Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 12th June 2018 - Issue 186 (2018/21)

Dear Friends,


A great week this week – with a special celebration at the Cathedral this Thursday for Bishop Peter Doyle and Mgr. Nick France, both of whom are marking their 50th anniversary of their priesthood. Our prayers and congratulations to them both! We’re having Mass at 1215, followed by a special lunch with Chapter of Canons. Mgr. Nick and I will be leaving promptly afterwards, however, as we need to get to Jersey in time for the evening Mass during which Nicholas Le Cornu is being ordained a deacon. Please pray for him – and for our splendid jubilarians!


Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy e-News this week. Our thanks to Deacon Craig for his good work compiling it.


Celebrating Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

Everything is now in place for our Celebration for Blessed PierGiorgio Frassati. It’s on Wednesday 4th July (his feast day) in St. Patrick's Soho, just by Tottenham Court Road Underground station. You can see the flier for the Day here. The event begins at 1.30 pm with Eucharistic Adoration. There are a couple of talks, one from me on PierGiorgio’s love for the Eucharist and one from Bishop John Wilson on PierGiorgio’s love for the poor. There is then a Q & A session with Wanda Gawronksa, his niece, and Chris Wohar, head of Frassati USA. There’s a break for an early dinner around 5.30 pm The day finishes with Mass at 8.00 pm. Do come and join us for as much of the day as you can.


Suggested admission: £5 to help cover our costs.




"Tree of Righteousness": Scott Hahn on 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the cryptic message of the prophet Ezekiel, long centuries before the Lord’s coming, God gave His people reason to hope. Ezekiel glimpsed a day when the Lord God would place a tree on a mountain in Israel, a tree that would “put forth branches and bear fruit.” Who could have predicted that the tree would be a cross on the hill of Calvary, and that the fruit would be salvation? Ezekiel foresees salvation coming to “birds of every kind”—thus, not just to the people of Israel, but also to the Gentiles, who will “take wing” through their new life in Christ. God indeed will “lift high the lowly tree,” as He solemnly promises. God Himself will empower the works He expects from us, though we freely choose to correspond to His grace. In the prophetic oracles, He scattered the seed that sprang up and became the mustard tree, large enough to accommodate all the birds of the sky, just as Ezekiel had seen. He gave this doctrine to His disciples in terms they were able to understand, and He provided a full explanation. In the sacraments He provides still more: the grace of faith and the courage we need to live in the world as children of God.


Read Scott Hahn's complete reflection for this coming Sunday here.  



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

The smallest of all the seeds - 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Mark 4:26-34

Jesus often uses parables of seeds and sowing to tell us about the kingdom of God. This Sunday, he gives us two such parables. The Gospel of St Mark contains very few parables. Yet St Mark writes: “Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables.” Jesus is a good teacher who came down to our level, speaking to us about mysteries beyond our reach in words that we can grasp. Together during the webinar, we’ll attempt to discover the meaning of these two parables.


We’ll reflect on:


Faith: What do the parables of the seed tell us about God’s being and action?

Hope: What do the parables of the seed tell us about the Church, and hope of eternal life?
Love: What do the parables of the seed tell us about God’s grace, planted and active in us?  


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




Why not visit Gosport to experience NightFever this Saturday?

The next NightFever event at St Mary’s Gosport will be held on Saturday 16th June 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.  



Day of Reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

A day of reflections on the Sacred Heart of Jesus from the French School of Spirituality will take place on Sunday 24th June 2018 from 10.00am – 4.00pm at Saint Joseph’s Centre, 8 Lyndhurst Road, Ashurst, Southampton, SO40 7DU. 


The day will include Holy Mass for that Sunday and a simple lunch. We would very much appreciate a donation of £22.50 to support our missionary activity.  If you would like to book a place please contact Father Des on fatherdes@icloud.com or leave a message on 02380292337.




Sharing the Journey in Refugee Week

This year we celebrate 20 years of Refugee Week between 18th - 24th June.  Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts and cultural  events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK.  We in the Catholic community can witness strongly to this, many of us come from migrant families and all of us benefit from the spiritual richness of art, culture and prayer that make up our global Church.


Refugee week is also about education and encouraging a better understanding between communities so its an ideal time to get involved in CAFOD’s Share the Journey campaign signing the petition and organising a solidarity walk.   But even if you are not a walker there is plenty you can do at Ss Thomas Church in Emsworth for example they have organised their walk with other Christians and put together there own  list of “20 Simple Acts” to raise awareness and  help refugees locally.    If you live in the area everyone is welcome to join the walk or maybe be inspired to organise your own parish or school event.


There is some more information here.  



