Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 17th September 2019 - Issue 244 (2019/34)


Dear Friends,

It’s a busy week this week as I leave tomorrow for the US and a short conference of bishops at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. I am there at the invitation of SPES, the St. Paul’s Evangelisation Society, a charity that seeks to assist bishops turn their dioceses from maintenance to mission. Speakers include a number of leading experts and practitioners such as Fr. James Mallon and George Weigel. 35 bishops have been invited, mostly from the US, with myself and Bishop Cullinan of Waterford-Lismore from Europe. I return at the weekend: please pray for me and for a safe journey. SPES have been impressed with our Mission Statement Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. I hope and pray that the initiative in Steubenville will enrich our thinking, planning and pastoral approaches. Meanwhile, thanks once again to Deacon Craig - recovering still from his holiday in Madeira: see below! - for compiling the news for this week. May Mary our Mother pray for you and may God bless you abundantly with His love. 




Symposium on Politics and Religion

The other day, our Dialogue with Cultural Sectors Team met to discuss our next Symposium, the title of which will be “Religion – or –Politics: A Symposium.” We hope to have two keynote speakers, of different faiths, tackling the question “Should Religion have a Role in Politics?” We are also planning a series of workshops to go with this on a range of topics, such as issues to do with immigration, diversity, the gift of Catholic Social Teaching, religion and climate change, community politics, homelessness, the “death” of Christian Britain and whether it’s possible today to be a Christian and an MP. The Symposium will take place in November 2020 and over the next months we hope to finalise the speakers, titles and arrangements, building on the success of our symposium last year on Science and Religion. We intend to go once again for a location in Winchester, with admission by ticket-only. I’ll let you know more over the next weeks. Given everything that’s happening in politics at the moment with Brexit etc., it would be good to say a prayer for all our politicians and government leaders. May the Lord will help us find the best ways forward, with an especial care for the most vulnerable in society.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is 25th Sunday of the Year and the Gospel is from Luke 16:1-13. Here we give it in the Anglicised English Standard Version (ESVUK) translation.


He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful with the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful with that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”


Read Scott Hahn's commentary on Sunday's readings here



Join us for the Wednesday Webinar this Wednesday 7 - 8pm

Known by name - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Luke 16:1-13

In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus astonishingly praises a dishonest steward. What can be so good about this man’s dishonesty? As the parable unfolds, we are led to discover that the man’s dishonesty serves him to make friends, and not money.Here is the point, perhaps, that Jesus is making: money is a means, not an end in itself. Money should be used to make friends. Yet too often, in our own life or in society at large, people are used to make money. When the human person becomes the means, and money, the end, we all become slaves to money: those who are abused, as well as the abusers.So how can we purify our relationship to money, and make it only a means in our friendships, not merely in our earthly friendships, but also in our friendship with God? In this Wednesday webinar, we’ll reflect on:

Faith: How can I begin to look at my work and property with the eyes of faith?

Hope: How can I trust God more in deciding to let go of my attachment to money?    

Love: How can I begin to value human and divine love over possessions?      


You can read a summary of this month's Wednesday Webinars hereSign up for the webinar here or catch up via the recording if you are unable to join us.     



Saints of the Roman Rite - 20th September

This Friday we celebrate the Memorial of St Andrew Kim Taegon (Priest and Martyr), Ss Paul Chong Hasang and Companions (Martyrs).
At the beginning of the 17th century through the efforts of several laypersons, the Christian faith reached Korea. There a strong and vital community flourished under lay leadership until 1836, when, in secret, missionaries from France, members of the Paris Foreign Mission Society, entered the country. During the persecutions of 1839, 1846, 1866 and 1867 one hundred and three members of the Christian community gave their lives as martyrs. Leaders among these witnesses to the faith were the first Korean priest, Andrew Kim Taegon, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong Hasang. Among the other martyrs were bishops and priests, but for the most part they were laity, men and women, married and unmarried, children, young people and the elderly. All suffered greatly for the faith and consecrated the rich beginnings of the Church in Korea with their blood as martyrs. Andrew Kim Taegon, also known as Butterfly King, was born on 21st August 1821. He was baptized at the age of 15, and studied in a seminary in Macau. He was ordained a priest in 1845 in Shanghai. On 16th September 1846, aged 25, he was beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. Beatified on 5 July 1925, he was canonized by John Paul II on 6th May 1984. Paul Chong Hasang was born in 1794 or 1795. A talented and educated lay person, he was the son and nephew of two of the first Korean converts. He had been due to be ordained when a persecution broke out. He died on 22nd September 1839 at the age of 45. He was canonized by John Paul II on 6th May 1984.  


