Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Wednesday 8th May 2019 - Issue 227 (2019/17)


Dear Friends,

I am sending you this e-News from the Bishops' Conference meeting in Valladolid (see below) which includes a four-day in-service training, led by Baroness Hollins, on the crucial ministry of safeguarding. It is to help us ensure that the Church is the safest place of all for all. As Cardinal Vincent said: "To adapt the words of Jesus, the cup of the Church has to be clean inside and out. Outside, it's about the policies and procedures which we must embrace in a uniformed way, right round the world. The inside of the cup is the readiness of our hearts to listen to these experiences, to take them into our hearts, to dare to share some of the pain, and only then will we know that, from inside out, the Church is ready to give all the protection the vulnerable need in our world today". Please pray that this aspiration will by God's grace be realised. Meanwhile, my prayers and best wishes for this Third Week of Easter.



From the Bishops' Conference

This week, Friday to Friday, I’m at the Bishops’ Conference which on this occasion is meeting in St. Alban’s College, Valladolid. There are a couple of days of business, but the other five days are given over to in-service training. The topic is Safeguarding and it is being led by Baroness Hollins and her team. The accommodation in the College is of a high standard and Fr. Paul Farrer, the Rector, has made us all very welcome. The students are presently on holiday, although they return at the weekend before going on retreat. The Royal English College Valladolid has a remarkable history. It was founded in 1589 during the Reformation for the formation of priests for the English Mission. In its chapel is the beautiful statue of Our Lady Vulnerata (‘wounded’ or ‘damaged’). In 1596, as Spain was gathering its fleet in Cadiz, Sir Walter Raleigh led the English fleet into Cadiz, engaged and defeated the Spanish and sacked the city. Some of the English troops started a riot and dragged a statue of the Virgin Mother and Child from a local church to the market square where they desecrated it. They cut off both arms, and all that remained of the Child were parts of his feet on his mother’s knee. The mutilated statue was taken to Madrid and honoured in the private chapel of a Countess. The priests and seminarians of the English College in Valladolid asked the Countess if they might make reparation for the behaviour of their fellow countrymen. She agreed and so the statue was brought to Valladolid in 1600 and installed in the then-new College Chapel. Even today, every year the statue is processed along the street during Holy Week , where it is met by a float with the Crucified Christ.  The two images meet, and dance to each other for a brief period before the Vulnerata goes back into the College.



Prayer for Vocations

Next Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter is often called ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ because of the Gospel reading of the day. It is the world Day of Prayer for Vocations. In this regard, Fr. John Cooke and his team have developed a great new website to help promote vocations to all states of life and ministry within our Diocese. (If you have not seen it yet, click on the photo to be connected through.) Each one of us is on a journey in life - from the moment of our conception to the moment of our death - and beyond. In our relationship with God, we are called, like children, to a deeper sense of trust in Him. As the Good Shepherd, Christ invites us to follow Him, to rely upon Him, to hand over control to Him, in order that we might grow in freedom and be led to green pastures. How do we learn to listen for and recognise His voice? Certainly, we need to take the time to listen, look, slow down, reflect and go beyond our superficial desires.  We need to listen to the Lord who calls to us in the depth of our being. Each one of us needs time to realise that God may be (in fact, He most certainly is) calling each and every one of us daily!  As Jesus said Come, follow me. So next Sunday, please spend some time in prayer and offer the Rosary for vocations. I always say that in our Diocese of Portsmouth, yes, we have a real need for priestly vocations. But the greatest shortage we have is of lay-people – people who really want the Church to be what she ought to be – people willing to take responsibility and give their all to help build the Kingdom of God.


Please say this Diocesan Prayer for Vocations:

Heavenly Father,

You Divine Son taught us to pray to the Lord of the harvest

to send labourers into His vineyard.

We ask You to bless our Diocese with selfless hearts

that are willing to serve Your Church.


Continue this prayer here.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter and the Gospel is from John 10:27-30. 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.


27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”


Read Scott Hahn's commentary here.   


This Gospel fits well with the 56th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which seeks to fulfil the Lord's instruction to "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission "ad gentes".



