Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 12th March 2019 - Issue 220 (2019/10)


Dear Friends,

Welcome to this week’s e-News - the first full week of Lent. I hope and pray your Lenten works of self-denial, prayer and charity are going well and bringing you closer to the Lord. I have a suggestion for prayer below: why not download and pray the Divine Office? I’m writing this from the English College in Rome, where I’m staying overnight and visiting our seminarians here and at the Beda. Please pray for them and also for the prospective students coming to the Discernment Conference at the end of the month. Meanwhile, our thanks to Deacon Craig for editing this bulletin and to all our contributors. God bless you - and Happy Lent!




The Purpose of Lent

Click on the picture of Fr. Mike Schmitz for his brief video-message on the purpose of Lent. I hope your Lent has got off to a good start. In this video, Fr. Mike asks about what is the real connection between the Israelites’ forty years in the desert and the forty days of Lent. True, they both involve the number forty—which often represents a time of test and trial in the Bible—but what’s the more important connection? The Israelites’ time in the desert and our forty-day Lenten fast represent God’s invitation for us to trust him completely. Fr. Mike explains, the Israelites did not believe the Lord could bring them into the Promised Land because it was inhabited by a people much more powerful and larger than Israel—they didn’t trust him even after he delivered them from slavery to the largest civilization on the planet, Egypt. We can be the same way. We think God can’t give us the strength to overcome this or that sin or habit. But Lent is a time for us to trust God completely so we can see that he is all we need.



Scott Hahn on 2nd Sunday in Lent

In Sunday’s Gospel, we go up to the mountain with Peter, John, and James. There we see Jesus “transfigured,” speaking with Moses and Elijah about His “exodus.” The Greek word “exodus” means “departure.” But the word is chosen deliberately here to stir our remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt. By His death and resurrection, Jesus will lead a new Exodus—liberating not only Israel but every race and people; not from bondage to Pharaoh, but from slavery to sin and death. He will lead all mankind, not to the territory promised to Abraham in the First Reading, but to the heavenly commonwealth that Paul describes in the Second Reading. Moses, the giver of God’s law, and the great prophet Elijah, were the only Old Testament figures to hear the voice and see the glory of God atop a mountain.


This scene closely resembles God’s revelation to Moses, who also brought along three companions and whose face also shone brilliantly. But when the divine cloud departs in the Gospel, Moses and Elijah are gone. Only Jesus remains. He has revealed the glory of the Trinity—the voice of the Father, the glorified Son, and the Spirit in the shining cloud. Jesus fulfills all that Moses and the prophets had come to teach and show us about God. He is the “chosen One” promised by Isaiah, the “prophet like me” that Moses had promised. Far and above that, He is the Son of God.


“Listen to Him,” the Voice tells us from the cloud. If, like Abraham, we put our faith in His words, one day we too will be delivered into “the land of the living” that we sing of in the Psalm. We will share in His resurrection, as Paul promises, our lowly bodies glorified like His.


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



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

“The face of Jesus” - 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year C (Luke 9:28-36)

When a face is almost too familiar, we can fail to look at it properly. On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the face of Jesus, so familiar to his friends Peter, James and John, becomes radiant. Perhaps we find here the meaning of Lent. During 40 days, the Church invites us to take a fresh look at Jesus, so familiar to us. We are invited, with the account of the transfiguration, to behold the radiance of Jesus, and to recognise in his face the very face of God. In a few weeks, this same face will be filled with anguish on Gethsemane and disfigured on the cross. Will we be able to remember then that it is the face of God?


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: Where in Scripture do we encounter the face of God?

Hope: How can we realistically hope to see God face to face?       
Love: Where do we find the face of God today, in our own life?   



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

I read somewhere that Lent means ‘spring’: and this idea should perhaps colour our idea of how to approach this ‘joyful season’.  It is not only a time to reflect on our faults, and endeavour to eradicate some of them, although this is certainly part of the work needed in Lent.  It is also a time to build new nests, to nurture new ideas, and to incorporate new practice into our old. As in every season of the Church’s year, as at all times, our aim is to be reconciled to God; to strive again to love him best, who loves us so much.


