I have just returned from a most memorable visit to Archbishop Cornelius in Bamenda. There is so much to share with you about it and so I hope over the next weeks in e-News to run a series of reflections. The situation of the Anglophone peoples in Cameroon is not easy at the moment and so we do need to continue our prayers. I intend too to write to all our MPs again to ask them further to encourage our government and those responsible to bring pressure to bear towards a solution good for all.
Meanwhile, I wish you every blessing from the Lord in the run-up to Lent, which begins next week.
Mass IV Cunctipotens Genitor Deus (‘God the Almighty Father’) is ascribed for use chiefly on Feasts of the Apostles. The Kyrie of this Mass collection is another early composition that dates back to at least the 10th century. Around that time, the musical form of organum developed: that is, the addition of another voice or maybe even two other voices either holding a constant note below or paralleling the melody at an exact interval apart. It was a way of giving heightened splendour and solemnity for a particular occasion and it became common with the more talented choirs found in cathedrals and major churches. Originally organum was improvised, but with the passage of time, mediaeval composers began writing it into their compositions and thus polyphony was born. The original melody was the upper line (the vox principalis) with the vox originalis paralleling above or below. In this recording, sung by the Ecole de Notre Dame, the first invocation of the Kyrie is the usual melody, then for the second, a bass is added, and for the third invocation, a vox originalis at a perfect interval apart. The result here with Kyrie IV is in my view rather pleasing – but see what you think!
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 Old Testament, leprosy is depicted as punishment for disobedience of God’s commands. Considered “unclean”—unfit to worship or live with the Israelites, lepers are considered “stillborn,” the living dead. Indeed, the requirements imposed on lepers in next Sunday's First Reading—rent garments, shaven head, covered beard—are signs of death, penance, and mourning.
So there’s more to the story in today’s Gospel than a miraculous healing. When Elisha, invoking God’s name, healed the leper, Naaman, it proved there was a prophet in Israel. Today’s healing reveals Jesus as far more than a great prophet—He is God visiting His people.
Only God can cure leprosy and cleanse from sin and only God has the power to bring about what He wills so the Gospel scene has an almost sacramental quality about it.
Read his complete reflection for this coming Sunday - and sign up to receive the reflections each week by e-mail here.
On February 2nd we celebrated Candlemas, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. It marked the very last day of the traditional Christmas season, and in some places is celebrated by a procession with candles, which are blessed and then taken home.
The Gospel reading from St Luke (2:22-40) on Candlemas Day includes the prophetic words of Simeon:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’
from which we receive the canticle Nunc Dimittis which is prayed each night at Compline, or Night Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours.
You can read the full reflection here.
Formation for Mission - Online Lent Study with Diocesan Discussion Forum
St Paul’s Centre for Biblical Theology will release two of their Scripture study programmes free online this Lent. You may be a commuter working long hours, a shift worker, a parent busy with after school clubs or housebound and unable to get to a parish Lent study. Whatever your situation we recommend this opportunity to follow this in your free time. The Bible and the Sacraments and The Bible and the Virgin Mary will be available from 14th February to those who sign up.
Furthermore, we would like to invite you to our pilot discussion forum for our diocese on Facebook on The Bible and the Sacraments course. You can sign up and share what you are finding interesting or challenging. This will be our first attempt at forming an online study forum so we hope it will be a positive experience. Our Facebook page is Diocese of Portsmouth Formation Study. Just go to the page and apply to join this as it is a closed group.
Virtual Lenten Retreat
If you are looking for a retreat this Lent but can't get away, you could join the online Pray More Lenten Retreat.
The first NightFever evening of 2018 is on Saturday 17th February starting at 7.30pm (following Mass at 6pm).
NightFever is a very special evening where we are not only able to follow Christ’s call to “Reach out to others,” by inviting passers-by to come and light a candle and to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, but we too have the opportunity to spend time with Jesus in a beautiful atmosphere.
All are very welcome please do come along, taste and see.
If anyone would like further information or would like to take part in the evening please contact Mike Slater on 02392 554537 or contact the Parish Office 02392 580119.
Please keep NightFever in your prayers.
