Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 26th February 2019 - Issue 218 (2019/08)


Dear Friends,

Next week, Wednesday 6th March is Ash Wednesday, when we begin the great season of Lent – a wonderful time of spiritual renewal. So do give some thought over the next days as how you intend to take good advantage of the Lenten season and all that the Lord offers during this special time. I’ll speak a bit more about Lent in next week’s e-News. Meanwhile, this week in this edition of e-News, I hope you enjoy all the news, prayers and formation. You can read all about the new Norms on Healing Ministry for the diocese, plus an update on the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Please consider joining the choir for the Chrism Mass (see below) - and remember to pray for dear Canon Dermot MacDermot-Roe who passed away last week. May God bless you and your family and friends.        



New Diocesan Norms on Healing Ministry

This last weekend, I released some new Norms on Healing and Deliverance Ministry for the Diocese alongside my Pastoral Letter ‘Healing’: you can read the new Norms here


The norms have been formed at a poignant time in the Church. Their aim is to make the spiritual welfare and the safeguarding of the faithful of utmost importance. I have instituted a “Healing Advisory Group” “to act as a point of reference for healing ministry and ministers” (19) and we are currently organising training sessions for clergy and laity involved in healing ministry.The pastoral initiatives of healing that have developed over the last decades are laudable, but they must adhere to the Norms, as well as the national policies relating to safeguarding the vulnerable. In the Pastoral Letter,  I differentiated the three practices of healing, deliverance and exorcism, and in what ways and by whom these practices should be ministered. The Norms  are practical in nature, reminding us that in individual prayer for healing, national safeguarding policy requires that, in addition to the minister and the individual, at least one other person should be present. On the other hand, healing is primarily to be sought in the sacraments: “prayer and the sacraments are the ordinary means of grace that God has provided”. Copies of the Pastoral letter, (Print, Video, Audio) and guidelines – ‘Norms for Healing and Deliverance Ministry’ can be found at here. 



Scott Hahn on 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In Sunday’s readings we hear Jesus speaking in Galilee as well as a Jewish sage named Sirach [Ecclesiasticus] writing in Jerusalem more than a century earlier. The two of them touch upon a single truth: The words that come out of us make known the hidden thoughts within us. Speech reveals the secrets of the heart. Sirach teaches that speaking is “the test of men” and their character. One who is upright will utter words that are truthful and encouraging to others. But one whose heart is cluttered with “refuse” will be exposed, since the “fruit” of his mouth speaks volumes about the “tree” that produces it . Sirach also compares the testing of our words to clay fired in a kiln—if properly prepared, a useful vessel emerges; but if the clay is not fully dried, it will break apart in the extreme heat. In a similar way, Jesus insists that a person speaks “out of the abundance of the heart”. He too compares our speech, whether good or bad, to what grows on a tree: “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit”. 


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



Saints of the Diocesan Calendar - St Vignal

St Vignal, Abbot, is commemorated in Alderney on 3rd March.


Vignal is a patois corruption of the Latin Guingualeus, itself a translation of the French Guénolé or Guignole, from the Anglo-Saxon Winwaloe / Winwallus / Winwalloc. There are some fifty variants of his name, which survives in the dedication of some churches in Brittany, Cornwall and Monmouthshire.


St Vignal was born about the year 460, possibly in Plouguin, to Fracan, a prince of Dumnonia [Brittany] and his wife Gwen Teirbron [“Gwen the Triple-Breasted”]. He became the first Abbot founder of the Abbey of Landévennec, just south of Brest, and died there on 3 March 532.


He is supposed to have assisted St Sampson and St Magloire in evangelising the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which includes Alderney, in the 6th century. Some relics were preserved at Montreuil-sur-Mer and in St Peter’s, Ghent, and until the 19th century his tomb was visible in the church at Landévennec.



