I wish you a good Lent as we now enter the second week. Later this week, I will be with the clergy for a Day of Recollection. Please keep our priests and deacons in your prayers during this season of renewal.
May God bless you.
On 11 March, around 10,000 Catholics attended Flame 2017, a youth event at Wembley arena. Among them were 350 young people with their clergy and Catechists from all across the Diocese of Portsmouth - from Abingdon to the Channel Islands and all points in between - who joined me for this uplifting event.
It was a faith-filled day of praise, worship, fellowship and teaching which concluded with Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nicholls who was assisted by Portsmouth Deacon Ansel D'Mello who proclaimed the Gospel and exposed and reposed the Blessed Sacrament.
There are lots of photos here to give you a flavour of the day...
Next week, with Fr. PJ Smith, the Head of our Department of Educational Chaplaincies, I am paying a short visit to Turin, in order to place our diocesan youth work under the patronage of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925).
Blessed Pier Giorgio is the patron of World Youth Day and of youth groups. There are various associations dedicated to him throughout the world.
His relics are entombed in a side altar in Turin cathedral and I will be saying Mass there. His niece, Wanda Gawronska will be present, together with other members of the Frassati Association.
Come and spend some time in Adoration with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as we link with churches in Rome and around the world on Friday 24th March from 7pm until Saturday 25th March 7pm at St Margaret Mary Church, Middle Road, Park Gate, Southampton. All welcome.
'O come let us adore Him.
Lent is a good opportunity for us to make use of the Stations of the Cross which we find in all our Catholic church buildings as they help us to focus on that journey of Jesus from being condemned to death by Pontius Pilate through to his crucifixion, death and burial which we are preparing to celebrate in Holy Week. There are no set prayers for this devotion, but it is customary to move from station to station, meditating at each one along the Way of the Cross on what is happening at each point of the journey. Judy Pellatt, one of our Cathedral Altar Servers, has sent in a set of meditations, based on two different sources, which you might like to use this Lent.
Friday 10th March was Lent Fast Day and in preparation, children around in our local schools have been hearing about how turning "Little Fish into Big Fish" can help Families and Communities in Zambia by Fasting, Giving proceeds to CAFOD in the form of Almsgiving and Prayer.
Here's what some of our schoolchildren have been up to:
The schools have been taking part in a wide variety of activities to raise money for CAFOD as well as fasting in one way or another and in praying for families and communities like those of Florence.
Fr Colum Kelly, port chaplain with Apostleship of the Sea, presents a series of weekly podcasts during Lent, which carries the theme ‘Our Lenten Voyage’.
Each podcast is built around each Sunday gospel of Lent. It offers a unique perspective of Lent.
Week Two: The Transfiguration
The Apostles were privileged to witness the inner life of Christ, when His splendour was revealed to them on the holy mountain. We pray that our voyage of Lent would bring us a deeper experience of God in our own lives, and to share in His divine life.
We hope you can join us for a one day race through the 8 session course, 'Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible’. This would normally run over 8 weeks with discussions each week. In one day you will see the DVDs followed by short discussions to confirm key points and you will be able to discover the salvation narrative story that runs through the Bible. This is quite exacting in a day but also very rewarding to get the whole picture! Each participant will take away the Bible Timeline Chart which is a very helpful aid to placing all the books in the Bible in relation to each other and to the flow of history. We hope participants will take this course back to parishes across the diocese. We have four DVD courses available on loan from the Formation for Mission group.
Venue: Parish Centre next to St Peter’s Church, Jewry St, Winchester, SO23 8BW.
Date: Saturday 6th May 2017
Cost: £10 for a Bible Timeline Chart and a light lunch and refreshments
In 2014, Pope Francis said "Everyone should carry a small Bible or pocket edition of the Gospels and should find at least a few minutes every day to ready the word of God."
The Bible Society has recognised that there was no edition of the four Gospels alone and has recently published two new volumes which I commend to you.
Next Monday we celebrate the Solemnity of St Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, husbands, fathers, workers and many parishes across our Diocese, for whom we ask his intercession on his Feast Day. Nothing is known of St Joseph except what is said of him in the Gospels. He was a carpenter; he accepted the will of God; and he supported Mary and brought up Jesus. From the human character of his Son we can see that he was a good and responsible father.
His Feast Day normally falls on 19th March, but is transferred this year to Monday 20th, to give precedence to the Third Sunday of Lent.
Wednesday 15th March (and Wednesdays throughout Lent)
The Journey - Come Back.
Our Lady's Church, Kings Road, Fleet
Monday 20th - Thursday 23rd March
Faith Formation Seminars for Catholic educators and support staff
Saturday 25th March
Alton Day of Renewal
Alton Convent, Anstey Lane, Alton GU34 2NG
Friday 31st March - Sunday 2nd April
Engaged Encounter Weekend
Park Place, Fareham
Saturday 1st April
Inspirational Speaker Chris Lubbe (Nelson Mandela's body guard) will speak on Justice of human life, compassion, caring and forgiveness.
St Colman's Cosham
Friday 7th - Sunday 9th April
"Be still and know that I God" - A Lenten silent weekend Retreat reflecting on the Passion of Jesus.
St Joseph's AshurstRead more
Saturday 6th May
Friday 19th - Sunday 21st May
Marriage Encounter Weekend
Park Place, Fareham
23rd - 29th July
Don Bosco Summer Camp
St Cassian's Kintbury
Tuesday 21st March
Thornycroft Priests' Conference
Wednesday 22nd - Sunday 26th March
Pilgrimage to Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, Turin
Personal Assistant to the Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation
Organist - Holy Family Southampton
Property & Resources Manager - St Bede’s, Basingstoke
Parish Secretary/Administrator - Waterside Parish
Parish Finance Manager (part time) - Windsor
All preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Reception into the Church at Easter.
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