Our Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Team are running a number of workshops at St Michael’s & All Angels Leigh Park, to introduce Natural Fertility Planning. Each session runs from 6.30-9.00pm
Wednesday 28th February 2018
Wednesday 28th March 2018
Wednesday 25th April 2018
Wednesday 23rd May 2018
These workshops offer an opportunity to learn how to complement your Fertility App, understand and work with your body. NFP – a Practical way of life, either for achieving pregnancy, the menopausal years, or the time in between.
Fertility Care uses the Creighton Model. This model is also about monitoring your gynaecological health. The Creighton chart is a diagnostic tool. Ideally, all women should chart from about aged 16. Some gynaecological problems can be detected, whilst they get to know their bodies & appreciate their natural physiology early.
Kindly RSVP to Aba by 7th February if you wish to attend the February workshop.
The Catholic Medical Association will be holding its Annual Conference on Saturday 14th April (followed by the AGM on Sunday 15th April) at the Catholic University of St. Mary’s, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4SX.
The subject of the conference will be “Conscience Matters in the Workplace” and will approach the subjects of Conscientious Objection , Conscience Clauses and difficulties which believers of all kinds may be having, or have had, with the exercise of their beliefs while at work in Healthcare.
It is generally agreed that the success of a caring professional is dependent on their ability to use their integrity to make judgements about their working situation .
This involves decisions concerning bioethical matters , reproductive function , service management and provision,attitudes towards disability, individual patient treatment and end of life care . Conscience is crucial in making valid judgements. That is not an attempt to block legal treatments, nor to discriminate, but to allow each individual to be respected where differences occur and not to act where it is felt appropriate.
Unfortunately, over the years, there has been a movement towards the exclusion of those with specific moral standards from the workplace and the introduction of relativistic approached to protocols . There has been a decrease in sympathy towards those with religious belief, and legislation for Conscience Clauses holds no hope of a just solution. Despite many reassurances these clauses have not worked and as a result certain areas of medicine have been avoided by many .
It is hoped that, during feedback sessions, attenders at our conference will anonymously present any problems or difficulties that they have experienced for discussion and advice so that an open approach and some resolution may be attempted.
You can download a registration form here.
During the 7-9th September, Adoremus, a Eucharistic Congress and pilgrimage will be taking place in Liverpool. To help each one of us begin our pilgrimage to Adoremus some amazing resources are available from the Liturgy Office. They will help to deepen our understanding of the Eucharist and our relationship with Christ through adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Click here to find out more about some of these resources.
The Called and Gifted process continues to run in various parishes around the diocese, and two parishes have had it for a second time.
Here's the second part of our series looking at the various charisms identified through the Called and Gifted Process.
Here are some more testimonies and stories from parishioners around the diocese who are using various charisms:
Writing Charism - using words to create works of truth or beauty that reflect human experience and bring glory to God.
Knowledge Charism - empowered study and intellectual activity resulting in new or clearer understanding of God, people and the universe.
Service - seeing obstacles that keep good things from happening and doing whatever it takes myself to remove them.
I've just returned from my visit to Bamenda - here’s a picture of me with some of the Bamenda seminarians the other day - please pray for them! Archbishop Cornelius has promised us another two badly needed priests. But let’s pray that, though obstructive to date, our UK Immigration service will this time allow them through.
In a Memorandum presented to the Head of State, President Biya, the Bishops of the Province of Bamenda in December 2016 explained clearly some of the origins of the problems there:
iii. The cavalier management of the 1972 Referendum which took out the foundational element (Federalism) of the 1961 Constitution.
iv. The 1984 Law amending the Constitution, which gave the country the original East Cameroon name (The Republic of Cameroon) and thereby erased the identity of the West Cameroonians from the original union. West Cameroon, which had entered the union as an equal partner, effectively ceased to exist.
v. The deliberate and systematic erosion of the West Cameroon cultural identity which the 1961 Constitution sought to preserve and protect by providing for a bi-cultural federation.
For the Memorandum, see here.
Please continue to pray for Archbishop Cornelius, his clergy and people and for a peaceful resolution to the troubles in Anglophone Cameroon.
In this climate of hostility towards migrants, we have forgotten that at the centre of the public storm are human beings. The Jesuit Refugee Service has commissioned this report which describes the patterns of homelessness amongst the destitute refugees served by the JRS, in their own words.
The report is based on the experiences of people who came to Britain seeking sanctuary, but who instead found themselves trapped in destitution, cornered into situations of abuse and forced out in to the cold.