Novena with Newman

From the Oratory Fathers...


All over the world, people are preparing to celebrate the canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 13th October.  This is a time of special grace for us to join together and form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown our prayers with his intercession in heaven. We encourage you to form links in that chain by joining in our Novena with Newman - nine days of prayerful preparation for the canonisation, starting on Friday 4th October and finishing on Saturday 12th October on the eve of the canonisation.  So sign up to the Novena with Newman - as a parish or school prayer group, as a family or simply as a single link in the chain. There are three useful documents including the full nine day prayer booklet, an introductory pamphlet and a poster for your parish or school. You can download the whole prayer booklet for the nine days, or get us to send you a daily reminder email with the prayer for the day. Whatever works best for you. If you form a Novena prayer group, please go to our website and on the Novena with Newman page, let us know the numbers of people who are joining us to form a prayer chain. May all of our prayers, united together, bring God’s many blessings to those who most need them. 



Deacon Martin writes...

Have you ever heard someone say “how can the Bible be relevant to us today, when it was written over 2000 years ago?”  If you have, then send them in the direction of the prophet Amos.  He speaks in our first reading (Amos 8:4-7) this coming Sunday (25th in Ordinary Time (C)) about economic injustice – and his words have a markedly contemporary feel. The prophet is not just criticising dishonest behaviour (“swindling and tampering with the scales”) which exploits the poor, but also the attitude of speculators, who eagerly await the end of the sabbath and New Moon (when trading was not permitted – see Leviticus 23:24), so they can “sell [their] corn… and… market [their] wheat (Amos 8:5).  For such speculators time, consecrated by God (Ps 31:16) as a gift to all mankind, is regarded instead as an inconvenience to be worked around, or another commodity to trade in their portfolio.  But time belongs to God, not to man – and God has given it for the benefit of everyone, not just for the private gain of a few, who exploit it to the disadvantage of the poor. Therefore, we have a responsibility to use the resources that God has given us wisely, for the sake of the kingdom of God.  This is the point of Sunday’s gospel (Lk 16:1-13), where Jesus does not endorse the “astuteness” of the dishonest steward, but exhorts his disciples to use money “to win you friends” – by which He means for good purposes such as almsgiving.  Money, like time, comes ultimately from God, and should be used to be “welcomed into the tents of eternity, before, like any worldly resource, it eventually “fail[s] you” (Lk 16:9).





Jennifer Geach reflects...

The formal definition of mortal sin that I learned as a child was that there were three elements: grave matter, full knowledge, and full consent.  The person who gave this definition claimed that it was difficult, almost impossible, to commit a mortal sin. In a similar vein, as an adult I heard a priest saying tell his flock that he doubted whether any of them was in a state of mortal sin.  And I have heard of a prelate who wished to deprive the children in his diocese of the sacrament of reconciliation because he did not wish to ‘impose Catholic guilt’. This endeavour to diminish or dissipate ‘Catholic guilt’ means that the dreadfulness of sin has been rather down-played in recent catechesis.  Older authors are more robust: in them, all sin is serious, not only in itself, but because of the majesty of him who has been offended by sin.  ‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ says St John: the darkness of sin is an offence to the divine Majesty.  So it is perilous to be dismissive of so-called ‘venial sins’; for any habitual sin makes it harder for us to love God best.





