It's the General Election tomorrow - let us pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us in our vote. It's been a strange campaign, one during which two brutal terror attacks have occurred. Just as we were processing the Manchester atrocity, another occurred on London Bridge. Let us pray for those who were killed or injured and for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. May the Lord preserve us from violence and evil and forgive us too for our sins.
Meanwhile I wish you all the continuing joys of Pentecost! Please pray for me and all the Clergy in Convocation next week.
This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - but what is the Trinity?
Pope St John XXIII's Prayer for Peace
Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace, who are yourself our peace and reconciliation, who so often said, "Peace to you," grant us peace. Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice, and brotherly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples of the earth becomes as brothers and sisters. May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all. Amen.
Prayer to St Michael
Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast down into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
The Bishops of England and Wales have issued a letter to Catholics on tomorrow's General Election. You may have already seen the letter which has recently been distributed in parishes.
The letter is an encouragement to all Catholics to play an active part in the election. While voting for any particular political party is a matter of conscience, the bishops encourage people to use their vote at this pivotal time for our nations, as we prepare to leave the European Union. You can read the letter here.
The letter concludes with a prayer:
"Lord grant us wisdom to act always with integrity, seeking the protection and flourishing of all, and building a society based on justice and peace."
I want to ask you to pray for a special intention.
Fr. James Mallon, a Canadian parish priest, and internationally-known speaker on the work of new evangelisation and parish renewal will be here from 13th to 15th June at the Beaumont Hotel Windsor, formerly Beaumont College. He will first address a ‘Convocation of Clergy.’ Then, after the Convocation ends, on Thursday 15th June, he will address a sold out audience of the laity, educators and anyone else who booked to attend.
Please pray for the success of the ‘Convocation of Clergy’ for our priests and deacons in active ministry.
Last Friday I visited the Abu Bakr mosque in Southampton and joined them for Friday prayers. It was remarkable – the place was packed, perhaps 600 worshippers. It is also a week or so into Ramadan.
In the last of our series of Easter reflections from Jennifer Geach, our focus this week is on last Sunday's Solemnity of Pentecost.
Although Easter may be over, we still have two more reflections to look forward to over the next two weeks, for the great Feasts of the Most Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi.
This week our focus is on the charism of Intercessory Prayer.
Intercessory Prayer: My prayer for others enables God’s love and deliverance to reach them in specific remarkable ways.
You can make an anonymous request to our Intercessory Prayer team here.
Congratulations to Fr Shaun Budden who celebrated his Golden Jubilee of his Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood on the Feast of St Bede.
Last Saturday, he celebrated the First Mass of Pentecost at St Mary's in Aldershot which was the first parish of which he was Parish Priest.
You can read more here.
Patrick Flynn reports on a recent wonderful open air celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a beautiful May morning at St Mary's RC School in Gosport which was followed by a Marian procession around the school grounds.
Father Kevin Hoiles writes...
Pasrishioners of Our Lady Queen of Peace were recently entertained by the Fabulous Land Girls who sang songs from the1940's whilst parishioners had a cream tea and joined in with singing.
Funds raised for event where nearly £400.
A walk in solidarity with Refugees and Detainees in taking place from Runnymede to Westminster between 1st - 5th July.
1st July: Runnymede to Walton on Thames (11 miles)
2nd July: Walton on Thames to Kingston (8 miles)
3rd July: Kingston to Brentford (11 miles)
4th July: Brentford to Hammersmith (6 miles)
5th July: Hammersmith to Westminster (9 miles)
At each stopping point celebrated writers will perform tales written after conversations with refugees and detainees and those who work with them.
Everyone is invited to Avon Stour Pastoral Area’s next 'Welcome to Worship' event.
Some comments from people who went to the last one they held:
Why not join them and give it a try - and why not take along a friend or two, Christian or otherwise?!
The Formation for Mission Team have a number of new courses starting soon which provide training for Parish Catechists. You can download an information booklet here.
The new course We are all Witnesses - Essential Training for Catechists is now available to book. You can find details here.
You can find out more about the Formation for Mission Team on their website.
A partnership between Blessed Hugh Faringdon school, Reading and St John Bosco High School, Slovakia secures ministerial approval for its ground-breaking work in school improvement
Eileen Finch, Secretary of the Diocesan Christian Unity Committee writes...
Following on from the Laudato Si' conference in November, it might interest people to know of the organisation Green Christian. They are partners with the Passionist brothers. Of course there are many denominational environmental groups but it is probably time to “read from the same hymn book”. CTBI website has more information.
As you know we are always pleased to hear of Christians working together throughout our diocese. Please contact us with your stories.
Ramadan has started – the holy month for Muslims that is marked by fasting, alms-giving, increased prayer, and study of the Qur’an. I am sure that your Muslim family or friends would appreciate your good wishes – wishing them a “Happy Ramadan” is fine – it is a really special months for most Muslims, which involves a lot of socialising, and time spent with family and friends (the “iftar”, fast-breaking, can be a big occasion, and more than usually the sharing of food is encouraged), as well as a “spiritual re-charge” – and “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem” are more traditional greetings.
Thursday 15th June
Life Pregnancy Counselling Recruitment
Thursday 15th JuneExtraordinary Form High Mass for Corpus Christi
Saturday 17th June
Discipleship in a changing Church
St Peter's Winchester, 11.00
Friday 23rd June
Life Pregnancy Counselling Recruitment
Saturday 24th June
Alton Day of Renewal
Sunday 25th June
Ordination of Priests
Saturday 1st July
Ordination to the Diaconate
Sunday 2nd July
St Edmund Campion Pilgrimage Mass
Lyford Grange, near Wantage
Neighbour or Stranger:
A Christian Response to Forced Displacement in the World
University of Winchester
National Justice & Peace Conference:
A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor
the challenge of Pope Francis
The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire
23rd - 29th July
Don Bosco Summer Camp
St Cassian's Kintbury
St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham
Friday 18th - Friday 25th August
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Monday 21st - Friday 25th August
Fanning the Flame - Hampshire Camp
30th September - 1st October
Thursday 8th June
Chapter of Canons meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Friday 9th June
Presentation ceremony for newly qualified teachers,
St John’s Cathedral Discovery Centre, Portsmouth
Saturday 10th June
Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth
Monday 12th June
Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
All preparing for Confirmation and First Holy Communion.
The guidance of the Holy Spirit on all candidates and the electorate in the General Election.
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