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

“Blindness” - 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (Luke 6:39-45 )

Jesus teaches us this Sunday that the worst blindness is not physical but moral. The worst possible blindness is not a defect of the eyes but a defect of the heart, the inability to see oneself and others in the light of truth and love. Growing in self-knowledge is an important part of the Christian journey. This self-knowledge should always be accompanied by the knowledge of God’s love, which is the foundation of reality.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How can I see myself in the light of truth and love?

Hope: How can I persevere in hope for myself and others?  

Love: How can I choose to love others when appearances tell me that love is impossible?



An invitation to the Rite of Election

The Rite of Election, which normally takes place on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday, takes place this year in the Cathedral on Saturday 9th March at 1100h – and I want to invite you to come and join us for it! The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, to give it its full title, is the liturgy in which those adults who are preparing for Baptism this Easter and those who are being received into full communion with the Catholic Church are presented to the Bishop for the Church’s blessing. For the ‘catechumens’ (those under catechesis for Baptism) especially, this Rite is important: it’s the moment in their formation when they are formally ‘elected’ or chosen by the Bishop, on the testimony of their godparents and others, to become members of the Church. Their names are inscribed in the Book of the Elect to signify that they have heard the Lord calling them by name and that they wish to respond publicly to His call.


The Rite of Election is always full of joy! This year we have refreshed the Liturgy and its arrangements. Since the mission of our Diocese of Portsmouth is Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church and as a sign that mission and evangelisation is always our first priority, I wanted to invite everyone to come and join us for the celebration. Please encourage catechumens and candidates to come along, together with their sponsors, families and friends, registering first through their parish or email Sr. Hyacinthe. Clergy are invited to support those being received and to vest for the celebration, joining with the Bishop in the procession.



Outcomes of the Clergy Abuse Summit

Click on the photo for the text of the Homily that Pope Francis gave during the closing Mass last Sunday of the Meeting of the Bishops on the Protection of Minors in the Church. In it, he listed eight points the Church will focus on and promised an “all-out battle” against the sexual abuse of minors. The Catholic News Service summarised these eight points as follows:

• A “change of mentality” to focus on protecting children rather than “protecting the institution.”

• A recognition of the “impeccable seriousness” of these “sins and crimes of consecrated persons.”

• A genuine purification beginning with “self-accusation.”

• Positive formation of candidates for the priesthood in the virtue of chastity.

• Strengthening and reviewing of guidelines by episcopal conferences, reaffirming the need for “rules.”

• The accompaniment of those who have been abused with an emphasis on listening.

• Ensure that seminarians and clergy are not enslaved to an addiction to pornography.

• Combat sexual tourism around the world.


This, the Holy Father said, would “turn this evil into an opportunity for purification.” Dubbed the Vatican’s “Sex Abuse Summit”, the meeting, which was held last week from 21st to 24th February, was called in response to the recent waves of revelations from around the world. It focused on the themes of responsibility, accountability, and the transparency of bishops. It also included testimony from victims of abuse and a penitential liturgy.



From Deacon Martin

When the Deacon (or Priest) finishes the reading of the Gospel, he kisses the Book of the Gospels, and says quietly: “Through the words of the Gospel, may our sins be wiped away”.


This is a wonderful prayer, which attests to the power of the word of God in the scriptures. It recalls Jn 15:3, where Jesus tells His disciples: “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”


Notice that the power to remove sin, comes from the One to Whom the word belongs: Christ Jesus. For the words of the Gospel do not belong to the reader, whether priest or deacon, but to Christ Himself. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, (29) says that when the scriptures are read in the Church, God speaks to His people, “and Christ, present in His own word, proclaims the Gospel.”


So thanks be to God, that the efficacy of the Gospel at Mass is not dependent on the capability of the reader, but on Christ. Because the word of God, throughout scripture, is a word that is alive and active (Heb 4:12) and always performs; it is not just a word that is heard and then cast aside. As Isaiah 55:11 says: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear fruit... so My word which goes forth from My mouth, will not return to Me empty, without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”


As we listen to the word of God proclaimed at Mass, let’s hear, not the human voice of the reader, but the divine voice of its Author - and in doing so, let that word transform us as its Author intends.



