I hope you have been having a good Easter with many joys and blessings. I had a few days down-time last week. The school holidays seemed to be different this Easter, with many children taking their Easter break before Easter although there were still a few taking it last week. I hope you liked our new diocesan magazine Viva Voce and have managed to download the App to get the the AR working! Meanwhile, I trust you will enjoy reading all the news from around the Diocese in this e-News, the round up of events past and events to come, plus devotions, prayers, book recommendations and much more. One headline is the new Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit from Pope Francis on Youth, Vocation and Discernment. Another headline – an Easter grace about which we are well pleased - is the appointment of our new Chief Operating Officer, Heather Hauschild. Heather, to whom we give a warm welcome, needs our prayers as she looks to the many tasks ahead. Finally, on this St. George’s Day, may God bless you and your families, today and over the days ahead.
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of our new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Heather Hauschild.
Heather has worked in NHS management for most of her career to date. She is currently Chief Officer for the NHS West Hampshire clinical commissioning group, a role held since 2013, where she is the accountable officer for strategic and operational planning and the delivery of health services through a number of primary and secondary medical providers, for half a million people in the area covered by the clinical commissioning group. She is responsible for a budget of £850 million and more than 300 staff. Between 2010 and 2013 she was an Executive Director with the NHS Hampshire Primary Care Trust where she established the new commissioning arrangements including setting up the CCG as a new organisation and securing its successful authorisation as part of the health reforms at that time. She was Director of Operations at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2010, where she was responsible for the delivery of clinical services, service development and performance management.
Heather is a parishioner in the Diocese, she is married and has two sons, her eldest son Edward is currently training for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome. She is looking forward to joining the Diocese at the end of July and we are hoping for great things going forward, building on the splendid preparatory work that Sue Broadbent has being doing as Director of Change Management, in collaboration with Chris Smith, our Director of Communications. We offer Heather a warm welcome, and please pray for Heather as she gets to know us over these next weeks and prepares to take up her role at the end of July.
Earlier this month, the Holy Father published Christus Vivit, the Apostolic Exhortation that sums up last autumn’s Synod on Youth. You can download it from the Vatican website here and read the official summary of it here. You might also find the commentary and four ‘take-away’ points by Gretchen Crowe on the Our Sunday Visitor website helpful. Christus Vivit, which runs to nine Chapters totalling almost 300 paragraphs, reads like a long letter from a wise and kindly father to his children, full of advice and proposals, yet basically very optimistic and supportive. The Pope constantly reminds the young that Jesus is calling them into friendship. I found the last three chapters helpful. In Chapter Seven, the Holy Father deals with youth ministry, the role of schools, the place of sport, openness to Adoration and contemplative prayer, and also to practical service: The young make us see the need for new styles and new strategies. For example, while adults often worry about having everything properly planned, with regular meetings and fixed times, most young people today have little interest in this kind of pastoral approach. Youth ministry needs to become more flexible: inviting young people to events or occasions that provide an opportunity not only for learning, but also for conversing, celebrating, singing, listening to real stories and experiencing a shared encounter with the living God (204).
Chapter Eight is about vocation: I am sure the Holy Father would be pleased with our new Vocations Promotion website Chapter Nine is about the importance of personal discernment and accompaniment:“So often in life, we waste time asking ourselves: ‘Who am I?’ You can keep asking, ‘Who am I?’ for the rest of your lives. But the real question is: ‘For whom am I?’” Of course, you are for God (286). I commend this important document to teachers and to everyone involved in our schools, and also to parish catechists and leaders working with our youth.