Marian Anthems: (2) Salve Regina

In our study of the Marian anthems during this month of May, this week we consider the most well-known of them all, the Salve Regina or ‘Hail Holy Queen.’ The Salve Regina is traditionally sung at Compline from the Saturday after Pentecost until the first Sunday of Advent. It is said to have been composed by Hermann of Reichenau, an eleventh-century German monk and it was fixed in its present form in the 12th century by the Cistercians at Cluny, where it was used as a processional hymn and chanted daily. It is said to have become popular at medieval universities and also part of the ritual for the blessing of a ship. In 18th century, St. Alphonsus Ligori based his book, The Glories of Mary, on it, explaining how God gave Mary to mankind as the Gate of Heaven. To this day, it is said at the end of the Rosary. The Salve is also sung at the end of a priest's funeral Mass by fellow priests in attendance. Here is the text in English: Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, hail our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy towards us and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.


Click on the picture to hear the usual chant. There is also a solemn version (the ‘solemn Salve’). I first heard the solemn Salve when I was on a retreat in Quarr Abbey as a teenager. The monks sang it on Sunday night at Compline. I found it mesmerizing! Click here to hear this version.



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

In some religious communities, there used to be a practice of literally burying the alleluia at the beginning of Lent: that is, a piece of wood with ‘Alleluia’ on it would be solemnly interred, to be dug up again at Easter.  This is a physical reminder of the contrast between the two seasons: Lent’s sober call to repentance and conversion with the exuberance accompanying Paschaltide. 


Easter is of course not just one day: it is a whole week of Easter, a whole week in which we should say ‘This day is made by the Lord; let us rejoice and be glad’.  And even after Divine Mercy Sunday, all the way up to the feast of Pentecost, we are reminded that it is Paschaltide because the great Easter candle is lit, and the priest is vested in white.  Truly the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost are a time when we should remember our dignity as a liberated people, as a people journeying towards the Promised Land, and in the midst of our distractions and troubles rejoice at the mercy God has shown us in the life death and above all the Resurrection of his Son.


Read more



Reflections on the Feast of the English Martyrs

Last Saturday, 4th May, was the Feast of the English Martyrs. It was on that day in 1535 that Sebastian Newdigate, William Exmew and Humphrey Middlemore, three Carthusian monks from the London Charterhouse, were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn for refusing to accept King Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church. They were the first of many English men and women, from all walks of life, martyred for the Catholic Faith during the Reformation in this country. Of these, two hundred and eighty four have been canonised or declared blessed, although the total number of those who died or suffered harsh persecution between 1535 and 1680 cannot now be counted. A hundred and five Catholics died at Tyburn alone. As mentioned, I’m currently at the Royal English College in Valladolid for the Bishops’ Conference. The College boasts six canonised martyrs, some of whose relics are kept in the reliquary beneath the altar (see picture): St. Henry Walpole, St. Thomas Garnet, St. John Roberts, St. Ambrose Barlow, St. John Plessington and St. John Lloyd.


It’s important we remember the martyrs today and thank God for them. A community without its history soon disburses. These brave women and men died for the truth about the Holy Eucharist and also, importantly, for the doctrine about the nature and structure of the Church and her authority. In today’s secular society there is self-evidently an “Erastian” tendency. Erastianism is the heresy, named after the 16th-century Swiss physician and Calvinist theologian Thomas Erastus, that sees the state as superior to the Church. Erastianism today appears to be alive and well in contemporary policy-makers, especially in the fields of education, politics and health-care, when they downplay or ignore religion and aspire to impose checks and controls on the Church’s thinking. They seek to do this often through processes and bureaucratic procedures that initially appear very reasonable and responsible, but which if enacted would ultimately regulate Christian doctrine, life and worship. Recent moves to violate the seal of confession are an example of this. This is why we need the prayers of the martyrs today more than ever. We need them to protect our religious freedom. Martyrs of England – pray for us!



