Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Friday 24th August 2018 - Issue 193 (2018/28)


Dear Friends,

As the summer holiday season draws to an end, first may I, on all our behalf, offer prayers and congratulations to all our youngsters receiving their exam results at this time, and to the teachers who prepared them. Let’s pray too for those going to university, especially for the first time. Meanwhile, this weekend the World Meeting of Families is taking place in Dublin: you can follow some of its events on EWTN, including the visit of the Holy Father. Finally, please remember to pray for the peoples of Kerala, suffering from terrible flooding. We have a lot of Keralan people in our Diocese, who are surely worried for families and friends back home.


God bless you this next week and over the Bank Holiday weekend. 



Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

I am sure that, like me, you were horrified, ashamed and angry when you read the report from the Pennsylvania Grand Jury about the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy there these last 70 years. It is, in the words of Cardinal DiNardo, a ‘moral catastrophe.’ So many clergy seem to have been involved, so many victims. Whilst these are historic allegations and today’s situation is different, even so this scandal soils the entire Church. It tests our faith. It can make us distrust the Church, especially its bishops and priests. We know as human beings we are all sinners and that the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit, is made up of sinful people like you and me. Yet we ask: How could this have happened? How could this have been allowed to happen? More, what should we do? What can we do?


To continue reading, click here. This is the Message I have released to the clergy and faithful of our Diocese in the light of the report from the Pennsylvania Grand Jury.



Soul of My Saviour

Here’s another “classic” Catholic hymn and one of the “Top Ten” favourites, Soul of my Saviour. The words, translated and versified by J. Hegarty (d. 1834), come from the 14th century Anima Christi prayer, composed by an unknown author. The Anima Christi became popular for use at Benediction in the latter half of the nineteenth century in Catholic churches here in Britain. It is believed that a Jesuit priest, Fr. William J. Maher (b. Bristol, 1823; d. Paris, France, 1877) composed the tune we now know so well. Click on the picture to hear the Leeds Diocesan choir singing it.


Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast,

Body of Christ, be thou my saving guest,

Blood of my Saviour, bathe me in thy tide,

Wash me with water flowing from thy side.


Strength and protection may thy Passion be,

O blessèd Jesu, hear and answer me;

Deep in thy wounds, Lord, hide and shelter me,

So shall I never, never part from thee.


Guard and defend me from the foe malign,

In death's dread moments make me only thine;

Call me and bid me come to thee on high

Where I may praise thee with thy saints for aye.



"A Choice to Make" - Scott Hahn on the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s Mass readings conclude a four-week meditation on the Eucharist. The Twelve Apostles in today’s Gospel are asked to make a choice—either to believe and accept the New Covenant He offers in His Body and Blood, or return to their former ways of life. Their choice is prefigured by the decision Joshua asks the Twelve Tribes to make in the First Reading. Joshua gathers them at Shechem—where God first appeared to their father Abraham, promising to make his descendants a great nation in a new land and he issues a blunt challenge—either renew their covenant with God or serve the alien gods of the surrounding nations. We too are being asked to decide whom we will serve. For four weeks we have been presented in the liturgy with the mystery of the Eucharist—a daily miracle far greater than those performed by God in bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. He has promised us a new homeland and eternal life, offering us bread from heaven to strengthen us on our journey. He has told us that unless we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood we will have no life in us.


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



Dante’s Prayer to the Blessed Virgin

In Canto 33 of Paradiso, The Divine Comedy, Dante puts into the mouth of St. Bernard the following prayer to the Blessed Virgin. Given that we celebrate on 22nd August the feast of Mary Queen of Heaven, I offer it as a prayer you too might join in and say. In it, Saint Bernard praises the Blessed Virgin as the aim and purpose of creation, since through her the Son of God became a human being and through her, in turn, human beings return to the Son. It is also the prayer that Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati often recited aloud from memory. He had copied it out and tacked it onto his bedroom door.


