Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 9th October 2018 - Issue 200 (2018/35)


Dear Friends,

Welcome to this, the 200th edition – yes, 200th! - of our weekly e-News with news, prayers, reflections, diary items and much more for this week from me and from across the Diocese. I am always most grateful to Deacon Craig for all his good work – please keep the Good News coming in. Meanwhile, I wish you a blessed week ahead. It being October, I commend you especially to the prayers of Our Lady, Queen of the Rosary. Finally, please keep in your prayers the need to pray for more vocations to every state of life and ministry in the Church but especially to the priesthood.




Don’t forget this is October!

As we mentioned last week, October is the month of the Rosary and this year the Holy Father has invited us to pray the Rosary every day during the entire month. He wants us to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other. He asks us to conclude the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation Sub Tuum Praesidium. The Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God pronouncing this invocation. May the Holy Mother of God place the Church beneath her protective mantle. Pope Francis has also asked us after the Rosary to add the prayer to Saint Michael Archangel that he protect and help us in the struggle against evil (cf. Rev 12, 7-12). This latter prayer, written by Pope Leo XIII, is, Pope Francis, says the weapon against the Great Accuser who “goes around the world seeking to accuse”.


For both these prayers, see here.



Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-90)

Today, Tuesday 9th October, we commemorate Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman. This is the day on which at Littlemore, Oxford, he was received by the Passionist priest, Blessed Dominic Barberi into full communion with the Catholic Church. When I was in Rome recently for the Ad Limina, there was talk that the announcement of Newman’s canonisation is imminent. Let us pray for that. Newman was a great intellectual genius, thoroughly English, a poet and controversialist, a Christian apologist, an historian, a true gentleman and above all a very holy man. As an Anglican (1801-45), he helped the Church of England recover its Catholic heritage. As a Catholic (1845-90), he stood for the principles of historical development and for moderation against Ultramontanism. Newman's thought has had a profound influence upon both the Anglican and Roman Catholic communions. At Vatican II, Bishop Butler said that he felt “Newman's spirit brooding over the Council.” Indeed, Newman’s ideas are still very much current. Newman's motto was cor ad cor loquitur (“heart speaks to heart”). His epitaph reads ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem ("from shadows and images into the truth"). In an obituary, the Daily Telegraph said he was “one of the most distinguished and highly gifted Englishmen of the nineteenth century.” At his death, twenty thousand people gathered around the Oratory alone. Today, Newman's stature remains undiminished, his influence on contemporary theology still growing.



"Wisdom and Riches" - Scott Hahn on 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The rich young man in Sunday's Gospel wanted to know what we all want to know—how to live in this life so that we might live forever in the world to come. He sought what the Psalm calls “wisdom of heart.” He learns that the wisdom he seeks is not a program of works to be performed or behaviours to be avoided. As Jesus tells him, observing the commandments is essential to walking the path of salvation—but it can only get us so far. The Wisdom of God is not precepts, but a person—Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Wisdom whose Spirit was granted to Solomon in today’s First Reading. Jesus is the Word of God spoken of in the Second Reading. And Jesus, as He reveals Himself to the rich man today, is God. In Jesus we encounter Wisdom, the living and effective Word of God. As He does with the rich man today, He looks upon each of us with love. That look of love, that loving gaze, is a personal invitation—to give up everything to follow Him.

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



Jennifer Geach reflects on Going to Confession

I have already mentioned what seems like collective amnesia concerning the call to personal holiness, which applies to all of us; and the means for attaining that holiness, prayer, penance, fasting and almsgiving.  As well as neglecting these opportunities for growth in the love and knowledge of God, we manifest a misplaced confidence in our salvation by neglecting the means ordained by Christ himself. When I was a child, it was part of ordinary Catholic piety to ‘go to confession’ about once a month.  Sometimes, no doubt, it was a rather check box exercise: and it was very hard work for the clergy. However, in this matter we should learn from the secular world: no business can hope to grow, no material endeavour expect any success, without regular audits.  So also in the spiritual life: if we do not regularly and frequently examine the impediments to the growth of God’s life in us, and strive to remove them, then we will not progress in the love and knowledge of the Trinity which is the purpose of our life. Christ himself ordained this sacrament, so that we might grow in His love and renew his life in us.


