Welcome to the Enews in this last week of September as we enter autumn. There is much happening across the Diocese, much to thank God for. Meanwhile, please remember in your prayers our sister diocese of Bamenda in Cameroon, especially Archbishop Cornelius, Auxiliary Bishop Bibi, the clergy, religious and faithful. There have been months of protests by Cameroon's Anglophone population against what they say is discrimination by the Francophone majority - see the story from BBC news here. Let us pray for a speedy and fair resolution of these difficulties.
Meanwhile, God bless you all this week.
This past weekend I issued my latest Pastoral Letter, Bringing People to Jesus through His Church.
In it, I announced an eight-point plan for the Diocese, a vision statement of my hopes and aspirations for the next decade. (See article in last week's eNews here.) I have been discussing this vision with various groups and diocesan officers over the last year, as well as with the clergy at the Convocation of Clergy during the summer. It is a vision that builds on all that has gone before but which lays out lines and trajectories of development for the future. The immediate task will be for everyone, clergy and laity, and for groups, communities, parishes and schools, ESTs and Framework Teams to receive and reflect upon this vision. Each in their own work and in their own field, will then be invited to develop strategies that seek by God’s grace to implement the vision in their own contexts.
Later this week on 29th September, the Church celebrates the Feastday of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. It would be good day to go to Mass if you can. Early next week on 2nd October, the Church celebrates the Memorial of our Guardian Angels. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been offering a brief catechesis on angels and this week I’d like us to think about St. Raphael, the Angel of the Lord sent to bring God’s healing. Indeed, the name Raphael means “God has healed.”
For more on this, see here.
Earlier this week on Monday 25th September, our Schools and Academies Office issued an important update on the Academies Conversion Project for our publicly maintained diocesan schools. You can read it here.
Some schools have begun conversion to academies as part of a Multi-Academy Trust, but the overall project is being paused as we await further developments from the Department for Education. Please pray for our schools and the splendid work they are doing as they seek to hand on the Faith to the children entrusted to their care.
The Called and Gifted team are running a free teaching day for anyone in the diocese on Tuesday 10th October from 9am to 5pm, in Portsmouth. The rest of the process (a private discernment Conversation, and three small group meetings) can take place in your parish or nearby.
Called and Gifted is a process that helps you understand your own calling and identify the specific charisms that the Lord has given you to share with others. For more information and to read testimonies from those who have been through the process, or watch a video about it by Bishop Philip, please visit the Called and Gifted webpage here.
For more information and to register please e-mail Clare Simpson.
This past Saturday, the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph were delighted to present and train enthusiastic catechists from our diocese for a fantastic new resource for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion coming out in November from Redemptorist Publications: “I Want to Make My Home in You” – a “Come Follow Me” catechetical resource from the Notre Dame de Vie Institute. This resource engages children directly in the Sacred Scriptures, the proclamation of Salvation History, and in our Sacred Liturgy and Tradition, particularly the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
On Saturday, 14th October, this resource will be officially presented at the annual Diocesan Day for Catechists in Portsmouth Cathedral (10am-4pm). This day is free and open to all – lunch is provided. If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful resource and growing in your skills to transmit our amazing Catholic faith, please register.
You can register for the Catechists' Day here.
Are you interested in learning to play the organ or improving your organ skills?
Organist and pianist, Nicholas Gleed, has agreed to teach lessons at St. Joseph’s Church in Havant, which has offered the use of its organ. Having studied Music with an organ scholarship at Cambridge, Nick headed music departments at King’s Canterbury, Durham School and Bedales before retiring from full-time school teaching last January.
Churches are always in need of organists to play for various services and events. This is a great opportunity to study a fascinating instrument and its repertoire at all levels with an experienced performer, to have use of the organ at St. Joseph’s and possibly develop a career.
Minimum standard to start learning the organ is Piano Grade 4-5 ABRSM or equivalent in ability.
As both the church and Nick wish to promote local, affordable music study, lessons will be available for half an hour per week (or otherwise by arrangement) and charged at a reduced rate of £30 per hour. There will also be opportunities to perform in front of an audience.
If you are interested, please come to an initial meeting with Nick on Sunday, 1st October.
There will be a presentation at 2pm, followed by the opportunity to talk with Nick about your current abilities, wishes and aspirations.
If you cannot attend on 1st October, please contact the parish office to arrange an informal discussion with Nick. All enquiries to: St. Joseph’s Church, 134 West Street, Havant PO9 1LP. Tel: 02392 484 520 or e-mail.
This conference takes place in Rome 20th - 22nd October to help people with disabilities to fully engage in the life of the Catholic Church. You can read more about this here. Let us look forward to the fruits of this conference in our Diocese.
You can contact Pastoral Care Services / Disability Fellowship on 01730 262290 or via e-mail.
You can read more here.
On Monday 25th September, there was a gathering of the Heads and Principals of the 23 independent Catholic schools in the Diocese of Portsmouth with the Bishop and with Catherine Hobbs and Edmund Adamus from our Schools and Academies Office.
