Portsmouth Diocese e-News 

Tuesday 23rd July 2019 - Issue 237 (2019/27)


Dear Friends,

The warm summer days are now upon us and I hope you are enjoying them. Schools have broken up and we wish all our families a happy summer. I hope and pray you will all have some time for refreshment during these next weeks. Later this week, we go to Lourdes on our Diocesan Pilgrimage and when I return I have a priest-friend from New York staying with me for a few days. Next month I’ll be in Walsingham twice – early in the month for the New Dawn Conference and then later for Youth 2000. In the middle of August, I’m going with my younger brother for a short private visit to Turin and Pollone to visit Wanda Gawronska, niece of Blessed Pier Giorgo Frassati, hoping to climb up Mount Mucrone near the Marian sanctuary of Oropa. (See here for a short presentation about the shrine). Meanwhile, please remember in your prayers our newly ordained priests and deacons. I wish you many blessings over the week ahead and I will pray for you – especially the sick and all medical staff caring for the sick - in Lourdes. God bless you all. 




Our Lourdes Pilgrimage departs this week

It’s exciting - our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes leaves this week. The youth contingent, including a dozen FOCUS missionaries from the USA, leave by coach tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, to begin their 24 hour journey, with Fr. Phil Carroll on board. They use the Dover-Calais ferry and arrive in Lourdes the following morning. The main pilgrimage leaves on Thursday morning 25th July. We’re flying from Southampton to Bordeaux, then from there by coach transfer to Lourdes. We’re all together in Lourdes for four nights, staying at Hotel La Solitude. A full programme is promised, daily Mass, the Torchlight Procession, visit to the baths, the Blessed Sacrament Procession, catechesis each day, Stations of the Cross, Anointing of the Sick, a day out at Gavarnie and the International Mass on Sunday. The youth will be leading some of the liturgies and generally assisting, as well as having their own programme of formation, prayer and fun. We all leave on Monday 29th, returning by air and by road. Click on the picture for a message from me about the Pilgrimage. Please pray for its success. I will be taking with me to Our Lady all your intentions and placing them before Her. If there is any special intention you would like me to pray for, please email me: bishop@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk



An Amazing Weekend

Last weekend was amazing – a real moment of joy and grace for our Diocese! On Saturday, we had the ordinations to the priesthood of Mohanraj Edwards and Johnpromise Umeozoru. You can see some photos here and read the homily. As you might gather, Mohanraj is of Sri Lankan origin and Johnpromise, Nigerian. The Cathedral was packed with people standing outside on the piazza. Both had huge numbers of guests from all over, and after the Mass, two splendid receptions took place. I first went ‘Eastwards’ to the John Pounds Centre for a massive gathering of members of Mohanraj’s extended family who had come from Sri Lanka, Finland, Norway as well as all over the UK. I then headed to ‘Africa’ for Johnpromise’s reception in the Cathedral Centre, complete with Nigerian music and dancing!  Please pray for both these new priests. Johnpromise will serve in Jersey, the largest parish of the Diocese, and Mohanraj in Guernsey, the second largest.


Then on Sunday, three new deacons were ordained: Tony Darroch, Larry Murawski and Nick O’Neill. You can see some photos here and read the homily. They will serve, initially, in Basingstoke, Leigh Park and here at the Cathedral. Please pray for them, for their wives, Pam, Yvette and Marta, and for their families and friends. Serving at the ordination was Rev. Matthew King who was ordained deacon in Rome last weekend. He is being posted to Sacred Heart, Fareham, and will be ordained a priest next Easter.



Chris Stefanick is coming to visit us

I’m pleased to announce this: that next summer we’ve invited Chris Stefanick to visit the Diocese! As part of our ‘spiritual reboot,’ that is, the Year of the Word (2020) and the Year of the Eucharist (2021), Chris is coming to the Guildhall here in Portsmouth on Sunday 28th June 2020 to lead us in a big diocesan event. We’re planning it at the moment so we can’t say any more yet – but keep the date free! It will involve music, testimony and worship focused on the Word of God, and will be family-friendly. Chris will be staying at Bishop’s House and later I believe he and his team are also planning to go to Jersey. We’ll say more about all this in due course. Meanwhile, click on the photo for one of his short video-messages. This one is called “God is Love / And Your Life is a Love Story”. It’s beautifully filmed and as ever his words have a way of touching the heart. His theme is that of the First Letter of St. John: that “anyone who fails to love can never have known God because God is love. .. My dear people since God has left us so much we too should love one another.” Pope Francis too has often spoken this same message to the Church: that the Christian life is a love-story with God.



Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is 17th Sunday of the Year and the Gospel is from Luke 11:1-13. 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 Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”


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



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

Say this when you pray: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Luke 11:1-13


Who can teach us how to pray well? Who can tell us how to reach the heart of God? Throughout the ages, many religions, many spiritual masters, have taught humanity how to pray, and what to say. Yet now it is God himself, in Jesus, gives us the very words to reach the heart of God, our Father. What better prayer, what surer way to reach God can we ever claim to have than the one God has given us? The petitions of the 'Our Father' not only supply for all our needs, but also reveal to us our own identity as God's beloved children, and our vocation in this life and the next.  Jesus tells us to pray these words with complete confidence, in the absolute certainty of the Fatherhood of God. We’ll reflect on:
Faith: How are the petitions of the 'Our Father' already answered in Jesus Christ?

Hope: How do the petitions of the 'Our Father' reveal our identity and vocation?
Love: How are the petitions of the 'Our Father' answered in the Church through the love of the Holy Spirit?


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



Grandparents' Day this Friday

This Friday, 26th July, is in effect Grandparents' Day – a day to pray for our grandparents. This is because it is the Feast of SS. Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary. These are the names that an ancient tradition, already known in the 2nd century, gives to Mary’s parents. The cult of St Anne became popular in the 6th century in the East, and in the 10th century in the West. Joachim was added a long time later. What could be more important than the parents who brought up the Virgin Mary to be the woman she was? At the moment of consenting to the Incarnation she took the most important decision ever taken by any human being, and the fact that she took it is, to a great extent, thanks to the upbringing she received from her parents. The Holy Spirit gave her the strength to take the decision; but her parents’ training gave her the wisdom to choose. Those of us who have children must seek to bring them up to the best of our ability, to meet challenges that, like Anna and Joachim, we have no way of even imagining.


May SS. Joachim and Anne pray for all grandparents this week. Meanwhile, our diocesan Marriage and Family Life team have been homing in on all grandparents across the Diocese to support and pray for them. You can read more about this work here, plus the latest bulletin. For more, please contact Aba Shields. 



Saints of the Diocesan Calendar - St Sampson

St Sampson (or Samson) was born in Wales about the year 496, to parents of noble birth. He was placed in the care of St Illtyd at the abbey of Llantwit Major, and subsequently became Abbot of Caldey. He travelled widely to Ireland, Cornwall, the Scilly Isles, Guernsey and Brittany, where he finally settled, founding the monastery of Dol, where he is buried along with his cousin St Magloire. He was ordained a bishop in 521, and died in 564 or 565.
His Memorial is celebrated on 28th July, but only in Guernsey. Here's the Collect from the Mass:
Lord, look with love on the church in Guernsey. Through the apostolic zeal of Saint Sampson you gave us the beginnings of faith: through his prayers keep alive our Christian love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 


From Deacon Martin

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with some wonderful prayerful parishioners, to work out how to harness the power of intercessory prayer, to support the mission of our parish. It’s providential, therefore, that prayer is at the heart of this Sunday’s readings (17th Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]).  And, just as the disciples asked Jesus, the scriptures “teach us how to pray” (Lk 11:1)

1. Prayer is relationship
• Jesus starts His prayer by addressing God as “Father” (Lk 11:2), and he encourages us to do the same – because we are children of God (1 Jn 3:1) who can cry out “Abba! Father!” (Rom 8:15). (By the way, the latter verse is an option for the Gospel Acclamation verse on Sunday – so please choose it , if you have any influence!)
• Abraham’s intimacy with God is clear in the first reading, where he pushes his luck in bargaining with God (Gen 18:20-32). The same is true of the man in the gospel, whose shamelessness (the Lectionary translation’s “persistence” doesn’t do full justice to the Greek anadeian, literally “without shame”) will force his neighbour to give him what he needs (Lk 11:8). You can’t push to this degree if you don’t already have a close relationship!  
• But as the Psalmist makes clear, God is eager to give us abundantly, because of His “faithfulness and love” (Ps 138:2).

