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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The February bulletin from the Justice Peace and Social Responsibility Team has just been published. You can read it here.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a Parish or Diocesan event to advertise, please complete this form.
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
THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD, feast
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
FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
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
Saturday 3rd February
CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing,
Monday 5th February
Winchester Catholic History Society meeting
Leonor of Navarre- Killer Queen?
Wednesday 7th February
Life in the Spirit Seminar
Corpus Christi Wokingham
Thursday 8th February
CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing,
Sunday 11th February
Jesus and the Kingdom, Weekend Retreat,
Park Place Pastoral Centre
23rd - 25th February
Teresa of Jesus Weekend Preached Retreat,
Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford
Saturday 24th February
Alton Day of Renewal,
Saturday 3rd March
Christian Choices in our Common Home,
Social Justice, Assembly for Lent 2018,
St Bede's Basingstoke
10th - 11th March
Lenten Lamentations, Polish Lenten Devotions,
Polish Catholic Church, 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.
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
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.
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.
The work of the Apostleship of the Sea, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, Caritas Jersey, CAFOD and those with whom they work.
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