Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 21st May 2019 - Issue 229 (2019/19)


Dear Friends,

I’m just back from spending a few days "up north" during which we celebrated my brother’s birthday. It was good to see everyone again. I also visited a couple of priest-friends and managed a walk in the Ribble Valley – the land of the Lancashire martyrs. Now back, I’m looking forward to three more celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation over the weekend, with the gathering of our Council of Priests on Thursday and a Clergy Safeguarding Update tomorrow in Basingstoke. On Friday, I’m in Gosport for Mass with the four Friars preparing for priestly ordination in the summer. It’s great that all these holy things in May are under the loving patronage of the Blessed Virgin. Please ask her prayers for us all – and especially for the renewal and the unity of our Diocese, its clergy, religious and laity (see below). Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the e-News this week with its various features. As ever, my gratitude to contributors and to Deacon Craig, the editor. God bless you all.



Prayer for the Renewal of the Diocese

Over the next months, I would like us all, clergy, religious and laity, to pray earnestly for the renewal of our Diocese of Portsmouth. I will be saying much more about this as time goes on, but please begin now by keeping this crucial intention in your prayers. Here is a prayer you could say:


O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we beg you to convert us, to change us and to make us holy. Fill us with a deeper faith, hope and love for you. Send into our hearts the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit and powerfully renew all the clergy and laity of our Diocese. Unite us in love and respect for one another and unify us as your one, holy people. Grant us a new passion and zeal for the Catholic Faith, for mission, outreach and service. Help us to proclaim your Gospel generously to the poor and needy that many more souls may be saved by finding their way to you in your Church. May Mary Immaculate help us! May St Edmund of Abingdon and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati pray for us! Amen.


Holy Michael the Archangel defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan and all the wicked spirits, who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Sixth Sunday of Easter and the Gospel is from John 14: 23-29. 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.


23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.


Read Scott Hahn's commentary on Sunday's readings here.   



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

Sixth Sunday of Easter:The peace the world cannot give (John 14:23-29)

The gift of Jesus to his disciples is peace. This peace is given just before and right after the greatest act of violence ever inflicted: the violence of humanity against God, the sacrifice of the cross. Jesus gives us his peace in the midst of anguish and turmoil. This helps us to understand that the supernatural peace we receive from Jesus, which is the fruit of his redemptive sacrifice and life-giving resurrection, is not the absence of troubles, both external and internal, but something different altogether. In our webinar we will discover the origin and nature of this peace, which is offered to us now, in the Person of the Holy Spirit.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: How is peace a fruit of faith, a gift of the Holy Spirit?  

Hope: Are we right to hope that this peace can be transmitted to others, and to the whole world?  

Love: How can we become instruments and agents of peace?


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



Marian Anthems: (4) Alma Redemptoris Mater

In our study of the Marian Anthems for the month of May, we come this week to the Alma Redemptoris Mater. This is the anthem used at Night Prayer during Advent and Christmastime until the 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is less well-known yet it is mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales, was set to music by Palestrina and translated by Bl. John Henry Newman in one of the sermons of his Tracts for the Times. Here is his version:

Mother of the Redeemer, who art ever of heaven

The open gate, and the star of the sea, aid a fallen people, 

Which is trying to rise again; thou who didst give birth, 

While Nature marvelled how, to thy Holy Creator, 

Virgin both before and after, from Gabriel's mouth 

Accepting the ‘Hail’ be merciful towards sinners.

The Alma was composed by Herman Contractus (Herman the Cripple), d. 1054, and was particularly popular here in England. Contractus composed it in verse form from phrases taken from the writings of St. Fulgentius, St. Epiphanius, and St. Irenaeus. If you follow it literally in Latin it is quite complex as clearly the author is trying to keep the rhythm of the verses. Click on the picture above to hear it sung by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey at Ganagobie. (You can skip the advert if you wish).



