Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 2nd April 2019 - Issue 223 (2019/13)


Dear Friends,

We have now entered the second half of Lent and this coming week the Gospel Readings at Mass begin to focus on the opposition Jesus endured and on His imminent passion, suffering and death on Calvary for us and for our salvation. I encourage you to join yourselves to Him during this season by going to Mass and through your Lenten works of prayer, self-denial and almsgiving. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this week’s e-News which is packed with items to reflect on these next days. Do try to join us at the Cathedral to greet Our Lady of Walsingham, and also to share in the special “birthday” Rosary this Saturday (see below). I’ve a book recommendation for you and also a splendid short video from Chris Stefanick, well-suited to this season.


God bless you these next days. Please pray for me. 





Dowry Tour arrives at the Cathedral this Thursday

Amazingly, the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from the Shrine will be visiting our Cathedral this week, from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th April. This is part of the preparations for the re-dedication of England as the ‘Dowry of Mary’ on 25th March 2020, the Feast of the Annunciation. During the course of 2018 to 2020, 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


I especially invite you to join me for the celebrations on Friday evening. At 6pm Mgr. John Armitage, Rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham will give a talk on the Dowry of Mary. Then at 7pm I shall celebrate Mass with an Act  of Consecration of England & Wales to Our Lady of Walsingham. After the Mass there is a Eucharistic Healing Service ending with sung Litany of Our Lady and Ave Regina Caelorum.


On Sunday morning, Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham spoke to Tim Daykin on Radio Solent about the Dowry Tour and encouraged people to attend the Portsmouth events this weekend. You can hear the interview at around: 1:36:35 in the clip here.


The full event timetable is now available here.



Where are you going?

On Ash Wednesday, when we received the ashes, the priest said either “Repent and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Both of these instructions remind us during Lent to reorient ourselves, to gain the right perspective on things and to put our priorities in order. When the ashes are imposed with the words, “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” the words “You are dust” are the words that God said to Adam (Gen 3: 19) after the Original Sin, recalling how earlier the Lord had “formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen 2: 7). We are being invited to see ourselves as dust again, to detach ourselves from the things of this world and to empty ourselves so that we might be filled instead with God’s “breath of life,” that is, with his eternal Spirit. “. . . To dust you shall return” reminds us that all our earthly goods are destined to be lost. Everything we have, all our worldly possessions, will one day turn to dust, just as the great ancient empires of Egypt and Babylon, Greece and Rome have crumbled. Even before then, time, age and illness can take away our taste for chocolate or our ability to enjoy a fast car. More to the point, one day our bodies will fail and die. Lent reminds us that this world is passing and that we should put our trust instead in the eternal, in the Lord. The most important thing, the only permanent reality, is God. Rather than storing up earthly treasures, we should seek first his everlasting kingdom. Click on the picture for a short video by Chris Stefanick called Where Are You Going?



Saturday 6th April

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of our Youth, was born in Turin in 1901 on 6th April, which that year was Holy Saturday.  Consequently, Saturday this week is his birthday. To mark the occasion, the Pier Giorgio Frassati Association is promoting a world-wide Rosary to be offered on that day. The intention is to pray for Europe and its peoples that everyone will rediscover the Christian values at its core and the Christian principles on which the European Community was founded. You can read more about this initiative here. This Rosary for Europe is very timely given the current Brexit negotiations and the forthcoming European parliamentary elections. It has attracted the support of numerous schools, associations, youth groups and organisations named after Blessed Pier Giorgio. After the First World War, Pier Giorgio joined ‘Pax Romana,’ the European student movement for peace and dedicated himself to its ambitions with conviction and enthusiasm. The Association has developed a special handout for the Rosary which you can find here (click on the English button on the page). Across our Diocese, then, let’s unite in prayer on Saturday by offering the Rosary for all the peoples of Europe, calling on the prayers of Blessed Pier Giorgio, turning through Mary our Mother to Jesus Christ our Saviour.



