Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Wednesday 6th September 2017 - Issue 150 (2017/31)
Dear all,

Welcome to this 150th edition of our Diocesan Enews – I hope you like receiving it. Please pass it on to others, encouraging them to subscribe. My thanks to Deacon Craig Aburn for collating and editing the news. 


Meanwhile, please remember Cardinal Cormac in your prayers – may he rest in peace. Pray too for all the teachers and students returning to school this week – and also for all Altar Servers from across the Diocese gathering with us at the Cathedral this Saturday for fun, formation and a Eucharistic Procession.


God bless you this week.



The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Friday 8th September


This Friday is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


This beautiful musical rendition of the prayer, "Hail Mary", by composer David Burke is sung by Kelly Burke and John Burke. The video features scenes from the film  "The Passion Of The Christ" by Mel Gibson.



September - Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

On 15th September, the Church honours Our Lady of Sorrows, recalling Simeon’s prophecy, when Mary presented the Child Jesus in the Temple forty days after his birth: “A sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2: 35). That prophecy was fulfilled when Our Lady stood at the foot of the Cross, sharing in Jesus’s sufferings. During this month of September, then, we honour Mary under the title “our Lady of Sorrows”. Let us bring Her all our own sorrows, knowing that She understands what it is to suffer. Let us ask Her compassion and help, asking Her to present us to Christ Her Son.

Read more 


Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, R.I.P.

We were saddened to receive the news last Friday of the death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. May he rest in peace. As a dear son and priest of our Diocese of Portsmouth, he was well known to us over the years and our Diocese thus suffers a particularly personal loss.


You can read the full text of the message I have written to the Clergy and People of the Diocese of Portsmouth and details of Cardinal Cormac's funeral arrangements here.



Introducing the "Diocesan Dashboard"

Over the last two years, our diocesan Social Research Unit has been undertaking a special project with a company called Field Dynamics to establish a computerised data-base that collates data and statistics about the Diocese and about each and every parish, pastoral area and deanery. The data-base, called the “Diocesan Dashboard,” will be especially helpful for our diocesan administration and our Catholic Schools and Academies Office, as well as for Framework Teams such as Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, and for parish, pastoral area and deanery Evangelisation Strategy Teams. It incorporates both internal and external data about the Diocese and indeed, will be an invaluable tool for anyone engaged in pastoral planning at any level. For instance, it could help planners determine where to build a new school or church, or the sorts of ethnic chaplaincy services to be provided or the types of mission and evangelisation strategies appropriate to the given demographics.
Read more 



Diocesan Day for Altar Servers

I would like to invite all the altar servers in the diocese to a special event at St John's Cathedral this coming Saturday, 9th September. The event will include a Eucharistic Procession and Holy Half Hour, formation and testimony about serving, and team games. The day begins at 10am in the Discovery Centre, and ends at 3.30pm. Please bring a packed lunch and your server's robes.


The full timetable is as follows:


10:00 Arrivals at the Cathedral Discovery Centre (Registration and Refreshments)


10:30 Vest and Eucharistic Procession (through the City Centre)


11:30 Holy Half Hour and Benediction (in the Cathedral)


12:00 Lunch


13:00 Formation and Testimony


14:00 Team activities and social


15:00 Finish


You can register your attendance as an individual or parish group by contacting Tom Sellars on 01329 318869 (ext 222) or by e-mail.


Reinstatement of Holy Days of Obligation

With effect from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017, two holydays of obligation are being reinstated.


This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and has been confirmed by the Holy See.


The days are:


The Epiphany of the Lord — 6 January (transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on Saturday or Monday)


The Ascension of the Lord — Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter


Read more 



Hospital Chaplaincy

The hospital is an amazing place to think about life, review things and to ask those important questions which we all have to ask like, what’s the point of it all, why me, why is their suffering, where is God?  The hospital is a place where the Church can bring the Lord’s comfort and healing, consolation and hope.  This is the place where the Church can meet lapsed Catholics, people who don’t know where they’re going but need something more.


Fr JP Lyttle writes about his new assignment as a Catholic Hospital Chaplain.


Read more 

Educational Chaplaincies

The Youth Ministry Programme for the coming academic year (2017/2018) is now available on the "Youth" page of our Diocesan website here. For each event, you can expect more detailed promotional material around nine weeks prior; please contact Educational Chaplaincies if you have any questions (edchap@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk).  


Please also consider promoting events at any point in the year to the target audience within your Parish. The Youth Ministry Programme includes both events for young people and those who work with them, as well as an invitation to request support and bespoke bookings. 


Read more 




Looking back at Lourdes

When we were in Lourdes on pilgrimage, I was the chief celebrant at the main Mass on the Feast of St. Rose of Lima in the St. Bernadette Basilica. You can listen to the homily here. The pilgrimage as a whole went very well once again this year, thanks not least to the expert organisation by Fr. John Cooke assisted by Mrs. Clare Ryan. Our Portsmouth group constituted about 140 pilgrims. It was good to have with us too Fr. PJ Smith and some of our Youth Leadership Team, who were also planning for a 14-18 year old pilgrimage to run alongside the main pilgrimage next time. The weather was a bit unsettled, but if anything this made things easier than having the blazing heat of the Mediterranean sun in summer.