From Deacon Martin

The psalm of the 4th Sunday of Easter, Psalm 100, is among the shortest in the Book of Psalms – just 5 verses. But it is a catechetical masterpiece: it not only encourages us to praise the Lord, but also tells us why we should do so. Let’s take a look at the psalm, and its sound guidance. First of all, what does the psalmist tell us to do? Three ideas stand out:

1. Praise the Lord (verses 1, 2 and 4)

2. Come to Him (verses 2 and 4)

3. With joy and gladness (verses 2 and 4)


But the psalmist also tells us why we should praise and serve him, coming to Him with joy:


Read more 



Welcoming our Neighbour - Housing Refugees

Caritas Portsmouth invite you to join them for a seminar Welcoming our Neighbour - Housing Refugees in our Community this Saturday at Sacred Heart, Waterlooville.

On Saturday 11th May at the Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Peter the Apostle, Waterlooville, Caritas will be explaining how they can house a refugee family in the community under the Home Office’s refugee community sponsorship program. The program involves us coming together as a group of volunteers to help one family presently living in a refugee camp who have no home, no life, no country to call their own, without hope or joy in their lives. As a volunteer there are many different ways to volunteer your talents e.g. find suitable housing, take family members to the dentist or hospital, help with form filling, help with English, finding schools etc. Everyone can do something to show kindness and compassion to fellow humans who are living at barely subsistence level. In our Diocese this program will be guided and overseen by Caritas, the social action agency of the Catholic Church.

So do go along to a non-committal briefing seminar in the Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Peter the Apostle, Waterlooville, PO7 7SR, at 1.30pm on Saturday 11th May to hear Sean Ryan, National refugee Co-ordinator from Caritas, tell us more about how this inspirational project works. There will also be some refugees there who will share their experience. More information can be found here or contact Kevin Gallagher on 07388 994057 or e-mail kgallagher@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk.


Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2019

This year is the 175th anniversary of the birth of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and the official theme for all pilgrimages to Lourdes for 2019 is “Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of God is theirs.” Click here for the Sanctuary website outlining this. It’s pleasing to report that we now have over 100 pilgrims on our Diocesan Pilgrimage and since last week more have signed up, including a group of students from Portsmouth University. The cut-off date is coming soon, however, so if you are thinking of joining us, please act soon! 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. 


For more details, see here, or contact Fr. PJ Smith on 07780 221686 or by e-mail: lourdes@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk 



Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Fr John Cooke invites you all to a Pilgrimage Information Morning on Saturday 25th May in Fareham to find out about a proposed Pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 21st February – 4th March 2021.


It will be a 12 day, full board, 3 centred experience through the Holy Land; starting in the Negev desert, travelling to Jerusalem and finishing in Galilee, touring with our very experienced local guide & friend, Mr Oliver Miller, staying in 4* accommodation. The package will include headsets and all fees & tips will be included. Travel costs t.b.c. (via McCabe Pilgrimages)


We will offer a detailed itinerary and start to take bookings for this Pilgrimage during an information morning onSaturday 25th May from 10 -11.30am in the Sacred Heart Church Hall, Portland Street, Fareham, PO16 0NQ. All are welcome to come and find out more. Please note: there is a fair amount of walking involved & stamina required to join this Pilgrimage. Speak with Fr John or Mrs Clare Ryan on 01329 318 869 if you would like further advice. 



When your Children no longer practice the Faith…

“Thank you. I needed your words of encouragement and grace. It breaks my heart that my children are not in full Communion with the Catholic Church and that they have followed different paths elsewhere. I pray constantly for the Holy Spirit to guide them home.” So often as a priest, I have heard parents and grandparents anxiously telling me about their offspring who no longer practice their Catholic Faith, despite having been brought up so faithfully – youngsters who say they do not believe any more, or perhaps that they have found a different church to belong to. It is one of the most common pastoral concerns parishioners express and, of course, a great sadness, when you think of all the efforts to hand on the faith that have been made through home and school. In this one-minute video (click on the picture for it), Chris Stefanick offers some thoughts and wisdom. “Converting Catholics” is one of our main diocesan priorities. All of us need to think not only about how we can deepen our faith as Catholics, but specifically how we can fan into a flame the faith of ‘lapsed’ Catholics in order to bring them to full communion with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Here is a daily prayer you could say for a loved one:

O Good Shepherd, you never cease to seek out the lost, to call home the stray, to comfort the frightened, and to bind up the wounded. I ask you to bring N. and N. back to the practice of the Faith, and to remove all obstacles that prevent them from receiving your abundant mercy, which flows sacramentally through the heart of your holy Church. Through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, their Guardian Angels, their Patron Saints and the ever-prayerful St. Monica, pardon their sins and unshackle them from whatever hinders their freedom to come Home. For you, O Good Shepherd, have loved us to the end and offered yourself to the Father for the salvation of all. Amen.