Events in the Diocese Celebrating Marriage

To celebrate married life in our diocese we are launching a series of celebrations.  We start off with an Information evening at the end of September, other opportunities in the month of October, until November.  Please save the dates, especially, Friday 18th October (Anniversary of the Canonisation of Saints Louis & Zelie Martin, the parents of Therese of Liseux) and Monday 21st October, (the Feast of Blessed Karl & Zita of Austria). During these feasts we come to value what marriage brings to us as a Church and to all of us as individuals.


• Sunday 29th September, starting at 7.30pm

MFM Information Evening in the Keenan Rooms Corpus Christi, Wokingham

• Tuesday 1st October, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Autumn marriage preparation programme at Immaculate Conception, Portswood

• Saturday 19th October, 10am – 4pm.

My fertility…my Gift: Natural Fertility Awareness Day at Holy Family, Southampton

• Monday 21st October, 7.30pm

Mass for Feast of Blessed Karl and Zita, Holy Family, Southampton

• Saturday 23rd November, 10am - 4pm.

Launch of the ‘Breakthrough’ workshop in our Diocese at Sacred Heart, Fareham


In addition, from Tuesday 1st October prayer cards will be available for purchase (50p each) from the Discovery Centre, to help with prayer and adoration offerings that support particular marriages or simply marriage in general.





CAFOD Family Fast Day 

Jo Lewry, CAFOD Portsmouth Community Partnership Co-ordinator writes...

CAFOD’s Family Fast Day has a long tradition of supporting communities around the world and this year, on Friday 4 October 2019, we’re inviting you to eat simply and give to help people in poverty.Whether you eat simply at home, have a simple meal with your family or organise a soup lunch with your parish, your donations and prayers will make a real difference to people living in poverty. People like Fabiano. Fabiano’s village in rural Uganda has been devastated by drought. Every day, children would trek miles for water, risking their education – and safety.Donations from parishioners across England and Wales helped install a solar-powered water pump in the village. Now Fabiano and his friends can collect water quickly and safely.


On Family Fast Day, we invite you to eat a simple meal for lunch or dinner and give the money saved to help children like Fabiano. You can make it an event by inviting your family, friends and fellow parishioners to join you in having a simple soup lunch or supper. Your parish’s support this Family Fast Day will help provide training, tools and resources to some of the world’s poorest people – empowering them to build a brighter future. Get involved at cafod.org.uk/fastday.



Day for Catechists and Children’s Liturgy Leaders

The Dominican Sisters and the Formation for Mission team invite everyone engaged in passing on the faith to children, young people and adults to St John's Cathedral in Portsmouth on Saturday 19th October for a day of thanksgiving, celebration and formation where we will discover ways to share our faith in Jesus Christ as his witnesses within our ministries. The day will be led by Fr Mark Hogan, our Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation, and Mass will be celebrated in thanksgiving for all diocesan catechists and children’s Liturgy leaders and helpers. The day will focus on Jesus Christ, looking at how we can talk about Him in catechesis and faith formation. It will include talks, testimonies and discussion groups to equip catechists lead a session. The highlight of the day will be Mass, celebrated in thanksgiving for all diocesan catechists. This is a day for all diocesan catechists and everyone involved in Children’s Liturgy of the Word. It is also open to anyone interested in the ministry of catechesis. Lunch will be provided. Register online or phone the Dominican Sisters to book a place on 01590 681874. For more details contact Sr Hyacinthe OP. 



Gosport Open Doors – 2020

Kevin Gallagher, Director of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth wants to let us know about this forthcoming project in Gosport...


At the beginning of January 2020 the churches in Gosport will be opening their doors to offer rough sleepers a bed for the night to help them through the cold winter months. A healthy hot dinner and breakfast will also be provided but most of all a warm welcome and friendship will be on offer to our rough sleeping guests. Known as “Gosport Open Doors” the project needs a large number of volunteers to offer their time. It might seem like a daunting task to help out in a night shelter but full support and training will be provided for an experience which will change your life.  So if you would like to be a participant and not just an observer in this highly visible problem on our city streets come along to our non-committal information meeting on Friday 11th October in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 32 High Street, Gosport at 7pm to learn more. For more information please contact Kevin.