Read the full reflection here



To Jesus’ Heart all burning

The ninth in this series of Top Ten classic Catholic hymns goes to To Jesus’ Heart all burning. It was written originally in German by an Austrian clergyman and spiritual director of the seminary at Graz, Fr. Aloys Schlor (1805-1852) and translated into English by the Jesuit priest, Fr. A. Christie (1817-1891). This hymn was in The Westminster Hymnal and as a boy I liked its lilting Tyrolean-like melody, especially the chorus which we all used to belt out! See what you think by clicking on the picture. Here’s the first three verses:


To Jesus’ Heart, all burning

with fervent love for men,

my heart with fondest yearning

shall rise its joyful strain.


While ages course along,

blest be with loudest song

the Sacred Heart of Jesus

by ev’ry heart and tongue.


O Heart, for me on fire

with love no man can speak,

my yet untold desire

God gives me for thy sake.


Too true, I have forsaken

thy love for wilful sin;

yet now let me be taken

back by thy grace again.



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

Everything is possible for God (Mark 10:17-30) 
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

This Sunday, Jesus advises the rich man to do something seemingly impossible: to sell everything, give it to the poor, and to follow him. The man’s face ‘fell at these words, and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.’ Yet the rich man is not the only one who finds this advice impossible to follow. The disciples also find the conditions for entering the kingdom of God impossible. Today, Jesus reminds us what it means to be saved. Nothing we have can save us. Nothing we achieve by ourselves can guarantee our entry into the eternal kingdom of God. It is Jesus Christ alone who makes it possible. He alone is worth following. He is the real treasure. With him, everything is possible.


We’ll reflect on:
Faith: How can we follow Jesus in faith, seeing in him our real treasure?  

Hope: How can we place our hope in him and in his salvation, when our hearts can be so attached to the promises of riches and wealth?  

Love: How can we act with charity and prudence in dealing with money, and making discipleship of Jesus our priority above all things?   


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



Next Sunday is Prison Sunday

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. 


The Prisons Week Prayer - Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.



Diocesan Day for Catechists

Our Diocesan Formation for Mission team invite all existing and potential catechists across the diocese to join them for this year's Day for Catechists which will take place on Saturday 20th October in St John's Cathedral from 10am to 4pm. If you work as a catechist or lead Children’s Liturgy be sure to come to this fantastic event on 20th October (see here). This day will also be a perfect opportunity to recruit and invite potential catechists to come along, as we will spend some time discovering the mission and charisms of the catechist.


Features of the day include:


• The Mission of the Catechist

• The Charisms of the Catechist

• Award Ceremony

• Thanksgiving Mass for Catechists

• Commissioning of Catechists

• Lunch provided

• Making our catechesis sessions great

• Prayer and fellowship

• Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction to end the day


If you wish to attend the day, book here.



Night of Light

What immediately comes to mind when you think of Hallowe'en? Probably, like most people, it is the images of witches and ghosts and so on, which belong to the dark world of the occult and magic - images of darkness and death.


In fact Halloween ('All Hallows Eve'), the evening of the 31st October, is the vigil (beginning) of the feast of All Saints - the feast in which we celebrate the glory of God in His saints. The victory of light over darkness in the lives of God's holy ones in heaven. Jesus is the 'Light of the World'. The saints lived by that light, and became a beacon in their own generation. We too are called by Jesus to live out this vocation - to be the 'Light of the world' today. Let Christians reclaim Halloween for God so that it is transformed from a night of darkness into a great Christian festival once again. In this way, in years to come, when people are asked what immediately springs to mind when they think of Halloween, they will think of Jesus Christ and the glory of God in His saints. They will think of a Night of Light.