Exam season is here

Please pray for all those preparing to sit exams in schools, colleges and universities across the Diocese. As we journey through Eastertide to the Feast of Pentecost, ask the Holy Spirit to help them:


Let us pray for our school, college and university students: that the Holy Spirit will guide their minds and quieten their hearts throughout this exam season. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.


Students might like to use this prayer themselves:


Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever. Amen.



Monastic Experience

Fr. Benedict Harvey OSB, the Novice Master and the Community of Pluscarden Abbey, has extended an invitation to single young men, Catholics aged 18-35 who practice their faith, to a Monastic Experience Weekend. This is a special opportunity to experience first-hand what monastic life is all about. This annual invitation this year takes place from Friday 2nd to Monday 5th August 2019. There is no charge for the weekend. Further information from Fr. Benedict (novicemaster@pluscardenabbey.org). Pluscarden Abbey is in north-east Scotland, six miles south-west of Elgin in Moray, and is situated within a secluded glen. It is being rebuilt using some of the very stones from the monastery that existed on the site from the thirteenth century until the Reformation. Mass and Offices are sung each day in the Abbey church using Gregorian chant. There are also two guesthouses available for men and women of all faiths who wish to make a retreat there and to share in the prayer and work of the community, or simply rest and renew their energies. Click on the photo for a short trailer called In Search of God which gives an insight into monastic life at Pluscarden Abbey.



News from the Christian Unity Team

On Holy Saturday the residents of Brighstone, Isle of Wight and participants from all over the Island performed a Passion Play. It was produced by Chris Biggs, a parishioner of St Saviour’s in Totland.


Where to begin? The whole performance of the Brighstone Passion Play on Saturday was completely awesome and so very, very moving. Everyone who took part played their role magnificently, those behind the scenes too. An audience of around 250 people of all ages were treated to an inspired performance by Ivan Rendell as Jesus, Marc Tuckey (of ghost-walk fame) as Judas and many local people depicting the disciples, Jewish/Roman courts - with the Priests, Pharisees, Pilate and Herod Antipas among others, and choir of ordinary people supported by Cantus Vesperi ably led by Charles Paterson. In all of the characters the audience witnessed the humanity of those involved in the real passion of Christ and Ivan portrayed both the human Jesus as well as Jesus, the Son of God. As producer, it was indeed a humbling experience and when Emily Scotcher (Mary Magdalene) sang, uncontrollable tears streamed down my face, due to the beauty of her voice and of the words of ‘In my heart I know my saviour lives’  by Manoling Francisco. Emily surpassed the YouTube versions, leaving a mark on every soul present. God so expertly and touchingly directed the whole thing. It was a privilege to be part of it. 



AoS- Stella Maris in Jersey

Last week Capt. Esteban Pacha the new acting Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Apostleship of the Sea - Stella Maris and Fr John Lavers (Regional Port Chaplain) made a 3-day visit to Jersey in support of the local AoS-Stella Maris team and the parish. Together with the local team of AoS ship visitors and volunteers, Capt. Pacha met the Jersey Fishermen’s Association to firm-up ties with the fishing sector and to explore ways of closer collaboration with local fishermen who operate a fleet of around 165 fishing boats. This was followed by a presentation on Stella Maris’ activities to more than 500 students and staff of Beaulieu Convent School in St. Helier and headmaster Chris Beirne. Capt. Pacha highlighted the vital work that seafarers and fishermen do, providing goods and food globally; particularly on islands that are fully dependent on shipping and maritime transportation.


Click here to read the full story of the visit and see the pictures.


If you would like to learn more about the work of the Apostleship of the Sea - Stella Maris on Jersey see here.



