Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Wednesday 2nd May 2018 - Issue 181 (2018/17)


Dear Friends,


We’ve now entered the month of May so we call on the prayers of Mary Immaculate, Patron of our Diocese. We ask her prayers especially for us this weekend. What a special weekend it is! On Friday our schools are coming to Portsmouth for a Diocesan Eucharistic Congress. Then we’re having Eucharistic Adoration til midnight in the Cathedral - please come and join us for a while. But then on Saturday I invite you to join me and hundreds of others in the New Theatre Royal Portsmouth for a Day of Eucharistic celebration (see below). It should be a great day and one, I pray, in which we receive many graces from the Lord. 



Join me this Saturday for our Diocesan Eucharistic Conference 

This is a free local event - last chance to book your ticket...


I am inviting you to join with me and take time out of your busy schedule so that together we can pause.  When was the last time you stopped and took time to think, to discern?  When was the last time you came face to face with Jesus Christ?  When was the last real encounter you had with your faith?


This event is an opportunity to engage with likeminded families in prayer, fellowship, and joy. Come and spend time with Jesus, friends, inspiring speakers and interactive workshops.  Develop your faith.  Develop your relationship with Jesus.


The conference will be supported by Fr Stephen Wang a philosopher, theologian and popular author, Pippa Baker an evangelist, Focus a worldwide renowned organisation for evangelisation, Y2K who will lead our worship with inspirational music. 


Book your ticket now either through Eventbrite here,

e-mailing congress@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk or by phoning 07780 221686.



Mass XV ‘Dominator Deus’ 

We are approaching the end of our tour of the Kyriale, with this week Mass XV, named Dominator Deus (‘Lord God’). In some books, this Mass setting is suggested for optional use on memorials of saints and on the weekdays of Christmastime. The Kyrie is set to Mode IV. Unfortunately I have not heard this one sung, although as with the remaining settings, it does not look too complicated. Better known is the Gloria from this Mass (click here). The Gloria of Benjamin Britten’s Missa Brevis (see here) is based on it. It has also been transliterated into English and is the standard English chant Gloria in the latest edition of the Roman Missal. Meanwhile, in our Diocese of Portsmouth, we are very blessed to have monastic communities which continue to use Gregorian chant in their daily liturgy. These include the Benedictine Nuns of the Solesmes tradition at St. Cecilia’s in Ryde IOW. Sunday Mass there is at 10.00 and Mass most weekdays is at 09.30. 




"Begotten by Love": Scott Hahn reflects on the Sixth Sunday of Easter

God is love, and He revealed that love in sending His only Son to be a sacrificial offering for our sins. In these words from next Sunday's second reading, we should hear an echo of the story of Abraham’s offering of Isaac at the dawn of salvation history. Because Abraham obeyed God’s command and did not withhold his only beloved son, God promised that Abraham’s descendants, the children of Israel, would be the source of blessing for all nations. We see that promise coming to fulfilment in Sunday’s First Reading. God pours out His Spirit upon the Gentiles, the non-Israelites, as they listen to the word of Peter’s preaching. Notice they receive the same gifts received by the devout Jews who heard Peter’s preaching at Pentecost—the Spirit comes to rest upon them and they speak in tongues, glorifying God.


In the Church, each of us has been begotten by the love of God. We are to love one another as we have been loved. We are to lay down our lives in giving ourselves to others—that they too might find friendship with Christ, and new life through 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.   



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

God is Love - 6th Sunday of Easter, Year B: John 15:9-17

God is love. This is a constant theme in the Gospel and letters of St John. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus opens for us the Father’s love and unveils for his disciples the meaning of love. 


How is God love? What is God? How does this shape our life? What call does this place on our life and actions? Jesus, true God and true man, is the only one who can answer these questions and show us how to live accordingly. He calls us friends, and makes known to us everything he has learnt from his Father. He shows how our life can bear fruit as we respond to the Father’s love. His life is for us a model and example, even today, 2000 years later.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: What does Jesus tell us about the Father?

Hope: How can this knowledge truly shape our life?

Love: How can we respond to God’s love with our love?


