Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Thursday 22nd March 2018 - Issue 176 (2018/12)


Dear Friends,


We have now entered that period of the Church’s Year called Passiontide, or late-Lent, when our thoughts are very much focused on the events of Holy Week and Our Lord’s Passion, suffering and death on the Cross for our salvation. I encourage you to try and give a bit more time to prayer over these next days, to reading the Gospels, to attending Mass and in preparation for Easter to receive the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation: confession. On Tuesday next week here at the cathedral I invite you to join me for the Chrism Mass. It’s at 11.00 am. Do pray that day for all our clergy.


Meanwhile, may God bless you with His Love. 




Mass X ('Alme Pater') 

Mass X is called Alme Pater (‘Bountiful Father’) and is proposed for use, like Mass IX Cum Jubilo that we studied last week, on feasts and memorials of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Kyrie dates from the 11th century and resembles in some ways the Kyrie from Missa cum Jubilo almost like a simplified version. I must admit that I’ve never heard Mass X sung, but the Kyrie here is not difficult. It has a lilting melody, full of longing, that builds up to a climax in the last three invocations. To pray ‘Lord have mercy’ reminds us of the two blind men in the Gospel begging for light (Mt 9: 29), Bartimaeus begging on the road to Jericho (Mk 10: 47-48) and the prayer of the Cananite woman for her little girl (Mt 15: 22). Meanwhile, the history of the use of the Kyrie eleison at Mass is interesting, dating back to the 4th century. Pope Gregory (590-604) mentions how in Rome the Kyrie eleison was supplemented by an additional prayer ‘Christe eleison’ and these occurred towards the beginning of the Mass. By the 8th century, the traditional nine-fold Kyrie was found throughout the Roman Rite.



"Darkness at Noon": Scott Hahn reflects on Palm Sunday

Crowned with thorns, our Lord is lifted up on the Cross, where He dies as “King of the Jews.” Notice how many times He is called “king” in Palm Sunday’s Gospel—mostly in scorn and mockery. As we hear the long accounts of His Passion, at every turn we must remind ourselves—He suffered this cruel and unusual violence for us. He is the Suffering Servant foretold by Isaiah in the First Reading. He re-enacts the agony described in the Psalm, and even dies with the first words of that Psalm on His lips.


Listen carefully for the echoes of this Psalm throughout the Gospel—as Jesus is beaten, His hands and feet are pierced; as His enemies gamble for His clothes, wagging their heads, mocking His faith in God’s love, His faith that God will deliver Him.

Read the complete reflection for this coming Sunday by theologian and best-selling author, Dr Scott Hahn - and sign up to receive the reflections each week by e-mail here.  



Sing Hosanna to to the King of kings

We begin Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday, which means that although there is not an obligation to attend the parts of the Easter liturgy which are celebrated on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, nevertheless we are prepared for the celebration of the Resurrection by hearing an account of the Lord’s Passion.  So Palm Sunday reflects some of the emotions which the Apostles may have had in the last weeks of Jesus’ life.


For the liturgy opens with Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, with the people singing Hosanna, and throwing their clothes and palm branches down to soften his way. The same crowds that shouted ‘Hosanna’ a week later were shouting ‘Crucify’.  This is the dreadful mutability of crowds; when we stand and perhaps join in the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we should reflect that our share in this event would likely have been ignoble: it is as much fun to shout ‘Crucify’ in a mob situation as to shout ‘Hosanna’. 


You can read Jennifer Geach's full reflection here


Join us for the Wednesday Webinar this Wednesday 7 - 8pm

The Drama of Jerusalem - Palm Sunday, Year B: Mark 11:1-10

On Palm Sunday, we see how Jesus obeys his Father’s will. He enters Jerusalem as the humble King, sitting on a colt and fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies. We see two kinds of human reactions to Jesus’ arrival into the Holy City of David. He is welcomed by the disciples; the owner of the colt; the crowd and the woman who anoints him in the house of Simon the Leper. They just want to help and worship him. Yet Jesus’ Passion also reveals other kinds of reaction: fear, incomprehension, jealousy, anger, hatred, insults, contempt, cowardice, lies...


