Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 24th April 2018 - Issue 180 (2018/16)


Dear Friends,


As we continue to pray for vocations during this fourth week of Easter, I am writing this e-News to you from the College in Valladolid where I am visiting our two seminarians Ambrose and Owen. Please pray for them - and for more like them generously willing to serve the Lord as priests of our Diocese. Please also pray for little Alfie Evans too in hospital and his family that the Lord will give him and the family His grace and peace at this harrowing time. 


Meanwhile God bless you all and please pray for me too. 



Our Diocesan Eucharistic Conference is less than two weeks away...

Have you booked your free ticket yet for our Diocesan Eucharistic Conference?


It is now many weeks since I first invited you to attend this Conference with me.  I am very excited by the program that the Educational Chaplaincies Team has put together for us, this truly promises to be an amazing conference the like of which we have not seen before in Portsmouth.  It really is time for you to join the hundreds that have already done so and get in touch and request a ticket.  There is no charge for tickets and they can be received either by booking through Eventbrite here, e-mailing congress@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk or by phoning 07780 221686

The conference will explore the Eucharist through key note speeches, smaller workshops which will provide the opportunity for some discussion, inspirational music, Adoration and the celebration of Holy Mass. 


Still want to know more? e-mail Sue at congress@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk



Praying the Rosary 

Blessed Pier Giorgio, Patron of our Youth, was a great devotee of the Rosary and he was rarely seen without it. Indeed, he used to collect seeds from the garden at the family villa in Pollone and some religious sisters he knew made them into Rosary beads that he would give as gifts to his friends. I have actually seen one of these now precious items. 


I wish to encourage you to take part in the Rosary on the Coast this coming weekend. It’s at 3pm on Sunday 29th April and if you click on the website here you can find a Rosary group near you.


Meanwhile, you may remember that four years ago I sent out 20,000 CDs with a recording of the Rosary that I led with the Rosary Group of St. Peter’s School Bournemouth. The CDs went out across the Diocese and I know that many people still play them when in their cars or at home. I am often asked for further copies, although sadly they have all gone now. You can, however, still download it from our website. Here is the link.  



Mass XIV ‘Jesu Redemptor’ 

This week we come to what is definitely my favourite Kyrie from all the 18 Masses in the Kyriale: the 10th century setting assembled into Mass XIV Jesu Redemptor (“Jesus Redeemer”). I’ve not heard Mass XIV sung often, and it is probably on the difficult side for an average choir and congregation, but to me it is thoroughly enchanting. It is in the joyful Mode VIII, suggesting heaven and happiness with grand sweeping invocations, climaxing with the last three. Indeed, the very last invocation seems to have a spring in its step! One of the blogs suggests it was often used for Advent and Christmas in Paris, although the Graduale does not actually propose it for any specific season or occasion. It could be sung whenever, although given its grandeur and length, it might be best for a special celebration. If you click on the picture, you can play it. You can also listen to the Gloria here, if you wish.




"On the Vine": Scott Hahn on the Fifth Sunday of Easter

In next Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that He is the true vine that God intended Israel to be—the source of divine life and wisdom for the nations. In baptism, each of us was joined to Him by the Holy Spirit. As a branch grows from a tree, our souls are to draw life from Him, nourished by His word and the Eucharist. Jesus cautions us, however, that if we’re bearing fruit, we can expect that God will “prune” us—as a gardener trims and cuts back a plant so that it will grow stronger and bear even more fruit. We need to see our struggles as pruning, by which we are being disciplined and trained so that we can grow in holiness and bear fruits of righteousness. We remain in Him by keeping His commandment of love, by pondering His words, letting them dwell richly in us, and by always seeking to do what pleases Him. In everything we must be guided by humility, remembering that apart from Him we can do nothing.

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.   



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

The True Vine - 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B: John 15:1-8

Jesus uses the image of the Vine to help us understand our relationship with him which begins at baptism. It leads us to consider the most fundamental reality about ourselves: whoever we are, male or female, young or old, rich or poor, of all cultures and races, we are one in Christ through Baptism. This reality sustains our life and gives meaning to our death. This union with Jesus Christ is also a call for us. Will we decide to remain and grow in his love? This is a choice in every moment, a call to love – ever-present in our life, which we alone can answer. Our answer to Christ determines the fruitfulness of our life.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How does God unite us to himself in baptism?  

Hope: How do we experience this union daily?

Love: How do we respond to his loving call?  