Congratulations to Stella Maris 

Stella Maris/Apostleship of the Sea was recently the winner of the Safety at Sea Award 2019 in the category Shore-side (Ship-Visiting) Team of the Year.  The Stella Maris - Sea Tees and Hartlepool Volunteer Ship Visiting Team and Port Chaplain were recognised for their ongoing support to seafarers and have collectively visited the crews of 1,200 vessels last year.  For more information on the work of Stella Maris, you are invited to view the video click the image to watch it.


Stella Maris Apostleship of the Sea is a Catholic charity supporting seafarers worldwide which provides practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race. The port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors welcome seafarers, offer welfare services and advice, practical help, care and friendship. The Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain is part of an international network known to the maritime world as Stella Maris, working in 334 ports with 227 port chaplains in 59 countries. Please pray for their work and for Fr John Lavers and his team supporting seafarers on the south coast.



More from Madeira...

The Editor writes...


Reading the article above from the Marriage and Family Life Team about the forthcoming celebrations and prayer for married life in our diocese, ending on the feast of Blessed Karl of Austria took me back to my recent holiday to Madeira where Blessed Karl, at least most of him, is buried. Karl (or Charles) was born in 1887. A member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, he married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma in 1911 and in 1916 became the last Emperor of Austria, last King of Hungary and last King of Bohemia. In late 1921, Emperor Karl and his family were exiled to Madeira, where he died the following year. His tomb is in the magnificent church of Our Lady of Monte (Our Lady of the Mountain) high above the capital city of Funchal. The photo, which I took on my recent visit to Monte shows his tomb in a chantry chapel on the north side of the church. Outside the church stands a magnificent statue of Blessed Karl (beatified in 2004 by Pope St John Paul II), the last ruler of the Habsburg dynasty. His heart is entombed with Zita's in Muri Abbey in Switzerland. Here is a view of the interior of this magnificent church. Empress Zita's Cause for Beatification began in 2009 and accorded her the title Servant of God. You can read more about Blessed Karl here

Here is a prayer you can offer for his intercession and for his canonisation:

God our Father, through the gift of Blessed Emperor Karl You have given us an example to follow. In extremely difficult times he performed his burdensome tasks without ever losing his faith. He always followed Your Son, the true King. He led a humble life, sincerely loving the poor and giving himself heart and soul to the search for peace. Even when his life was in danger he trusted in You, putting his life in Your hands. Almighty and Merciful God, by the intercession of Blessed Emperor Karl, we pray that You may give us his unconditional faith to support us in our most difficult situations, and the courage to always follow the example of Your only Son. Open our hearts to the poor, and strengthen our commitment for peace within our families and among all peoples. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.



The Neo-Catechumenal Way

At this time, I am visiting the wonderful families who make up the Missio ad Gentes initiative led by the Neo-Catechumenal Way. The Missio is centred in Paulsgrove in north Portsmouth and comprises a priest-chaplain (Fr. Vittorio), single laypersons and four families, who have willingly left their homes, jobs and countries in order to begin a new life on mission here in England. Last week I visited the joyful home of Jose and Ana Lorca and their children (pictured here). The family moved here from Cordoba in Spain and have now been with us for three years. Jose works as a teacher in a primary school. They are making a radical commitment on their part to the Lord and His Church. The Missio ad Gentes involves a life of prayer for mission, study of the Gospels, celebration of Mass and the sacraments, a pledge to live as a truly Christian family and a plan of intentional outreach to everyone they meet, such as people at work, those living on the same street and fellow-students attending the same school. The whole family is involved. The home visits I am making at the moment enable me to listen to their experiences, to support them in their endeavours, to invoke God’s blessing upon them and to assure them of the prayers and support of the clergy and people of our Diocese. It is a huge joy to do this! It is remarkable to see how the parents have managed to learn English whilst their children, bilingual, now sound like Portsmouth natives! Please pray for these families on mission – and indeed of the mission of the Church in our Diocese. The Missio ad Gentes is a generational effort and it may be many years before the seeds they daily sow germinate and by God’s grace renew the Church in this area.