The Confirmation season has begun! Please pray for the many candidates to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation over the weekends of Eastertide. Please pray too for the clergy, catechists and others helping prepare our young for this Sacrament: there are some helpful guidelines here. The key thing in Confirmation preparation is not how much candidates ‘know’ but how much they ‘love,’ that is, that each candidate meets the Lord Jesus in a transforming encounter so that their reception of the Holy Spirit leads them into discipleship. Dioceses vary as to when, where and how they celebrate Confirmation. For us, Confirmations normally take place once every two years for each Pastoral Area. I have asked, resources permitting, that the course lasts two years: a year leading up to the Sacrament and then a follow-on year (mystagogia) continuing the fun, formation and prayer, together with a simple work of charity and service, such as visiting a care home. This second year helps deepen the call to discipleship of Christ, by forming a peer support-group that can be linked into our diocesan youth programmes. Having Confirmation at the Cathedral is a great opportunity for the youngsters to get to know the mother church of the Diocese, thus sensing they belong not just to a parish, but to the Diocese of Portsmouth, thus strengthening the bonds of communion with the Bishop. Parishes usually organise a ‘Going Forth Mass’ and celebration for the following weekend, with giving of certificates etc. to the newly confirmed. I have also asked that candidates choose as a Confirmation name a Saint from the Roman Missal. This ensures that they have a Patron Saint they can readily relate to through an annual celebration with the rest of the diocesan community. Meanwhile, let us pray for a truly joyful celebration of this Sacrament with candidates from across our Diocese. May the Holy Spirit work something new in our midst that will bring many more people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.
Next Sunday is the Third Sunday of Easter and the Gospel is from John 21:1-19. Here we give it in the Anglicised English Standard Version (ESVUK) translation with a link to a commentary by the well-known biblical scholar and apologist, Dr. Scott Hahn.
21 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?”They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards[a] off. 9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Read Scott Hahn's commentary here.
Do we get a second chance after doing something really awful, like betraying a friend and denying that we know him? This is Peter’s experience in this Sunday’s Gospel, as he meets the risen Lord on the shore of the lake of Galilee and eats the breakfast Jesus had prepared for him and the other apostles. Not only is Peter given a second chance, but he is invited to love Jesus now even more than he did before. Is this possible? With Jesus, who has conquered sin and death, love is always possible, love is always victorious. We’ll reflect on:
Faith: Do we dare believe that each one of us is personally given a love without measure?
Hope: How can the hope that Jesus places in Peter be real? Does he have the same hope for me?
Love: Peter is invited to love. Today, we are also invited to love by Jesus. What will be our response?
With the month of May, ‘Mary’s month,’ beginning this week, I thought it would be good to run an Enews mini-series on the four Marian anthems that the Church appoints for use for the various seasons of the year, especially in the Liturgy of the Hours at the end of Night Prayer, Compline. The four are: Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Caelorum, Regina Caeli and - the best-loved – Salve Regina (‘Hail, Holy Queen’). To these we might add the Sub tuum praesidium, the oldest known prayer to the Blessed Virgin, and a personal favourite of Pope Francis, although it is not officially used in the Liturgy.
Let’s begin this week with the Regina Caeli: click on the picture to hear it sung. Regina Caeli is meant to be sung at Compline during Eastertide. During this season, it is also prayed standing, at noon, in place of the Angelus. It means:
O Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia!
For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Its authorship is unknown, but the hymn has been traced back to Franciscan use in the 13th century. According to The Golden Legend, Pope St. Gregory the Great heard angels singing the first three lines during a Marian procession in Rome and he was inspired to add the fourth line ‘Ora pro nobis Deum.’ The Regina Caeli is a wonderful tribute to Our Lord’s Resurrection and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It praises Christ for conquering death and for opening up for us the gates of Heaven, there one day to share with Him, with the Blessed Mother, the angels and saints, and our departed loved ones, the joys of Paradise.