Scott Hahn on 5th Sunday in Lent

The Liturgy this Lent has shown us the God of the Exodus. He is a mighty and gracious God, Who out of faithfulness to His covenant has done “great things” for His people, as today’s Psalm puts it. But the “things of long ago,” Isaiah tells us in Sunday’s First Reading, are nothing compared to the “something new” that He will do in the future. The First Reading and Psalm look back to the marvellous deeds of the Exodus. Both see in the Exodus a pattern and prophecy of the future, when God will restore the fortunes of His people fallen in sin. Sunday's readings look forward to a still greater Exodus, when God will gather in the exiled tribes of Israel that had been scattered to the four winds, the ends of the earth. The new Exodus that Israel waited and hoped for has come in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Like the adulterous woman in today’s Gospel, all have been spared by the Lord’s compassion. All have heard His words of forgiveness, His urging to repentance, to be sinners no more. Like Paul in today’s Epistle, Christ has taken possession of every one, claimed each as a child of our heavenly Father.


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



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

“The end of sin” - 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C (John 8:1-11)

Can we ever hope for an end to sin, and end to evil? This Sunday, we’ll hear how the scribes and pharisees are hoping to achieve this by putting a sinner – a woman caught in adultery – to death. However, Jesus points out that putting one sinner to death will not eradicate sin. All of us, every human person, shares in the guilt of sin. Instead, he offers another remedy to sin: conversion, which begins when we let Jesus look at us, love us, forgive us, and send us on our way with the command and the grace not to sin anymore.


We’ll reflect on:
Faith: Do we dare believe that God forgives our sins?

Hope: How can we possibly hope for holiness?  
Love: How can we learn to love sinners, not their sins?    


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



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

At the beginning of the Iliad, Homer's great poem about the Trojan war, a priest of Apollo asks for the god's help to recover his daughter from the Greeks: and in his prayer, he reminds Apollo of all the service he has done for him.  Similarly, at the end of the Aeneid, Turnus desperately invokes Faunus and the land itself, and reminds them also of the service and honour he has paid to them.  This 'transactional' approach to the gods seems to have been fairly pervasive among the ancients: the idea was that by rendering service and worship to the gods, the worshipper would gain the gods' favour. I think that there is a temptation to adopt this 'transactional' attitude even among Christians, who should know better.  As one of the prefaces reminds us 'you have no need of our praise, but our desire to thank you is itself your gift.' 


The pagan gods were unpredictable, shared in every kind of human failing, and differed from men only in being immortal, and immeasurably more powerful than them.  And this false image of the divine may lurk in the recesses of our minds, so that there may be a temptation to approach God as someone to be bought off with prayers, liturgical attendance, and being "virtuous".  This is a very damaging idea, for it gets in the way of the truth, but has enough truth in it to make it hard to extirpate.  For of course our relationship with God is fostered and furthered by prayer, by spiritual reading, by liturgy, and by virtuous acts. And to neglect our prayers, our attendance at Mass, our reception of the sacraments on the grounds that we have attained some higher level of spirituality would be an egregious error.  Some people are inclined to be dismissive of vocal prayer: but spoken and liturgical prayer are like a secure scaffold, by which we may support our endeavour to respond to God's invitation...  


Read the full reflection 



From Deacon Martin

Last week, my wife and I hosted a scripture reflection session. One of our parishioners shared how she reads short passages of scripture during Eucharistic Adoration, and when she comes to a phrase that strikes her, she memorises it.  I was delighted to hear her testimony, because I have long believed that keeping the word of God close to our hearts, is a way of keeping close to Him.  Scripture itself encourages us to do so: Moses told the people of Israel to “fix [God’s] words … in your hearts and minds” (Deuteronomy 11:18).


If you’ve read any of my previous contributions to e-News, you may have noticed that I provide links to all quotations from scripture, to encourage readers to follow the links and read more of God’s word. Because as the quotation in the picture (opposite) from Psalm 119:11 suggests, if God’s word is in our mind, then our heart can more easily follow.  Indeed, the phrase “learn by heart” suggests the close connection between the exercise of the mind and memory, and its application in the heart and will. 

Building a store of God’s word can be a treasure, for use at an opportune time, as the Holy Spirit guides us.  When the word of God is at the front of our mind, it can be an inspiration to praise, a comfort in sorrow or worry, and a guide to our discernment.  Saints from Augustine, to Benedict and Dominic, and Thérèse of Lisieux have commended the prayerful committing of scripture to memory.


Some of us find it easier to memorise words than others. But many of us can follow some simple ideas to keep God’s word in our minds...


See here for more.



