Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Wednesday 29th May 2019 - Issue 230 (2019/20)


Dear Friends,

I wish all our schoolteachers, governors, parents, staff and students a very happy half-term. It was good the other day here in Portsmouth to see lots of children out and about! On another topic, please don’t forget that this Thursday is Ascension Day. It's a holy day of obligation, when we should go to Mass. I will be saying the 12:15h Mass here in the Cathedral and you are, of course, very welcome to join us, if you are over this way. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing lots of Confirmations recently (see the item below). All in all, this is such a joyful time of the year. As the month of May draws to a close, may the Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother pray for you and protect you – may She lead you ever closer to Jesus Her Son.







This Thursday - The Ascension

It's hard to believe that we are nearly 40 days into Easter and celebrate the Ascension this Thursday and then 10 days later, the end of Eastertide with the Solemnity of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. I encourage you to join in with the Novena to the Holy Spirit (see next item.)


Ascension Day is a Holy Day of Obligation when all Catholics should do their utmost to attend Mass. I shall be celebrating the 12:15pm Mass here in the Cathedral and invite you to join me for that or in your local parish.


Here's the Collect for the Mass of the Ascension of the Lord:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 


My latest Pastoral Letter - Verbum Dei

This past Sunday I issued my latest Pastoral Letter - Verbum Dei (The Word of God), introducing next year's Year of the Bible followed by a Diocesan Year of the Eucharist to give us as a Diocese the opportunity for a deep ‘spiritual re-boot.’


During 2020, our Diocese of Portsmouth, along with the whole Church in England and Wales, is going to keep a special Year of the Bible called ‘The God Who speaks.’ 2020 is the 1600th anniversary of St. Jerome and the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict’s remarkable document, Verbum Domini.


In the Pastoral Letter I said this: "I pray these two Years will deepen us and unify us, filling us with passion for mission, formation and catechesis, service and charitable action. In this way we can really begin to put into practice our grand vision of Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. So I ask everyone to start thinking now about how to know our faith better, how to grow in enthusiasm for God’s Word, how to improve our preaching and how to deepen our understanding of the readings we hear at Mass." You can read the full Pastoral letter here, where you can also watch a video or listen to an audio recording.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Seventh Sunday of Easter and the Gospel is from John 17:20-26. 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.


20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”


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



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

Seventh Sunday of Easter: God’s intimate life (John 17:20-26)

On Sunday we’ll have an insight into the personal, intimate life of God. In the Gospel, Jesus prays for us to the Father in the Holy Spirit, and shares something with us of the nature of God. This glimpse into God’s intimate life reminds us that we are made for God, for communion with Him and with each other, and that this can begin now, through his gift. God didn’t have to let us into the secret of his own intimacy, but by sending the Son and the Holy Spirit, this is what He has chosen to do.


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: What do we understand God to be like from this Gospel?

Hope: How can this knowledge of God impact our life?  

Love: In what way can we respond to Him and allow Him to transform us in his likeness?     


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



Blessed Margaret Pole, pray for us

Tuesday this week, particularly in Christchurch and Havant, saw the Memorial of one of the saints of the Diocesan calendar celebrated. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, was born at Castle Farley, near Bath, on 14 August 1473, and was was related to Henry VII. Her father was George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, and her mother Isabel, eldest daughter of the Earl of Warwick. She was married in 1491 by Henry to Sir Richard Pole, who died in 1505 leaving here with five children, the fourth of whom, Reginald, was to become a cardinal and Archbishop of Canterbury. He was the indirect cause of her martyrdom, since he left the country when Henry VIII broke with Rome and criticized the king publicly. As a result, a number of his relatives, including his mother, would be executed for treason. In November 1538 Margaret was arrested and held by the Earl of Southampton at Cowdray Park, Midhurst, where she was subjected to all sort of indignities. In May of the following year Thomas Cromwell had her moved to the Tower of London where for nearly two years she was “tormented by the severity of the weather and insufficient clothing” and refused to take the Oath of Succession. On 28 May 1541 (some authorities say 27 May) she was beheaded at the Tower by a “clumsy novice” executioner, and was buried at the Tower in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Along with 53 other martyrs she was beatified by Leo XIII on 29 December 1896. Before her imprisonment she lived at Warblington Castle, near Havant.


