Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 23rd October 2018 - Issue 202 (2018/37)


Dear Friends,

I am away on retreat this week doing the Ignatian Exercises. Please pray for me, as I will for you. It’s good to take a few days of retreat and prayer each year and after all the happenings of late, I’m glad for the change of pace. Meanwhile, we’re now only a few days away from our big Diocesan Symposium “Science – Or – Religion?” It’s in Winchester on 3rd November. There are only a few seats left: click here for bookings. And don’t forget this Tuesday is the diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life. Thanks to Deacon Craig for editing the e-News: if you have any good news to share, don’t forget to forward any items to him.  Have a blessed week ahead. (Again, please pray for me).





Diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life 

Please keep this Tuesday, 23rd October 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.




News from Bamenda

I was very saddened to hear that last week a first-year seminarian was shot dead by the military in Bamenda. He had just entered the seminary this September. He was an only child. I immediately emailed Archbishop Cornelius to offer our prayers and the promise of prayers for his family. This shocking development reached the press: you can read about it here. Archbishop Cornelius celebrated the funeral the other day, and wrote to me in his email: Many thanks for your consoling words and prayers. We had the funeral of Gerard today at the Cathedral. There was a good turn up by the faithful from different parishes. The cathedral was full. It was sad but prayerful. I am writing to the Governor about the incident and the negative attitude of the military towards the Church in this situation. The army has broken into a number of convents and health centres in the pretext of looking for the "amba boys". We find ourselves sandwiched between the military and the amba boys. Continue to pray for us. Glad to know that Frs Emmanuel and Elijah are settling down well.


Sunday 4th November is Bamenda Sunday in our Diocese and I met with Fr. Mark Hogan and some members of our Bamenda Team last week in order to review the situation and to see what we can do to help. We are discussing a campaign of letter-writing to our MPs to raise the profile of the problems in Cameroon with the international community and to enlist the help of our own government to bring pressure and assistance. I will write more about this soon. Meanwhile, please pray for seminarian Gerard and for his repose, and for his family – and pray for Cameroon for a way out of all these current troubles. Our prayers are key.



"Seeing the Son of David" - Scott Hahn on 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s Gospel turns on an irony—it is a blind man, Bartimaeus, who becomes the first besides the apostles to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. And His healing is the last miracle Jesus performs before entering the holy city of Jerusalem for His last week on earth. The scene on the road to Jerusalem evokes the joyful procession prophesied by Jeremiah in the First Reading. In Jesus this prophecy is fulfilled. God, through the Messiah, is delivering His people from exile, bringing them back from the ends of the earth, with the blind and lame in their midst. Jesus, as Bartimaeus proclaims, is the long-awaited Son promised to David . Upon His triumphal arrival in Jerusalem, all will see that the everlasting kingdom of David has come. As we hear in the Second Reading, the Son of David was expected to be the Son of God. He was to be a priest-king like Melchizedek, who offered bread and wine to God Most High at the dawn of salvation history. Bartimaeus is a symbol of his people, the captive Zion which we sing of in today’s Psalm. His God has done great things for him. All his life has been sown in tears and weeping. Now, he reaps a new life. Bartimaeus, too, should be a sign for us. How often Christ passes us by—in the person of the poor, in the distressing guise of a troublesome family member or burdensome associate —and yet we don’t see Him. 


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



Jennifer Geach reflects...

Many years ago there was a query circulating: now it would be a hash tag or a meme, but this was before the internet.  The query was ‘if it were illegal to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?’  I was rather taken by this, and slightly dashed when my mother pointed out drily that of course there was: the house was littered with Christian books, and there were images of sacred things and crucifixes; in short the ordinary paraphernalia of a Catholic house.  So far, so good.  However, I think that the query may have been aiming at something else: not just external signs of Christian belief, but whether it was clear from our lives that we did not look on this world as our permanent home; moreover, that we loved God with all our minds, hearts and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves.  And that is of course a much harder question to answer in the affirmative.