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



Visit to Valladolid, Spain

These next days I am making an annual visit to see our seminarians at the Royal English College of St. Alban in Valladolid, Spain. We have two students there, Ambrose Chou and Owen Duggan: you can see them on the front row of the picture here, in the middle. The College was founded in 1589 for the training of priests in the post-Reformation period and it proudly celebrates 23 of its students who at that time were martyred for the Faith. In recent times, the College has specialised in offering a “propaedeutic year” of formation prior to students going on to a major seminary. It focuses therefore on spiritual formation and human development, whilst giving students an experience of regular community living. Valladolid is the ancient Spanish Capital of Old Castile, a region, rich in culture and history, Nearby lived St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.


You can read more about the College here. Make sure you read the story about Our Lady Vulnerata.



Why not visit Gosport to experience NightFever this Saturday?

The next NightFever event at St Mary’s Gosport will be held on Saturday 28th April starting at 7.30pm following 6pm Mass.


NightFever is a very special evening 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.  


Why not be part of the evening for as little or as long as you wish, all are very welcome. Please do go along, taste and see.


If anyone would like further information, please contact Mike Slater on 02392 554537 or contact the Parish Office 02392 580119 and please keep NightFever in your prayers.  



Join the March for Life / Lifefest '18 in London on Saturday 5th May

This year is the 50th anniversary of the implementation of the Abortion Act. To date, approximately 9 million unborn babies have legally died through abortion in the UK since the law was passed, leaving behind many deeply hurting women and men. So far March for Life has been held in Birmingham but this year it is moving to London on Saturday 5th May. 


A coach will be going to Lifefest from our Diocese which will be leaving from St. Mary's Gosport at 9.30am on Saturday 5th May and will leave London after the March at 6.00pm. The cost will be a suggested minimum £20.00 donation for Adults who can afford it. 


Please contact Jacob in the St. Mary's Parish Office on 023 92580119 to book your seat on the coach.


For more information, see here.



Preparing children for First Holy Communion 

In the final instalment of our 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, Sr Hyacinthe sums up what we need to run the programme which integrates evangelisation and catechesis through the use of Scripture and beautiful silhouettes. Click the image on the left to watch the video.


There are two training days for the programme coming up:

Saturday 12th May, 9.30am-3pm at St Bede's Church, Popley Way, Basingstoke, RG24 9DX.

Thursday 24th May, 7.30 pm at Annunciation Parish Hall, 218 Charminster Road, Bournemouth. BH8 9RW.


E-mail Sr Hyacinthe if you would like to attend either of these training days or would like more information on this exciting new programme. 



PULSE Catholic Family Retreats

PULSE is a charity which has been organising Catholic retreats for families run by families since 2014. The proposal is two days retreat, for all the family! 


While parents live their retreat about deepening of the prayer, through teachings and practice, their children are taken care of by volunteers and other parents (all DBS checked) who supervise the entire retreat. A bespoke school of prayer for children has been developed as well, where they get closer to Jesus, through various activities adapted to each age.


When?: 18th-20th May

Where?: Ascot Priory SL5 8RT

Led by Father Matt Blake, Carmelite. 


For more information see hereInterested families can register here.



CAFOD and Caritas invite you to "Share the Journey"

Responding to Pope Francis's call to promote a "Culture of Encounter" and Caritas Internationalis call to "Share the Journey", CAFOD and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth are co-sponsoring a conference on refugees on the 12th May in St Edward the Confessor Church in Chandlers Ford. 

In line with the Caritas Internationalis mission, the conference will be entitled "Share the Journey". During the conference you will see what we can practically do as a diocese and parish to assist refugees including sponsoring and housing refugee families. Please register at Eventbrite here or contact kgallagher@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


For more information, see here.



I invite you to celebrate your wedding anniversary with me...

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. 




Ablaze in the Truth: Fanning the Flame Summer Camp 2018 

This summer, from 20th - 24th August, 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.




Exciting news about a new and developing resource in the diocese!

There is a new and developing resource in the diocese - a lending library of faith formation materials. 


There are nearly 50 courses, on DVD and CD, freely available to everyone: small groups, parishes, schools and individuals*. These cover most major areas of Catholic faith formation: the sacraments; bible study; the Mass; prayer; church history; the creed; theology of the body; baptism, confirmation and marriage preparation; and saints/great figures in catholic history. The collection includes a number of courses aimed specifically at children and young adults. 


Written and presented by established and reputable figures including Bishop Robert Baron, Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins, these studies have broad appeal. They are already being used across the diocese in parish-wide studies, small home groups, RCIA, children's catechesis and in people's cars and kitchens.


A full list of resources can be found here.


To borrow a course, for more information, or to suggest new material you would like to see added to the library please email parishstudies@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


[*Individuals can currently borrow CDs but not DVDs.] 



