Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Thursday 18th January 2018 - Issue 167 (2018/3)


Dear friends,


Welcome to this week’s digest of news from our Diocese of Portsmouth. An important thing for us is that today we begin a week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians, praying for a deeper communion in doctrine, life and worship between all the disciples of the Lord. This is a really important intention as it is the prayer of Jesus Himself (John 17: 21: ‘that they may be one’). Could I make a suggestion, indeed, a request? - that you offer a Decade of the Rosary for this intention each morning over the coming week. Meanwhile, may God bless you all. May He bring you one day to be with Him in the happiness of heaven.


Mass Settings

One of the pleasing things I find celebrating Mass in parishes and communities around the Diocese is the number of different settings of the Ordinary of the Mass in use (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei), including some composed locally. On the other hand, it goes without saying that it is also important that everyone in the Diocese knows a few standard settings of the Mass - such as, say, Missa de Angelis or the chants given in the Roman Missal - that we can use at Diocesan gatherings and on other occasions when a lot of us come together. Having said that, I thought it would be interesting to run a little series in ENews about the chants found in the Kyriale.


The Kyriale Vaticanum (to give it its full title) is a collection of eighteen Mass settings, together with chants for the Creed, the Our Father and the Collects, that Pope St. Pius X promulgated authoritatively for use throughout the Church (Tra Le Sollecitudini 1903). In it, he systematised and gathered together earlier collections of Mass settings in the light of the new scholarship of the great Abbey of Solesmes. In fact, the Mass settings were grouped somewhat arbitrarily, with the exception of Mass I (for Eastertide) and Mass XVIII (for Requiem Masses), both of which had been in use since ancient times, and each Mass tends to be an assemblage of musical pieces from different centuries. Even so, they remain the standard forms for use in the modern Roman Rite, as revised by the Second Vatican Council, and can be found in books such as the Graduale Romanum


Over the next weeks, I will offer a few reflections on each of the eighteen settings of the Kyrie, beginning this week with Mass I Lux et Origo. For more, click here.



"Speak, Lord, your servant is listening" 

This week, Jennifer Geach reflects on last Sunday's reading and the call each of us must listen for from God in our own lives.


The Gospel last Sunday was John 1: 35-42, a passage that we can all easily identify with. It told of how, when Jesus passed by, John the Baptist exclaimed, ‘Look, there is the Lamb of God!’ One of the two disciples who heard him say this was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He later went to find his brother Simon to tell to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’. 


You can read the full reflection here.






"Following Him": reflections on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Each week founder of the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology, the theologian and best-selling author, Dr Scott Hahn, offers a wonderful reflection on the readings for the coming Sunday.  

In the Gospel this coming Sunday, the calling of the brothers evokes Elisha’s commissioning by the prophet Elijah. As Elijah comes upon Elisha working on his family’s farm, so Jesus sees the brothers working by the seaside. And as Elisha left his mother and father to follow Elijah, so the brothers leave their father to come after Jesus.


Jesus’ promise – to make them “fishers of men” – evokes Israel’s deepest hopes. 


Read his complete reflection for this coming Sunday - and sign up to receive the reflections each week by e-mail here.


The Week of prayer for Christian Unity begins today

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity runs every year from 18th-25th January, ending on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. Please pray for unity of all Christians in doctrine, life and worship regularly, but, most especially during this week of prayer.


Resources for the week can be found on the following links:


Churches together in Britain and Ireland 

Vatican website

And you can find prayer intentions for each day here.


Here is a bidding prayer which could be used at Masses on Sunday 21st January, the Sunday during the Prayer Octave;

Pour out your Spirit upon world leaders. May they see the tragedies of our human family, and be moved to respond with wisdom, compassion and courage. Open our eyes and hearts to the God-given dignity of all your people. Move us to welcome our neighbours, and so bear witness to your love. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.


The diocesan Christian Unity Committee would love to hear from you if you have plans locally for the week. Contact them on christianunity@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


The Most Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus.


You may have seen that I recently Tweeted about this (see here).


Here is a prayer you might like to use for the remaining days of January:


Most merciful Jesus, you began your office of Saviour by shedding your blood and assuming for us that Name which is above all names. I thank you for such early proofs of your infinite love. I venerate your sacred Name in union with the deep respect of the angel who first announced it to the earth. I also unite my affections to the sentiments of tender devotion which your adorable Name has in all ages enkindled in the hearts of your servants.