Can you help with the Chrism Mass?

Can you sing? Are you a musician? Would you be willing to help with the music at the Chrism Mass this Holy Week?


The Chrism Mass is at 11 o’clock here in the Cathedral on Tuesday 16th April and it’s always a very special occasion. The Roman Missal says: The Chrism Mass, which the Bishop concelebrates with his priests, should, as it were, be a manifestation of the priests’ communion with their Bishop; it is desirable that all priests participate in it. Over this last weekend, I met with the excellent Chris Olding, who has generously agreed to be the Director of Music for this year’s celebration. Besides the organ, we’re hoping this time to have a small orchestra and music group, alongside an ad hoc choir of volunteers from across the diocese. The music this year will be a blend of old and new, but with an emphasis on beauty – only the best for the Lord. At the moment Chris is finalising the schedule of music to be sung, but he is appealing for singers willing to assist. He intends to arrange a practice one evening a couple of weeks before the Mass, probably in the Eastleigh area. If you would be willing to help or want further information, please email Martin Ryan who is helping Chris and Fr. PJ Smith with the administration. 



Diocesan Pastoral Council

Last Friday I went to Winchester for a meeting with Fr. Mark Hogan, Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation, in order to discuss among other matters the forthcoming annual Diocesan Pastoral Council. This will take place on Saturday 26th October – please reserve the date! – and will be open to anyone in the Diocese engaged in the work of mission and evangelisation. There is a small working group that meets regularly to plan the Council, which is consultative in nature and an opportunity for the Bishop and the Bishop’s Council to hear the views of the laity. The topic this year is reaching out to non-practising Catholics (the “lapsed”). Why do they leave or why do they not practice? What are we doing about this and what might we do? And how can the ‘not-yet-practising’ be encouraged to return to faith? The problem of the ‘lapsed’ is a grave challenge to our Diocese. Did you know that over the last 25 years, our Mass-practice has collapsed by almost 50% and that in many of our parishes only about one in ten practice? In 2016, we conducted a survey called “My Story Shared,” the results of which have just been published in the book I recommended last week (edited by Stephen Bullivant et al: Why Catholics Leave, What They Miss and How They Might Return (New York, Paulist: 2019 [ISBN 978-0-8091-5409-8]). One of my chief hopes as Bishop and Shepherd is that we will all try much more intentionally and effectively to reach out to the not practicing in order to try and bring as many of these souls as we can into, or ‘back into’, a deeper union with Our Lord in the sacraments and the life of His Church.



Why I'm Not Leaving the Church and 3 Things We Can Do to Fix It

One of the many inspiring speakers at SEEK2019 in Indianapolis last month was Chris Stefanick. Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia has called Chris Stefanick “one of the most engaging young defenders of the Christian faith on the scene today.” He speaks to over 90,000 teenagers, young adults, and parents every year. He has an excellent YouTube channel called Real Life Catholic, which you can see here. Many of his videos are short clips and messages. Click on the picture above for a brief video, in which Stefanick gives his response to the current clergy abuse crisis in the Church and what we can do. “Now more than ever people need to know there is something more to life” he says. “Now more than ever people need to know - really know - that the answer is the Good News Jesus offers. And that is why now, more than ever, people need us to get back to basics: Pray. Serve the poor. Preach the Gospel.” It is an uplifting message as the bishops leave the special meeting they had with the Holy Father in Rome this last week. Let us pray for a good outcome.




40 Days for Life at Bournemouth

A message from the Friars at Gosport...


For 50 years this unjust destruction of human life has been taking place on our doorsteps and is being funded by our taxes. 56 Million lives are destroyed by the barbarism of Abortion globally each year. No longer is heart disease or cancer the greatest cause of fatalities in the world. No, this prize goes tragically to abortion. The life of the child in the womb, which in God’s designs, should be the safest place imaginable, has now become the place most dangerous for survival. We are living in a modern day “Holocaust”.


