Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Wednesday 17th October 2018 - Issue 201 (2018/36)


Dear Friends,

It’s a busy couple of weeks at the moment! This Thursday, we have our Jubilarian priests for Mass and for lunch: congratulations to them and let’s promise them our prayers. Then on Friday, it’s a Day for Religious, when all the religious communities of the Diocese will be coming together here at the Cathedral for a special Mass. On Saturday, all the diocesan catechists are meeting for prayer and formation. I’m saying the 1000h Mass in the Cathedral this Sunday before heading off on retreat next week. I’ve been looking forward to this retreat for some time. This year I’m doing an Ignatian retreat with guided prayer. I will pray for you during it. Please pray for me. Meanwhile, here’s all the news for this week. God bless you all.




Diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life

Please keep 23rd October (next Tuesday) as a special day of prayer and reparation. In my last Pastoral Letter “People of Life” (see here.) I noted that it’s now over fifty years since the 1967 Abortion Act, one of the most liberal in the world, came into effect. Since then, ten million babies in the UK have been aborted, one in five pregnancies. As a people of life, our efforts to defend the unborn child, to care for pregnant mothers and to reverse or blunt this Act have had mixed results. What’s more, it now looks as if, unjustly, secularist movements are seeking to ban anyone from praying outside hospitals and clinics. I’ve been discussing with pro-life groups new forms of witness. As a start, from this year on, I want us to keep every 23rd October, the day the Act was passed, as a diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life. On that day, as we celebrate being people of life with various initiatives, I have asked our priests to offer a Mass for the Progress of Peoples, but wearing the purple vestments of penitence. There are some liturgical guidelines here.


Here is a prayer to say in the meantime:

Lord Jesus, you are the source and lover of life.

Reawaken in us respect for every human life.

Help us to see in each child the marvellous work of our Creator.

Open our hearts to welcome every child as a unique and wonderful gift.

Guide the work of doctors, nurses and midwives.

May the life of a mother and her baby in the womb

be equally cherished and respected.

Help those who make our laws

to uphold the uniqueness and sacredness of every human life,

from the first moment of conception to natural death.

Give us wisdom and generosity to build a society that cares for all.

Together with Mary, your Mother,

in whose womb you took on our human nature,

help us to choose life in every decision we take.



St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

This Tuesday 16th October was the feast day of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) We wish a Happy Feast Day and our prayers to Fr. Peter Hart and the parish of St. Margaret Mary’s in Parkgate! St. Margaret Mary was a Visitation sister and mystic from Paray-le-Monial, France, who did much to popularize devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form. She joined the convent at Paray in 1671 and in December 1673 she had a mystical vision in which she said Jesus permitted her to rest her head upon His Heart. He , then revealed to her His love, saying that He wanted her to help Him make known His merciful love to all humanity. Over the next years she had further mystical visions. In 1675 Jesus asked that the First Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi be kept as the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Initially, her community were very sceptical and Margaret Mary was overcome by anguish and uncertainty. But the Lord promised in time to send her a servant and friend to help her fulfil her mission of revealing to the world the unfathomable riches of His love. Eventually the Jesuit priest St Claude de la Colombiere SJ became her gifted spiritual director. He recognized the authenticity of her extraordinary experience and helped her to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The convent became the first place to keep the Feast as Christ had requested. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, with prayers and images, was officially recognised by the Church 75 years later.


You may remember that earlier this year I was invited to give a talk about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the heresy of Jansenism at Guardian Angels Parish in Mile End. It was part of a series on Church history. You can read the talk again here.



"Cup of Salvation" - Scott Hahn on 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The sons of Zebedee hardly know what they’re asking in Sunday’s Gospel. They are thinking in terms of how the Gentiles rule, of royal privileges and honours. But the road to Christ’s kingdom is by way of His cross. To share in His glory, we must be willing to drink the cup that He drinks. The cup is an Old Testament image for God’s judgment. The wicked would be made to drink this cup in punishment for their sins. But Jesus has come to drink this cup on behalf of all humanity. He has come to be baptised—which means plunged or immersed—into the sufferings we all deserve for our sins. In this He will fulfil the task of Isaiah’s suffering servant, whom we read about in the First Reading. Like Isaiah’s servant, the Son of Man will give His life as an offering for sin, as once Israel’s priests offered sacrifices for the sins of the people. Jesus is the heavenly high priest of all humanity, as we hear in today’s Epistle. Israel’s high priests offered the blood of goats and calves in the temple sanctuary. But Jesus entered the heavenly sanctuary with His own blood. And by bearing our guilt and offering His life to do the will of God, Jesus ransomed “the many”—paying the price to redeem humanity from spiritual slavery to sin and death. He has delivered us from death, as we rejoice in the Psalm. We need to hold fast to our confession of faith, as today’s Epistle exhorts us. We must look upon our trials and sufferings as our portion of the cup He promised to those who believe in Him. We must remember that we have been baptised into His passion and death.