Mass of the Knights and Dames 

Last Tuesday, I celebrated Mass with and for the Knights and Dames of St. Gregory and the Knights and Dames of St. Sylvester, two papal equestrian orders, here in the Cathedral and then joined them afterwards for lunch in the Cathedral Discovery Centre. The Order of St. Gregory the Great and the Order of St. Sylvester are two of the five Orders of Knighthood of the Holy See. The honour is bestowed upon Catholic men and women (sometimes in rare cases on non-Catholics) in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and to the Church, through their unusually generous labours and service. Both orders were created by Pope Gregory XVI in the mid-nineteenth century. These knights and dames must progressively maintain an unswerving fidelity to God and to the sovereign Pontiff. The members have no privileges beyond that of wearing a decoration.  For the Order of St. Sylvester, this is a gold enamelled Maltese cross with the image of St. Sylvester on one side and the other the inscription: 1841 Gregorius XVI restituit. For the Order of St. Gregory, this is an eight-pointed cross with a representation of St. Gregory and on the reverse the motto Pro Deo et Principe ("For God and Ruler"). The cross is suspended from a red and gold ribbon. You can read my homily for the Mass and see some photos here.



Pastoral Visitation of St. Joseph’s Aldershot

Last weekend I had the joy of undertaking a Pastoral Visitation of St. Joseph’s Aldershot, in this the 150th anniversary year of the parish’s foundation. It was in 1869 that Archbishop Grant appointed Fr. Thomas Purnell to be the first parish priest to serve the needs of the area. A temporary church was built on the site that was moved later to St. Mary’s, the other church within the parish, and in 1913 the fine church of St. Joseph’s was erected just by the town centre. As you can see from the photo, a warm welcome was ready! The parish is under the pastoral care of Fr. Anthony Glaysher, assisted by Deacon Craig Aburn (the latter ensuring that every parishioner is subscribed to our diocesan e-News!). The Visitation began with Confessions and Mass at the other church, St. Mary’s, followed by sandwiches and a reception in the sunshine outside church. It was a great opportunity to mingle and meet the parishioners. I was impressed to see a number of students from All Hallows School, some serving at the Mass. On Sunday, I returned for the nine o’clock Extraordinary Form Mass over at St. Joseph’s, followed by a bustling family Mass at 10.30 am. The church was packed and there were two children from school, one aged four, the other aged nine, who had asked to be baptised. They were present with their family and godparents, as well as Mr. Bill James, Executive Principal of St. Joseph’s Primary Academy School. What is noticeable in Aldershot is the great ethnic mix of parishioners from all over: Poles, Keralans, Filipinos, Chinese and many nationalities. After Mass, there was a party in the parish centre for the newly baptised. The Visitation concluded in the afternoon with a Holy Hour for Vocations with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. There are some photos of the weekend here. Please pray for the mission of the Church in Aldershot, and especially for the clergy and people of the parish.



Isle of Wight Pilgrimage to Ramsgate and Canterbury

A small group of pilgrims accompanied Fr. Jonathan Redvers Harris on this four day pilgrimage. En route they stopped for Mass and a history talk at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead, where the Faith was never lost throughout the penal times. Fr Jonathan offered Mass in the tiny (upstairs) recusant chapel where Mass was offered in secret by priests arriving from France at the beginning of their missionary work in England; with most of them knowing that they would face martyrdom. It was then on to Aylesford Carmelite Priory for a talk and guided tour, before arriving in Ramsgate. It was here that the renowned Catholic Victorian architect, Augustus Pugin, spent his latter years and he designed the Church of St. Augustine in the gothic style, which he had promoted throughout his working life. After a talk by Fr. Christopher Basden (parish priest), Fr. Jonathan offered Mass for us in St. John’s ChapelLater we visited St. Augustine’s Cross (see picture), just outside Ramsgate, where St. Augustine and his monks are reputed to have met with King Ethelbert of Kent, as he began his missionary work in England in A.D. 597. There were also visits to Minster Benedictine Abbey and the National Shrine of St. Jude at Faversham, where we venerated a relic of the apostle after Benediction. On the return journey we stopped at Canterbury cathedral for a guided tour before Mass in All Saints Chapel. In his sermon at this Mass, Fr. Jonathan reminded us of the cathedral’s unique and significant place in the history of English Christianity. It was apt that this pilgrimage finishes on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary (September 12th). We ask for her intercession with her Son, Jesus on this day.



