Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 18th September 2018 - Issue 197 (2018/32)


Hello everyone!


It’s been a week of removals and change here at Bishop’s House, with Canon Dominic (and Zeta) moving to Jersey and the new Dean, Fr. PJ Smith (and Benjamin) moving in. We have also welcomed Anthony Fyk, one of our seminarians from Rome, who is with us for the next months on a pastoral placement. This last weekend, I made a Pastoral Visitation of as very impressive parish community, that of St. Joseph’s Tilehurst (see below). Meanwhile, today we have the Apostleship of the Sea Mass here in the Cathedral, on Thursday our Trustees' meeting and on Friday the blessing of the new buildings at St. Peter's School Bournemouth. Then early on Sunday morning, I leave for Rome and the Ad Limina. Please say a prayer for me, and for us all, at this busy time.


God bless you over the week ahead.  



Bishop Robert Barron's second Adoremus keynote address

Bishop Robert Barron is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. He is the creator of the award winning documentary series, "Catholicism" and "Catholicism:The New Evangelization." He has a huge online following with 1.5 million followers on Facebook.


Bishop Barron was the keynote speaker at the Adoremus 2018 Eucharistic Congress and gave two addresses. The first was an excellent talk on the various aspects of the Mass which we featured in last week's e-news.


In this second address, he reflects on Sainthood, sanctity and what makes us holy. St. Peter in his First Letter, says this: 'Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy' (1: 14-16). You can watch the video by clicking on the image.



"Servant of all" - Scott Hahn reflects on 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In Sunday’s First Reading, it’s like we have our ears pressed to the wall and can hear the murderous grumblings of the elders, chief priests, and scribes—who last week Jesus predicted would torture and kill Him. The liturgy invites us to see this passage from the Book of Wisdom as a prophecy of the Lord’s Passion. We hear His enemies complain that “the Just One” has challenged their authority, reproached them for breaking the law of Moses, for betraying their training as leaders and teachers. And we hear chilling words that foreshadow how they will mock Him as He hangs on the Cross: “For if the Just One be the Son of God, He will . . . deliver Him. . . ” Sunday’s Gospel and Psalm give us the flip side of the First Reading. In both, we hear of Jesus’ sufferings from His point of view. Though His enemies surround Him, He offers himself freely in sacrifice, trusting that God will sustain Him. But the apostles today don’t understand this second announcement of Christ’s passion. They begin arguing over issues of succession—over who among them is greatest, who will be chosen to lead after Christ is killed.

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



Jennifer Geach reflects on family prayers...

One of the most precious gifts my parents gave to me and my siblings was a liturgy.  I mean we had a formula for family prayers.  It was quite short, and began conventionally enough with the sign of the cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, the Glory be, and prayer for the dead.  Then there were our own family prayers: “Please, God, look after us today (tonight); thank you for looking after us today (tonight). Please, look after all our friends and families and help them.  Have mercy on the Pope and the bishops, and restore the unity of the baptised in truth. Have mercy on thy people Israel, and turn their hearts to you: have mercy on us.” The prayers concluded with the hundredth psalm in the morning or the De Profundis (in English) at night, followed by Visit we beseech thee, O Lord. And then, of course, another sign of the cross. This takes less than two minutes to say.  But it united us, and still now unites us, for we use this liturgy when we are together.  Sometimes our departure in the mornings was a little flurried (!) and then it would be ‘drink a glass of milk, take a piece of bread and marmite, and say your prayers on the bus’.


Read the full reflection here



Sweet Heart of Jesus

We come this week to the sixth of our ‘Top Ten’ classic Catholic hymns, Sweet Heart of Jesus. When I was ordained here in the cathedral as Bishop on 24th September 2012, I asked that we might sing this hymn during the Mass, but it was strongly suggested that down here in the ‘deep south’ this song was not known. Actually, the congregation sang it on that occasion with great gusto. But it does remind me of my primary school ‘up north’ and also, years later when I was ordained, of my first parish, St. Anthony’s Woodhouse Park, (just near Manchester Airport), where it was always sung with great gusto. I cannot find who wrote the music or the lyrics. I think it is a song that was popular among Irish Catholics, especially in the month of June. The opening verse makes a good prayer for us to say at anytime: Sweet Heart of Jesus, fount of love and mercy,  today we come Thy blessings to implore,  O touch our hearts so cold and so ungrateful,  and make them Lord Thine own forevermore. Sweet Heart of Jesus, we implore, O make us love Thee more and more.