Now is the acceptable time, when we can call on the Lord while he is near.  The particular method of prayer is of comparatively little importance: each kind of prayer has its own pitfalls.  What is important is that our prayer life should be consistent, constant and determined.  As various saints have pointed out, people who would wait long hours to see their earthly king (or, in modern days a celebrity) and after these long hours receive the barest word or nod are given free access to the king of the Universe, the maker and redeemer of all things.  God should be our best beloved; for if we do not prize him over every earthly and spiritual good, then we stand in danger of losing him (and them) for ever.  Like homing pigeons, our task is to get home to be with God forever; and one way of fulfilling this task is by devoting some time, some space to prayer. 


Read the full reflection here.  



From Deacon Martin

Last week, I encouraged us to see Lent as preparing for the Lord’s action in the Paschal Mystery, rather than a spiritual “boot camp” of our own efforts. We must continue to make efforts, but they should rely on, and co‑operate with, the Lord’s grace and action (Catechism 1993, 2001).


This week (the Second Sunday of Lent), God is acting powerfully in all 4 scripture readings:


• The Lord endorses His Covenant with Abram in an awesome and mysterious response to Abram’s sacrifice (Gen 15:5‑12,17‑18);
• He is our light and our help, our stronghold (Ps 26 (27):1,7‑9,13‑14);
• The Lord Jesus Christ “will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours” (Phil 3:17-4:1);
• Jesus is transfigured and His Father identifies Him as “the Chosen One” (Lk 9:28-36).





CAFOD Fast Day - this Friday

Friday 15th March, is CAFOD Lent family fast day please support this day by eating a simple meal or giving up a treat and donate the money you save to CAFOD.  You can put your donation in the envelope given to you at church or you can donate online hereThe money you raise will go to helping people whose lives are being devastated by changing weather, including Mahinur in Bangladesh.  


Drought, floods and storms are having a devastating impact on our global family. Mahinur makes a living from fishing but a drought last year killed all the fish, leaving her struggling to support her disabled husband and son. Mahinur cooks and cleans in neighbours’ homes for a bit of cash but it’s never enough. There are days when the family have nothing to eat.  But Mahinur’s experience is just one of many. The changing climate is wreaking havoc on hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. 


CAFOD’s Head of Volunteering, Jo Kitterick, said: “The changing weather is devastating lives. The donations of parishioners in England and Wales will help people around the world to support themselves, whatever the weather brings. Our work is made possible by the support of parishioners and we are so grateful. This Lent, it is your generosity which will help ensure no one is beyond reach of the love and care they need. Thank you.” 



Day on Children's Liturgy of the Word 

30th March in Reading and 15th June in Chandlers Ford


The response to these training and support days has been excellent. There are just a few more places left for 30th March in Reading.  These days will be a great opportunity for both new and experienced liturgy Leaders to meet others, discuss approaches and resources and to consider ideas for the following two Sundays.


You can book here or send any questions to Paul O'Beirne. 


Don't forget that you can also find lots of help and resources on the Children's Liturgy of the Word page of our website.





Can you help? Can you sing?

Can you sing? Are you a musician? Would you be willing to help 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. Chris Olding 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, but he is appealing for singers and musicians 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 with registration.



Have you thought of praying the Divine Office?

Everyone in the Church is invited to pray the Divine Office or the ‘Liturgy of the Hours’ as it is called. These are the ‘offices’ of prayer during the each liturgical day, centred around Morning Prayer (Lauds) and Evening Prayer (Vespers). In addition, there is Night Prayer (Compline) before going to bed and a short Midday Prayer to be recited during the day. The other office is “The Office of Readings” which contains a longer passage of Scripture and an extract from the writings of one of the saints or Fathers of the Church to meditate upon. Each office follows a similar pattern, with a hymn, then psalms – you say the complete Psalter over a month – and intercessions and the concluding collect for the day. If you have a smartphone, you can download for free an English version of the Liturgy of the Hours either here or here. Alternatively from these sites you can access online the prayers appointed for use for each day (as well as Mass Readings and many other prayers too). It would be wonderful if more of the laity might join in the universal prayer of the Church in this way!


