Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 5th February 2019 - Issue 215 (2019/05)


Dear Friends,

It was a cold week last week, with snow in many places, although we had relatively little here down in Portsmouth. (I often thank our people on the Isle of Wight for protecting us from some of the worst excesses!). In cold weather, our hearts go out especially to those who are homeless and otherwise living on the streets. This is why I was very pleased to spend some time visiting the Caritas Open Church Project in St. Swithun’s Southsea (see below). Please pray for the homeless and let’s do all we can to help. Meanwhile, I thank Deacon Craig and our contributors for their articles this week. It’s a bit of a busy week ahead now: do say a prayer for all our clergy and faithful. Pray too for Sr. Anne in Ryde preparing for her solemn profession later this week. May we all be committed by our faith and holiness to Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. God bless you all.






Seeking a new Chief Operating Officer for the Diocese

The Diocese of Portsmouth is at an exciting moment in its history as we seek to move from maintenance to mission, Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. We need to recruit a Chief Operating Officer who will be responsible for all business and administrative aspects of the Diocese in order to help enact this vision. We are looking for a committed Christian who shares our values and drive towards fulfilment of the Charity’s Mission at an exciting time when we have much to contribute to the wider society in terms of ethical and spiritual values.


In our diocesan parish communities, we have exceptional individuals with the necessary talents and charisms for this role. These are people that you know, and I am asking for your help to identify them and share this opportunity with them. You may feel that this is something that you would like to apply for personally.


The successful candidate will be a collaborative leader who can work strategically and operationally, with a proven track record of broad commercial experience in senior management gained in a multi-site organisation. Exceptional interpersonal skills are essential, along with the ability to communicate and influence at all levels. They will be an experienced leader of people – inspiring, motivating and supportive to a committed and dedicated professional team.


If you are interested in applying for this role, or know someone who should, please see here for more information.



This Friday– St Josephine Bakhita

St Josephine Bakhita (1869 - 1947) was born near Jebel Agilere in South Darfur (Sudan). Kidnapped when still very young, she experienced the cruelty of slavery as she was sold several times in slave markets of Africa. Finally she was rescued by an Italian family and brought to Italy where she not only became a Christian but also felt the call to consecrate her life to God as a sister. She joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity and lived the rest of her life at Schio, a small village near Vicenza. She died on 8 February, 1947, now celebrated as her feastday. 


Friday is a day of prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking, for which some resources can be found here. Please offer this prayer on Friday:

We pray for the victims of human trafficking that they may be helped to rebuild their lives after the traumatic experiences they have gone through. We pray that we, as the Church, will continue to defend victims of human trafficking. We pray for our governments that they may make and implement laws that will protect victims of modern day slavery. We pray for those organisations dedicated to eradicating modern day slavery that they will be courageous in the face of challenges. We pray for those caring for the victims of human trafficking, that their efforts to help the vulnerable and traumatised may not go unrewarded.

St Josephine Bakhita, pray for us. 



Scott Hahn on 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Simon Peter, the fisherman, is the first to be called personally by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. His calling resembles Isaiah’s commissioning in the First Reading: Confronted with the holiness of the Lord, both Peter and Isaiah are overwhelmed by a sense of their own sinfulness and inadequacy. Yet each experiences the Lord’s forgiveness and is sent to preach the good news of His mercy to the world. No one is “fit to be called an apostle,” Paul recognises in the Second Reading. But by “the grace of God,” even a persecutor of the Church—as Paul once was—can be lifted up for the Lord’s service. In the Old Testament, humanity was unfit for the divine—no man could stand in God’s presence and live. But in Jesus, we’re made able to speak with Him face-to-face to taste His Word on our tongue. Sunday’s scene from Isaiah is recalled in every Mass. Before reading the Gospel, the priest asks God to cleanse his [or the deacon's] lips that he might worthily proclaim His Word. God’s Word comes to us as it came to Peter, Paul, Isaiah, and today’s Psalmist—as a personal call to leave everything and follow Him, to surrender our weaknesses in order to be filled with His strength. Simon put out into deep waters even though, as a professional fisherman, he knew it would be foolhardy to expect to catch anything. In humbling himself before the Lord’s command, he was exalted—his nets filled to overflowing; later, as Paul tells us, he will become the first to see the risen Lord. Jesus has made us worthy to receive Him in the company of angels in God’s holy Temple. On our knees like Peter, with the humility of David in today’s Psalm, we thank Him with all our hearts and join in the unending hymn that Isaiah heard around God’s altar: “Holy, holy, holy...” 