Click on the picture to hear a recording.



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

Role model (Mark 9:30-37) 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

For the second time, Jesus tells his disciples about his forthcoming passion, death and resurrection. Yet how can they understand him, when they are arguing among themselves as to who is the greatest?


The humility of Jesus, of the God who came to be one of us, of God who became our servant, is difficult to understand, and even to believe. Even his disciples, who lived daily with him for years, are blind to this hidden reality. For it is only when we begin to follow Jesus our role model, by serving others in humility, that we can enter into the mystery of his humble self-gift to us, and recognise him for who he truly is: God with us.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How can we reconcile the cross of Christ with the majesty of God?

Hope: Is it possible to change from pride to humility? How can we do this?

Love: How can we begin to accept God’s love for us, and respond to it by lives of service?


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



This Thursday is the Centenary of Padre Pio receiving the stigmata

St Pio of Pietrelcina - Padre Pio - whose Feast day would normally fall on 23rd September died 50 years ago this week and this Thursday is the Centenary of his receiving the visible Stigmata.


After receiving the visible stigmata, St Pio wrote this: "It all happened in a flash. While all this was taking place, I saw before me a mysterious Person, similar to the one I had seen on August 5th, differing only because His hands, feet and side were dripping blood. The sight of Him frightened me: what I felt at that moment is indescribable. 'I thought I would die, and would have died if the Lord hadn't intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. The Person disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were pierced and were dripping with blood" 


For anyone in London this Thursday evening, there will be a Solemn Mass at Corpus Christi church in Covent Garden at 6.30pm, which will be followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The preacher will be Fr Stephen Morrison, O.Praem. Sub-Prior of the Norbertine Priory, Chelmsford. There will also be the opportunity to venerate one of Padre Pio’s mittens. All are invited to attend and ask for the intercession of this great saint.



Welcoming our neighbour in need...

Due to the low number of people signing up for the launch of Community Sponsorship in the parishes of Waterlooville and Maidenhead it was not possible to go ahead with the refugee project launch events.  We have tried to contact everyone who has registered. 


However the diocesan plans to sponsor and house refugee families is still very much alive and Rosie Lennon, the Caritas Refugee Development Manager, is planning to visit parishes and give talks after Mass and from there will be able to diarise further visits to talk to those parishes who are keen to get involved. We think this will be a better option and will mean less travelling for a number of people.


We feel confident that this will bring Refugee Community Sponsorship to the parishes with an emphasis on what can be done within a parish community. Rosie will be contacting parishes in this regard but you are welcome also to contact her at to arrange a visit. 


Thank you for your support - we are at the very start so a few hurdles are expected. 



Catholics in Healthcare – Afternoon Conference

On 29th September, from 1.30 – 5.30 pm at St. Aloysius’s Church in Euston, London, the Catholic Medical Association is running their Third Annual Youth Conference for juniors and students (18-35) in the healthcare profession: i.e. doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, medical and nursing students etc. Speakers and a panel will explore the meaning of the culture of life in relation to healthcare and how to live by that culture in our professional and personal lives. There will be a small fayre to showcase the work of lay and religious organisations related to healthcare and tea and coffee will be provided during the break. Entry is by donation (suggested donation: £5, payable at the door). Register at: buildingacultureoflife.eventbrite.co.uk or facebook.com/CMAEnglandandWales.


