Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Wednesday 19th July 2017 - Issue 145 (2017/26)

Dear all,

I'm off to Hasselt Belgium next week to speak on 'Eucharist as Source of New Evangelisation' for 700th anniversary of the Eucharistic Miracle. 


In the last days of July 1317, a Host is believed to have bled (literally) after being touched by unconsecrated hands, in a little farm in Viversel (Lummen). It was the starting point for several miracles in Viversel and the former abbey of Herkenrode. This ‘Sacrament of Miracle’ is – since 1804 after the French Revolution - venerated in the Cathedral St Quentin of Hasselt. Every year on July 25th, the Sacrament of Miracle is exposed for a solemn adoration.


You can read more about the Eucharistic Miracle of Herkenrode here.


Meanwhile, God bless you and have a good week ahead.


Clergy Appointments

I have made some further new clergy appointments in the diocese, which take effect from 8th September 2017. 


Please pray that in the new appointments the Lord will bless these pastors and their communities abundantly. 


In the autumn, Fr. Tom Grufferty will move from Christchurch and ‘change status.’ My thanks to him for all his good work as parish priest and as the Coordinating Pastor and Dean. After a short sabbatical, he will live in Gosport and take up a new role as Chaplain to the Heads and Principals of our schools. He will also assist the priests of the Solent Pastoral Area.


I have appointed Deacon Stephen Morgan to assist Fr James Bradley in the parish of the Holy Family, Millbrook (in addition to his role as Diocesan Financial Secretary.)


Following his recent ordination, I have appointed Deacon James Snyder to assist Fr Sean Tobin in the parish of The Holy Trinity and Our Lady, Fleet and Church Crookham.


Please welcome Fr Paul Rowan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, who is a teacher and member of the SLT of Beaulieu Convent School, Jersey.


You can read more about all the announced moves here. 


Have you ever thought about being a priest?

How many priests has your Parish produced? Maybe you live in one of those 'hot spots' of the Diocese from which quite a few of our present priests have come? There's another and much more important question. How many priests is your Parish going to give in the future? I reminded everyone of this in my recent Pastoral Letter that priests come from families just like yours and mine. At a football match, for instance, it could be both a fan in the crowd and a player on the field who are called to priesthood. Jesus called all sorts to be his first followers. He calls all of us now to be his missionary disciples. From among those he calls some will hear the call to the sacred priesthood. It could be you or someone you know.


Read more 



A Letter to the Holy Father from the Young People of the World


I would like to draw your attention to a world-wide campaign to ask the Holy Father to canonise Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati at the end of the Synod on Youth next year and a sign-up web-based petition. Blessed Pier Giorgio's niece, Wanda Gawronska, who I met earlier this year recently wrote to me:


"Fr. Niemczak has put on the internet a letter petition to Pope Francis to be signed by every friend of Pier Giorgio but above all by youth devoted to Pier Giorgio, petition for canonization on the occasion of the Synod.  I am sure you will help in spreading it also. Bishop Sartain is coming to Pollone around the 20th of July and he is also willing to work on a letter signed by the USA bishops, friends of Pier Giorgio!”


You can sign the petition here.  


Liturgical Celebrations for the Centenary of Blessed Oscar Romero

There are two events coming up for the Centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero to which I draw your attention:


Special Centenary Mass

Saturday 12th August at 12.30pm St George’s Cathedral, Southwark.

(followed by Reception in the Amigo Hall)


Evensong: National Ecumenical Celebration

Saturday 23rd September at 3.00pm Westminster Abbey.

(This event requires tickets.)


Read more 





Portsmouth Diocese goes Green!

Our new 100% renewable ‘green’ electricity contract took effect on 1st July. Almost all parishes in the diocese are participating. Portsmouth Diocese is the 17th diocese in England and Wales to take part in the scheme.

Our energy contacts are now supplied by Inter-Diocesan Fuel Management Limited (IFM) which was established in 1994 by Catholic Dioceses in England and Wales. It was formed under the Catholic ethos of ‘brother helping brother’ for mutual trading, to enable Diocese to bulk purchase its energy requirements and take advantage of the better buying power of a substantial organisation. I


Three quarters of the Dioceses in England and Wales are now served by one operation for mutual benefit. By purchasing for such large quantities, the parishes benefit from a lower cost than if they went to market individually.




Why Catholics Leave, What They Miss, and How They Might Return...

You will remember in autumn 2015, the diocese ran a campaign in connection with St Mary's University called 'Share Your Story'. We wanted to hear from as many Catholics who have stopped practicing their faith as possible - what had caused them to leave, and what might help them consider returning. The response was impressive, and part of the reason why it has taken longer than anticipated to produce the final report.
We received 256 eligible responses, many very detailed, and we are deeply grateful to those who gave time sharing so thoughtfully, and those who encouraged friends and family to respond. In fact, the data was so rich, that the final report will be produced as a book - "Why Catholics Leave, What They Miss and How They Might Return" - which will be published by Paulist Press in 2018.
The team, comprising of Prof Stephen Bullivant, Dr Catherine Knowles, Hannah Vaughan-Spruce and Berna Durcan, is putting together the finishing touches in consultation with Fr Mark Hogan and the Vicariate for Evangelisation. We thank you for your patience in waiting for the outcomes of this study and can promise an eye-opening but also encouraging read that will be of interest to all clergy and laity who are passionate about bringing people back to the Church.  