On Monday, some pilgrims from Havant and Emsworth remembered her at Warblington Castle - see the story elsewhere in this issue.



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. Click on the logo for a short introductory video.


The Great Feast of Pentecost will soon be upon us, when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit given to Mary and the Apostles, and so also to the early Church. After Ascension, those first disciples were told by Jesus not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there “for what the Lord had promised” (Acts 1:4). We too, then, are invited to “wait for what the Lord has promised us”, namely the Holy Spirit. Please would you consider offering a Novena to the Holy Spirit from Friday 31st May to Saturday 8th June for the New Evangelisation in our diocese, inviting your parishioners to do the same. Thy Kingdom Come. is a global prayer movement, which invites Christians around the world to pray during this same period for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we can support this initiative with our Pentecost Novena, Prayer of the Faithful and an encouragement for us to pray, as we normally do, with the particular intention for our loved ones to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Read more.




Marian Anthems (5): Sub Tuum Praesidium

In our study of the Marian Anthems for the month of May, we come finally to one that is not used today officially in the Roman liturgy: the Sub Tuum Praesidium. In fact, this is the oldest prayer of all to the Blessed Virgin Mary, older even than the Hail Mary. It is said to have been prayed by Christians early in the third century, particularly by Roman sailors. We know about it from an Egyptian papyrus dating to that time. Today, it is still used extensively in the Eastern Catholic Churches and also in the liturgies of the Orthodox, Armenian and Coptic churches. It is one of Pope Francis’s favourite prayers. Indeed, you may remember that last October, he asked for it to be said, along with the Rosary and the Prayer to St. Michael, for the unity of the Church in the face of the scandals and accusations it was facing. He added that "Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God pronouncing the invocation Sub Tuum Praesidium. The text is as follows:


Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix.

Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris,

sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,

Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.


We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God;

Despise not our petitions in our necessities,

but deliver us always from all dangers,

O Glorious and Blessed Virgin. Amen.



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

An elderly Dominican, who conducted my sister’s wedding, offered this advice: ‘ Keep in touch with the Lord’.  This can be hard to do: for one thing, we lead such busy lives, and there are so many things clamouring for our attention.  For another, we can ourselves passively or actively resist God’s call, so that while we may acknowledge him as Lord and God with our lips, in our hearts we long to have our own will. The command of the Torah however, offers no escape clauses: we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our strength. Only thus shall we fulfil the destiny he planned for us before time began, to be his true image and likeness.  Each one of us is an icon of God; and each icon is unique.  If I do not become the image of God that I was made to be, then that image will not exist: no one else can be the particular icon, the particular reflection of God’s glory which is mine.


This is a rather unnerving idea, for it lays great responsibility on our shoulders.  For although God’s glory, majesty and power are in no way diminished or obscured if we fail, yet on us rests the responsibility of being the image of God which we are called to be.  No wonder the Dominican counselled keeping in touch with the Lord! For were we to seek this image in our own strength, we would fail: it is only by being close to him, by loving him best that we can hope to achieve the likeness of God in us.  Our Lord uses the image of a vine and its branches: we are as dependent on him as a branch is on the vine, and apart from him we can do nothing.  United to him we can do all things.


Continue reading...



From Deacon Martin

If you have a family heirloom, a treasure, do you lock it away in a cupboard to keep it safe, or do you bring it out, so that it can be looked at, used and enjoyed?


The Church has a number of treasures which are, sadly, mostly locked away, unused. One of these treasures is the sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit), which should be sung (or at least, read) on Pentecost Sunday.  The original sequence is a short Latin poem, with an associated chant melody. There is also a serviceable English verse translation, which mimics some of the poetic patterns of the Latin original; this English verse can be sung as a hymn, or read aloud by a single reader or the entire congregation.


I encourage all parishes in the diocese, to sing the Veni Sancte Spiritus, or at the very least read it. I’m talking about it this week, so that you still have over a week to prepare, before Pentecost Sunday! Why am I encouraging you to take this treasure out of the cupboard and use it? Read more...



