Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 9th April 2019 - Issue 224 (2019/14)


Dear Friends,

The meme here, with the words of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of Parish Priests, is a reminder to pray for all our priests, especially as next week at the Chrism Mass, they renew their priestly promises. I hope you can join us for the Chrism Mass: it’s 11 o’clock here next Tuesday (see below). Our Diocese is blessed with many fine priests and deacons and after the Mass, the clergy will have a short opportunity for a meal together and time to socialise in the Cathedral Discovery Centre. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy reading this week’s e-News, packed with items from across the Diocese. If you have any items of good news to share – an answer to prayer, a great thing happening in your parish, a special anniversary – do send them in to Deacon Craig. Each edition of e-News follows a set format promulgating what’s happening in the Diocese, in our parishes and in our schools: so headline news, liturgy and prayer, coming events, magazine articles and topics, what’s been happening, and people-news. My prayers and best wishes for Passiontide.  God bless you.




Invitation for next Tuesday

I want to invite everyone – clergy, religious and laity – to join me next Tuesday 16th April 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 Mass is on Tuesday 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 11. Portsmouth and Southsea station is 3 minutes walk round the corner or you can find parking in car parks nearby: make sure you have the right sat-nav reference PO1 3HG.



Next Week is Holy Week

Click on the picture for a short video message from Bishop Robert Barron about Passion (Palm) Sunday and Holy Week. Yes, next week is Holy Week! We begin with Palm Sunday, a ‘bitter-sweet’ celebration of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem: ‘bitter,’ because in a few days time the acclamations of the crowds will turn to screams of rage for His death, ‘sweet,’ because He is our King and by His resurrection, He frees us from sin, suffering, death. The palms remind us Christ our King has triumphed. In the Gospel at Mass on Monday, Jesus goes to Bethany, where, alluding to His burial, Mary anoints His feet with costly oil. On Tuesday, Jesus is at supper, troubled that one of The Twelve will betray Him and another deny Him. Then on Wednesday, Judas ‘seals the deal’ to hand Him over. And on Thursday the Triduum begins, the Sacred Three Days of His death and resurrection, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Passion on Good Friday, the descent into hell and the glory of Easter. The Triduum is a single celebration, the Liturgy of the Passover, the passing-over of Jesus from death to life. By His passing-over, Jesus transforms human life and makes that transformation available to us, through His Church, feeding us with His life-giving Body and Blood. Please keep Holy Week ‘holy’ by your prayers each day, by reflecting on the daily readings from the Gospels, and by going to Mass and Confession (if you have not done already). I wish you a happy Holy Week and Easter.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is Passion (Palm) Sunday and the Gospel is from Luke 22:14-23:56. Here we give it in the English Standard Version (ESV) translation followed by a commentary by the well-known biblical scholar and apologist, Dr. Scott Hahn.


Institution of the Lord's Supper

14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it[a] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.[b] 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.


Who Is the Greatest?

24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.


Read more here.   



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

“The Cross is the mercy of God” - Palm Sunday, Year C
(Luke 19:28-40 / Luke 22:14-23-56)

In Luke’s account of the Passion, which will be read this Sunday, we discover once more the infinite depth of God’s mercy revealed and offered to us on the cross. As Jesus Christ, God the Son, gives his life for us and dies a shameful and horrific death, we hear: ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing’. We also hear, with the ‘good’ thief: ‘I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.’


How can Jesus, at this hour of extreme suffering and anguish, be thinking of others, be thinking of us? This reveals to us the whole purpose of God, who achieves his salvation. It also reveals his heart full of love, the heart of Jesus filled with mercy for all sinners.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How do we understand the mystery of the cross in the light of faith?

Hope: How does this help us understand our own suffering?

Love: How can we turn suffering into love, like Jesus?


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



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

Laetare Sunday, as the 4th Sunday of Lent is called, is marked by rose pink vestments and we are given a mid-Lenten lift by the liturgy.  However, it is also a wake up call. It marks that we are rather more than half way through the season of Lent, and that the Great Week, as our Orthodox brethren call it, is rapidly approaching.  Indeed, under the old calendar in the Western Churches, the 5th Sunday of Lent is called Passion Sunday, and marks the beginning of Passiontide.  Many churches still observe the practice of covering every statue and image, veiling them in purple as a sign of penance.  Before Good Friday, even crucifixes and paintings of the crucifixion are veiled: these are unveiled on Good Friday so that these images of Our Lord’s Passion may increase our fervour and devotion.  But the other images remained veiled until the Gloria of the Easter Liturgy, so that nothing may distract us from the tremendous events of the Triduum.