In our webinar this Wednesday, we’ll discover how God’s compassion allows for all our human greatness and for all our human sin.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How does God reconcile the world to Himself?  

Hope: How is our humanity redeemed by Jesus Christ?

Love: How does following Christ give us a greater freedom to follow a greater love?


Sign up for the webinar here or catch up via the recording if you are unable to join us.



St Joseph, pray for us

On Monday this week, we celebrated a truly great saint of the Church, St. Joseph, the Guardian of Jesus and Husband of Mary. In the homily I gave to the children at Aldershot I said this: "Jesus was God the Son, but He was also human. He was born into a human family and He lived at home in Nazareth. St. Joseph would have been a fun father to have, a model Dad, a man of honour: I’m sure he would have shewn Jesus how to play sports and how to have a good time with His friends. He taught Jesus  a trade to earn a living. When Jesus was a teenager, he also helped Him become a good citizen and a member of the synagogue. So get to know St. Joseph; ask his prayers and pray to him for all your needs. He will always hear you.” 


The National Shrine of St Joseph is located within our diocese at St Michael's Abbey in Farnborough.


Click here for the Prayer to Royal St Joseph. 



Join me for the Chrism Mass next Tuesday

The Chrism Mass is an important event in the life of the Diocese.  The Mass, which the Bishop concelebrates with his presbyterate, should be, as it were, a manifestation of the Priests’ communion with their Bishop. After the homily the Bishop calls upon the Priests to renew publicly their priestly promises. In this Mass too the Holy Oils of the Sick, of Baptism and of the Chrism are blessed. It takes place on Tuesday in Holy Week - 27th March - at St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth beginning at 11am.


If you would be interested in joining the choir for the Chrism Mass, please contact Sarah Gallop sgallop87@gmail.com to register your interest.


A rehearsal will take place on Saturday 24th March, 2:00pm - 4:30pm at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Stubbington, PO14 2PL.




Eucharistic Congress - your last chance

Due to high demand we have extended the deadline for a few days…


This is your last chance to obtain a ticket to attend the Eucharistic Congress, Adoremus in Liverpool.  The response throughout the Diocese has, as predicted, been frantic in the last few days and we now have no tickets left for the Friday.  However if you would like to join me along with the other delegates from Portsmouth at Liverpool on Saturday 8th September email congress@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk or phone 07780 221686 without delay.


All bookings must be complete by Friday 23rd March.   


Big Diocesan Day in Preparation for the Eucharistic Congress!

The Educational Chaplaincies team at my request have organised an inspiring day to help develop the mission of our Diocese in prayer, contemplation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This will take place on Saturday 5th May at the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth. I invite all adorers from throughout the Diocese together with those who have thought about adoring but have never done so to join me for the day.  I also invite those who would like to know more about the Blessed Sacrament to come too. This will be a day for all to come and Adore!


The planning is complete so now it’s your turn.  Please come and join me adore!


Book your ticket now by emailing congress@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk or phoning 07780221686.


Click the image to download and display a poster for the event.



Fanning the Flame Summer Camp

This summer, the Fanning the Flame Catholic Mission will once again be running their Summer camp for 10-25 year olds in the New Forest. I was there last summer and it was a great day with everyone really enjoying it. There was good crowd of youngsters from all over the Diocese. The weather helped and we had an outdoor Mass. 


Wherever you are in your Catholic faith, come and be refreshed and renewed in God’s love for you! 


For more information and booking forms visit the Fanning the Flame website or e-mail: ftfcm1995@gmail.com


For a poster see here.




Are you celebrating a significant wedding anniversary in 2018?

Are you celebrating a 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or any anniversary over 60 years this year?


If so I would like to invite you to join me at a special celebration Mass. This will take place at St Bede’s Church in Basingstoke on Saturday 30th June 2018.