CAFOD Young Leaders

It was lovely to see our Young Leaders from Farnborough Hill, St Anne’s Southampton, St Joseph’s College Reading and Salesian College Farnborough at our third training day. We had a fantastic day exploring problem solving skills and campaigning. The day kicked off with the string game where groups of 7 students had to make different letters and numbers using string but with their eyes closed. There were some hilarious results but the students found creative ways to tackle this challenge. After the icebreaker the Young Leaders shared the fundraising activities they organised last term to raise money for the Lent Fast Day appeal. These ranged from a sponsored silence to soup lunches to Fairtrade tasting and no phone days. Thank you so much for all your fantastic fundraising activities.


In the afternoon we looked at past CAFOD campaigns and the different ways of campaigning, and then launched our new Our Common Home campaign on climate change. We challenged the students to come up with exciting  ideas on how to be Zero Heroes and engage their school community in this campaign which calls on the government to pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2045. This means only putting the same amount of emissions into the atmosphere as we take out. For example, cutting our use of fossil fuels and protecting and planting trees, which take in carbon dioxide as they grow. Many thanks to Farnborough Hill school for hosting the third day and for providing a very warm welcome and a delicious lunch! Also, a huge thank you to the staff accompaniers who have supported the students throughout the year. Finally thank you to all the Young Leaders whose enthusiasm and energy is truly inspiring! 



Stations of the Resurrection

St. Mary's Independent School (Southampton) Prep and Pre-Prep joined together for the Stations of the Resurrection. Sadly the weather forced us indoors but we found this an added 'plus' in so far as everyone's  attention was firmly fixed forward and not distracted on all sides by a multitude of noises from aeroplanes, traffic and threatening rain. We chose eight of the fourteen. Each child had a small bag containing relevant symbols to those eight. They listened to a scripture passage, read by Year Six and mimed by Year Five;  placed one of the symbols into their hands; meditated and prayed.  At the end the pieces were all put back into the bag and the children were asked to take them home and talk to their families about this experience. Perhaps the most significant symbol was a copy of the New Testament (replaced with a picture book for Nursery and Key Stage One). The final prayer was that "We go and teach all nations in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"  Our (adult) prayer as they waived their acknowledgement was that the Holy Spirit will always be their guide in this uncertain world.



Making Rosaries in Abingdon

On Tuesday 30th April Our Lady's Abingdon Junior School children were treated to a lunchtime workshop run by members of St Edmund’s Church. The children were shown how to make their very own peace rosary and were given instructions on how to use them. They were provided with a beautiful supply of beads of varying colours and designs which helped them each to create an individual and personal piece. Our heartfelt thanks go to Jo, Hilary, Mary and Tammy for giving up their time and planning such a lovely activity and reminding the children about the importance of praying for peace in our world.


Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of our Young People, loved making rosaries for his friends and saying the Rosary. On the day of his funeral in 1925, two days after his death, Clementine Luotto wrote a letter to his best friend, Marco Beltramo, in which she said: “That night with Pier Giorgio on the train from Turin to Oulx, in all that snowy whiteness, the Lord gave us the priceless gift of seeing him in his many different aspects: wearing that raincoat, helping the railway men to carry the luggage, and then going up and down along the train, bogged down by snow and water, reciting aloud his beloved poetry . . . Then he came back into the train compartment – do you remember? – and everyone complained about the loud noise he was making. So he took his seat quietly, in the place next to me, on the other side of the arm rest. I thought he was sleeping, but I realised that he was saying the rosary, his grey rosary – the keepsake which he left to each of us – which was precious to me two days ago, but today is so sacred that I would give everything not to lose it.”



Bachelor of Divinity

A fantastic scholarship opportunity available at Maryvale Institute to whomever wishes to study Bachelor of Divinity.


The scholarship offer is available for both EU and Non-EU students who will enrol onto a Bachelor Degree Programme at Maryvale Institute for the academic year 2019-20*. Click on the logo for more information. Rev Dr Michael Cullinan (Programme Director) invites applications, along with a short essay on a relevant topic, to be eligible for consideration. This scholarship offer is open to any first year B. Divinity applicant and covers half a year’s of tuition fees**. The deadline for all application submission is 24th June 2019.  Application forms are available from headmin@maryvale.ac.ukThe Ecclesiastical Bachelor of Divinity is a five-year part-time distance-learning degree programme validated ecclesiastically by La Faculté Nôtre-Dame in Paris under the authority of The Holy See. Find out more about the opportunities and education available to you at Maryvale by visiting: www.maryvale.ac.uk


* Application fee applicable, if successful to fund balance of future Years funding.