Read more



From Deacon Martin

The second reading on Palm Sunday, from Philippians 2, is close to the heart of all deacons. In it, the Apostle Paul describes Christ the Servant, Who, though “His state was divine…emptied Himself, to assume the condition of a servant” (Phil 2:6-7).  A deacon is “ordained for service” (Lumen Gentium, 29), to be a sign of Christ the Servant.  Not that deacons are the only ones who serve: all the baptised are called to service (Catechism, 783), including all priests, bishops, and even the Pope, who is “the Servant of the Servants of God”.  All of our service is in imitation of Christ the Servant (see Lk 22:27). How should we “assume the condition of a servant”?  A good start may be to reflect on the characteristics of servants, with Christ as our example:

Servants know they are not in charge: the Master is
True humility is not pretending we’re nothing, but recognising where we stand in relation to God: that He is God and we are not. That’s how Christ was humble: even though “His state was divine”, he “became as all men are” – in other words, subjecting Himself to the Father (see also Jn 8:28, 8:42).

Continue reading...


'Via Crucis' this Friday in Andover

Fr. Austin and the parish of St. John’s Andover want to share with us, and invite you to join them for a beautiful event this Friday that’s happening in their parish.


As Holy Week approaches, St John the Baptist Church in Andover are again able to welcome the Harmonium Singers, directed by Bruce Randall, to lead their final Friday Stations of the Cross this Lent.  Drawing on the rich heritage of Catholic church music dating back to the 15th century, the choir will be able to highlight key moments in the narrative of the Way of the Cross.  Eight stations will be considered, with relevant short musical items (sung from the gallery) following scriptural extracts and reflections.  The sequence begins at 7.15pm on Friday 12th April and will last about 40 minutes.  This is a rare opportunity to experience the powerful combination of choral music and traditional texts in focusing the mind on the events of Holy Week.  The Singers value the opportunity to sing such beautiful music in context, asking only that there should be a retiring collection for the Andover Foodbank. All welcome.



God's Mercy for the British Isles

When I visited Pollone, I was privileged to hold Bl. Pier Giorgio's Frassati's rosary - see picture. Speaking of the Rosary reminds me of the Rosary on the Coast we held last year. The first anniversary of this falls providentially on Divine Mercy Sunday, 28 April - it is as if devotion to Our Lady of Mercy and the Rosary is leading us to the Feast of Mercy of Her Son! Could your parish arrange a service? So far we have only nine parishes in the diocese signed up. Read on for more on this event and how to sign up.
The Mother of God, Our Lady of the Rosary invited us through Rosary on the Coast to utilize her best spiritual weapon to pray for our Nation and to bring down the spiritual strongholds, which hold us as persons, families and nations in demonic bondage and oppression and hence far from God. Our Isles and Parliament, at this time, are in great need of our prayers. Rosary on the Coast came from the laity who felt called to make reparation for the sins of the world and summon our Church to reparation. The first call of Jesus was: Repent and Believe the Good News, and His Gospel calls us to continual repentance, to be a Church semper reformanda Our deafness to this call is the cause of the crisis in which we find ourselves today. The sins of our modern age are against God:  by rejecting Him and idolizing humanity, people stand against the dignity of the human person, and offend the sanctity of life in abortion, and the truth of human sexuality, offended by much political ideology attached to gender and sexuality.


Celebrating 40 years of Clinicare

For more than 40 years, loyal supporters have worked to bring much needed medical supplies to our brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Bamenda, Cameroon. Clinicare, developed as an independent charity by the Knights of St Columba in 1979, is to our knowledge, the only organisation to have been awarded our Diocesan Medal "for long and faithful service in the church". For many years, volunteers collected, sorted and packed recycled equipment and medicines in perfect condition. Sadly over the years, changes in both Cameroonian and U.K. legislation have made this work bureaucratic and financially impractical. Funds raised in recent years have instead been sent to purchase the supplies locally in Bamenda.