Southampton students raise funds for lifesaving equipment

St Mary’s Independent School (Southampton) worked with Wessex Heartbeat to raise funds to install defibrillator equipment in the school grounds. It was unveiled by Graham and Anne Hunter, the parents of former St Mary’s pupil Claire Reed, who died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) in March 2013 while with friends at a spar resort. Graham said that he had no doubt that if there had been a defibrillator around when Claire collapsed she could well still be with us today.


A series of cake sales, non-uniform days and a charity football match all helped with this mission; and with a donation from Wessex Heartbeat, enough funds were available to buy a second defibrillator and donate it to nearby St Patrick’s School (Woolston). Wessex Heartbeat and the Hunter family will now take time to educate children and staff on heart health. Pupils from St Patrick’s School joined St. Mary’s for the unveiling and the two schools plan to work together on future cardiac health projects with Wessex Heartbeat. Three years ago the (then) Chancellor George Osborne  revealed how Graham and Anne’s campaigning  inspired him to set aside £1 million to help fund a network of life saving heart defibrillators across the country. Premier League Footballer Fabrice Muamba was one of his constituents when he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, but was revived after multiple defibrillator shocks.



Focus on...Chris Bryden

Chris Bryden has taken over as the leader of the Spiritual Formation Team.


Chris has lived in many different parishes in England, Scotland, Germany, Cyprus  and the USA, having been married to Rod who served in the RAF. She studied for a residential year at Plater College in Oxford and then completed a degree in Theology at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2000. Since then she has been employed as a chaplain with the Royal Marines, in HM Prison service, and in a secondary school . For the past 11 years she has worked as a Spiritual Director in both the Plymouth and Portsmouth Dioceses, guiding  individuals and on residential retreats and  weeks of Accompanied Prayer.


She acknowledges that it is only through the great blessings she has received in being a wife, mother and grandmother that have given her the support and strength to do the work she fees called to.



Bishop Philip's Engagements      

Monday 23rd – Wednesday 25th April 

Meetings with Seminarians, Valladolid Seminary, Spain


Thursday 26th April 

Trustees Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Vicars General Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Friday 27th April 

Joint Education of Catholic and Church of England Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Youth 2000 Retreat Opening Mass, St Jude’s, Fareham


Saturday 28th April 

11am Confirmation Mass, St Mary’s School, Ascot


Sunday 29th April

3pm Confirmation Mass: New Forest, Sandhurst, Crowthorne and Thames Isis Pastoral Areas, St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth


Monday 30th April 

Talk on St Margaret Mary Alacoque and Jansenism, London


Tuesday 1st May 

Meeting Director for Religious, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Preparation Meeting for Eucharistic Congress, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Meeting newly ordained priests, St Dominic’s Priory, New Forest


Thursday 3rd May 

Trustees Training, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Friday 4th May 

Schools Day - Eucharistic Congress Preparation, Theatre Royal, Portsmouth


Saturday 5th May 

Families Day – Eucharistic Congress Preparation, Theatre Royal, 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 22nd April
National Prayer Cycle: Vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate and the religious life
Diocesan Prayer: Community of the Good Shepherd, Kennington


Monday 23rd April

ST GEORGE, Patron of England, solemnity

Diocesan Prayer: Chapel of St Patrick & St George, Tidworth;

St Michael & St George, Aldershot [Forces Cathedral]


Tuesday 24th April

of the 4th Week of Easter

or: St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Religious, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Adalbert, Bishop, Martyr, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Department for Educational Chaplaincies


Wednesday 25th April

ST MARK, Apostle, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Mark, Dedworth


Thursday 26th April

of the 4th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the Isle of Wight Wight Pastoral Area


Friday 27th April

of the 4th Week of Easter Mass

Diocesan Prayer: Daughters of Wisdom (La Sagesse) in the Diocese


Saturday 28th April

of the 4th Week of Easter

or: St Peter Chanel, Religious, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Louis Grignion de Montfort, Founder, optional memorial

[Romsey: St Louis Grignion de Montfort, Founder]

Diocesan Prayer: Montfort Fathers in the Diocese


Sunday 29th April


Diocesan Prayer: St Joseph’s, Ashurst (dedicated 29.4.1989)


Monday 30th April

of the 5th Week of Easter

or: St Pius V, Pope, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Bishop Philip’s home Diocese of Shrewsbury 