New Diocesan Website for Vocations

We are pleased to launch a new website for Vocations: www.portsmouthvocations.org.uk. The aim of our website is to be a hook to help promote the universal call to holiness (through our baptism).  Through this gift we receive our personal vocation and this will, inevitably, bring us all closer to Jesus Christ.


There is a great need for the promotion of the priesthood specifically, but we have used stories from great people within our Diocese fulfilling their calling through several vocations or states of life.  We hope to add to these stories and change them as time goes on as well.  The witness offered in these testimonies are so encouraging.  The Communications team hope, in time, to create similar website specifically for the Diaconate too, as we greatly value their ministry.


The theme of our Vocations website is to Discover, Discern, Support.


  • To discover that we are all called – and to learn and think about how we are called.
  • To discern to what we are called – the states of life through which we build the Kingdom of God as disciples of Christ.
  • To specifically support (priestly) vocations - through various types of prayer with resources for both personal & parish use. The website offers a chance to sign up for a monthly prayer e-newsletter. 
  • To support through advertising our monthly Seeker Group for those who may want to carve some time & space to think more deeply about their calling. Our First Friday evening Group encourages and empowers Seekers in making the next step in discerning their vocation.
  • To support our work with Priestly Vocations financially - we have set up a wonderful way of giving either by a donation, or by shopping on line, through our ‘Give As You Live’

‘Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything.' Pope Benedict XVI.



'The Wood of the Cross’ comes to Southsea

St Swithun's Southsea invite you to join them to experience the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Saviour Jesus Christ more closely, more fully by seeing their production of ‘The Wood of the Cross’ based on the stories from Roman Brandstaetter, directed by Father Marcin Drabik and performed by the Polish Community at St Swithun’s.     


Following their successful production of the Nativity, the players will transport you to a carpenter’s family in Jerusalem around AD30.   It is like Lenten Retreat! You can watch and feel personally involved as the story unfolds when the characters tell of their meetings with Jesus and of how they listened to His words reaching deep into their hearts.  Follow the Way of the Cross through to His Crucifixion and the victory of His Resurrection  
Performances at St. Swithun’s Church, Southsea, 105 Waverley Road, Portsmouth, PO5 2PL. The Premiere performance is this coming Saturday, 6th April at 8pm with additional performances on Friday 12th April at 8pm and Good Friday 19th April at 8pm.


Come and join us for the Chrism Mass

I want to invite everyone – clergy, religious and laity – to join me for the Chrism Mass. The Chrism Mass is the special Liturgy in Holy Week at which the Bishop blesses the three Holy Oils used in the Sacraments: the Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Blessing of the Sick and the Oil of Chrism. The blessing of the Holy Oils is one of the most ancient ceremonies of the Church and it’s always celebrated in the Cathedral with the priests, deacons, religious and lay people of the diocese. This year, the Chrism Mass is on Tuesday 16th April at 11 o’clock in the Cathedral. During it, all the priests make a renewal of their commitment to priestly service. The Bishop addresses the people: As for you, dearest sons and daughters, pray for your Priests, that the Lord may pour out his gifts abundantly upon them, and keep them faithful as ministers of Christ, the High Priest, so that they may lead you to him, who is the source of salvation. It’s a day then to pray for our priests and also to pray for me your Bishop: And pray also for me, that I may be faithful to the apostolic office entrusted to me in my lowliness and that in your midst I may be made day by day a living and more perfect image of Christ, the Priest, the Good Shepherd, the Teacher and the Servant of all. So please do try to come along – Tuesday 16th at 11am.



Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Our diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes is filling up 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.



Supporting our brothers and sisters in Bamenda

Our sister diocese in Cameroon – the Archdiocese of Bamenda, continues to suffer under constant threat from the socio-political turmoil which has disrupted the peace and daily life of its residents since 2016. As protests over alleged marginalisation and discrimination have spiralled into reciprocal violence between the military and the separatist movement, human rights have been left behind.


As parishioners of Portsmouth Diocese, who have had a special relationship with the people of Bamenda for 45 years now, we are in a unique position to support. The geographical distance should not allow us to turn away. Why not make one of your Lenten activities a positive action to raise awareness of the atrocities that are occurring and do all you can to exert pressure to bring about a peaceful solution. On the Bamenda-Portsmouth website you will find template letters which can be downloaded, amended and sent to your MPs. Imagine the impact we could achieve if we did this across the diocese?' 