Ordination to the Diaconate

This Friday, 31st May 2019, four of the Franciscan friars from Gosport will be ordained to the diaconate: Brothers Philomeno, Michael, Rosario and Faustino. Please pray for them and you are welcome to join them for the Mass at 1900h here in the Cathedral. They will be joined by some of the Franciscan sisters from Bridgemary and from the Adoremus Centre in Alderney. I am sure it will be an occasion of great joy. The brothers have been undergoing many years of formation and preparation. Recently, they took a final exam, led by a team of examiners under the chairmanship of Mgr. Jeremy Garratt, our Episcopal Vicar for Vocation. The new deacons will exercise their diaconate within the community and the parish in Gosport. Meanwhile they continue their studies and, after a further scrutiny and faculties exam, will be ordained to the priesthood later in the summer. Please pray for them that they will grow in holiness and joy in their vocation over these next months. Click on the picture for the full group where they are standing on either side of me, with Fr Serafino, the Superior of the community and Mgr. Jeremy Garratt.



Inviting you to a CLOW Training Day

On the Saturday after Pentecost, 15th June, inspired by the Holy Spirit, leaders of Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLOW) will gather for a day's training (10 to 2.30) and support at St Edward the Confessor in Chandler's Ford.  This is the same session as received great feedback in Reading in March.  Not all parishes are represented, so it would be great if Parish Priests could check with their CLOW coordinator about representation.  Additional sessions are being arranged for Guernsey and Jersey. More details and the booking form are on the CLOW page of the Diocesan website or you can contact Paul O'Beirne by email


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



Lyford Grange Mass 2019

This year Fr Liam Cummins (MHM), parish priest of St Edmund Campion, Maidenhead is the main celebrant for the St Edmund Campion Pilgrimage Mass to be held at Lyford Grange, near Wantage on Sunday 23rd June 2019  at 4.00pm. It was at the Grange that the Jesuit priest Edmund Campion was captured before shackled to a cart and dragged  through the Thames Valley to London and put on trial.  Campion was subsequently hanged, drawn and quartered with Alexander Briant and Ralph Sherwin on 1st December 1581.  


Background to St Edmund Campion Pilgrimage:  In the late 1960’s Mgr Hume, Fr Tiger SJ and Fr Woodard of Our Lady of Peace, Burnham decided to organise a pilgrimage with St Edmund Campion’s Relic supporting  the Canonisation of a group of representative English and Welsh Roman Catholics who were martyred between 1535 and 1679; they were selected from 200 already beatified by earlier Popes. On 25th October 1970, Pope Paul VI  Canonised  St Edmund Campion as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.After the canonisation of the Martyrs it was decided to carry on this act of worship for Christian Unity and Peace. The Knights of St Columba were asked to organise the annual pilgrimage with the Relic resting at churches overnight following as near as possible the route Campion took on his way from Lyford Grange in Oxfordshire -  where he was captured , to Tyburn in London where he was put to death. The route includes Stonor where there is a priest’s hole and Campion famously hid his printing press. This year's full pilgrimage schedule can be found here.


For those pilgrims who would like to join the local Lyford pilgrimage it is advisable to park at Lyford Grange (OX12 0EQ)  before proceeding to the Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin in Lyford village at 3:30pm, the procession then returns  to  Lyford Grange for Mass in the Barn at 4:00pm. Canon Peter Turbitt and parishioners from St John Vianney, Wantage . There will be refreshments after the Mass. Further details from John Lynn by email or telephone: 01628-636668



I invite you to celebrate your wedding anniversary with me

Are you celebrating a 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th or any anniversary over 60 years this year?


If so I would like to invite you to join me at a special celebration Mass. This will take place at St Bede’s Church in Basingstoke on Saturday 6th July 2019.


It is a wonderful occasion to celebrate and witness to Marriage. If you would like to come, please visit the anniversaries website for more information and to register.


O God, Creator of all things, who in the beginning made man and woman that they might form the marriage bond,  bless and strengthen the union of your servants, that they may show forth an ever more perfect image of the union of Christ with his Church.