Meanwhile, here is an extract from a sermon of St. Gregory Nazianzen (329-374), one of the Eastern Fathers of the Church appointed for this last Monday:

 “Recognise to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise, and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity. You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?


Read more



Pastoral Letter from Bamenda

Archbishop Cornelius Esua and Bishop Michael Bibi recently issued a Pastoral Letter on the Sacredness and Dignity of Human Life.


“God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)


“I thank my God whenever I think of you; and every time I pray for all of you, I pray with joy” (Phil. 1:3). This is particularly true now because of the difficult socio-political situation in which we have been living during the last few years. We thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has called all of us to be saints (cf. Rom. 1:7), for your faith and endurance. You are all present in our thoughts and prayers in a special way as we begin once more the holy Season of Lent. Lent is a time when we contemplate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the unique Saviour of the world. By his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, Jesus conquered sin and death, reconciled us with God and restored us to the dignity of the children of God. Lent is a time when we endeavour to open up to God and to our neighbour through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. That is why we invite you to meditate on the sacredness and dignity of human life during this Season of Lent.


You can read the full text here.



This October – an Extraordinary Mission Month

The Holy Father has declared this October 2019 to be an Extraordinary Mission Month. In union with the Pontifical Mission Societies, the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples has published a collection of essays, texts and addresses to inspire us and help us make this month special in prayer and deed (published by Edizioni San Paolo, Milan: ISBN 978-88-922-1786-7). We’ll be hearing more about the month later but for now let’s hear again Pope Francis’s words: “May the Extraordinary Missionary Month prove an intense and fruitful occasion of grace, and promote initiatives and above all prayer, the soul of all missionary activity. May it likewise advance the preaching of the Gospel, biblical and theological reflection on the Church’s mission, works of Christian charity and practical work of cooperation and solidarity between churches, so that missionary zeal may revive and never be wanting among us.” In preparation for this month, could I ask all our parishes and schools, Evangelisation Strategy Teams at parish, Pastoral Area and Deanery levels, clergy, laity and religious, and all other groups in the Diocese of Portsmouth to begin thinking now about what might be done to keep this October special? I’d especially like to encourage you to think about prayer initiatives for mission and outreach, including to the people outside our churches and to Catholics who are non-practicing.  May the Holy Spirit guide us.



‘Mountains, mountains, mountains, I love you!’

We know so much about Blessed Pier Giorgio, Patron of our Youth, thanks to the writings of his sister, Luciana. She tells of his love for cycling, swimming, horse-riding, skiing and many other sports. But his greatest passion was for mountaineering. On his bedroom door, he pinned “Mountains, mountains, mountains, I love you.” Here Luciana gives us an insight into his love for the mountains, which ever led him to give glory and praise to their Creator:

 “What he especially loved about the mountains was the rugged life, the preparation of knapsacks, the efforts of the climb, the bringing along of his own food, a piece of bread in his pocket, the snacks taken in the snow, the ice in the basins in the morning, the absence of all comfort, the communal life of a team, the reconnoitring of the mountain. Translated into spiritual terms, these things corresponded to the asceticism, the purification, the silence, the nearness to God beloved by the truly Christian soul. The mountain was for him like a sacred recreation, not an interruption in his relationship with God.”

Over the next days, I will be in Rome visiting our seminarians in the Venerable English College and at the Beda College. I am hoping also to meet again briefly with Wanda Gawronska, Pier Giorgio’s niece. (She subscribes to Enews, by the way!)  I will ask her a bit more about PG’s love for mountains and why, on one of the last photographs taken of him, that shewed him climbing a rock face, he wrote “Verso l’alto” (Towards the Summit). For more, check out the revamped Frassati USA website.



