Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Thursday 3rd August 2017 - Issue 147 (2017/28)
Dear all,
Hope you are having a refreshing summer and manage a break. If you are away or on holiday, why not include a pilgrimage visit to a local shrine or church. Don’t forget to tell them you are proud to belong to the Diocese of Portsmouth!
Meanwhile, a reminder that later in the year, we’re organising a big “Discipleship Day” in Winchester. It will be on Saturday 18th November - please mark the date in your diary now! More details to follow.
E-News is away on summer break these next two weeks but meanwhile, my prayers and very best wishes. God bless you all. 
In Corde Iesu.


Oratory update

On Tuesday this week, I was delighted to make my first visit to the Oratorians who are settling into Sacred Heart Bournemouth as an Oratory in Formation, accompanied by Fr JP Lyttle, and celebrate Mass with them. You can read my homily here. I was delighted and encouraged by all that is happening. In the two months since the Oratorians’ arrival at Sacred Heart, the Community has already grown from four to five, with last week’s arrival of a third Brother. Please pray for them.


I am grateful to Father Peter Edwards, Cong.Orat, who has written an update on the early developments of the Oratory in Formation based at Sacred Heart Bournemouth. You can read it here.


Visit the Bournemouth Oratory’s website (in its early days, and under construction) where you can find more information on the Oratory in Formation.


Please keep the Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory in Formation and the parishioners of the Sacred Heart Bournemouth in your prayers.



Could you be a Youth Ambassador?

We are looking for two or three Youth Ambassadors, aged 18-35, from every parish in the diocese to help promote events in parishes and to support communications between parishes, young people and the diocese.


You can see some of the events organised for the youth of the diocese here.

No experience necessary, but this is a vital role with minimal commitment. Volunteers should be active in their faith and local parish, and adept in varying forms of correspondence and communication.  All volunteers will need to complete a satisfactory DBS check and further exciting opportunities will be open to volunteers.


Could this be you?


If you think it could, please speak to your Parish Priest as soon as possible.





National Eucharistic Congress: Liverpool 7th-9th September 2018             Someone has asked me what the purpose of the Eucharistic Congress next year is. For info, these are the officially stated aims:

 To rejuvenate Eucharistic Adoration in Parishes

 To encourage greater love for the mystery of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar

 To engender a deeper understanding of the place of the Eucharist in the life of the Church

 To provide practical resources for Eucharistic Adoration for Parishes and Schools

 To better form Extraordinary Ministers

 To better equip Parish catechists and Schools

 To confirm Parish ministry around the centrality of the Eucharist

Because Adoration of the Eucharist deepens our relationship with Christ, it enables us to be more effective disciples who will be better able to lead others to the life of the Church that has the Eucharist at its heart.


Read more  


Is God calling you to be a priest? 

Discernment Weekend for Men aged over 30

Friday 15th – Sunday 17th September 2017

♦ Are you a man over thirty, content, but wondering about the direction of your life?

♦ Do you sense that you may be approaching a major threshold or turning point?

♦ Have you sometimes found yourself wondering whether the priesthood or religious life may

    be an option?

If any of these questions apply, this weekend is for you!

‘Choose life!’ says the book of Deuteronomy, but it isn’t always easy discerning which path is life-giving for me. This weekend will take place in a prayerful spirit and aims to provide some tools for reflection and discernment about future choices. There will be input and also the opportunity for one-to-one guidance.


The primary focus of the weekend is the possibility of priestly vocation in later life so it is limited to men between the ages of 30 and 55. However, it is also suitable for men not specifically considering priesthood as it is not presumed that any major choice or commitment will be made during the weekend.


Visit the UKPriest website for more information.



700th anniversary of the Eucharistic Miracle of Herkenrode

I wrote last week about the remarkable weekend I spent in Hasselt, Belgium, where I was invited to an event to mark the 700th anniversary of the Eucharistic Miracle of Herkenrode.

I have been sent some photos from the event which I thought I'd share with you and you can read the text of my talk The Eucharist, Highlight of the Church and the Source of Evangelisation 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, 12.30pm at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark.

Evensong: National Ecumenical Celebration

Saturday 23rd September, 3.00pm at Westminster Abbey (this event requires tickets).