In last week's e-News we reported that a Memorial Mass was being held at Sean's former school, Salesian College in Farnborough, on the feast of St. John Bosco. Fr Pat Sherlock, the School Chaplain, has sent us this report on the celebrations:
On 31st January, the Feast of Saint John Bosco, Salesian College Farnborough commemorated the 25th Anniversary one of our former pupils who was inspired by our founder to live out his Salesian ideals to the full. Sean Devereux was a natural leader with a mischievous sense of fun, who devoted himself to the young people of Africa, especially in Liberia and in Somalia, where he was assassinated on 2nd January 1993.
The Mass at Salesian College was led by Fr Gerry Briody SDB, the Salesian Provincial in Great Britain. Mrs Maureen Devereux, Sean’s mother, joined the students and staff together with over fifty guests from his family, his contemporaries and his fellow-workers. After Mass, the students were each given a booklet about Sean and a half-day holiday while the visitors and staff gathered in the Refectory for a buffet lunch and a chance to share their recollections.
News has also reached us that Maureen Devereux was present at the opening of the Sean Devereux Teaching Block with new classrooms dedicated in his memory at Salesian School in Chertsey where Sean was a PE Teacher for a short time.
The Catholic Herald recently reported that Home Secretary Amber Rudd has asked “interested parties” with experience of pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics to have their say as part of a Government consultation.
The Home Office has launched a review into alleged “harassment” by pro-lifers outside abortion clinics. It is considering whether new powers are needed to protect people going to the clinic or working there.
You can read the full story here.
The deadline for contributions from the public is 19th February and the questionnaire can be accessed here.
Newport Churches hadn’t held a joint service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for several years. Following an initiative by Fr Emanuel Odoemene (pictured second from the left) Parish Priest for the Catholic worshipping communities of St Saviours Totland and St Thomas of Canterbury Newport, St Thomas of Canterbury hosted a joint service on Sunday January 21st. Christians from several Christian Churches in the Newport Area joined together to worship with prayer and song. The address was given by Lieutenant Rodney Bean of the Salvation Army told us of his personal experiences of meeting with victims of human trafficking when he was working in London. The Salvation Army are the first port of call for social services who are dealing with people found in modern day slavery.
Members of the congregation were given copies of Rediscover Jesus which were a Christmas gift to the churches of the diocese from an anonymous donor.It is hoped that the parish Interchurch Group will help with the Christian outreach in Newport.
Churches Together in the Ryde Area helped mark the anniversary of 170 years of the Baptist Church in Ryde by subscribing to 170 hours of prayer during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Prayers covered a wide selection of subjects from local issues to international ones.
Should you wish to share some of the events which marked the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in your area please e-mail email@example.com
There was a level of excitement amongst members of the Spiritual Formation team at the recent team meeting in Winchester under the guidance of their newly appointed co-ordinator and leader, Chris Bryden. Under discussion was the provision of Open Door Retreats within the Diocese, introduction of Weeks of Accompanied Prayer for Parishes and Pastoral Areas, and the creation of information packs to assist Parishes hold Days of Quiet Reflection as well as the facility for Spiritual Direction.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Five altar servers were recently awarded their Guild of St Stephen medals by Monsignor Nicholas France, after a year’s service in St Thomas’ Church, Jersey.
The photograph shows the recipients with Mgr Nicholas France and Nicholas Le Cornu who is due to be ordained as a Permanent Deacon in June 2018.
13th February (Hindu)
MAHASHIVRATRI (Great Shiva Night)
Every night of the new moon is dedicated to Shiva, but on this night, Shiva is said to perform the cosmic dance, leading from creation to destruction. Many Hindus fast. Milk and honey are poured on his symbol, lingam.
16th February (Chinese)
CHINESE NEW YEAR / SPRING FESTIVAL / CHUNJIE / YUAN TAN
Celebrations last three or more days. 2018 is the Year of the Dog.
27th February (Christian Orthodox)
FIRST DAY OF LENT / THE GREAT FAST
This begins a period of abstinence from meat, fish and dairy products until Easter. Eastern Churches start Lent on the Monday before the first Sunday of Lent.
1st March (Judaism)
Celebrates the saving of the Jewish community of Persia, which is retold in the Book of Esther (the Megillah) and read twice in the synagogue. The name of Haman is drowned out with rattles and hooters by the congregation whenever it is read. Hamantashen (cakes filled with poppy seeds, literally ‘Haman’s pockets’) are made and eaten at this time.