There will be three talks. What is the Culture of Life? (Fr Stephen Boyle) An overview of the prophetic teaching of Humanae Vitae. How does the culture of the modern secular world reject the Church and its message of the Good News?  How does that culture affect bioethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the family etc.? Bringing the Culture of Life to young Catholics in Healthcare (Dr Adrian Treloar) What is it to be a Catholic in healthcare?  How do we live out our lives according to this culture of life?  What sort of clinical situations might you be faced with which oppose the culture of life? Work as Prayer (Fr Gerard Mary OFM Conv.) Fr Gerard will talk about the importance of a strong prayer life for young Catholics in healthcare, and then briefly about the role of Walsingham in the re-dedication of England to Mary and the work of the New Evangelisation.  

There will also be a Panel Discussion with Catholic clinicians, nurses and midwives, A chance to explore some of these clinical scenarios further and how to respond to them in a polite and professional manner.



Knights of the Holy Sepulchre 

The Southern Section of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (KHS) will be celebrating Mass  with you in St John' Cathedral on Saturday 29th September at 1215.


The KHS is a modern, and vibrant arm of the Church charged by successive popes to support the church in the Holy Land.  We help to build churches, establish parishes and schools, and assist in maintaining families and communities in the land of their birth.


It may come as a shock to some of you to learn that less than 2% of the indigenous population are Christians -  they need our support.  We go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land twice a year.  Our work in helping people, the "living stones" is divided into three kinds; humanitarian aid, pastoral care and education. There will be some pamphlets and  prayer cards at the back of the Cathedral giving more details about the Order.  If you are interested in knowing more about the Order please contact local President, Elizabeth McCombe. 


Heavenly Mother, Queen of the Holy Land, we pray together for your powerful intercession.

May grace rain in abundance on all hearts that are hardened

and especially we pray for peace with justice in the Holy Land.

May Jerusalem shine as a beacon of unity among Christians

and to be a place of friendship and understanding between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

May intolerance and suspicion be dispelled and may love drive out fear.

May all who do not have faith in the One God come to the fullness of faith, hope and love.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Prisoners' Sunday is on 14th October

Sunday 14th October marks the annual day of prayer and action within the Catholic community in England and Wales, with the message to ‘Go Beyond’ to help the most vulnerable in local communities. Please look out for Pact’s Prisoners’ Sunday posters and leaflets if you visit a church between now and the end of Prison Week on 20th October.


Pact was formed from small beginnings, in 1898, when our records show we helped a child who had no one to care for her. Her name, fittingly, was Roots.Today we work in 64 prisons as well as in many Courts and local community settings, and last year we helped thousands of prisoners, and almost a quarter of a million children and families to maintain contact with their loved ones. 


You can read the latest newsletter from Pact here.




Science – Or – Religion? A Symposium 

Our big diocesan Symposium takes place on Saturday 3rd November 2018, 10 am – 4 pm in The Discovery Centre in Winchester (opposite St. Peter’s church). It’s called “Science - or - Religion?” - a hot topic - and we have invited two key speakers: Professor Alister McGrath, professor of Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Andrew Pinsent from the Oxford University Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion. They will be tackling the issue of whether recent research on the universe suggests the existence of a Creator. We’ve also got a great line-up of other speakers who will be running optional workshops depending on your interests. You can choose two from the following six options:


•   Christianity and Extra Terrestrial Life (Bernard Barrett, theologian)

•   The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (Professor Maria Burke, Winchester University)

•   Quantum Physics and the Quantum Physicist (Dr. Vincenzo Tamma, University of

•   Is Consciousness immortal? (Dr. Andrew Beards, Academic Director, School of the
     Annunciation, Buckfast)

•   In the light of evolutionary psychology, can humans have free will? (Dr. Rebecca Page-
    Tickell, Hampshire Business School)

•   In the light of current medical advances, could people live forever? (Dr. John Ochai,
    St Mary’s Hospital, Ryde). 