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



St Margaret Mary (1647-1690)

As you know, we have in our Diocese a parish, with a beautiful church, dedicated to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. It’s in Park Gate. But on Monday this week I was invited to Guardian Angels Church in Mile End – the East End of London – to give a talk on ‘St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Jansenism.’ St. Margaret Mary was a Visitation nun at Paray-le-Monial, and she is reputed to have had visions of Christ, Who asked her to promote in the Church the love of His Sacred Heart. Jansenism by contrast was a heresy at the time that took a pessimistic view of human nature and concentrated on God as the Just Judge of all our moral actions. My talk was one of a series called ‘Saints Facing Critical Challenges in the Life of the Church.’ The current set of six runs from St. John Fisher and Lutheranism to Pope John Paul II and the contemporary crisis over moral doctrine. I was amazed by how many people turned out for the evening, the range of their questions and the high standards of the arrangements. Dr. Luke Gormally, one time Director of the Anscombe Centre, is the organiser. You can read a summary of what I said through the PowerPoint slides here and the talk itself is available on our web-site here.


Confirmation Season is well under way

We are now well into the swing of this year's celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation both here at the Cathedral and elsewhere around the diocese. 


So far this Eastertide, over 200 young people have been confirmed out of about 650 candidates due to be confirmed between April and June.


Please keep all these young people in your prayers throughout this Eastertide.


If you click on the image, you can watch a video on the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Robert Barron.





Join the March for Life / Lifefest '18 in London 

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.



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 next month...

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. 




Is God calling you to serve as a Deacon in His Church?

Oscott Seminary have introduced a preparatory year for men discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate. This Propaedeutic year consists of three sessions (Friday-Saturday) and commences on 9th/10th November 2018. The other dates for the coming academic year are 25th/26th January and 8th/9th March 2019.

Its aim is to help candidates better understand the reality of a vocation to Holy Orders and to discern whether this is what God is calling them to. There will be Parish based pastoral elements, spiritual formation and intellectual input given through teaching, seminars and discussions. 


Wives of prospective candidates will also be supported during these days and are encouraged to attend. Attendance at these days does not commit an individual to beginning the formation program, but is part of the overall selection process.


For further information, please e-mail Fr Peter Hart as soon as possible.



Fanning the Flame Reunion Weekend

Those who participate in our annual summer camp are invited to a camp reunion twice a year. This was our second gathering since last summer and 12 youngster’s age 12-16 that came to join the sisters at the Priory for a weekend of Faith Fun and Fellowship. They were ably led by FTF Team leader Ben Nichols and his wife Gemma who themselves have grown up with the camp over 20 years. The faith input was provided in special talks given by Sr. Hyacinthe and Sr. Catherine. The whole group joined the sisters for their Liturgy of the Mass and also some of the Divine Office (Compline, in particular, is a great favourite of our campers!) It was wonderful to have the full voice of these young people joining the sisters in the singing of the Divine Office. 


You can read more about the reunion weekend and also details about this summer's camp here.




Were you part of Rosary on the Coast last weekend?

On Sunday 29th April, thousands of people around the country took part in the huge national prayer event for Faith, Peace and Life in the British Isles - Rosary on the Coast.


In our diocese hundreds of faithful gathered - some in cold, wet and windy conditions - to faithfully join in the prayers for this important intention. Groups around the diocese met in Old Portsmouth, Southsea, Eastney, Hayling Island, Lymington, Fareham, Highcliff, Bournemouth, Southampton, Jersey, Guernsey, Ryde, Gosport, Emsworth, Aldershot, Fleet and Windsor. 


The national organisers produced a wonderful programme of prayer including the Litany calling on the countless saints of the British Isles, a prayer of reparation for the Abortion Act and the Consecration of our land to the Immaculate Virgin Mary.


I endorsed the event and took part in an interview on BBC Radio Solent on Sunday morning. You can listen to the interview and see several pictures from various locations around the diocese here. If you have any photos from your event, please send them in.



Remembering Jack Dowding one year on...

A very special event took place this week at The Richard Taunton College Southampton. It was to commemorate the first anniversary of the Public Services student and Saints mega-fan, Jack Dowding, who died aged just 20.