In the year 2007, an international organisation called 40 Days for Life was formed to help bring about an end to abortion through the methods of prayer, sacrifice and street witness. Due to their campaigns, it is estimated that in the past 12 years, 15,256 unborn children have been spared from the evil of abortion alongside the closure of many abortion facilities throughout the world. And so this year we will be running again our own 40 Days for Life campaign in Bournemouth outside the BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) Abortion Centre at 23-25 Ophir Road (BH8 8LS) from 6th March 2019 (Ash Wednesday) until 14th April 2019 – and we would like to invite you to get involved in this campaign and battle for life! If you would like to participate please call the Coordinator on 07535 937865.


Read more here.  


Lourdes Pilgrimage

In last week’s Pastoral letter on Healing I invited everyone to join us on our diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. In fact, the pilgrimage is now half-full - so if you are thinking of joining us, please act soon! Click on the picture for my invitation. The pilgrimage lasts five days, from Thursday 25th July to Monday 29th July 2019 with 4 nights’ accommodation near the Grotto in the Hotel La Solitude. We fly from Southampton to Bordeaux, then there is a coach transfer from there to Lourdes. The cost, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner each day with a full pilgrimage programme, facilitated by Joe Walsh Tours in conjunction with the Diocese of Portsmouth, is £645. This also includes the usual airline taxes and charges, UK government levy and Lourdes city tax. In conjunction with the main pilgrimage is our diocesan youth pilgrimage. The youth will be staying with us in Hotel La Solitude. They will be leading some of the liturgies and generally assisting, as well as having their own programme of formation, prayer and fun. The youth pilgrimage lasts 7 days from Wednesday 24th to Tuesday 30th July and travels by coach. The youth pilgrimage costs £475 per person. For more details, see here or contact Fr. PJ Smith on 07780 221686 or by e-mail.



Pilgrimage to the Eucharistic Miracles and special saints of Italy

Father Marcin Drabik invites you to join him on pilgrimage to Italy this September...


Following on from our successful trip last year to eastern Europe –Poland, Lithuania & Ukraine - this year St Swithun’s Parish is having its annual Pilgrimage to Italy. We will leave on 16th and return on 26th September 2019. During this time we will visit the various sites where the Eucharistic Miracles have taken place and other places of interest where our blessed saints are buried, including: Padua, Loreto, Manopello, San Giovani Rotondo, Pompeii, Naples, Assisi, Ferrara, Macerata, Lanciano, Serracapriola, Bolsena, Orvieto, Cascia and Siena.


You can find all the details (with short videos and short extracts about the places we will visit) on our website here. You will find cost, dates, locations, payment details and how to register for this exciting trip. We would love you to come.



Pilgrimage to Knock this autumn

Fr Tom Grufferty is leading a pilgrimage to Knock, County Mayo in October.


Knock Shrine is a special place in County Mayo in the west of Ireland because of the apparition that took place there in 1879. The Story of Knock began on 21st August 1879 when, at approximately 8 o’clock in the evening, fifteen people from the village of Knock in Co. Mayo, witnessed an Apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Lamb and cross on an altar at the gable wall of the Parish Church. The witnesses watched the Apparition in the pouring rain for two hours, reciting the Rosary. Although they themselves were saturated not a single drop of rain fell on the gable or vision. There were fifteen official witnesses to the Apparition, most of whom were from the village of Knock and surrounding areas and ranged in age from just 5 years old to 74 years old. Each of the witnesses gave testimonies to a Commission of  Enquiry in October 1879. The findings of the Commission were that the testimonies were both trustworthy and satisfactory.


The cost of the pilgrimage is £595, which includes: return flights from Gatwick. Half Board, shared accommodation, staying at St. Mary’s Guest House (single rooms available). Full program to include a comprehensive introduction to all the facilities at the Shrine with time allowed for all religious services. Coach trips to include visits to Ballintubber Abbey, Westport, Croagh Patrick, Galway City, and many other local attractions. Personal insurance in not included.