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



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

“Choosing well” - 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (Luke 5 1:11)

Jesus chooses Peter, and Peter chooses Jesus. In Luke’s account, we have a series of requests and actions, initiated by Jesus, that lead to the defining moment of choice. We see how Jesus’ choice of Peter was made well before speaking to him, while Peter’s choice of Jesus came at the end of an eventful day, where his obedience (in listening and doing) was heavily put to the test. Discipleship is both God’s choice to call us and our choice to respond. It is the encounter of God’s freedom with ours.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: What can we understand of the discipleship of faith by looking at Jesus and Peter?

Hope: Is it reasonable to answer God’s call? Will it lead to happiness?       
Love: Jesus’ personal call to us is always made out of love, and it is a call to love. Do we dare believe in this all-demanding love?   



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

I sometimes wonder whether our priests do not over estimate their flocks, and suppose us to know things of which many Catholics are ignorant.  For example, about forty years ago I was in conversation with a child of my age (about 13) and discovered that in spite (or, dare I say, because) of going to Catholic schools, she had no idea either when the Consecration happened, or what it was that did happen.  By my recollection, it was not only  that she did not know the words, but that she did not know the fact: she did not know that Jesus is made present on the altar when the priest says ‘this is my body’ and that after the consecration there is neither normal bread nor wine of any kind on the altar, but only Jesus Christ, body blood soul and divinity. 


Read the full reflection here.  



Deacon Martin writes...

This week, I have been off sick from work, with a virus. (I’m feeling better now). I was feeling very tired and lacking in energy. Fortunately, in between many bouts of sleep, I did have the rare luxury of some additional reflection. I thought about how, much of the time, I rely on my own energy and abilities; however, illness – even a relatively minor one like mine – reminds us that we can’t achieve everything ourselves.  It’s a pity that it sometimes takes illness or some other interruption to normality, to remind us of this important truth.


The Lord is always offering us His help, but all too often we are deaf to His voice. In each of this coming Sunday’s readings (5th Sunday in Ordinary Time), He provides help:

• The prophet Isaiah has his sins forgiven, so that he can be sent as the Lord’s messenger (Isa 6:1-8)
• The psalmist thanks the Lord for his faithfulness and love, He Who “stretch[es] out [His] hand to save me” (Ps 137:1-5, 7-8)
• Paul the apostle tells the church of Corinth that God’s grace “has not been fruitless” in him; rather it “has worked harder than any of the others” (1 Cor 15:1-11)
• In the Gospel, Jesus encourages Simon Peter to “put out into deep water”, and despite Simon’s scepticism, the fishermen are “overcome” with the size of the catch. (Lk 5:1-11)


We only need to turn to the Lord, and we will give us not only what we need, but a superabundance, which, as the psalmist says, “excel[s] all we ever knew of you”, because “Your hand will do all things for me” (Ps 137)


How can we trust the Lord more? I’d suggest there are 3 ways:


1. Face the facts
We are sinners, but we don’t need to wallow in misery; the Lord promises to restore us, as he did for Isaiah, the psalmist, Paul the apostle, and Simon Peter who called for help. Nevertheless, accepting our limitations is a good first step, before looking for relief from them.
2. Remember the past
Sunday’s readings are just a few of the scripture passages that remind us how many times in the past the Lord has come to our help, and will therefore come to anyone who seeks Him. We can learn to trust Him through experience – including others’.
3. Listen to His voice
  1. There’s a small phrase in the Gospel which we can easily miss: Simon Peter agrees to put out his nets again “if you say so” (Lk 5:5).
  1. Trust is based on relationship; we trust a “someone”: Jesus is not an abstraction, but a person, Someone Who loves us, and is calling to us.