Jesus, you said: "If you ask the Father anything in my Name, he will give it to you" (John 16:23). I earnestly ask the Father in your Name for an increase of faith, hope, and love, and the grace to lead a good life and die a happy death.


Jesus, your name means "Saviour." Be My Saviour. Through your adorable Name which is the joy of heaven, the terror of hell, the consolation of the afflicted, and the solid ground of my unlimited confidence, grant me all the petitions I make in this prayer. Amen.


Keep the Church Open! 

Recently I was away from the Diocese for a few days, but sadly, the four Catholic churches I tried to visit during the trip were locked shut, including one that had a poster on the door about moving “From Maintenance to Mission”! How on earth can that community be on mission when its key centre, its main building, its church, is firmly closed and locked up? These days so many of our Catholic churches seem to be locked, whilst other churches, notably Anglican parish churches, many of which are in isolated or rural locations, are open to visitors and those who wish to come in to pray.


In our Diocese of Portsmouth, I have been asking clergy to make sure that our churches are kept open, at least for part of the day. In our churches, Jesus Christ is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. So why do people lock Jesus away from His people? It would be easy to post “Opening Times” by the front door.  Of course, we need to be prudent and not to put the real gold candlesticks on display! Interestingly, our diocesan insurers acknowledge that all our churches are places of worship and sanctuary, and that it is important for them to remain open and accessible. The insurers do not interfere with or influence the opening hours of our churches, nor does whether a church is open or closed have an impact on our insurance premiums.


To hear me say a bit more about this, click here.


Image - Quarr Abbey, IoW


Keep this date free – 4th July 2018!

Please keep this date free in your diary: 4th July 2018! Yes, it’s Independence Day -  but that’s in the US. This 4th July is the day with Bishop John Wilson, auxiliary in Westminster, Fr. PJ Smith and Brother Joseph Bailham, a Dominican from Oxford, I am organising a special celebration for the feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. It will take place at St. Patrick’s Soho and run from early afternoon to early evening, with prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary and various inputs. The programme will be especially designed for young adults, but will be open to anyone ‘young of heart’ who wishes to come along. I’ve written to Pier Giorgio’s niece, Wanda Gawronska to invite her to join us for the occasion, and, her health permitting, she has kindly agreed. She has even spoken about bringing over some relics, including the mountain axe pictured here! This day will also give us a great opportunity to pray for Pier Giorgio’s canonisation as well as to prepare for the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool in September.


So hurry on 4th July!



Caritas Schools Dragons' Den - Final Call for Entries!

Are you a teacher, governor, parent or pupil at one of our Catholic primary or secondary schools? Did you know that there is an event on Thursday 22nd March where schools can come and present their ideas for charitable/social action projects in their local community and receive cash funding?


After two successful events in 2016 and 2017 we are hoping to run another event this year if enough schools register by the deadline of Monday 22 January. Examples of projects that have received funding in the past include: working with a Homeless Shelter to provide sleeping bags, thermos flasks and gloves; working with a Food Share project to develop a plot of land to help local people learn how to grow their own food; organising sessions for the elderly to learn how to use smart phones and tablets; working with Age Concern to organise tea parties for the elderly; and working with the Memory Box Project to develop "memory boxes" for those suffering from early dementia.


All you need to enter is a good idea, a team of pupils and staff available to work on it and come and present on 22nd March and a lot of enthusiasm for Catholic Social Teaching! If you would like a briefing pack, please contact Gerry Penfold, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth.



Last call for bookings for the Trinity Pilgrimage: 17th - 28th September

Fr Marcin Drabik is leading a pilgrimage from St Swithun's Southsea to Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania in September and invites you to join them.


The pilgrimage will visit:


POLAND: Gdansk – Westerplatte, Gietrzwałd, Swieta Lipka Kraków – Lagiewniki (Divine Mercy Centre, St John Paul II’s Centre), Lancut, Zamosc, Sokólka (Eucharistic Miracle 2008), Suchowola & Mazury

UKRAINE: Lviv, Lawra Poczajowska, Olesk, Zwaniec, Luck, Kamieniec Podolski, Zwaniec, Chocim

LITHUANIA: Vilinius, Troki, Szydlów (1st Marian Apparition in Europe), Szawle, Kowno


Further details here.