Next Sunday - St. Philip Neri

Next Sunday, 26th May, is the memorial of St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), although this year because it falls on a Sunday, the feast is replaced by the Sixth Sunday of Easter. St. Philip founded the Oratory and so next Sunday is a special feastday for Oratorians: please pray for our Oratory in Formation in Bournemouth. It’s also my feastday too! I take St. Philip as my patron saint, so please say a prayer for me too. St. Philip originally came from Florence, although he spent most of his life in Rome, where he eventually became known as the “Apostle of Rome.” One day in 1544 he was visiting the catacombs when he had a mystical experience. He felt he was being filled with the Holy Spirit so powerfully it caused his heart to dilate with love. He had a winning and attractive personality, and was ever noted for his joy and kindness. He began to attract to himself a group of people who gathered for prayer, discussion, spiritual conferences and service of the poor. In 1551, aged 36, he was ordained and soon became an outstanding confessor, with the gift of piercing pretensions and illusions, although always charitably and often with a joke. He soon formed the Congregation of the Oratory, that is, a group of priests who lived together in community. Given papal recognition, the CongOrat was entrusted with the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella, which stands on today’s Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, not far from the Venerable English College. St. Philip is buried there in a chapel to the left of the choir, his body lying under the altar. Over the altar is an altarpiece of The Virgin Appearing to St Philip by Guido Reno. When I was a student in Rome for the priesthood, I often used to visit St. Philip at that altar to ask his prayers.



Thy Kingdom Come

Many communities around the diocese will be joining with our brothers and sisters from other Christian communities for ecumencial prayer events between Ascension Day and Pentecost as part of the Thy Kingdom Come initiative - more on this next week. Recently, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, shared a special video message on social media from Pope Francis to Christians around the world. In the message, filmed during a recent visit by the Archbishop to the Vatican, the Pope encouraged Christians taking part in Thy Kingdom Come – the prayer movement launched by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016. Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis have had a close bond ever since the two leaders took office within days of each other in 2013 – though this was their first foray into social media collaboration. The spontaneous message was recorded on the Archbishop’s phone by the Pope’s translator. This was after an animated conversation between the two leaders in which the Archbishop told Pope Francis about the growing numbers of Christians around the world taking part in Thy Kingdom Come. Click on the photo to watch the full video to hear what His Holiness, Pope Francis had to say.


Our Cathedral will be taking part in 10 days of Prayer for Portsmouth, alongside other Christian communities around the city with a service on Monday 3rd June at 7.30pm. This 10 days of Prayer concludes with an Ecumenical celebration and picnic at Porchester Castle on Sunday 9th June.


If you are taking part in Thy Kingdom Come, why not let us know what your community is doing?



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

One of the hardest things to accept is our place in the scheme of things.  “What is man mortal man that you keep him in mind?” asks the psalmist, and answers his own question by saying ‘yet you have made him little less than a god, with glory and honour you crowned him’.  So we are both infinitesimally small, and yet crowned with glory by God himself.


Ever since Eve saw that the apple was good and appropriated to herself the power of God, each one of us individually is tempted to arrogate to ourselves the power of determining the good.   This attitude is now very much to the forefront, as can be seen from the fact that people regard saying ‘it’s my decision’ ‘it’s a woman’s choice’ or ‘it’s a democratic decision’ as being legitimate, or even decisive moves in a moral argument.  To speak so is to speak from the assumption that the individual will, or the will of the majority, make morality.  This position leads to many contradictory positions and illogical stances both in individuals and in groups. As St Thomas puts it “Just as in syllogistic arguments, granted one absurdity, others must needs follow; so in moral matters, given one absurdity, others must follow too.”


Continue reading...