Catherine Hobbs - Diocesan Director for Education
Catherine is the Diocesan Director for Education leading the Catholic Academies and Schools Office in Portsmouth. She started her role a year ago, having previously served as Headteacher at St. John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary School for seventeen years. Catherine’s role is to facilitate support to Catholic schools and to lead the CASO team, working collaboratively with other Curia departments
Outside of these duties Catherine is also a member of the Cathedral parish, singing in the Choir or as a cantor and is also a reader and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Her interests include going to the theatre, cinema and the occasional pub walk.
Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Canon Terence Healy who died last week aged 80, a Priest of our Diocese for 55 years.
There will be more on Canon Healey next time, once details of the funeral have been finalised. Meanwhile, do remember his family and friends in your prayers, and especially the parishioners of Horndean, his last parish, who will remember him with affection.
Requiescat in pace.
Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr Frank Thompson of the Mill Hill Missionaries who died on 4th February aged 78. He was ordained in 1965 by Cardinal Heenan at Mill Hill.
Fr Frank spent most of his ministry as a Missionary in Kenya and as APF/Mill Hill Co-ordinator for the South of England, his patch covering our Diocese of Portsmouth.
You can read the full obituary here.
Requiescat in pace.
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: email@example.com
If you have a Parish or Diocesan event to advertise, please complete this form.
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
Sunday 11th February
SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
National Prayer Cycle: World Day of Prayer for the Sick; the Unemployed
Diocesan Prayer: All who are sick
Monday 12th February
Feria [6th Week in Ordinary Time]
Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady of Lourdes, Eastney
Tuesday 13th February
Feria [6th Week in Ordinary Time]
Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of Maria Stella Matutina in the Diocese
Wednesday 14th February
BEGINNING OF THE SEASON OF LENT [the Alleluia is entirely omitted in this season]
ASH WEDNESDAY, Day of Fasting & Abstinence
Diocesan Prayer: The grace to keep a good Lent
Thursday 15th February
Thursday after Ash Wednesday Mass
National Prayer Cycle: The people of Europe, especially of Eastern Europe
Diocesan Prayer: Those who do not believe in God
Friday 16th February
Friday after Ash Wednesday Mass
Diocesan Prayer: Servite Secular Institute
Saturday 17th February
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
The Memorial of The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order may be commemorated
Diocesan Prayer: All participating in the Rite of Election of Catechumens and Welcome of Candidates, their sponsors, families, catechists and parish communities
Sunday 18th February
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
National Prayer Cycle: Candidates for the Sacraments
Diocesan Prayer: Parish of English Martyrs, Didcot (dedicated 18.2.17)
Wednesday 7th February
Life in the Spirit Seminar
Corpus Christi Wokingham
Thursday 8th February
CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing,
Sunday 11th February
Saturday 17th February
St Mary's Gosport
Sundays in Lent
The Mystery of the Holy Eucharist
(Series of talks preparing for Adoremus Eucharistic Congress)
Jesus and the Kingdom, Weekend Retreat,
Park Place Pastoral Centre
Monday 19th February (for 5 weeks)
Essential Training for Catechists
Holy Family Millbrook, Southampton
Friday 23rd February (for 5 weeks)
Essential Training for Catechists
St John Vianney Church Hall, Wantage
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
Saturday 21st April
Holy Land Pilgrimage information session
Immaculate Conception & St Joseph Church, Christchurch
Wednesday 4th July
Feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Celebration event at St Patrick's Soho
St George Catholic College Southampton
Full time - 35 hours per week
Closing date for applications: Monday 19th February (12 Noon)
Interviews : week commencing Monday 5th March
For informal enquiries please contact Mark Czoch (Diocesan Property Manager) 02392 825430.
St Saviour, Totland Bay & St Thomas of Canterbury, Newport Parish wishes to appoint a Parish Secretary to work in the Parish Office for 20 hours per week (Days and hours by negotiation).
Closing date: Friday 23rd February (12 noon)
Interviews: week commencing 26th February
For informal enquiries please contact the Parish Office on 01983 522027
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 (12 Noon)
Interviews: w/c Monday 19th February
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
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 Canon Terence Healy, priest of our diocese, Fr Frank Thompson MHM, 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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