Last Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, was the Feast of Divine Mercy, reminding us that Jesus laid down His life on the Cross for you, for me and for the whole world in order to shew us His infinite mercy. He makes that mercy available to us in His Church, above all through the sacraments and through prayer. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, given to us through the appearances of the Lord to St. Faustina Kowalska, is an excellent prayer for that Divine mercy. It is prayed by many young Catholics. Given the state of things at the moment, it would be good for all of us throughout this Eastertime to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, ideally at 3 pm. (Click on the picture for a splendid musical version by Fr. Robert Galea with Natasha and Gary Pinto). To say the chaplet is simple. All you need is a set of ordinary Rosary Beads. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, then say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and the Apostles Creed. Then on the Our Father beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On the ten Hail Mary beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Repeat this routine for all five decades. Then, conclude saying three times:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3)
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 6:11)
In these two quotations from St Paul, we are brought to a realisation of what the Easter we are celebrating means: the new life which Christ’s death and resurrection brings requires a death from us: requires that we abandon the life of sin, and take on a new kind of life, which is directed not towards earth, and earthly things, but ordered towards the things of heaven. What Christ’s death and resurrection demand is a radical reordering of our lives, so that we may no longer live for ourselves, but for him.
But death is painful, and it is all too easy, even in the midst of Easter joys to be sucked back into our old way. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, we hunger for the tastes and smells of “Egypt”: and the greatest impediment to our relationship with God is our hunger for temporal things, our willingness to be side tracked. All too often we try to have it both ways, to seek earthly delights while affecting to love God too. However, God is a jealous God, and will not allow us to put Him in second place: he wants our whole-hearted love and devotion.
The first reading for the 3rd Sunday of Easter contains three instances of the phrase “the name”: twice, the Apostles are warned not to preach or speak in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:28, 5:40), and in the final sentence, the Apostles are glad to have suffered “for the sake of the name” (Acts 5:41). Last Sunday’s Gospel ended with its purpose: that its readers believe that Jesus is the Son of God, “and that believing, you may have life through His name” (Jn 20:31). And last week’s psalm and this week’s refer to “the name of the Lord” (Ps 118:26) and “His holy name” (Ps 30:11).
Why do the scriptures talk so much about the name of Jesus, and the name of the Lord?
In some cases, “the name” is a synonym (or more accurately, metonym) for the person of God or of Jesus: Jn 20:31’s “life through his name” mirrors one of the earliest statements about Jesus in the Fourth Gospel: “in Him was life” (Jn 1:4). But the word “name”, in its many uses in scripture (231 times in the New Testament, and 864 in the Hebrew Scriptures), has other resonances, especially when used to refer to the Lord...
This course will be run every Thursday evening from 7.30 to 9.00 pm during the month of May in the hall of St Peter’s Church, Jewry Street, Winchester, by Sister Hyacinthe from the Formation for Mission team. This training is for seasoned or new catechists working with children, young people or adults, for everyone involved in Children’s liturgy of the Word, and for anyone interested in passing on the faith. Everyone is welcome. The photo (click on it for the full group) shows the group from Hook who have recently completed the course. The sessions cover:1. What is catechesis? An introduction to the ministry of catechesis – 2nd May
If you wish to attend, please email Sr Hyacinthe: email@example.com
A day for First Holy Communion Catechists – 11th May 2019 – Milner Hall, Jewry Street, Winchester.
For anyone interested in discovering I want to make my home in you a new resource published by Redemptorist Publications. The day will be led by Sr Hyacinthe and the Formation for Mission team. To book a place, please email Sr Hyacinthe: firstname.lastname@example.org. The day will begin with Mass at 9am and will finish at 3pm. Bring a packed lunch.
Portsmouth Diocesan “Don Bosco” Boys Camp takes place from Sunday 28th July to Saturday 3rd August 2019. Fr Mark Hogan will again be leading a camp for boys of secondary school age at St. Cassian’s, Kintbury, Berkshire. There will be plenty of sport, outings, competitions and fun and games to ensure that boys will have a fantastic few days. This will continue to take place within the context of the celebration of the Catholic Faith, including daily Mass and morning prayer. The cost of the camp is £210 (part bursaries may be available on application). To find out more, you can download a poster here, or to reserve a place, please contact Angela Mulkerns on 07764 761006 or email email@example.com.