Through our Lord Jesus your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.  



Alpha? training

If any parish is running Alpha later this year or next year, perhaps you would like some training from Mike Roche, UK Alpha for Catholics Adviser, and Clare Simpson.  This will be tailored to what you specifically need.  Some parishes may like some training in how to use Alpha to help shift parish culture, the seven best practices of using Alpha and a discussion on all the Alpha training on-line.  If you might be interested, please email Clare Simpson, Leader of our Pre-Discipleship Team: csimpson@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk


Click on the ? to watch a short video introduction to Alpha for Catholics.



Could you help visit schools?

Jo Lewry, CAFOD Portsmouth Community Partnership Co-ordinator seeks your help.

Our CAFOD school volunteers visit primary and secondary schools around the diocese to deliver assemblies and workshops on CAFOD’s work. If you are a good communicator, interested in global issues, and are available during the week then please consider this essential role which aims to empower young people to make a difference in today’s world. We have a great team of school volunteers but we do need new volunteers to visit primary schools in Portsmouth, St Swithun Wells, Hampshire Downs, Guernsey and North East Hampshire Pastoral Areas. Full training and support are provided and our school volunteers meet once a term to explore the resources and share ideas.


Linda Heneghan our school volunteer for the Reading area told us why she is a school volunteer: “It’s a real privilege to be able to visit our Diocesan Schools and share the amazing work that CAFOD is able to accomplish due to the ongoing support of Schools and Parishes. The children are so eager to learn about their brothers and sisters in the developing world and have a real empathy for them in recognising the injustices and social inequalities that exist. Volunteering has allowed me to keep in touch with Catholic Education, work alongside young people and meet old and new friends. I love it when I go into schools and the children recognise me as the CAFOD lady and occasionally I’ll be greeted in the same way out of school. It’s great to have a sense of purpose and be a very small cog in ‘machinery’ that makes up our amazing Catholic charity CAFOD.” 


For more information contact Jo on 01252 329385 or email portsmouth@cafod.org.uk



Donate effortlessly to the Diocese

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.



Wonderful Confirmation Masses

This last weekend, I celebrated three wonderful Confirmation Masses, two packed Masses in the Cathedral and one in Farleigh School, Andover. The Cathedral Masses were for 130+ candidates from the Reading and West Berkshire Pastoral Areas. There is another celebration for Reading parishes this coming weekend – clearly the Holy Spirit is moving Reading! It’s interesting that for many candidates and their sponsors coming to the Cathedral for Confirmation is their very first visit to the Cathedral and so it’s a great opportunity for the youngsters to get to know the mother church, the seat of the Bishop, and to sense that they belong not just to a parish but importantly to the Diocese of Portsmouth. It is a means of strengthening the bonds of communion with the Bishop. You can read more about our Confirmation programme here. Meanwhile, a little while ago I came across a short video by Bishop Robert Barron on Confirmation. His thoughts echo mine: that celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the greatest privileges as a bishop. In this piece, he says “I want to share with you in this video some of the key ideas in the latest iteration of my Confirmation sermon.” Click on the picture to watch it.



Diaconate Candidates do the Camino 

Dr Paul Severn reports on the Camino Pilgrimage recently undertaken by five Candidates for the Diaconate...


I think it was me who suggested it, but really in jest … however the idea took hold and so it was that on the Friday before the May Day Bank Holiday I found myself on an aeroplane to Spain, with four of my fellow final year deacon students form St Mary’s College Oscott. We landed at Santiago de Compostela and took a coach to Lugo, where after a few drinks and some delightful Galician (the local region) tapas we settled down for a first night.


The significance of Lugo is that it is 100km from Santiago on the Camino Primitivo. For the pilgrimage to ‘count’ one has to walk 100km (about 63 miles), or it’s 200km on a bicycle or on horseback, although, of course, many people travel much further. Furthermore, in order to get the certificate of completion – the compostela – you have a pilgrims’ passport or ‘credencial’ which is stamped along the way to show you have really made the journey. Having collected my first stamp at my real starting point, St David’s Church, East Cowes, I collected my first Spanish Stamp (or sullo) at Lugo, before setting off through the Camino gate in Lugo city wall. Navigation is easy since all along the way, every couple of hundred meters, is a way mark, adorned with a shell and a yellow arrow pointing the direction. Additionally, the distance to Santiago, in kilometres (to three decimal places!) was shown, so as we journeyed, we could see ourselves getting ever closer.