Click on the picture above for details of the day itself. The total number of spaces is limited. Bookings are now open at: https://portsmouthdiocese.eventbrite.co.uk



Diocesan Youth: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Bloge

The Department for Educational Chaplaincies will be publishing fresh content from over 50 contributors around the diocese every single week of the year at portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/youth. We have people of many ages, opinions and testimonies, who are all poised to share their joys and challenges, methods, resources, how their ministry affects their relationship with God and their mission to bring people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. Beginning on September 26th there will be weekly posts from Young People & Young Adults, Youth Ministers & Catechists Educational Chaplains, plus special guest writers.


Youth Ministers and clergy can also sign up for our monthly newsletter which includes: an article on an aspect of youth ministry, resource of the month, new Christian music to support prayer and liturgy with young people and events both within and outside the diocese.  Furthermore, youth ministers, clergy and chaplains from around the diocese can join our exclusive Facebook group to share events, resources, news and ideas. In order to maintain a safe environment, applications to join the group may be subject to a simple reference from the applicant's parish.


All are welcome to subscribe to our Diocesan Youth Social media platforms which are aimed at young people, young adults, youth ministers and educational chaplains and will be advertising a range of events both within and outside the diocese alongside the newsletter.


Facebook: @portsmouthdiocesecatholicyouth

Instagram @portsrcyouth 

Twitter: @portsrcyouth



Ecclesiastical Latin courses from the School of the Annunciation

The Latin language, which as the Second Vatican Council affirmed remains the language of the Western Rites of the Church (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36), has been an integral part of the evangelisation and unification of European culture. The Church asks that those who are to be formed in the Catholic tradition should be provided with the means of studying Latin.


A study of Latin opens the door to the Catholic liturgical tradition, and is an essential part of Catholic higher studies in philosophy and theology.


The Aim of the Course

The course aims to enable students to access, participate in, and engage with the Latin liturgical and intellectual texts of the Catholic tradition.


Method of study

The programmes are delivered through two short residential periods (4 days) in the beautiful monastic surroundings of Buckfast Abbey. As well as classroom learning and seminars, you will experience Latin in the liturgy. The course includes full board and en-suite accommodation at Northgate House.


For the main part of the year, your studies at home follow the basic text of the course, supported by regular interaction with personal tutors. On successful completion of the first year, you have the option of continuing to the intermediate course.


Click here for more details.



The Current Crisis in the Church

In case you missed it last week, I thought I’d rerun the interview I did with Kevin Turley for the National Catholic Register, the American Catholic weekly, on the topic of the current crisis in the Church. As I argued in it, it seems to me that there is a three-level crisis that is all interconnected: first, the alleged catalogue of sins and crimes against the young by members of the clergy; secondly, the homosexual circles centered around the former Archbishop of Washington but present in other areas across the Church, too; and then, thirdly, the mishandling and cover-up of all this by the hierarchy going up to the highest circles. You can read the interview here. My basic position is that just as in a time of personal crisis, so too on the ecclesial level, we should run to Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, to sit at His feet, to experience His love, to listen to His Word, to ascertain from Him what He wants us to do, and then to put it into action. Action is needed. Yet we must also remember it is Christ’s Church and we know He will see things right. The issue is about our collaboration with His Holy Spirit. Meanwhile, to say it again, please pray for the victims of abuse and especially for the healing of their memories. Please pray too for the forgiveness of those who perpetrated these crimes and sins. And please pray for the Church, that she may find the right ways forward to ensure these things do not happen again.



News from the Adoremus Centre 

The Adoremus Centre is the project on Alderney to support with prayer everyone in our Diocese, especially our priests, both in their daily needs by incessant prayer and also in the mission of new evangelisation. As the Lord says, without me you can do nothing (Jn 15:8). Mother Veronica writes “Building us up first of all by the example of his own commitment to prayer and encouraging us to discover always more the importance of a personal relationship with Our Lord, in daily prayer and in Eucharistic adoration, our Bishop felt the need to establish even a physical place, as a ‘powerhouse of prayer for the Diocese’, where the support of continual prayer would be guaranteed.”