The Night of Light, is an international initiative to reclaim Hallowe'en for the church. It is running in many, many countries in the world from England to India, from Africa to New Zealand and Hungary to the United States, with uncountable numbers of people involved. Celebrations have taken place in small chapels and cathedrals in parish churches and monasteries in Schools, homes and on the streets.The inspiration for it was received by Damian Stayne the founder of the Catholic community, Cor et Lumen Christi Click to see their website. The Night of Light has the endorsement of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. Click on the pumpkin for a video.


Here are some things you could do:


• A vigil mass for the feast of All Saints (including a collection in the Mass for a charity serving the poor such as CAFOD, as abortion and poverty are such a darkness in our world today).

• All night Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament - to join the saints in heaven in the worship of Jesus Christ the True Light.

• Treats and fun for the children in celebration of All Saints and the Light of Christ. Perhaps the lighting of a candle at supper and sweets and fun events in families or schools, e.g. a bonfire or dressing up as saints.

• Placing a light in your window (safely!) and a picture of the Risen Christ as a sign to passers-by that yours is a Christian household and Christ is your light.

• In addition, some may like to wear a white item of clothing as a symbol of their allegiance to Christ our light.     



Extra-terrestrial Life?

Despite the work of NASA, SETI and its successor Project Phoenix, we have had, to date, no empirical evidence of extra-terrestrial life, although there has been plenty of bold conjecture. It is often said that Christianity would be vanquished or undermined if intelligent ET life was discovered. Is that true? What does Christian theology say about ET life? What would it mean for the mission of the Church? Is Christ the Redeemer only for this planet? Would there need to be multiple incarnations of God the Son? And how should we read those passages of the Scriptures and Tradition that see human being as unique and special?


This is just one of the workshops in our big diocesan Symposium. The Symposium, called “Science - or - Religion?” takes place on Saturday 3rd November 2018, 10 am – 4 pm in The Discovery Centre in Winchester (opposite St. Peter’s church). There are two keynote speakers: Professor Alister McGrath, Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford, and Dr. Andrew Pinsent from the 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.


For more, click here.



The Faith of Bl. Pier Giorgio

Here’s another testimony about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, that gives us a unique insight into his attractive personality. This is an observation by Mgr. Giovanni Battista Pinardi, the parish priest of San Secondo Church in Turin. It’s from the as yet unpublished English translation of the book by PG’s sister Luciana “My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Faith.”


It was the evening before the last Sunday before Lent began in 1925.  The night vigil of adoration was starting at San Secondo.  I saw Pier Giorgio come into the sacristy dressed for an outing in the mountains, as usual.  Suddenly, he said to me, “Monsignor, I’m going to the mountains for three days.  I’ll spend Carnevale in the snow.”  I replied, “Good for you – but when do you leave?”  “I’m catching the first train in the morning, after the midnight Mass and Communion.  I’ll spend the night here, and then I’ll feel stronger, more confident and happier after having kept vigil in prayer.”


Since I’m speaking about nocturnal adoration, I must recall the fact that I was able to observe and admire dear Pier Giorgio’s spirit of faith and devotion in these solemn situations. Strong and bold, he remained kneeling for long hours.  He was riotously funny, yet he could remain recollected in prayer.  He was the focus of attention, but his own spiritual focus was on God alone.  I also remember how he would accompany me to my house.  As he spoke, his heart would overflow with a faith that was alive.  And his words reflected the warmth of his heart and the joy of his spirit.  That Eucharistic soul was overcome with happiness as he delighted in recalling how the Eucharistic Jesus had reigned in so many souls recollected in adoration and prayer in those blessed hours.



Could you join our Prayer Team for Vocations?

The Vocations Promotion Team is looking for volunteers to join a Prayer Team for Vocations, especially to the Priesthood - could you help in this important work?


If you can, the team will contact you as Promotion work flourishes with specific prayer requests, updates and relevant information.  They will let you know of any Diocesan Vocation prayer initiatives and invite you to help with this essential backbone of prayer.  This prayer will be both for their work and for those people who are discerning their Vocation. 


