Canon O’Sullivan’s funeral will be held in the church in honour of his ecumenical work
Canon Brian O’Sullivan, who died on Friday August 21st, will have his funeral Mass at his nearby Anglican church to recognise the work he did to bring the Christian community together.
The funeral Mass will be held at the parish of St Andrew and St Cuthman, in Steyning, while a Vigil Mass will be held at the Catholic Church of Christ the King.
Canon O’Sullivan was a priest for Arundel and Brighton Diocese.
The funeral Mass will held on Tuesday, September 8th at midday. The Vigil Mass will be held the day before at 7pm at Christ the King, also in Steyning.
This is something more than just an ecumencial ‘exchange of pulpits’. In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, a former Canon of the diocese will be the subject of a Requiem Mass in the local Anglican Parish Church of St. Andrew & St. Cuthman, in recognition of the fraternal relationships existing between Catholics and Anglican of both the Roman Catholic diocese and the Anglican Diocese of Chichester.
“The move, while unusual, has been approved by the Anglican Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Rev Dr Martin Warner, in recognition of Canon O’Sullivan’s “commitment to life in Christian unity.”
It is worth noting that Bishop Martin Warner was once the Guardian of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, which has a close relationship with the Roman Catholic Shrine at the same venue. This outreach of solidarity in Christian fellowship might therefore bear witness to the efforts of the ARCIC Fellowship that fosters the relationship between Anglicans and Roman Catholics at the highest level – a laudable ‘crossing of boundaries’ that can occur, occasionally, between like-minded Christians.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand