Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Wednesday 12th June 2019 - Issue 232 (2019/22)


Dear Friends,

Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday and I wish you a very happy feast day. It’s also in England, the US and some other parts of the world, Father's Day, a day when we celebrate and pray for our dads, living or dead. It’s a day to celebrate fatherhood, fatherly bonds and paternal influence. Please remember in your prayers your spiritual fathers that day too – your priests and your bishop! Meanwhile, as these summer days grow even longer, I thank everyone in the Diocese for all you do serve our Lord Jesus Christ and to spread His Gospel of salvation. Let’s give glory at all times to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. 









New Archbishop for Southwark

Please pray for Bishop John Wilson, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, who was announced yesterday as the next Archbishop of Southwark and Metropolitan for the Province of Southwark which includes the Archdiocese of Southwark as well as the Dioceses of Portsmouth, Plymouth and Arundel and Brighton. Please pray too for Archbishop Peter Smith as he prepares form his retirement.


Archbishop-elect Wilson succeeds The Most Reverend Peter Smith, who has been Archbishop of Southwark since 2010. Archishop-elect Wilson, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster since 2015 and previously a priest in the Diocese of Leeds, will be the 11th Archbishop of Southwark and his Episcopal Installation will be celebrated in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, on 25 July. Speaking of his appointment, Archbishop-elect Wilson said: "Someone once said if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. In whatever way I might have imagined God’s plan for my life to unfold, the news of my appointment by Pope Francis as the new Archbishop of Southwark came as a complete surprise. I am grateful to His Excellency Archbishop Edward J. Adams, the Apostolic Nuncio, for his encouragement, and for reminding me of C S Lewis’ invitation to be 'surprised by joy.' It is the joy of the Gospel, the Good News of God’s love for the world in His Son Jesus Christ, that sustains and animates the Church’s mission in which I am to share in a new way."


Read more



Happy Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

Next Sunday, 16th June, the first Sunday after Pentecost, we keep the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity - and I wish you a very happy feastday! Many of us clergy will say it’s not an easy feastday to preach about. The truth about God is so beautiful and so simple – there are Three Persons in One God – but to explain this and to unpack its meaning for people today is challenging. Part of the challenge is not falling into heresy! To me, this day is a loud proclamation to the world that God exists and that God is Love. He shews us the depths of His love in the Mystery of His inner life as Three Persons in One: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the third, fourth and fifth centuries, the Church gave much thought to the exact nature of the Godhead. Many synods and councils were called to establish and promulgate the true faith of the Church, what Christ had revealed, and to defend that faith against error. Most of the errors of those days however seem to resurface time and again in Church history. But the great defender of orthodoxy, St. Athanasius (d. 373), the Bishop of Alexandria, expressed the truth of faith perfectly. An extract from one of his letters is given in the Office of Readings for Trinity Sunday. You can read it here. He is also attributed with writing a Creed (“The Athanasian Creed” or Quicumque Vult) which proclaims the truth about the Triune God. May I invite you to say it this week? Here it is:

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith.

For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever. This is what the Catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.


Continue reading...



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and the Gospel is from John 16:12-15. 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.


12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.


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



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

Why does the Trinity matter? (The Most Holy Trinity, Year C – John 16:12-15)

We believe in one God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. So why is it important to believe that God is three? Isn’t it more confusing? Does not this divide us from the other monotheistic religions? Today in our webinar, based on the text of this Sunday Gospel, we will revisit our faith in God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and discover why it is important to believe this personal secret of God, a secret God himself has has freely chosen to reveal to us. 


We’ll reflect on:

Faith: Why did God reveal Himself to be Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and why does it matter?

Hope: What importance can the Trinity have for my personal life?         
Love: How does the mystery of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit reveal the nature of love?


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



St. Anthony of Padua

This Thursday, 13th June, is the memorial of one of the most popular saints of all times, St. Anthony of Padua (although this year his liturgical commemoration is replaced by the Feast of Jesus Christ the High Priest). St. Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1191 of a noble family and educated in Lisbon Cathedral school. He joined the Augustinian canons and began training for the priesthood, but when the relics of some Franciscans who had been killed in Morocco were brought on visitation, he became so impassioned he wanted to become a Franciscan and to undergo martyrdom. He received the Franciscan habit in 1221, and after sailing to Morocco but then returning because of illness, he was posted to the hermitage of San Paulo near Forli, Italy. He was suddenly called upon to preach at an ordination nearby and it was then that his unexpected eloquence and learning became apparent. St. Francis appointed him lector in theology. He taught at Bologna and later at Toulouse. He was eventually made provincial of the Order but released from office a little later so he could devote himself more fully to preaching. He spent the rest of his life near Padua, where to this day his relics are venerated. He died in 1231. Noted for his powerful preaching, his expert knowledge of scripture, and his undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was canonised in 1232, one of the most quickly canonised saints ever. Pope Pius XI proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church in 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things.


I have always had a ‘soft spot’ for St. Anthony, and of course Anthony is my middle name. His life is an inspiration for us today. Let us seek his prayers this week for ourselves and those whom we love, especially those who are in some way lost.



Jennifer Geach reflects... 

On all days, we do well to thank God: for the unnumbered blessings which surround us all the days of our life, for the glory and beauty and splendour of his creation; but above all we should thank Him for being God, and strive to give praise to His Holy Name.  This Name, before which angels tremble, is used as a casual interjection on most people’s lips: O my God! is used often, and some people do not hesitate to use the name of the Saviour of the world as a curse word. 


The funny thing is that if we were to use what my governess found out to be 'good old Anglo-Saxon' words  as curse words, or casual interjections we would  cause FAR more offence in 'polite' society than if we take the name of the Most High on our lips.  Among the Jews, the name of God is so holy that none may use it; when Moses asked the Lord who appeared to him in the burning bush what he should say to the Jews in Egypt about who had sent him, and received the reply 'I am that am'. This expression 'I am that am' was translated into Greek as 'egw eimi to wn' 'I am the being', or better the "isness". (if there were such a word!)  God is here reminding us of something very important, but very hard to grasp.  His existence is NECESSARY: ours is merely CONTINGENT: He IS: we only happen to be.





From Deacon Martin

The first reading (Prov 8:22-31) on Trinity Sunday (Year C) contains a remarkable phrase. The reading is mostly a long description of Wisdom’s presence alongside the Lord before all creation came to be; but at its climax, Wisdom says that it was “ever at play in his presence, at play everywhere in his world” (Prov 8:30-31).  The Hebrew word for “at play” comes from the verb sachaq, which means “laugh”, “celebrate”, or “play a musical instrument”; the word is used of David “dancing before the Lord” in 2 Samuel 6:21 and 1 Chronicles 15:29.


This image of unrestrained joy, contrasts with the solemnity of the creation account that precedes it – but combining both ideas gives us an insight into the Divine Nature.  Alongside the Creator’s supreme majesty is also a mutuality, a relationship of joyous love.  This intimacy at the heart of the Godhead, has been a feature of the Johannine gospels of the last few Sundays – and once again this week, Jesus illustrates the closeness of His relationship to His Father, when he says “Everything that the Father has is mine” (Jn 16:14). And everything that the Spirit will tell us, “will be taken from what is mine [Jesus’s]” (Jn 16:15). 


Continue reading...



Calling our Priests

I mentioned last week that the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is a day of prayer for priests. This year, the feast 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).


Meanwhile, you may be wondering what the picture is all about? It’s actually the university cap of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati! Pier Giorgio always had a deep love and respect for priests and numbered many priests among his friends and admirers. The other day, when I was reading the yet unpublished English translation of his sister’s book My Brother Pier Giorgio: His Faith, I came across a testimony from a religious brother who knew him. He said this: During the inauguration of the banner for the youth group “La Marmora” in May of 1924, Pier Giorgio brought along his enthusiasm and his faith to the event.  Something happened during that evening of Christian joy that seemed insignificant, but only at first glance. The participants were leaving the Institute’s headquarters when they ran into Father Roberti, the chaplain of the shelter for the poor, at the door.  The atmosphere was rowdy and happy, but suddenly Pier Giorgio removed his cap (that is, his university cap) in a sudden gesture of deep respect as he greeted the priest.  Being nearby, I was surprised by such behaviour out in the open, and I asked him if he knew the priest whom he had greeted with such precise politeness.  “No, but the priest is a representative of Jesus Christ,” he replied.  Then, with that marvellous lesson still ringing in my ears, I saw him put his cap back on his head, and return to his fun with his friends as if nothing had happened.



Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch to speak in Winchester 

Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch is a highly regarded academic and historian  who is head of Ecclesiastical History at St Cross College, Oxford.   He has appeared frequently on television and  broadcasts regularly Radio 4. His  programme  on the History of Christianity was repeated again on BBC 4 in the Autumn of 2018 and examined the origins of Christianity and its relevance in the modern world.  It considered its four main forms, Orthodoxy, Oriental Christianity, Western Catholicism and Protestantism. Diarmaid MacCulloch was born in Kent and is father was an Anglican priest.  He read History at Churchill College Cambridge,  and completed his PhD on Tudor History at Cambridge in 1977.  He taught Church History in the Department of Theology at the University of Bristol.  He was ordained Deacon in the Church of England in 1987.  Diarmaid MacCulloch was awarded a Doctor of Divinity (DD) degree by the University of Oxford in 2001.  The DD is the highest degree awarded by Oxford University. He is a prolific author. Amongst his many works are: Henry VIII: Politics, Policy and Piety; Thomas Cranmer: A Life; Tudor Church Militant; Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490 – 1700; A History of Christianity:  The First Three Thousand Years and Thomas Cromwell: A Life.


Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch is coming to speak on Thomas Cranmer on Monday 1st July at The Stripe Auditorium, the University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR at 7.30pm. Visitors £5.00 at the door, Students with ID £2.50. All enquiries to St Peter's Winchester via e-mail or telephone 01962 852804.     



Miraculous Relic Image to visit Aldershot

Join the large number of pilgrims when the Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be visiting St Joseph’s Church, Aldershot, from Friday 5 July until Monday 8 July.  The Relic Image is one of 220 authorised digital replicas placed in the major countries in the world, which confers by Papal degree, the same blessings and graces as the original in Mexico.  The Rt Rev Monsignor Keith Newton, PA, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, will be the principal celebrant for the Guadalupe Mass with Reception of the Miraculous Relic Image on the Friday evening at 7 pm.  During this special weekend, there will be Masses honouring Our Lady, including one for the strong Kerala community, a Polish Mass, Holy Hour for Vocations plus devotions, reflections and opportunity to venerate the Relic Image.  On the Monday morning, students from the local Catholic schools will have an opportunity to visit the Image, learn more of the history and to venerate. Britain’s  itinerant  Miraculous Relic Image  is based at the Shrine in Bedford, but travelled nearly 4,000 miles on Pilgrimage Tour  in 2018 and was seen by more than 25,000 people as far away as Cumbria and Plymouth.  Many graces and blessings have been reported. Why not arrange a pilgrimage from your church or organisation to this very special event?


More details and extra media resources available from: Barbara Kay, Media and Communications Coordinator, The Guardians of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Telephone 01234 340759. Please visit www.relicourladyofguadalupe.co.uk  for full details and photographs of the 2018 National Pilgrimage Tour, the History of the Devotion and the Mission and the work of the Guardians of Our Lady of Guadalupe.



Fanning The Flame Summer Camp: 19th-23rd August

Places are still available, Book Now!  For Ages 10 - 25 years old.
Finished your academic year and don’t know what to do for a week in the summer? Come and join us for an amazing 5 days in the New Forest! At this year's camp we focus on the great adventure of following Jesus Christ in faith. Using some of the great stories of adventure from popular culture we will continue to discover our relationship with Christ, what that means, and how becoming intentional disciples changes us and the way we are in the world, as we journey through life in, and with, Christ. It's easy camping with great teaching and lots of fun!  The young people have an opportunity to experience many different types of prayer, ask questions about their faith, and understand how to better live it in today’s society. We also have great food, good facilities and opportunities for sports and games, craft workshops, horse riding (if they want) and a walk to the local lake. It’s a well balanced week of faith, fun and fellowship!
If you cannot come, please keep us all in your prayers. Thank you!  For more information, pictures, booking forms and inquiries please go to www.FanningTheFlame.co.uk


October is Extraordinary Mission Month

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019. For the Extraordinary Missionary Month, the Holy Father has chosen the theme:  ‘Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on a Mission in the World’. Awakening the awareness of the missio ad gentes, and reinvigorating the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm, are themes that combine the pastoral concern of Pope Benedict XV in Maximum Illud with the missionary vitality expressed by Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: "Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church" (EG 15).


In view of this upcoming month of October, Fr. Innaiah Maddineni, Missio Director in our diocese with the support of Fr Kevin Hughes MHM (the Red Boxes) will give a presentation (one hour) about this initiative of Pope Francis at 4 venues around the diocese. Click here for details.



Caritas Self-Esteem and Confidence Course

Fiona Allen who is working closely with Caritas at the Insight program at St. John’s Cathedral shares her experience of running an amazing and very effective  self-esteem and confidence building course.


On Tuesday 26th March 2019, I started what I thought would be a six-week self-esteem and confidence building course for adults that attend the Caritas Insight group held at the cathedral along with Chris Bristol (volunteer). This group continues to run and develop, and individuals are taking on more responsibilities such as writing up notes and actively promoting events and the group to other like minded people. We have an average of 10-13 people attending and the aims of the group were to educate in a safe and friendly environment whilst offering advise and support to people that are in isolation, homeless, in  addiction and also suffering from poor mental health due to trauma and life experiences. The group discusses depression, anxiety and anger as well as using mindfulness and positive affirmations as some of the coping mechanisms. As the group has progressed it has become a friendly supportive group and it has been a pleasure to see people talk openly and honestly, smile, laugh, listen and support each other. Some of the feedback so far is that they are so grateful to the volunteers that run the insight group and that this self esteem and confidence building group has created a safe confidential platform for people to openly talk about the individual issues that impact there lives such as addiction, hopelessness, loneliness, lack of money and individuals life traumas and how all these things impact on their mental health.


Read more



Chris Stefanick on the Holy Spirit in Confirmation

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Liturgy, the great Feast of Pentecost is followed by an Octave (eight days of prayer and celebration) up to Trinity Sunday. I always think it’s a shame that we don’t have such an Octave in the Ordinary Form, which instead plunges us immediately back into ‘Ordinary Time,’ this year Week 10. That said, there’s nothing to stop us this week continuing to pray each day: Veni Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita. Imple superna gratia, quae tu creasti, pectora (‘Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav'nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own’). Qui diceris Paraclitus, donum Dei altissimi, fons vivus, ignis, caritas, et spiritalis unctio (‘Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love’). Let’s try this week to make this a week of prayer invoking the Holy Spirit into our hearts, our families, our parishes and schools.


Meanwhile, over the next weekends, I continue to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Click on the picture for a short message from Chris Stefanick about what the Sacrament of Confirmation effects in our lives, ‘What Happens at Confirmation.’



Thank you to all CAFOD volunteers...

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


As volunteers’ week comes to an end I would like to thank all our CAFOD volunteers in the diocese for their commitment to helping their brothers and sisters living in poverty overseas. Your time, energy and support makes a huge difference to people’s lives. Last Lent 2018 the amazing amount of £4.3 million was raised and doubled by the UK government. So far this year CAFOD has reached over 4000 people in Zimbabwe. We have taught 1,403 people how to adapt farming methods to the changing climate, identified 17 sites for community vegetable gardens, planted 233 fruit trees and trained 27 nurses and health workers to spot malnutrition… and this work will continue because of your generous support.


There are a variety of volunteering roles from being a parish volunteer who promotes our fast days at Harvest and Lent, to visiting schools to deliver assemblies and workshops about CAFOD’s work, to getting your parish involved in our campaigns and writing to your MP. We always need more volunteers especially in parishes so do get in touch if you want to find out more by emailing portsmouth@cafod.org.uk or call Jo on 01252 328385 or go to our website



Visit to St. John’s Seminary Wonersh

I was delighted last week to visit St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, for one of the twice-a-year Bishops-Staff Meetings. The meeting was fascinating as Wonersh is about to revise thoroughly its six-year academic programme of formation. The aim is to restore a more traditional order, with the study of philosophy in the first two years, and theology in the other four years. Students will then be able to gain a foundation degree in philosophy, a Bachelor of Theology degree and also a Pontifical award, the STB.  We were also shewn two new promotional videos, with clips from the Liturgy and interviews with staff and students, all well done and to a very high standard. One of these videos, which will soon be available on YouTube and elsewhere, involved the extensive use of aerial drones that portray the college within its rural setting. This was the first time I really appreciated the beauty of the landscape and the attractively rolling Surrey hills within which St. John’s is located. At the moment, we have two students at Wonersh, Paul Nwune, who is on a parish placement in the Diocese this year, and Deacon Johnpromise Omeozuru who, along with Deacon Mohanraj Edward from Oscott, will be ordained to the priesthood in our Cathedral on Saturday 20th July. For various reasons there were not many students around in the college on the day I visited, but I was delighted to see Johnpromise over supper. Please pray for him and for Mohanraj about to be ordained, for Paul on his placement and for all our students in the various seminaries. Pray too that God will bless our wonderful Diocese of Portsmouth us with many more vocations.




I invited the FOCUS missionaries to an end of the year barbecue the other evening at Bishop’s House, although the wet weather meant that we had to relocate to the dining room. Fr. PJ Smith was at the helm and he provided us with a wizzo spread! FOCUS is the Federation of Catholic University Students – click here for more – and, as you know, four FOCUS missionaries are working with Fr. Jaya and Sr. Valentina in the chaplaincy at Southampton University. Please pray for the work of the chaplaincy. Term is now over and the missionaries are returning for their summer vocation to the US. Sarrah Stanley (left) and Anthony Thompson (third from left) are returning to the USA permanently in order to take up new missions within American universities. As we bid them farewell, full of gratitude for all the great work they have done, we pray for God’s blessing on them in their new apostolates. Shea McMahon (second from left) is getting married at the end of August and he, accompanied by his new wife, will be returning to Southampton in the autumn to continue the mission. Kaitlin Gilday (right) is the missionary Team Director and she will be returning too, along with two new missionaries here for the year. Meanwhile, during the summer about fifteen FOCUS members are coming over from the US to do a summer mission exercise in the Diocese, including joining our youth on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. We look forward to welcoming them. On behalf of us all, I express our gratitude for their inspiring example of discipleship and love for the Lord and for all their good work.



Annual Schools' Mass

Last Friday, I celebrated the annual Mass for Schools in the Cathedral. We have 71 schools across the Diocese and the Mass was attended by representative teachers and students from many of them, near and far. The theme this year was based around St. Oscar Romero and at the end of Mass, I gave out awards to those schools that had excelled in the Oscar Romero Award programme. The Oscar Romero Award recognises a school’s commitment to Catholic Social Teaching. The award itself is a way of supporting schools in realising and living the unique calling of a Catholic school to become an evangelising centre by empowering young people and staff to become true agents of the change they want to see in the world by putting their faith into action. You can read more about it here.


I am very impressed and inspired by St. Oscar and in the Mass I dedicated the homily to this great man. This is what I said: I want to tell you a story. It’s about a boy from a poor country in Latin America called El Salvador. His name was Oscar. As he grew up, he wondered what to do when he left school. His father taught him woodwork but Oscar also really liked his parish priest and he thought God wanted him to become a priest. So he went to see the Bishop, who sent him to study in Rome and it was there, when he was 24, he was ordained a priest. Now this was 1942, right in the middle of WW2, and it took him, and another new priest, over a year to get back home. When the ship landed in Cuba, the police arrested them because they’d come from Italy, an enemy country.


Continue reading...



The Great Story of Jesus Retreat day

Clare Simpson, Leader of the Diocesan Pre-discipleship Team, reports on the recent retreat day for catechists...


Last Saturday, 8th June, the diocese’s Pre-Discipleship Team facilitated a Retreat day for over 40 Catechists and local parishioners at St Bede’s in Basingstoke. This day is part of the Ananais Training which the team are beginning to roll out over the diocese. We were delighted to welcome to the team Fr Liam and Fr Kelvin from the Carmelite Friars at Boars Hill. Their wise words of wisdom and prayers were much appreciated by all.


The day focused on the proclamation of the Kerygma (The Gospel Message) in its entirety. We pondered on the question Jesus posed to his disciples “Who do people say I am?” The day was designed to help the catechists hear the whole message proclaimed and to make a personal response to the invitation of the message to “Follow me”.  There was much time for silent reflection upon the Word of God after each segment of the story was presented. This silence was much appreciated by those who participated as well as the opportunities for small group discussion. Some participants described this as the most helpful part of the Retreat.



80th anniversary celebrations in Southbourne

Fr Kevin Hoiles, Parish Priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace Southbourne reports on the recent 80th anniversary celebrations...


In 1939 on 24th May, the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace was opened and blessed. On 27th May 1964 the church was solemnly consecrated and a further dedication of Blessed Margaret Pole was added. To mark these events which fell on the end of May Bank Holiday the parish decided to celebrate 80 years of worship in the church and the 55th anniversary of the dedication. Although Mass had been celebrated locally in the area since 1890 and a temporary church had been built, it was not until 1934 that Southbourne parish was established and so the 85th anniversary of the founding of the parish was also celebrated.  Two days of celebrations were planned with Saturday having the focus on prayer and reflection with various liturgies taking place in the church. Sunday Mass (there are some photos here) was said by Fr Kevin Hoiles Parish Priest, the concelebrants were Fr Inna Gada assistant priest, Fr Brian Copus local retired priest, Fr Bernadine Nsom who previously served in the parish and Canon Paul Townsend VG and Dean. The parish community were joined by local dignitaries representing the borough council, St Peter's School, ecumenical friends and the sisters from Sway whom we have long and established relationship with. Canon Paul preached an inspiring and informative homily and blessed the parish centre meeting room which has been named after Blessed Margaret Pole. The celebrations continued in the hall and garden and although it was not sunny, the weather was kind by not raining and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.



Celebrating St Boniface

Julia Courtney reports on a recent historic Mass on the Isle of Wight...


St Boniface Old Church on the isle of Wight is in fact extremely old: the notice outside proclaims that it was Rebuilt in 1070, which was when a Norman church replaced the original Saxon structure. Set on the south coast of the Island, it is said to mark the place of St Boniface's departure to evangelise Europe. Although replaced by a very pretty Victorian church up the lane,  it has remained in the care of the local Anglican parish. This year on St Boniface day, June 5th, was the second occasion since the Reformation when a Catholic Mass has been said in this tiny, simple and wonderfully prayerful building. It was a moving experience, and worth noting that the church is open for prayer on most days.


O God, who raised up the holy Bishop and martyr Saint Boniface from the English nation to enlighten many peoples with the Gospel of Christ, grant, we pray, that we may firmly hold and confidently profess in action the faith he taught with his lips and sealed with his blood. 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.


Thy Kingdom Come in Portchester

Sam Wilson from Fareham & Portchester parish reports on the recent Thy Kingdom Come celebrations in Portchester.


The Church exhorts us to prepare for the seasons and as we look for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost we united with our Christian brothers and sisters in Portchester to do just that. Churches Together in Portchester were united and inspired by the Holy Spirit to pray, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ and it seemed that our prayer was heard! A national ecumenical campaign for evangelisation, Thy Kingdom Come, asks us to pray for five people to come to faith in Christ and asks us to pledge to pray for them and intercede that the Holy Spirit would lead them to Jesus and the Gospel.


On Sunday 2nd June in Portchester we had a united service of prayer in St Mary’s Church at Portchester Castle and the Catholics of Portchester began with an explanation of the Novena to the Holy Spirit.  Together, all the churches prayed prayers from the novena and from Evening Prayer. Our Christian brothers and sisters built on our foundation and together we shared hymns, open prayer, Taize chants and, led by our Methodist kin, a chance to focus on prayer for those five people we would ask the Lord to bring to faith and inspire them to return to the Church. On Pentecost Sunday, Portchester Castle played host to an estimated 1000 people from all over Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for The Big Prayer Picnic! The event began with a picnic, prayer tents and family activities and then ended a with worship uniting everyone together, a fitting culmination for this year’s Thy Kingdom Come.



News from Portsmouth CathSoc

Portsmouth Catenians recently presented a Mass Set to Angela O’Donohue, the Catholic member of the chaplaincy team at Portsmouth University. It was purchased by Angela on a recent pilgrimage to Assisi and will be used to celebrate Mass for the student members of the CathSoc who are supported by Father Phil Carroll, the Priest Chaplain to the Catholic Chaplaincy. The Catenians acquired the funding from central Catenian resources through the Provincial Director, Roger Lillie of Southampton, who has an admirable record of support for such causes.


The photographs show Angela O’Donohue with Roger Lillie (Provincial Director) and Edward Whalley (Portsmouth Catenian Treasurer) in the presence of students at Bishop’s House. The Mass Set, much admired by the students, consists of Crucifix, Cruets, Votive candles, Ciborium and Chalice.



New priest for Bournemouth Oratory 

Congratulations to Fr. Andrew Wagstaff, Cong. Orat. who was ordained at the Oratory Church of the Sacred Heart in Bournemouth last Saturday by fellow Oratorian, Bishop Robert Byrne, Cong. Orat., Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. He joins Fr Peter Edwards, Cong. Orat., the Parish Priest of Sacred Heart and Fr Dominic Jacob, Cong. Orat, Moderator of the Oratory-in-Formation and University Chaplain as a third priest to minister to Bournemouth Town Centre and the student population.
A joyful Mass of the Vigil of Pentecost was celebrated with outstanding music from the Sacred Heart Choir. Fr Andrew was supported by his family and many Oratorians from other Oratories around the country as well as clergy from our diocese. There are some photos here. He celebrated his First Mass at Sacred Heart at the principal Sunday Mass of Pentecost Sunday.


Congratulations to Fr Michael Fava CBE

Father Michael Fava the most senior Catholic Army Chaplain has been awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was commissioned into the Royal Army Chaplains Department in 1997. As well as serving in the UK and Northern Ireland he has served in Germany and Cyprus and served on operational tours of duty in Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. He was created an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen in 2017 and was Apostolic Administrator of the Bishopric of the Forces  during the period  sede vacante May 2015 – Sep 2018 following Bishop Richard Moth's translation to Arundel and Brighton. In November 2018, Fr Michael was appointed Deputy Chaplain General, the first Catholic to be appointed to this post. Fr Michael is a priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth and an old boy of the Salesian College, Farnborough.


Speaking of the Honour, Fr Michael said “I am stunned by this news, but very grateful for the acknowledgement that it represents of Catholic chaplaincy in the Army, and of the role of the Catholic Bishopric of the Forces. It is a tremendous honour to receive this on everyone’s behalf.” Bishop Paul Mason, Bishop of the Forces  said “With over two decades in service as an Army chaplain, Fr Michael Fava has distinguished himself though his unique blend of dedicated professionalism and sensitive pastoral and priestly service. In receiving the CBE Fr Michael’s faithful commitment to his priestly vocation and his service as chaplain to the British Army are recognised and valued in a very important way. All of us in the Catholic Bishopric of the Forces are very proud of him and very happy to see him honoured in this way by the Queen”.


We add our warm congratulations from the Diocese of Portsmouth!



Bishop Philip's Engagements                   

Thursday 13th - Friday 14th June
Bishop’s Council Meeting and Overnight,
Bishop’s House, Portsmouth
Saturday 15th June
Confirmation Mass for Traveller Communities,
Christ the King, Reading, 2pm 
Monday 17th June
Education Conference for Heads and Chairs, Basingstoke;  
Book Launch, Twickenham  
Tuesday 18th June
Retired Priests meeting and lunch  
Thursday 20th June
Coordinating Pastors Meeting; Vicars General Meeting  
Friday 21st June
Confirmation Mass, Guernsey 


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 9th June


National Prayer Cycle: The Church

Diocesan Prayer: Those being confirmed this year, their sponsors, families and catechists


Monday 10th June

The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, memorial  

Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Colman, Cosham (consecrated 9.6.1953); Community of St Columba, Bridgemary 


Tuesday 11th June

St Barnabas, Apostle, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: St Barnabas Society


Wednesday 12th June

Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Knights of St Columba;
Community of Corpus Christi, North End (dedicated 10.6.1982)

Golden Jubilee: Mgr Thomas McGrath (ordained 12.6.1969)


Thursday 13th June


Diocesan Prayer: The poor (for St. Anthony of Padua) 


Friday 14th June

Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Members of the Fraternity of St. Charles in the Diocese


Saturday 15th June

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [10th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Community of Sacred Heart, Lambourn (dedicated 15.6.1980),
Parish of St Thomas More, Twyford (dedicated 15.6.1981) 


Sunday 16th June


National Prayer Cycle: Day for Life 

Diocesan Prayer: Lay Parish Pastoral Assistants  


Monday 17th June

Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Boniface, Shirley, Southampton (consecrated 17.6.1947) 


Tuesday 18th June

Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Parish Prayer Groups


Wednesday 19th June

St Romuald, Abbot, optional memorial

or: Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of Our Lady of Pity

Silver Jubilee: Fr Kevin Jones (ordained 19.6.1994) 


Thursday 20th June

St Alban, Martyr, optional memorial

or: Feria [11th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Military Chapel of St. Alban, Shrivenham


Friday 21st June

St Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious, memorial  

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Sacred Heart, Bordon (dedicated 21.6.1990);
Parish of St Mary, Woolhampton (dedicated 21.6.1995)


Saturday 22nd June

Ss JOHN FISHER, Bishop & THOMAS MORE, Martyrs, feast 

National Prayer Cycle: Those who suffer persecution, oppression and denial of human rights Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Anne & St Mary Magdalen, Alderney (consecrated 22.6.1973); Communities of St Thomas More at Stockbridge, Hartley Wintney, & Boars Hill;
Communities of St John Fisher, Whitchurch & Reading [FSSP]


Sunday 23rd June

CORPUS CHRISTI [The Body and Blood of Christ], solemnity [transferred]

Diocesan Prayer: This year’s First Communicants, their families and catechists


Forthcoming Events         

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 Confirmation Catechists

St Joseph's Church, Bracknell

Read more


Saturday 15th June


St Mary's Church, Gosport, 7.30-10.30pm


Sunday 16th June

Taize Prayer Service
Annunciation, Netley Abbey

Read more


Saturday 22nd June

Alton Day of Renewal

NB: Change of venue for this month:
Alton Methodist Church, Draymans Way, Alton GU34 1LG

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


Thursday 4th July

Caritas Bollywood Fundraiser
Catedral Discovery Centre

Read more


Friday 5th - Monday 8th July

Visit of the Miraculous Relic Image of
Our Lady of Guadalupe

St Joseph's Aldershot


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


Saturday 20th July

Ordination of Priests

St John's Cathedral, 11am


Saturday 20th July


St Mary's Church, Gosport, 7.30-10.30pm


Sunday 21st July

Ordination of Deacons

St John's Cathedral, 2pm


25th-30th July 

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Read more


Saturday 27th July

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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: 

Safeguarding Parish Support (Part-time, 14 hours per week)
The Diocese wishes to appoint a new role of Safeguarding Parish Support to join the existing Safeguarding team based in Portsmouth.

Training and Community Development Manager (Part-Time, 21 hours per week) 
This is an exciting new role, based in Portsmouth but working throughout the Diocese of Portsmouth to promote, develop and coordinate social action projects within the diocese.

Co-Ordinator of Catechesis  (Part -time, 10-12 hours per week) 
Crowthorne & Sandhurst Parish wishes to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced Catechist to deliver and develop sacramental preparation and evangelistic programmes for 10 – 12 hours per week (mostly evenings).

Parish Administrator (20 hours per week)
St Edmund Campion parish in Maidenhead has a vacancy for a part-time Parish Administrator. 

Visit our Vacancies page for more details on these opportunities.



Please pray for..

All who are taking examinations at this time.


All being baptised and confirmed at this time 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. 


We try to include a broad range of news and reflective articles, but publication of an article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or of the Bishop.


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 FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Follow Vocations Promotion on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Follow the Diocesan Youth Team on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.





With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers,
In Corde Iesu


Bishop of Portsmouth


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

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

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

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