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



Jennifer Geach reflects...

I sometimes make the Stations of the Cross.  (If there are any younger readers who don’t know what this is, it is the veneration of the fourteen pictures found round the walls of every Catholic church, which recall stations, or pauses in Christ’s journey to Calvary, and his death and burial.  St Alfonsus Liguori has some very thought provoking reflections on these stations, which are in a CTS pamphlet and online.) And just now I find myself pausing at the fourth station, seeking to take in the lesson. This station commemorates Christ’s meeting with his mother on his journey to calvary.  It must have been a meeting full of grief for both of them: Jesus’ heart, which loves so greatly, will have been wrung with sympathy for his mother.  We know that he was concerned for her physical well-being. since he entrusted her to John’s care.  But in the agony of this meeting, neither mother nor son will have had any flicker of rebellion against the will of the Father.  Human agony there must have been; but both Christ and his mother had wills so attuned to that of the Father that neither of them cried out against this appalling thing: that the innocent man was being put to death, that a mother’s only Son was being torn from her, leaving her a widow without her child’s support. This appalling thing was the Father’s will: and so in tune with that will were both Jesus and Mary that they accepted this horror willingly.


Read the full reflection here



Daily, Daily Sing to Mary

What better way, in this month of October dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, to finish our Top Ten classic Catholic hymns than with that well-known hymn to the Blessed Mother: Daily, Daily Sing to Mary. Henry Bittleston (1818-1886) compiled the English version of this hymn from a Latin text of St. Bernard of Cluny ‘The Hymn of Saint Casimir’. The tune is German, although at school I learnt an alternative one from that given here. Click on the picture to hear it. Here are the words:


1. Daily, daily sing to Mary, Sing, my soul, her praises due:
All her feasts, her actions worship, With the heart's devotion true.
Lost in wond'ring contemplation, Be her majesty confessed:
Call her Mother, call her Virgin, Happy Mother, Virgin blest. 
2. She is mighty to deliver; Call her, trust her lovingly:
When the tempest rages round thee, She will calm the troubled sea.
Gifts of Heaven she has given Noble lady! To our race:
She, the Queen, who decks her subjects With the light of God's own grace.

3. Sing my tongue, the Virgin's trophies, Who for us our Maker bore;
For the curse of old inflicted, Peace and blessing to restore.
Sing the songs of praise unending Sing the world's majestic Queen.
Weary not nor faint in telling All the gifts she gives to men.

4. All my senses, heart, affections, Strive to sound her glory forth:
Spread abroad the sweet memorials Of the Virgin's priceless worth:
Where the voice of music thrilling, Where the tongue of eloquence,
That can utter hymns beseeming All her matchless excellence?        


Praying in Mortal Sin

Father Mike Schmitz is a priest for the Diocese of Duluth, MN in the USA. He currently runs the Newman Centre at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and is also the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. Known for his inspiring homilies, consistent hilarity, and genuine coolness, Father Mike is quickly becoming a Catholic household name. Here he tackles the issue of praying while in mortal sin. Contrite prayer can be an act of courage, because Lord knows there’s no harder time to pray than after we know we’ve sinned. In a way, we’re afraid to approach God. Yet, just as the only way to overcome our fears is by facing them, the only way to overcome our sin is by going to God after we sin. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz explains how God wants a relationship with us and “will cleanse us from every wrongdoing” to build that relationship. (Click on Fr Mike's photo to watch it.)





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

The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve (Mark 10:35-45) 
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

As we deepen our faith in Jesus Christ, we quickly find that everything is upside down: the rich are poor and the poor are rich, the masters are slaves and the slaves masters, the first are last and the last, first. In fact, Jesus himself is the first one who made himself ‘upside down’ for us. Being God, he became man. Being rich, he became poor. Being Lord, he became servant. Being Life, he suffered death. Now he teaches his disciples – all of us – to do the same. This is the logic of love, the logic of God who gives himself to us and has come to serve us. We’ll reflect on:
Faith: How can we see things in the ‘upside down’ perspective of God?

Hope: Can living in the perspective of God truly make us happy?    
Love: Why should Jesus, crucified and risen, be the model and guide of our life?


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



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 (fourth from the left, between Laura Hildago and Marco Beltramo - click on the picture to see the full group). This is an observation by a fellow student from the University on the same engineering course as Pier Giorgio, Erio Barabino. He and Pier Giorgio often went on mountain trips together. It’s from the as yet unpublished English translation of the book by PG’s sister Luciana “My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Faith.”


