Portsmouth Diocese e-News

Tuesday 6th November 2018 - Issue 204 (2018/39)


Dear Friends,

Welcome to this week’s e-News. We had a great Science and Religion Symposium on Saturday with the principle speakers Professor Brian Cox and Dr. Andrew Pinsent, plus six other experts in a range of fields. There was a great atmosphere! We hope this will be the first of series of occasional Symposia on various topics (see below). Meanwhile, as this is November, please remember to pray for all the faithful departed, especially our own relatives, friends and benefactors, and those with no-one to remember them and to pray for them. This Sunday, I’m taking part in the Remembrance Sunday parade here in Portsmouth, marking the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Let’s pray for all who have died in the world wars of the last century and in conflict down to today. Again, our thanks to Deacon Craig. As he is away on leave next week, there won’t be an e-News until two weeks' time. God bless you these next days.






A Great Success 

The Science – Or – Religion symposium was a fantastic success last Saturday in Winchester. The theatre was filled to capacity and there was a great atmosphere. In a change from the advertised programme, we were happy to welcome Professor Brian Cox, who gave a superb presentation on recent research into the Universe, including the speculation that this universe is part of a ‘multiverse’ that might be eternal.  Dr. Andrew Pinsent, in his balancing reprise of this subject in the afternoon, gave a clear affirmation of the existence of God with supportive arguments from cosmology. Then, of course, there were the workshops which people seemed to enjoy greatly. We are putting video messages, recordings, details of the talks etc. onto a special page on the Diocesan website: click here. In my introduction, I spoke of how Catholic Christians have believed since earliest days that science and religion, faith and reason, theology and other areas of knowledge, are co-related. More recently, Pope St. John Paul II said “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” And in a letter to the Director of the Vatican Observatory in Phoenix Az. he added: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” You can read an extract from my Introduction here.


Our Dialogue with Cultural Sectors Team hopes that this will be the first of many Symposia. We are already planning ahead: maybe next time Religion – Or – Politics? on the role of religion and religious expression in the public square. Again, God – Or – Mammon? on theology and economic policy, especially how best to alleviate poverty. 



Feast of the Lateran Basilica this Friday

This Friday, 9th November is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the oldest and most important of the four major basilicas in Rome. The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, and is the official seat of the Holy Father as the Bishop of Rome (not St. Peter's Basilica as so many mistakenly think). In ancient times, this was the church in the city where everyone was baptized. It is the oldest church in the Western Church, built in the time of Constantine and consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. This feast became a universal celebration in honour of the ecclesiastical mother church, called "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world" (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput). It then became a feast kept throughout the Church as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter, and a day to pray for the Pope’s intentions.


Please try to get to Mass on Friday if you can. And if you do, please remember to say a prayer for Brother Andrew Wagstaff from the Bournemouth Oratory in Formation who on this glorious feastday is being ordained to the diaconate.




"The Widow's Faith" - Scott Hahn on 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

We must live by the obedience of faith, a faith that shows itself in works of charity and self-giving. That’s the lesson of the two widows in next Sunday’s liturgy. The widow in the First Reading isn’t even a Jew, yet she trusts in the word of Elijah and the promise of his Lord. Facing sure starvation, she gives all that she has, her last bit of food—feeding the man of God before herself and her family. The widow in the Gospel also gives all that she has, offering her last bit of money to support the work of God’s priests in the Temple. In their self-sacrifice, these widows embody the love that Jesus last week revealed as the heart of the Law and the Gospel. They mirror the Father’s love in giving His only Son, and Christ’s love in sacrificing Himself on the cross. Again in the Second Reading, we hear Christ described as a new high priest and the suffering servant foretold by Isaiah. On the cross, He made sacrifice once and for all to take away our sin and bring us to salvation.


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



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

“She gave everything she had to live on” (Mark 12:38-44) 
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Jesus shows us a remarkable woman – she gives everything she has to live on, to a corrupt institution filled with people who should be looking after her but are too busy looking after themselves. Jesus clearly sees  the generous faith of this woman as he points her out to the disciples, and tells them about her unmeasured charity. Through the example of the poor widow, Jesus reminds us that love does not count things out, and love does not judge. It only gives, and it is ultimately directed to God, the source and model of love. The poor widow is for us an image of Jesus, who gives to us not merely everything he has, but everything he is.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How can we begin to live without counting and measuring, seeing people as God sees them?

