Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 16th July 2019 - Issue 236 (2019/26)


Dear Friends,

As our schools begin this week to break up for the summer holidays, we wish all staff and students, and all the parents and governors of our Catholic schools a very happy time of recreation! We thank God for all their good work over the year and for all they do to hand on the Faith to the young. Let’s keep in our prayers those who will be receiving exam results at some point over the next weeks and also those leaving school for work or for university. Indeed, I wish all our readers a happy summer – below I suggest a bit of summer reading from the Isle of Wight! Meanwhile, as ever, lots of things are going on in our Diocese at the moment. We have Ordinations to look forward to this coming weekend and also some new seminarians to send on their way. Have a blessed week ahead – and please pray for me too.




A Special Intention 

This Tuesday, 16th July, is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and I would like to put before you a special intention for which to ask the Blessed Virgin’s help. I recently received a letter from Stuart McCullough of the Good Counsel Network. One of the mothers that the Network has helped – and in fact has since had her baby - is going to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to overturn the High Court decision in favour of Ealing Council’s “buffer-zone.” This buffer-zone or Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), you may remember, was imposed in order to stop people praying or giving quiet witness to those entering the local Marie Stopes abortion centre. There is now another PSPO in place, this time in Twickenham, and several other councils in England are thinking of bringing them in, but are waiting to see how the court challenge goes. These PSPOs, that seek to stop a person praying, seem to me draconian, unworthy of a democratic country. In fact, it’s amazing what prayer outside an abortion clinic can achieve. It can save life and give witness to the value of life. True, it can challenge people. Once myself praying outside one of the abortion clinics here in Portsmouth, I remember the gratuitous vilification and threatening behaviour that came from some passers-by. It must have been like that for the Lord carrying His Cross on the way to Calvary. The prayer and witness obviously touched something deep. So let us ask Our Lady of Mount Carmel to intervene with Her prayers and to lead people in our land to a change of heart towards the protection of all unborn children.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is 16th Sunday of the Year and the Gospel is from Luke 10:38-42. 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.


Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”


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



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

Jesus is in the house: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 10:38-42)


Can you imagine if Jesus came to stay at your house, probably with a whole group of disciples? There would be much to do, inevitably, and we’d want the best for him, no effort spared. This is probably what Martha did, and rightly so! Well, Jesus is in our house. We can find him dwelling in every one of our churches in the Tabernacle, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. We can also find him dwelling in our heart. Often we are so busy caring about the house itself and all the service it requires – the church, our own people, our own self – that we forget the Guest. We started our good works for his sake, of course, but we often get too caught up with the service to pay him the attention we need. So let’s be like Mary, and forget the house for a while, and learn to sit silently at the feet of Jesus.


In this Wednesday webinar, we’ll reflect on:

Faith: learning to prioritise with the eyes of faith.

Hope: learning to place our hope in Jesus and his grace, rather than in our own achievements.
Love: learning from the generosity of Jesus, who makes himself completely available to us.


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



Saints of the Diocesan Calendar - St Swithun

Little is known of St Swithun’s life. Born in Wessex, his name is sometimes spelled ‘Swithin’. He died on 2 July 862, though the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says 861. He left orders that his body was not to be buried within the church but outside in a “vile and unworthy place”. Egbert, King of Wessex, chose Swithun as his chaplain and entrusted to him the education of his son Æthelwulf, who succeeded to the throne in 839. Æthelwulf appointed Swithun Bishop of Winchester in 852 and during the ten years of his episcopate he became famous for his charitable gifts and for his activity in the building of churches. He is reputed to have accompanied King Alfred to Rome in 856. His body was moved from its almost unknown grave into the Old Minster at Winchester on 15 July 971, and this day became his feast day. His transferral was preceded and followed by numerous miracles. His body was probably later split between a number of smaller shrines. His head was certainly detached and taken to Canterbury Cathedral, while one his arms found a resting place in Peterborough Abbey. His main shrine was transferred to the present (then new) Norman cathedral of Winchester in 1093. His remains were installed on a ‘feretory platform’ above and behind the high altar (the feretory chapel still exists). His shrine became a great focus for pilgrims, and the cathedral’s retrochoir was built in the early 13th century to accommodate the large numbers of people wishing to visit his shrine and enter the ‘holy hole’ beneath him His shrine was moved into the retrochoir in 1476. It was demolished in 1538 during the‘English Reformation’, and a modern representation was placed on the site by the Dean and Chapter in 1962.
In the diocese we have two churches, one in Yateley and the other in Southsea, the latter with a parish primary school, under his patronage.