I would see Pier Giorgio Frassati in the mountains and at  the Polytechnic University. When he was in the mountains, he was tough, as are all good mountain-climbers who instinctively feel that they are already in contact with the next life.  Pier Giorgio had a feeling for the mountains, because they brought him closer to his goal. 


I remember him up there in the mountain cabins. After his walk, he would join in our simple meal and share in our happy conversation and sing the melancholy songs that are only sung in our valleys.  Then, before he climbed into his bunk, he would kneel on the ground, head bowed, hands folded, recollected in prayer -- the last thought of his day was about God!  His manly exterior seemed to disappear, completely transformed by the ecstasy of coming close to God, to make himself worthy of Him Who was the sole reason for his existence and all he did.  And no one ever made fun of him or made any sarcastic remarks; we could see from his external expressions that he was in the presence of God.  His simplicity and his purity won over everyone.



Frassati comes to Fareham!

Verso l'alto is an evening of food with friends and worshipping God together. Fareham Flatmates Sarah and Tom (who are members of the diocesan youth mission team) have opened their home in Fareham to welcome young adults to share an evening of worship and community.


Meeting fortnightly on a Tuesday, young adults are warmly invited to join in sharing a meal together and then a time of praise & worship and prayer. If you are 20-35(ish) and would like to go along, please get in touch with Sarah or see the Diocesan Youth Facebook page for more details. 




Is Consciousness Immortal?

Are our minds simply our brains? Is talk of a ‘soul’ superstitious myth from a pre-scientific past? Is the idea that part of us, at least, survives death, also to be relegated to the fiction section of the library? What do resources of philosophy – independent of religious faith – contribute to the discussion? Is human consciousness reducible entirely to the physical? And what evidence, of various kinds, is there for the survival of the non-material aspect of ourselves after death?


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.



Countering Consumerism

What does it mean to be holy? How can we find holiness given our busy modern lives? Pope Francis offers some ideas in his new letter, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). He encourages us to open our eyes, ears and hearts, to be unsettled by the words of the Gospel and expand our often limited horizons. We are invited to be disturbed by faith, challenge the culture of consumerism and respond to the Pope’s profound invitation to care for our common home. Pope Francis asks us to find time for our own holiness. So this autumn, take time out of your everyday life to explore Scripture and Church teaching together and be inspired by one another and CAFOD’s campaigning and work overseas. The retreats are free of charge and all are welcome, whether or not you have been involved in CAFODs campaigns. Please join us for the The CAFOD Portsmouth retreat on Countering Consumerism on Saturday 3rd November at St Joseph’s Retreat Centre Ashurst from 10am to 4pm. Lunch will be provided.


Everyone is welcome to book your place click here.



Thanksgiving Mass for the canonisation of St Oscar Romero

Last Sunday, Sunday 14th October, in Rome Pope Francis canonised Archbishop Oscar Romero and I am happy to invite you to join me at the Cathedral on Saturday 24th November 2018 at 2.00pm when I will celebrate a Thanksgiving Mass for his canonisation. The Mass will be followed by a keynote address in the Discovery Centre about the life and works of Saint Oscar Romero. The event is being organised by Matthew Quinn (Headteacher at Oaklands Catholic School and Sixth Form College) and Paul Quinn (Chair of the Oscar Romero Award (for Schools) Trust).


The Mass is an opportunity for us to thank God for the life and example of Saint Oscar Romero who is known as a modern saint who stood up for the oppressed and is still seen a voice for the voice less. His teaching and example have inspired us to start the Oscar Romero Award for Catholic Schools; an Award that will help schools think about their role as practitioners and promoters of Catholic social justice. 



Would you like to become a teacher?

The Catholic Teaching Schools Alliance is 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.


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



What’s God’s dream for your life? 

You are invited to join the Diocesan Vocations Team on the First Friday of each month at Sacred Heart Church 41-43 Portland Street Fareham. PO16 0NF (Easy access via road, train and bus) from 7pm-9pm for food, prayer, reflection and friendship to reflect on God’s design for your work. There is no such thing as a silly question!


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.



