I have recently written to Cardinal Nichols (see here) to express our shock, our horror and our sadness at the terrible fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower in West London, and to express through him our deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers for the residents of that tower block who were killed or injured and who have lost their homes in the disaster. On Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi, I offered Mass for the repose of the victims, for the recovery of the injured, and for all families and friends affected by the tragedy, praying too for the emergency services in their rescue work and for the comfort of all the bereaved.
Please continue to remember all those involved in your prayers.
If you wish to contribute practically to the support of those who have lost their homes and possessions, there are Catholic organisations engaged in relief work that you might wish to support. The Archdiocese has set up an Emergency Relief Fund. More details plus the possibility of making a donation on line can be found here.
At moments like this, where would we be without our faith and the knowledge that God is a loving God full of mercy and compassion? Let us turn to Him, praying and working for better ways of avoiding these sorts of tragedies in the future and asking for now the energy of His love.
This Friday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a special form of devotion to Jesus. It brings to focus God's love for us all.
Message of Fr. James Mallon to Convocation of Clergy
“What sort of priest or deacon are you? Are you a risk-taker, a care-taker or an undertaker?” This was the question Fr. James Mallon asked our clergy last week at the Convocation of Clergy. The Convocation, which was held at the De Vere Hotel, Windsor from 13th to 15th June, was for all the clergy of the Diocese of Portsmouth in active ministry in parishes, schools and communities. With 120 present, including 15 deacons, it was very close to a 100% turnout. The event lasted only 48 hours, although it was such an intense period of work that it seemed to last much longer. The retired clergy were invited to join us for the final Mass and lunch, and also to the Thursday afternoon workshops. These latter were also open to the laity and anyone interested. It was a full house. The whole Convocation was a remarkable and grace-filled experience, not unlike what Vatican II was, they say, for its participants, an ‘event’ that transcended its actual contents.
I have made some further new clergy appointments in the diocese, which take effect from 8th September 2017. There are a few still to be announced.
I thank these priests for all they have done and for being willing to make these moves.
Please pray that in the new appointments the Lord will bless these pastors and their communities abundantly.
You can read more about all the announced moves here.
The Portsmouth Catholic Diocese App is available on Apple and Android and is free to download for your smartphone or tablet.
Here you can find maps and information for your nearest Church, including Mass times, Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
You will also find a regularly updated calendar of events and many other features relating to Catholic life.
On Sunday 25th June, I shall ordain two new priests for our diocese. Ansel D'Mello whom I have appointed to be Assistant Priest at the Cathedral and Robert Stewart whom I have appointed to be Assistant Priest in Abingdon. Please pray for these men and thank God for the sacrifices they have made to become His Priests. Pray too, for an increase in Vocations to the the Sacred Priesthood and ask God if he is calling you, or a family member or friend to serve him as a Priest.
In the latest of our series of reflections from Jennifer Geach, our focus this week is on last Sunday's Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi.
My thanks to Fr PJ Smith, Fr Jamie McGrath and all involved in the planning of the Mass, and to all who attended from far and wide.
You can view some photos from the Mass and read my homily here.
Peter’s Pence - a centuries-old solidarity initiative for the Bishop of Rome - has now arrived on the internet with the aim of promoting the solidarity of the faithful, religious and lay people, in an increasingly shared path.
Knowing about and contributing to the Works by Pope Francis is easier today thanks to the opportunity to donate directly through the Peter's Pence website and to share messages of hope and solidarity through the social networks (Twitter and Instagram), participating in a common path of mercy.
On the site it is also possible to become read in-depth about some of the Works supported by Peter’s Pence.
You can also download Peter's Pence Collection Resources.
I am pleased to announce that, with immediate effect, the deaneries will have the following patronage and names:
Blessed Dominic Barberi Deanery, Central and East Berkshire
(Great Park, Reading and South Berkshire Pastoral Areas)
Blessed John Body Deanery, North Hampshire
(Northeast Hampshire and Northwest Hampshire Pastoral Areas)
Blessed John Henry Newman Deanery, Central Hampshire
(Bordon & Petersfield, Hampshire Downs and Three Rivers Pastoral Areas)
Saint Edmund Campion Deanery, Old Berkshire
(North Downs, Thames Isis and West Berkshire Pastoral Areas)
Saints Helier and Sampson Deanery, the Channel Islands
(Bailiwick of Guernsey and Jersey Pastoral Areas)
Saint John XXIII Deanery, West Solent
(Avon Stour, Bournemouth and New Forest Pastoral Areas)
Saint Wilfrid Deanery, Southeast Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
(Havant, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Solent Pastoral Areas)
Stella Maris Deanery, Southampton
(Southampton Central and West and Southampton East Pastoral Areas)
NightFever is a very special evening where we are not only able to follow Christ’s call to “Reach out to others,” by inviting passers-by to come and light a candle and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, but we to have the opportunity to spend time with Jesus in a beautiful atmosphere.
All are very welcome please do come along, taste and see.
If anyone would like further information or would like to take part in the evening please see here or contact Mike Slater on 02392 554537 or contact the Parish Office 02392 580119.
Please keep NightFever in your prayers.
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.
Friday 23rd June
Life Pregnancy Counselling Recruitment
Saturday 24th June
‘With A Voice Of Singing’
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
Wednesday 12th JulyReboot Live! UK Tour
St Mary's University Twickenham
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 22nd and Friday 23rd June
Bishop’s Council Meeting, Isle of Wight
Saturday 24th June
Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass, St Bede’s Church, Basingstoke
Sunday 25th June
Ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth
Tuesday 27th June
Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Wednesday 28th June
Clergy Day, Marwell Hotel
All preparing for Confirmation and First Holy Communion.
For all clergy preparing to move to new appointments and for their parishes.
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