For a booking form and more details contact Fr Tom Grufferty by e-mail or by telephone: 023 92520167 or 07905 949198    



Meeting of our Trustees

Last Thursday, our Trustees met for one of their six-times a year full board meetings. We have six priests and a deacon on our Board of Trustees, and also seven lay people with diverse professional expertise, together with the Bishop as the Chair. The Trustees are responsible for directing the affairs of the Diocese as a charity, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering charitable outcomes for the benefit of all. Trustees must, for instance,

• ensure the Diocese complies with legal and regulatory requirements;
• report on achievements and prepare annual returns and accounts;
• ensure the Diocese remains faithful to its trust deeds;
• avoid misuse of Diocesan or Parish funds or assets;
• ensure that the Diocese remains solvent;
• use funds and assets only in furtherance of the Diocesan objectives;
• supervise investments and borrowing;
• use personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that the Diocese, its parishes and        departments are well-run and efficient.

The Trustees we have are magnificent and hard working! They bring much expertise to some of the knotty issues that arise, whilst scrutinising the work of the Diocese to ensure it complies with civil and canon law. Being a Trustee is a ministry that serves the Lord and His Church. I am always especially grateful to Hereward Drummond for his good work as our Secretary.



Pastoral Visitation of Our Lady and St. Edmund, Abingdon

This last weekend, I undertook the Pastoral Visitation of the excellent parish of Our Lady of Abingdon and St. Edmund, looked after by Fr. Jamie McGrath and Fr. Rob Stewart. Click on the picture for a picture of the clergy - and some other shots from the visit too. There were three packed Masses at 0845, 1015 and 1830. At the 1015, the choir led the Missa de Angelis and sang beautifully the motet at Communion Ave verum as well as other more contemporary hymns. It was a full day! After the later morning Mass, I met with some of the youth of the parish who were in the post-Confirmation second year programme, and then in the presbytery with representatives from the parish itself. The parish is a vibrant Christian community with real energy and enthusiasm and this can be seen in all the activities of service and mission. It has many groups that meet either at church or in parishioners’ homes: e.g. Charismatic Prayer Meeting, SVP, support for the homeless, a Baby and Toddler group, RCIA, Wednesday Cake & Conversation, Called and Gifted, Pre-Discipleship, ecumenical activities, Justice and Peace – you name it! The parish also has a splendid website: see here



Better prepared in Reading

Judith Crimmins reports on behalf of English Martyrs Health and Safety team...
41 people gathered at English Martyrs Parish in Reading for a Health and Safety Day, from the Reading Pastoral area and Wantage. Deacon Stephen Short attended in the morning to increase our knowledge of fire safety and everyone was able to practice using the different types of extinguishers available. Click on the photo for more images.  We are very grateful to Deacon Stephen for this.
In the afternoon we had a session on risk assessments, the need for these and some practical guidance on doing these.   This was in interactive Q & A session.
This was followed by a talk on first aid and we where reminded of the three "P's" of first aid:
• Preserve life – stop the person from dying.
• Prevent further injury – stop the person from being injured even more. If possible, an injured person should not be moved. ...
• Promote recovery – try to help the person heal their injuries
A number of people expressed interest in training for first aid and we are investigating have a course for the pastoral area in the not too distant future. We hope this won't be the last of the H&S days we have.


Lent Fast Day Meeting in Cowes

Jo Lewry, Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD Portsmouth reports on a recent Lent Fast Day briefing...


It has been fantastic to meet so many of our CAFOD parish volunteers at the Lent fast day meetings in February. We had a lovely morning at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Cowes.  Jess Michelmore, our Communications Officer for Latin America gave an informative talk about our work in Peru and how we support a project in Lima that provides safe places for children to play and learn.