Pilgrimage to Malta & Gozo in the footsteps of St Paul

Fr Tom Grufferty invites you to join him on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of St Paul to Malta and Gozo from Saturday 1st –Sunday 9th September.


Half Board at Mount St. Joseph’s Retreat House in Mosta, Malta and return flights from Gatwick Airport.


Full Programme to include visits to Valletta, which is European City of Culture, the two famous Caravaggio paintings in the Cathedral, the Three Cities, St. Paul’s Bay, Mosta Rotunda Church, the silent City of Mdina, Rabat, Mellieha, Blue Grotto with a full day in the sister island of Gozo. A walk along the famous promenade in Sliema, St. Julian’s Bay and much more.


Full details here.




Secondary school age boys invited to a taste of the Bosco Experience!

On Sunday 11th February from 2-4pm at St. Peter’s, Winchester, Portsmouth Diocese Don Bosco Camp will be hosting our first “Bosco Experience” for any boys of secondary school age. 

This is a great chance for boys who have been on camp to meet with old friends and for those who want to find out more to have a ‘taste’ of the Bosco Experience. We'll be hosting fun activities for the boys and a chance for parents to find out more and sign up for camp, there will be no cost for the afternoon. 


Further details here.



Essential Training for Catechists - two new opportunities during Lent

The Formation for Mission Team is offering 5 sessions of essential training for everyone involved or interested in Catechesis and faith formation, sacramental preparation of children and adults, and Children’s Liturgy of the Word. These 5 sessions will take place during Lent.


In Southampton, Holy Family Church (SO16 4PL), every Monday from 6.00 to 7.30 pm, starting on Monday 19th February and finishing on Monday 19th March. Poster here.


In Wantage, St John Vianney Church hall (OX12 8ER), every Friday from 7.30 to 9.00 pm, starting on Friday 23rd February and finishing on Friday 23rd March. Poster here.


For more details, e-mail Sr Hyacinthe.


103 and still active in her parish!

Westbourne parishioner Patricia Kowalewska celebrated her 103rd birthday on 2nd January and she is still an active member of the Parish of Our Lady Immaculate Church Westbourne where she attends Mass and plays Bridge on a weekly basis and SVP afternoon tea on a monthly basis!


Patricia was in a home for respite over Christmas but has now returned to her own home.    For Patricia’s Birthday the care home arranged for an afternoon tea with birthday cake which a number of other parishioners also attended.


Our congratulations to Patricia.






Three Diocesan Medals presented in Jersey

On Saturday 13th January, on my behalf, Monsignor Nicholas France presented Leslie Crapp, Peter Farrell and Gio Pollano with Diocesan Medals in recognition of their many years of service to the Catholic Church in Jersey.  In particular Peter and Gio have worked tirelessly for the SVP and Leslie has spent over 50 years as Governor of FCJ school.   The three gentleman are role models as to what service is all about. 


It was a happy occasion with a special Mass concelebrated by Mgr Nicholas, Fr Benjamin and Fr Francis assisted by Deacon Iain and Deacon Brendan. Many parishioners gathered in the hall afterwards to congratulate and give their thanks to these three inspiring gentleman.

Focus on...Bishop's Office

Kirsten McGuire - Personal Assistant to the Bishop


Kirsten has been working in Bishop’s Office since February 2015.  She is the Bishop’s PA and amongst her duties she manages the Bishop’s diary and deals with Bishop’s Office correspondence and emails.


Kirsten has been married to Ian for 17 years and they have two daughters.  Kirsten also has a passion for ballet.








Do you have some good news to share?

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


I often hear much Good News 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 by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue to: executiveassistant@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


If you have a Parish or Diocesan event to advertise, please complete this form.


Diocesan Prayer Intentions

Each day of the year the liturgical calendar gives us a variety of seasons and celebrations of saints. These are outlined in the Diocesan Ordo along with a daily prayer for a diocesan intention. I would like to encourage you to add these intentions to your daily prayers. 