Join us for a Bereavement Support Workshop on Saturday 7th July

You are warmly invited to a workshop that will look at the process of a parish helping people going through dying and bereavement.   Our main speaker will be Kathryn Turner, head of the Department for Spirituality in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.   There will also be a few speakers from parishes in our diocese.   Please come if you are at all interested in learning more, even if you or your parish aren’t currently doing any work in this area.   It will be held at Milner Hall, next to the Winchester parish centre, between 10am - 12.30pm.  Please book a free place by contacting Philippa Foster, the Leader of the Pastoral Care Services team in the diocese, at pfoster@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk 

If you cannot come but would be interested in registering your interest in this important pastoral care work, please email Philippa too, who is looking to build connections and community within the diocese. 



Two places available on forthcoming Pilgrimage to Malta

Fr Tom Grufferty is leading a Pilgrimage to Malta in September and because two people have had to withdraw from the Pilgrimage there are two vacant places. The pilgrimage runs from 1st -9th September inclusive. The cost is £1055 which includes flights, half board, tours and lots more. Contact Fr. Tom Grufferty as soon as possible if you are interested: tgrufferty@portsmouthdiocese.org. uk 


Malta has a National Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Mellieħa. An old tradition maintains that Saint Luke painted the figure of Our Lady on the bare rock face of a natural cave there in the year 60 AD. Another tradition of 409 AD strengthens all this and says that a number of Bishops visited this same cave and consecrated it as a church. In 1436, during the Pastoral Visit of Bishop Senatore De Mello, this cave was recorded as already having been established for a long time as one of the ten parishes of Malta. You can visit the place today. The present icon of Our Lady is of Byzantine-Sicilian origin and was probably painted around the 11th century. Over the years, the devotion towards this Sanctuary, dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, increased considerably and pilgrims from all over the world have come to visit the Holy Shrine to pray for help. Amongst the many prominent pilgrims was Pope St John Paul II, who in 1990 knelt in prayer in front of the Holy icon.



Calling all Catechists

Our Diocesan Formation for Mission team has been hard at work to prepare for our next Day for Catechists which will take place on Saturday 20th October in St John's Cathedral. The team met on Saturday 26th May for a meeting and lovely meal out and are now very excited about all the good things they are preparing for all diocesan catechists and Children’s Liturgy coordinators on the 20th October (see here). This day will also be a fantastic opportunity to recruit and invite potential catechists to come along, as we will spend some time discovering the mission and charisms of the catechist. If you wish to attend the day, book here.


Also, the team is inviting diocesan catechists to join them on the 20-24th September for the 2nd International Congress on Catechesis, which will take place in Rome (see hereIf you are interested in attending the congress, email Sr Hyacinthe: ffm@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk as soon as possible.




Appointment of Refugee Project Development Officer 

In 2015 many of us, myself included, were concerned about the unfolding tragedy of Syrian refugees who were compelled to leave their homeland seeking safety and a new life. Responding to this crisis I created the Diocesan Refugee Response Working Group (DRRWG), chaired by Fr John Lee and Fr Peter Hollins, with a variety of interested volunteer members, and asked them to explore how the Diocese can and should respond to this crisis. 


In addition to creating educational resources for parishes (available here), this group wrote a detailed and robust proposal for a project, in which the Diocese would be the lead sponsor on Community Sponsorship for Syrian refugees. As part of this, they recommended the recruitment of a Refugee Project Development Officer and detailed the specifications for this role. This officer will assist interested parishes, pastoral areas or other community groups to put in applications to directly sponsor a Syrian family through the Community Sponsorship Scheme. We are delighted to announce the appointment of Rosemary Lennon to the newly-created post of Refugee Project Development Officer. We will be hearing from Rosemary in a future edition of e-News as a subject of our Focus on... series.


To find out more about Community Sponsorship please see here.



World Youth Day Anthem 2019

The next World Youth Day is being held in Panama next January (2019) and I will be going with Fr. PJ Smith and a group of youngsters from the Diocese. (If you are interested in joining us and wish to go, please email Fr. PJ). The official anthem in preparation has now been released. It’s called “Here I am, the Servant of the Lord” in the English translation. With tropical Panamanian rhythms, it is inspired by the theme of WYD 2019 Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38). The original was composed by Abdiel Jiménez, with music arranged by Anibal Muñoz. Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama has said that, “the theme song is a call to become disciples and missionaries in these times, following the example of the Virgin Mary”. He added, “We are excited to make this song available to young people around the world, so when they sing it, they may find joy and allow themselves to be transformed by God.”


Click on the image to hear it.



Is someone driving you crazy?