The Summer Camp, under the patronage of St. John Bosco, is always a great experience. Moreover, we are always very proud that in our Diocese of Portsmouth we have a large community of Salesians, the Society that Don Bosco founded, as well as the excellent Salesian College in Farnborough. St. John Bosco (1815-1888), like the Patron of our Diocesan Youth, Bl. Pier Giorgio, came from Turin and his life work was the welfare of the young. He believed that school should be a happy place – a place of joy and lasting friendships. He is called the “Apostle of Youth.”
We now have over 100 pilgrims signed up for our Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage, with some already on the reserve list for next year! Currently, we are looking into arranging additional places, but the cut-off date is fast approaching - 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. It includes 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 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. They will be staying with us in Hotel La Solitude. The youth pilgrimage costs £475 per person.
Climate change affects our health, our homes, our heritage and our beautiful landscapes. It ruins the work we do to fight poverty and to lead better lives. We have made huge progress on climate change, but things are urgent now. We need to work together to go further, faster to end climate change. Together we Catholics can turn the tide. We can treat our home with respect by leading the way, taking responsibility and forging new habits. We can call on politicians to go further and faster with emissions cuts. As Pope Francis says “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” #14 Laudato Si’: Care for Our Common Home. So how can you get involved….• Come to our joint conference with Caritas Portsmouth on “Living simply and in solidarity with the Poor” on Saturday 4th May at St Peter’s Church Winchester from 10am to 4pm book your place here.
CAFOD has launched an online appeal for the victims of the bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday . We are supporting Caritas Sri Lanka as they help the victims and their families. For more information on CAFOD’s Sri Lanka Attacks Appeal and to donate please click here.
Have you seen our brand new diocesan magazine Viva Voce? It aims to share inspiring stories of local people doing extraordinary things across the Diocese. Our diocesan vision is to bring people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church, and to achieve this, there is no better way to accompany prayer than by sharing the witness of our very own people giving their time to the Church, their faith and to others. A digital version of the Viva Voce magazine can be found here.
At the same time, going with the magazine, we are launching a new diocesan app called ‘Viva Voce AR’. We are the only diocese in Europe to be using AR (augmented reality) technology! AR provides the perfect opportunity to bridge the gap between printed and new online media for parishioners of any age and experience. By simply holding your smartphone over the printed resource, it immediately triggers interactive content on your phone. We want Viva Voce to be an interactive experience for readers, with its information brought to life through videos, podcasts, animation and so much more. As the app develops over the coming months, we hope to use this technology to support parishes and schools in bringing their own local communication to life, e.g. with newsletters, event posters and information hosted on parish and school noticeboards. However, AR is only one part of the new app. ‘Viva Voce AR’ also includes an interactive diocesan map with local information about parishes. As part of its development, each area of the map will provide information about what’s going on locally in parishes and schools, promoting the obvious requirements like Mass times, Confession and school term dates, but also providing a window into the many unique and diverse communities of welcome across our diocese.
I am currently reading through a large documentation pack in preparation for the twice-a-year Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW). The Standing Committee, which comprises the five archbishops led by the Chair, Cardinal Vincent, plus two other representative bishops, together with the permanent secretary, Fr. Chris Thomas, prepare the papers for discussion and establish the agenda. Most of the documentation is made up of papers and reports from the various Committees, and these sometimes include resolutions for approval. The present meeting, formerly known as the “Low Week Meeting”, takes place from 3rd to 10th May and on this occasion is being held at the Royal English College in Valladolid. It includes a three day in-service on Safeguarding. It will be good to visit Valladolid again! The English College there, under the patronage of St. Alban, has been a seminary for the formation of priests for the English mission, since 1589. Currently, the College specialises exclusively in providing a one-year propaedeutic course of formation that prepares men to go forward to a major seminary. The new Ratio Fundamentalis of priestly formation strongly encourages students to be given such a propaedeutic formation period as a means of helping them grow in their spiritual and human formation and to establish solid foundations. At the moment, we do not have any students there from our Diocese of Portsmouth but we did last year. Please pray for all our seminarians and for more vocations.