For almost a year now the Sisters at the Adoremus Centre, on the island of Alderney, receiving this special mission, dedicate themselves every day to sustain the Diocese with Eucharistic adoration, the recital of the Holy Rosary, the Hours of community liturgical prayer, the offering of the Holy Mass, and a life of continual prayer and sacrifice. As well as praying for the Bishop, for the priests, and for all the faithful, the Sisters pray too for all the souls in the territory of our Diocese, for those of every background, who have not yet come to the Heart of Christ in his Church, or who have strayed from Him. They pray for everyone, for the grace to turn to Him - for graces of conversion, for graces of spiritual renewal. The hope is that a way can be developed for people to unite themselves to the prayer of the Centre, and that in the future priests might be able to come for retreat.


Already the sisters are now able to receive prayer requests: whoever wants to can write with their prayer intention and the sisters will pray for all their needs. So if you have prayer requests, please email them at   Or write to them: Franciscan Sisters,  Adoremus Centre, Braye Road, Alderney  GY9 3XJ. “The Sisters will be happy to pray according to your requests, offering your intentions to the Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and fulfilling daily in this way the mission entrusted to them by our dear Father and Shepherd, Bishop Philip.”



News from Macau

Deacon Stephen Morgan is now in Macau where he has begun his new work as Dean of the Faculty of Religious Sciences at the University of St Joseph, Macau and as Academic Director of the Diocesan Seminary of the Diocese of Macau. Stephen’s work in this role involves the intellectual formation of clergy, religious and lay faithful in Macau, China and mission territories across the Asia-Pacific.


However, he has just emailed me after Typhoon Mangkhut which hit Macau over the weekend. He says: “I thought I'd drop you a post-hurricane message to confirm that I've survived! As you can imagine, we're in clean up mode here after Typhoon Mangkhut - which was not a pleasant experience.  A foot of rain in 12 hours combined with hurricane force winds and a ten feet tidal surge flooding all low lying areas have all made for a trying time.   Five of our sisters had to be rescued from their single-story convent when water reached chest-level and four of our primary schools have been flooded. The seminarians have just headed off to the northern district to help with the clean-up. Still, we're safe and I'm not aware of any loss of life here, thanks be to God.”


Stephen attaches a couple of very dramatic videos to his email shewing what it was all like. The first of the hurricane was taken just below where he is staying; the second depicts the flooding on the road below the hill on which the Cathedral sits. Let us pray for the people of Macau at this difficult time, and let us pray for all in our world, including on the eastern seaboard of the US, who are badly affected at this time by natural disasters.



In the footsteps of St Paul...

Fr Tom Grufferty writes...


Some people expressed surprise when I told them I was leading a Pilgrimage to Malta and Gozo. In all cases I asked them to read Acts 28 about St. Paul having been shipwrecked and receiving a warm welcome in Malta. His warm words towards the people of the small island are very praiseworthy and well worth pondering. 20 of us arrived on the Island without a shipwreck to ruminate on St. Paul and his prayers. I found more prayers in Paul’s writings than any other part of the Bible. Some are profound, powerful and highly praiseworthy towards the people he prays for. Just google, “St. Paul’s Prayers” and discover them for yourself. It will really help your prayer life if you take each prayer personally.


In the footsteps of St. Paul our prayer journey was enriched by the Maltese people themselves, the  colours of the island’s architecture but especially by the majestic interiors of numerous churches. I personally was enchanted by the two famous Caravaggio Paintings in the Museum of St. John’s Co Cathedral in Valletta. In the footsteps of the greatest missionary pilgrim of all time we encountered many rich treasures. There are some more photos here.