Save the date! – at 11am on the 11th May, Mass will be held to give thanks for the 40 years of the charity in St Joseph's Church, Bugle St, Southampton, where for many years the cellar below the church was the hub of the work. A celebratory buffet will follow afterwards where we would love to reunite with all our supporters. The charity has reluctantly taken the decision to cease functioning independently this summer but there is no less need and so any future funds raised will be routed through the Portsmouth Bamenda funds and specified for healthcare projects.



Have you completed the 'God who speaks' survey?

You may remember me mentioning recently that the Bishops’ Conference have dedicated next year, which is the 1600th anniversary of St. Jerome and the 10th of Pope Benedict’s groundbreaking document Verbum Domini, as a Year of the Bible. It’s called “God Who speaks” and a number of events are being planned across our Diocese to help us gain a deeper knowledge and love of sacred Scripture. Meanwhile, the national ‘God who speaks’ 2020 campaign will help us to focus on the great gift of the Bible. To prepare for the campaign, and discover something of the Catholics’ familiarity with the Bible, Sr. Hyacinthe and our Formation for Mission team, have put together a diocesan page: www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/bible where you will find a survey called ‘The Bible and You’, to find out where the Bible fits in your life. Please fill the survey, and pass on the link to your parish and friends. There are only 10 questions, and it should take you 3 minutes. Thank you!




Interfaith Calendar

14 April

Sikh: VAISAKHI/BAISAKHI This day celebrates the Sikh New Year. In 1699, on Vaisakhi, the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, founded the Order of the Khalsa. Five men were pre-pared to offer their lives when he asked for volunteers

14 April

Hindu: RAMA NAVAMI is an important Hindi festival which celebrates the Birthday of Rama, seventh avatar of Vishnu.

20-21 April

Muslim: THE NIGHT OF FORGIVENESS/LAILAT-UL-BARA’AH (14th Sha’ban) BIRTHDAY of 12th IMAM, Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mahdi (Shi‘a) On 14th Sha’ban, 8th month of the Muslim year, 2 weeks before Ramadan, Muslims seek forgiveness for their sins and spend the night in prayer.

20-27 April

Jewish: PASSOVER/PESACH commemorates the liberation of the Children of Israel and their Exodus from slavery in Egypt. The highlight is the Seder meal, when the story of their deliverance is recounted. Matzah, (unleavened bread) is eaten throughout the festival, as are other foods that contain no leaven (yeast).



Training days for Children's Liturgy leaders

On 15th June, our Formation for Mission team will be running another training session for those leading Children’s Liturgy of the Word. It will be at Chandlers Ford - you can book here. Recently, over 30 leaders of the Liturgy of the Word with Children gathered at St James' Church in Reading for a day's training.  There was great participation and super feedback. Topics covered included a review of the principles, making our liturgy space sacred, recruitment and safety, among others.  A new card to assist with recruitment was launched– with copies being available for every parish who had leaders present. 


When thinking about Liturgy of the Word for children, the Westminster Archdiocesan website has some helpful materials. It makes the point that Children's Liturgy of the Word is liturgy , ritual prayer, and not catechesis (religious instruction) or child minding. Because it is a liturgical celebration, all the principles of good liturgy (active participation, clear symbols, etc) apply. Secondly, it is liturgy of the word, so it is ritual centred on the proclamation and breaking open of the scriptures. The children do what the rest of the community is doing at this point of the Mass. They listen to the scriptures proclaimed and applied to contemporary life and respond in various ways. It is an experience of prayer, of dialogue with God.



Visit of Our Lady of Walsingham

From Thursday to Sunday last week, the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from the Slipper Chapel at the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham visited St John's Cathedral as part of the Dowry of Mary Tour around all the Catholic Cathedrals in England in preparation for the Re-dedication of England as Mary's Dowry in 2020.
We give thanks for the many graces received from the visit during which a packed programme of talks on the Dowry of Mary, Marian devotions and, of course, celebrations of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass took place.
The image arrived on Thursday when Fr PJ Smith, Cathedral Dean, celebrated Mass and crowned the image. On Friday, Fr John Maunder from St Agatha's Landport, just down the road from the Cathedral celebrated the lunchtime Mass in the Cathedral which was offered in the distinctive Ordinariate Use of the Roman Rite; the first time this form has been offered in the Cathedral. Then in the evening, I celebrated a Votive Mass of Our Lady of Walsingham which concluded with the Act of Consecration to Our Lady. On Saturday, we welcomed Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB, Abbot of Farnborough to celebrate the lunchtime Mass.