Read more


Jennifer Geach reflects...

A while ago, I mentioned that a first step, a very baby step towards improving our relationship with Almighty God is to say ‘thank you’ at least for those things in life which conform with our wishes.  An attitude of humble and hearty thanks is proper, especially perhaps for us who live in the West and are generally speaking fortunate and prosperous. Earthly parents love to be thanked by their children: so also Our Father in Heaven. As one of the prefaces puts it ‘you have no need of our praise, but our desire to thank you is itself your gift.’ The next step, which is still only a baby step, is to trust God even when our will is frustrated in comparatively small things: when we fail our exams, when the weather is not as we would wish, when we are brought face to face with a contradiction between our will and reality. 


Read more 



CAFOD Payer Walk for Creation

Next Saturday, 27th July at Holly Hill Woodland Park in Sarisbury Green, Fareham there will be a CAFOD Prayer Walk for Creation meeting at 2pm, when members of Fareham & Portchester Catholic Parish, will be walking around Holly Hill stopping at prayer stations, praying for Creation. Families are most welcome and dogs as well provided kept on a lead. There will be an opportunity for picnics after the Walk. For more details contact John Vivian of the Parish Ecology Group or telephone 01329 319301.


One of my favourite encyclicals from Pope Francis - a real classic - is Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common HomeHe begins with these words: LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. 



NB: October is the Extraordinary Mission Month

Please remember in your prayers and in your parish and school pastoral planning the Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM) that Pope Francis has called in October 2019. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month and chose as its 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). This EMM will be a very special time for us in the Diocese of Portsmouth as well as an opportunity to pray for the mission of the Church around the world. Later in September, I hope to send you a Pastoral Letter on this theme. There will be a special World Mission Sunday Mass on Sunday 20th October 2019 at 2 pm in the Cathedral. Fr. Innaiah Maddineni is the main contact on all of this and Missio Director for our Diocese. You can contact him for further information, ideas and suggestions on 023 9237 6151 or by email: imaddineni@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk.



CAFOD invitations for your area

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


I would like to invite you to a CAFOD update meeting in September. At the meeting I will update you on how your generous donations have made a difference to people’s lives around the world and CAFOD staff who have visited our projects overseas will give you more insight about our work. The meetings are:-

Wednesday 4th September St Joseph & St Margaret Clitherow Church Bracknell RG12 1BE from 7:15pm to 9pm. At this meeting Nikki Evans our Programme Officer for Bolivia will speak about CAFOD’s work in Bolivia and give an update on the Hands on Altiplano project from 2016.

Saturday 7th September St Bede’s Church Basingstoke RG24 9DX 10:30am to 1pm. At this meeting Elouise Hobbs our Regional New Officer will talk about her recent trip to Lebanon to visit refugee camps .

Wednesday 18th September St Colman’s Church Portsmouth PO6 2JJ 7:15pm to 9pm. At this meeting Jess Michelmore our Communicators Officer for Latin America will speak about the CAFOD projects she has visited.

Saturday 21st September St Edmund Campion Church Bournemouth BH8 9TN 2:30pm to 4:30pm Speaker TBC

Saturday 21st September St Thomas of Canterbury Church Cowes Isle of Wight PO31 7TJ 10:30am -12:30pm led by Geraldine Heath Parish volunteer Coordinator for the Isle of Wight.


Please do come to whichever meeting is most convenient to you and book your place by emailing  or call 01252 329385 as it is really helpful to know how many people are coming to each meeting. I look forward to seeing you in September.



Letter to the new Prime Minister

I recently agreed to add my name to a letter being sent to the new Prime Minister from interfaith leaders regarding refugees. The letter reads...


Dear Prime Minister,
           As you will be aware, on 17 June 2019 the Home Secretary announced that the UK will welcome up to 5,000 refugees in 2020-2021, following the expiration of the current resettlement programmes. Thousands more refugees will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety in the UK, a country with a long history of offering sanctuary to those in need.
     This is a welcome development and one on which the government should be congratulated. In particular, the decision to broaden the geographical focus of resettlement beyond the Middle East and North Africa will enable the UK to respond to where there is the greatest need globally, which we hope will offer a lifeline to unaccompanied children currently surviving in camps and on the streets in Europe.