Please contact Vocations Promoter:  Fr John Cooke or his Assistant, Mrs. Clare Ryan.


God our Father, You give us the Sacraments as signs and instruments of your love and mercy. Draw from amongst your disciples in our Diocese 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, pray for us.

St John Vianney, pray for us.



Clergy In-service

Last week, nearly 60 of our clergy gathered for a two-night conference and In-Service formation programme at Chilworth, just outside Southampton. The title of the programme was Personal Resilience in a Time of Parish and Cultural Change and it was led by Dr. Judith Champ, the Church historian on the staff of Oscott College, and Fr. Gerard Fieldhouse Byrne, the Director of St. Luke’s Centre, Manchester.  Judith developed themes from one of her recent books The Secular Priesthood in England and Wales: History Mission and Identity (Oscott 2016), and placed many of our current concerns within their historical context. She shewed how the lived reality of the priesthood has changed at different times in England and Wales since the Reformation. Those of our presbyterate who come from abroad found this particularly helpful and informative. Fr. Ged ran through a number of critical “human development” issues to do with holiness, mental health and self-care (spiritual, physical, psychological, emotional, professional and relational). The conference included a couple of after-dinner inputs, one on music, the other on visual art. The former was from Fr. Andrew Moore on the ‘Role of the Priest as a Conductor’ and the latter from the contemporary artist Mark Cazelet, known to many of our priests for his religious paintings and stained glass. Canon Paul Townsend and his team organised the programme superbly, and we were much blessed to have a room dedicated for our use as a chapel, with the Blessed Sacrament present. We had Mass each day and Morning and Evening Prayer. There was a joyful atmosphere of mutual support and friendship between everyone and I think we all came away much refreshed.



Would you like to become a teacher?

The Catholic Teaching Schools Alliance are running a series of Open days  at a variety of  hub schools through out the South East. The CTSA believe the best way to train to be a teacher is in the classroom supported by a team of experts, trainers and mentors who will support you throughout your day to day experience. They work with several Catholic and non-Catholic partner schools across the south east, in which students are able to train. Each area is supported by a main training hub as well as the overall support from the main teaching school (St Joseph’s Catholic Primary), to ensure students have access to a wealth of experience and tutelage from all over the south east of England. Their hubs are based in Aldershot, Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton. The CTSA has a number of training programs available for potential teachers at both Primary and Secondary levels suitable for both Catholic and non-Catholic applicants. Students will be based in one of the Alliance schools most conveniently placed. The Alliance schools can be found throughout Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and  Dorset. See here for the courses offered.


If you would like to find out more the CTSA is running several different teacher training open days at various schools over the  South East. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day.


Wednesday 10th October 2018 09.00-12.00

Springhill Catholic Primary School, Southampton


Thursday 18th October 2018 09.00-12.00

St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Aldershot


Thursday 8th November 2018 09.00-12.00

St Bede’s Primary School, Basingstoke


Friday 16th November 2018 09.00-12.00

St Walburga's, Bournemouth


Thursday 22nd November 2018 09.00-12.00

St Paul’s Catholic Primary, Tilehurst, Reading



Primary Catholic Partnership Awards 2018

Last Saturday in the Cathedral, I presided over the annual Awards Ceremony for the Primary Catholic Partnership (PCP) together with Professor Francis Campbell, the Vice Chancellor of St. Mary’s University Twickenham. The PCP, also known as the SCITT, is based in the grounds of Holy Family School, Southampton and has been in business for 18 years. It offers a one year PGCE programme to those seeking to become primary school teachers and a range of courses providing school centred initial teacher training based on a Catholic philosophy of education. As well as the PGCE, the PCP offers School Direct courses in partnership with CTSA (Catholic Teaching Schools Alliance). The PCP is also on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and can provide training for Post-graduate Teaching Apprentices. Ofsted has judged the PCP since 2005 to be outstanding and it boasts an excellent record of trainees gaining a teaching post after completing the programme. Its mission is:


• To provide an appropriate training opportunity for those seeking to teach in a Catholic

   Primary School, at the end of their course.