People gathered in the centre of Fareham on Good Friday morning for the annual Walk of Witness. The Witness has been organised for the last 30+ years by Christians Together; about 300 participated. A 15ft cross was erected in the town centre, then after the service, led by the Methodist Church, it was carried to Sacred Heart Church. The church is close to the main roundabout and so is a great place for evangelisation. Late on Holy Saturday the crown of thorns was removed and the cross was dressed for Easter, with flowers, grave cloth and a sign “He is risen”. It will remain for the octave, announcing the Good News of Easter to all.
Have you seen the parish website? There has been a Catholic worshipping presence in Fareham since 1873 when the Catholic Military Chaplain began saying Mass weekly in a shed off West Street. A few years later, construction began on a permanent site in the centre of Fareham and in 1876 the church of the Sacred Heart was opened. Over the decades the Catholic community grew and a daughter church, St Philip Howard was built in 1980. There was also a third church in Porchester.
During the Octave of Easter, the Apostleship of Sea/Stella Maris chaplains and ship-visitors are busy bringing the news of Easter (Joy of the Risen Christ) to the seafarers on board ships in the Diocese of Portsmouth. This involves giving the seafarers various prayer cards and sacramentals as well as lots of chocolates. In the picture on the left, Mary and Barry Hannant from Annunciation Church (Netley Abbey) are standing with AoS/Stella Maris ship-visitor Paul Owen, as Paul is receiving the many chocolates donated by the parishioners as Easter gifts for seafarers. Also, special thanks to the parishioners of St Patrick's Church in Woolston (Southampton) for all their donated chocolates as collected by ship-visitor Irene Chapman. In this second picture, the seafarers/crew of the 'Christos Theo' receiving, with great joy, their Easter chocolates when their ship was docked in the Port of Southampton this past week.
Ten Year 10 students from St Peter's Bournemouth attended the annual Philosophy Masterclass at the Oxford Town Hall. Julie Arliss from Academy Conferences was supported by Dr Mark Lewney, Dr Christopher O’Neill, and Dr Andrew Pinsent covering such topics as; Claims about the Afterlife, Rock in Dimension: where physics and guitars collide, the Psychology of Success, and, Philosophy and Theology. The masterclass is conducted in the vein of a university lecture, so the content is aimed to stimulate thought at a high intellectual level.
Students Maddy Laxton, Lucy Godden, Ella Devereux, Alice Charalambous, Jason Oliveria, Christian Pengelly, Liv Farrell, Sebastian Taylor, Henry McGeehan, Lily Duke (click on the picture for the full group) represented St Peter’s with great pride. There was also a lively debate on the topic ‘This house believes that the monarchy should be abolished’, with a good contribution from Lucy. After the Conference the students were given a private tour of Merton College, Oxford by the St Peter’s past pupil, James Morrison who is reading History. James was informative, and encouraging of the students to aspire to Oxford University. The outside garden of Merton includes a table favoured by JRR Tolkien.
Rebecca Galbraith, who lives in Portsmouth and attended Oaklands Catholic School in Waterlooville, has been awarded a Bursary of £400 towards her expenses for an overseas project this coming summer.
Rebecca, currently studying Earth Sciences at Oxford University, intends to travel to Nepal at the end of this academic year. She will teach English for 6 weeks at a school in Kathmandu which was struck by an earthquake in 2015. Rebecca will be responsible for lesson plans and for developing communication skills. She hopes to share her personal Catholic values of service and love to those who are less fortunate and looks forward to a culturally enriching experience.