Diocesan Lending Library

Just a reminder that, under the care of our diocesan Formation for Mission team, we have a Diocesan Lending Library able to lend out many helpful resources and courses to parishes. You can read the full list of resources here. The Lending Library gets quite a lot of use. Resources include items for teen and adult faith formation, sacramental preparation, bible study, Word on Fire and St. Paul Centre items. There are currently 48 courses available for loan, including Jeff Cavins’ Bible Timeline and works on Revelation, Prophets, Follow Me, Ephesians, Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible, Psalms, Bishop Robert Barron’s Catholicism, Chosen, The Bible and the Virgin Mary, The Mass, The New Evangelisation, Theology of the Body, Joy-filled Marriage and Pivotal Prayer. To find out more, contact Liza Nahajski: parishstudies@gmail.com. I can only add my own thanks  for all who have generously provided these resources and to Tom and Clare Gray, to Liza and to the FfM team for generously managing them.



Book Recommendation

Despite its arresting title, I must highly recommend this new book by Gerhard Lohfink. Fr. Lohfink is a German theologian, formerly professor of New Testament studies at the University of Tübingen. In Is this all There is? On Resurrection and Eternal Life (Collegeville, Liturgical: 2018 [ ISBN 978-0-8146-8457-3]), he tackles virtually all the many questions we sometimes raise about heaven, hell and the next life. For example, is the Christian hope of resurrection still alive or has it become tired? How can we talk of resurrection today? Is there really ‘anything’ after death? Why does there appear to be little hope of resurrection in the earlier Old Testament? Is Jesus’ resurrection simply an affirmation of the hope Christians have of resurrection? When does resurrection begin - ten thousand years from now, sometime in the vague future, at the end of the world? What is it, really, that is resurrected - an abstract human being? What about the universe, matter, animals, the pre-human ancestors in transition to humanity, the countless unborn lives that never had a chance to enter the world - is there a resurrection for them? Is there nothing in heaven besides God? The whole book is a gripping read! You do not have to be a theologian to read this book, but in this book Lofhink offers the reader some of the best ideas of contemporary theology. He takes up all the questions and difficulties people raise today and seeks answers in Scripture, Catholic Tradition and human reason. 



Discernment Conference

I spent last Friday and Saturday at Douai Abbey for our Discernment Conference, which, as ever, was organised superbly by Canon Gerard Flynn, our Vocations Director. The Discernment Conference is the annual conference in which we interview potential candidates for the priesthood, assess their vocational journey and decide whether to put them forward for further scrutiny and possible admission to seminary. The interviewers on the panel, each of whom brings his/her expertise, include a clinical psychotherapist, a former seminary rector, a female theologian and an experienced parish priest. Douai provides a splendid context of prayer and devotion for the conference and we join the monastic community for some of the Liturgy of the Hours and for Mass. This year we had five candidates. They will soon go, like all potential seminarians in England and Wales, for a psychological assessment at St. Luke’s Centre in Manchester. Please pray for all our seminarians and for the men we have just interviewed, and please make prayer for vocations a daily intention. (By the way, the photo of the abbey church shews it covered in scaffolding. This is because of the work currently underway to repair the damage caused by the storms last winter. They hope everything will be finished by the end of May).



News from our Pre-Discipleship Team

The preaching of the early Church was centred on the proclamation of Jesus Christ, with whom the Kingdom was identified with.


On 16th March, Richard Martin and Sr. Veronica OP from the newly established Pre-discipleship team led the first Retreat day to preach the proclamation of the Great Story of Jesus (The Kerygma). This day is part of the Ananais Resource, which this team has just launched in the Diocese helping people to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to walk alongside others on their journey of faith. It has been produced by the St Catherine of Sienna Institute and is produced by Sherry Weddell and Katherine Coolidge who visited our Diocese last summer.


Read the full story here.