• To provide high quality, well resourced training within a Christian environment which has         the support of a Catholic community.


• To ensure a future supply of well-qualified teachers who are able to deliver effective

   teaching based on a Catholic philosophy of education.


• To enhance the on-going professional development of staff within the participating schools.


For more information, contact: admin@pcp-scitt.org.uk



Visit to the Marriage Tribunal

Last weekend during the Pastoral Visitation of St. Swithun’s, Yateley and St. Thomas More Hartley Wintney, I took the opportunity to visit the Portsmouth Diocesan Marriage Tribunal in nearby Sandhurst. The office is located discretely on the ground floor of a house next to Immaculate Conception church. Here I am with Fr. Simon Thomson, the Judicial Vicar, and Dani Marsden, its hard-working Administrator. We are deeply grateful to them, and to the Judges, for all their hard work. Most people who come into contact with the Tribunal do so because they are seeking the annulment of a broken marriage. The purpose of the Tribunal is to make a judgement on the validity of a marriage which has broken down irretrievably and thus through granting a declaration of nullity, to enable parties to be free to marry again. Each Diocese has its own Marriage Tribunal and thanks to a recent change in Canon Law, the office at this time is especially busy. Many cases involve people from elsewhere in Europe or overseas, making its work particularly arduous and complex. Please pray for all involved in the work of the Tribunal, for all married couples and families, and for all in difficulty. For further information about the Tribunal, contact in the first instance your parish priest.



Pastoral Visitation of Yateley and Hartley Wintney

Last weekend I undertook the Pastoral Visitation of St. Swithun’s, Yateley and St. Thomas More Hartley Wintney. Here’s a photo taken while I was giving a short ferverino at the Holy Hour in the afternoon that concluded the visit. (Note the impressive monstrance!). The facilities at Yateley are really good, with a huge modern church. It has a functional parish hall connected to it, which is often in use during the week.  Over at Hartley Wintney, you may remember how the church there was burnt down in a fire, but now, like a phoenix, has risen from the ashes, better than ever. For me, the best thing about visitations is meeting the people and also getting a good idea of a typical weekend in the parish. There are some great people at Yateley and Hartley Wintney! I had Fr. Philip Carroll with me, the Bishop’s Secretary. The visitation began with a meeting with Fr. Simon early on Saturday afternoon, Confessions and then the evening Mass at St. Swithun’s. On Sunday, there was a Mass at St. Thomas More’s at 8.45 am, then Mass back at St. Swithun’s at 10.45 am. This was followed by a meeting with key parishioners before we sat down to a splendid lunch, a heart-warming lasagne. I then went over to visit the Marriage Tribunal in Sandhurst, before returning to St. Swithun’s for the Holy Hour for vocations at 3.30 pm.



Anchoring in the Faith

The Dominican Sisters were delighted to be invited back again to the Parishes of the Annunciation and St Edmund Campion in Bournemouth by Fr Bernardine Nsom and Deacon Barry Jennings. They have just completed an Anchor programme on the Eucharist. This is a beautiful 6 week course written and designed by Sr. Hyacinthe for adult formation in parishes.

A lively group were led through the various parts of the Mass and at the same time gained an understanding of the basics of our Catholic faith. The programme helped them to meditate on the various aspects of our faith through Sacred Art and it was complimented with some practical activities and discussion connected to the various parts of the Mass. These activities helped them to prayerfully live out their faith in everyday life and come to a better involvement in our celebration of the Eucharist. The youngest ever participant was William aged 10 months who patiently gurgled his way through the sessions on the arms of Father or the sisters! Click on the photo to see the full group.