There is a pictorial record of the events of the weekend here.


Pastoral Visitation of St. Swithun Wells

Over the weekend, I began the Pastoral Visitation of St. Swithun Wells parish, which comprises six communities across the middle of southern Hampshire: Holy Cross, Eastleigh, Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Bishop’s Waltham, St. Andrew’s, North Baddesley, St. Edward the Confessor, Chandler’s Ford, St. Joseph’s, Romsey and St. Swithun Wells, Fair Oak. It’s like a mini-diocese! There are four priests, (Fr. Raffaele Cossa, priest in charge, Canon Alan Griffiths, Fr. Luca Speziale and Fr. Wojciech Paszko), together with four deacons (Revs. Bob Birtles, John di Meo, Paul Owen and Paul Wilson). The Daughters of Wisdom are based in Romsey and many of the sisters came to the Saturday evening Mass. I ought to add to this list Denis, the seminarian, who is also resident: he cooked a splendid lunch for us on Sunday! St. Swithun Wells is a complex parish and this weekend I visited Romsey, Chandler’s Ford and Holy Cross: I will return in the summer to visit Bishop’s Waltham, North Baddesley and Fair Oak. I was really impressed with the vitality of everything. I began on Saturday by attending the Inspire Group at Chandler’s Ford, a large children’s youth group, mainly Years 4 to 8, and then headed over for Confessions and Mass at Romsey. After Mass, back at Eastleigh, we had a light dinner and a meeting with 15 or so representatives from the parish. It was a really good discussion, sadly not long enough, in which we discussed the parish priorities for the next five years and various methods of evangelisation. On Sunday morning, I said the 9 o’clock Mass in Chandler’s Ford and the 11 o’clock at Holy Cross, both of which were packed (as you can see from the photo of Fr. Raffaele giving the notices). All the clergy then came together and we had lunch. In the afternoon, I met with about 20 teenagers from the Holy Cross Youth Group and they led the music and prayers afterwards at the Holy Hour. St. Swithun Wells is an excellent parish with many “can-do” Catholics. Please pray for the clergy, for the parishioners and for the mission of the Church in that place. I look forward to the follow-up visit.



SPES – St. Paul’s Evangelisation Society

Over the last two weeks, the founders of the St. Paul Evangelization Society (SPES), Deacon Vincent Bernadin and Dr. George Witwer, have been staying with us at Bishop’s House. They have been meeting and working with myself, with members of the Bishop’s Council and with other diocesan and Framework Team leaders offering advice and help in developing processes that will embed the new evangelisation into all our thinking and working. SPES, which began in 2014, is a spiritual association of Catholic laity and clergy whose members are passionately committed to the Great Commission delivered by the Lord with his last words on earth (cf. Mt  28:18-20) and devoted to new evangelisation. It is a service especially to bishops and is inspired by St. Paul who wrote in his letter to the Church in Rome, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Its hope (‘spes’, in Latin) is that all have a personal encounter with the Trinity through Jesus Christ that leads to lifelong missionary discipleship in communion with the Catholic Church. SPES is specifically dedicated to supporting bishop-led evangelisation, so that all the laity as well as the clergy of a diocese might embrace the call of the Great Commission. The Society prays for bishops, gives advice and offers services. You can read more about them here on their website.


Please say regularly the SPES prayer for our Diocese.