All powerful, ever-living God, you gave your servant, Bishop Oscar, the courage to witness to the Gospel of Christ, even to the point of giving his life for it, in pursuit of justice. Help us to endure all suffering for love of you, and to seek you with all our hearts, for you alone are the source of life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Read more



The Quarr Journal


Quarr Abbey recently featured on the programme The Journal on Shalom World.


This teaser trailer leads into the main programme.


Please pray for the Community at Quarr and for all the Religious in our diocese.




Festival of the Holy Blood in Bad Wurzach

Mgr. Nicholas France in an open carriage carrying the relic of the True Cross during the Festival of the Holy Blood in Bad Wurzach, south west Germany. It was in this town that Jersey families with an English father were interned from 1942 to 1945. Some of those who were children at that time were in the group Mgr. France joined in response to the invitation from the local mayor. Accompanied by two deacons, Mgr. France carried the relic in the four horse drawn carriage for 8 km through the countryside around the town blessing crowds as they passed, while stopping at three altars on the way. They were preceded and followed by 1200 horsemen, some carrying religious banners, including priests dressed in surplice and stole. The procession ended with a High Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Rotenberg Stuttgart.



Fatima Relics to visit the Cathedral

During this Centenary Year, the World Apostolate of Fatima statue of Our Lady of Fatima is on a journey around the cathedrals of England and Wales along with relics of recently canonised St Jacinto and St Francisco Marto.


The statue and relics will be visiting St John's Cathedral here in Portsmouth from Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th August.


Please support and advertise this event across the diocese.


Read more 



Local MP visits Havant Pastoral Area

Meon Valley MP, Mr George Hollingbery, paid a special visit to Waterlooville on Friday 21st July to meet a group of parishioners from the Havant Pastoral Area at the Church of The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This was in response to the Climate Coalition and CAFOD "Week of Action" initiative to call upon the Government to reaffirm the UK's role as a global climate leader. The group of parishioners was asking Mr Hollingbery to write to the Prime Minister to commit to working with international allies to fully implement the Paris Agreement. In addition, the group emphasised the need for all government departments to work together to produce an ambitious emissions reduction plan that will meet the Climate Change Act targets in a co-ordinated, cohesive, integrated, sustainable and timely manner.


Read more



Basingstoke golfers putt against Poverty

Whilst keen golf eyes may have been focused on The Open at Royal Birkdale, The Catenian Association hosted a charity game at Dummer Golf Club, Basingstoke, to raise money for the aid agency CAFOD.  This is the sixth time the Catenians have used their enthusiasm and drive for golf to fundraise and this year they made over £500, bringing their fundraising total to well over £5000. 


Read more


Farewell Fr Bonaventure!

Sadly, Fr. Bonaventure Ndong who has devotedly served the Parish of St. John Bosco, Woodley in Reading these last few years is returning  to  his native Bamenda in Cameroon to take up his appointment as his Bishop's Secretary.


Fr. Bon has been a fine pastor, a true teacher of the Word of God, a faithful minister of the sacraments and an inspiring leader of the flock. He will be greatly missed by all those who have learned to know and love him during his time here.


Our Diocese of Portsmouth and the Archdiocese of Bamenda are linked by deep bonds of ecclesial communion and the ministry of Fr. Bon, along with that of the other priests from Bamenda serving in our Diocese, has served to strengthen and nourish those bonds.


Full of gratitude we entreat the Lord to bless Fr. Bon abundantly.



CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing Meetings

Come and find out more about the CAFOD Harvest fast day which takes place on Friday 6th October.


We will be exploring how Edelmira, a farmer from El Salvador is overcoming the challenges she faces with the support of one of CAFOD’s partners.


The briefings are on:


Thursday 7th September from 7:30 to 9pm

at English Martyrs Church, Reading RG30 2EB


Saturday 9th September from 10am to 12pm

at St Joseph’s Centre, St Joseph’s Church, Christchurch BH23 1EH and


Saturday 23rd September from 2:15pm to 4:15pm

at St Stephen’s Church, Oliver’s Battery road Winchester SO22 4JB.