Who is it better to rely on, not just when things get tough, but at all times? On ourselves, whose power will fail (Ps 33:16-22; Ps 73:26) – or on the Lord, Whose strength is limitless (Ps 89:8), Whose love is never-ending (Ps 136), and Who is faithful for ever? (Ps 146:6)



Healing Seminars

Fr Nicholas Broadbridge OSB of Douai Abbey  has run healing seminars for the past 30 years. He will do a series of four seminars at St. Joseph’s Church Hall, Tilehurst  RG31 5JJ from 10.00 until 17.00.


Seminar 1.  Healing of Memories, Saturday 16th February

Seminar 2.  Deliverance, Saturday 9th March

Seminar 3.  Gift & Gifts of the Spirit, Saturday 30th March

Seminar 4.  Healing Families, Saturday 6th April


Anyone wishing to attend a seminar must send Fr Nicholas an email that they wish to attend as he sends out notes to read and “homework” to prepare before attendance. Please contact Fr Nicholas. Please bring a bible and food for sharing at lunch. An offering of £15 is acceptable.


Many people report a tangible experience of God’s peace from attending the day, and healing can occur in many ways. Some people repeat the seminars and find they learn more each time.



"New Life in Christ" conference, 16-17 March.

The Cor et Lumen Christi Community invite you to their "New Life in Christ" conference which will take place at Highfield House in Chertsey on 16th-17th March. 


The course is aimed to re-evangelise lukewarm Catholics with dynamic teachings plus times of response and to call them further in a personal relationship with Christ in the heart of the Church. It's also good for people who are more active in the church and they want to learn how to evangelise. For more information and to book a place, please see here.


The Christian life... is an encounter with Jesus Christ. And it's the Holy Spirit who brings me to this encounter with Jesus Christ. Pope Francis 2016.




Visit of Our Lady of Walsingham statue

Next year, on 25th March 2020, the Feast of the Annunciation, England is going to be rededicated as the ‘Dowry of Mary’ and in preparation for this the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham will be visiting our Cathedral in a few week’s time, from 4th to 7th April. Click on the picture for a brief message about this from Mgr. John Armitage, director of the national shrine in Walsingham. The title “Dowry of Mary’ goes back to St. Edward the Confessor (d. 1066). There is no doubt, about the deep devotion to Our Lady that existed in medieval England, and the fame of Walsingham and other medieval English Shrines of Our Lady throughout Europe are a strong testimony to this devotion. It was in 1381 that our country was ‘officially’ dedicated to Her by King Richard II. The aim of the rededication in 2020 is to seek the help of the Mother of God in building a strong spiritual foundation for the New Evangelisation. We call upon Our Lady to guide and protect our country in the years to come, that our people may work together to face the challenges of our times, as we work to build a Common Good.


During the course of 2018 to 2020 as part of the preparation for the re-dedication, the statue of Our Lady from the Slipper Chapel at the Catholic National Shrine in Walsingham is being taken to every Cathedral in England for a three-day triduum of prayer. Each visit takes place between a Thursday and Saturday. Here in the Diocese of Portsmouth, the Statue will be at the Cathedral from 4th to 7th April. Already Fr. PJ Smith and the Cathedral parish is preparing for this unique event and in time more details will be made available.



Join us for the Lourdes Pilgrimage this summer

Portsmouth Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2019: 25th-29th July (4 nights)

I am inviting you to join me on our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. I will be leading the Pilgrimage supported by Fr PJ Smith and young people from throughout our Diocese.