Read the full reflection here



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

“Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.” (Mark 10:46-52) 
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

This Sunday, we’ll hear how Bartimaeus the blind man, braved every physical and social obstacle in reaching out to Jesus. 
He was right to do so. Jesus restored his sight. In return, Bartimaeus became a disciple and followed Jesus on the way. 

We’ll reflect on:

Faith: Do we dare believe that Jesus listens to us every time we call on him?

Hope: Do we dare act with the assurance that Jesus will indeed manifest his power and love in our life?

Love: Do we dare respond with our love, with the gift of ourselves, to the many blessings that Jesus constantly pours out on us?


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. This comes from Carlo Florio, a student member of the SVP Conference to which Pier Giorgio belonged from the age of 17.


I attended the conferences of St Vincent de Paul more from family tradition and conviction. Pier Giorgio must have understood, because it was he who taught me how to do works for charity. It is true that I did not hide anything of my perplexity from him. I asked him, for example, how one could manage to enter certain houses cheerfully where the first welcome was a nauseating smell. I asked him: “How do you manage to overcome your revulsion?” He answered me: “Don’t ever forget that even though the house is sordid, you are approaching Christ. Remember what the Lord said: the good you do to the poor is good done to me.” And he continued: “Around the sick, the poor, the unfortunate, I see a particular light, a light that we do not have.”


Pier Giorgio often said the Rosary en route to his visits to the poor, as Fr. Pietro Occelli notes in this testimony (in the as yet unpublished English translation of the book by PG’s sister Luciana “My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Faith.”):


"The pious discipline of the daily Rosary in my family and in the four schools I attended made it somewhat repugnant to me.  I came from the provinces to attend university in Turin, and I found it liberating not to have to abide by such a repetitious practice, and city life gave me ample justification for this attitude.  But my old grandmother’s weekly hints, “We’re saying the Rosary . . . it’s time for the Rosary”, were now being repeated by a young man only two years older than me.  He was gifted with uncommon influence and an obvious spiritual superiority.  He was experienced in student life, free from typical family piety and any family coercion, self-confident, filled with an appealing Marian devotion and the evangelical zeal of a keen Dominican tertiary. I was compelled to surrender, and to believe that the Rosary could be useful to my soul and my spiritual life.


As soon as we got off the tram in the working-class suburb of Monterosa, where we would visit the poor assigned to us by the (St. Vincent de Paul) Conference, with his right hand Pier Giorgio began fingering the beads of his huge ‘Fra Savonarola’ rosary, and he immediately began to whisper a polite order:  “It’s Friday, the Sorrowful Mysteries, the first Mystery:  the Agony of Jesus in the Garden – Our Father . . .”


We went along this way on many Fridays throughout the streets from Corso Giulio Cesare to Corso Vercelli, to the fields and the shanties of the homeless, right up to the city limits of Turin at the river docks, fingering our beads with their ‘Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, Glory be’s’ and their bloody images of those mysteries that deal with the martyrdom of Christ and Mary." 



The Newman Colloquium
The Newman Colloquium is a new monthly initiative in which prominent Catholics discuss interesting areas of the Faith with one another. It is open to all Catholics who might be interested in the topics. Click on the image for a poster.

Humanae Vitae at 50 

Saturday 27th October 15:45 - 17:45

Dr Joseph Shaw (Senior Research Fellow, St Benet's Hall, Oxford) and Mr Michael Wee (Anscombe Bioethics Centre, Oxford).


My Life, His Work: Fr Jeremy Reflects...

Saturday 24th November 15:45 - 17:45

Dr Joseph Shaw talks with Fr Jeremy Davies about Fr Jeremy's life and work: as a former medical doctor, then ordained priest in 1974, and appointed exorcist for the Archdiocese of Westminster (1987 - present).


Where? Catholic Church of Ss Gregory and Augustine, Oxford, OX2 7NS

Cost: Free, a retiring collection will be taken at the end for the speakers

For more details and to register please see hereRegistration essential as places limited.