Many of our diocesan priests have already taken up the Sisters' offer of free copies of the resource to operate in their parishes as a resource for Adult Formation. There are three Anchor Programmes on the Eucharist, Reconciliation and Baptism. They make an ideal resource for First Communion parents, Baptism preparation, RCIA groups etc. The participant packs come with Leader's guides which will enable individuals to facilitate the programme in small groups. They could also be used as an Advent or Lenten programme in small groups. The sisters can also facilitate parish programmes if requested. Ask your parish priest if he has got supplies for you to use. If your parish would like free copies of this resource (whilst stocks last!) please contact the Dominican Sisters.


The new year for the Diocesan-based Maryvale courses for catechists, the Certificate in Catechesis (MCC) and Certificate in Parish Mission and Ministry (CPMM) begins on 27th October. Please contact Sr Veronica for more information.



Preparing for Remembrance in Waterlooville

In Waterlooville, the Catholic Parish of the Sacred Heart was approached by the local Baptist Church back in July this year to join them in an initiative to knit and display poppies along their fence lines for Armistice Day.  It has really taken off, people have been knitting and crocheting like crazy and to date they have 1,077 finished poppies!   They have decided to make poppy crosses and the photograph give an idea of what the parish is working on.  They will also be making ‘100’ in poppies to hang above one of the crosses on the corner of their site.


People have really taken this project to heart and the parish are so very impressed by the enthusiastic response to the 100th Anniversary this year!  There are also parishioners who can’t knit who have been donating  balls of red and black wool to those who can, and others are also getting involved by taking a ‘kit’ made up by Nina in their parish centre of a cross template, bag of poppies and ties and to make crosses at home.


The parish will create the display on Thursday 1st November, which is expected be a spectacular sight. Watch out for more photographs in a future issue of e-News!



Knights of the Holy Sepulchre

Mass for the Feast of the  Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on Saturday 29th September was celebrated at St John's Cathedral by the Southern Province of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. The Principal Celebrant was Canon Gerard Hetherington KCHS, Southern Section Prior, Provost Emeritus and the preacher was Father Ansel D'Mello. There are some photos here.
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 LandMay 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.


Interfaith Calendar

9th -17th October


Navaratri means 9 nights. It celebrates Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana, the demon king of Sri Lanka. Many Punjabis worship the Goddess daily during Navaratri, and observe a strictly vegetarian diet. On the eighth day, Durga Ashtami, Punjabi Hindus fast before conducting worship of the Goddess that involves honouring young girls as the embodiment of her power. If you know any Punjabi Hindus do wish them a happy and beneficial ‘Navaratri’.


14th -19th October


is a celebration of the Mother Goddess, and the victory of the revered warrior Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. The festival honours the powerful female force (shakti) in the Universe. For some Hindus, Durga Puja is the biggest annual festival and lasts several days. In Kolkota hundreds of pandals (temporary shrines) are put up. The festival ends with the immersion of figures of Durga in rivers and sea. If you have Hindu friends/colleagues wish them a happy festival.


16th-23rd October


Although it was a Christian initiative that led to the founding of the Week of Prayer for World Peace in 1974, it soon became an inter-faith activity, and now welcomes everyone, of all faith traditions or none, to take part. Prayers from the literature of different world religions are published each year in a special leaflet. This custom is supported by many different religious communities.


Pray for peace.  If you know of any Faiths/Religions having a gathering to pray for peace…………join them!!



Former pupil returns to St Mary's Southampton

The guest speaker at  St. Mary's Independent School, Southampton, was former pupil Richard Deverell who studied there  from 1971-1984. He came to be the Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, via a very successful career at the BBC. Over a period of twenty years he revamped the Children's BBC channel with a mission to raise the quality of programming for children, introducing new content that would educate and engage them. He is now refreshing Kew's strategy by bringing its expertise in global science into a sharper focus and engaging the public in contemporary science and conservation in Kew's beautiful historic gardens. He is a passionate advocate for the power of plants and fungi to help solve the critical challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. He certainly caught the attention of staff and pupils alike when he admitted that the dominant factor in his success was the enthusiasm of just one teacher (biology). Staff often do not realise just how much hidden influence they inspire upon a pupil who may have no idea what she or he would finally decide to do in later life. He congratulated the school especially on its outstanding G.C.S.E. results of 100 percent English and 86 percent Mathematics. There were also 100 percent passes in early entry Religious Education, German, Turkish and Chinese.  