From Deacon Martin

If you’re looking for a spiritual exercise in the days leading up to Pentecost, you could do worse than to read the Acts of the Apostles. Acts provides a fascinating insight into how the early Church worked out how to behave as the Church – and because of that, it provides an exemplar for many situations that we in the contemporary Church continue to face. Situations vary, of course, but Acts offers us principles of how the Church addressed certain scenarios, which we can use as a mirror to ourselves: are we operating by the same principles? This coming Sunday (6th of Easter), the first reading (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29) describes disagreement about whether traditions from Judaism should be prescribed for Gentile converts to Jesus.  But I want to focus, not on the content of the controversy, but on the process by which the early Church dealt with it.  There are 3 things that stand out:


1. The parties submitted to arbitration

2. How authority is exercised

3. The Holy Spirit


Read more 



Faith in... the midst of domestic abuse

Faith in Politics Network is a forum which gives Catholic young professionals a chance to meet and network. This grew out of the Faith in Politics Internship, a parliamentary internship scheme offered by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. The Network is a group of young (roughly!) professionals who also take an interest in faith, politics, social action and social justice issues.  On Wednesday 5th June, the Faith in Politics Network will be hosting a panel discussion Faith in... the midst of domestic abuse: Changing the culture on domestic abuse which will look at what we can do to positively change the culture on domestic abuse in families, at work, and in our churches. Panellists included Esther Sweetman, Nikki Dhillon-Keane and Elizabeth Filkin, and there will be opportunities to ask questions and socialise over a drinks and nibbles. One in four women and about one in six men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime. Two women are killed every week in England by a partner or ex-partner. It's time to start talking and taking action; find out how on 5th June. Arrivals from 6pm; the discussion will begin at 6.30pm followed by drinks and networking from 7.20-8pm at Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB. If you wish to attend, please contact stephanie.macgillivray@cbcew.org.uk or via the Facebook event.


Inviting you to a Retreat Day

The Great Story of Jesus!: why & how He came, His life, His death, His resurrection and ascension, followed by His invitation for each of us to encounter Him and follow Him.

The day will be a mixture of scripture, prayer, video segments and short times of sharing in small groups. Confession will also be offered.  This retreat is part of the Ananias accompaniment training, which is just starting to be offered around the diocese. After this retreat was run in another parish recently, Canon Paul Townsend wrote: “The day provided a much needed and requested opportunity for us to explore our faith journey and more deeply to accept the personal challenges and invitations that come with a growing relationship with Jesus. To see our personal faith journey as related to the whole biblical story of faith and to be supported by the faith stories of others is an indispensable element in the life of disciples.”

The retreat will take place at St. Bede’s, Popley Way, Basingstoke  RG24 9DX on Saturday 8th June, 2019 from 9.30am – 4pm (the parish is having a special Vigil Mass at 4.30pm for those who would like to stay on) and will be run by Sr Veronica Brennan OP, Clare Simpson and Friars of the Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford. Hot drinks will be provided, but please bring a packed lunch. 
Please register your attendance with Grania Egan: gegan@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” 
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 1, 2005


Calling all Youth Ministers and Confirmation Catechists

The Department for Educational Chaplaincies invite all Youth Ministers and Confirmation Catechists to a Formation and Networking event on Saturday 15th June.


The event will be held at St Joseph and St Margaret Clitherow, Bracknell beginning with Mass at 10am, with the event finishing at 2:15pm. Hosted by the Bracknell Youth Ministry Team, this is an opportunity for parishes particularly in the north of the diocese to network, although all parishes are welcome to participate. Key topics include meaningful engagement with young people through social media, and methods and resources currently being applied to good effect in parishes. Packed lunch required, drinks provided, and donations gratefully received. Email youth@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk to book.







For all our Priests

In 2002, Pope St. John Paul II designated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (the tenth Friday after Easter Sunday) to be a World Day of Prayer for Priests. The aim was to invite all the clergy and all the faithful of the Church to join in prayer for the sanctification of priests. This year the Feast of the Sacred Heart falls on Friday 28th June and on the day at 12 noon Cardinal Vincent Nichols is inviting every priest in England and Wales to Westminster Cathedral for a National Mass of Thanksgiving and Renewal for Priests. Over 1000 priests are expected to attend. I will be going, along with all the bishops of England and Wales. I am encouraging all priests who can from the Diocese of Portsmouth to join in. (If as a priest you wish to go, please let Kirsten know so that she can forward the numbers). The occasion also marks the 450th anniversary of the founding of the English College at Douai. This intention of prayer for the sanctification of priests is today a crucial one. May I ask all the laity, especially during these next weeks, to pray for your priests and also to pray for me – that we may be truly holy men, filled with great zeal for souls and united in a deep relationship with Jesus Christ, the High Priest.