Read the full letter here.



Called and Gifted in Full Swing

Gerry Penfold, Called and Gifted Team Leader reports on the many Called and Gifted events which have happened recently...
The Called and Gifted team have been getting out and about in recent months. After travelling North in March to help launch Called and Gifted in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle (now the second Diocese to offer C&G), the team have been concentrating on the invitations from parishes across our Diocese.
At the end of March we visited English Martyrs parish in Reading at the invitation of Canon Michael Dennehy. It was a joy to work with Siobahn Leonard as the parish C&G co-ordinator and wonderful to start the day with Mass celebrated by Fr Richard Maniak. The 42 participants were welcomed into the church hall which had been transformed by helium balloons & table decorations chosen by a parishioner to pick out the colours of the Called & Gifted banners. Lots of positive feedback was received, including these kind words "Thanks for all your passion for the programme. You are all examples of people attune to their charisms. God Bless & PRAISE To The GIVER!"


Bamenda update

After 40 years of tireless work, Clinicare has ceased to function as an independent charity providing drugs and medical supplies to those in need but is calling on people to channel their support through the healthcare projects of the Portsmouth-Bamenda Link instead. At a thanksgiving Mass held in St Joseph’s Church in Southampton, members of the Committee and past supporters of the charity including Knights of St Columba from across the Diocese, celebrated the many and varied ways in which individuals and groups had contributed to the charity’s achievements. Sr Sheila McElroy (retired healthcare coordinator from Bamenda) spoke of how Clinicare enabled her to equip health centres and provide care to vulnerable people. Clinicare is now sending over £3000 from its remaining funds to support the urgent healthcare needs of people displaced by the current crisis in Bamenda. The funds will help pay medical bills for pregnant women, children below five years, people with chronic diseases, victims of rape and orphans. See the Bamenda and Portsmouth website for more information on the crisis and how you can help.



News from Sacred Heart Hook

Joan Tran, a parishioner at Sacred Heart writes...


On Saturday, 6th July we celebrated Thy Kingdom Come in a way that felt uniquely “Sacred Heart”. We painted rocks, wrote prayers on special cards impregnated with seeds, received blessings from Father Paul Leonard and then planted everything in a special flowerbed at the front of the Church. Father Paul then blessed the plot of land and said prayers to mark the spot and the occasion. Click on the image for a video containing clips and photos of the event. Turn your sound up, sit back, relax and enjoy.


The aim of the event was to allow people to:

• Deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ
• Pray for God’s Spirit to work in the lives of those they know
• Come to realise that every aspect of their life is the stuff of prayer.


St James' Way Pilgrimage from Reading 

Canon John O'Shea reports on a recent pilgrimage from Reading Abbey to Southampton...


St James Church  Reading stands in the grounds of the recently restored Reading Abbey, one of England’s most important religious sites during the Middle Ages.  The Abbey was then a centre for pilgrims en route to the south coast for passage to Spain and onward by foot to Santiago de Compostela.


During Spring 2019 a group of modern pilgrims, starting from St James Church, has been walking in stages along the St James Way from Reading to Southampton, historically a traditional embarkation point for Spain.  Later in the year, the group will travel to Oviedo on the north coast of Spain to continue their journey by foot, covering half the distance in 2019 and returning in 2020 to complete their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.



‘The Time is Now’ 

Teresa Cripps reports on a recent Year 10 project at Bishop Challoner school...


Recently, some Year 10 student leaders, with teachers from the RE and Science departments at Bishop Challoner School in Basingstoke, followed CAFOD’s rallying call to lobby Parliament. Having been inspired by learning about stewardship, environmental issues and catholic social teaching in science, geography and RE, these students led an inspiring assembly on the message of Laudato Si and put forward CAFOD’s challenge to become Zero heroes. Every tutor group was photographed forming a zero shape and these photos were used to create a banner representing our whole community’s call for urgent action. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience putting faith into action, calling others to ‘care for our Common Home.’ The older generation loved their presence there and our students said that they were heartened to see the older generations also care passionately about our earth.


