Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Wednesday 28th June 2017 - Issue 143 (2017/24)
Dear all,

Last week was an amazing one, full of grace! On Tuesday, after meeting all our retired priests for lunch at Winchester – a wonderful gathering of faithful servants! - we then celebrated the dedication of the newly restored church of St. Thomas More at Hartley Wintney (see here). The faithful there were delighted, especially as some at the time of the fire feared that the church would never be restored but simply closed. I challenged everyone now to 'grow' the congregation and to foster the Church’s mission in that place. Then on Wednesday we had the annual Schools Mass here at the Cathedral (see here) to which representative children and staff came from all our 76 schools across the diocese. The music was splendid with a choir formed from pupils from our secondary schools and also a small schola formed from the friars and sisters from Gosport. On Saturday at Basingstoke we offered up the Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass with almost 80 couples present, a very happy occasion. And then on Sunday, we had the ordination of our two new priests here in the Cathedral, Frs. Ansel and Robert. Please pray for them as they begin their ministries.


                                                                        Deo gratias! A grace-filled week for us all!



Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul


This Thursday we celebrate the Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul.

This is a Holy day of Obligation when the Church asks us to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

In this short video Bishop Barron explains the connection between the Petrine and Pauline ministries.



"A precious day for our diocese!"

That's what I Tweeted on Sunday morning as we looked forward to a precious event in the afternoon.


Sunday, of course, was a very special day. It was a joy to ordain two faithful men to the Sacred Priesthood for our wonderful diocese. 


Fr Ansel D'Mello and Fr Robert Stewart are our two newest priests - please pray for them as they begin their new ministry, for their families, the parishes from which they come and those they will serve.


From September, I have appointed Fr Ansel as Assistant Priest here at the Cathedral to assist Canon Dominic Golding and Fr Rob as Assistant Priest at Abingdon to assist Fr Jamie McGrath.


You can view some wonderful photos here and read my homily from the Ordination Mass here.




Celebrating 3,237 years of marriage in the diocese

Last Saturday I celebrated our annual diocesan Mass for those celebrating a Significant Wedding Anniversary at St Bede's Basingstoke. We gave thanks to God for 25, 30, 40, 50, even 60+ years of marriage! There were 77 couples present, with between them 3,237 years’ experience of marriage. A fantastic achievement: congratulations! The most popular category this year is the Golden Wedding: we had 27 couples celebrating 50 years of marriage, together with 8 celebrating 60 and one, 65 years.


You can see some photos and read my homily here.



Portsmouth Catholic Diocese in your pocket!

Have you downloaded the Diocesan App yet?

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.

Read more about it here.



Priest dedicated to working with young people celebrates anniversary

A multi-tiered cake decorated with religious symbols and a quote from a favourite saint took centre-stage at the celebration of a diocesan priest’s 10th anniversary of his ordination.


Father PJ Smith, currently serving as parish priest at the Catholic Church in Fareham and Portchester, was ordained by Bishop Crispian Hollis at the Church of St James in Reading on 7th June 2007.


After celebrating Mass in thanksgiving for this milestone anniversary, Father PJ was presented with an icon of 'saint for the youth' Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, to whom he has a particular devotion. The celebrations then continued outside, where family, friends and parishioners gathered for a traditional hog roast.


"My 10 years as a priest has been blessed. I have had the privilege to draw close to so many people at the moments in their lives when they have needed Jesus the most," said Father PJ.


"I have especially been blessed these past five years to have been asked to support the work of our young people and the school and university chaplaincies, bringing an even richer experience to my ministry. I am truly thankful that Christ called me to serve His Church as a priest."





Isle of Wight artist inspired by his Confirmation name

Last year, Michael McDonald completed a painting for St Saviours Church on the Isle of Wight, The Madonna and Child (see the article here). The response it received was quite overwhelming; people were using the painting as a focus for their prayers and openly crying in the pews. Not to mention the bus trip organised to see the works.  Michael has always tried to use his skills as an artist to be of help to others and hopefully provide inspiration. He has recently completed two new paintings of Pope Francis and St Francis of Assisi.


Read more



Caritas Portugal

The President of Caritas Portugal, Dr Eugenio Fonseca,  visited Jersey 11 June to 15 June at the invitation of Monsignor Nicholas France MBE, President of Caritas Jersey.  


Social Inclusion projects were launched during the visit and in the immediate future Caritas Jersey will work with Caritas Portugal to provide food and medicine to those in particular need in Venezuela via Caritas Venezuela.