O Virgin Mother, daughter of your Son, humbler yet higher than all creatures, predestined object of the Eternal Will! You gave such nobility to our flesh that He Who made humanity did not disdain to make Himself a creature of His own making. Within your womb that Love was re-enkindled Whose heat has germinated this fair flower to blossom thus in everlasting peace. You are our noonday torch of charity, and you are for us mortals here below the living font of hope. O Lady, you are so noble and of so much worth, that anyone who desires grace but does not have recourse to you foolishly wishes that his desire should fly without wings! Your gracious kindness not only gives help to the one who asks, but oftentimes will generously anticipate his request. In you are found mercy and magnificence and pity, for in you is concentrated whatever good there may be in any creature.


O Mary, Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us who have recourse to you.



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

The decision of Faith (John 6:60-69) 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B 


Many followers of Jesus decide to turn away from him, as they feel unable to accept his words. This honest response proves that faith is an authentic human decision, as well as a gift from God, inseparably.


How can it be so? Can faith be both human and divine? From the Gospel of this Sunday, we can discover some of the indispensable aspects of faith in Jesus, and the inalienable freedom God gives us in accepting his offer of eternal life in Jesus.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: Is faith a free decision? How is this freedom manifested daily?

Hope: Is it reasonable to place our hope in the words of Jesus?   
Love: Can faith in Jesus be separated from love of Jesus?


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



Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church

Recently, the Church celebrated the memorial of St. Clare of Assisi (d. 1253). Here is an extract from a letter she wrote to Blessed Agnes of Prague. Read it slowly and in your prayer-time. It will surely draw you close to the Lord.


“Happy indeed is the one who is granted a place at the Divine Banquet. Let them cling with their inmost heart to Him Whose beauty eternally awes the blessed hosts of heaven; to Him Whose love inspires love, Whose contemplation refreshes, Whose generosity satisfies, Whose gentleness delights, Whose memory shines sweetly as the dawn; to Him Whose fragrance revives the dead, and Whose glorious vision will bless all the citizens of that heavenly Jerusalem. For His is the splendour of eternal glory, the brightness of eternal light, and the mirror without cloud.”


St. Clare – pray for us.


Image: Salvator Mundi by Joos Van Cleve. (Click on the image to see the whole painting.)



Jennifer Geach reflects on The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Earlier this month, which is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we celebrated  the glorious feast of her Assumption body and soul into Heaven.  In 1950, Pope Leo finally defined this teaching, which goes back to the earliest times of the Church.  His definition is as follows: “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory”. In the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary, we are encouraged to meditate not only on this great wonder, but also on the coronation of Mary and the glory of all the saints which we celebrate this week.  Mary is assumed into heaven because her body, her flesh had given Christ his human life: he was nourished in her womb, sucked at her breasts, and was fed by her hands. So her body, immaculate and virginal, unmarked by sin of any kind, was taken to Heaven for the glory of God. 


Read the full reflection here.



The Death Penalty

On 2nd August, Pope Francis promulgated a new text for n. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, relating to the Church’s teaching on the use of the death penalty. In a change from its previous teaching, the Catechism will now say this:

The death penalty

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.


At the same time, Cardinal Ladaria, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued an explanatory note explaining the change and why it has come about. You can read it here.



Walsingham Festival Y2K

Every August Bank Holiday, Youth 2000 run a massive youth festival at the National Catholic Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham. Read all about it here. The festival site is just opposite the Catholic shrine. I’ll be there this year and on Sunday I’ll be celebrating with the festival-goers the 11 o’clock Mass (see here.) There are inspirational speakers, liturgies, workshops and all-night Adoration. Gates open at 2pm on Thursday 23rd August. The festival kicks-off at 7pm that evening and finishes at 2pm on Monday 27th August. Anyone between the ages of 16 - 35, or families with parents or children in this age-range, are welcome.


Youth 2000 express their vision as follows: “Young people leading young people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Our retreats, missions, leadership formation and summer festival provide the opportunities for you to experience the love of God, to receive the grace of conversion and to begin living the fullness of life in Christ Jesus. At the heart of our mission activity are 5 pillars: 1. The Mass   2. The Eucharist. 3. Confession. 4. Sacred Scripture   5. Our Lady.”