Click on the photo of Westminster Cathedral for a short homily by Bishop Robert Barron with some advice to priests in an age of scandal.



Unique opportunity for ages 15-18

theASCENT is a three-year discipleship process for young people in years 10 to 12 that seeks to raise up a generation of disciples who pray and impact their localities with the Gospel. Over the last 6 years more than 100 young people have been formed and equipped as disciples by theASCENT, including a number from Portsmouth Diocese. It is designed for those ready to go deeper in their faith, and offers:

• Three weekends of formation per year.
• Monthly mentoring from experienced team members.
• Weekly online PoDs (Pockets of Disciples) with like-minded young people during term time. 

theASCENT runs in Brentwood (Essex), Wigton (Cumbria), and Worth (Sussex). Brentwood and Wigton are open to national bookings.

Bookings open on the Feast of the Ascension – 30th May 2019. Places are limited so apply quickly. Cost: £375 per year (some bursaries available, do get in touch to discuss this). Find out more at: www.theascentuk.co.uk Click the logo to watch a promo video. 


Contact Esther Corrigan (Southampton) on brentwood@theascentuk.co.uk if you’d like more information.



Pilgrimage through southern Italy to San Giovanni Rotondo

Father Des Connolly SMM will be leading a pilgrimage to Southern Italy from Monday 30th September - Saturday 5th October 2019. The pilgrimage group will visit Padre Pio’s birthplace, celebrating Holy Mass in the Parish Church, then a day on the Isle of Capri, celebrating Mass in ancient Church of the Holy Cross. En route to the  beautiful shrine of San Giovanni Rotondo (the resting place of Padre Pio) Mass will be celebrated in the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, a place of miraculous healing, Pompeii. The group will visit the Cathedral shrine of Saint Andrew the Apostle on the Amalfi coast and then spend a few days in San Giovanni Rodondo, including a visit to the shrine of the Archangel Michael. Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church and the Holy Rosary will be prayed together each day with plenty of time for personal prayer.
Ground Package Price is £595 per person based on 2 people sharing and includes the services of an English speaking courier for the duration of the pilgrimage and in San Giovanni a half day guided tour with a local guide. Flight price is extra from London Gatwick with EasyJet (the sooner you book the cheaper the flight). Supplementary charges: Single Room £100 per person and Travel Insurance £33 per person. For further information or to book a place, please contact Gill at Tangney Tours. Telephone: 01732 886666 or email: gill@tangney-tours.com.


Donate to the Diocese without Effort

A number of businesses these days are willing to make donations to a favourite charity, often at no cost to the consumer. One of these is the giant on-line retailer Amazon. Their scheme is called AmazonSmile. Basically, AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support a charity of choice every time you shop and at no cost. It is exactly the same selection and shopping experience as amazon.co.uk, but with the added bonus that Amazon donates a portion of the purchase price to the selected charity. Millions of their products are eligible. You use the same account on amazon.co.uk and AmazonSmile. You can change charities any time you want and customers can select from a list of charities registered with the Charity Commission. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees).


If you shop with Amazon, may I invite you to look up AmazonSmile? Indeed, please remember the Diocese (“Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust”) when you make your online purchases. You can find further details and how to register etc. here.



Could you Sponsor our Seminarians for One Day?