From Deacon Martin

It’s one of the great privileges of being a deacon, to visit the sick and housebound.  I always get a wonderful welcome from the people I visit, and it is a joy to share companionship, and to bring the Lord to them in Holy Communion. I have learned a great deal from them, in my busy-ness, to slow down, and take time to benefit from “the sacrament of the present moment”. Welcome is at the heart of the first reading and gospel of this coming Sunday, the 16th in Ordinary Time:

• Abraham welcomes a mysterious group of strangers (identified by the narrator as “the Lord”) and gives the best that he has to them: food, drink, refreshment, shade and service (Gen 18:1-10);
• Martha and Mary welcome Jesus into their home, but they have different ways of expressing their welcome: Martha is “distracted with all the serving”, while Mary “sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking” (Lk 10:38-42).

Read more


Jennifer Geach reflects...

We need priests to share the sacraments with us - those “outward signs of inward grace ordained by Jesus Christ”, which sustain the life of the church.  Above all, they offer Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf in the eucharist, and grant us absolution in the sacrament of reconciliation.


It is possible for a church to survive without priests: the Japanese community survived for 250 years, using the two sacraments which can be administered without a priest – baptism and marriage.  For if there is no priest (or deacon), or in an emergency, anyone may baptise, by pouring water three times, and saying as they do so ‘N., I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.  And the ministers of the sacrament of marriage are the couple; the priest is only a witness. With these two sacraments, a Christian community can survive without a priest: but it is a great deprivation. We must therefore treasure our priests, and not only be glad to have them, but support them by every means in our power.  This means more than giving generously for the collection – though that is certainly required –even more than offering to do nice prestigious jobs in the parish.  Priests should be as free as possible from purely secular burdens, so that they may lead the life of prayer to which Christ calls them.


Read more  



Caritas Kids Holiday Clubs this summer

Caritas Portsmouth diocese will be running not just one but three Children’s activity weeks this year during August 2019.


Basingstoke - St Bede’s Primary School, Popley, Basingstoke
27th August – 30th August, 10am – 3.30pm
Southsea - Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Eastney, Southsea
26th August – 30th August 10.30am – 2.30pm
Southampton – Holy Family Church, Millbrook, Southampton
27th August – 30th August 10.00am – 3.30pm

These children’s activity clubs are aimed at families that may not be able to afford a holiday and require some fun time for their children in a safe environment giving mum, dad or guardian some valuable me time to themselves at the end of the summer school holidays. A program of creative activities, arts &crafts and fun interactive sports are part of the program as well as providing a healthy lunch and snacks. To make these kids club run smoothly we are looking for caring and compassionate volunteers to be part of the Love in Action Caritas Team. So, if you can give your time to support these clubs, we are looking for cooks and people who can take a lead in creating a fun, safe and creative environment. If you would like to volunteer, require more information, or you wish to refer a child/children in to these activities please contact:


Basingstoke Club: Catherine Knight  Tel: 07787 456955  

Southsea Club: Fiona Allen  Tel: 07981 204886  

Southampton Club: Jo Donaldson



More Clergy Appointments

In the last e-News, I gave details of the new appointments that some of our clergy will be moving to in the autumn. There are a few more announcements to make this week, effective on 8th September, although the exact changeover dates will vary depending on the schedules of both incoming and outgoing priests.

• Fr Emmanuel Rinda Bamuh (Bamenda) to Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist as Assistant Priest;
• Fr Mohanraj Edward to Our Lady and the Saints of Guernsey as an Assistant Priest;
• Canon Michael Hore to St. Anne and St. Mary Magdalen, Alderney as Assistant Priest, with Fr. Bruce Barnes as Parish Priest;
• Deacon Matthew King to Sacred Heart, Fareham;
• Fr Elijah Fru Nde (Bamenda) to St. Thomas of Canterbury, Newport as Assistant Priest;
• Fr Johnpromise Umeozuru to Jersey as an Assistant Priest;
• Fr Marco Vignolo FSCB (member of the Fraternity of St. Charles) as an additional Assistant Priest  at St. Swithun Wells, Eastleigh.


Please pray for all these priests and parishioners during this time of transition. Moving from one appointment and then settling into another is about the hardest thing we do as secular priests. It is also a great challenge too for our deacons and for all parishioners. I pray earnestly that the Lord will grant us all the strengthening and refreshing grace we need. All the moves announced so far may be found here.



Ordinations Next Weekend

Next weekend, it is a great joy that we have ordinations to the diaconate and ordinations to the priesthood. On Saturday 20th July, Mohanraj Edward and Johnpromise Umeozuru are to be ordained priests of the Diocese. Mohanraj has been a student at Oscott, and Johnpromise at Wonersh, so there are sure to be staff and students from the seminary joining us for the Mass, together with family and friends, as well as parishioners from the parishes they have been serving in. You are welcome to attend the Mass here in the Cathedral, which will be at 11 am, or you can follow it on-line.  Then on Sunday 21st July at 2 pm, three men will be ordained to the permanent diaconate: Nick O’Neill, Anthony Darroch and Larry Murawski. Again you are welcome to join us for the Mass. If you are a priest and would like to concelebrate at either Mass, please contact Kirsten so that the Cathedral servers can be informed. Let’s also pray for Deacon Matthew King, who was ordained in Rome to the diaconate this last Sunday. He will be ordained priest in the Diocese next Easter. I want to express here to all these men our gratitude, support and prayers, as well as our thanks to all who have helped bring them to this day, especially the respective diaconate and priesthood Vocations Teams.



Pray for our New Seminarians

We are delighted to have four students beginning this autumn their discernment and formation for the sacred priesthood. Ryan Browne, from Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Southbourne, commences his studies at the Venerable English College, Rome. The three other men begin a year of discernment and propaedeutic formation at Mater Sacerdotum House, Shrewsbury Cathedral: Farvin Gonsalves, from Christ the King Parish, Reading, Ryan Hawkes from Holy Ghost Parish, Basingstoke (the Music Director of Holy Family Parish, Millbrook), and Jack Ryan from St Margaret Mary Parish, Park Gate. Their discernment will be guided by Fr. Edmund Montgomery, Shrewsbury’s Vocations Director, and Canon Gerard Flynn, our own Vocations Director, who will be a visiting facilitator throughout the year. Please pray for all these men, and our other seminarians too. Here is a prayer you can say.


The picture (click on it for the full image) is Caravaggio’s The Call of St. Matthew, a favourite of Canon Gerard Flynn, our Vocations Director, often used in correspondence. Our thanks to him and to Fr. John Cooke, our Vocations Promoter, for all their hard work.



Bamenda Update from Sr Louisa

Sr Louisa Abid - Healthcare Coordinator in Bamenda has sent in this update...


“The situation in Bamenda is getting worse as more homes in Bamenda are being burnt down rendering more people homeless. Recently two military men were killed in a village about 8km from Bamenda town and as a consequence 64 houses around where the incidence took place were burnt down by the Cameroon military. Healthcare staff have been targeted: some kidnapped as they went out from Batibo to provide vaccinations were only released after a series of negotiations and another was raped by armed boys while she was on duty in one of the health post at Ashong. 


In Widikum, the civilians are gradually returning home from the forest (where they fled) but are all very anaemic and have infections. The Health Centre there has 135 hospitalized patients but a bed capacity of 55. The rest of the people are lying on floor mats and loin cloths to receive treatment. The situation is same for pregnant women mostly adolescent. All these people are being treated for free since they have no money. It is very challenging but God is helping us. The strategy now is to train community health workers who can provide primary health care to the people in the areas with no access to health care. Most of the Public health facilities have been closed down due to the attacks on personnel. We are doing everything possible to keep the Catholic health units open for it is a sign of hope for the people”.


You can help by praying for our brothers and sisters; making donations to the work through Bamenda Funds at www.bamendaandportsmouth.com or raising awareness and exerting pressure by contacting your MP.



CAFOD Young Leaders

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


Congratulations to our CAFOD Young Leaders from Christ the King College Isle of Wight, Farnborough Hill, Oaklands College Waterlooville, Salesian College Farnborough, St Anne's Southampton and St Joseph's College Reading for completing this year's CAFOD Young Leadership programme. These students in Year 12 committed to supporting and promoting CAFOD’s work in their schools this year. Over the year they have led assemblies about CAFOD, organised CAFOD information stalls at fairs, raised money through sponsored silences, no phone days, Christmas jumper day, cakes sales, soup lunches, non- uniform days and held competitions for their fellow students. Thank you to the Young leaders for all you have done for CAFOD and many thanks to all the staff who have supported them throughout the year.