Our pilgrimage will begin on Thursday 25th July with a morning flight from Southampton Airport to Bordeaux and a coach transfer to Lourdes where we are due to arrive in time for lunch.  Throughout our pilgrimage you will be ably supported by our young people, who will push wheelchairs, provide steadying arms as needed, lead music at our liturgies, support the delivery of catechesis, and above all extend the hand of friendship and hospitality to each of us.  We will all stay in the Hotel La Solitude where we will be able to enjoy air conditioned rooms at a location that is very close to the Shrine.  Our pilgrimage will end on the 29th July again with a morning flight which will ensure that we are all home in time for tea refreshed in body and spirit.


Promotional material and booking forms have been sent to all parish offices and can also be downloaded here. Further details can also be obtained from our Diocesan Pilgrimage Co-ordinator, Sue, by either calling her on 07780 221686 or emailing her.


Young people can still volunteer to join the pilgrimage by contacting Tom Sellers.



Oberammergau pilgrimage - two single rooms available

We have, unexpectedly, a further two single rooms available on our fantastic pilgrimage to Oberammergau and Lake Garda in May 2020. Oberammergau, a village in Germany’s Bavarian Alps, is known for its once-a-decade performance of the Passion Play, and those who go to it find it an unforgettable experience. We will spend two nights in Oberammergau followed by three nights in wonderful Lake Garda. We leave by air for Munich on Monday, May 25 and return on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Guide price is £1425 per person (plus a £200 single supplement). This cost includes almost everything but lunches and personal expenses such as souvenirs and travel insurance. A full spiritual programme will be available. This will be a fantastic pilgrimage, and it has been extremely popular, so if it is of interest do not delay in getting in touch as these remaining two rooms will not last. For further information, email Yvette Harrington. 


Could you empower young people to make a difference?

CAFOD school volunteers inspire young people in our Catholic primary and secondary schools to explore global justice issues and care for their brothers and sisters around the world. We have a fantastic team of school volunteers in the Portsmouth diocese but we are always looking for more members especially in Guernsey, and in the Portsmouth area.  So, if you are a good communicator and have time during the week to visit schools to deliver assemblies and workshops then please consider this role. Full training and support are provided. 


“It’s a real privilege to be able to visit our Diocesan Schools and share the amazing work that CAFOD is able to accomplish due to the ongoing support of Schools and Parishes. The children are so eager to learn about their brothers and sisters in the developing world and have a real empathy for them in recognising the injustices and social inequalities that exist. Volunteering has allowed me to keep in touch with Catholic Education, work alongside young people and meet old and new friends. I love it when I go into schools and the children recognise me as the CAFOD lady and occasionally I’ll be greeted in the same way out of school. It’s great to have a sense of purpose and be a very small cog in ‘machinery’ that makes up our amazing Catholic charity CAFOD.”  Linda Heneghan school volunteer in Reading area.


Please contact Jo Lewry for more information by email or phone 01252 329385.  



New Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle

Our congratulations to Bishop Robert Byrne who has been appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle by Pope Francis. The Holy See announced his appointment yesterday, 4th February. Bishop Byrne succeeds the Right Reverend Séamus Cunningham, who has been Bishop of the Diocese since 2009. He will be the fourteenth Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. His Episcopal Installation will be celebrated in St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle, on Monday 25th March. 


Bishop Robert and I were students, although in different departments, at Kings College London in the late 1970s. I remember him not only as a fellow-Catholic but a fellow Northerner! Born in Manchester on 22nd September 1956, he was ordained priest in 1985. Formerly Provost of the Oxford Oratory, he became the first Oratorian bishop in England for 140 years when he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham in 2014. Speaking of his appointment, Bishop Byrne said: “I am deeply humbled by the trust Pope Francis has placed in me with this appointment as Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle. I would like to thank the people and priests of the Archdiocese of Birmingham where I have served for the past five years and, in particular, Archbishop Bernard for his constant kindness and support. I look forward to making my home in the North East, with its rich Christian heritage, and also getting to know and serve the people, deacons, religious and priests of the Diocese. I ask all of you to keep me in your prayers as I pray for you.”


Read more here. 