Read more



Sea Sunday

Sunday 9th July is Sea Sunday – a day to remember and pray for seafarers and the work of Apostleship of the Sea


Read more


Summer in the forest - a new film about Jean Vanier and L'arche Communities he founded


This remarkable new film about the inspirational Catholic philosopher Jean Vanier and the L’Arche communities he founded was released in cinemas around the UK on 23rd June . The film tells the story of the search for love and friendship by the intellectually disabled members of the L’Arche communities in France and Bethlehem. It is comic, touching and moving. As one critic said "it is extremely rare for a film to have the power to change lives. This one really  might."


Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor has commented "a marvellous film that will touch many people" and the Rector of Walsingham Mgr John Armitage describes it as "truly inspirational".  


It will be shown at  cinemas around the UK with all the screening venues listed on the website: www.summerintheforest.com  


For those unable to go, you will be able to download the video from the website at a special reduced price for parishioners by quoting Parish discount code SUMMER2017.



Pact - Prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families

Pact, the Catholic charity for prisoners and their families is offering free training and support for parishioners interested in volunteering with them in prisons or in the local community.

To find out more please contact them or see their website.




Catholic University Chaplaincies

Catholic? Going to university this year?


Most of our Universities and Higher Education Institutions have a dedicated Catholic Chaplain based in the university or the local parish. The Catholic Chaplaincy is a place for you to explore your faith as a young adult, to meet other young people with similar interests from a great range of backgrounds, and to get involved in activities and social outreach. If you already have a strong faith, this is a chance to deepen it. If you are full of questions and doubts, this is a chance to share them and search for some honest answers about life and faith. Everyone is welcome. 


To find your local Chaplaincy, and for contact details of all the University Chaplains and Catholic Student Societies, visit the Catholics At University website.


Refugee Pilgrimage at St Mary’s School Gosport

Patrick Flynn writes...


My wife, Isobel, and I had a really enjoyable Pilgrimage with Year Six children from St Mary's School during "World Refugee Week"  last week. The children were excellent as we thought about the plight of Refugees made homeless by war or climate conditions and those closer to home who were made homeless following the tower block fire in London.


We were very impressed by the attention of the children and by the messages of hope that they wrote for Refugees.


You can read more on the CAFOD blog.



Portsmouth People

Look out for the latest issue of Portsmouth People in your parishes shortly.
It is due to hit the pews this weekend on 1st July.


New training courses for Catechists

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.




Forthcoming events

Saturday 1st July

Ordination of James Snyder to the Diaconate

St John's Cathedral Portsmouth, 11.00


Sunday 2nd July

St Edmund Campion Pilgrimage Mass

Lyford Grange, near Wantage

Read more


Wednesday 12th July

Reboot Live! UK Tour

St Mary's University Twickenham

Read more


14th-16th July

Neighbour or Stranger:

A Christian Response to Forced Displacement in the World

University of Winchester

Read more


21st-23rd July

National Justice & Peace Conference:

A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor

the challenge of Pope Francis

The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire

Read more


23rd - 29th July

Don Bosco Summer Camp

St Cassian's Kintbury 

Read more


3rd-6th August

St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

Read more


Saturday 12th August

Franciscan Celebration Called to be Presence in the World

Read more


Friday 18th - Friday 25th August

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Monday 21st - Friday 25th August

Fanning the Flame - Hampshire Camp

Read more


30th September - 1st October

Celebrate! Southampton

Read more




Follow us on Social Media

I invite you to keep in touch in between issues of E-News by following my Twitter account.
You can also follow the Diocese on Facebook and Twitter.


Bishop Philip's Engagements   

Wednesday 28th June 

Clergy Day, Marwell Hotel


Thursday 29th June 

Visit to seminarians, St John’s Seminary, Wonersh


Friday 30th June 

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Saturday 1st July 

Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, 11.00

Parish Visitation: Leigh Park, Havant


Sunday 2nd July 

Parish Visitation: Leigh Park, Havant


                                                                          Monday 3rd July 

                                                                        Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth



Please pray for...

For Vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life and for all currently discerning their vocation. Also for those preparing for ordination to the priesthood and diaconate this year, especially James Snyder to be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacon on 1st July.

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

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

All preparing for Confirmation and First Holy Communion.


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

All those suffering in the world through hunger, disease, persecution and natural disaster.

For all clergy preparing to move to new appointments and for their parishes.


Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese and for those entering the "Called and Gifted" process.

All the faithful of the Diocese that they may share their time and talents for the the good of the Church and discern how God is calling them in a particular way to be more intentional disciples. 



Bishop Philip Egan

With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers, 


In Corde Iesu

 Bishop of Portsmouth


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