On Tuesday 25th June there was a celebration day for all the Young Leaders from schools in the South of England at Romero House CAFOD’ s head office and Christine Allen director of CAFOD presented them with their certificates. There are some photos here.


I hope that these young people will continue their journey with CAFOD and may even consider our Step into the Gap volunteer programme when they have left school next year. It is so wonderful to have young people who are putting their faith into action and caring for those in need overseas.  If you are interested in our Young Leadership programme for students in year 12 please contact Jo  or call 01252 329 385 .We also have a training  course for teachers and chaplains on how to organise Young Leadership for Social Justice information here.



Celebrating Young People Awards 2019

A young volunteer ship visitor and a group of urban gardeners were just two of the incredible winners at this year’s Celebrating Young People Awards which have been announced at a glittering ceremony in Central London on 3rd July. The awards – now in their fourth year – were powered by Million Minutes. Hundreds of young people were nominated in six categories, each celebrating a different aspect of Catholic social teaching lived out in action. Danny Curtin, the CEO of Million Minutes said the judging panels were “very impressed by all the young people nominated”. 


Our very own Emma Murray and Juliette Bone were among those recognised and celebrated on the 3rd July. 


Read the full story



Congratulations to the Friars

On Friday 5th July four of the Gosport friars were ordained to the priesthood: Brothers Philomeno, Michael, Rosario and Faustino. The Cathedral was packed for the three-hour long ceremony - see here for some photos. It was a most impressive and grace-filled occasion. The new priests will serve as members of the Marian Franciscans in Gosport, a community of clergy and religious attached to the Parish of St Mary's and St Columba's. The religious community lives a life of penance and prayer according to the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Maximilian Kolbe. The religious, who are consecrated in a special way to the Blessed Virgin Mary, make use of every possible means to spread devotion to the Blessed Mother. You can read more about them here.  At the Mass, the Franciscan sisters from Bridgemary and from the Adoremus Centre in Alderney were present, as well as many clergy, including Mgr. Jeremy Garratt, our Episcopal Vicar for Vocation, who has been assisting with their formation these last months. In the homily, I said this: I am not familiar with the Extraordinary Form, as you can probably tell! But one thing I find very striking are the many prayers the priest prays during Mass for his own salvation and sanctification … It’s a sad fact that in today’s busy culture priests can often become blasé, in a rush, easily distracted, ill prepared for the Sacred Mysteries they are called to offer. Perhaps we priests can all learn from the Extraordinary Form the need for diligent prayer and preparation. –Because nothing can replace or obscure that deep friendship and intimacy to which Jesus calls us as His priest. Please pray for these four new priests, courageous men, that they will grow in holiness and joy in their vocation over these next months.



Dominican Sisters celebrate Silver Jubilee

Sr Veronica OP writes...


This year, by the grace of God our community celebrated the Silver Jubilee of its foundation as the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph (5th July 1994). Our congregation started out of a desire by Sr. Margarita our sole surviving foundress for the renewal and deepening of the Dominican way of life.


We were blessed to celebrate this occasion with our friends from Ashurst who faithfully worked with the sisters as a fledgling community in those early days before we moved to Sway in 1998. We also welcomed our present “Lay Community” who regularly worship with us and generously support our endeavours. It was a great privilege to also welcome some of the clergy who have supported us both spiritually and in material ways over the last 25 years. We look forward in September this year to the arrival of three new postulants, Hannah from the far northern reaches of Ontario in Canada, Lorraine from the Republic of Ireland and Ciara from Belfast. This is such a great gift for our jubilee year and the future expansion of our fledgling community. We have a house which is full to capacity! This brings about a “happy” problem. We urgently need to extend our Priory to accommodate our growing noviciate. We have plans approved for a new noviciate wing but as yet we need more funding to start this phase of our expansion. In short we need at least one million pounds to begin! If you happen to win the lottery or appreciate the work we do around the diocese please consider making a gift to us. We rely totally on the generosity of our benefactors! This last 25 years bears testimony to the wonderful generosity of so many benefactors. As Dominicans we rely totally on God’s Providence!!


Please continue to pray for the sisters as we venture into the future, knowing the many blessings we have already received and ever hopeful of many more to come as we strive to continue the mission entrusted to our community by St Dominic “to pass on the fruits of our contemplation”.