Hope: How can we grow in trust towards God, who holds our lives, and be free from the slavery of material goods?    
Love: How can we become images of Jesus in the way we give ourselves to God and to each other?   


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



Jennifer Geach reflects...

In Holy Communion, we eat the body of the Lord: we really eat Him, not a symbol of Him.  For that which is on the altar after the consecration is not bread or wine, but Jesus Christ body, blood, soul and divinity.  So when we receive communion, we are eating God: which is a tremendous and awful thing to do. We do this because he told us to.  If anyone is in doubt about the reality of what we are doing, let him go and read Chapter 6 of John’s gospel.  There again and again Jesus affirms that his followers are to eat his flesh and drink his blood.  ‘I am the bread which come down from heaven’ ‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink of his blood, you will not have life in you’ No wonder Jesus’ first hearers found this a hard saying, and gave up following him.  For it is a profound mystery, that we should eat and drink God himself, and thus gain true nourishment which will give us eternal life.


Read the full reflection here



My brother Pier Giorgio: His Faith

Here is part of the Introduction from the draft English translation of the book Luciana Frassati, sister of Blessed Pier Giorgio, wrote in Italian called My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Faith. I hope it will one day be published in English as it contains dozens and dozens of testimonies and personal memories of Pier Giorgio by those who met him or who knew him. Meanwhile, in the picture we see Pier Giorgio as a teenager. He loved cycling and would think nothing cycling the 50 miles or so from the apartment in Turin up to the family villa in the country at Pollone. Sadly, one day his bike was stolen. After becoming upset, he then said “Well, they must have needed it more than me.”


The faith of Pier Giorgio was a continuous, slow, quiet conversation with the Lord, a conversation composed of little things, the little things that he had done his whole life long. Every day, for years, he went to Mass and received Communion -- every day.  And this from a student, a young man who was twenty-four years old, who decided to renounce a few hours of sleep and any food whatsoever after midnight. Some might be amazed at this and consider it to be something that a saint would do.  And perhaps that is true, but it is just as true that for years Pier Giorgio lived in faith with his silent and difficult works, and for years no one noticed, no one could understand how he had arrived at that point from our common beginning, from living in our house where no one spoke about religion and faith – nor did we live it very much!  It is enough to see me today, and to know me as I was back then with my lazy habits, to understand Pier Giorgio and to sense the power of his faith and his attachment to God.


To continue reading, click here.



Upcoming Eucharistic Mission at Holy Family Southampton

Over the weekend of the feast of Christ the King, Holy Family in Southampton will be hosting a Eucharistic Mission led by Father Gary Holmes of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist. The mission will explore the importance of the Eucharist in our day to day lives as Catholic Christians, and provide an opportunity to deepen our love for Christ and His Church by learning more about the beauty of Eucharistic Adoration. Highlights will include the Solemn Mass at 10.30am on Sunday 25th November, and the special Eucharistic Mission Service at 6pm on the Sunday evening. All are welcome to join the parish for this. For more information please click on the image for a poster or contact the Parish Office. 
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Join us for St Oscar Romero Mass on 24th November

On 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. 



Monastic Experience Weekend at Quarr Abbey

The Monastic Experience Weekend is designed to give single Catholic men aged 18-35 the opportunity to sample monastic life, as it is led at Quarr Abbey in the Benedictine tradition of the Solesmes Congregation. They will be able to attend the liturgical worship in the church, pursue personal prayer and meditation on the Bible in the prayerful silence of the monastery, and hear talks from the monks about their way of life, their liturgy and the Rule of Saint Benedict which they follow. There will be opportunities to participate in the work of the monks and to ask questions. It will be of particular interest to those wanting to explore the possibility of a vocation.


Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight

Friday 8th (evening) - Sunday 10th March 2019


Contact: Brother Duncan for more information or see here.



2019 Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes

The young people of our Diocese invite you to join them for the diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes next summer, from 25th to 30th July 2019.