Rebecca has raised the greater part of her expenses herself and was delighted with the Catenian Award. The Catenian Association helps many young Catholic Students in a multiplicity of ventures each year. Following the completion of her venture Rebecca will visit the Catenians to tell the story of her experiences and in so doing, no doubt, encourage members to be generous to other students in the future.
Derek and Susan Davey, parishioners of Corpus Christi, Wokingham celebrated their 60 years of marriage at a special mass of thanksgiving. They were also astonished and delighted to receive a Papal Blessing from the Holy Father. Derek has led and sung with the church choir for many years and Susan is a stalwart of the Union of Catholic Mothers. Fr David O'Sullivan joined the congregation in congratulating them on 60 wonderful years of witness to the vocation of married life.
Are you celebrating a significant wedding anniversary yourself this year? If so, don't forget to register for our Annual Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass which takes place on Saturday 6th July at St Bede's Basingstoke. You can register here.
Our Seminarian to keep in your prayers this month is Deacon Johnpromise Umeozuru who is in his 6th year of Formation and is currently studying at the St John’s Seminary, Wonersh. He has links to the Sacred Heart & St Peter the Apostle Church, Waterlooville. God-willing, he will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood in July.
“My name is Johnpromise Ikenna Umeozuru. I was born on the 1st of May 1982 in Aba, Nigeria to Mr & Mrs Marcel & Elizabeth Umeozuru. I have five other siblings: four boys and one girl. I am both the third in the family and the third son. Since my parents are conscientious practising Catholics, I was brought up in that environment. It was and remains our family tradition to pray the Rosary daily and attend Masses on a regular basis, but most especially on Sundays and Feast days. At the age of 7, I joined the altar servers’ association of my parish. During my years as an altar server, my then parish priest the good and holy Msgr. Raphael Nwosu, whom I admired and still admire, drew us all closer to God through the lives of the Saints, praying the Rosary and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; that sparked the first desire in my heart of dedicating my life to God as a good and holy priest. I discussed this with Msgr. Nwosu who advised me to concentrate on finishing my studies and then see where my heart was. Although I was entitled to a state scholarship due to my academic performance, I turned it down after discussions with my parish priest and moments of prayer since I had made up my mind to enter the junior seminary at Annunciation Seminary Amaudara. I had my major seminary training in Nigeria at Bigard Memorial Major Seminary Enugu and Bl. Iwene Tansi Major Seminary Onitsha respectively.
I hold a Bachelor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology Degrees from Pontifical Urban University Rome. After a spending a period of time with a religious community, I decided to move to the UK and acquired a Diploma in Management & Leadership and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Cardiff Metropolitan University Wales. I then worked full time as a deputy manager in residential care in London and a part time tutor and trainer in Health & Social Care. However, the Lord kept pursuing my heart and calling me to serve Him and as I had established contacts in this Diocese, I applied to Bishop Philip. After a period of discernment, I returned to seminary to complete my formation and am now in my sixth and final year of seminary training.
Deacon Johnpromise has asked that during May we pray for him: “That I become more and more like Christ who came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for all.”
On Sunday 12th May we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday. To prepare for this, the Vocations Promotion Team invite you to join them in praying the Good Shepherd Novena which begins on Friday 3rd May and also to sign up for their newsletter.
I must recommend John O’Malley’s latest book Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church (London, Harvard UP: 2018 [ISBN 9780674979987]). This is a book that the clergy will enjoy, and also anyone seriously interested in the history of the Church. Written by one of the premier Church historians, the Jesuit Fr. John O’Malley from Georgetown University, it explores the bitter controversy over papal infallibility at the First Vatican Council. In the nineteenth century, liberalism, in the guise of liberty, equality and fraternity, seemed to pose a lethal threat to the faith of the Church. In response, Vatican I (1869 – 1870) made a dramatic effort to set things right by defining the doctrine of papal infallibility. Cardinal Henry Manning was the principal driving force for this definition and Lord Acton was his brilliant counterpart on the other side. Also involved were Pope Pius IX and politicians such as Gladstone and Bismarck. The growing tension in the Council played out within the larger drama of the seizure of the Papal States by Italian forces and its seemingly inevitable consequence, the conquest of Rome itself. Largely as a result of the Council and its aftermath, Catholicism became more pope-centred than ever before. In the terminology of the period, it became ultramontane.