CAFOD Portsmouth invite you to their Harvest fast day briefings 

CAFOD Portsmouth invite you to join them for at their forthcoming Harvest Fast Day briefing sessions:

Wednesday 5th September

St Joseph's Church, West Street, Havant PO9 1LP  from  7:15pm to 9pm

Saturday 8th September

St Bede's Church Hall, Popley Way, Basingstoke RG24 9DX from 10:30 am to 1pm

Wednesday 19th September

English Martyrs Church Hall, Reading RG30 2EB  from 7:15pm to 9pm

Saturday 22nd September

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Douglas Road, Southbourne BH6 3ER from 2:30pm to 4:30pm


On the 5th September Nikki Evans, CAFOD’s Programme Officer for Bolivia will be speaking about their work and giving an update on On Hands on Bolivia project launched in 2016 and at the 8th, 19th and 22nd September meetings Weronika Oziranska CAFOD’s Regional Support Officer for Latin America will be speaking about their work in Peru and her recent visit there.  


Everyone is welcome so please book your place by e-mailing the CAFOD Portsmouth office or call Jo on 01252 329385.



Kerala floods

Fr. Rajesh Abraham, parish priest of Waterside parish, wrote to me the other day:


“You may have already come to know the worst ever floods in Kerala, India where I come from. This was the worst ever flood to hit the so-called "God's Own Country" as it is popularly known in the last 100 years. People have lost everything in the torrential rains for the last 6 days or so, 400 mm in a single day in some areas. We have nearly 70-80 dams which are all swollen to full capacity and they had to open the shutters of some of them, which has caused some 400 deaths till today, many more maybe as the rescue teams are only reaching some interior areas. This is one of the most Catholic parts of India. People have lost everything, of their lifetime, houses are flooded. All furnitures all lost as the water rose up to 2 storey buildings, people had to be evacuated by boats and helicopters. All roads destroyed, bridges collapsed. There are 800,000 people in rescue shelters and all generous people are helping them for food and clothing etc. Some areas they are dropping food by helicopters, along with the floods to add to the misery there are landslides as well. Kerala is a land of lakes, streams, rivers and three seas joining, all connected through a water canal, so the calamity is intense.”


Please pray for the peoples of Kerala. CAFOD is helping through Caritas India. If you wish to help, you can read more here.



New Refugee Project

A couple of weeks ago, I was happy to meet with Rosie Lennon, who is the new Project Worker for our Refugee Sponsorship Project. She will be working with us and Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth over the next months. The Home Office is keen to encourage community groups to support the work of settling refugee families into Britain. They are often from Syria. As Christians, we should be at the forefront of these efforts as outward looking disciples at the service of others. Our parishes are ideal communities to help refugee families and I am proud to hear that my old parish of Our Lady and St. Christopher’s, Romiley has just welcomed its first refugee family, helping them settle in, in whatever way they can. I know that the people of our Diocese of Portsmouth are outstandingly generous and so I wish to appeal to your help and to encourage you to support Rosie in her work. Watch this here


Rosie has organized a couple of launch events to which you are invited to learn more:

15th September (1000-1600h) – Sacred Heart Waterlooville

29th September (1000-1600h) – St. Joseph’s Maidenhead

(Sign-up at Eventbrite or email caritas@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk).


Click on the picture of Cardinal Nichols in order to hear form him a brief message explaining what this is all about and how relatively easy it is for us all to lend our help.



Is God calling you to be a Deacon?

Oscott Seminary now run a preparatory year for men discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate. The new course starts in November 2018 and consists of three overnight stays (also in January and March 2019). This is now part of the selection process run by the Diocese and all prospective candidates are required to attend it.


The aim of these sessions is to help candidates better understand the reality of a vocation to Holy Orders and to help 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 affords a wonderful opportunity to begin this process of discernment with the help of others.


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



Thank you from the organisers of Fanning the Flame Summer Camp

Sister Veronica, OP has asked me through eNews to thank people for their very kind and generous donations towards the recent Fanning the Flame summer camp.  An urgent request was received to help several children who were struggling to pay to attend the camp. After a few phone calls to people the organisers managed to raise nearly £1500 from a variety of  anonymous sources around the diocese, as well as about £1000 from Fr John Cooke's  two parishes in Christchurch and Highcliffe. "We are absolutely overwhelmed by the response and wish to thank everyone sincerely" said Sr Veronica.


The photo shows Sister Hyacinthe trying to reclaim the campsite!