Stella Maris Ship Visit

A week last Tuesday, I went down to the Port of Southampton to join Fr. John Lavers and members of Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) for a visit to one of the ships in port that day - there are some photos here. I met the captain and members of the 25-strong crew, who were Indian and mainly Hindu or Catholic. Their hospitality and their joy in welcoming us aboard was evident. Seafarers are often away from home for many months of the year and modern ways of working can mean that when their ship comes into port, its stay might be just for a few hours before going on. The chaplaincy services of Stella Maris are internationally well-known and it was pleasing in the galley to see on the wall Stella Maris badges from various ports of call. Besides practical help such as providing wifi and phone cards, Stella Maris seeks to befriend seafarers and to support them spiritually with gifts of the rosary, prayer-cards and when possible Mass and the Sacraments. After the ship visit, I went back to St Joseph's Church to meet Mgr. Vincent Harvey and to have lunch in the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre with Martin Foley, the National Director of the AoS, Capt. Esteban Pacha, Chair of their Board of Trustees and a number of AoS-Stella Maris Port Chaplains and volunteers from across the south coast. Please pray for their work. Fr. John Lavers is now well-established in his chaplaincy role. He is ever seeking new lay volunteer helpers: if you wish to know more or are interested in helping, please contact him here.



Significant Wedding Anniversaries Mass

On Saturday 7th July in St. Bede’s Basingstoke, I celebrated Mass for couples from across the Diocese who are celebrating this year a significant wedding anniversary. As ever, St. Bede’s did us proud, providing us with a splendid celebration and buffet lunch: here in the picture, together with Mr and Mrs Meadows, married 67 years, I am cutting the cake! 79 couples joined us for the occasion, including 25 celebrating a Golden Wedding Anniversary, and 13 couples married 60 years or more. In total, we thanked God for 3,467 years of marriage. Different this time was that at the end of Mass, I invited two couples to give a brief testimony, and so Charles and Rebecca Forrest from St. Philip Howard, Fareham spoke about their 25 years of married life, and Peter and Jean Butler from St. Edmunds, Waterlooville about their 50 years together. It was all very moving. Peter and Jean are also mentor couples for the diocesan SmartLoving marriage preparation programme: you can read more about this here.  I’d like to thank Deacon Andrew and Nicola Carter, Aba Shields and our diocesan Marriage and Family Life team for all they do to promote the Sacrament of Matrimony in our Diocese and Fr. Chris Rutledge and the parishioners of St. Bede’s Basingstoke for all their support. There are some photos here.



The new Mary Ward Centre

Recently, I was pleased to visit the excellent Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School and Sixth Form in Reading to open their new Blessed Mary Ward Centre. Housed in a splendid new building on the campus, the centre will be a huge support to students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ceremony and blessing involved prayers in each area of the unit, with students giving a brief presentation about each area and its purpose. There was then a plaque to be unveiled. In the picture is Mr Marius Hopley, Chair of Governors, myself, Dr Simon Uttley Head Teacher and Cllr Ashley Pierce. There were a large number of invited guests including all the Pastoral Area clergy, local councillors and Meridian TV. The school, along with the new centre, has an excellent patron saint. At his trial in 1539, Blessed Hugh, the last Benedictine Abbot of Reading Abbey, gave witness to the importance of 'true teaching'. The school named after him continues to link true teaching in faith with true intellectual formation and rejoices to be in the Sunday Times published list of the top 500 state schools. Like all our schools, BHF will soon be finishing for the summer break – let’s pray for its teachers, students, staff, governors and parents that they will have a summer full of recreation and God’s grace.



Visit of Our Lady of Guadalupe

A Year 7 Student from All Hallows School, Farnham writes...


On Monday 8th July, eight Year 7 students from All Hallows went to visit the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mrs Haigh at St. Joseph’s church in Aldershot.  At the church we saw the Image.  Whilst there we were told the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


On December 9th 1531 in Mexico, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego.  Juan was an ordinary man, wearing a cactus fibre cloak, when Our Lady appeared and told him to tell the Bishop to build a church in that very spot.  So the next day Juan waited outside the church to talk to the Bishop. He told him what had happened, but the Bishop told him to come back with proof.  The next day Our Lady appeared to Juan in the same place as the day before and he told her what had happened.  She told him to return tomorrow for proof.  However, Juan couldn’t come back because his Uncle was seriously ill.  But he didn’t expect Our Lady to appear at his house!  She said to him that for proof all he had to do was to go to the top of the hill and cut the flowers on top of the hill.  Juan did as he was told.  When he got there he saw some roses that only grew in Spain, not in Mexico!  Juan took the roses to Our Lady of Guadalupe and she arranged the roses on his cactus fibre cloak.  Our Lady told him to take the cloak to the Bishop and when the Bishop opened the cloak, the roses tumbled out and revealed a splendid painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And so the Church was built.