Poland under the Cross

Fr Des Connolly SMM, Superior of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries), Director of St Joseph’s Centre in Ashurst writes...


On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated on Saturday, 14 September, a great prayer gathering took place throughout Poland. Up to 250,000 people gathered at Kruszyn airport near Włocławek. Hundreds of other prayer events were held around the country. Many from the Polish Community in Southampton gathered at Saint Joseph’s Centre in Ashurst, Southampton for a day of prayer focused around the Cross of Christ. So many young families attended. It was wonderful to see. They were reminded of the words of Pope Saint John Paul II (The Great) who on his pilgrimage to his homeland in 1997,  who said "Defend the Cross; do not offend God's name in your hearts, in family or social life. Today I thanked God for your forebears, who planted a Cross on the top of Mount Giewont. This Cross looks over the whole of Poland from the Tatra Mountains to the Baltic Sea. And this Cross says to the whole Poland: 'Sursum corda' - 'Lift up your hearts'. We need the whole of Poland, from the Baltic Sea to the Tatra Mountains, to look towards the Cross at Mount Giewont, hearing and repeating: 'Sursum corda'". The holy Founder of the Montfort Missionaries: Saint Louis Marie de Montfort wrote: No Cross - What a Cross! In other words where would we be if Christ had not died on the Cross?



New Additions to the Community

Sister Veronica OP, writes...


The Dominican Sisters of St Joseph in Sway have many reasons to thank the Lord for his Blessings. This last week has seen our community grow to thirteen members with the arrival of our three new postulants (pictured), Hannah (from Northern Ontario Canada) Ciara (from Belfast NI) and Lorraine (from Limerick in the Republic of Ireland). They were installed by our prioress Sr. Julie OP as postulants at a special ceremony during First Vespers on 7th September in which they each received their postulant suit and the Dominican Cross. The very next day on the feast of Our Lady’s birthday 8th September, our former postulant Elena received the Dominican habit and the white veil of a novice. She received the name of Sr. Lucy, named after a Dominican, Blessed Lucy of Narnia. Yes there really is a Lucy of Narnia! Sr. Lucy has a great love for C.S Lewis and the Narnia stories having studied them at University in depth. There is however no known link with the fictional Narnia!


On 14th September (the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross) Sr. Carino made her First Profession witnessed by the whole community together with her family and her friends. This is the first step towards final profession which she will make in three years time. At First Profession she receives the black veil and has her white scapula blessed. Fr Toby Lees OP officiated at this Mass, 8 days after his own ordination on 7th September! He had been a friend of Sr. Carino before she entered our community. Together they each discerned their respective journeys in the Dominican family. So it seemed fitting that he should be the principal celebrant at this wonderful event. All of these events have been recorded by Church TV live streaming if you would like to have a glimpse of these wonderful ceremonies.


Please pray for these new additions to our community as they all continue in their journey of vocation following in the footsteps of St Dominic. Pray also for Sr. Mary Benedicta OP our Novice Mistress as she takes charge of the formation of these 5 young women. This last week has seen the many graces of this our special Jubilee year come to fruition. We give praise to the Lord for such blessings. We are still looking for someone to win the lottery and donate £1,000,000 towards a new noviciate wing!!! We have started to take over the guest house as we grow in numbers, but a purpose built noviciate wing would help in the formation of our new sisters. If you can help or know of someone who can help in whatever way we would be most grateful. Please keep us in your prayers and we also keep all of you in our prayers.



Welcome Fr Gaston...