On the way to Ordination

Last week, four of the Franciscan friars from Gosport took the first steps towards priestly ordination: Brothers Philomeno, Michael, Rosario and Faustino. The Friars use (although not exclusively) the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy and so the rites last Thursday began with the formal admission to the clerical state called ‘tonsure.’ I’ve never done this before so I needed careful guidance, especially when given the scissors! Tonsure involves snipping the hair of the ordinands in five places (front, back, each side and the crown) in a criss-cross method identical to that of inserting grains of incense into the Paschal Candle. It is a sign of humility and consecration to God. After the tonsure, there then followed the conferral of the four minor orders of porter, lector, exorcist and acolyte. The candidates, who have undergone the usual formation and discernment processes, will continue their studies and in time receive the subdiaconate and then, after further scrutiny, be ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood. Please pray for them that they will grow in holiness and joy in their vocation over these next months. Here in the picture they are standing on either side of me, with Fr Serafino, the Superior of the community, at the end on the right, and Mgr. Jeremy Garratt, Episcopal Vicar for Vocation, at the end on the left (click on the photo to see the full group). Please pray too for the Franciscan communities in Gosport, especially for God’s blessing on all their works of charity to the homeless, to the poor and the most needy.



CAFOD Appeal for Cyclone Idai 

CAFOD has joined forces with Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to reach hundreds of thousands of people affected by Cyclone Idai, across Southern Africa. On 14-15 March, Cyclone Idai made landfall in central Mozambique, near Beira City, Sofala Province, leaving almost 90 percent of the city submerged in flood water. The cyclone also hit Zimbabwe and Malawi, destroying homes, roads, bridges, and vital crops, in its wake. Hundreds of people have died, and an estimated 2.6 million people are in need of vital humanitarian aid to survive the coming days and weeks ahead. 


Working with our local Caritas emergency response experts, rapid assessments are already underway in some of the worst affected areas in Mozambique – Beira, Dondo, and Caia, where the priority is to reach 1,400 vulnerable people, with food – rice, beans, sugar and cooking oil, as well as hygiene kits. In eastern Zimbabwe, our local emergency experts are doing rapid assessments in the Chimanimani and Chipinge area, where it’s estimated that at least 9,000 people need vital humanitarian aid, including clean and safe water, basic shelter, and food. But many districts remain inaccessible, so this number is expected to rise.


Our local partners are working around the clock to reach areas and communities affected by the Cyclone. Their local knowledge is vital in ensuring that the most vulnerable families are reached with the basic aid they need to survive. We have pledged an initial £100,000 for Mozambique and £50,000 for Zimbabwe, but much more will be needed as the disaster unfolds. Any donation you can give to our appeal is greatly appreciated because it will reach those most in need. You can bring hope and dignity to ordinary people facing a terrible situation. You can donate online hereThank you for your support. 



Aldershot parishioner wins March for Life competition

Catholic Mothers UK recently held a competition to suggest a slogan for their March for Life T-shirt, which was won by someone (who wishes to remain anonymous) from St Mary's and St Joseph's Parish in Aldershot.
March for Life in London takes place on Saturday 11th May. Buying the T-shirt from the Catholic Mother’s website helps raise funds for the March for Life and is available to pre-order until 22nd April. 
On Saturday 11th May the day begins with an indoor festival called 'LifeFest19' from  9.30am – 1.30pm which will involve amongst other things; inspiring speakers, live music, children’s activities, educational stalls, workshops and prayer (to attend this you need to book online or phone). At 2pm attendees gather and march across the City of London to where the keynote speeches will occur outside in the afternoon (no booking required to attend the march). There is a poster here.


Junior Diving Champion - again!

A unique vantage spot to get a clear view of Barcelona, but Milo French was not concentrating on its magnificent Cathedral  (La Sagrada Familia)  but on the dive ahead. Milo, a pupil in Year 9 at St. Mary's Independent School (Southampton) is a member of Team England Diving. He has just won the British Diving (Junior) Championships for the second year running. This was a dive at the 'Barcelona International Competition'. He represented Southampton Diving Club and was the overall winner. Milo is looking forward to his 14th Birthday so that he can start assisting with coaching the younger divers and share his knowledge. His ultimate goal is to represent GB at the Olympics but he knows that is a very tall mountain to climb, so he just works really hard to be the best that he can possibly be in the hope that that will be enough.




Praying for our Seminarians

Our Seminarian to keep in your prayers this month is Matthew King.


Matthew is in his 5th year of Formation at the Venerable English College, Rome.  His home parish was ‘Our Lady Star of the Sea’, Amanzimtoti, South Africa! Although his links to Portsmouth parishes include  St Edmunds, Southampton and St John the Baptist, Andover.