St. Patrick’s Soho

Last Monday, 1st April 2019, I joined a group of priests for an excellent Day of Prayer and Recollection at St. Patrick’s Soho – a church that’s a definite “must” if you are visiting Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road in London. The original church was built on the site in 1792 by an Irish Franciscan Friar, Father Arthur O’Leary, but was replaced in 19C by the current elegant Italianate building. It has recently been beautifully restored. St Patrick’s is the first Church in England, at least since the Reformation, dedicated to St Patrick. Even in its early days, the church was the scene of several major religious events, most notably the official requiem for the repose of the soul of Pope Pius VI. The annual procession honouring the Tyburn Martyrs stops at St Patrick’s as it makes its way from the Tower of London to Tyburn, as a relic of one of them, Saint Oliver Plunkett, is housed in the Church. An important visitor to the church was Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the first Catholic television evangelist. A regular preacher between the 1920’s and 1960’s, he was not only a man of enormous renown but also of great holiness. His cause for beatification has been opened. He often described himself as the “un-appointed curate of the Parish,” and stayed in the Parish House on many occasions. His public talks were so well attended that the congregation would often spill out onto the street. The church’s patron, St Patrick, was first and foremost a missionary. The missionary endeavour has always been at the very heat of the parish’s desire to evangelise, bring the sacraments, and to prepare their flock for their final meeting with God.



Caritas Dragons' Den

On 28th March, seven schools gathered at St Bede's, Basingstoke, for the fourth annual Dragon's Den event organised by Caritas in the diocese. It was another exciting and inspiring day with three primary schools and four secondary schools bidding for a share of an investment pot of £2,800! The panel of friendly dragons was Fr PJ Smith (Episcopal Vicar for Education), Edmund Adamus (Diocesan Schools Commissioner), Fr Chris Rutledge (St Bede's Parish Priest) and Toby Longhurst (Catholic Students Society, University of Southampton).
The aim of the event is to encourage and support schools to develop projects that will bring tangible benefits to their local community, especially those in need. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are a key criteria for evaluating the projects. Each school had an opportunity to present their project idea to the dragons and explain who will benefit and how they will use any funds they receive. The range of projects was diverse and everyone presented with energy and enthusiasm even if some were a little nervous beforehand! 


Friends Without Borders

Last Thursday, 4th April, with Bishop Christopher, the Church of England Bishop of Portsmouth, I visited the Friends Without Borders project based in All Saints Anglican Church on Commercial Road here in Portsmouth. This was my second visit, as I visited them three years ago, and it was encouraging to see how things have developed. Friends Without Borders is a non-denominational charity, which has been running now for over 25 years. It organises a drop-in centre providing support for asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants within the Portsmouth area. The centre is open on Mondays and Thursdays providing language, food and clothing, problem solving and socialising opportunities. It seeks to reduce isolation and social exclusion by enabling clients to negotiate bureaucratic systems which they may not understand and to build networks, both professional and personal. One of the key projects which I was able to witness was English-language teaching. It also has an Access to Justice project offering free legal advice on immigration law from qualified advisers.  About 200 people regularly attend. Many are refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran, as well as Eritreia and Yemen, and I was surprised to find among them many Catholics. It can sometimes take many years for their cases to be heard and resolved by our government immigration services. One man had been waiting since 2005. Listening to the stories people told was very moving. Friends Without Borders is a beautiful humanitarian project. If you would like to know more or might offer to volunteer, check out their website here.  



“Souper” soup CAFOD lunches in Portsmouth Diocese

Many thanks to all our CAFOD parish volunteers who organised a soup lunch or supper on Lent family fast day Friday 15th March. It is a great way to have a simple meal in solidarity with those in our world who go hungry every day, and don’t have the choice of food that we have. It is also a fantastic way to raise funds for CAFOD and an opportunity for those living on their own to share a meal with others in their parish.


These parishes have a soup lunch or supper every Friday during Lent :- Our Lady of Sorrows Fordingbridge, Sacred Heart Ringwood, Immaculate Conception Southampton, Corpus Christi Wokingham, St Edward the Confessor Chandler’s Ford, Holy Cross Eastleigh and St Francis of Assisi Ascot. St Thomas in Jersey have theirs on a Wednesday lunch time.  Why not go along and support them (details in the parish newsletters).