At our meeting at Christ the King Church in Reading, Sally Kitchener, our content writer for the Communications Team told us the story of Mahinur who is featured on our Lent posters. Mahinur lives in Bangladesh and used to catch fish for a living but a drought caused the river to dry up and all the fish died. So now she struggles to provide food for her disabled husband and son. Sally told us that Mahinur needs our help and we hope to provide support for her and her family in the next few months. However, 1 in 3 projects that we are asked to fund we can’t do so because we don’t have enough money to go around which is why our fast days are so important. So please support the CAFOD Lent family fast day on Friday 15th March. 


Our final Lent meeting will be on Tuesday 5th March at 7:15pm at St Joseph’s Church Newbury. Kezia Harrow our Step into the Gap volunteer will talk about her trip to visit CAFOD projects in the Holy Land. Everyone is welcome so please do come along.



Project for Change Management

In preparation for the appointment of our new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Sue Broadbent will be working for us on our financial, administrative and governance systems. This is a project of change and so she will have the title ‘Director for Change Management.’ Sue is well-known to many of our retired clergy and also to our junior clergy, being a valued member of Canon Paul Townsend’s team as Vicar for Clergy. She will be stepping aside from some of her usual work for the next three months in order to put in place the recent Trustees’ review of our various systems and to help establish better financial, administrative and governance processes ahead of the new COO. We are also well into the current financial year and we need to engage now in budgeting for next year. She will be working with Chris Smith, our Director of Communications, on developing with Vicariates, Department and Framework teams their five-year plans around the diocesan vision of Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. This Vision will be clearly embedded in the thinking, planning and budgeting of our Framework teams, indeed, in all of us, if we are to be true to our mission. Sue has much experience of similar projects from the past and will be able to help everyone implement the kinds of changes to systems and structures needed in this period leading up to the appointment of the COO. Please pray for her and for the success of this project.



Canon Dermot MacDermot-Roe RIP

Please pray for the repose of Canon Dermot MacDermot-Roe, 89 years old, who died peacefully at the Marie Louise House care home in Romsey last Wednesday 20th February. He had his sister and members of his family from Ireland at the bedside and on the day before he died, I was pleased to visit him and administer to him the Last Rites and Apostolic Pardon. “Canon Mac” came from Dublin and studied for the priesthood at All Hallows. He was ordained a priest on the 17th June 1951. He was an assistant for many years at St Mary’s, Ryde, where many still remember him.  In 1964, the Bishop moved him to St Joseph’s, Bracknell and then in 1966 to St Bernard’s, Holbury. After a short time there, and for much of the rest of his priestly life, he was the parish priest of St Boniface’s, Southampton. In 1983, he was made a canon of the Cathedral Chapter and from 1983 to 1990 Dean of Southampton. In 2000, he became the parish priest of Our Lady and St. Edward’s, Lyndhurst until his retirement in 2005. May the Lord grant Fr. Dermot, who was much loved by those whom he served, eternal rest and joy. Requiem Mass will be offered Canon MacDermot-Roe at St Boniface Church, Southampton at 12 noon on Tuesday 19th March 2019. He will be buried afterwards in Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton.



Bishop Philip's Engagements              

Thursday 28th February

Council of Priests Meeting;  

Vicars General Meeting


Friday 1st March 

Meeting with Head of Safeguarding; 

Meeting with Head of Communications


Saturday 2nd March 

Flame, Wembley with Diocesan Youth 


Sunday 3rd March

11am Mass for Parish St James and St William of York, Reading;  

6pm Mass for University, St William of York, Reading  


Monday 4th March

Various internal meetings, Bishop’s House  


Tuesday 5th March  

Called and Gifted Meeting;  

Visit St John’s Seminary, Wonersh


Wednesday 6th March 

12:15pm Mass (Ash Wednesday), St John’s Cathedral  


Thursday 7th March

Bishop’s Council, Bishop’s House  


Friday 8th March

School Visitation: St Michael’s, Burghclere,

Blessing of new flats, Maryfield Convent, Hook  


Saturday 9th March 

Rite of Election, 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 24th February


Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Girlguiding UK members in the Diocese


Monday 25th February

Feria [7th week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Scout Association members in the Diocese