Visitation of St. Joseph’s Tilehurst

This last weekend, I conducted the Pastoral Visitation of the excellent parish of St. Joseph’s Tilehurst, in Reading. The parish priest is Fr. Peter Glas and he has been there now for two years. I was really impressed by the vitality and engagement of so many parishioners, young and old, in the life of the Church. The 10.30 am Mass was so full it had people sitting along the window ledges inside the church and standing six deep in the porch! The facilities are outstanding, with a splendid modern church, looking now much more beautiful and cared for than when I last visited, a parish hall, a presbytery and an extensive car park. There were many young families present and a sense of ‘can-do’ commitment to Christ and His Church. There are also many groups at work within the parish, such as the SVP and a Mission Group, dedicated to the new evangelisation. There were over 25 altar servers across the two Masses, along with some splendid musicians. Check out the parish website here. I usually end Visitations (if there is no Sunday evening Mass) with a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration at around 4 pm in the afternoon, a time of prayer for vocations to all states of life and ministry within the Church, but especially to the Priesthood. I was astonished to see how many turned out for this, over 120 people, including young families! Click on the photo – this is me meeting with some of the young people -  for a short video about their monthly “On Fire” service of healing.



Why does the Bishop carry a crozier and a mitre?

Recently, Fr. Stan Gibzinski was asked by the people of his parish who were preparing for my Pastoral Visitation, about the various insignia that the bishop wears. This is what he wrote.


“In order to understand the meaning and significance of each of these items, it is important to know that the bishop is ordained – for the third time – once as a deacon, once as a priest, and finally as a bishop.  Thus, the theological significance is that the bishop ‘enjoys the fullness of the priesthood.’ What this tells us is that every bishop – and thus every priest – is to become more and more transformed into Christ.  The priesthood we share is firmly rooted in the one, eternal Priesthood of Jesus Christ.


For the rest of this, see here.





Welcome to our two new priests from Bamenda! I am pleased that once again we now have four priests from our sister Diocese in Cameroon working with us in our Diocese of Portsmouth. Fr. Emmanuel Rinda (left in picture) was ordained four years ago and was a parish priest before he left Bamenda. He will be with Fr. Chris Whelan at Basingstoke St. Joseph’s. Fr. Elijah Fru Nde (right in picture) has been ordained five years and he will be with Mgr. Vincent Harvey at Southampton St. Joseph and St. Edmund. Both priests, whilst they are with us, will be undertaking Masters level studies at Southampton University. Let us pray for them and for their intentions, especially that they will quickly feel at home with us. They are finding it all a bit cold here at the moment! Let us pray too for Cameroon at this challenging time with the elections looming. On 4th November this year, Bamenda Sunday, I will be celebrating the 10 am Mass in the Cathedral and afterwards I will bless a commemorative plaque to mark with thanksgiving to God the 35th anniversary of the episcopacy of Archbishop Cornelius.



New Bishop of the Forces

I was delighted last Wednesday to be at Aldershot Catholic Cathedral for the installation of Bishop Paul Mason, formerly an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Southwark, as the new Bishop of the Forces. Bishop Paul will be the eighth Bishop of the Forces and his appointment comes after a gap of three years during which Fr. Michael Fava – a priest of our diocese - has been acting as the Apostolic Administrator. The Catholic Bishopric of the Forces differs from any other diocese in that it is not aligned along geographical boundaries but encompasses anywhere in the world that United Kingdom military personnel are serving or deployed. Chaplains of all three Armed Services serve on operations, where their pastoral care and sacramental ministry bring hope and consolation in the most challenging of circumstances. A Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain is present in each of the three services. Bishop Paul has been a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark for 20 years, during the last four of which he was the area bishop of Kent. He said “supporting the men and women of the British Armed Forces, and their families, is a very important apostolate in the life of the Church and one which I will be doing my best to pass muster. The network of chaplains across all three services do valiant work and I look forward to meeting them and working with them in the years ahead.”


Our prayer for Bishop Paul. Our prayers and gratitude too to Fr. Michael Fava, who has been acting as the Apostolic Administrator of the Bishopric of the Forces these last three years.



