Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Wednesday 31st January 2018 - Issue 169 (2018/5)


Dear Friends,


I’m writing this e-News to you from Archbishop’s House Bamenda sending you prayers and greetings from Archbishop Cornelius, Bishop Michael Bibi, Fr Bonaventure (the Chancellor) and many others. They are all on great form. The mission (and extent) of the Church here is truly vibrant and ever expanding. The Archbishop now has 90 students in the seminary! Do pray though for them and for all the faithful here at this time of political, social and economic turbulence. I experienced on Monday what they call a “ghost day” when, as an act of protest and defiance, all businesses and schools remain closed. The roads were almost empty and the overall situation is becoming tense. Let us pray for a conversion of hearts facilitating dialogue.


Meanwhile see you next week!




Mass Settings - Mass III: Kyrie Deus sempiterne

We continue our mini-series in e-News looking at the collection of eighteen Mass settings found in the Kyriale for use in the Roman Rite, with a particular focus on the chants offered for the Kyrie eleison.

This week, we have Mass III: Kyrie Deus sempiterne which like Mass I and Mass II is another setting proposed for use in Eastertide.
Click on the picture to hear a recording of the chant. 


"The King's authority": reflections on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Raised to serve": Scott Hahn reflects on 5th 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 this Sunday's Gospel, the whole town gathers; all the sick are brought to Jesus. He drives out demons in the whole of Galilee. Everyone is looking for Christ.


Like Simon’s mother-in-law, there is only one way we can thank Him for the new life He has given us. We must rise to serve Him and His gospel.


Our lives must be our thanksgiving, as Paul describes in Sunday's second reading. We must tell everyone the good news, the purpose for which Jesus has come—that others, too, may have a share in this salvation.


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



Silence in Church

Reflections by Jennifer Geach - Thinking about Suffering

It is a curious fact that we do not ask why there is beauty, truth, love and justice.  We are inclined to take the good things that we enjoy for granted, as if they were our due, as if we in some way deserved them.  By contrast, whenever pain, illness, suffering break into our lives, one of the questions that we ask is why? Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?  However, in the most well regulated and ordered lives, some suffering is inevitable; and many people suffer very greatly. 


The spectacle of suffering in someone we love is even more painful, perhaps, than the endurance of suffering ourselves.  Our reactions can include rage, despair, and even flight: it takes courage as well as compassion to attempt alleviation for suffering which can seem unendurable.  Even the pain of animals, at least of mammals, can evoke sympathy; the pains of our fellow humans can seem more than we can endure.


You can read the full reflection here.



Greetings from Bamenda

I am currently in Bamenda on a Pastoral Visit to Archbishop Cornelius and the people of our twin diocese. I am pictured here with the youth of Bamenda after Benediction in the Cathedral where we sang with gusto the Tantum ergo and Pater Noster. Latin not only raises the heart and mind to God but it’s also such a helpful tool in creating a universal Catholic culture.


Recently two members of the Portsmouth Bamenda Committee also visited in solidarity with our friends in Cameroon who have been facing many challenges with the current socio-political situation. Visiting various projects on which we collaborate, there has been a mixed picture. People are living in fear of the unstable atmosphere which prevents them going about their daily lives freely however, school attendance is gradually increasing and many are showing great courage and determination to maintain a sense of normality. Positive progress has been made on bringing clean water to 3 remote rural villages. A full account of the visit will be made available on the Bamenda and Portsmouth website in due course.


Please pray for a peaceful resolution to the troubles.



Justice Peace and Social Responsibility 

Social Justice Assembly for Lent 2018: Christian Choices in our Common Home

Everyday responses to the cry of the poor and the earth, highlighting Fairtrade.


During Lent this year, the Justice Peace and Social Responsibility team and Caritas invite people to gather for a Social Justice Assembly – we have two interesting speakers from the Columban Missionaries and the Fairtrade Foundation who will highlight practical action we can chose as Christians to care for all God’s Creation.  Plus, there will be opportunities to network and share updates on JPSR from around the diocese.


Saturday 3rd. March, 10am to 3pm

St Bede’s Church Basingstoke RG24 9DX

Please come, book via Eventbrite or contact Maureen jpsr@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


If you are a Catholic charity or organisation and you would like to have a table to share information about your work for social justice, please contact us. 


February JPSR bulletin

The February bulletin from the Justice Peace and Social Responsibility Team has just been published. You can read it here.



Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Fr John Cooke will be leading a 12 day, three-centred Pilgrimage to the Holy Land between 1st-12th March 2020.

The pilgrimage will include the sites where the most important events in Our Lord’s life and ministry took place, beginning in the Negev desert reflecting on the promises of the Old Testament, and then continuing to the sites of their fulfilment in Bethlehem, Galilee and of course Jerusalem.