Tuesday 26th February

Feria [7th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan ‘Spirituality Development’ Group


Wednesday 27th February

St Gregory of Narek, Religious, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial

or: Feria [7th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: All Parish/Community Pastoral Councils


Thursday 28th February

Feria [7th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Oswald, Burghfield Common


Friday 1st March

ST DAVID, feast 

National Prayer Cycle: Women’s World Day of Prayer

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St David, East Cowes


Saturday 2nd March

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [7th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Women’s Network


Sunday 3rd March


National Prayer Cycle: The unemployed

Diocesan Prayer: National Board of Catholic Women 


Forthcoming Events  

Friday 1st-Sunday 3rd March

Guided weekend retreat: 

“I have brought you into the Land of Carmel”

Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB

Read more


Saturday 2nd March

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 2nd March

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

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Saturday 2nd March

Spiritual Enrichment Lecture:

Praying in the Company of Mary

Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB

Read more


Monday 4th March

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"The Winchester Cathedral Archives"

The Milner Hall, St Peter Street, Winchester SO23 8BW

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 2nd March

Spiritual Enrichment Lecture:

Carmelite Prayer, Mindfulness and Mental Prayer

Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB

Read more


Saturday 16th - Sunday 17th March 

Cor Et Lumen Christi Community: "New Life in Christ"

Highfield House, Chertsey

Read more


Friday 22nd-Sunday 24th March

Guided weekend retreat: 

“The Road Less Travelled”

Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB

Read more


Friday 29th-Sunday 31st March

Guided weekend retreat: 

“The Cross and the Glory of Christ”

Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB

Read more


Saturday 30th March

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day

St James', Reading

Read more


Thursday 4th - Sunday 7th April

Dowry of Mary Tour - Visit of the statue of
Our Lady of Walsingham to St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

Read more


Saturday 6th April

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 6th April

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

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Monday 8th April

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"Rubens & the Counter Reformation"

The Milner Hall, St Peter Street, Winchester SO23 8BW

Read more


Saturday 4th May

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

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Saturday 4th May

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

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Monday 13th May

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"‘Los Reyos Catolicos’ -
Isabel of Castile & Ferdinand of Aragon"

The Milner Hall, St Peter Street, Winchester SO23 8BW

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Saturday 1st June

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

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Saturday 1st June

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

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Monday 3rd June

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"The Impact of the Black Death (1348 -1349)
on the Diocese of Winchester"

The Milner Hall, St Peter Street, Winchester SO23 8BW

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Saturday 15th June

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more


Monday 3rd June

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"Thomas Cranmer - Who was he?"

(Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch)

Venue TBC

Read more


Saturday 6th July

Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass

St Bede's Basingstoke

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25th-30th July 2019

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August 2019

Don Bosco Camp

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Saturday 10th August

Visit and Tour of Aylesford Priory for the Deaf Community

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Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September 2019

Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles &
the special saints of Italy 

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October 2019

Extraordinary Mission Month


8th-15th October 2019

Pilgrimage to Malta
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25th - 30th May 2020

Trip to Bavaria - Oberammergau and Lake Garda
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Job Vacancies    

Part Time Housekeeper - Eastleigh


The Catholic Parish of St Swithun Wells requires a Part Time Housekeeper for the clergy in Eastleigh.


The position will be based in Eastleigh, and involves housekeeping support to the parish clergy; dealing with house cleaning, laundry for the clergy and house; grocery shopping and cooking of some meals. We require an enthusiastic and self-motivated person sympathetic to the ministry and mission of the Catholic Church. Good communication skills are a must and a flexible and positive attitude is required. The role promises a varied and interesting workload.


The job is part-time (7 hours per week– preferably Friday 09.30 to 17.30 including unpaid lunch break) with a salary of £3,476.20 per annum (FTE £17,381). For more details and an application form please see our Vacancies page here.


Closing date for applications: Friday 1st March (12 Noon).

Interview date: Friday 15th March.




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.


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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