Recently, I was delighted unexpectedly to receive a cheque from a very generous parishioner for £1,190! That’s exactly what it costs to keep all our diocesan seminarians for one day with all their board, lodging, books, tuition, seminary courses and allowances. It costs around £250K to train someone for the priesthood over the full 7 years of formation. Another way of putting this is that, as a guide, it costs about £85 a day to fund one seminarian. The problem is, our Diocese of Portsmouth has quite a few seminarians - a nice problem to have, of course! But this is why there is an ongoing need for financial help.  Whatever you can give is valued. Your donation would help fund directly seminary formation and expenses, and the continued vocations promotion work in our Diocese. To find out more – and you can even give online - explore our new Portsmouth Vocations website.


There are of course many other ways you can help. A key one is positive encouragement and support. The duty of fostering vocations rests with the entire Christian community. Be on the look-out and encourage and invite. It’s never too early to plant a seed. Looking for vocations involves keeping a prayerful eye out for men and women who may have a call to the priesthood or religious life. The other key way of helping is your prayer. Please pray for vocations. Prayer for vocations should be the first way we can all help: prayers before Mass, the Rosary for Vocations, a holy hour and so on.



Creation Celebration Mass at St Michael & All Angels Leigh Park

Jo Lewry, CAFOD Portsmouth Community Partnership Co-ordinator reports...


We had a beautiful mass on Sunday 12th May celebrated by Canon Gerard Flynn at which we gave thanks to God for the wonderful world in which we live and asked Him to help us care and nurture it.  Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si’ Care of Our Common Home, described the earth as “beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” and he urges us to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. So, the idea of Creation Celebration Masses are to celebrate our beautiful earth and think about the ways we can look after it and protect it for future generations. Many thanks to Tim our CAFOD parish volunteer at St Michael & All Angels for organising the Mass and to Sarah from our campaigns team for coming.


If you would like to organise your own creation celebration in your parish as part of CAFOD’s Our Common Home campaign then there is a guide here.  After the Mass, please give parishioners the opportunity to discuss the impact of climate change and to sign the petition to the Prime  Minister urging her to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve net zero by 2045 . Then please invite them to the Time is Now lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 26th June to meet with their MPs to voice their concerns about Climate Change. Please sign up here. If you would like a place on Portsmouth diocesan coach that is leaving from Sacred Heart Church Ringwood costs £20 then sign up ASAP. For more information our new campaign Our Common Home please contact me on 01252 329385 or email portsmouth@cafod.org.uk



Portsmouth MFL Team at Rome March for Life 2019

Portsmouth Diocese was represented at the Rome Life Forum this year along with delegates from over 30 countries.   The Rome Life Forum is co-sponsored by members of ”Voice of the Family” - an association representing major international Pro-Life and Pro-Family Organizations.  The theme of the conference was “City of man vs City of God”, taking its cue from St Augustine’s work “Civitas Dei” and Pope Leo XIII’s “Humanum Genus”.   We were fortunate to benefit from the splendid hospitality of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, more commonly known as the Angelicum.   Inspiring talks were delivered by Cardinals Willem Eijk, Janis Pujats, Walter Brandmuller and Raymond Burke, along with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Fr Kevin O’Reilly OP and several other internationally-renowned speakers.  Thanks to the presence of Friars Francesco and Philomeno from the Franciscans of the Immaculate at Gosport, the talks from the conference should be available on Radio Immaculata soon.


As always, the conference is timed to coincide with the Rome March for Life which took place on 18th May and in which the conference delegates took part.  Many thousands marched through the streets of Rome to proclaim the right to life of every person from conception to natural death.  Despite the very English weather we brought with us, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm and high spirits of the marchers who had come from every continent on earth. Pictured at Rome March for Life 2019 are some of the contingent from Portsmouth Diocese: Friar Francesco FFI, Deacon Andrew Carter, Friar Philomeno FFI, and Nicola Carter. Dates for the Rome Life Forum 2020 are 21-22nd May followed by the Rome March for Life on 23 May 2020.  For more details please contact Deacon Andrew Carter of the Marriage & Family Life Team.



Mary in May 

News from St Mary's Independent School in Southampton...