This summer we had an exhilarating Diocesan Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes with a group of young people from Fareham, Reading and other parts of the Diocese together with nearly 20 FOCUS youth from the United States. We did all the usual pilgrimage exercises including Mass at the Grotto, the Torchlight Procession, the Blessed Sacrament Procession, the International Mass, going into the Baths, a trip out to Gavarnie etc. We are now planning for next year and we hope to have the FOCUS members plus about 30 of our youth, and together they will be leading the Pilgrimage. We will all stay together in the same hotel and share the same programme. The youth will invite the sick, the elderly, families and individuals to join them as pilgrims. It will be a five or six day pilgrimage in the week after the end of school term. So do save the dates: 25th – 30th July 2019. More details coming soon.




Everything you ever wanted to know about Administration...

David Lawes is the Head of the Department for Administration. He writes...


I was delighted to be asked to write something for e-News about the work we do in the Department for Administration.  Often we worry that few share our enthusiasm for the things we deal in (like accounting standards, privacy notices, construction regulations etc.).  Maybe, though, there really are some projects people would want to know about – and even some you might find interesting!  So I plan occasional e-News contributions from us on what we get up to and the first is our New Diocesan Payroll Project. Of course, we tend to take payroll for granted: employees rightly expect to get paid at the end of each month, and that’s what happens.  But achieving this is not always easy.  Most Diocesan staff will have noticed changes to our payroll system this summer.  (e.g. online payslips - no more paper records to be filed or accumulated in your bag). Actually, we introduced a whole new system and brought in new people to run it. 


Read more 



Thoughts from Deacon Martin

This week, we begin a new series of thoughts from Deacon Martin McElroy who is a permanent deacon, serving in Winchester, in the parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs.  He has been married for 31 years to Jeanine, and has 4 children: John, Ruth (married to Niall), Rebecca and Joseph, and has recently been blessed with his first grandchild, Maria Nóinín.  Martin works in IT for SSE plc at Havant. He was ordained to the permanent diaconate by Bishop Philip on 1st July 2018, having completed 4 years of formation at Oscott College in Birmingham. You can read Martin’s own testimony about his vocation here. He writes...


As a newly-ordained permanent deacon, currently I measure anniversaries (as do newly‑married couples) in months rather than years!  The 4‑month “anniversary” of my ordination was 1st November – by happy coincidence, the solemnity of All Saints.  That reminded me of a powerful moment in my ordination: the Litany of Saints, when I lay prostrate on the sanctuary at our cathedral, with Kim, Tom and Gregory, the three other candidates, as the entire congregation, including Bishop Philip and all the priests and deacons prayed with the saints for the Father’s blessing upon us. As I lay there, and each of the saints’ names were sung, and everyone responded “pray for us”, I felt the repeated phrases as almost a physical force, as if the saints were picking me up and carrying me along, encouraging and reassuring me. 


Read more here.



Let there be Science!

Edmund Adamus, Diocesan Schools Commissioner writes...


Each term the Catholic Education Service hosts a two day conference for diocesan education officers. The days are usually very busy with detailed briefings on a whole range of technical and legal issues concerning our schools and academies. There is also a keynote speaker who will always bring some fresh perspective on the unique purpose and mission of Catholic education. Last month it was a privilege to hear David Hutchings, a physics teacher from a Christian school in Yorkshire address the issue of how God loves science and science needs God. He gave us fascinating insights in to the so called “Science vs Religion” debate and how in fact, it is a false narrative. His book; Let There Be Science makes a valid contribution in proving it. Throughout history, scientists have made discoveries and tested hypotheses that have revolutionised the way that we see the world. Our industry has been shaped by the discovery of electricity and the invention of machines; our understanding of the world has deepened as we have had gravity and the magnetic forces that govern the earth explained to us. Century after century, big questions about our earth, nature around us, and the way our bodies work have been posed and gradually, or sometimes dramatically, answered. Yet, there are still further questions to be asked. What is science? What is it for? Why do we have the need to continually be exploring the answers to more questions?  This book examines the story of science, and looks at the part that Christian faith has played in that history. As stories of discovery after discovery unfold, they reveal a powerful underlying reason for doing science in the first place. The book argues that Christianity has been involved with and sometimes directly responsible for some of the biggest leaps forward in scientific history. I hope to send one copy to every science/physics department in all our secondary schools.  