Helping Our Homeless in Southsea

It was very cold last week, as you know, but I was pleased to visit the Homeless Project in St. Swithun’s Southsea. The Project includes Eucharistic Adoration and prayer in church from 7.30 pm onwards, whilst in the parish centre, a meal is provided for the homeless and a bed for the night. Food and accommodation is offered  for ten to twelve people.  I joined everyone for the meal, met the impressive helpers and spent a lot of time chatting with the homeless, who on that evening were all men. A few were British and a few were Polish and the Poles were delighted to be able to converse in their mother tongue with Fr. Marcin Drabik, the parish priest. There were also some Romanians there too, clearly a long way from home. St. Swithun’s has one of the best and most attractive websites of all our parishes: check it out here.  The Caritas Open Church Project in Southsea was piloted in 2018. In it volunteers from seven Christian churches in the area provide a hot meal, friendship and bed for one night a week for the homeless during the coldest winter period from the 7th January to 3rd March.  If you are interested in knowing more, contact Lisa Butler, (Caritas Open Church Coordinator, St Swithun’s).



Communion and Liberation Assembly

Last Saturday, I was in Winchester for an Assembly of the members and groups of Communion and Liberation (CL) from across the Diocese. CL is a movement that has as its purpose the formation of its members in faith in order to make them co-workers in the Church’s mission in all areas of society. It was founded by Father Luigi Giussani (1922-2005) in 1954 in Milan. As Pope Benedict XVI declared, CL “today … offers a profound way of life and actualizes the Christian faith, both in a total fidelity and communion with the Successor of Peter and with the Pastors who assure the governing of the Church, and through spontaneity and freedom that permit new and prophetic, apostolic and missionary achievements”  Today, CL is present in over ninety countries and is guided by Fr. Julián Carrón, who succeeded Fr. Giussani after his death in 2005. No form of membership enrolment is involved, but only the free participation of individual persons. The basic instrument for the formation of those who belong to the Movement is a weekly catechesis which is called the School of Community. You can read more about CL here.  We are really pleased to have with us in the Diocese in St Swithun Wells parish in Eastleigh Fr. Raffaele Cossa and Fr. Luca Speziale, as well as a seminarian.



UK Invictus Games Vice-Captain inspires Farnborough Hill pupils

Pupils at Farnborough Hill were thrilled to welcome Spencer Bull, Vice Captain of Team UK at the 2018 Invictus Games. Spencer spent 29 years in the Army as an Infantry Officer, serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kuwait. In 2005, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and now relies on his specialised wheelchair to continue with daily life. Fed up of just watching sport, he sought out opportunities to participate in the sports he had previously enjoyed. He worked hard to manage his condition, gaining strength and skill and earning the position of Vice Captain of Team UK for the Invictus Games. He competed in four disciplines in Sydney: athletics, cycling, sailing and swimming.


Spencer gave an inspirational talk during Assembly, followed by a thought-provoking workshop on resilience with Year 7.  He finished off with a lunchtime Think Tank session for pupils from other year groups, including our Academic Scholars. The girls were able to consider and discuss all sorts of issues raised by Spencer, as well as asking questions about the Games and his experiences of living with MS.


Read more here.



Praying for our Seminarians  

Our Seminarian to keep in your prayers this month is David Bateman.


David is in his 2nd year of Formation at St Mary’s College, Oscott.  He has links with the Cathedral Parish in Portsmouth.


David writes:  “I have thought about the sacred Priesthood since the age of 9, and on what seems like a long journey I am now in my second year of formation.  I became a Catholic at the age 17.  I didn’t go to university, instead after college I joined my brother and became a builder.  I did this for 5 years until I met with the Bishop and we both decided that it was time to stop thinking about Priesthood and do something about it.  I left my Job, family and friends to join seminary.  I am extremely happy with where I am now, and I am proud to be a Seminarian for the Diocese of Portsmouth.”


David has asked that during February: “I would ask that all Seminarians be kept in our prayers and for the Rector at Oscott College who has a tough job and is an inspirational Priest to us future Priests.  I ask for prayers for the Bishop of Portsmouth and for the Vocation Director both of whom have played an important role, not just in my life but so many others as well.  Please pray for my family as well, I am blessed with a family who I love very much, and they have been very supportive of my vocation.”