We are gradually building up the galleries and resources on Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati on the diocesan website – see Youth tab. I have now added the pictures from our pilgrimage to Turin last March, and also the talks given at the Celebration Day this year on 4th July. Hope you like them! Please pray for all our young people in these difficult times. Here is the prayer we said in Turin:


Blessed Pier Giorgio, we are happy to be with you today and to visit you at your shrine in this great Cathedral. We thank you for your love and friendship, and for all the graces you have obtained for us from the Lord through your prayers. We thank you especially for your inspiring example of holiness and your joyful love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and in the poor and needy. We thank you too for your example of family love and Christian friendship, for your struggle for justice and commitment to duty. Listen to our prayers today, as we come to Turin to meet you. We wish to place under your patronage all the young people of the Diocese of Portsmouth and the work of our diocesan Department for Educational Chaplaincies. Blessed Pier Giorgio, guide our work by your inspiration and pray to the Lord that all our young people may be given deeper faith, hope and love. Obtain for us a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit that our young, together with their pastors, educators and families, may come to a greater knowledge, service and love of Jesus Christ in the full communion of His Catholic Church. Pray that all our young people may become more active and energetic missionary disciples of Christ so that the Gospel may be heard throughout our land and that all people may come to the salvation and happiness for which their hearts desire. Blessed Pier Giorgio, we thank you and greet you today. Give us your friendship and pray for us that forgiven our sins we may one day meet you face-to-face in the heaven. Amen



Summer Conference

At the beginning of August, I was invited to a remarkable gathering of young Catholics, 16-25. The annual Faith Summer Session, which lasts five days, was held in the beautiful grounds of Woldingham School, Surrey and this year its title was Above all things love each other" (1 Peter 4:8) - The Human Vocation to Love. There were about 150 youngsters there, plus 20 priests and 15 seminarians, including two of our Portsmouth students. From modest beginnings, the event has now grown into a major annual conference for young adults, attracting students, seminarians and active young Catholics from all over the UK and beyond, as an opportunity for youngsters to ask questions about their faith and meet other young Catholics in an informal and prayerful atmosphere. I was asked to give the opening talk, with its fighting title, “Truth, what is that? (John 18:38) – Overcoming the dictatorship of relativism”. You can read it here.  Other talks included: Male and Female He Created them (Gen 1:27) and The Sexes in the Plan of God. I was impressed with the high standard: an excellent balance of social, spiritual and catechetical activities. Each day there was a Mass, morning and night prayer and, on one of the evenings, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and confessions. There was also plenty of time for recreation and socialising, for sports, going on walks or simply relaxing, while the evening's activities included a ceilidh and an entertainment night.


It would be good to pencil in the date for this event for next year – it is usually the same week. For more, see http://www.faith.org.uk



Find out how your parish can benefit from "Called and Gifted"

The Called and Gifted Team is now taking bookings for 2019. 


Would you welcome an informal visit this autumn to discuss how Called & Gifted may fit with your parish plans & vision? The Called & Gifted process has been running in the Diocese of Portsmouth for over 4 years and is helping people across the diocese to discern their spiritual gifts and their calling, helping to transform the lives of individuals and parishes.


Called and Gifted when fully embraced can be transformational by:

  • enlivening and empowering the 'body of Christ', laity and clergy, to understand our own unique giftedness, recognise and value the giftedness of others and see how we all fit together; helping to comprehend the vocation for which the gifts are given;
  • assisting through structured, informed and prayerful discernment and accompaniment those who hope to be a channel of God's love and provision for families, communities, workplaces and parishes through collaboration with God's Grace. This is joyful, energising and, most significantly, helps avoid burn out!
  • helping a parish move more freely, fruitfully and joyfully from 'maintenance to mission'.​

If you would like to meet one of the Core team to explore how Called and Gifted could be relevant to you and your parish, please contact one of the following, who would be delighted to hear from you:


Gerry Penfoldgpenfold@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

Anne-Marie Fletcher: amfletcher@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

Geoff & Gina Poulter: geoffpoulter@hotmail.com​



The best results in 10 years for Farnborough Hill students

Farnborough Hill students are celebrating today as they received the best set of A level results for over 10 years. An outstanding 61% of grades were A* / A, with 87% at A*, A or B.


