UK: ACN to hold Requiem Mass for Benedict XVI in London

Pope Benedict XVI at the 2009 Africa Synod in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI at the 2009 Africa Synod in Rome.

Leading Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will be holding a Requiem Mass for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at London’s Farm Street Church on Monday 16th January 2023 at 6pm.

The service will be led by the Catholic charity’s UK ecclesiastical assistant (chaplain) Father Dominic Robinson, parish priest of the Jesuit Farm Street Church, in Mayfair.

ACN enjoyed close relations with the former Pontiff, who in 2011 raised the charity to the status of a Pontifical Foundation.

Announcing plans for the Mass, ACN (UK) National Director Dr Caroline Hull said: “This Requiem Mass is our opportunity to honour the life and ministry of a man whose academic brilliance, personal warmth and commitment to Christ enriched the life of the Church he led for eight remarkable years. We give thanks to God in appreciation of a humble and holy shepherd whose vision of charity articulated the principles which guide ACN, an organisation he supported and cherished for so many years.”

The Mass celebrant, Father Robinson, who will also preach, said the service will have the same readings as were used at yesterday’s (Thursday, 5th January) funeral Mass for Pope Benedict at St Peter’s in Rome.

Dr Hull, who thanked Father Robinson for celebrating the Mass, will be giving a short talk towards the end of the service. She will highlight the close links between ACN and the former Pope who supported the charity for many years.

In a statement following the former Pope’s death on 31st December, ACN president Cardinal Mauro Piacenza described how the organisation was inspired by Benedict’s teaching on charity, notably in his 2006 encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

Cardinal Piacenza said the encyclical’s thinking had strengthened the mission of ACN, which, the prelate noted, “is completely taken up with charity, so as to help the suffering Church”.

The Mass will be available on livestream.