Sister Anne Eason

Sr. Anne Eason will make Solemn Profession of vows at St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde on 9th February 2019.  Sr. Anne was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and educated there by the Cabra Dominicans.  After completing degrees at Rhodes University in English and Biblical Studies with classical Hebrew, she entered the Community of St. Mary the Virgin in its Southern African Province.  She was sent to complete her novitiate at the mother house in England and did not return to live in South Africa.  When Pope Benedict erected the Ordinariate, she, together with eleven other sisters, was taken in by St. Cecilia’s Abbey in early 2013.  After the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as they were now called) were established at Kingstanding, Birmingham later that year, Sr. Anne transferred to St Cecilia’s Abbey with the blessing of Mother Winsome and the Sisters.  Sr. Anne runs the Abbey printery, is a chantress and assists in various monastery departments. Please pray for her.



Emiliano Sala RIP

The missing plane that was carrying the Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has now been found. It’s on the seabed just off the coast of Guernsey, almost two weeks after it went missing. The flight had been carrying Sala, who had just been signed up for Cardiff City, and Ibbotson from Nantes, in north west France, to Cardiff. I am sure we will be hearing more about this tragic story in the news over the next days as an attempt is made to salvage the wreckage. The crash occurred, of course, in the area of our Diocese of Portsmouth and so we rightly pray for their repose and also for their bereaved families. Next weekend I’ll be in Lymington for the Pastoral Visitation and I will offer one of the Masses for them. Meanwhile, let us pray for the safety of all who are travelling by land, sea or air during these wintry weeks. Here is a prayer to the Guardian Angel that I always say before setting off on a journey:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,

to whom God’s love commits me here,

ever this day be at my side,

to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.



Bishop Philip's Engagements             

Wednesday 6th February

Bishops' Conference Evangelisation and Catechesis Department Meetings


Thursday 7th February

Various internal meetings, Bishop's House


Friday 8th February

Schools and Academies Department meeting, Bishop's House

Liturgy meeting, Bishop's House


Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th February

Parish Visitation: Lymington, Milford-on-Sea and Brockenhurst 


Monday 11th February  

Seminary Visit, St Mary's College, Oscott


Tuesday 12th February

Bishops’ Meeting, St Mary's College, Oscott


Thursday 14th February

Clergy Day, Norton Hotel


Friday 15th February

Church Leaders Meeting, Bishop’s House


Saturday 16th February

St Valentine’s Day Event for Engaged Couples,

Parish Visitation: Gosport



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 3rd February


Diocesan Prayer: Brigidine Sisters in the Diocese 


Monday 4th February

Feria [4th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Holy Rood, Folly Bridge, Oxford (consecrated 5.2.1962)  


Tuesday 5th February

St Agatha, Virgin, Martyr, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart, Bournemouth (consecrated 5.2.1975)


Wednesday 6th February

St Paul Miki & Companions, Martyrs, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Chapel of St Amand, East Hendred


Thursday 7th February

Feria [4th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Bellringers’ Guild of St Agatha


Friday 8th February

St Josephine Bakhita, Religious, optional memorial

or: St Jerome Emiliani, Founder, optional memorial

or: Feria [4th Week in Ordinary Time]

National Prayer Cycle: Victims of Human Trafficking

Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Community at East Oakley

Most Revd Derek Worlock, 5th Bishop of Portsmouth (RIP 1996)


Saturday 9th February

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [4th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady of Lourdes, Hungerford


