-founders, they aimed to create a petition that would clearly articulate the need for comprehensive reform of PSHE/RSE education in schools and highlight the positive impact it can have on students’ well-being.
In addition to the petition, the meeting also focused on an upcoming press campaign. Recognizing the power of media in shaping public opinion, the team discussed strategies to effectively communicate their message to a wider audience. They explored various avenues such as press releases, media interviews, and social media engagement to ensure maximum visibility and impact.
On Thursday, ✠Jerome, issued a pastoral epistle Ad Populum (to the people) to the Old Roman apostolate internationally entitled “Rogate”, an exhortation to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”. The letter was a response to that issued by the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land, encouraging a day of prayer and fasting for Israel and the conflict on October 17.
To encourage a deeper sense of compassion and understanding, ✠Jerome implored the readers to engage in critical thinking, heartfelt prayer, and purposeful action. The central focus of his epistle was to emphasize the importance of expressing unwavering solidarity and providing essential assistance to the Jewish communities at a local level.
Later on Thursday, ✠Jerome had the pleasure of meeting with the devoted parishioners of the Old Roman apostolate in Brighton. Together, they embarked on an inspiring mission to create a unique and meaningful Christmas experience – the “pop up” Chapel concept. This innovative idea aims to temporarily transform a vacant retail space in the heart of the bustling shopping district into a sacred haven, where passersby and shoppers alike can pause and reflect on the true essence of the holiday season: the Nativity.
The envisioned “pop up” Chapel would offer a range of spiritual services to nourish the souls of those who enter its doors. Daily Mass, Exposition, and Benediction would be conducted, providing an opportunity for individuals to deepen their connection with their faith. Additionally, the Chapel would serve as a haven for the sale of religious items, such as exquisite rosaries, thought-provoking tracts, and beautifully crafted religious-themed Christmas cards. By offering these items, the hope is to inspire a sense of reverence and gratitude during this joyous time of year.
Yet, the Chapel’s purpose extends beyond its spiritual offerings. It also aims to be a beacon of compassion and generosity within the community. Acting as a collection point, the “pop up” Chapel would gather essential items to be distributed to the homeless, providing them with much-needed support and comfort during the cold winter months. Furthermore, it would serve as a hub for collecting toys, bringing a glimmer of joy to the lives of underprivileged families who may otherwise struggle to provide presents for their children.
However, as with any endeavor, there are challenges to overcome. One of the initial hurdles is finding a suitable property to rent, one that can accommodate separate spaces for the sanctuary area, reception, and sales. This separation is crucial to ensure that the sacred atmosphere of the Chapel remains undisturbed, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the spiritual experience while also facilitating the smooth operation of the sales and collection activities.
With determination and an unwavering commitment to their cause, ✠Jerome and the parishioners tirelessly seek out the perfect location that will make this visionary undertaking a reality. Their hope is to create a temporary sanctuary that not only provides solace and inspiration but also serves as a reminder to all who encounter it of the profound significance of the Nativity – the true reason for the season.
On Friday, ✠Jerome attended to a range of correspondence and conducted personal conferences with members of the clergy.
Later in the evening, ✠Jerome had the pleasure of joining parishioners for an early supper followed by a delightful evening at the theater. The production of choice was a beloved film adaptation called “The Ladykillers,” skillfully brought to life on stage by the talented playwright, Graham Linehan. Linehan’s recent gender critical views have sparked some controversy, adding an interesting layer of discourse to the evening’s entertainment.
Despite any controversy surrounding the playwright, it must be acknowledged that the amateur cast involved in the production delivered an exceptional performance. Their dedication and commitment to their roles were evident, captivating the audience and drawing them into the story. Furthermore, the lighting and staging of the play were executed with a level of professionalism that one would expect from a seasoned theater company. The combination of a well-loved story, a talented cast, and high production standards made for an evening that will be remembered fondly by all in attendance.
On Saturday, ✠Jerome commenced his preparations for a well-deserved vacation. In the evening, he acted as the host for the Old Romans Unscripted panel. After a prolonged break, the panel members reconvened to deliberate on the recent news in Traditional Catholicism and the Synod on Synodality which had just completed its inaugural week. Furthermore, they shared their insights and reflections on the persisting Israel/Palestinian conflict, pondering whether peace will ever be achieved.
Despite the alarming and distressing reports coming out of Israel, which provide harrowing details of the relentless brutality perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against innocent Israeli citizens, it is disheartening to witness the resurgence of anti-Semitism. As the Israeli retaliation on Gaza unfolds before our very eyes, there has been an explosive surge in pro-Palestinian support, further exacerbating the tensions in the region.
It is deeply concerning that amidst the ongoing conflict, some individuals are succumbing to prejudice and hatred, targeting Jewish communities and perpetuating anti-Semitic sentiments. It is crucial to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel’s actions and the dangerous propagation of anti-Semitism, which seeks to dehumanize and demonize an entire group of people based on their religious or ethnic background.
One of the most vexing aspects of political discourse lies in the tendency of many to confuse support for Palestinians with endorsing the heinous acts committed by Hamas. It appears that certain individuals struggle to grasp this crucial distinction. Those who advocate for the Palestinian cause, exemplified by their display of placards bearing the words “Free Palestine,” should explicitly clarify that their objective is to bring about the removal of Hamas in Gaza, as this remains the sole pathway towards achieving peace with Israel.
Oremus pro invicem