Prayers for Sr. Catherine OP

When we were at Adoremus in Liverpool, Sr. Catherine from our Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph in Lymington, the New Forest, suffered a medical emergency that resulted in her being rushed into Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral. I went over to visit her and to give her the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The next day, she was transferred to Southampton, where her eye consultant is. In an email last week, she wrote:

Hello from the fabulous Southampton eye hospital! Believe it or not, I  am actually typing this message! … As some may know, I have rather complicated eyes, and this last weekend my eye pressure suddenly sky-rocketed while in Liverpool. While in hospital in Liverpool and then Southampton, I have been receiving treatment to lower and stabilise my eye pressure. So far, so good!

In a recent message she writes this:

Your prayers have been absolutely INCREDIBLE!  I was discharged from the eye hospital Saturday afternoon -- the change and improvement in my sight since this time last week has been remarkable! I have no doubt it's the power of prayer and all the love! I had an eye appointment today with my consultant and it seems that my eye is still a bit swollen and inflamed, as well as a bit cloudy, but the pressure is fairly stable.  (However, on a positive note, I was able to read to halfway down the vision chart! PRAISE THE LORD!)  So, I'm continuing my regiment of eye drops in the hopes that by Thursday (next appointment) everything will be settled enough for operation on Tuesday the 25th. I beg your continued prayers -- they're working! -- and I can't thank you enough for your love and support.  Many happy tears here of thanksgiving and amazement!


Please do say a prayer for her and for her recovery. Sr. Catherine is a key member of our Youth Mission Team.



Abingdon parishioner and author speaks at Adoremus 

Dora Nash, a parishioner of Our Lady and St Edmund, Abingdon, was one of the speakers at Adoremus,the National Eucharistic Congress. The text of her talk Sacraments of Initiation: Preparing Children for First Communion and First Confession’ is now available online. Her talk, one of the symposium presentations on the Friday afternoon, attracted an audience of over 800 people and was well received. Dora is the author of Jesus Comes to Meand Confirmed in the Faithcourse books for First Communion and Confirmation.


In a Q&A Session with children who had just made their First Holy Communion, Pope Benedict said “On [my First Communion day] I was really filled with great joy, because Jesus came to me and I realised that a new stage in my life was beginning, I was 9 years old, and that it was henceforth important to stay faithful to that encounter, to that communion. I promised the Lord as best I could: "I always want to stay with you", and I prayed to him, "but above all, stay with me". So I went on living my life like that; thanks be to God, the Lord has always taken me by the hand and guided me, even in difficult situations. Thus, that day of my First Communion was the beginning of a journey made together. I hope that for all of you too, the First Communion you have received … will be the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Jesus, the beginning of a journey together, because in walking with Jesus we do well and life becomes good.” (15th October 2005). 



Bishop Philip's Engagements          

Monday 17th September 

Various internal meetings, Bishop’s House


Tuesday 18th September 

12:15 Stella Maris Mass, St John’s Cathedral


Thursday 20th September 

Trustees Meeting, Bishop’s House
Vicars General Meeting, Bishop’s House

Defence Dinner Party with Anglican Bishop, Fareham


Friday 21st September 

Blessing and opening of refurbished buildings, St Peter’s School, Iford


Sunday 23rd - Sunday 30th September

Ad Limina visit, Rome



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 16th September


National Prayer Cycle: Home Missions [Catholic Agency for the Support of Evangelisation] Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the North East Hampshire Pastoral Area


Monday 17th September

St Hildegard of Bingen, Religious, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial

or: St Robert Bellarmine, Religious, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial

or: Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the Reading Pastoral Area 


Tuesday 18th September

Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Franciscans in the Diocese; Secular Franciscan Order;

Society of Franciscan Pilgrims 


Wednesday 19th September 

St Januarius, Bishop, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Theodore of Canterbury, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Thomas of Canterbury, Newport (dedicated 20.9.1992) 


Thursday 20th September 

St Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, St Paul Chong Hasang & Companions, Martyrs

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Matthew, Coin Varin, Jersey 


Friday 21st September

ST MATTHEW, Apostle, Evangelist, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Aldershot (dedicated 22.9.1982) 


Saturday 22nd September

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [24th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Peter & the Winchester Martyrs, Winchester