Focus on... Liza Nahajski 

Liza Nahajski is a Winchester parishioner, wife and mother of four. She has been active in the parish over many years starting parenting groups and as a founder member of the youth group a few years back. In 2013 she saw Jeff Cavins at Portsmouth Cathedral and brought his DVD led studies to the parish, since then nearly 200 people have dipped in to the 11 courses that have run in Winchester. She enjoys creativity in communication This was important in youth work and crucial for the new festival at Pentecost when all the churches of Winchester meet with the public on the Cathedral Green. At the moment she is involved in the Alpha course in the parish. She is active in climate change campaigns  and helps teach English to adults. For fun she paints, prints, cycles and skis.


As a member of the Formation for Mission team she co-ordinates the DVD studies lending library for the diocese. “We have accumulated a wonderful resource of DVD faith studies from Ascension Press, Word on Fire and The St Paul Centre due to a generous gift by parishioners. I have grown in my faith by discovering more of Jesus Christ through these studies with wonderful teachers such as Jeff Cavins and Bishop Robert Barron and I find great friendships in discussion and prayer, they show me what Christian fellowship can be. Many people across the diocese have borrowed the materials and the cascade of faith studies has been a work of the Holy Spirit and a delight to see. Please get in touch if you would like to know more or borrow a course for a group in your parish!”  


Liza is also excited to be part of the new Pre-Discipleship Team, with Clare Simpson and several others, which will focus on ways to talk about God with those of no or little faith, and how to accompany family and friends on a spiritual journey.  Liza is one of the leaders of the new Ananias training, that will be offered to parishes and parishioners soon. “The laity have a special mission to ‘go out’ and bring the presence of Jesus Christ into our increasingly secular society. We all meet people who need our friendship on their journey towards Jesus in his Church. This journey can be long or short and ‘Ananias’ helps us all to understand how to really listen and have appropriate conversations about faith with the people we meet. It is about a deep respect for people and meeting them where they are. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on our own faith journey and learn to travel with others.”



Bishop Philip's Engagements           

Tuesday 9th October

Council of Priests meeting, Bishop’s House


Thursday 11th October 

Chapter of Canons meeting, Bishop’s House

Vicars General meeting, Bishop’s House


Friday 12th October 

Mass and lunch with Safeguarding representatives, Winchester


Saturday 13th October 

Mass to celebrate 150th anniversary of St Edward’s Church, Windsor
Religious Visitation: Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy, Windsor


Monday 15th October 
Various internal meetings, Bishop’s House

Tuesday 16th October 
Coordinating Pastors meeting, Bishop’s House

Thursday 18th October 
Jubilee Mass and lunch for Priests celebrating significant anniversaries,
St John’s Cathedral

Friday 19th October 
Day for Religious, St John’s Cathedral
Bamenda meeting, Bishop’s House

Saturday 20th October 
Day for Catechists, Cathedral Discovery Centre



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 7th October


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, North Hinksey


Monday 8th October

Feria [27th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Confraternity of the Rosary


Tuesday 9th October

Blessed John Henry Newman, Religious, optional memorial

or: St Denis, Bishop, & Companions, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: St John Leonardi, Founder, optional memorial

or: Feria [27th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: The Grail Community in the Diocese 


Wednesday 10th October

St Paulinus of York, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Feria[27th Week in Ordinary Time]


Thursday 11th October

St John XXIII, Pope, optional memorial

or: Feria [27th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish Lay Administrators and Secretaries in the Diocese


Friday 12th October

Feria [27th Week in Ordinary Time]

[Parishes in Pastoral Areas of Portsmouth, Solent, Havant & Isle of Wight, also Bishop’s Waltham: St Wilfrid, Bishop, memorial.]