Patrick Flynn from St Joseph’s in Maidenhead took some photos of their soup lunch which was organised by the UCM and wrote this for our blog. “Parishioners and visitors were treated to a wide selection of soups together with delicious fresh bread and cheese. There was a fabulous atmosphere in the Parish Centre as everyone used the opportunity to have a relaxed chat and a well-earned catch up on a lovely Friday afternoon. During the lunch, we were reminded that many “Mothers”, such as Mahinur, do not have enough food to feed their family. Our UCM members empathise with the plight of Mahinur and are determined to support CAFOD in the work that is carried out in Bangladesh and in other communities around the globe”.



Cyber Ambassadors assemble!

Report by the Cyber Ambassador Team, Bishop Challoner Catholic School


Recently, eight students (click on the photo for the full group) from Bishop Challoner, embarked on a journey to Robert Mays School. Our mission was to become Cyber Ambassadors. Marcia Tanyanyiwa (who works for the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and Isle of Wight) trained and involved us in many different cyber-related activities. All of these activities led us towards our goal. We found out about a range of different internet crimes and explored many online-related scenarios. Beth (one of our students) says that she now knows what smishing, dog piling, and grooming is. Do you? It was also great for students work with and get to know some students from other Hampshire schools.


The role of a Cyber Ambassador is, to be a point of contact for other students, who have Cyber-related problems. We have come away already enthused with plans to spread awareness about Cyber safety and to give advice on some of the difficulties and challenges it brings. We will be leading online-awareness workshops back in school and  want to run some for our Catholic Primary schools so that are prepared to cope with the social media pressures that they are likely to face in secondary school. We were grateful for the opportunity to be empowered to make a difference.


Cyber Ambassadors will be adding another dimension to our already-strong team of Well-being and Anti-Bullying Ambassadors which we believe is so important in our busy and stressful world.



Br. Paul McAuley R.I.P

Please pray for Brother Paul McAuley, 71, a De La Salle teaching brother and missionary, who was burned to death in the Amazon city of Iquitos last week. May he rest in peace. Born originally in Portsmouth and a one-time teacher at St. John’s College, Southsea, Brother Paul since 1995 had been working in Peru, mainly with indigenous peoples. There, an environmental activitist, he frequently clashed with the authorities, opposing deals with powerful oil and mining interests which he argued would devastate the environment and the social fabric. In 2010, the Peruvian government threatened to deport him, but there was a public outcry. Brother Paul worked mainly in education. He established a school in a poor area of Lima, and for this he was awarded the MBE. He managed a hostel in a poor area of the city and it was there that his body was found by students, apparently burned to death. The Peruvian bishops’ conference paid tribute to him and called on the authorities “to clarify the facts and find those responsible”. As we ask the Lord to have mercy on his soul, please also pray for his family and friends, and for his religious community, the De La Salle brothers, in our Diocese in Kintbury and in Southsea.



Homily at Canon Dermot MacDermot-Roe’s Funeral Mass

Here is the Homily that Canon Hetherington gave at Canon Dermot MacDermot-Roe’s funeral Mass on 19th March at St. Boniface’s Southhampton:


I first met Fr. Dermot when I was newly ordained and serving at English Martyrs, Reading, he was then at Bracknell, and would come over for an occasional evening visit to his good friend, Fr. Frank Scantlebury; a friendship that had begun during Dermot's many happy yea serving with Fr. Later Canon Dan Cogan at St, Mary's, Ryde. Fr. Cogan was Dermot's model priest; he often spoke of him with great affection.


Those of us that had the privilege of attending Dermot's Diamond Jubilee Celebration at All Hallows in Dublin remember him speaking of his "first hesitant steps towards his vocation." He was coming to the end of his time at Waterpark School in Co. Waterford. A young Vincentian priest, Fr. McArdle,  gave the boys’ retreat. Dermot along with some others were collecting chairs from the chapel; there he noticed Fr. McArdle "kneeling in prayer before the Tabernacle quite oblivious to what was happening around him." This prompted Dermot to think; "Jesus is very real to this priest, they are obviously good friends." He also discovered that the young priest was a happy priest - something of this rubbed off on Dermot.