Chris Stefanick is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker, who has devoted his life to inspiring people to live a bold, contagious faith. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap calls him, “one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today.” Chris’s live seminars reach more than 85,000 people per year. His videos and radio spots reach more than 1,000,000 people per month, every month. Chris is also the founder of Real Life Catholic, a Denver-based non-profit which operates as the headquarters for his various initiatives. Above all, Chris is proud to be the husband to his wife Natalie and father to their six children. Visit: www.RealLifeCatholic.com.


Here he offers some advice when someone is “driving you crazy." Click on the image to watch it.




Celebrating the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Aldershot...

On the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, staff, pupils and parents at St Joseph's Primary Academy in Aldershot celebrated with a special outdoor Mass for the whole school and a large number of parents in attendance. The Mass was not just a celebration for the solemnity, but also a continuation of the year long celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Catholic Education in Aldershot.“To be always close to Jesus, that is my plan.”


Just as Mass ended beautiful warm sunshine broke through the clouds just in time for a celebration picnic.


Here is a prayer to the Sacred Heart. It is usually said three times:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore the grace to love You daily more and more.



... and in East Hendred

St Amand's Catholic Primary in East Hendred celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart with a special time of Adoration in St Mary's Church.  Mgr Andrew Burnham, parish priest and school chaplain, opened St Mary's for Adoration from 9am-12pm.  Headteacher, Mrs Helen Ellery, and Years 4-6 with their teachers, participated for the final half-hour and Benediction.  Melanie Parris-Dollar, (Pastoral Area Youth Worker) and leads Mini-Vinnies with Yr 5 students, helped lead our time of prayer with some members of staff and musical support from a parent volunteer.  After the session the children were asked to indicate if they had had an experience of God's presence whilst in adoration, more than three-quarters responded positively, sharing "it was something new and different", "special", "felt very peaceful" and they would like to pray in this way again.


Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in you!



From St John's Cathedral to St John's Seminary

The Cathedral Parish Social Group recently had a day outing to St John's Seminary, Wonersh, with Canon Dominic Golding, Canon David Mahy, Fr Ansel D'Mello and Fr Phil Carroll. The day included a concelebrated Mass in the Seminary Chapel and lunch with staff and students.


The Seminary are still looking for help with refurbishment (see article in issue 184.) If you can help in any way, please send a cheque made payable to St John's Seminary to: Mgr Gerry Ewing (Vice-Rector), St John's Seminary, Wonersh, Guildford, Surrey GU5 0QX.


Please pray for the staff and seminarians at Wonersh and other seminaries where we have men in formation for the Sacred Priesthood and for an increase in vocations for our diocese:


God our Father, You give us the Sacraments as signs and instruments of your love and mercy. Draw from amongst your disciples in the Diocese of Portsmouth men who are willing to generously serve your Church as priests, to minister to your people and to proclaim the Gospel to all. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Our Lady Immaculate and St Edmund of Abingdon, patrons of our diocese - pray for us.

St John Vianney, patron of priests - pray for us.



Fifty Years a Priest

Monsignor Nicholas France celebrated his Golden Jubilee on Friday 8th June with a beautiful liturgy in St Thomas’ and happy party afterwards. This was attended by so very many parishioners who wanted to pay tribute to Fr Nicholas for all he had done for the Catholic Church in Jersey during the past 19 years.  


At the beginning of the week he travelled to Rome and concelebrated Mass with  Pope Francis in the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.  It was indeed a special jubilee week.  Many congratulations to Fr Nicholas.


Here is prayer to say for our Jubilarian priests: 


O God, who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the eternal High Priest for the glory of Thy Majesty and the salvation of mankind; grant that they whom He hath chosen to be His ministers and the stewards of His mysteries, may be found faithful in the fulfilment of the ministry which they have received. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.



Diocesan medals for Jersey parishioners

Mgr Nicholas France recently presented Diocesan Medals to Delia Hardiman, Malcolm L’Amy and Francelise  Davison for their dedicated work in the Catholic Church in Jersey. This was a  happy occasion for the parish at the end of the memorable Golden Jubilee celebrations for Fr Nicholas (see story above). Congratulations to them all.


The parish is now looking forward to the Ordination to the permanent diaconate of Nick Le Cornu on Thursday evening, followed by Confirmations and then, the following week, the Silver Jubilee of Deacon Iain MacFirbhisigh's Ordination.



Congratulations to Sister Mechtilde OSB, now Solemnly Professed

Five of the monks from Farnborough Abbey assisted with the ceremonies when I presided at the solemn profession of Sister Mechtilde OSB at the Benedictine enclosed convent of St Cecilia's at Ryde last week on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.


The chant was superb and Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB, Abbot of Farnborough, preached the homily, which you can read here.


The photograph shows part of the beautifully calligraphed and illuminated Rituale used for the celebration.