Read the full story here on the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society website and you can add to their fundraising efforts here. Pictured are Paul Severn, Tony Darroch and Nick O'Neill who are due to be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacon on 21st July.



Jersey folk "Walk on Water"

Terry Brown reports on a sponsored walk with a difference...


On Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May, the annual Apostleship of the Sea / Knights of St Columba fund raiser "Walk on Water to France" was held in Jersey. The event is a sponsored walk which takes place around the St Catherine's Breakwater, Jersey each year, 18 times round the breakwater equals 22.53 kilometres, the distance from the breakwater to the nearest coast of France. The Jersey clergy take part and are sponsored for their walking. 68 walkers took part with 7 walkers completing the whole 18 laps, for which they receive a Certificate of Completion including Super Fund Raiser, 70 year old Jimmy Spriggs who every year raises the most sponsorship cash. So far the total sum raised  is £2,544.75 with more to come in. 80% goes to the Apostleship of the Sea Stella Maris, and 20% goes to Knights of St. Columba Council 216 Charity Fund. The three Jersey priests:  Canon Dominic Golding, Catholic Dean of Jersey and Parish Priest of the Island Parish, Fr. Benjamin Theobold and Fr. Ross Bullock plus our Deacons took part. Pictured L to R are volunteers Margaret Lynes and Terry Brown, Canon Dominic Golding, Fr. Benjamin Theobold, volunteers Peter Farrell and Peter Bewers at start of their walk.



Flores de Mayo Filipino Celebration  

Canon Gerard Flynn reports on a recent celebration in Leigh Park...


It was a real joy to celebrate, for the first time at St Michael’s, a traditional Filipino devotion last Sunday. We welcomed guests from Portsmouth and Southampton, as well as many of our own parishioners, both Filipino and from other lands too. The prayer and procession were followed by a great party and it was immediately decided that we hope to do this again next May!


Flores de Mayo (Spanish for "flowers of May") is a festival held in the Philippines in the month of May. It is one of the May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary and lasts for the entire month. Click on the picture for the full group.



Remembering Blessed Margaret Pole at Warblington Castle

Vincent Kelly from Portsmouth Catenians writes...
Portsmouth Catenians spent the morning of Monday 27th May 2019 with some parishioners from St Joseph's parish of Havant and Emsworth, remembering Blessed Margaret Pole who lived in Warblington Castle, now situated just outside Havant. Margaret was born in 1473 and executed for her faith in 1541. She was Countess of Salisbury.
The pilgrims first attended Mass at St Joseph's parish church, then some walked to Warblington Castle where they joined others in reciting the Litany of the Holy Martyrs led by Father Leslie Adams. They then walked to the nearby St Thomas a Beckett Anglican church [which was Blessed Margaret's parish church]. Here prayers were recited in the porch for all Christian martyrs, as well as for those of other faiths who have died for their faith in God. The morning finished with Lunch.
Gratitude is due to Father Leslie for leading the prayers and also to the owners of Warblington Castle Farm for allowing the pilgrims to gather on their front drive.


Revision under the watchful eye of Venerable John de la Mennais

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


Year Eleven students doing what hundreds of others are doing at this time of the year: last minute  G.C.S.E. revision before the next exam. However, who is the erudite 'teacher' behind inspiring them as they prepare?  That is the Venerable John de la Mennais,  and he has been quietly encouraging young people since 6th. June 1819-a bare fortnight after the birth of Queen Victoria.  It was on that date that his new religious congregation in France was approved and hundreds of schools were founded around the world. One, St. Mary's Independent School, Southampton flung open its doors one hundred and three years later. 'The Brothers of Christian Instruction', as he named his Order, were soon forced to leave their native country because of the anti-clerical laws. They bought the 'White House' (Bitterne) in 1910  to set up a training centre for young Frenchmen who wished to become Brothers but after a decade it was agreed to move nearer to France. A school in Jersey was purchased but the Bishop of Portsmouth wanted to set up a Catholic Grammar School for Boys in Southampton so he asked the Brothers to provide teachers.  Five Canadian Brothers answered his call with a Frenchman, Bro Jean, as their Superior & Headmaster. St Mary's College, as it was then called, was born with 26 pupils! The rest is history and preparations are in place to celebrate our centenary. Past pupils keen to keep up to date with these plans are invited to send their details to archivist@stmiss.co.uk