Jack, was a Type 1 diabetic. One year ago there was an outpouring of grief from around the City community and beyond.  As soon as the news was shared on social media his friends campaigned to hold a minute's applause twenty minutes into the Saints Cup clash with Liverpool. (The #20Mclapforjack). Tributes also flooded in from fans of YNFA, a large Facebook footballing community page, and were 'Liked' by more than one million people. Jack spent so many hours in the cold and rain watching the 'Saints' that what more fitting a memorial to him than two permanent dugouts erected on the Taunton's soccer touchlines; and what better weather for the cutting of those ribbons than pouring rain! St. Mary's pupils attended to participate in the event and found immediate use for one of the dugouts.


Jack joined The Prep Department (Charlton House), St. Mary's Independent School (Southampton) as a five-year old and studied through to Year 11. The serious diabetic diagnosis, discovered as he moved towards his teens, never dampened his spirit. Jack tackled everything on offer and will be remembered especially for his acting skills. He enthusiastically joined in our Diocesan Don Bosco Camps at Kintbury and, despite having to carry around his first aid kit from dawn to dusk, watching every ingredient of food before eating and having to keep up with everyone much taller than himself, Jack was never despondent. His smile was one of his greatest legacies. May he rest in peace.



Focus on...Tina Quinn

Tina Quinn has worked as a Pastoral Assistant in Southampton since 2013. She is a member of the Called and Gifted, Formation for Mission and the Spirituality teams and involved in the work of Caritas.


Tina supports catechesis, liturgical formation and oversees the volunteers in the parish. She has also given support to the other parishes in the pastoral areas assisting them with training and sacramental preparation. Tina’s main foci in the parish has  been the promotion and inception of parent lead catechesis for First Holy Communion using the Growing up Catholic Resource; development of a Baptism preparation resource and teams, developing welcome ministry and supporting a holiday club for the children of Millbrook in conjunction with Caritas.

Since her time in post, Tina has facilitated and run Bible Study programmes, Alpha courses, Open Door retreats and marriage preparation. She sits on the EST. Tina studied for an MA in Pastoral Theology at St Mary’s Catholic University and wrote her dissertation on incorporating the Called and Gifted model into support and supervision for the clergy of the diocese. Tina still actively teaches and promotes Called and Gifted across the diocese. Tina is involved with the Catholic Association pilgrimage to Lourdes and in 2018 has been appointed as the chief nurse for the pilgrimage taking assisted pilgrims to Lourdes and overseeing the nursing team. Tina is an oblate of Downside Abbey and the rule of St Benedict underpins her spirituality and prayer life. She lives in the New Forest and when not in the parish office or in church is out walking her two Labradors who keep her fit and sane! Before taking up her post as pastoral assistant, Tina was actively involved at Clifton Cathedral doing much of what she has done here in a voluntary capacity, but working full time as a palliative care nurse.  While in Southampton, Tina has maintained her nursing registration and passion, always following her desire and calling to support the dying and those who accompany them. At the beginning of this year, Tina was offered a new post with Oakhaven Hospice as a Clinical Nurse Specialist/nurse prescriber to develop additional service provision in Totton.  As a result, she has now ceased to work as an employed pastoral assistant, but continues in a voluntary capacity. Two callings and a deep desire to serve the Lord in His church and people.



Bishop Philip's Engagements       

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


Sunday 6th May 

Meeting candidates for the Diaconate, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Confirmation Mass for St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs Pastoral Area, St John’s Cathedral


Monday 7th May 

Alpha Leadership Conference, Royal Albert Hall, London



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 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)


Monday 7th May 

of the 6th Week of Easter Mass

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Safeguarding Commission


Tuesday 8th May

of the 6th Week of Easter 

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Tilehurst (dedicated 6.5.2003)


Wednesday 9th May

of the 6th Week of Easter Mass

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady & St Edmund, Abingdon (consecrated 8.5.1958);

Channel Islands Liberation Day


Thursday 10th May

THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD, solemnity [Holyday of Obligation] 

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady, Fleet (consecrated 10.5.1977)


Friday 11th May

of the 6th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Department for Clergy


Saturday 12th May

of the 6th Week of Easter

or: Ss Nereus & Achilleus, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: St Pancras, Martyr, optional memorial 

Diocesan Prayer: Portuguese Chaplaincies


Sunday 13th May


Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Communications Office 


Forthcoming Events

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  

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...

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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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