Top performers are Catriona and Emily S, both of whom received 3A*s; Catriona will be reading History at Magdalen College, Cambridge, and Emily will be studying the Ancient World at University College London.


Emily A and Alice are celebrating 2A* and an A grade, and Jessica 2A*s and a B. A further 6 students – Katy, Lucy, Paige, Tiggy, Imogen and Rosie – were delighted with A*AA grades. Laura and Niamh were thrilled with A*AB grades, while 4 more girls, Amy, Isabella, Molly and Jennifer, were successful in gaining a clean sweep of 3A’s. Future degree subjects range from Astro Physics to Law and Engineering to English, including 10% going on to study medicine or veterinary medicine, each girl has been inspired and encouraged to follow her own individual path. At Farnborough Hill, the girls are ambitious with their course and university choices, so it is tremendous that 95% of girls are going to their first choice of university proving that aspirations are met.


Mrs Alexandra Neil, Head, was delighted, praising the girls for their dedication to their studies: ‘I am extremely proud of all of the girls receiving their results today; they have achieved truly excellent grades which are testament to their hard work and tenacity. The fact that, overall, the grades are the best since 2007 is phenomenal and the staff should be commended for supporting the pupils to achieve such brilliant results. The girls are aiming high for their future careers and we are privileged that Farnborough Hill has played such a key role in setting them up to achieve these goals. We wish them every happiness and success for the future and will proudly follow them as they become the leaders of tomorrow.’



'Let the little children come to me'

Dora Nash was head of religious education at the Oratory Reading (Cardinal Newman’s School) for 20 years. She is the author of two sacramental preparation books: Jesus Comes to Me (First Holy Communion) and Confirmed in the Faith (Confirmation) and a member of our Diocesan Marriage and Family Life Team. She has recently had an article on Children's Eucharistic Adoration published in the Catholic Universe. You can read it here.


Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis says "In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us; eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration. The act of adoration outside Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself... I recommend that in preparation for their first Holy Communion children be taught the meaning and the beauty of spending time with Jesus and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before his presence in the Eucharist."


Dora will be amongst the speakers at Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage taking place in Liverpool on 7-9th September. 



10th anniversary of the Apostleship of the Sea in Jersey 

Monsignor Nicholas France, Parish Priest and Catholic Dean in Jersey and one time Apostleship of the Sea Trustee put out an appeal in 2007 for someone to set up the organisation in Jersey; being an island and relying on shipping he thought AoS should have a presence in Jersey.


The Knights of St. Columba, Council 216 Jersey took on this task and in 2008 a branch of AoS was set up in Jersey with the kind assistance of the Ports of Jersey. Five members of the Knights of St Columba became volunteer ship visitors and a couple of years later one lady joined our ranks.


The ships that arrive in Jersey include small coasters, gas and oil tankers and ferries en route to and from Poole and Portsmouth and St. Malo, the crews of which  are all visited by AoS Jersey  volunteers. At Christmas and Easter we join forces with MtS Jersey, to take on board woolly hats, toiletries, biscuits, confectionery and greeting cards for each crew member which are all donated by Islanders.


Every year for the past six or seven years AoS Jersey together with the Knights of St Columba, on May Bank Holiday have a fund raising function, a Sponsored Walking on Water to France, walking around St. Catherines’ Breakwater 18 times, the distance of 23 km to the coast of France. Proceeds of the income is shared 80% with AoS and 20% with the Knights of St Columba Charity Fund, Jersey. So far about £20,000 has been raised for AoS UK. This again was the brainchild of Monsignor Nicholas to whom AoS Jersey is saying a fond farewell as he leaves  for retirement in September.



Alice earns her place in tomorrow's secretive cyber world

Following an intensive online questionnaire, a subsequent test and a gruelling interview where she was quizzed on her skills and interest in cyber security, Farnborough Hill student Alice has secured sponsorship from a top secret government agency for her university place, and the promise of employment post degree.


The prestigious award sees Alice receive £4000 p/a towards her university living costs and a 6-8 week paid placement, for which she will need top-level national security clearance.