We were also told some interesting facts about the painting. For example, there have been 220 exact size copies made which have been authorized and blessed by the Rector of Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.  We also wrote prayers to Our Lady.  Whilst we were there we were also told a true story about how three women went to see the painting because the doctor said they couldn’t have children, so they prayed to Our Lady to give them children.  The next year the three women returned….with their babies! This story is proof that miracles can happen!



Funeral of Fr. Michael Purbrick

I was the chief concelebrant at the Requiem Mass for Fr. Michael Purbrick at St. Thomas’s Cowes, on Thursday 4th July. May he rest in peace. Fr. Michael died on 12th June, having been a priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth for 62 years. He came originally from Abingdon, born in 1932, and at the start of the Mass, one of his brothers, John, spoke a few words about his life. Michael went to seminary at St. Mary's College Oscott and was ordained on 17th March 1957. He was an assistant priest in Maidenhead and in Woodley, and then parish priest of Bishops Waltham in 1970. He subsequently moved to Holbury and to North Hinksey, before his final appointment to Cowes, IoW, when he remained as parish priest for 26 years until his retirement in December 2014. He then lived in Kynance Home, East Cowes where he was well looked after. He was a much loved priest. I remember visiting him shortly after becoming bishop and was impressed with his sharp wit and good sense of humour! At the Requiem Mass, Fr. John Caitlin preached a splendid homily and Fr. Jonathan Redvers-Harris, the current parish priest, led the Committal afterwards at Northwood Cemetery. Let’s keep Fr. Michael’s brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews in our prayers and let us pray for Fr. Michael’s eternal repose in the happiness of heaven.



Mini Vinnies 

The Mini Vinnie team of St Teresa’s Catholic Academy, Wokingham identified the Alzheimer’s Society as a charity they would like to support. They were very concerned about the growing issue of Dementia. Every year the Alzheimer’s Society hold a cupcake day celebration where they try to raise as much money as possible to put to good use. On cupcake day, The Mini Vinnies at St Teresa’s hosted, The Great St Teresa’s Bake-off competition. The children promoted this event by creating posters and speaking in our whole school liturgy. The event was a success with some fantastic creations. Mrs Peters and Mrs Boucher were our very own Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and had the toughest job of all to choose three winners. All cakes were then sold in a cake sale after school raising £151.20 for The Alzheimer’s Society. It was so lovely to see the children turn their concerns into action and set up such a wonderful event!



Global Rosary Relay for Priests

Heather Hauschild writes...
Southampton City Centre Catholics at St Edmund's church, supported by Father Elijah Fru joined the Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests on Friday 28th June. Southampton  was one  of only five parishes in England that participated, together with parishes across 70 countries across the world.  The Global Rosary Relay aimed  to have 1 billion Hail Marys said for the sanctification of priests on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Next year's event will be held on 19th June 2020. For more details see here.

On the last Friday of every month Mass followed by Rosary and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is offered for Priests and Vocations to the priesthood and religious life at St Edmunds Church at 7.00pm. All are welcome.


Have you ever considered a vocation as a deacon?

Oscott Seminary have introduced a preparatory year for men discerning a call to the Permanent Diaconate. This consists of three sessions (Friday-Saturday) and commences on 8th/9th November. The other dates for this academic year are 24th/25th January and 27th/28th March 2020.
Its aim is to help candidates better understand the reality of a vocation to Holy Orders and to discern whether this is what God is calling them to. There will be Parish based pastoral elements, spiritual formation and intellectual input given through teaching, seminars and discussions. Wives of prospective candidates will also be supported during these days and are encouraged to attend. Attendance at these days does not commit an individual to beginning the formation program, but is part of the overall selection process. For further information, please e-mail Fr Peter Hart. 