Bishop Philip's Engagements   

Tuesday 12th June 

Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form, St William of York, Reading


Thursday 14th June 

Chapter of Canons, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

12:15pm: Chapter Mass, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth

7pm: Ordination Mass, Jersey


Friday 15th June 

7pm: Confirmation Mass, Jersey Pastoral Area


Saturday 16th June 

10am: Confirmation Mass, Jersey Pastoral Area


Monday 18th June 

Internal meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Meeting Neo-Catechumenal Families


Tuesday 19th June

Mass to celebrate 150 years of CTS, Westminster Cathedral


Thursday 21st June

11am Annual School’s Mass, St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth


Saturday 23rd June 

11am: Confirmation Mass, Bordon and Petersfield Pastoral Area


Sunday 24th June

3pm: Confirmation Mass, Avon Stour Pastoral Area



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 10th June


Diocesan Prayer: Knights of St Columba;

Community of Corpus Christi, North End (dedicated 10.6.1982)


Monday 11th June

St Barnabas, Apostle, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: St Barnabas Society


Tuesday 12th June

Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart, Hook


Wednesday 13th June

St Anthony of Padua, Religious, Doctor of the Church, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: The poor


Thursday 14th June

Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Members of the Fraternity of St. Charles in the Diocese


Friday 15th June

Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Sacred Heart, Lambourn (dedicated 15.6.1980),

Parish of St Thomas More, Twyford (dedicated 15.6.1981)


Saturday 16th June

St Richard of Chichester, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Lay Parish Pastoral Assistants 


Sunday 17th June


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Boniface, Shirley, Southampton (consecrated 17.6.1947) 


Monday 18th June

Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish Prayer Groups


Tuesday 19th June

St Romuald, Abbot, optional memorial

or: Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of Our Lady of Pity

Jubilee: Fr John Cooke (ordained 19.6.1993)


Wednesday 20th June

St Alban, Martyr, optional memorial

or: Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Military Chapel of St. Alban, Shrivenham


Thursday 21st June

St Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious, memorial 

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart, Bordon (dedicated 21.6.1990);

Parish of St Mary, Woolhampton (dedicated 21.6.1995)


Friday 22nd June

Ss JOHN FISHER, Bishop & THOMAS MORE, Martyrs, feast

National Prayer Cycle: Those who suffer persecution, oppression and denial of human rights Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Anne & St Mary Magdalen, Alderney (consecrated 22.6.1973); Communities of St Thomas More at Stockbridge, Hartley Wintney, & Boars Hill;

Community of St John Fisher, Whitchurch


Saturday 23rd June

St Etheldreda, Abbess, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Sacred Heart, Shanklin

(consecrated 23.6.1911, rededicated 10.6.1988)


Sunday 24th June


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St John the Baptist, Andover (dedicated 24.6.2008) 


Forthcoming Events    

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 23rd June

Alton Day of Renewal
Alton Convent

Read more


Sunday 24th June

St Edmund Campion Pilgrimage Mass

Lyford Grange, near Wantage

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


Friday 20th July
Health & Safety Conference and Mass
St Mary's Alton
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
St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

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  

Housekeeper/Cleaner at St James Reading

12hrs per week (Wed, Thu, Fri 10.30am-2.30pm).

Salary £9.50ph.

Must be able to clean & cook & shop online.

Closing date: 30th June. Interviews w/c 9th July.

Start date: 5th September 2018.


St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School 
Primary Teacher

Full Time Teacher from September 2018

Main Pay Range


St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School are looking for a class teacher to join our school who is:

• An enthusiastic and passionate teacher who ensures every child achieves the very best they can

• Committed to making learning exciting, memorable and enjoyable

• Keen to be a part of innovative and dynamic staff team

• Willing to fully embrace all aspects of school life

Closing dates for applications is 12 Noon on Wednesday 20th June.

Catechetical Coordinator for the Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis -
The Catholic Bishop's Conference of England & Wales                                  

3 Year Contract


Location: Based in Victoria, London, SW1 with work potentially countrywide.

Reports to: Department Secretary for Evangelisation and Catechesis.

Purpose: To develop the work of catechesis in England and Wales, and help dioceses form

missionary disciples, inspired by The Joy of the Gospel and the new Directory for Catechesis.


For further details visit our Vacancies page here.


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; for Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda, for an end to the troubles there.


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 and for those to be ordained for our diocese this year. 

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.


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. That 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.   

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.


That all we do in the diocese my bring people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. 



Please share your good news with us

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.



Keep in touch on Social Media

Don't forget you can keep in touch with what's going on in and around the diocese in between issues of e-News by following us on Social Media.


You can follow me on Twitter.


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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