Wednesday 1st May
St Mary's School Ascot
Thursday 2nd May
Diocesan Trustees Meeting,
Friday 3rd May - Friday 10th May
Bishops' Conference Spring Plenary Assembly,
Royal English College of St Alban, Valladolid
Sunday 28th April
SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER OF DIVINE MERCY
(OCTAVE DAY OF EASTER)
Diocesan Prayer: Montfort Fathers in the Diocese
Monday 29th April
St CATHERINE of SIENA, Religious & Doctor of the Church, Patron of Europe, feast
Diocesan Prayer: St Joseph’s, Ashurst (dedicated 29.4.1989)
Tuesday 30th April
ST GEORGE, Patron of England, solemnity [transferred]
Diocesan Prayer: Chapel of St Patrick & St George, Tidworth;
St Michael & St George, Aldershot [Forces Cathedral]
Wednesday 1st May
of the 2nd Week of Easter
or: St Joseph the Worker, optional memorial
Diocesan Prayer: God’s blessing on human work
Thursday 2nd May
St Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, memorial
Diocesan Prayer: Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales
Friday 3rd May
Ss PHILIP & JAMES, Apostles, feast
Diocesan Prayer: All New Religious Movements
Saturday 4th May
THE ENGLISH MARTYRS (1535-1680), feast
Diocesan Prayer: Parish of English Martyrs, Reading
Sunday 5th May
THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph, Copnor
(consecrated 6.5.1924, re-dedicated 17.12.1974)
Thursdays in May (2nd-30th)
Essential Training for Catechists
St Peter's Winchester
Saturday 4th May
Living Simply and in Solidarity with the Poor
St Peter's Winchester
Saturday 4th May
First Saturday Devotions
St Mary's Gosport
Saturday 4th May
St Mary's Gosport
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
Saturday 18th May
ADORE (Alton Day Of REnewal)
Alton School, Anstey Lane, Alton
Saturday 25th May
Fatima Devotion Day
St Joseph's Centre, Ashurst
Saturday 1st June
First Saturday Devotions
St Mary's Gosport
Saturday 1st June
St Mary's Gosport
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
Saturday 15th June
Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day
St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford
Monday 1st July
Winchester Catholic History Group meeting
"Thomas Cranmer - Who was he?"
(Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch)
Saturday 6th July
Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass
St Bede's Basingstoke
Friday 12th July
Basingstoke Catenian Circle Golf Day
in aid of CAFOD
Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August
Don Bosco Camp
Monday 29th July - Friday 2nd August
Frassati Pilgrimage to Turin and Oropa
in the Footsteps of Bl Pier Giorgio
Thursday 1st - Sunday 4th August
St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham
Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August
An Amazing Adventure
Fanning the Flame Summer Camp
Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September
Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles &
the special saints of Italy
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September
Southampton Celebrate Weekend
Extraordinary Mission Month
Wednesday 2nd - Tuesday 8th October
Pilgrimage to Knock, Co. Mayo
Further details from Fr Tom Grufferty
Pilgrimage to Malta
25th - 30th May 2020
Trip to Bavaria - Oberammergau and Lake Garda
Visits to the school are warmly welcomed. To arrange a visit, please telephone: 02392 475909 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Headteacher Information pack and application form can be obtained here.
All being baptised and confirmed during this Easter season and for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on them and throughout the Church.
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.
For blessings on the forthcoming 13th General Chapter of the Society of Christ for Polish Migrants as they prepare to elect a new Superior General and General Council.
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.
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 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.
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.
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