Canon Peter Turbitt

Canon Peter Turbitt, parish priest of St. John Vianney Wantage and Coordinating Pastor of the North Downs Pastoral Area, will be retiring this autumn. I’d like to express here on all our behalf our profound gratitude to him for his generous priestly service in our Diocese over many years. Originally from Durham and a student of Ushaw College – there’s still a trace of it when he speaks! – Canon Peter joined the Diocese in 1974. He served initially as an assistant priest at Sacred Heart, Fareham before becoming parish priest of Annunciation, Netley. He then moved to Jersey for four years where he served in St. Patrick’s. From 1983 to 1989, he was the parish priest of St. Michael’s Leigh Park, before he began his twenty-year ministry in Wantage. He became the Coordinating Pastor of North Downs Pastoral Area in 2015 as well as Dean of St. Edmund Campion Deanery, Old Berkshire. Bishop Crispian made him a Canon of the Chapter in 2001 and I will miss his great wisdom and advice, as well as his wit. His retirement will mean a big change for the people of the parish, as well as for him. But he won’t be far away in his retirement and I’m sure we will continue to see him around frequently. So our thanks to Canon Peter, as well as our best wishes and our prayers. May God bless him these next weeks, the last in his parish, as he prepares for the times ahead.



Summer reading

Here’s a fine book for summer reading. Sister Mary David Totah, whom I remember well from my visits, was a nun of Saint Cecilia’s in Ryde. American by birth, she was educated at Loyola University, the University of Virginia and Christ Church, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career, she entered religious life in 1985 and became in time the prioress of St. Cecilia’s. For 22 years until early death from cancer in 2017, she also guided the novices with enthusiasm, wisdom and wit. The spirituality to be found in the pages of The Joy of God: Collected Writings of Sister Mary David (London, Bloomsbury: 2019 [ISBN 978-1-4729-7132-6]) demonstrates why her influence was so great and so deep. Her notes to the novices deal with issues of relevance to a world beyond the cloister: What is the meaning of suffering? How do we cope with living with people who annoy us? How do we relate to a God we cannot see? How do we make the big decisions of life? Sr. Mary David’s teaching was both profound and intensely practical suffused with faith in God’s joy in our work, leisure, community and family life but above all in our view and understanding of ourselves. This book shows how to realise the Joy that is God.



Bishop Philip's Engagements  

Tuesday 16th July 

Gregorian Chant Forum, Quarr Abbey  


Thursday 18th July 

Update meeting with Missio Director for Diocese of Portsmouth;  

Meeting and lunch with Carmelite Friar,  Bishop’s House  


Friday 19th July

Meeting with Head of Safeguarding;  

Meeting with Head of Communications;  

Meeting with Pastoral Care Services, Bishop’s House  


Saturday 20th July

Ordination to Sacred Priesthood, St John’s Cathedral, 11am


Sunday 21st July

Ordination to Diaconate, St John’s Cathedral, 2pm 



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 14th July


National Prayer Cycle: Apostleship of the Sea & all Chaplains to Seafarers Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Swithun, Southsea (consecrated 15.7.1908)


Monday 15th July

St Swithun, Bishop, memorial (Solemnity in Winchester)

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Swithun, Yateley (dedicated 15.7.1979)


Tuesday 16th July

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, optional memorial

or: Feria [15th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Jersey: St Helier, Martyr, memorial

Diocesan Prayer:Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel


Wednesday 17th July

St Bonaventure, Religious, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, memorial
[transferred from 15th July]

Diocesan Prayer: Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel in the Diocese


Thursday 18th July

Feria [15th Week in Ordinary Time] 

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Corpus Christi, Bournemouth (consecrated 18.7.1974)


Friday 19th July

Feria [15th Week in Ordinary Time]  

Diocesan Prayer: Catholic Women’s League


Saturday 20th July

St Apollinaris, Bishop, Martyr, optional memorial

or: Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [15th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Welcomers in our churches


Sunday 21st July


Diocesan Prayer: Benefactors of the Diocese


Forthcoming Events         

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


Saturday 3rd August

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Saturday 3rd August

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

Read more


Thursday 8th August

Annual Mass at St Dominic's Priory
Carisbrooke, IoW

Read more


Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th August

Behold the Man!

Havant Passion Play

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


Sunday 1st September 

Annual Walk from Ryde to Quarr Abbey

Read more


Saturday 21st September 

Climate Change, Faith and Me

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





Please pray for..

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 weeks.


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.


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.


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


Bishop of Portsmouth


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