There is an information session to launch to pilgrimage on Saturday 21st April, 2-4pm at Immaculate Conception & St Joseph Church, 67 Purewell, Christchurch, BH23 1EH.


For further information or to register your interest, please contact Fr John Cooke.



An invitation to Southampton Celebrate

All are invited to a  "Faith Filled" family weekend. Speakers this year include Geoff & Gina Poulter, Matt & Lucy Gwyn and David & Gio Payne. There will be great Praise & Worship, Dramas with Steve Murray and age appropriate teaching for children. A variety of seminars on both days and of course, daily Mass. Children's places are limited and early booking is recommended.

When: Saturday 29th - Sunday 30th September
Where: St. George Catholic College, Leaside Way, Southampton, SO16 3DQ

Further information: Visit the website or contact Lynda and Peter Szymanski by telephone: 02380 292058 or e-mail.



Carlo Acutis – Friend in Heaven

What are the Called and Gifted charisms? 

The Called and Gifted process continues to run in various parishes around the diocese, and two parishes have had it for a second time. Over the next few weeks we'll be looking at the various charisms identified through the Called and Gifted Process.


Do click on these links to read and watch some inspiring stories and testimonies of parishioners who have discovered and are using various charisms to serve others outside the parish walls.


Encouragement Charism - nurtures others through your presence and through words of comfort, encouragement and counsel.  


Helps Charism - offering my talents and charisms to enable another person to serve God and people more effectively. 


Leadership Charism - sharing a compelling vision with others that draws them to work together to make the vision a reality. 

Adoremus - let us adore Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration

Remembering Sean Devereux 25 years on

2nd January 2018 was the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of Sean Devereux in Somalia. Sean was a student at Salesian College in Farnborough and after further studies at Birmingham University and a short spell at as PE teacher at Salesian School in Chertsey, he became a Salesian Missionary and aid worker before working for UNICEF in Somalia where he was assassinated at the age of just 28.


Memories soon slip away but the life and death of this youngster from Crowthorne hit the world  and his work continues through his mother, the Salesians and the Sean Devereux Children's Fund. Fr Michael Peters who was formerly an Assistant Priest in Sean's home parish of Crowthorne prepared him for First Holy Communion and remembers him as an enthusiastic altar server.


A memorial Mass was being held at his former school, Salesian College in Farnborough, on the feast of St. John Bosco today.



The Archbishop Romero Trust

The Trust exists to:


♦ Promote knowledge and awareness of the life and work of Archbishop Romero.

♦ Encourage and organise prayer services and memorial liturgies annually on the anniversary of his death.

♦ Provide support to human rights and social justice initiatives in Latin America which carry forward the tradition of his work.


The Trust organises memorial liturgies each year around 24th March, Romero Day; it also organises an annual Archbishop Romero Lecture, provides materials for local Romero events and produces a twice-yearly newsletter, ‘Romero News’. The ‘Friends of Romero’ is a network of solidarity set up by the Trust to further this work and to involve and include others.


You can read their latest newsletter here which features reports of many events last year to celebrate the Centenary of Blessed Oscar Romero's birth.



Jersey parishioners support Apostleship of the Sea

Guernsey parishioners supporting CAFOD

During Advent 2017, Guernsey parishioners opted to raise money to buy goats from CAFOD's World Gifts catalogue.  The idea was fully embraced by the parish and £2,960 was raised.  This equates to 105.71 goats!  It was a brilliant result and the feedback from parishioners showed that they liked knowing exactly what their Advent offering was going to buy and also have a figure of £28 per goat encouraged many to give that little bit more and so buy a whole goat, rather than perhaps its hind quarters.


A display of goats was placed in or near the cribs in each of the three Catholic churches in Guernsey so that parishioners could see how their donations will help improve the lives of some of the world's poorest communities.



Welcome to Worship in Avon Stour

Mary Thomson, a parishioner of Avon Stour Pastoral Area, writes:


“On 10th January 2018, about 90 people gathered at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Southbourne for Avon Stour Pastoral Area’s ‘Welcome to Worship’, an evening of prayer, praise and fellowship organised by Richard Martin, our Director of Lay Formation, ably supported as always by a great worship band and team of helpers.


For those who have not been to a ‘Welcome to Worship’ gathering before, I have always found that there is a deep sense of God’s presence, expressed through song, silence, the exploration of Scripture and prayer ministry.


You can read the full report here.