Pilgrimage to Oropa and Turin for young people

When Fr. PJ and I were in Turin in the Spring to meet Wanda Gawronska and to dedicate the youth work of the diocese to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, we met Brother Joseph Bailham, a Dominican who was organising a pilgrimage to Oropa and Turin for young people. Recently he wrote to me about the pilgrimage.


"My group returned to England on 7th July after a truly wonderful week in Turin and Oropa. We were there from Monday 3rd - Friday 7th July. We were staying at the shrine of Don Bosco from the Monday until Wednesday lunch, which means we were able to celebrate the feast of Bl. Pier Giorgio by his relics in the cathedral (and which brought back fond memories of our joint visit earlier in the year). Inspired by your example, we decided we would consecrate our Dominican Youth Movement to the patronage of Bl. Pier Giorgio, which we did before his relics. 


Read more 


"Behind closed doors"

Behind closed doors – voices against gender-based violence, human trafficking and modern-day slavery, is a research project, commissioned by Churches Together in England, and made possible through a legacy gift of the former Leicester Free Church Women’s Council.


You can read the full report here




Diocesan Day for Altar Servers

I would like to invite all altar servers from across the diocese to join me for a special Day for Altar Servers on Saturday 9th September.

More information to follow, but please keep the date free.





Rosaries for Prisoners

Could you help the Catenians to provide Rosaries for Prisoners?

The Catenians are currently collecting white plastic rosaries to meet the urgent demand for them among Catholic prisoners.

Please send these rosaries to:

Michael Blackburn, 164 Green Park Road, Halifax HX3 0SP.


For more information, please contact Michael on 01422 352559 or via e-mail.








Youth 2000 Summer Festival in Walsingham

2017’s biggest young Catholic Summer Festival! 


Inheritance, a 5-day camping festival run by young people for young people. It is about us discovering who we are as we come face-to-face with the God who made us, knows us and loves us. 



Thursday 24th - Monday 28th August 2017

Guests can arrive onsite from 5pm on Thursday 24th August. The festival kicks-off at 7pm that evening and will finish at 1pm on Monday 28th August. Guests will need to leave the site by 5pm on Monday evening.


The National Catholic Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham. The festival site is just opposite to the premises of the Catholic shrine. It is just 15 minutes drive from the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea and 2 and a half hours from London (via the M11). Look out for the big top! 

Houghton St Giles, Walsingham, Norfolk, NR22 6AL 

Who is it for?
Anyone between the ages of 16 - 35, or families with parents or children in this age-range, are welcome.

Read more 


Jesus in the Park

Havant Passion Play Limited  is rehearsing for this new play which has been specifically written for us by James Burke-Dunsmore. James is well known for playing the role of Jesus in the Life of Christ at Wintershall and in Trafalgar Square, London on Good Friday. James will be playing the lead role of Jesus, in "Jesus in the Park". The new play is in the throes of rehearsal but we would welcome more actors, especially men and school age children. The play will be performed in Havant Park, in the open air, on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August, entry is free but bring a rug or garden chair to sit on! Performances begin at 12noon and 3pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Do come and join us, it is a wonderful experience for both cast members and the audience. For further details e-mail Jacky Chong




Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela  

St Joseph's & St Edmund's Parish in Southampton City Centre is organising a Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela from 16th– 23rd June 2018.


To secure the excellent price of £830 the firm organising the travel arrangements need to book flights by mid-August to secure the best possible deal. (Deposit £200 per head).


Fly to Madrid and then drive to Burgos when we will spend one day in Loyola, the birth place of St Ignatius to visit his shrine. We then follow the route of the Camino, the way of St James, to Santiago.  There is the opportunity for walking some of the route but the coach will also be available for those who would rather use it. There will be daily celebration of Mass.


For further details and booking forms please contact Godfrey Doyle via e-mail or telephone 07714 370529.



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 

21st-23rd July

Harvester Catholic Men's Weekend

High Leigh Centre, Hoddesden 

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


Saturday 22nd July

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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


Monday 14th - Thursday 17th August

Faith Summer Break

Residential faith camp for children aged 11-15

Read more


Friday 18th - Friday 25th August

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Saturday 19th August

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

Read more


Monday 21st - Friday 25th August

Fanning the Flame - Hampshire Camp

Read more


Saturday 9th September

Diocesan Day for Altar Servers


Saturday 9th September

Blessed Oscar Romero Walking Pilgrimage

St Joseph's Church, Havant to St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Sunday 24th September

International Migrant Mass

St John's Cathedral, 3pm


30th September - 1st October

Celebrate! Southampton

Read more


Saturday 21st October

National Altar Servers' Mass

Westminster Cathedral, 2.30pm.

Read more


Employment opportunities

Finance Officer - St Joseph’s Parish in Maidenhead
20 hours per week
Closing date for applications: Wednesday 19th July (12 noon)  

Lay Chaplain - Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College
37 Hours per Week, Term time only, plus one week 

Headteacher - St Bernadette's School Farnborough
Required for January 2018
Closing date for applications: Friday 15th September 2017 (12 noon)

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    

Thursday 20th July 

Bishop’s Council, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Friday 21st July 

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Sunday 23rd July 

Talk at Eucharistic Congress, Hasselt, Belgium


Tuesday 25th July

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Thursday 27th July 

Church Leader’s Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth




Please pray for...

The repose of the souls of all who have died recently, especially those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster.  Please pray particularly for the repose of the soul of young Alfie Jones who died last week after a battle with a rare bone cancer. Requiescant in pace.


For Vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life, for all currently discerning their vocation and for those in, or soon to begin formation for ordination to the sacred priesthood and diaconate.

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

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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