We want our young generation to hold on to those Marian devotions which have helped guide our adult spiritual lives through a harsh world. Annually we would crown her as Queen and hold an outdoor procession in the month of May. In a school situation other ways are possible. We live in a society which must strive to take more care of the environment. If we would only appreciate the beauty that surrounds us there would be a better chance of achieving changes. What better way than to stop and admire the beauty of flowers? Even the humble daisy catches the attention of young children and they run around determined to make the longest chain possible. For Mary, however, they weaved a garland of flowers which was carefully placed on her head. Others brought blossoms to lay at her feet. We are proud that Mary is the Patroness of our school and that we are named after her. High on the chapel wall, above the angels is the petition: Monstra te esse Matrem ("Show yourself to be our Mother." It is taken from the ancient hymn Ave Stella Maris (Hail, Star of the Sea). 



Book Recommendation

“How do the pope’s Magisterium and the Tradition of the Church relate? When he interprets the words of Jesus, must the pope be in continuity with the Tradition and the previous Magisterium including that of the most recent popes? Or is it rather the Church’s Tradition that has to be re-interpreted in the light of the pop’s new words? What if there are contradictions?”


I recommend this latest book by Cardinal Gerhard Müller: The Power of Truth: The Challenges to Catholic Doctrine and Morals Today (San Francisco, Ignatius: 2019 [ISBN 978-1-62164-281-7]). Cardinal Müller is the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Francis. An internationally known theologian and professor of theology, he was the Bishop of Regensburg. He has written numerous books including The Cardinal Müller Report, The Hope of the Family and Priesthood and Diaconate. In this book, he discusses how Catholic teaching addresses various present-day crises both in the Church and in the world, whilst defending the perennial truths of salvation. He takes eleven urgent issues, mainly about the limits and scope of papal authority and about the difference between a development of doctrine and a corruption. He writes in a clear, concise, appealing and powerful way.



Bishop Philip's Engagements                   

Wednesday 22nd May

Clergy Safeguarding Day, Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke


Thursday 23rd May 

Vocations Department Meeting, Bishop’s House 

Council of Priests Meeting, Bishop’s House  


Friday 24th May

Confirmation Mass, Farleigh School  


Saturday 25th May

Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 11am


Sunday 26th May

Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 3pm


Thursday 30th May

Ascension Day Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 12.15pm

Meeting with Head of Safeguarding  


Friday 31st May

Trustees Training  


Saturday 1st June 

Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 11am



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 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


Monday 20th May

of the 4th Week of Easter

or: St Bernardine of Siena, Religious, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Saviour, Totland Bay (consecrated 20.5.1954)


Tuesday 21st May

of the 5th Week of Easter

or: St Christopher Magallanes & Companions, Priests, Martyrs, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Mary, Ryde (consecrated 21.5.1863)


Wednesday 22nd May

of the 5th Week of Easter

or: St Rita of Cascia, Religious, optional memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the Hampshire Downs Pastoral Area


Thursday 23rd May

of the 5th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Oratorians in the Diocese

Rt Rev. Monsignor John Vertue, 1st Bishop of Portsmouth (RIP 1900)


Friday 24th May

of the 5th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady, Help of Christians, Farnborough


Saturday 25th May

St Bede the Venerable, Religious, Doctor of the Church, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, New Milton (consecrated 25.5.1955)


Sunday 26th May


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Maidenhead (consecrated 26.5.1914);

Community of St Bede, Basingstoke (dedicated 26.5.2007)


Forthcoming Events       

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)

The Stripe Auditorium, The University of Winchester,
Sparkford Road, SO22 4NR.

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


11th-21st October 

Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi for Extraordinary Mission Month

Read more


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 


Co-Ordinator Of Catechesis  (10-12 hours per week)
Crowthorne & Sandhurst Parish

Clerk to Governors (15 hours + per month)
English Martyrs Catholic Primary School Reading

Visit our Vacancies page for more details on these opportunities.



Please pray for..

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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