Newly Ordained Priests

Last Tuesday, I attended as usual the bi-annual gathering of our newly-ordained priests, that is, the priests of our Diocese who have been ordained over the last five years. These are Fr. Ansel D’Mello (Cathedral), Fr. Robert Stewart (Abingdon), Fr. Ross Bullock (Jersey), Fr. John Paul Lyttle (Reading), Fr. Philip Carroll (Bishop’s House) and Fr. Benjamin Theobald (Jersey). We usually meet at Sway, in the Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph who always give us such splendid hospitality. Beginning with lots of cups of tea and an initial prayer, we next take a passage of formation from the recent Ratio Fundamentalis “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation” (2016) of the Congregation for the Clergy, usually from the section on on-going formation. This always produces a lively discussion! Last week, the sisters produced an amazing sponge cake to go with some more tea, before we had a Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and Evening Prayer in their wonderful chapel. We finished with an early supper in a local pub.


Please pray for all our priests, but especially for our newly ordained priests. Please pray too for Rev. Mohanraj Edward and Rev. Johnpromise Umeozuru who will be ordained to the priesthood, please God, next summer here in the Cathedral on 20th July 2019.



Bamenda Sunday

Last Sunday, 4th November was Bamenda Sunday in our Diocese when we pray for Archbishop Cornelius, the clergy and people of our sister Diocese in Cameroon, the Archdiocese of Bamenda. We also have a second collection – yes, a very Catholic affair! – for all the projects and support our Diocese wishes to give to the Church in Bamenda. (Please consider making a further donation, if you can, in an envelope marked “Bamenda” via your parish offertory basket). I said the 10 am Mass in the Cathedral and blessed a commemorative plaque to mark Archbishop Cornelius’s 35th anniversary of ordination as a bishop. In the homily I said: “This last January, I went to Cameroon to visit Archbishop Cornelius in Bamenda. It was my predecessor Bishop Worlock over 40 years ago who established a twinning between our Diocese of Portsmouth and the Archdiocese of Bamenda, after the Second Vatican Council which called for developed churches to support developing churches. Indeed, in the years following, Portsmouth priests such as Fr. Ron Hishon, Fr. Michael Peters, Fr. Peter Codd, Fr. Tony Gatt served in the mission-stations and parishes of Bamenda. Today the Church there is so vibrant, that they now send priests to us and we have four priests from Bamenda serving in our parishes. The ecclesial exchange between our two dioceses is flourishing and our special Committee has done much to raise awareness of the needs in Cameroon. Portsmouth parishioners have been very generous, sponsoring many projects in the Catholic schools, parishes and health-care centres of Bamenda. On my visit in January, and on the visit I made in 2014, we saw some of these for ourselves. 


To continue reading, click here.



Diocesan Intercessors meeting

The diocese has 60 intercessors who pray daily for all the prayer intentions that come through the “prayer request” button at the bottom of the home page of our website.  The Lord has given them the charism of intercessory prayer which can be defined as “their prayer for others enables God’s love and mercy to reach them in specific, remarkable ways”.  Intercessory prayer doesn’t require direct contact to be remarkable effective.  Intercessors are often used to bless the lives of people they never meet and who may live thousands of miles away. Recently some of them met at the Dominican Priory at Sway for their annual day of reflection and prayer. It was truly a blessed day for all.  In the morning Geoff and Gina Poulter led a session on using art to reflect on what it is to be an intercessor, and here are some of their reflections:  “hands reaching up out of darkness towards the light; coming into a relational space with God; an encounter to discover the heartbeat of God; hands up in surrender”. They then discussed how sometimes they share in the suffering of what is on God’s heart, and the value of suffering.  They also talked about not assuming they know what God wants in a particular situation.  Rather they find they “listen” before praying and often receive specific guidance on how to pray for a given situation.   The group also reflected on a meditation of the healing of the cripple in Acts 3. (Click on the photo to see the whole group.)