The Chapter of Canons

“A chapter of canons, whether cathedral or collegiate, is a college of priests, whose role is to celebrate the more solemn liturgical functions in a cathedral or a collegiate church. It is for the cathedral chapter, besides, to fulfill those roles entrusted to it by law or by the diocesan Bishop” (Can. 503). Last Thursday (11th October), the Chapter of Canons met and elected their new provost, in succession to Mgr. Nick France who has now retired. The new provost is Canon David Hopgood: our congratulations to him, with the promise of our prayers!  Since the reforms of Vatican II and the 1983 Code of Canon Law, not every Diocese now has canons, although I am glad we continue to do so in the Diocese of Portsmouth. We have eleven canons, with the Bishop making the twelfth. The canons meet three times per year and have a particular care for the liturgy of the Cathedral. I value greatly their experience and wisdom, and I tend to consult them on general matters to do with liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments. The head or chair of the chapter is called the “provost” – not a title in everyday use, although sometimes universities have “provosts” rather than “vice-chancellors.” Here’s a picture from the Mass last week. One of the canons is designated to be the celebrant of the Chapter Mass, whilst the rest of the canons attend in their magnificent choir dress.



New Council of Priests

Canon Law requires every bishop in every diocese to have a Council of Priests, a consultative body that assists and advises the bishop in the governance of the diocese and undertakes certain statutory duties. The Council “provides a suitable forum for developing an overall perspective on the situation of the diocese, for discerning the promptings of the Holy Spirit as expressed through people or groups, for exchanging ideas and experiences and for determining clear objectives for the exercise of various diocesan ministries, proposing priorities and suggesting methods” (Apostolorum Successores 182). Its composition should be representative of the priests of the diocese, each diocesan Council drawing up its own statutes as to how this might work. From amongst the members of the Council, the bishop appoints a “College of Consultors” to deal with certain important economic matters and in the case of a vacant see, to ensure the correct procedures for the succession. Recently, our Council of Priests revised its statutes to include members nominated by fellow-clergy as well as those appointed by the bishop. Membership, which lasts five years, includes a representative from the retired priests of the diocese and a Deacon observer. The Council meets three times per year here at Bishop’s House. 


As of October 2018, the new Council is composed as follows: Fr. John Lee (Chair), Fr. John Cooke (Vice Chair), Fr. Philip Carroll (Secretary), Canon Paul Townsend VG, Canon Michael Dennehy VG, Mgr. Jeremy Garratt, Fr. PJ Smith, Fr. Mark Hogan, Fr. Gerard Flynn, Fr. Ansel D’Mello, Fr. John Chadwick, Fr. Paul Lyons, Fr. John Chandler, Fr. JP Lyttle, Fr. George Ngwa, Mgr. Nick France (retired clergy) and Deacon Gary May (Deacon observer). From these members, the College of Consultors comprises Canon Michael Dennehy VG, Canon Paul Townsend VG, Mgr. Jeremy Garratt, Fr. PJ Smith, Fr. Mark Hogan, Fr. John Lee and Fr. John Cooke.



Another New Religious Order in the Diocese

We are happy to welcome another new religious order into our Diocese: the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy (the “DMMMs”). Their mother house is in Nigeria and they were founded there in 1961. There is also a male religious branch too with priests and brothers (the Sons of Mary, Mother of Mercy). Since their foundation, they have spread worldwide, mainly in English-speaking countries. They have a number of convents in England: in Bradford, Leeds, north London – and now in the parish of St. Edward’s, Windsor. They arrived in Windsor from their former house in Slough last Spring and are already very involved in parish life at St. Edward’s, singing in the choir, helping with catechesis and supporting other pastoral activities. They are full of joy: the picture here captures it! Here I am sitting with Sr. Kenneth Theresa (superior, sitting on my right), Sr. Nicholas, Sr. Millie and Sr. Caroline, who on top of their habits are wearing a typical dress from their home area. The sisters have various academic qualifications but are particularly involved in medicine and hospital work. Three are working as specialised nurses in local hospitals. I am very happy they are working with us in our Diocese. Please pray for them and for their apostolate.



Safeguarding Celebration

On Friday 12th October, I went to St. Peter’s Winchester for a Safeguarding Celebration, which was brought together by Angela McGrory our Safeguarding Coordinator. Over 60 safeguarding “reps” from parishes across the diocese, including the Channel Islands, were present, together with Fr. PJ Smith and Paul O’Driscoll, chair of our Safeguarding Commission. After a talk and prayer, I celebrated the midday Mass, during which I gave the homily here, based on the Gospel reading (Luke 11: 15-26) in which Jesus responds to those who were comparing Him to Beelzebub. I then stayed for lunch, during which I was able to meet informally with many of the reps. Safeguarding is truly a ministry in the Church and I salute with great gratitude all those who have volunteered in our parishes and help to keep the Church a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults. In fact, I have decided henceforth to refer not to “reps” but to “Safeguarding Ministers,” for that is the nature of the work they do. Please pray for them and their work, and for the safe environment which they, together with all of us, help to create in our parishes and communities.