Sunday 10th February


Diocesan Prayer: Benedictine Nuns in the Diocese


Forthcoming Events  

Friday 8th February 

Feast of St Josephine Bakhita

Day of Prayer against Human Trafficking


Saturday 9th February 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing

St Theresa of the Child Jesus Totton 2:30pm to 4:30pm


Saturday 16th February 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing

St Thomas of Canterbury Cowes IoW 10:30 am to 12:30pm


Monday 18th February 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing

Christ the King, Reading 7:15pm to 9pm


Wednesday 20th February

Fr John Lavers talks about the Apostleship of the Sea

St Patrick's Hayling Island, 6.30pm

Read more


Thursday 21st February 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing

St Margaret Mary, Park Gate 7:15pm to 9pm


Saturday 23rd February 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing

St Bede’s, Basingstoke 10:30am to 1pm 


Saturday 23rd February

Poetry Reading with Four Poets
Quarr Abbey, IOW

Read more


Saturday 23rd February

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

Read more  


Sunday 24th February

Bosco Experience

St Peter's Winchester

Read more  


Saturday 2nd March

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 2nd March

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Tuesday 5th March 

CAFOD Lent Fast Day briefing

St Joseph’s, Newbury 7:15pm to 9pm


Friday 8th - Sunday 10th March

Monastic Experience Weekend

Quarr Abbey

Read more


Saturday 9th March 

Rite of Election

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth 11am


Saturday 30th March

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day

St James', Reading

Read more


Saturday 6th April

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 6th April

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 4th May

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 4th May

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 1st June

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 1st June

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 15th June

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more


Saturday 6th July

Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass

St Bede's Basingstoke

Read more


25th-30th July 2019

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August 2019

Don Bosco Camp

Read more


October 2019

Extraordinary Mission Month


8th-15th October 2019

Pilgrimage to Malta
Read more


25th - 30th May 2020

Trip to Bavaria - Oberammergau and Lake Garda
Read more




Job Vacancies    

Chief Operating Officer  

The Diocese is seeking a Chief Operating Officer to lead the entire business function of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth Trust (“The Charity”) to deliver the Bishop’s Vision. The Diocese includes 91 parishes, 53 schools and covers the area from Portsmouth to Windsor and from to Hungerford and Bournemouth and also includes the Channel Islands.


The COO will work closely with the Trustees of the Charity to convert the Bishop’s Vision into a Strategy from which a Financial Strategy will be developed. Working closely with the Chairs of each of the Vicariates, the holder will need to develop processes by which their respective strategies are implemented. 


The holder will provide leadership to all the staff that empowers them to identify the changes required to improve the efficiency of the business function thereby furthering the impact of the Bishop’s Vision in a cost-effective manner. The culture of the organisation will need to be developed in order to measure the success of various initiatives such that best value can be identified. 


The holder will support the Communications Director to develop communications across the administration of the diocese to create a more inclusive culture between the Diocesan organisation and the Parishes. 


The closing date for applications is 24th February 2019. 


Further information and application details



Parish Administrator - St John Bosco, Woodley Reading

25 to 30 hours per week (hours subject to negotiation but each weekday desirable)


St John Bosco Parish wishes to appoint a Parish Administrator to provide a full confidential administrative and secretarial service to the Parish Priest and Woodley Parish, providing a sympathetic and efficient focal point for enquiries and administrative support. The parish office is a busy place and you will be running the office yourself but with a small team of volunteers and other parish staff in the church as colleagues.


Applicants should be experienced in administration with excellent communication skills. A good knowledge of Microsoft Word and Publisher are essential and you should be comfortable working in a Catholic Church environment.


Closing date for applications: Tuesday 12th February (9am)

Interviews to be held: Friday 22nd February


For more information and how to apply see here.



Parish Secretary / Administrator - St Colman with St Paul Parish

28 hours per week (initially 9am – 4.30pm Monday to Thursday)


St Colman’s with St. Paul Parish wishes to appoint a Parish Secretary/Administrator to work in the Parish Office. The role will be to facilitate the smooth running of the Parish Office and the Parish Halls and to provide secretarial support to Father Innaiah Maddineni.


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 and familiarity with reconciling accounts are essential.


Closing date for applications: Friday 15th February (12 Noon)

Interviews to be held: Monday 4th March (at St Colman’s, Cosham) 


For more information and how to apply see 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.


The right candidate for our new Chief Operating Officer


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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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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