Please consider putting prayer requests to this group, and suggesting this to your family and friends too.  It is a wonderful way of evangelising!   It is anonymous - the administrator of the group only receives the message, not the email address that it was sent from.  The intercessors greatly appreciate receive feedback weeks or months later in order to praise God.  Here is the link: http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/prayer/ 



Mentor Couples Training 

Thanks to the sheer generosity and charism of service from Married Couples, the Smart Loving Marriage Preparation programme in Portsmouth Diocese, grows. Mentor Couples undergo Ongoing Formation which includes a Training Day. Formation begins with a Marriage & Family Life Seminar, followed by a Loving4Life Retreat. Practising a presentation from a selected number of topics is a must.  There are some photos of the recent Mentor Couple Training Day and more on this here.


Our next Marriage & Family Life Seminar is on the 10th of November, in Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception – Stubbington - Sign up Sheets in Stubbington & Sacred Heart - Fareham.


For more information visit our website www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/marriage or e-mail Aba Shields.



Southampton students hits the slopes

Daniel Hutchings of St. Mary's Independent School, Southampton, (Year 9) has been selected for the England Schools Squad 1 to take part in training in Norway. This is part of the selection process that selects a squad to represent England and the National Schools' Association at the Biennial ISF World Schools' Champion ships. Two other pupils, Laura Harrison Smith and Nicole Groves (both Year 6) were also selected for the primary squad and will be training in Landgraaf, Holland.  


I am sure that Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati would be right behind these youngsters! He loved mountaineering, skiing and hiking. He once pinned to his bedroom door the line 'Mountains, mountains, mountains: I love you.’ Let us ask his prayers for these youngsters that inspired by the example of the Patron of the Young People of our Diocese, they might not only climb safely ‘Verso l’Alto’ (‘to the heights’) but also strive successfully to reach the summit of eternal life.




Waterlooville remembers with 1,824 knitted poppies  

Monsignor Jeremy Garrett writes...


Wondering how we would mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War in the parish, we were contacted out of the blue by the Baptist Church up the road who told us of an initiative to knit poppies for a display along the London Road.  We were intrigued by the suggestion and issued knitting patterns to anyone who could help.  We were astonished by the wonderful and overwhelming response of parishioners who over thirteen weeks produced 1,824 poppies from a 13 year old boy to widows in their 80s.  Many of those who could not knit provided balls of red and black wool and buttons.  The response by the churches was so great that the wool shops in Waterlooville ran out of red wool!  This is an initiative of the churches to honour the fallen of the Great War in tribute to the great sacrifice they made to secure world peace. (Click on the image to see the full group.)



Focus on...Isaac Withers

Isaac Withers has recently joined the Communications Team as a Media Intern. He writes...

I’m really exited to be new to the diocese having just moved to Winchester last month. Faith has been a big part of my twenty-two years and I have my family and Youth 2000 to thank in a big way for that. Both gave me great Catholic friends and introduced me to the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus, especially in the sacraments. Over the years I have become particularly passionate about the community and the stories of our Church, as I think both resonate on a very human level with people inside and outside of the Church.


At Birmingham University Catholic Society, I really watched how a community explicitly built around Jesus could really transform the lives of students who perhaps felt alone or lost in someway. I have had the great joy of then telling my own story as a young Catholic and encouraging others to tell their stories too, both by founding the Youth 2000 blog and by working on the Youth Synod last year whilst working for the Bishop’s Conference Communications Department.  It’s been a joy to meet many of the people doing great things in the diocese these last few weeks and in my time working in communications here, I’m really looking forward to supporting the great communities that are here already and trying to help to communicate the stories of the people that make up the diocese.



Bishop Philip's Engagements           

Monday 5th November 
Education Summit, Bishop's House


Tuesday 6th November 

Mass for Deceased Clergy, St John's Cathedral

Various meetings, Bishop's House


Thursday 8th November

Bishop's Council meeting, Bishop's House


Friday 9th November

Trustees Training, Bishop's House

Ordination of Br Andrew Wagstaff Cong. Orat. to the Diaconate, Sacred Heart Bournemouth 


Sunday 11th November

Armistice Day Ecumenical Service


Monday 12th – Thursday 15th November  

Bishops’ Conference Autumn Plenary Meeting


Friday 16th November

Trustee Preparation Meeting, Bishop's House

Meeting Head of Safeguarding, Bishop's House



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 4th November


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


Monday 5th November 

Feria [31st Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption, Thatcham (dedicated 4.11.1982)


Tuesday 6th November 

Feria [31st Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Faithful departed of each parish or community