Read more



Springhill is 90

Iain Rylands, teacher at Springhill Primary School recalls recent celebrations...


This year, Springhill Catholic Primary School are celebrating their 90th anniversary. Since opening in January 1929, they have taught generations of children, both Catholic and non-Catholic from across Southampton. Recently, the school has celebrated a week of its history with year groups looking at how things have changed across 90 years, looking at fashions, dance crazes, food and sport as well as the changes that have happened in the school itself.


The entire week culminated in a tea party for invited guests including many former teachers with long histories at the school and some former pupils who still hold connections to this day. This included on man who had been a pupil back in 1929. Each pupil has also designed and painted a pebble which will become part of a prayer and worship space ready to use in the autumn term. The photo shows former deputy head, Miss Kathleen White (on the staff from 1947 to 1985) and a pupil from 1929, Mr George Ayles, cutting our birthday cake.



New Art in our Schools 

Richard Cunningham, Headteacher at St Peter's school writes...


St Peter's Catholic Primary School in Waterlooville hosted staff and pupils from neighbouring Catholic Primary Schools in a joint art project. Children from our school welcomed the pupils from Corpus Christi in North End, St Paul's in Paulsgrove and St Jude's in Fareham.  The work was inspired by the great feast of St Peter and St Paul, the young artists working together to produce Prayer Book sleeves and a large 3D lolly stick cross.  It was indeed fitting that pupils from 4 schools worked on a shared project in the spirit of Saints Peter and Paul who ‘each in a different way gathered together the one family of Christ’.  The day was led by local artist, Frances Peel, who introduced the pupils to new styles and techniques to make their works of art.  All the children thoroughly enjoyed the day and reflected on the lives of both St Peter and St Paul. Judging by the result, you will doubtless agree that the art work they produced was both thoughtful and stunning. Huge thanks to Frances Peel for her professional guidance, Mrs Nina Pearson from St Peter’s who organised the day, and all the schools who took part - let's hope we work on more projects together in the future.



Sr Mary Columba R.I.P.

Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Mary Columba Josephine O'Halloran, Extern Sister of St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Solesmes Congregation, returned to God on 18th July 2019, strengthened by the Sacraments of the Church, in the 77th year of her age and the 42nd year of her monastic profession. Requiescat in pace.


Please pray too for her family and the Community of St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde. Click on the picture to hear the haunting Introit (Entrance Antiphon) Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace from the Requiem Mass set by Maurice Duruflé (d.1986)  Please offer this pray for Sister Columba: Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.





Welcome back, Fr Dominic

I am pleased to say that Fr Dominic Adeiza, (Diocese of Lokoja, Nigeria) who for many years was the Priest in Charge of St Swithun’s, Yateley, is returning to the Diocese this September. I have appointed him Priest in Charge of Blessed Hugh Faringdon Parish in Faringdon, with Fr David O’Sullivan, Coordinating Pastor, as the Parish Priest.


Fr Dominic will be working in the North Downs Pastoral Area. It has long been my hope that we would have additional priests working across this "Northern Territory" of our diocese. From September with Fr. David O’Sullivan and Fr Dominic, Fr. Zbigniew Budyn will also be assisting. Whilst Fr Dominic will be caring for Blessed Hugh Faringdon Parish in Faringdon, Fr David as Parish Priest of Wantage will be caring for the community at Sacred Heart, Lambourn and

Fr Zbigniew as Parish Priest of St. Francis de Sales, Wash Common will be caring for the community of Our Lady of Lourdes, Hungerford.