** For one year's fees only



Bishop Philip's Engagements

Friday 3rd May - Friday 10th May

Bishops' Conference Spring Plenary Assembly,
Royal English College of St Alban, Valladolid


Saturday 11th May

Confirmation Mass for South Berkshire, Didcot and Southampton East,

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth


Monday 13th May

Bishop’s Council Meeting, Bishop’s House






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 5th May


Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Joseph, Copnor 
(consecrated 6.5.1924, re-dedicated 17.12.1974)


Monday 6th May

of the 3rd Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Laurence, Petersfield (consecrated 6.5.1933)


Tuesday 7th May

of the 3rd Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Chapel of St Patrick & St George, Tidworth;
St Michael & St George, Aldershot [Forces Cathedral]


Wednesday 8th May

of the 3rd Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Tilehurst (dedicated 6.5.2003)


Thursday 9th May

of the 3rd Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady & St Edmund, Abingdon (consecrated 8.5.1958); Channel Islands Liberation Day


Friday 10th May

of the 3rd Week of Easter

or: St John of Avila, Priest, Doctor of the Church, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Our Lady, Fleet (consecrated 10.5.1977)


Saturday 11th May

of the 3rd Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Department for Clergy


Sunday 12th May


National Prayer Cycle:
Vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate and the religious life

Diocesan Prayer: Community of the Good Shepherd, Kennington


Monday 13th May

of the 4th Week of Easter

or: Our Lady of Fatima, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Portuguese Chaplaincies


Tuesday 14th May

ST MATTHIAS, Apostle, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Evangelisation Strategy Teams in the Diocese


Wednesday 15th May

of the 4th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus


Thursday 16th May

of the 4th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart, Hook


Friday 17th May

of the 4th Week of Easter

or: St Dunstan, Bishop, optional memorial [transferred from May 19]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph, Lymington (dedicated 18.5.1979)


Saturday 18th May

of the 4th Week of Easter

or: St John I, Pope, Martyr, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St John the Evangelist, Lee-on-Solent (dedicated 19.5.1981)


Sunday 19th May


[Today is the anniversary of the formation of the Diocese 19.5.1882]

Diocesan Prayer: The Dioceses of the Province;

Canons of the Cathedral Chapter; Parish of St John’s Cathedral


Forthcoming Events      

Saturday 11th May

Welcoming our Neighbour - Housing Refugees in our Community

Sacred Heart Waterlooville

Read more


Saturday 11th May

Clinicare 40th Anniversary Celebration Mass

St Joseph's Southampton

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


Friday 17th May 

Flute and Organ Recital
Sacred Heart Church, Bournemouth

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 25th May

Pilgrimage Information Morning for 2021 Holy Land Pilgrimage

Sacred Heart Church Hall, Fareham

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


Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th June

Conferences on G.K. Chesterton
Quarr Abbey, Ryde, IoW

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

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Friday 12th July

Basingstoke Catenian Circle Golf Day 
in aid of CAFOD
Read more


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

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

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Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September 

Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles & 
the special saints of Italy 

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Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September 

Southampton Celebrate Weekend

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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




The Diocese of Portsmouth currently has the following positions available:

Diocesan Human Resources Manager (Full time)

Parish Book keeper and Finance Officer (6-8 hours per week)
Immaculate Conception and St Joseph’s Parish 

Parish Secretary (20 hours per week)
St Saviour, Totland Bay & St Thomas of Canterbury, Newport 

External vacancy:

The Bible Society is seeking to recruit a 
Catholic Scripture Engagement Officer
(from 20 hours up to full time)


Visit our Vacancies page for more details on these opportunities.



Please pray for..

The Spring meeting of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales taking place at this time.


All who are preparing for and taking examinations over the coming weeks.


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.


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


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