Night of Light - reclaiming All Hallows' Eve

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 Hallowe'en ('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. 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.     



Can humans live for ever?

The Bible says our “span is seventy years or eighty for those who are strong” (Ps 89: 10). Is there an inbuilt limit on human bodily existence? Yet Adam was said to have lived for 930 years (Gen 5: 5), Abraham 175 years (Gen 25: 7) and Moses 120 years (Deut 34: 7). Could rapid advances in medical science and improvements to living conditions enable human beings in the future to live as long as the patriarchs - even for ever? Scientists today ask whether dying is an inevitable part of life. Is there a way humans will be able biologically to live forever?


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.



Is Religion Opposed to Science?

THE MYTH: We all know the story. At the dawn of the modern age there was a great conflict between two groups: bullying churchmen who preferred the darkness of faith and religion, and brave scientists who dared to usher in the light of reason and science. The second group prevailed, and the rest is history. Modern science was born out of, and in opposition to, pre-scientific religion, and its smashing success proves that religion—and indeed, any knowledge other than scientific knowledge—is not true knowledge, but nonsense. We've heard this story so often—in popular books, on late night talk shows, across the internet—that it appears self-evident. Thus it's no surprise that, in the latest Pew Research Center survey, science was listed as one of the biggest reasons why people, especially young people, leave Christianity.  But this story is a myth. And it's time for another story: the true story.

THE TRUTH: It's time to set the record straight: Religion is not opposed to science! Of course, some religions are in conflict with some scientific findings. But not Catholic Christianity. In Catholicism, there is a longstanding tradition of science and religion operating in unison, lifting humanity toward the truth like the two wings of a bird.

Did you know that:

• Science arose when and where it did (in the Christian West) because the presuppositions of Christian theology enabled it to flourish?

• The Catholic Church has endorsed, and continues to endorse, mainstream science?

• Many scientific founders were not just ardently religious, but even priests and clerics?


Click on the image to watch a short video from Bishop Robert Barron and find out more at Reason, Faith and Science.



Deans and Coordinating Pastors

Last Tuesday we had a meeting of our Deans and Coordinating Pastors. The parishes of our Diocese are grouped into 21 Pastoral Areas (PAs), and in turn the Pastoral Areas are grouped into 8 Deaneries. The Coordinating Pastors are the senior priests of each PA and one of the Coordinating Pastors is nominated as the Dean of the Deanery. There is a document here which explains the thinking behind all this in more detail, and the roles of Coordinating Pastors and Deans. Basically, a PA is a cluster of neighbouring parishes, and the churches, schools and religious communities within them, for the purpose of sharing resources more effectively for communion and mission. There are three types of PA. Type One (the majority) is a group of parishes and communities associated for the sharing of pastoral resources, clergy supply-cover, Confirmation programmes, sacramental catechesis, youth work and so on. Type Three (e.g. Jersey ) are PAs which have since become one parish, established from the merging of previous parishes, communities and Mass centres. A few PAs are Type Twos, a sort of intermediate category of parishes and communities in which clergy and laity work very much more closely together. This is the situation in the city area of Portsmouth. Maybe in time, all these parishes will become one, although at the moment there are no plans for this.

The termly Coordinating Pastors meeting is thus important these are the leading priests of the Diocese. The meeting is entirely to do with pastoral matters and the care of clergy. The agenda is for internal discussion only, but to give you an idea, this last week we had a presentation on the diocesan financial situation and we discussed some draft norms on healing ministry. We are also looking at improving formation in pastoral leadership skills. Please keep the Deans and Coordinating Pastors of our Diocese in your prayers.