Matthew writes: “I’m South African by birth, from a sea-side town called Amanzimtoti. I’m the eldest of three, with a sister and a brother. My parents both taught Catechism so the faith was a central part of my upbringing. After school I did a volunteer year in Botswana and travelled a little. I moved to England with grand notions of pursuing riches and glory. Having worked several years in finance I had what you might call a conversion of heart. In prayer before the Blessed Sacrament I was, and continue to be, bowled over by His love and have been discerning a call to His priesthood ever since.”


Matthew has asked that during April we pray for him: “I’m sure you know that a total gift of self is really, really difficult. I’d ask your prayers that if, by God’s will and with His grace, I am ordained a priest that I offer myself completely and eternally.


If you are reading this and think you might be being called by God to serve Him in the Sacred Priesthood and are considering discerning a vocation, you might want to attend our next Seeker event on the first Friday of the month or visit our fantastic new Portsmouth Vocations website, where you can find lots of useful information and sign up to join the Vocations Prayer Network.



Canon Gerard Flynn

Last Thursday the Chapter of Canons met for their Chapter Meeting and Mass at St John’s Cathedral Portsmouth. This was also Canon Gerard Flynn's installation being the first Chapter since his appointment as a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter.


“A chapter of canons, whether cathedral or collegiate, is a college of priests, whose role is to celebrate the more solemn liturgical functions in a cathedral or a collegiate church. It is for the cathedral chapter, besides, to fulfill those roles entrusted to it by law or by the diocesan Bishop” (Can. 503). We have eleven canons, with the Bishop making the twelfth. The canons meet three times per year and have a particular care for the liturgy of the Cathedral. I value greatly their experience and wisdom, and I tend to consult them on general matters to do with liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments.


Canon Gerard is grateful to so many of you who joined with the Chapter of Canons at his installation at  which I was also present. Click on the picture of Canon Gerard for a group photo of many friends and parishioners who came to the cathedral to support him.


We send him our congratulations and prayers.



Bishop Philip's Engagements                   

Thursday 4th April

Visit to "Friends without Borders" with Anglican Bishop Christopher Foster;

Bishop’s Council, Bishop’s House  


Friday 5th April

Schools and Academies Department Meeting

Dowry Tour Mass, St John's Cathedral 7pm


Saturday 6th - Sunday 7th April

Parish Visitation: St Swithun Wells


Tuesday 9th April 

Internal Meetings


Wednesday 10th April 

Clergy Lent Day of Prayer, Douai Abbey  


Thursday 11th - Friday 12th April 

Clergy Overnight, New Place Hotel  



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 31st March


Diocesan Prayer: Communities and Schools in the Jersey Pastoral Area/Parish


Monday 1st April

Monday of 4th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child 


Tuesday 2nd April

Tuesday of 4th Week of Lent (Commemoration of St Francis of Paola)

Diocesan Prayer: Parish Finance Committees


Wednesday 3rd April

Wednesday of 4th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer:Welcome Centre, Jersey


Thursday 4th April

Thursday of 4th Week of Lent (Commemoration of St Isidore)

Diocesan Prayer: The Bishops of Clifton and Northampton, Priests of this Diocese


Friday 5th April

Friday of 4th Week of Lent (Commemoration of St Vincent Ferrer)

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Trustees & Finance Council

Rt Revd Anthony Emery, 6th Bishop of Portsmouth (RIP 1988)


Saturday 6th April

Saturday of 4th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: “Catholic HR” for managers in Catholic organisations


Sunday 7th April


Diocesan Prayer: De la Salle Brothers in the Diocese


Forthcoming Events     

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


Thursday 4th April

Centenary of the Death of St Francisco Marto

St Joseph's Centre, Ashurst

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 6th April
The Wood of the Cross -
a play by Roman Brandstaetter

St. Swithun’s Church Southsea

Read more


Monday 8th April

Winchester Catholic History Group meeting

"Rubens & the Counter Reformation"

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

Read more


Friday 12th - Sunday 14th April

"Come and See" weekend

Minster Abbey Benedictine Nuns

Read more


Saturday 27th April 

ADORE (Alton Day Of REnewal)

Alton School, Anstey Lane, Alton

Read more


Thursdays in May (2nd-30th)

Essential Training for Catechists

St Peter's Winchester

Read more


Saturday 4th May

Living Simply and in Solidarity with the Poor 

St Peter's Winchester

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 11th May

A day for First Holy Communion Catechists

Milner Hall, Jewry Street, Winchester


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

Read more


Saturday 18th May 

ADORE (Alton Day Of REnewal)