I met last week with Fr. Afah Gaston Forbah to welcome him to the Diocese. Fr. Gaston is our other new priest this year from Bamenda who, God willing, will be with us for the next five or six years, serving in our Diocese. I have appointed him to be with Fr. Chris Whelan at St. Joseph’s Basingstoke, where he will be a “priest in residence” this next year as he undertakes his Masters studies at Southampton University. He will be on the same course as Fr. Anthony Chiatu, who is with us here at the Cathedral. The presence of these two new priests from Bamenda is a sign of the partnership and ecclesial exchange between our two Dioceses and I am very grateful to Archbishop Cornelius for sending them to us. I assured Fr. Gaston that the clergy and people of our Diocese of Portsmouth are really pleased to have him with us. The situation in Cameroon remains very difficult at the moment and so we must redouble our prayers for a way forward and peaceful resolution of the current conflict. Meanwhile, if you see Fr. Gaston, do give him your prayers and best wishes. This is the first time he has ever been abroad from Cameroon. It will surely be a big culture shock as he gets used to us and our British ways! May God bless him these days ahead and grant him the grace of success in his studies.



...And Farewell to Canon Peter Turbitt

Canon Peter Turbitt, the popular Parish Priest of St John Vianney Catholic Church in Wantage has retired after 30 years in the town. To mark the occasion, parishioners past and present  gathered  in the Church Hall after the Sunday morning Mass on 1st September - joined by former parishioners from London, Dorset, the Midlands and as far as New Zealand! On thanking  Canon Peter and wishing him well for the future, Mrs Betty Millburn on behalf of the Parish spoke of Canon Peter’s immense contribution to parish life and presented  him with a folder  illustrating the highlights of his time in the parish. Canon Peter, as he is affectionately known, in addition to carrying out diocesan duties for the Catholic  Diocese of Portsmouth, was also responsible for the parishes of Faringdon, Lambourn and Hungerford as well as Wantage. He was one of the founder members of Wantage Churches Together, later enlarged to  include the Wantage and Grove Church Partnership bringing together local churches in sharing services and working together  for the local community.  In the early days he was well known for taking a leading part in local Songs of Praise and leading the annual Animal Blessing Services. Said Canon Peter “When I first arrived in Wantage, time seemed to pass fairly slowly but as the years went by, the time seems to have speeded up and  passed more quickly… it will take a while for me to change gear and slow down again -  but I am looking forward to doing just that”  



Bishop Philip's Engagements 

Wednesday 18th – Sunday 22nd September  
Bishops' Conference, Steubenville, USA
Wednesday 25th September
Evangelisation and Catechesis Department Meeting, London  
Thursday 26th September 
Trustees Meeting, Bishop’s House  
Friday 27th September 
Meeting with Chief Operating Officer, Bishop’s House  
Dedication of New Centre (opening and blessing), Windsor, 7pm 
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 
Parish Visitation, St Swithun Wells.


Diocesan Prayer Intentions

Each day of the year the liturgical calendar gives us a variety of seasons and celebrations of saints. These are outlined in the Diocesan Ordo along with a daily prayer for a diocesan intention. I would like to encourage you to add these intentions to your daily prayers.            

Sunday 15th September


National Prayer Cycle: Home Missions [Catholic Agency for the Support of Evangelisation]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Patrick, Sandown (consecrated 15.9.1938)


Monday 16th September

Ss Cornelius, Pope, & Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the North East Hampshire Pastoral Area


Tuesday 17th September

St Hildegard of Bingen, Religious, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial [use Commons]

or: St Robert Bellarmine, Religious, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial

or: Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Franciscans in the Diocese; Secular Franciscan Order; Society of Franciscan Pilgrims


Wednesday 18th September

Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the Reading Pastoral Area


Thursday 19th September

St Januarius, Bishop, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Theodore of Canterbury, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Thomas of Canterbury, Newport (dedicated 20.9.1992)


Friday 20th September 

St Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, St Paul Chong Hasang & Companions, Martyrs

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Matthew, Coin Varin, Jersey


Saturday 21st September

ST MATTHEW, Apostle, Evangelist, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Aldershot (dedicated 22.9.1982)


Sunday 22nd September


National Prayer Cycle: Thanksgiving for the Harvest

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Peter & the Winchester Martyrs, Winchester (consecrated 22.9.1938)


You can find the prayer intentions for each day of September here.