Meaningful Advent Calendars

Why not give someone who relies on their local Foodbank a treat this Advent. You pay £3.40 and Meaningful Chocolate will cover the additional costs of sending a full priced single Real Advent Calendar to the Trussell food bank hub for national distribution. It's a great way to make sure a family in need receive a Fairtrade Real Advent Calendar this year. Donations need to be made by 20th November.  You will not receive the calendar, but it will be donated to the food bank along with other calendars which have been purchased for donation. Due to logistics it is not possible to nominate a food bank or have calendars delivered to a food bank which you run yourself.Meaningful Chocolate  will share news of the donations made just before Christmas.


The Real Advent Calendar is a fun way for parents, grandparents and Godparents to share the Christmas story. The 2018 design calendar comes with a free 24-page Christmas story activity book designed to be used every day in Advent. This year, the book is illustrated by award winning artist, Alida Massari. Find out more here.



Congratulations to our Jubilarian Priests!

On Thursday, we had the Jubilarians' Mass, that is, Mass for and with all those priests celebrating a significant anniversary this year, 2018. This year marks the platinum (70th) anniversary of Fr. Tom Foley, although he is unwell in Ireland and sadly was unable to be with us. Please say a prayer for him and his family. 2018 is the golden anniversary of Mgr. Nick France and Canon Peter Turbitt, and also of Frs. Michael Peters, Brian Sandeman and Don Clements. We also pray for Frs. John Cooke and Joe McNerney celebrating their silver anniversary of ordination. It’s amazing how as a priest time flies! Someone wrote to me recently to complain that their parish no longer has its own priest; they have to share the priest from the neighbouring parish. I was tempted to write back: Well, why don’t you produce a priest?! In 60 years, your parish community has enjoyed being served by priests, but you yourselves have never produced one. Priests don’t come out of thin air. They come from families, from communities that nurture vocations, in short, from parishes that pray. As the Lord said: The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. That was also an intention in the Jubilarians' Mass: praying for vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church but especially to the priesthood. Here’s a picture of me with some of this year’s Jubilarians.


(Stop press: Fr Tom Foley died peacefully on Saturday 20th October in Cork University Hospital. Please pray for his happy repose. Requiescat in pace. His funeral is being held on Tuesday 23rd October in Ireland. Canon Michael Dennehy, VG, is representing the diocese.  Ed.)



Diocesan Day for Altar Servers

On Saturday 13th October Altar Servers of all ages gathered at Christ the King in Reading for their annual day of fun and formation. Members of the diocesan Youth Mission team led the participants in liturgy, talks and workshops to celebrate the special ministry. Servers under 12 explored their role in the Mass, building on parish training with good practice. Over 12s and adults reflected on their role in relation to the Way of the Cross and accompaniment of Christ using the beautiful stations around the Church. They also explored "layers" of vocation: responsive to our immediate circumstances, lifelong vocation, the universal call to holiness and how serving feeds into each one. A huge thank you to all who attended and contributed! As a significant group of people in the diocese we are looking forward to expanding opportunities and provision next year. You can see some photos here.



Catechists' Formation Day

Last Saturday we had a Formation Day for all Catechists of the Diocese and the Cathedral Discovery Centre was packed! I was delighted so many turned up, almost 150. The Day was organized by Sr. Hyacinthe and our Formation for Mission Team and the speakers included Hannah Vaughan-Spruce – I was really pleased to welcome her back to the Diocese – and Canon John O’Shea, who spoke about the importance of the work of Sherry Weddell and Fr. James Mallon. I celebrated the Mass and preached about Mary, the Mother and Model of Catechists: you can read the homily here. The ministry of catechist is so important for the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us why. It is part of the effort to make disciples, to help people believe that Jesus is the Son of God (4). Catechesis, it says, is built on the initial proclamation of the Gospel, on missionary preaching that arouses faith (6). At its heart is a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. To catechise is to reveal the Person of Jesus, to put people in communion with Jesus (426) and to enable Jesus to speak to them through the lips of the catechist (427). Please pray for all our catechists and also for our Formation for Mission Team and all their work. There are some photos here.


Formation for Mission’s next event is Christmas at Sea. Read about it here.