The meeting began with Mass at 11.00am in the Cathedral in St. John’s Chapel, with lively music led by musicians Sarah Keogh and Tom Sellars. During the Mass, Bishop Philip gave the following short homily based on Our Lord’s words from the Gospel of the day: “No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl. He puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see” (Luke 8: 16-18) about the role of a Catholic school in the new evangelisation. See here.
Last week, on Tuesday 19th September, Mgr. Andrew McFadden, the Principal Catholic Chaplain to the Royal Navy, arranged a formal visit for me to the Naval Base here in Portsmouth. After prayers in the beautiful Chapel of St. Anne within the base, I was received by Commodore Jeremy Rigby, who took me out on the harbour, where among many other things and a fascinating commentary, we could see the impressive new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. For more, see here.
The Catholic Church in Jersey recently held a Thanksgiving Mass for Marriage & Significant Anniversaries.
This was a happy occasion held on Saturday 23 September in St Thomas' Church with Mass celebrated by Mgr Nicholas France with Fr Benjamin Theobold. After his homily, Mgr France invited the couples to face each other for the renewal of commitment. After the Mass all were invited to a reception in the hall to view the display of wedding photographs and enjoy refreshments.
With thanks to Mary Cahill, Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator, who kindly organised this special event.
You can view some photos from the celebration here.
Fr. John Lavers has now arrived on Alderney and is preparing for the arrival of the Marian Franciscan Sisters who will arrive on Saturday, 7th October, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. As the sisters and Fr. John will be living by the Divine Providence of God, please consider supporting the Adoremus Centre with either your time, your talent or your treasure. For more information, contact Fr. John (firstname.lastname@example.org.).
The Centre has its own webpage.
If you wish to send a prayer request, you can do so by sending an e-mail.
If you wish to have a Mass offered, please send your Mass Intention (with a good will donation) to:
The Catholic Presbytery
Parish of St. Anne and St. Mary Magdalen
Fr. John has vowed temporarily himself to take a vow of poverty, and to live by a Franciscan Rule of Life. As a symbol of this, he was invested with the habit of St Francis on Friday 15th September, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, in the Bishop's Chapel.
Many congratulations to Chris Olding of St Bede's Basingstoke, who was in the congregation at Westminster Abbey for the ecumenical Evensong for the Archbishop Romero Trust to hear his specially commissioned hymn," God, you raise up true disciples" sung by the choirs and congregation. Chris is a Diocesan Organist and runs Wheatsheaf Music a non-profit publishing house for modern Catholic music.
Ian Etheridge is an artist and craftsman who has created sanctuary furniture, including a presidential chair and lectern, for St Saviour’s Church in Totland. In 2016 Ian was commissioned by Fr Gerard Flynn to create a Sacrament House for the tabernacle at St Michael and All Angels Church in Leigh Park. This year Ian has carved, from the same piece of English Oak, a prayer focus for the Paraclete Chapel at St Michael’s.
Read more here.
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: email@example.com
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Tuesday 26th September
Bishops Conference Department Meeting, London
Thursday 28th September
Bishop’s Council Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Monday 2nd - Friday 6th October
Clergy Retreat, Douai Abbey
27th September - 5th November
40 days for Life
Saturday 30th September
Solemn High Mass & Procession in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham
St Agatha's, Portsmouth
30th September - 1st October
Monday 2nd October
Keys to the Kingdom - a retreat for all religious sisters
Divine Mercy Centre, Ramsgate
6th - 8th October
Newman Weekend - a Formation Weekend for young women 18-35
St Joseph's Convent, Grayshott
12th - 13th October
Fatima 100 years Later: A Marian Call For The Whole Church
Friday 13th October
Caritas Celebration Event
Holy Family Millbrook, Southampton
Saturday 14th October
Diocesan Day for Catechists
St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth
Saturday 14th October
The ‘Domestic Church’ or How can we live out our faith in our busy and chaotic home lives?
St Peter's Church, Winchester
Saturday 21st October
National Altar Servers' Mass
Westminster Cathedral, 2.30pm.
Monday 23rd October
Courage: Speaking the Truth in Love with Father Philip Bochanski
Holy Family Catholic Church, Southampton
Saturday 4th November
Diocesan Day for Children's Liturgy of the Word Catechists
St Bede's Basingstoke
Saturday 11th November
Demystifying Natural Family Planning Day
St. Michael and All Angels, Leigh Park
Saturday 18th November
Fruitful Discipleship in our Diocese
Saturday 18th November
Rise theatre company presents Romero: the Heartbeat of El Salvador
St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth
Sunday 19th November
Monday 20th November
Sharing our Faith with others
St Bede's Basingstoke
The repose of the souls of all who have died recently band for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster. Requiescant in pace.
For all clergy moving to new appointments at this time and for their parishes.
For the work of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth and Caritas Jersey and those with whom they work.
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