You can read more about our pilgrimage and view some photos here.



Fanning the Flame Summer Camp


The annual Fanning the Flame Summer camp held at St Dominic’s Priory took place last week. The theme this year was taken from

Acts 1:18 “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses to the ends of the earth”.


You can read the full report from the camp here.


Stella Maris Mass

Supporters, ship visitors and head office staff from the Apostleship of the Sea joined parishioners from the diocese at the cathedral on Monday 4th September to celebrate the annual Stella Maris Mass in honour of Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

Mass was celebrated by Fr Claro Conde. Apostleship of the Sea South Coast port chaplain Deacon Roger Stone preached the homily.

Deacon Roger said Apostleship of the Sea is the face of the Church to seafarers who work and live on ships.

“We offer a warm and genuine welcome to the ‘stranger’ – seafarers who arrive at our shores,” Roger said.

In 2016, in the South Coast – which includes Portsmouth Diocese – Apostleship of the Sea port chaplains and ship visitors went on board 1,120 ships. A total of 13 Masses were celebrated on board and faith resources and welfare support given 600 times.

Read more 




From Portsmouth to Knock

Nineteen parishioners from Bournemouth, Maidenhead, Southampton, Fareham & Portchester and Stubbington & Lee-on-the-Solent recently went on Pilgrimage to Knock lead by Fr John Chandler, arriving during the Perpetual Novena.


Read more 




A Guernsey Blessing

On 31st August more than 50 frail, elderly and housebound parishioners, ten of whom were in wheelchairs came together for the annual Service of Blessing. This took place at Our Lady Star of the Sea church in Guernsey.  Canon Michael Hore led the Service, assisted by Fr Paul Dzwig  and Deacon Mark Leightley.  Reverend George Lugton of the Church of Scotland who as a fellow sufferer is also the chaplain to the Guernsey Alzheimers Association also took part in the prayers. 
Read more 


Who are these people with Fr James Bradley?


You might be able to guess where this picture was taken, but do you know who these people are with Fr. James Bradley? We’ll tell you more in next week’s E-News!


Meanwhile, please say a prayer for them as they begin their prayer and mission.


More next week!



Have you ever considered a vocation as a Deacon?

Oscott Seminary have introduced a preparatory year for men discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate. This Propaedeutic year consists of three sessions (Friday-Saturday) and commences on 10th/11th November. The other dates for this academic year are 26th/27th January and 16/17th March.


Its aim is to help candidates better understand the reality of a vocation to Holy Orders and to discern whether this is what God is calling them to. There will be Parish based pastoral elements, spiritual formation and intellectual input given through teaching, seminars and discussions. 


Wives of prospective candidates will also be supported during these days and are encouraged to attend. Attendance at these days does not commit an individual to beginning the formation program, but is part of the overall selection process.


For further information, please e-mail Fr Peter Hart as soon as possible, or complete the Preliminary enquiry form here. Application deadline is 1st November.



Do you have some good news to share?

I would like to encourage all readers to send in items for the Enews about events in parishes, pastoral areas and schools about the many sacramental celebrations and general good news about people in the diocese.


I kept hearing much Good News when we were in Lourdes from many people - do share it with us so we can share it with others in the diocese.


Thanks, of course, to all who already contribute articles for the e-News on an occasional or regular basis.


Please e-mail all news items to: executiveassistant@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk 




Bishop Philip's Engagements 

Friday 8th September 

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Saturday 9th September

Diocesan Day for Altar Servers

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth


Monday 11th September 

Funeral Mass for Fr Leo Targett, Faringdon


Tuesday 12th September 

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Wednesday 13th September

Funeral Mass for Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor

Westminster Cathedral



Forthcoming events   

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


Saturday 9th September

Night Fever

St Mary's Church, Gosport

Read more


Saturday 16th September

Retreat Day for Catechists

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


12th - 13th October

Fatima 100 years Later: A Marian Call For The Whole Church

Buckfast Abbey

Read more


Saturday 14th October

Diocesan Day for Catechists

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 21st October

National Altar Servers' Mass

Westminster Cathedral, 2.30pm.

Read more


Saturday 4th November

Diocesan Day for Children's Liturgy of the Word Catechists

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more


Saturday 18th November

Fruitful Discipleship in our Diocese


Read more


Sunday 19th November

Kerygma Retreat


Read more


Monday 20th November

Sharing our Faith with others

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more



Employment opportunities

Parish Secretary at St Laurence, Petersfield
12 hours per week to be worked over 3 days, plus approximately 12 hours per year (taking minutes at 6 evening meetings).

Closing date for applications: 8th September 2017.


Headteacher - St Bernadette's School Farnborough
Required for January 2018

Closing date for applications: Friday 15th September 2017 (12 noon) 

Parish Administrator and Office Manager 

Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton. 

10 hours per week (days and times to be negotiated with the Parish Priest, but ideally to cover Tuesdays and Fridays and one evening per month)

Closing date for applications: Saturday 23rd September (12 noon)


Read more





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Please pray for...

The repose of the souls of all who have died recently, especially for Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Mother Mary David Totah, OSB and for all 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.

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 moving to new appointments at this time 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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