Day with Religious

One of the amazing things about our Diocese of Portsmouth is the number of religious congregations and orders, including many young religious and new communities. We have about 40 religious congregations and Fr. Bruce Barnes, our Vicar for Religious, and his team liaise with them on my behalf. On Friday last week, he organised one of the occasional Days for Religious, this time here at the Cathedral in the Discovery Centre, and there was a great turn-out. I gave a talk on “The Role of the Religious in the Future of the Diocese,” in the morning and then after lunch, ran a session of Q and A in the afternoon. In the presentation, I spoke chiefly about the background and ideas in the Bishop’s Vision Statement Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church and of some of the challenges we face, especially in handing on our faith to the young. It was really encouraging to have with us quite a number of young religious and postulants who were full of enthusiasm and positivity. Let’s thank God for their witness and pray for many more vocations to religious life in our Diocese. You can see some photos from the day here.



From the Channel Islands to Lourdes 

In September, a most beautiful pilgrimage was celebrated in Lourdes by sixteen pilgrims from Alderney and Guernsey. Once again, The Legion of Mary Parish Pilgrimage based themselves with the Passionist Fathers, whose kindness and generosity helped to make this Parish event such a success. The list for next year’s pilgrimage is almost complete. Click on the picture for the full group.


In 1858 the immaculate Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, near Lourdes in France, in the cavern called “de Massabielle.” Through this poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Mary calls on sinners to change their lives. She has inspired in the Church a great love of prayer and good works, especially in the service of the poor and the sick. 


Here's the Collect from the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (11th February):

Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may, with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



St George College working with Mary's Meals

David Walford writes...


World Porridge Day for Mary's Meals returned to St George Catholic College last week. Thanks to the generosity of Southampton City Catering and their brilliant staff  Sue, Kym and Cherie (pictured) working in the kitchens at St George.


Staff and students managed to raise £200.00 towards feeding children in poorer parts of the world in order that they can attend school. It was a great atmosphere in the mornings as staff and students had breakfast together eating porridge and raising money and awareness of the work of Mary's Meals. A big thanks to all who took part. The school has close links to the Charity and was visited by its founder Magnus McFarlane-Barrow in 2016.



News from St Anne's Southampton

Julian Waterfield writes...


At St Anne’s in Southampton, we were delighted to welcome visitors to our Sixth Form Open Evening.  After another bumper set of results, it was a wonderful opportunity to share our hopes and dreams for the young people of the area.  We were also joined by local universities and the National Citizenship Service.  There was an Enterprise stall, selling sweets to those who needed a burst to get them through the evening and the CAFOD Young Leaders were somewhere rehearsing the assemblies they are giving at the moment to the whole school.


St Anne’s Sixth is the only state funded Catholic Sixth Form in the area and offers a mainly academic curriculum as well as travel bursaries for those coming from a distance.  With the highest average grade in the area last summer and one-third of students achieving an A* to B we strive to combine academic excellence with the rounded education our lower school receives!



Congratulations to CANON Gerard Flynn

Following on from last week’s item about Canons, I am very pleased to announce that a vacancy in the Chapter has allowed me to appoint a new canon: Canon Gerard Flynn.  Congratulations to him! Canon Gerard is the parish priest of St. Michael’s Leigh Park, a parish he loves and is always telling me about. He is also our hard-working Vocations Director. The role of Vocations Director means being involved in the accompaniment, interview and selection of potential new students for the priesthood. The Director also supports students and looks after their pastoral and practical needs while in seminary. Each year both Canon Gerard and I, separately, visit all our seminarians in their various seminaries: St. John’s Seminary Wonersh, Allen Hall in Chelsea, St. Mary’s College Oscott, the Beda College Rome and the Venerable English College in Rome. Please pray for more vocations to the priesthood. Please pray for our students in formation and also for those discerning their vocation at this time. I know they will be as pleased as we all are at Fr. Gerard’s new title: Canon!