Diocesan Prayer: Abbeys of St Michael, Farnborough (consecrated 12.10.1908), St Cecilia, Ryde (consecrated 12.10.1907) & St Mary, Quarr (consecrated 12.10.1912)

Jubilee: Fr Joseph McNerney (ordained 12.10.1993)


Saturday 13th October

St Edward the Confessor, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [27th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady & St Wilfrid, Ventnor

(former church consecrated 13.10.1872, reconsecrated 24.5.1972)


Sunday 14th October


National Prayer Cycle: Prisoners and their families and all in the Prison Service

(Prisoners’ Week 14th – 20th October)

Diocesan Prayer: Prison Chaplains in the Diocese 


Monday 15th October 

St Teresa of Avila, Foundress, Doctor of the Church, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites


Tuesday 16th October

St Hedwig, Religious, optional memorial

or: St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Religious, optional memorial

or: Feria [28th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Margaret Mary, Park Gate (dedicated 16.10.2016)


Wednesday 17th October

St Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop, Martyr, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Hospital Chaplains in the Diocese


Thursday 18th October

ST LUKE, Evangelist, feast

Diocesan Prayer: All Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses & Healthcare staff; Community of St Luke, Theale


Friday 19th October

Ss John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues & Companions, Religious, Martyrs, optional memorial

or: St Paul of the Cross, Founder, optional memorial

or: Feria [28th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: All engaged in medical research; Community of St Philip Howard, Fareham


Saturday 20th October

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [28th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: All artists, architects, craftsmen and designers working for the Church


Sunday 21st October


National Prayer Cycle: Pontifical Mission Societies

Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools of the Great Park Pastoral Area


Forthcoming Events              

Thursday 11th October

RAF 100 Commemoration Mass

The Church of the Immaculate Conception,

114 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3AH

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


Monday 5th - Friday 9th November

Year 6 Experience Days and Interviews
Our Lady's Abingdon

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 



Job Vacancies

HMP Winchester

Roman Catholic Priest, Deacon, Religious or Lay Chaplain 


Minimum Salary: £26,438 - £29,760 pro rata - Permanent part-time post (25 hours)


This role is for 25 hours for an Ordained Priest, if not Ordained then the role will be fewer hours to allow for an Ordained Priest to celebrate Mass.


Overview of the job

This is a Chaplaincy job in an establishment which provides pastoral and faith specific care to prisoners and staff.



The job holder will provide for the religious care of prisoners and staff in the Roman Catholic faith tradition including (for ordained priests) sacramental provision, and appropriate pastoral care for all irrespective of faith or tradition. The job holder will work with colleagues to ensure the delivery of the specification “Faith and Pastoral Care”, and also the broader work of chaplaincy in delivering faith and non faith based courses. Will contribute to the process by which the Governor and Head of Chaplaincy/Profession at HQ are assured that the specification is being delivered. The job holder will engage with, and build contacts with their own faith community towards aiding the resettlement of offenders.

Closing date: Monday 15th October (23:55)
More information here.


St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Gosport

Headteacher (required for September 2019)


Salary: LDR28-LDR40 £54,925 - £63,640 (Full time, permanent)


The Governors at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, wish to appoint an inspirational, enthusiastic and forward thinking headteacher, to lead us in the next stage of our school development. Following a period of interim leadership, we are looking for someone to provide stability and build on the improvement work that is underway. We believe this post presents an excellent opportunity for the right individual to make a difference to our school community.


We are looking for someone who:

 Is a practicing Catholic, with a clear vision of excellence in primary education

• Can establish a clear strategic direction for the school and enhance provision over the long

• Has a proven track record of school improvement

• Has high expectations of pupil achievement and can support others in ensuring that each
   child reaches their  potential

• Can manage change and build on the school’s strengths


More information here.



Please pray for..

All prisoners and their families, all prison chaplains and staff.


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. 

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.


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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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