Thursday 18th January
Feria [2nd Week in Ordinary Time]

Today is the beginning of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Committee for Christian Unity


Friday 19th January
St Wulstan, Religious, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Feria [2nd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Holy Family, Southampton (dedicated 19.1.1983)


Saturday 20th January
St Fabian, Pope, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Sebastian, Martyr, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [2nd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: The Anglican Communion


Sunday 21st January


Diocesan Prayer: The Free Churches; Community of St Agnes, Liss


Monday 22nd January

St Vincent, Deacon, Martyr, optional memorial

or: Feria [3rd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: The Byzantine Orthodox & Oriental Orthodox Churches 


Tuesday 23rd January

Feria [3rd Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Association of Inter-Church Families


Wednesday 24th January

St Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor of the Church

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Francis de Sales, Wash Common


Thursday 25th  January


The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity ends today

Diocesan Prayer: Local Covenants of Churches 


Friday 26th January

St Timothy, Bishop, Martyr & St Titus, Bishop

Diocesan Prayer: Students for the Priesthood or Permanent Diaconate


Saturday 27th January

St Angela Merici, Foundress, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [3rd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Department for the New Evangelisation



Bishop Philip's Engagements    

Thursday 17th January 

Bishop’s Council, Bishop’s House


Friday 19th January 

Schools and Academies Department Meeting, Bishop’s House

Commission Student Chaplains, St Philip Howard School, Fareham


Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st January

Parish Visitation: Bournemouth and Iford


Tuesday 23rd – Friday 26th January 
Acton Institute Conference, Portugal


Saturday 27th January 
Travel to Bamenda


Forthcoming Events 

Friday 19th - Saturday 20th January 2018

Unity Christian Theatre presents

Esther and the Zargonites
The Lights Theatre, West Street, Andover

Read more

Saturday 27th January 2018

Alton Day of Renewal
Alton Convent

Read more

1st-10th June 2018
Pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan: Celebrating the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Holy Land
Read more

Wednesday 4th July 2018
Feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Celebration event at St Patrick's Soho
Read more

17th-28th September 2018
Trinity Pilgrimage to

Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania
Read more


Job Opportunities 

Office Business Manager (English Martyrs, Reading)

Full time - 35 hours per week.


English Martyrs, Reading Parish wishes to appoint an Office Business Manager to work in the Parish Office who will be the leading support staff professional assisting the Parish Priest in his duty to ensure that the Parish is fulfilling its mission of Evangelisation. The successful applicant will be responsible for managing the day-to-day function of the church site, Office, Finances and support functions of the Parish.


Closing date for applications: Friday 9th February 2018 (12 Noon)

Interviews: w/c Monday 19th February 2018

For informal enquiries please contact the Parish Office on 0118 957 2149.


Administrative Assistant - Catholic Academies & Schools Office (CASO)

Part time -  14 hours per week (Thursday and Friday)


The Catholic Academies & Schools Office (CASO) in Portsmouth are looking to appoint an Administrative Assistant to support their work with the schools in the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.  This will be an interesting and varied role and would be suitable for an existing Clerk to the Governors, or those with an interest in school administration. 


Closing date for applications: Thursday 18th January 2018

Interview date: Wednesday 24th January 2018



Cantor/Animator - St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth

St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth, is looking for a Cantor/Animator to join its music department.


The Cantor/Animator leads the singing in the Cathedral at the evening Masses each weekend (Saturday and/or Sunday at 18.00), as well as other liturgies, for example Holy days of Obligation, Sunday 10.00 Mass (should the Cathedral Choir be absent), quarterly Chapter Masses (usually weekdays at 12.15), and Vespers (currently sung on each Friday during Lent and Advent, and on other Holy Days of Obligation). Duties are shared with the existing Cantors/Animators. Remuneration available.



Read more


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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 Unity of all Christians in doctrine, life and worship.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese and the Holy Spirit's guidance on the formation of the new Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Those entering the "Called and Gifted" process and for the work of the Called & Gifted Team.

The work of our Marriage and Family Life Team.

Vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, especially to the Sacred Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life, for all our students currently in formation for ordination.

The Canonisation of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of our Youth.


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

Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda and for an end to the troubles there.

Peace in the world and for those who govern the nations that they may do so wisely and justly and for an equitable share of the world's resources.

The repose of the souls of all who have died recently and for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster. For all departed clergy and people of the diocese and for all the Faithful Departed. Requiescant in pace.


All those suffering in the world through hunger, disease, persecution and natural disaster, for all refugees and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The work of the Apostleship of the Sea.


The work of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth and Caritas Jersey and those with whom they work.


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


With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers,
In Corde Iesu


Bishop of Portsmouth


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