It is a wonderful occasion to celebrate and witness to Marriage. If you would like to come, please visit the anniversaries website for more information and to register.


O God, Creator of all things, who in the beginning made man and woman that they might form the marriage bond,  bless and strengthen the union of your servants, that they may show forth an ever more perfect image of the union of Christ with his Church.

Through our Lord Jesus your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 



The best way to prepare children for First Holy Communion 

This week we begin a series of short videos showcasing the new First Holy Communion programme, I want to make my Home in you, recently published by Redemptorist Publications which I commend to you for use in our parishes. This programme integrates evangelisation and catechesis through the use of Scripture and beautiful silhouettes. 


In part one of the video series, Sr Hyacinthe from our Formation for Mission Team gives an introduction to the course. Click the image on the left to watch the video.


Sr Hyacinthe writes: "I want to make my home in you" integrates evangelisation and sacramental preparation, providing the right conditions for children to experience an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ in word and sacrament.


E-mail Sr Hyacinthe: ffm@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk if you would like to attend either of these days.     



Spring is here at last

John Rutter (b. 1945) is a English composer of choral music that is deservedly popular. A correspondent sent in a link to this recording of his well-known For the Beauty of the Earth which I am sure you will have heard and will enjoy. Based on a hymn by Folliott Pierpoint, it praises God for the beauty of creation. It seems an apt theme for us to reflect on doing Lent, or Lencten (Springtime). The recent cold snap has covered with snow the daffodils and other plants and flowers springing forth that I was admiring just a couple for weeks ago! In his outstanding 2015 Laudato Si' encyclical letter On Care of the Common Home, Pope Francis says this: "We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man "dominion" over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church. Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God¹s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to "till and keep" the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). "Tilling" refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while "keeping" means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature (67)."


See here for a video of this setting. 



Breakfast with Engaged Couples

Last Saturday, St Patrick's Day, I hosted the annual engaged couples breakfast here at the Cathedral. The morning ended with a liturgy during which I blessed each couples' rings.

My thanks to the Marriage and Family Life team for their help with this event. You can read more about the work of the team on their website.


At the beginning of the morning, I said: "I wanted to invite all our engaged couples of 2018, those getting married either here in our Diocese or elsewhere, to celebrate your engagement and to give you a blessing. I want to celebrate the fact that this year you’re getting married and to pray it will be a wonderful beginning to your married life. And I want to thank you for getting married in the Catholic Church. Marriage and family life is a very special vocation in the Church and it’s fantastic to see what God is doing in your lives. So thank you for being here today – and congratulations!”


There are some photos and a video here.



Celebrating 150 years of Catholic Education in Aldershot

On Monday this week, it was a joy to travel to Aldershot with Fr Phil Carroll (an 'old boy' of the school) to visit St Joseph's Catholic Primary Academy to celebrate a special Mass for the school. Not only were they celebrating the Solemnity of St Joseph, their patron, but also 150 years since the very first Catholic school opened in 1867. After a succession of locations in the town, the present school was officially opened in 1967 by Bishop Derek Worlock. Following Mass, I blessed a wonderful new outdoor statue of St Joseph surrounded with stones bearing the names of current staff and pupils.

The school have many celebrations planned throughout the 2017-2018 academic year for this significant anniversary.


You see some more photos here.



Greenest School Award for Maidenhead Catholic school 

Congratulations to St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Maidenhead recently awarded, "The Greenest School Award" at a reception at the House of Commons from amongst hundreds of nominees. The school was nominated nominated by Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May who has been a frequent visitor to the school over the years as the local MP.


This accolade is an acknowledgement of the school striving to be sustainable over the last decade. Mrs Hurrell and Mrs Lewington, were invited to the Speaker's House, at the House of Commons, to receive the award from Clive Anderson. At the reception, following the award's ceremony, the Prime Minister arrived to congratulate the school on its wonderful achievement. She stated that St Mary's was a "Beacon of Sustainability." 