Rite of Election

Last Saturday morning, we had a wonderful celebration of the Rite of Election here in the Cathedral - you can see some photos and video here. The Cathedral was packed with catechumens preparing for Baptism this Easter and also with candidates to be received into full communion with the Church. People had come from parishes across the length and breadth of the Diocese, along with sponsors, catechists, parish priests, family and friends. There was a palpable sense of joy and energy. We tried a different formula this year with the music and some of the elements of the liturgy and we listened to two remarkable testimonies. One was from a young man called Charles who was baptised last year, aged 17, who described how he had come to faith in Christ. Another was from a young mother called Faye, who not a Catholic at the time, had been moved by the First Holy Communion programme of her daughter. This prompted her to find out more about the Catholic faith and eventually to be received into the Church. She now helps with the RCIA programme in her parish. Afterwards in the Discovery Centre, it was great to have many of the Framework teams present, with displays and information about what they seek to do and how people might support their work. This included Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, Called and Gifted, Pre-discipleship and the Ananias Programme, the Spiritual Formation Team and Formation for Mission. Meanwhile, let us keep all our catechumens and candidates in our prayers, and pray for the mission of the Church in our Diocese.



Catholic Women’s Organisation of Nigeria 

Nkem V Ezekwe reports on the inauguration of Nigerian Catholic Women's Organisation in the diocese...


Sunday 17th February, 2019, was a very special day for a group of Nigerian Catholic Women in Portsmouth Diocese. Women, men and children gathered with excitement and the spirit of togetherness to celebrate the inauguration of Catholic Women’s Organisation of Nigeria, Portsmouth Diocese following Bishop Philip Egan’s fatherly blessing and permission for the establishment of the organisation. The inaugural Mass was celebrated at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Basingstoke, on a cloudless and bright afternoon by Rev. Fr. Gerry Onyejuluwa, MSP,  the Chaplain/Spiritual Director of CWO, ably assisted by Deacon Ben Ndubuisi from the Parish of Corpus Christi in Wokingham.


The women were supported by a group of Catholic Women from the Nigerian Chaplaincy in London and listened with interest and a keenness for service as Fr. Gerry in his sermon encouraged them to adopt a spirit of humility, kindness, generosity, gentleness and service in doing God’s work in imitation of Our Blessed Mother Mary. A reception to commemorate the occasion showcased an array of dishes from Nigeria which was enjoyed by the women and their families, friends and guests. you can read Fr Gerry's speech here. The inauguration marks the beginning of the women’s journey in faith through active service to the church, the society and their families. Through Mary our Mother, we succeed! 


For more information on the group e-mail Nkem.



Our Lady Immaculate, Westbourne

Over the weekend, I was on Pastoral Visitation to the parish of Our Lady Immaculate in Westbourne, Bournemouth, on the edge of our Diocese, in fact, the last parish before crossing the diocesan border into the Diocese of Plymouth. Fr. Andrew Moore is the parish priest and the two morning Masses were packed. The church is very beautiful and is right in the middle of the shops on Seamoor Road. You can read about the parish on its splendid website. In its life the church building itself has seen many uses. It was built originally in 1886 as Assembly Rooms, called Victoria Hall, and then a little later it was converted into an Anglican church, called Christ Church. In 1913, the growing Anglican congregation moved out into their own new and bigger church, and the building became a fruit market. In 1928, Catholics bought the market and converted it back into a church. Since then, it has been known as ‘The Church of Our Lady Immaculate’. The distinctive arched entrance and semi circular gates were added in 1955. It’s well worth a visit when you are next down that way. The community was served by the Jesuits from Sacred Heart until 1969, when it became a parish in its own right. Fr. Andrew is an accomplished classical musician, conductor and composer and at the 11 o’clock Mass we sang a magnificent Mass setting of his own composition, called “The Winchester Mass.” You can listen to it here on his website.



Visit to Reading Mosque 

Canon John O'Shea reports on a recent trip to he new state of the art AbuBakr Mosque in Reading. Following the visit, the Diocesan Inter-Religious group met and discussed their experience of visiting a Mosque and felt it would offer encouragement to others in the diocese who may wish to visit a Mosque.


On Sunday 3rd March parishioners from St James, Reading with Canon John O’Shea and parishioners from English Martyrs with Canon Michael Dennehy together took the opportunity to visit the new state of the art AbuBakr Mosque in Reading. In Southampton parishioners from St Joseph’s and St Edmund’s with Mgr Vincent Harvey visited their local Mosque. 250+ Mosques threw their doors open and offered to people of all faiths and backgrounds guided tours, prayer demonstrations and opportunity for questions.  For many of our catholics this is the first time they have entered a Mosque and on crossing the threshold learned that they had to remove their shoes. They were offered a great welcome by the Imams.  They were surprised to hear that after school the children are offered a 2 hour session on the Koran every day in term time.  Despite the inclement weather it was a very valuable learning experience for our people.