Bishop Philip's Engagements           

Monday 29th October 
Various Meetings, Bishop's House


Tuesday 30th October 

Meeting with Newly Ordained Priests, St Dominic's Priory, Sway


Thursday 1st November

Various Meetings, Bishop's House


Friday 2nd November

Meeting with Schools and Academies Department, Bishop's House

Meeting with Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Bishop's House

Meeting with Director of Communications, Bishop's House


Saturday 3rd November

Science or Religion Symposium, Winchester


Sunday 4th November

Bamenda Sunday Mass and unveiling of commemorative plaque, St John's Cathedral



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 21st October


National Prayer Cycle: Pontifical Mission Societies

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


Monday 22nd October

St John Paul II, Pope, optional memorial

or: Feria [29th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Editorial Team of ‘Portsmouth People’


Tuesday 23rd October

Diocesan Day of Prayer and Reparation for Life

Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of Providence in the Diocese 


Wednesday 24th October

St Anthony Claret, Founder, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Feria [29th Week in Ordinary Time]

Guernsey & Sark: St Magloire, Bishop, memorial [Diocesan Supplement]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Yves & St Magloire, Guernsey

RIP: Bishop William Cotter, 3rd Bishop of Portsmouth (1940)


Thursday 25th October

Feria [29th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: The work of the Secular Clergy Common and New Common Funds


Friday 26th October

Ss Chad & Cedd, Bishops, optional memorial

or: Feria [29th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Christ the King & St Colman, Bitterne (dedicated 26.10.1979, re-dedicated 15.7.2004)


Saturday 27th October

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [29th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Jersey Pastoral Services


Sunday 28th October


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


Monday 29th October

Feria [30th Week in Ordinary Time]

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


Tuesday 30th October

Feria [30th Week in Ordinary Time]

Winchester: Blessed Winchester Martyrs, feast [Diocesan Supplement]

All other Hampshire parishes: Blessed Winchester Martyrs, memorial [Diocesan Supplement] Diocesan Prayer: Communities & Schools in the Solent Pastoral Area


Wednesday 31st October

Feria [30th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Organisers of ongoing formation for clergy


Thursday 1st November


Diocesan Prayer: To attain the company of the saints


Friday 2nd November


Diocesan Prayer: Faithful departed of the Diocese


Saturday 3rd November

St Martin de Porres, Religious, optional memorial

or: St Winefride, Religious, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [30th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Andover: Blessed John Body, Martyr, feast [Diocesan Supplement].

All other Hampshire parishes: Blessed John Body, Martyr, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Companions of St Martin de Porres 


Sunday 4th November


Diocesan Prayer: Our twinned Diocese of Bamenda & the Bamenda Committee


Forthcoming Events              

Saturday 27th October 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent School

Read more  


Saturday 27th October 

The Newman Colloquium

Humanae Vitae at 50

Ss Gregory and Augustine, Oxford, OX2 7NS

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


Wednesday 7th November

Thomas Corbishley Memorial Lecture: "Faith in Europe? - Remembering the Future" 

Europe House, 32 Smith Square London SW1P 3EU

Read more


Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th November

Be still and know - Franciscan Retreat

Park Place Pastoral Centre, Wickham

Read more 


Saturday 24th November 

Christmas at Sea - Hearing the Word of God

St Peter's Winchester, Jewry Street, SO23 8RY

Read more  


Saturday 24th November 

The Newman Colloquium

My Life, His Work: Fr Jeremy Reflects...

Ss Gregory and Augustine, Oxford, OX2 7NS

Read more  


Saturday 24th November 

Organ Recital by International Organist Anthony Matthews

Sacred Heart Church, Bournemouth

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

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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..

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, among them Fr Tom Foley (retired Portsmouth Priest) and Mgr Paul Watson (former Director of Maryvale Institute). Requiescant in pace.


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 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 Deacon Craig Aburn: 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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The Diocesan Youth Team are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.





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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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