The school is proud of its long-standing commitment to the environment. Since February 2008, they have been awarded five Green Flags - the internationally-recognised school award for sustainability. Mrs Hurrell stated that it was a fabulous event, which saw the pupils being acknowledged for their determination to make a difference in this world and preserve this beautiful planet for future generations.



Parish Visitation to Havant

Last weekend I made a Pastoral Visitation of the parish of St. Joseph’s Havant and SS. Thomas More and Thomas of Canterbury Emsworth. The weather was cold and snowy but despite that, a great number were at the three Masses under the pastoral care of Fr. Leslie Adams, parish priest. On the Saturday evening, I met with the new Evangelisation Strategy Team, which had just completed an interesting parish survey and we began reflecting on the outcomes. On the Sunday afternoon, I met with the young people of the parish before leading a Holy Hour for vocations. But on the Saturday night, there was a social in the excellent hall at Havant.


In the photo here, you can see me talking with two of the parishioners. Throughout the visit I was struck by the numbers of people who really wanted things to work out well for the mission of the Church in our times. 




Focus on... Sister Veronica OP

Sr. Veronica OP from the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph is a member of the Called and Gifted Team and runs the Diocesan Maryvale Study Centre.


Sr. Veronica has been a member of the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph in the New Forest since 1999. She was a rather late vocation (aged 45!) Before joining the community she had been a catholic teacher for twenty four years in West London, teaching mainly primary school children. During this time she studied part time for two years at Allen Hall in Chelsea to gain a diploma in Pastoral ministry and was subsequently involved in Parish Ministry for many years in several parishes in the Archdiocese of Westminster as a pastoral worker involved in catechesis and pastoral work with the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Community of the Pallottine Fathers).


Since being with the sisters she studied for a diploma in Evangelisation and Parish Ministry and the B Div in Ecclesial Ministry at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham. She now works as an associate member of staff for the Maryvale institute in the Further Education Department, currently running the Maryvale study centre here in the Diocese in Chandlers Ford, which offers distance learning training courses for parish catechists (Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis) and also for Evangelisation and Parish Ministry (Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry). She is also part of the teaching team for the Called and Gifted Programme (having discerned teaching as one of her charisms!) She really enjoys the work she is engaged in for the diocese, helping people to grow in their faith and realise their full potential as Missionary Disciples of the Lord.


Her greatest delight is to go to Springhill school Southampton on a Friday afternoon for the Children’s fellowship group she runs with the other sisters and a team of lay helpers. She likes to keep her links with schools. Once a teacher always a teacher!



Bishop Philip's Engagements    

Thursday 22nd March

Dragon’s Den Event for Schools, Basingstoke


Friday 23rd March
Meeting with Department Head, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Saturday 24th March
Dialogue with Cultural Sectors Team Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Sunday 25th March

10am: Palm Sunday Mass, St John's Cathedral Portsmouth


Monday 26th March 
Meeting with Communications Director, Bishop’s House


Tuesday 27th March

11am: Chrism Mass, St John's Cathedral Portsmouth


Thursday 29th March 
8pm: Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper, St John's Cathedral Portsmouth


Friday 30th March
3pm: Good Friday Liturgy, St John's Cathedral Portsmouth

7pm: Stations of the Cross, St John's Cathedral Portsmouth


Saturday 31st March

8pm: Easter Vigil Mass, St John's Cathedral Portsmouth 



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.      

Sunday 18th March 


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Romsey


Monday 19th March

ST JOSEPH, Solemnity

Diocesan Prayer: The Holy Father (Pontificate inaugurated 19.3.2013);

Parish of Immaculate Conception & St Joseph, Christchurch (dedicated 19.3.1993)


Tuesday 20th March

of the 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Basingstoke


Wednesday 21st March

of the 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Benedictines in the Diocese (English Congregation, Solesmes, Subiaco)


Thursday 22nd March

of the 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: The “Ascent” movement


Friday 23rd March

of the 5th Week of Lent

[The Memorial of St Turibius of Mogrovejo may be commemorated]