Catenian Youth Fund

Stuart Thompson, Secretary of Portsmouth Catenian Circle writes...

At their most recent Circle Meeting on 25th February the Portsmouth Catenians were hosts to three special guests representing the schools and the University that have received financial support from the Portsmouth Catenians Youth Fund. After dinner each guest spoke about their current activities to develop their students’ Christian commitment, and thanked the Circle for their continuing financial support.


Angela O’Donohue, Catholic Lay Chaplain at Portsmouth University, spoke of the programme for Catholic Students, which included a recent Retreat at Worth Abbey. Fiona Jackson, Lay Chaplain at St Edmund’s Catholic Secondary School in Portsmouth, expressed gratitude for the Catenian Kindness Badges which are presented annually. Mugeni Sumba, 2nd in the RE Department at Oaklands Catholic School Waterlooville, spoke of his school’s work in Nairobi supporting the education of young people, particularly girls who often find it impossible to access schooling.


Click on the Catenian logo for a group photograph which shows from left to right: Edward Whalley - Treasurer, Vince Kelly - Youth Officer, Angela O’Donohue , Mgeni Sumba, Fiona Jackson  and Tony Tonks - Portsmouth Circle President. 



Shrove Tuesday in Fareham

St Anthony's pupils always look forward to Shrove Tuesday. We always start the day with a palm burning liturgy on our playground (thank you Deacon Mike) which is well attended by the parents too. It is a very visual way of understanding where the ashes come from for Ash Wednesday.
No Shrove Tuesday would be complete without pancake races and of course, eating pancakes. Our wonderful helpers managed to make 250 pancakes in 2 hours for the children to enjoy.


Click on the burning palms for another photo of some of the children enjoying their pancakes!



Lent Tree at St. Mary's

Fr Michael Peters reports on flourishing beginnings to Lent at St Mary's Independent School in Southampton...


It was voluntary but it so caught the imagination of all Prep classes of St. Mary's Independent School, Southampton, that the 'Lent Tree' was soon bereft of enough branches onto which their Lenten resolutions could be hung. Little space remained for the younger children! Onto a cut-out leaf were their written promises. These would flourish for 40 days then open into full bloom to celebrate Easter and encourage further growth in their young lives. Promises were for ever-not just for Lent. Later on Ash Wednesday in chapel they witnessed the burning of palm leaves and were invited to receive the ashes (cold ashes, of course, that were prepared earlier!) Such visuals for youngsters remain long in their memories, alongside the powerful words of the Mass for that day.




Greetings Fr. Zac!

Over the weekend when I was in Reading, I spent some time with the impressive Fr. Zac Mabee, “priest in residence” at Christ the King, Whitley. He has been there these last months, where he often helps Fr. Pat Madden, the parish priest, and sometimes the other priests of the Pastoral Area. Fr. Zac is a full time doctoral student at Reading University. His PhD is in philosophy and we had a great conversation about his work, which is centred on “scientism” and the writings of the British-Hungarian philosopher of science Michael Polanyi (d. 1976). Scientism, which is now quite widespread in our British society, is the false belief that natural science alone provides the most satisfying and reasonably complete account of everything we see, experience, and seek in life. In contrast, Catholics believe that both faith and reason are needed; they go together as the “two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth”. God “has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves” (St. John Paul II Fides et Ratio 1).


If you are in Reading, you might see Fr. Zac on his bike speeding to and from the university! A priest of Lancing Diocese, Michigan USA, he has a younger brother in seminary, who is studying for the priesthood. He finished his licentiate studies in Rome three years ago and then, back in his home diocese, he was an assistant priest in a parish for two years. He came to Reading last autumn and will be with us in the Diocese on and off, as his work progresses, the next couple of years or so. Please keep him (and his brother) in your prayers.   