Please book your place by emailing portsmouth@cafod.org.uk or call 01252 329385



Annual Pilgrimage of Reparation and Prayer for the Sanctity of Life 

This year's Pilgrimage for the Reparation & Prayer for the Sanctity of Life to Walsingham is to be led by Rt Rev. Robert Byrne Cong.Orat., Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, and will take place on Sunday 17th September.


The Pilgrimage will also be graced with the presence of the Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, brought from its shrine in the Diocese of Northampton. 


There will be a coach leaving from Gosport as well as from other places outside the diocese. For details of the Gosport coach, please contact Jacob Campbell on 023 92580119.


Details of the day can be found 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.





Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility

The August bulletin from our diocesan Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility Team is now available to read here.

Read more 




New parish website for Our Lady of Lourdes and St Swithun's Southsea

Our Lady of Lourdes and St Swithun's Parish in Southsea has recently launched a new parish website - it's very rich in content and has lots of current information. You can visit their website here.


They also have a Facebook page which received over 1000 hits in its first week and their own Twitter feed. Their Parish Priest, Fr Marcin has his own blog.


Does your Parish have a website which we could feature in a future issue? Contact us with the address of your website.



Message from St Edmund's School Abingdon

St Edmund’s School, Abingdon are seeking a new statue to replace one that has been recently broken. 

If you have a spare statue of the Christ figure, Sacred Heart, or Risen Christ. ( 3 or 4 ft. high), please contact the school directly on 01235 521558.




Bishop Philip's Engagements 

Friday 4th August 

Various meetings,

Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Monday 14th August 

Various meetings,

Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Thursday 17th August 

Bishop’s Council Meeting,

Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Friday 18th August – Friday 25th August

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes


Saturday 26th August 

Mass to welcome Fatima Statue and relics of Saints Jacinta and Francesco,

St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth


Bishop's Office summer closure

Please note that Bishop’s Office will be closed during the month of August.


This means that emails and correspondence will be subject to considerable delay.


Please bear this clearly in mind these next weeks when seeking to make contact.


Forthcoming events  

3rd-6th August

St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

Read more


Wednesday 9th August  

Retreat Day for the Deaf 

St John’s Cathedral and Discovery Centre Portsmouth

Read more


Friday 11th - Friday 18th August

"Heart speaks unto heart"

Verbum Dei Silent Retreat

Verbum Dei Centre Isle of Wight

Read more


Saturday 12th August

Special Centenary Mass for the

Centenary of Bl. Oscar Romero

12.30pm St George’s Cathedral, Southwark 

(followed by Reception in the Amigo Hall)

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 26th - Sunday 27th August

Visit of the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima and

the relics of St Jacinto and St Francisco Marto

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth.

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 17th September

Annual Pilgrimage of Reparation and Prayer for the Sanctity of Life to Walsingham

led by Rt Rev. Robert Byrne Cong.Orat., Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham

There will be a coach leaving from Gosport (contact Jacob Campbell – 02392 580119)

Read more


Saturday 23rd September

Evensong: National Ecumenical Celebration for the Centenary of Bl. Oscar Romero

3.00pm at Westminster Abbey.

(This event is free entry but requires booked tickets.)

Read more


Sunday 24th September

International Migrant Mass

St John's Cathedral, 2pm


Sunday 24th September

Annual walk from Ryde to Quarr Abbey

Read more


30th September - 1st October

Celebrate! Southampton

Read more


Saturday 21st October

National Altar Servers' Mass

Westminster Cathedral, 2.30pm.

Read more


Saturday 18th November

Discipleship Day


More details soon!


Employment opportunities

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.


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. 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 and for all going on pilgrimage to Lourdes this month.

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

The next issue of eNews will be in three weeks time.
With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers, 


In Corde Iesu


Bishop of Portsmouth


Do you have an event to advertise or news item to share?

We receive a lot of adverts for events. If you would like to advertise an event, please fill out this form here

Subscribe to Portsmouth Diocese E-news
Keep up to date with what’s happening in the diocese. The diocesan e-news comes out on Tuesday most weeks – latest events, photos, videos.

(Under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the information provided on this form will be held in confidence and used for the purpose of diocesan communications and no other purpose).