Alice is extremely excited, saying: ‘Getting the opportunity to work with the best technology and the greatest experts in the field, plus an assured job for at least the next 6 years, is both incredibly exciting and somewhat daunting.’


Mrs Alexandra Neil, Head, added: ‘We are so proud of Alice being astute enough to look to the future at a time of extreme pressure in the run up to her exams, and then delivering excellent results of 2A*A, which has made that future possible. I am so thrilled that a Farnborough Hill girl is going into such an innovative and dynamic industry, particularly one of such great service to the nation.’



Bishop Philip's Engagements        

Friday 24th August

Various meetings, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Saturday 25th - Sunday 26th August

Youth 2000 event, Walsingham


Friday 31st August 

Meeting Head of Communications, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Meeting with Knights of Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulchre, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth


Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd September 

Dialogue with Sectors Meeting, Bishop’s House, Portsmouth

Parish Visitation: Earley, Reading



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 19th August


Diocesan Prayer: Worldwide Marriage Encounter


Monday 20th August

St Bernard, Abbot, Doctor of the Church, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Cathedral Discovery Centre 



Tuesday 21st August

St Pius X, Pope, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: All Sacristans


Wednesday 22nd August

The Queenship of Mary, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Mary, Overton


Thursday 23rd August

St Rose of Lima, Religious, optional memorial

or: Feria [20th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Aid to the Church in Need 


Friday 24th August

ST BARTHOLOMEW, Apostle, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage


Saturday 25th August 

St Louis IX, King of France, optional memorial

or: St Joseph Calasanz, Founder, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [20th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: St John’s Home for Sick & Retired Priests, Kiln Green


Sunday 26th August


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of Peace & Blessed Dominic Barberi, Earley


Monday 27th August 

St Monica, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph & St Mary, Guernsey (consecrated 27.8.1885) 


Tuesday 28th August

St Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Teachers’ Federation


Wednesday 29th August

The Passion of St John the Baptist, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Residential Care Homes in the Dioces


Thursday 30th August

Ss Margaret Clitherow, Anne Line & Margaret Ward, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: Feria [21st Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish Bereavement Support Groups


Friday 31st August

St Aidan, Bishop, & All Saints of Lindisfarne, optional memorial

or: Feria [21st Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Liturgical Advisors


Saturday 1st September

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [21st Week in Ordinary Time]

National Prayer Cycle: Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Diocesan Prayer: Those who clean our churches 


Sunday 2nd September


Diocesan Prayer: Society of St Gregory


Forthcoming Events          

Tuesday 4th September (for 5 weeks)

"We are all Witnesses" - Essential Training for Catechists

St Edward the Confessor, Chandler’s Ford

Read more


Sunday 9th September 

Annual Walk from Ryde to Quarr Abbey

Read more


Saturday 15th September 

Welcoming our Neighbour in Need

Sacred Heart Waterlooville

Read more  


Tuesday 18th September

Apostleship of the Sea Stella Maris Mass

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 29th September 

Welcoming our Neighbour in Need

St Joseph's Maidenhead

Read more  


29th-30th September

Southampton Celebrate

St George Catholic College Southampton

Read more


Saturday 6th October

Diocesan Day for Readers

St Patrick's, Hayling Island

Read more


Saturday 13th October

A Day with Mary

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


18th—22nd October

Catholic School Leaders’ Pilgrimage to Medjugorje

Read more


Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November

Be still and know - Franciscan Retreat

Park Place Pastoral Centre, Wickham

Read more 



Please pray for..

All affected by sexual, domestic and emotional abuse.


Peace in the world and for those who govern the nations that they may do so wisely and justly; 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.

For all travelling on holiday or pilgrimage that they may return safe and refreshed, especially all students and those who work in our diocesan schools. 


All clergy preparing to move to new assignments in the autumn.


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, 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 may 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


Do you have an event to advertise or news item to share?

We receive a lot of adverts for events. If you would like to advertise an event, please fill out this form here

Subscribe to Portsmouth Diocese E-news
Keep up to date with what’s happening in the diocese. The diocesan e-news comes out on Tuesday most weeks – latest events, photos, videos.

(Under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the information provided on this form will be held in confidence and used for the purpose of diocesan communications and no other purpose).