Read More …



Bishop Philip's Engagements                   

Wednesday 10th April 

Clergy Lent Day of Prayer, Douai Abbey  


Sunday 14th April

Palm Sunday Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 10am 


Monday 15th April

Internal Meetings, Bishop's House


Tuesday 16th April 

Chrism Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 11am 


Thursday 18th April 

Mass of the Lord’s Supper, St John’s Cathedral, 8pm  


Friday 19th April

Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion, St John’s Cathedral, 3pm

Stations of the Cross, St John’s Cathedral, 7pm  


Saturday 20th April

Easter Vigil and Mass of the Resurrection, St John’s Cathedral, 8pm



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 7th April


Diocesan Prayer: De la Salle Brothers in the Diocese


Monday 8th April

Monday of 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of St Lucy (Filippini) in the Diocese


Tuesday 9th April

Tuesday of 5th Week of Lent 

Diocesan Prayer: Association for Latin Liturgy


Wednesday 10th April

Wednesday of 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: The Neocatechumenate in the Diocese


Thursday 11th April

Thursday of 5th Week of Lent 

Diocesan Prayer: Bishop Philip’s home Diocese of Shrewsbury


Friday 12th April

Friday of 5th Week of Lent 

National Prayer Cycle: Victims of Sexual Abuse
Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Disability Fellowship 


Saturday 13th April

Saturday of 5th Week of Lent

Diocesan Prayer: Parish Disability Representatives


Sunday 14th April


Diocesan Prayer: For a deeper love of the Passion of Christ


Monday 15th April

Monday of Holy Week

Diocesan Prayer: All readers


Tuesday 16th April

Tuesday of Holy Week

Diocesan Prayer: All priests of the Diocese


Wednesday 17th April

Wednesday of Holy Week (Spy Wednesday)

Diocesan Prayer: All deacons of the Diocese


Thursday 18th April

Maundy Thursday 

Diocesan Prayer: Extraordinary Ministers of Communion


Friday 19th April

Good Friday

Diocesan Prayer: Peace in the Holy Land 


Saturday 20th April

Holy Saturday 

Diocesan Prayer: All those who mourn 


Sunday 21st April


Diocesan Prayer: For an ever deeper confidence in the power of Christ and his Resurrection


Forthcoming Events      

Friday 12th - Sunday 14th April

"Come and See" weekend

Minster Abbey Benedictine Nuns

Read more


Friday 12th April
The Wood of the Cross - a play by Roman Brandstaetter

St. Swithun’s Church Southsea

Read more


Friday 19th April
The Wood of the Cross - a play by Roman Brandstaetter

St. Swithun’s Church Southsea

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

Read more


Saturday 1st June

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


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

Read more


Saturday 15th June

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more


Monday 1st July

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

Read more


Friday 12th July

Basingstoke Catenian Circle Golf Day
in aid of CAFOD
Read more


25th-30th July 

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August 

Don Bosco Camp

Read more


Monday 29th July - Friday 2nd August

Frassati Pilgrimage to Turin and Oropa

in the Footsteps of Bl Pier Giorgio

Read more


Thursday 1st - Sunday 4th August

St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

Read more


Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August

An Amazing Adventure

Fanning the Flame Summer Camp

Read more


Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September 

Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles &
the special saints of Italy 

Read more


Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 

Southampton Celebrate Weekend

Read more


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 form 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.


Headteacher, St. Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School

  • Job Start Date: 1 September 2019
  • Contract/Hours: Permanent, Full-time
  • Salary Type: Leadership Scale
  • Salary Details: The indicative pay range is set at £55,749 to £64,595
  • NOR 324
  • Location of Role: St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School, Hooks Lane,
                                 Bedhampton, Hampshire PO9 3DR.

Application Procedure

Visits to the school are warmly welcomed. To arrange a visit, please telephone: 02392 475909 or e-mail: b.mccann@stthomasmores.hants.sch.uk


The Headteacher Information pack and application form can be obtained here.


  • Closing Date: 2 May 2019 (Noon)
  • Interview Date(s): 21 and 22 May 2019


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: 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 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


Do you have an event to advertise or news item to share?

We receive a lot of adverts for events. If you would like to advertise an event, please fill out this form here

Subscribe to Portsmouth Diocese E-news
Keep up to date with what’s happening in the diocese. The diocesan e-news comes out on Tuesday most weeks – latest events, photos, videos.

(Under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the information provided on this form will be held in confidence and used for the purpose of diocesan communications and no other purpose).