Alton School, Anstey Lane, Alton

Read more


Saturday 25th May

Fatima Devotion Day

St Joseph's Centre, Ashurst

Read more


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

ADORE (Alton Day Of REnewal)

Alton School, Anstey Lane, Alton

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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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Friday 12th July

Basingstoke Catenian Circle Golf Day
in aid of CAFOD
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25th-30th July 

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

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Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August 

Don Bosco Camp

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Monday 29th July - Friday 2nd August

Frassati Pilgrimage to Turin and Oropa

in the Footsteps of Bl Pier Giorgio

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Thursday 1st - Sunday 4th August

St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

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Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August

An Amazing Adventure

Fanning the Flame Summer Camp

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Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September 

Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles &
the special saints of Italy 

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October 2019

Extraordinary Mission Month


Wednesday 2nd - Tuesday 8th October

Pilgrimage to Knock, Co. Mayo

Further details from Fr Tom Grufferty


8th-15th October 

Pilgrimage to Malta
Read more


25th - 30th May 2020

Trip to Bavaria - Oberammergau and Lake Garda
Read more




Job Vacancies     

Administrative Secretary - English Martyrs, Didcot and St John the Evangelist, Wallingford

A vacancy has arisen for a part-time Administrative Secretary to work for Fr Phillip Harris, Parish Priest at the churches of English Martyrs, Didcot and St John the Evangelist, Wallingford.  The successful applicant will be located at the Parish Office in the Presbytery at Didcot.


Hours of work: 8 hours a week, to be worked mornings Tuesday – Friday (Hours by negotiation)


Closing date for applications: Tuesday 16th April

Interviews to be held week commencing: Monday 29th April


For more details and application forms for diocesan posts please see our Vacancies page here 

Lead Chaplain - St Peter’s Catholic School, Bournemouth

Permanent and Full Time Required from 1st September 2019


Unqualified Teacher Pay Scale Grade 1 to 6 (currently £17,208 - £27,216 gross per annum)



The governing body of St Peter’s Catholic School wish to appoint an inspirational School Chaplain who feels called to make a significant contribution to the faith journey of every member of our school community.


The successful candidate will be a practising Catholic with a strong personal faith and a passion for encouraging your people in their faith, and with the chaplaincy team, the ability to develop the spiritual, liturgical and prayer life of the school community.


St Peter’s School strives to provide an excellent education for all out students within a caring Christian community where all are respected, values and supported to reach their full potential.


St Peter’s School is committed to safer recruitment and is an equal opportunities employer.


Closing date: Tuesday 23rd April 2019 (12 Noon)


Full details and application information available 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 and for those to be ordained or professed in the coming months.

All our students currently in formation for ordination and those responsible for their formation in the various seminaries in which they are based. 

The work of the New Evangelisation across the diocese that we may all play our part in bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.


The Unity of all Christians in doctrine, life and worship.

The Canonisation of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of our Youth.

The work of all Evangelisation Strategy Teams across our Diocese and the Holy Spirit's guidance on the formation of the new Diocesan Pastoral Council.

Those entering the "Called and Gifted" process and for the work of the Called & Gifted Team. That all the faithful of the Diocese that they may share their time and talents for the good of the Church and discern how God is calling them in a particular way to be more intentional disciples.   

The work of our Marriage and Family Life Team.

All the sick clergy and people in our Diocese who are in need of our prayers.

All those suffering in the world through hunger, disease, persecution and natural disaster, for all refugees and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The work of the Apostleship of the Sea, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, Caritas Jersey, CAFOD and those with whom they work.


That all we do in the diocese may bring people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. 



Please share your good news with us

I would like to encourage all readers to send in items for the e-News about events in parishes, pastoral areas and schools about the many sacramental celebrations and general good news about people in the diocese. I often hear much Good News from many people - do share it with us so we can share it with others in the diocese.Thanks, of course, to all who already contribute articles for the e-News on an occasional or regular basis.


Please e-mail all news items by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue to Deacon Craig Aburn: 


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 Bishop Philip on Twitter.


Follow the Diocese on Facebook and Twitter.


Follow Vocations Promotion on Facebook and Twitter.


Follow the Diocesan Youth Team 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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