Students participate in the Blessing of an expectant mother

Southampton school focuses on developing relationships

St. Mary's Independent School (Southampton) hosted its annual ‘Relationships Day’ this week.  It focused on developing 'relationships'in all senses of the word.  Years 7 and 8 deepened their understanding how better they could support their spiritual brothers and sisters worldwide through interactive workshops run by ‘CAFOD’ (this year they looked at the importance of water).  Years 9 - 11 considered the value of Christian marriage through sessions with ‘LOVEWISE’; and followed this by meeting and discussing topics with married couples through ‘EXPLORE’ workshops.  The  true nature of a good and healthy relationship was examined with ‘LIFE’. Finally they developed their teamwork skills with the ‘NATIONAL CITIZENSHIP SERVICE’.  The complete day thus embraced St. Mary’s Catholic and inclusive ethos by inviting students to reflect  on how best they could achieve successful, long lasting and loving relationships



An invitation to Quarr Abbey on Sundays in Lent

The Community at Quarr Abbey invite you to join them for a series of talks on the Sundays of Lent on the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist from 3.30 to 4.30 pm in the Abbey Church, in preparation for ADOREMUS, the National Eucharistic Congress to be held from 7th-9th September in Liverpool.


Each week there will be a different talk at 3.30pm followed by the Office of None (Afternoon Prayer) at 4.15pm.


Sunday 18th February

What did Jesus do during the Last Supper?

Abbot Xavier Perrin

Sunday 25th February

What do we do at Mass?

Br. Duncan Smith

Sunday 4th March

Communion of Flesh and Spirit:

St Irenaeus on the Eucharist

Dom Gregory Corcoran

Sunday 11th March

Eastern Churches' Understanding of Eucharist

Dom Nicholas Spencer

Sunday 18th March

Real Presence and Adoration

Dom Luke Bell

Sunday 25th March

Mary, Holy Eucharist, and the Church

Dom Brian-Gerard Kelly



Essential Training for Catechists 

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. 


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. 

Wednesday 31st January

St John Bosco, Founder, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Salesians in the Diocese


Thursday 1st February

Feria [4th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Brigid, West End


Friday 2nd February


Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Bishop’s Waltham

(originally dedicated 2.2.1982)


Saturday 3rd February

St Blaise, Bishop & Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Ansgar, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [4th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Brigidine Sisters in the Diocese


Sunday 4th February


Diocesan Prayer: Community of Holy Rood, Folly Bridge, Oxford (consecrated 5.2.1962)


Monday 5th February

St Agatha, Virgin, Martyr, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart, Bournemouth (consecrated 5.2.1975)


Tuesday 6th February  

St Paul Miki & Companions, Martyrs, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Chapel of St Amand, East Hendred


Wednesday 7th February

Feria [5th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Bellringers’ Guild of St Agatha


Thursday 8th February

St Jerome Emiliani, Founder, optional memorial

or: St Josephine Bakhita, Religious, optional memorial

or: Feria [5th Week in Ordinary Time] 

National Prayer Cycle: Victims of Human Trafficking

Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Community at East Oakley

Most Revd Derek Worlock, 5th Bishop of Portsmouth R.I.P. (1996)


Friday 9th February

Feria [5th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady of Lourdes, Hungerford


Saturday 10th February

St Scholastica, Virgin, memorial 

Diocesan Prayer: Benedictine Nuns in the Diocese  


Forthcoming Events 

Saturday 3rd February

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing,

Read more


Monday 5th February

Winchester Catholic History Society meeting
Leonor of Navarre- Killer Queen?

Read more


Wednesday 7th February

Life in the Spirit Seminar

Corpus Christi Wokingham

Read more

Thursday 8th February

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing,

Read more


Sunday 11th February

Bosco Experience,

Read more


17th-18th February

Jesus and the Kingdom, Weekend Retreat,
Park Place Pastoral Centre

Read more


23rd - 25th February

Teresa of Jesus Weekend Preached Retreat,
Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford

Read more


Saturday 24th February

Alton Day of Renewal,
Alton Convent

Read more


Saturday 3rd March 

Christian Choices in our Common Home,
Social Justice, Assembly for Lent 2018,
St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more 


10th - 11th March 

Lenten Lamentations, Polish Lenten Devotions,
Polish Catholic Church, Reading

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.



Parish Secretary (Our Lady of Lourdes, New Milton)

Part time - 8 hours per week, Wednesday and Friday


Our Lady of Lourdes parish in New Milton is seeking an experienced Administrator with excellent interpersonal skills and time management and the ability to prioritise tasks.   S/he will be computer literate, skilled in word processing, spreadsheets and data management as well as use of the internet and good all-round office skills able to publish Parish Newsletters and update Parish website.


Closing date for applications: Friday 9th February 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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Don't forget you can 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...

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

The Unity of all Christians in doctrine, life and worship.

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

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 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.

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 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. Please pray for the repose of the souls of Fr Jimmy McCaffery, a Carmelite brother at Boars Hill, for Fr Edward Rogers SJ of the Corpus Christi Jesuit Community, Boscombe, who died on 30th of December. He was 93. He was ordained in 1958 and worked most of his life, about fifty years or so, in Zimbabwe and had been living in our Diocese for the last six years and for Denis Bennett (Fr Roy Bennett’s brother who died recently) and 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, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, Caritas Jersey, CAFOD 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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