Gosport's new Mayor 

On Sunday 19th May, a Mayor’s Civic Service was held at St. Mary’s Church, Gosport for the new Mayor of Gosport, Kathleen Jones, who is also a longstanding member of our parish of St. Mary’s and St. Columba’s, Gosport. Kathleen Jones is the daughter-in-law of the late Maime and Tony Jones who fundraised to build St Columba’s Church in Bridgemary sixty-six years ago. The Mass was celebrated by the priest-in-charge, Fr. Serafino Lanzetta. Fr. Serafino will also act as chaplain to the Mayor. Just before the Mass, the new Mayor was accompanied in procession to the Town Hall by a small group of Friars, nuns, and parishioners carrying the statue of Our Lady. The Mass was well attended and because Gosport and Royan in France have been twinned for sixty years, dignitaries and officials of both cities were present at the ceremony. You can read Fr Serafino's homily here.


Please keep Kathleen in your prayers for this important year, that she will be guided by the Holy Spirit in her new ministry, and that all people will continue to see Jesus at work in her.



Bishop Philip's Engagements                    

Thursday 30th May

Ascension Day Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 12:15 pm

Meeting with Head of Safeguarding  


Friday 31st May

Trustees Training  


Saturday 1st June 

Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 11:00 am


Sunday 2nd June 

Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 3:00 pm


Tuesday 4th June 

Various internal meetings, Bishop’s House  


Thursday 6th June

Chapter of Canons Meeting, Bishop’s House,

Chapter Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 12:15 pm  


Friday 7th June

Annual Schools Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 11:00 am 


Saturday 8th June

Confirmation Mass, St John’s Cathedral, 11:00 am 



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 26th May


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

Community of St Bede, Basingstoke (dedicated 26.5.2007)


Monday 27th May


Diocesan Prayer: In thanksgiving for the Christian heritage of this country


Tuesday 28th May

of the 6th Week of Easter

or: Blessed Margaret Pole, Martyr, optional diocesan memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of Peace & Blessed Margaret Pole, Southbourne (consecrated 27.5.1964)


Wednesday 29th May

of the 6th Week of Easter

Diocesan Prayer: Holy Ghost Fathers in the Diocese


Thursday 30th May


Diocesan Prayer: Teams of Our Lady


Friday 31st May


Diocesan Prayer: Legion of Mary

Golden Jubilee: Fr Peter Codd (ordained 31.5.1969)


Saturday 1st June

St Justin, Martyr, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Vocations Team for the Ordained Ministry;
Those being ordained to the Priesthood & Permanent Diaconate this year


Sunday 2nd June


Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Communications Office


Forthcoming Events       

Thursday 30th May

The Ascension of the Lord

Holy Day of Obligation


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


Wednesday 5th June

“Welcome to Worship” evening

St Joseph’s Christchurch

Read more


Friday 7th June

Vocations Seeker Evening

Sacred Heart Fareham

Read more


Saturday 15th June

Children’s Liturgy of the Word Training & Support Day

St Edward the Confessor, Chandlers Ford

Read more


Saturday 15th June

Formation and Networking for Youth Ministers and Conformation Catechists

St Joseph's Church, Bracknell

Read more


Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th June

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

Read more


Friday 27th June

Ananias Day for Head Teachers, Priests, and Chair of Governors of Schools

in Abingdon, Andover, Basingstoke, Newbury, Reading and Winchester

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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.

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Saturday 6th July

Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass

St Bede's Basingstoke

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Friday 12th July

Basingstoke Catenian Circle Golf Day 
in aid of CAFOD
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: 

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. 


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.


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.


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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