(consecrated 22.9.1938) 


Sunday 23rd September 


National Prayer Cycle: Thanksgiving for the Harvest

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph, Southampton (consecrated 23.9.1911); Community of St. Elizabeth, Cookham 


Monday 24th September

Our Lady of Walsingham, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Bishop Philip (ordained Bishop and installed 24.9.2012);

Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, Portchester [at St. Mary’s, Portchester Castle];

Walsingham Association; Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham


Tuesday 25th September

Feria [23rd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Oasis of Peace, Jersey


Wednesday 26th September

Ss Cosmas & Damian, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: Feria [23rd Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Society of St Vincent de Paul


Thursday 27th September

St Vincent de Paul, Founder, memorial

National Prayer Cycle: ‘Stella Maris’ Maritime Day

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Vincent de Paul, Lordswood, Southampton


Friday 28th September

St Wenceslaus, Martyr, optional memorial

or: St Laurence Ruiz & Companions, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: Feria [25th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Patrick, Hayling Island (dedicated 28.9.1984);

Community of St Mary & St Peter, St Helier, Jersey (dedicated 28.9.1985)

Pope John Paul I († 1978)


Saturday 29th September


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Michael & All Angels, Leigh Park;

Community of St Michael, Bembridge


Sunday 30th September


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Michael, Tadley;

Community of St Michael, Hythe


Forthcoming Events             

Saturday 22nd September 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent School

Read more  


Tuesday 25th September - 4th December

Alpha course

St Joseph's Christchurch

Read more


Saturday 29th September 

Welcoming our Neighbour in Need

St Joseph's Maidenhead



29th-30th September

Southampton Celebrate

St George Catholic College Southampton

Read more


Monday 1st October

Winchester Catholic History Group

Bishops or Bureaucrats - Thomas Wolsey & Stephen Gardiner

Read more


Saturday 6th October

Diocesan Day for Readers

St Patrick's, Hayling Island

Read more


Saturday 6th October

National Mass for Altar Servers

Westminster Cathedral

Read more


Saturday 13th October

A Day with Mary

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 13th October

Annual Day for Altar Servers

Christ the King, Reading

Read more


Saturday 20th October

Diocesan Day for Catechists

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


18th—22nd October

Catholic School Leaders’ Pilgrimage to Medjugorje

Read more


Saturday 27th October 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent School

Read more  


Saturday 3rd November 

Science - or - Religion: A Symposium

Winchester Discovery Centre

Read more


Monday 5th November

Winchester Catholic History Group

St Philip Neri - Apostle of Rome

Read more


Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November

Be still and know - Franciscan Retreat

Park Place Pastoral Centre, Wickham

Read more 


Sunday 25th November

Youth Sunday with Bishop Philip

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

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. 



Job vacancies

Housekeeper - St Edmund’s, Horndean

A vacancy has arisen for a Part Time Housekeeper to work at the Parish for 4 hours per week (days and hours by negotiation).  The role will be to provide cleaning services for St Edmund's Presbytery and church, reporting directly to the Parish Priest.  Applicants should be diligent and reliable and able to work unsupervised to deliver a high standard of work.  Rate of pay £9.00 per hour.


For informal enquiries please contact the Parish Office on 023 92 593010.


Closing date for applications:  Friday 21st September 

Interviews will be held on:  Wednesday 26th September 



Parish Administrator - Fareham and Portchester

New parish administrator needed to provide a full confidential administrative and secretarial service to the Parish Priest and Parish.


32 hours per week or a job share (hours to be negotiated but ideally each weekday).


To replace our current parish administrator we need an experienced person with excellent secretarial, interpersonal and workload management skills. Good knowledge of parish and diocesan procedures and organisational structure is desirable and you must be computer literate with high level skills in data management and spreadsheets.


Closing date for applications: 1st October 2018 (12 Noon).


Interviews will be held early/mid October.


Application forms / job descriptions / Equal Ops Monitoring forms are available on the Vacancies page of the Diocesan website.




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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