Bishop Philip's Engagements                

Monday 11th - Wednesday 13th March  

Seminary Visits (Beda and VEC), Rome  


Thursday 14th March 

School Visitation: Christ the King, Isle of Wight  


Saturday 15th March  

Dialogue with Cultural Sectors, Bishop’s House


Tuesday 19th March

Funeral Mass for Rev Canon Dermot McDermot-Roe, St Boniface Church, Southampton.  


Tuesday 19th - Wednesday 20th March

Clergy Overnight, Southampton  


Thursday 21st March 

Coordinating Pastors Meeting  


Friday 22nd March 

Scripture Engagement meeting, Portsmouth  


Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th March

Parish Visitation:  Holy Family, Southampton.



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 10th March


National Prayer Cycle: Candidates for the Sacraments

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Edward the Confessor, Chandler’s Ford (consecrated 10.3.1938, rededicated 8.10.1989)


Monday 11th March

Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: All religious novices


Tuesday 12th March

Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: The “Beginning Experience” for the widowed and divorced


Wednesday 13th March

Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: The Holy Father (elected 13.3.2013); Cold Ash Centre, Thatcham


Thursday 14th March

Monday of the 1st Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Patrick, E. Ilsley


Friday 15th March

Friday of the 1st Week of Lent

National Prayer Cycle: The needy & hungry of the world

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Patrick, Samarès, Jersey


Saturday 16th March

Saturday of the 1st Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph, Gosport 


Sunday 17th March


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Bracknell


Forthcoming Events   

Friday 15th March

Free screening of the film Into Great Silence

Our Lady of Peace & Bl Dominic Barberi

338 Wokingham Road Earley RG6 7DA, 7.45pm

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


Saturday 23rd March

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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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

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Thursday 4th - Sunday 7th April

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

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Saturday 6th April

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

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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

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Saturday 27th April

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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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 18th May

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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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

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Saturday 22nd June

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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Monday 1st July

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"Thomas Cranmer - Who was he?"

(Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch)

Venue TBC

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Saturday 6th July

Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass

St Bede's Basingstoke

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25th-30th July 2019

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Saturday 27th July

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August 2019

Don Bosco Camp

Read more


Saturday 31st August

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September 2019

Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles &
the special saints of Italy 

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    

Cathedral Centre Events and Catering Manager

Salary:  £12.00 per hour for 20 hours per week


A new opportunity has arisen at St John’s Cathedral Centre, Portsmouth, to cater for Cathedral annual events and a daily hospitality offering.  Working with the existing team of staff and volunteers the successful candidate will be responsible for seeking opportunities for growth both within the diocesan community and with external customers.

Initially the contract will be offered for two years.  The successful candidate will have a sound appreciation of the ministry of welcome and hospitality and be a practising Catholic. They should hold the appropriate qualifications for a catering manager or prepared to obtain them and have experience of managing a budget, creation and delivery of basic menus, and able to work efficiently and effectively.


Closing date for applications:  31st March 2019


Director of Music & Pastoral Musician, Didcot and Wallingford

We are seeking to appoint a Director of Music & Pastoral Musician for the parishes of English Martyrs, Didcot and St John, Wallingford. The Director of Music and Pastoral Musician needs to be a competent organist and experienced choir trainer. He/she needs to be able to work with, help organise other musicians and be sensitive to the needs of the parishes. Principal duties include playing the organ or keyboard at two Masses each week (either Didcot or Wallingford, depending on the Sunday), working with, directing and developing the other musicians and singers in both parishes and liaising with the parish priest. A new initiative will be establishing a children’s choir and, in time, an adult choir. (Full details in Job Description.)


Hours per week: (on average over a year) with the possibility of more when an adult choir is established: 8 hours

Salary: £7,360 p.a. (based on £20.00 p/h)


Fees: Funeral £50 (negotiable), Wedding £150 (negotiable), Baptism (when required if not part of Sunday Mass) £40.00.


Closing Date for Applications:  Monday 1st April 2019

Interviews to be held week commencing:  Monday 8th April 2019 


For more details and an application form please see our Vacancies page 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, especially Canon Dermot MacDermot-Roe, 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.



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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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