Tuesday 1st May

of the 5th Week of Easter

or: St Joseph the Worker, optional memorial

National Prayer Cycle & Diocesan Prayer: God’s blessing on human work 


Wednesday 2nd May

St Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor of the Church,

Diocesan Prayer: Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales F


Thursday 3rd May

Ss PHILIP & JAMES, Apostles, feast

Diocesan Prayer: All New Religious Movements


Friday 4th May

THE ENGLISH MARTYRS (1535-1680), feast

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of English Martyrs, Reading 


Saturday 5th May

of the 5th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph, Copnor (consecrated 6.5.1924, re-dedicated 17.12.1974) 


Sunday 6th May


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Laurence, Petersfield (consecrated 6.5.1933)


Forthcoming Events

Saturday 28th April 

Liturgy Matters

St John's Cathedral Portsmouth

Read more


Sunday 29th April 

Rosary on the Coast

Read more


Thursday 3rd May

The Silent Music of Carmel: Course on Carmelite Prayer

Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford

Read more


Saturday 5th May 

Diocesan Eucharistic Conference

New Theatre Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 5th May 


March for Life - Lifefest '18

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 for Singing the Mass

Holy Family, Redbridge Hill, Southampton

Read more


Saturday 12th May

Share the Journey - how to practically help refugees

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more


Friday 18th - Saturday 19th May

Parish Renewal with Sherry Weddell

Basingstoke Country Hotel

Read more


Saturday 26th May

In Praise of Him - an evening of Sacred Music

St John's Cathedral Portsmouth

Read more


Tuesday 12th - Friday 15th June

Spiritual Theology Conference

School of the Annunciation

Buckfast Abbey, Devon

Read more


Saturday 16th June

Diocesan Day for Readers

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more


Saturday 16th June

Divine Mercy for the Family Conference

Church of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Ealing Broadway

Read more


Saturday 30th June

Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more


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


Monday 30th July - Thursday 2nd August

Spiritual Theology Conference

School of the Annunciation

Buckfast Abbey, Devon

Read more


Thursday 2nd - Sunday 5th August

Philosophy for Faith:  A four-day introduction to Catholic philosophy 

School of the Annunciation

Buckfast Abbey, Devon

Read more


Thursday 9th - Sunday 12th August

Apologetics for the New Evangelisation 

School of the Annunciation

Buckfast Abbey, Devon

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 

Deputy Leader, Called and Gifted Team, Diocese of Portsmouth

The Deputy Leader will be responsible for much of the Called and Gifted process in the Diocese. They will work closely with Clare Simpson, the current Team Leader, to learn and take on a significant portion of her current work.  The job’s activities will range from organising the three stage process in parishes through to developing relationships with participants and parish leaders so that the charisms and fruits of the process can be shared and developed in parishes and the Diocese.  The job will involve working flexibly with some Saturdays and evening work around the Diocese. It is essential that the successful candidate is a car owner and driver.  The job is a part time position of 3 days a week, with salary of £15,300 (Please note: this is an initial 6 month contract with a view to extending this period). 


Closing date for applications: Wednesday 25th April

Interview date: end of April

Commencement date: as soon as possible after appointment



Refugee Project Development Manager 

This is an exciting new role, representing the Diocese of Portsmouth and acting to promote, develop and coordinate the Community Sponsorship model of refugee resettlement within the Diocese.


The appointed person will work closely with parish and community sponsors to resettle refugee families safely by providing a high quality service of support, information, training, monitoring and liaison with the responsible agencies appointed by the Home Office and Local Authorities.


The job is a part time position of 14 hours per week, with salary of £14.31 per hour.


Closing date for applications: Tuesday 1st May

Interviews: Friday 11th May

Commencement date: as soon as possible after appointment



Payroll (and Accounts) Administrator

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth wishes to recruit an experienced Payroll Administrator to ensure that all staff (250) are paid correctly and on time. The role may suit someone looking for a part-time payroll position during the last 2 weeks of each month. Additionally, there is an opportunity for the successful candidate to undertake a full-time post (35 hours per week) combining payroll with general book-keeping duties. The Diocese may be willing to support the selected candidate in gaining suitable financial qualifications if required.


Closing date for applications: Tuesday 8th May

Interviews: Wednesday 16th May

Anticipated start date: As soon as possible from May 2018 


Further information



Please pray for...

Little Alfie Evans too in hospital and his family that the Lord will give him and the family His grace and peace at this harrowing time. 


Peace in the world and for those who govern the nations that they may do so wisely and justly; for the peoples of Syria and Gaza and for a resolution of the multi-levelled conflicts involved. 


Vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, especially to the Sacred Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life.

All our students currently in formation for ordination and those responsible for their formation in the various seminaries in which they are based. 

All who are to be baptised and confirmed this Eastertide.


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.

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.

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.


You can also follow the Diocese on Facebook and Twitter.





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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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