Diocesan Prayer: The work of the John Henry King Fund

Most Rev John Henry King, Archbishop, 4th Bishop of Portsmouth (RIP 1965)


Saturday 24th March

of the 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption, Hedge End (dedicated 23.3.1984) 


Sunday 25th March

PALM SUNDAY of the Passion of the Lord

Diocesan Prayer: For a deeper love of the Passion of Christ


Monday 26th  March

Monday of Holy Week

Diocesan Prayer: All readers


Tuesday 27th March

Tuesday of Holy Week

The Chrism Mass is celebrated at the Cathedral today

Diocesan Prayer: All priests of the Diocese


Wednesday 28th March

Wednesday of Holy Week [Spy Wednesday]

Diocesan Prayer: All deacons of the Diocese


Thursday 29th March


Diocesan Prayer: Extraordinary Ministers of Communion


Friday 30th March


Day of Fasting and Abstinence

Diocesan Prayer: Peace in the Holy Land


Saturday 31st March


Diocesan Prayer: All those who mourn 


Forthcoming Events   

Sundays in Lent

The Mystery of the Holy Eucharist

(Series of talks preparing for Adoremus Eucharistic Congress)

Quarr Abbey

Read more


Saturday 24th March

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

Read more


Monday 26th March

SPUC Campaign Tour 2018: "We care about Women"

St Swithun's Church Hall, Waverley Road, Southsea (2.15pm)

Read more

Monday 9th April

Winchester Catholic History Group

The Chantry Chapels of Winchester Cathedral

St Peter's Winchester

Read more  


Saturday 21st April

Holy Land Pilgrimage information session

Immaculate Conception & St Joseph Church, Christchurch

Read more 


Saturday 21st April (N.B. Change of date)

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

Read more


Saturday 28th April 

Liturgy Matters

St John's Cathedral Portsmouth

Read more


5th-7th May

Prayer in the Feminine Voice

St Anne's Brockenhurst 

Read more


Wednesday 9th May

Divine Renovation: where to start

HTB Onslow Square, London SW7

Read more


Saturday 12th May

"Lift up your hearts" - A Workshop  Singing the Mass

Holy Family, Redbridge Hill, Southampton

Read more


Wednesday 4th July
Feast day of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Celebration event at St Patrick's Soho
Read more


29th-30th September

Southampton Celebrate

St George Catholic College Southampton

Read more


18th—22nd October 2018

Catholic School Leaders’ Pilgrimage to Medjugorje

Read more



Job Opportunities 

Catholic Headteacher (St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Ryde, IoW)


Are you a Headteacher looking for a new challenge or a Deputy /Assistant Head ready for your next career step? Then St Mary’s could be the school for you. St Mary’s is a single form entry primary school, within a Federation of Catholic Schools and situated in Ryde on the beautiful Isle of Wight. It is a happy, warm and caring school, which takes children from the age of 3 – 11. 


The Governors of St Mary’s are looking for an inspirational Catholic leader with the vision, and determination to progress the school to be securely good and beyond. For more information visit: https://www.tes.com/jobs/vacancy/headteacher-ryde-isle-of-wight-1042426


Closing date for applications: Monday 26th March 2018.



Parish Administrative Secretary and Pastoral Assistant, 
Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

A vacancy has arisen for the role of Parish Administrative Secretary and Pastoral Assistant to work in the parish office at Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton. 


Hours of work – 18-20 per week – (Days and times to be negotiated with the Parish Priest but ideally to cover Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and one evening per month)


Commencement Date: from 1st June 2018


Closing date for applications: Friday 13th April (12 Noon).

Interviews:  Saturday 28th April or by arrangement in special circumstances


Further information



Please pray for...

The work of the New Evangelisation across the diocese that we may all play our part in bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.


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.


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. 

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.  



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 


Please send news as plain text and images as attachments rather than embedded in a document.


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



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Don't forget you can keep in touch in between issues of e-News by following my Twitter account.


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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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