Forthcoming Events           

Tuesday 17th September 

Alpha Taster Session

Immaculate Conception & St Joseph Church, Christchurch.  

More information 


Wednesday 18th September 

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing

St Colman’s Church Portsmouth

More information 


Saturday 21st September 

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing

St Edmund Campion Church Bournemouth 

More information 


Saturday 21st September 

CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing

St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Cowes, Isle of Wight

More information 


Saturday 21st September 

Climate Change, Faith and Me

More information 


Saturday 21st September 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton School

More information 


Sunday 22nd September 

Padre Pio Retreat Day

St Joseph's Retreat Centre, Ashurst

More information 


Friday 27th September 

National Prayer Weekend event

Sacred Heart Church, Hook

More information 


Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 

Southampton Celebrate Weekend

More information 


Sunday 29th September 

My Fertility Matters Project Information Evening

Corpus Christi Wokingham

More information 


October 2019

Extraordinary Mission Month


Saturday 5th October

'The future of the Church - Walking together'

Park Place Pastoral Centre

More information 


Sunday 6th October

Annual Rosary Procession in honour of Our Lady
St Saviour's Totland Bay, IoW

More information 


Saturday 12th October

Annual Conference for Spiritual Directors 

St. Bede's Church, Basingstoke

More information 


11th-21st October 

Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi for Extraordinary Mission Month

More information 


Sunday 13th October

Canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman

St Peter's Rome

More information 


Wednesday 23rd October 

Welcome to Worship

Immaculate Conception & St Joseph Church, Christchurch.  

More information 


Friday 25th October

Thanksgiving Mass for the Canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman

Bournemouth Oratory at Sacred Heart Bournemouth, 7pm.  


Saturday 26th October 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton School

More information 



Please pray for..

Fr Bonaventure Ndong and his family.


All clergy moving to new parishes and taking on new responsibilities at this time.


Vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, especially to the Sacred Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life. For the recently ordained and for all our students currently in formation for ordination and those responsible for their formation in the various seminaries in which they are based. 


Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda and for an end to the troubles there.


The repose of the souls of all who have died recently; for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster. Requiescant in pace.


All affected by sexual, domestic and emotional abuse.


Peace in the world and for those who govern the nations that they may do so wisely and justly.


The work of the New Evangelisation across the diocese that we may all play our part in bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.


The Unity of all Christians in doctrine, life and worship.

The Canonisation of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of our Youth.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese and the Holy Spirit's guidance on the formation of the new Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Those entering the "Called and Gifted" process and for the work of the Called & Gifted Team. That all the faithful of the Diocese that they may share their time and talents for the good of the Church and discern how God is calling them in a particular way to be more intentional disciples.   

The work of our Marriage and Family Life Team.

All the sick clergy and people in our Diocese who are in need of our prayers.

All those suffering in the world through hunger, disease, persecution and natural disaster, for all refugees and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The work of the Apostleship of the Sea, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, Caritas Jersey, CAFOD and those with whom they work.


That all we do in the diocese may bring people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. 



Please share your good news with us

I would like to encourage all readers to send in items for the e-News about events in parishes, pastoral areas and schools about the many sacramental celebrations and general good news about people in the diocese. I often hear much Good News from many people - do share it with us so we can share it with others in the diocese. Thanks, of course, to all who already contribute articles for the e-News on an occasional or regular basis. 


We try to include a broad range of news and reflective articles, but publication of an article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or of the Bishop.


Please e-mail all news items by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue to Deacon Craig Aburn: executiveassistant@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk.


Please send news as plain text and images as attachments rather than embedded in a document.


If you have a Parish or Diocesan event to advertise, please complete this form. Events are advertised at our discretion and we reserve the right not to advertise an event.



Keep in touch on Social Media

Don't forget you can keep in touch with what's going on in and around the diocese in between issues of e-News by following us on Social Media.


Follow Bishop Philip on Twitter.


Follow the Diocese on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Follow Vocations Promotion on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Follow the Diocesan Youth Team on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.



With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers,
In Corde Iesu


Bishop of Portsmouth


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