Wednesday 7th November

St Willibrord, Bishop, optional memorial

or: Feria [31st Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: All deceased clergy of the Diocese


Thursday 8th November

Feria [31st Week in Ordinary Time]

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


Friday 9th November


Diocesan Prayer: Recipients of awards ‘Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ and ‘Bene Merenti’, and of Diocesan Medals, during the year


Saturday 10th November

St Leo the Great, Pope, Doctor of the Church, memorial

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


Sunday 11th November


Remembrance Sunday

National Prayer Cycle: The Dead of the Wars First World War: Armistice Day 1918

Diocesan Prayer: Society of St Dismas 


Forthcoming Events                 

Tuesday 6th November 

Mass for Deceased Clergy

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth, 12.15pm


Wednesday 7th November

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

Europe House, 32 Smith Square London SW1P 3EU

Read more


Saturday 17th November

Conference for Spiritual Directors
St.Peter's Centre, Winchester SO23 8BW

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 

Thanksgiving Mass for the Canonisation of St Oscar Romero

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth, 2pm

Read more  


Saturday 24th November 

Archconfraternity of St Stephen
Mass for Deceased Members and Annual General Meeting

St Mary and St Joseph Poplar, London E14 6EP

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  


Saturday 24th November 

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

Read more  


Sunday 25th November

Youth Sunday with Bishop Philip

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more 


Saturday 1st December

Sycamore Leaders Training Day

St Patrick’s Church, Soho Square, London

Read more 


Sunday 23rd December

"The Magi are in a Muddle"

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more 


25th-30th July 2019

Pilgrimage to Lourdes
More information coming soon - save the dates!


8th-15th October 2019

Pilgrimage to Malta
Read more


Job Vacancies

Director Of Music- The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ryde, Isle of Wight

The Parish is seeking to appoint an experienced musician with vision and enthusiasm to undertake this challenging role based at St Mary’s RC Church, Ryde. The initial task for the successful candidate will be to understand and assess the requirements, the practicalities and the challenges that exist within the parish through discussion with all those currently involved within the music ministry. A priority will be to review the music arrangements for the 1800 Saturday Vigil and 1100 Sunday Mass at St Mary’s, Ryde.


Annual salary £7,500 per annum (£10.29 per hour). 14 hours per week to be worked flexibly each week which will include Sunday (morning/afternoon). Flexibility is also required to cover the major Liturgical Feasts and Celebrations.The post is subject to a DBS check (formerly CRB).


Interviews will be held in Ryde on Friday 23rd November.


More information and application form can be found here.



Parish Secretary/Administrator - St Theresa Totton and Our Lady, Lyndhurst

St Theresa and Lyndhurst Parish wishes to appoint a Parish Secretary/Administrator to work in the Parish Office for 4 hours per week initially 9.00am – 1.00pm every Thursday.


The role will be to facilitate the smooth running of the Parish Office and to provide secretarial support to Father Gerry. Applicants should be diligent and reliable and able to work unsupervised to deliver a high standard of administrative and secretarial support. A working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Publisher are essential.


Closing date:  12 noon on Tuesday 13th November 

Interviews will be held on: Friday 16th November 


For informal enquiries please contact the Parish Office on 023 8086 2270.


More information and application form can be found here.



Parish Secretary - St Joseph’s, Havant with Ss. Thomas’s, Emsworth

We have a vacancy for a part-time position of Parish Secretary, based at St Joseph’s Church Presbytery, 134 West Street, Havant PO9 1LP


Hours of work: 30 hours per week, to be agreed, mornings preferred

Rate of pay: £11.20 per hour rising to £11.50 per hour upon successful completion of 6 month probationary period


For more information about the job, please contact: Fr Leslie Adams, tel: 023 9248 4520, or email: ladams@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


Closing date for applications:  Friday 16th November 

Interviews: Thursday 29th November 


More information and application form can be found here.



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..

Archbishop Cornelius and the clergy and people of our twin diocese of Bamenda and for an end to the troubles there.


The repose of the souls of all who have died recently, for all those killed through acts of warfare, violence, terrorism and natural disaster. 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.


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.


Follow me on Twitter.


Follow the Diocese on Facebook and Twitter.


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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