150th Anniversary in Windsor

Last Saturday, 13th October 2018, was the feast of St. Edward the Confessor and I went to our Catholic parish in Windsor, which is dedicated to him, to celebrate it in a special way. It was the 150th anniversary of the opening of the church. In her book Catholic Windsor, Bridget Mitchell recounts the story of how Fr. John Wilkinson, Canon Applegarth and a Spanish Count, Ramon Cabrera, acquired the land and engaged Charles Alban Buckler as the architect. On 13th October 1868, the new church was solemnly opened by Cardinal Manning and Bishop Grant. At that point, the church was incomplete, but Canon Applegarth and his successor Fr. Longinotto (who was parish priest for 47 years), worked tirelessly to finish it, embellishing it with an organ, a reredos, stained glass windows and the wonderful painted angels along the nave. Canon David Hopgood, the present parish priest, has redecorated the church beautifully. The Mass was packed with children and parents from the parish school, plus many of this year’s Confirmation candidates. A number of the clergy who in recent years have served at St. Edward’s were also present: Bishop Peter Doyle, Canon Hetherington, Mgr. Nick France, Mgr. Garratt, Fr. Chris Rutledge and Fr. Michael Morrissey. Archbishop Peter Smith and Bishop Crispian concelebrated, along with Fr. Kevin Jones who was ordained in the church. Afterwards, there was a splendid buffet lunch in the parish hall and the garden behind the presbytery. It was a great occasion. There are some photos here



A Day with Mary

St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth held its fourth annual ‘Day with Mary’ on Saturday 13th October. Started back in the 1980’s as a lay-driven apostolate and now held all over the south coast the days are an opportunity to respond to Our Lady’s request at Fatima: “Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne” (Fatima, June 1917).
Mass was celebrated by Fr Serafino Lanzetta FFI. You can listen to his homily and see some photos here.

During this October, the Holy Father has asked us to add the Sub Tuum Praesidium prayer to the end of the Rosary. Here is is for those less familiar with it: We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.



Peer Chaplains hard at work in Fareham

I am delighted to hear that at St Anthony's Catholic Primary  School in Fareham where I appointed a group of 10 year old children as Peer Chaplains, these children have been extremely busy in passing their Faith to the rest of the school and in engaging in some charitable activities. They have created a 'Guardian Angel box' to offer support to the children who need a friend in school, they pray for the School and the Parishioners (by using the names mentioned in Saint Margaret Mary's parish newsletter), they have organised a very successful toiletries collection for a Refuge for Women in Fareham as well as raised more than £2000 for our Prayer Garden by talking to the Community at Mass and winning a bid. My thanks to Daniela Ambrosetti who supports these Peer Chaplains in their work.



Bedhampton children farming in Devon

Children from Year 6 at St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School, Bedhampton celebrated Mass on Sunday at Nethercott Farm in Devon; just the day before some of them had watched the birth of a calf. They were experiencing Farming for City Kids and were really appreciating the freshest air, most beautiful of expansive views and, of course, the company of each other. Fr Gerard Flynn, Parish Priest at St Michael & All Angels, Leigh Park, commented on the children’s gracious and reflective participation in the Mass, qualities which mark out what he regards as a quite exceptional school. The week should give them great memories to think on during the half-term break! (Click on the picture to see the whole group.)




Focus on... Gary Leeming

Here’s someone I bet many of you know: Gary Leeming. Gary has faithfully organised the car park here at the Cathedral in Portsmouth for the last 21 years and should you visit the Cathedral, St. Edmund’s House (our curial offices) or Bishop’s House, on a Monday to Friday during business hours, you’re bound to run across him in the cabin near the entrance. Gary was born and raised in Pompey and after school served for 9 years in the army. His military training and army background comes in handy when he is needed to sort things out and keep the show on the road. Besides the car park, Gary also works as a general site assistant across the Cathedral, Bishop’s House and St. Edmund’s House and is often to be seen working alongside Janusz, the site manager, dealing with practical building matters. He is a very dedicated to his work and is always full of cheer and welcome. His good work in the car park means that over the years thousands of pounds have been collected for the Cathedral to help defray its huge running costs and expenses. When Gary is on holiday, he doesn’t leave us unaided: one of his daughters often stands in for him. Recently, Gary celebrated a significant birthday – please do say a prayer for him and congratulate him next time you are on-site.



Bishop Philip's Engagements           

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 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              

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 


Sunday 23rd December

"The Magi are in a Muddle"

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more 



Job Vacancies

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Gosport

Headteacher (required for September 2019)


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

Closing date for applications: Monday 26th November (12 Noon)


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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