Prayers for the Stella Matutina Sisters

Five summers ago we welcomed the Sisters of Mary Morning Star (Stella Matutina) into the Diocese. Through the generosity of the Grayshott parish, Harvey House was made available to the Sisters as a provisional arrangement. Since their arrival, parishioners have become close to the Sisters, making them feel welcome, providing support and friendship. I know that the Sisters feel a great sense of gratitude and admiration towards the parishioners. However - I must say, sadly for us - the community will soon be leaving the parish. Recently, and very providentially a fantastic convent in Lynton, North Devon, the large and spacious Poor Clares Convent, has become available and has been offered to the Sisters. They are delighted to have found a purpose-built convent adapted to their needs and which allows the possibility for the community to grow, to welcome new vocations and to provide a guesthouse for their apostolic mission and outreach. I wish to offer our sincere thanks to the Sisters for all they have contributed to our Diocese of Portsmouth. Their vibrant presence and outreach, their joy and holiness, their commitment to developing a powerhouse of prayer has been an invaluable and constant support to me personally, as well as to all the clergy and laity who have got to know them. I know that Sisters would particularly like to express their gratitude to all those of you that have shared in their journey, for your generosity and prayers. They will continue to pray for us and will offer a warm welcome to anyone who would like to come and stay in their new guest house.  The Sisters will move to their new home in August. May God bless them with His love.



News from the Adoremus Centre

Sister M. Veronica writes...


Last Tuesday, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Marian Franciscan Sisters celebrated a very special moment on Alderney, in the Channel Islands. In a ceremony presided by Canon Michael Hore, their three novices made their First Profession of vows, receiving the veil. It was an inspiring event for the whole island and the church was packed full, as so many were eager to be at the ceremony. The opening words of the Rite are from the Office of Holy Virgins, “Come, my chosen one, and I will make my throne in you”, and in fact all who came were struck by the spousal element of the whole ceremony. God, the Divine Spouse, takes the soul as bride! And after each sister made her vows, she was crowned with flowers as the choir sang the antiphon, “Come, Bride of Christ, receive the crown which the Lord has prepared for you in eternity”. In the photograph you can see Sisters Maria Clara, Maria Epiphania and Maria Bernadette, still wearing their crowns, as they cut their wedding cake at the special party which followed the ceremony, organised by the islanders together. Something unique for the Marian Franciscan Sisters is that in their vows they consecrate themselves not only to God, but also to Mary as the Immaculate Virgin Mother, to take up her life.


See here for more about the Adoremus Centre and how to help its mission.



Bishop Philip's Engagements  

Tuesday 23rd July 

Meeting with Naval Chaplain;

Bishop’s Council Meeting, Bishop’s House  


Thursday 25th – Tuesday 30th July

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes









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 21st July


Diocesan Prayer:Benefactors of the Diocese


Monday 22nd July


Diocesan Prayer: Community of St Edmund, Southampton

(consecrated 22.7.1920, re-dedicated 16.11.1984)


Tuesday 23rd July

ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN, Foundress, Patron of Europe, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Diocesan Liturgical Buildings Advisory Committee

Silver Jubilee: Fr Simon Thomson (ordained 23.7.1994)


Wednesday 24th July

St Sharbel Makhluf, Priest, Religious, optional memorial

or: Feria [16th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St John Vianney, Wantage
(consecrated 24.7.1966)


Thursday 25th July

ST JAMES, Apostle, feast

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St James, Reading

Ruby Jubilee: Fr James Keenan (ordained 25.7.1979)


Friday 26th July

Ss Joachim & Anne, Parents of Our Lady, memorial

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Anne, Brockenhurst (consecrated 26.7.1944)


Saturday 27th July

Our Lady on Saturday

or: Feria [16th Week in Ordinary Time]

Diocesan Prayer: Parish of St Joseph, Grayshott (consecrated 26.7.1911)


Sunday 28th July


Diocesan Prayer: Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Edward the Confessor, Lyndhurst (consecrated 28.7.1896)


Forthcoming Events         

25th-30th July 

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

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Saturday 27th July

Alton Day of Renewal

Alton Convent

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Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August 

Don Bosco Camp

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Monday 29th July - Friday 2nd August

Frassati Pilgrimage to Turin and Oropa

in the Footsteps of Bl Pier Giorgio

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Thursday 1st - Sunday 4th August

St John Paul II Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham

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Saturday 3rd August

First Saturday Devotions

St Mary's Gosport

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Saturday 3rd August

Marian Group 

St Mary's Gosport

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Thursday 8th August

Annual Mass at St Dominic's Priory
Carisbrooke, IoW

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Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th August

Behold the Man!

Havant Passion Play

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Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August

An Amazing Adventure

Fanning the Flame Summer Camp

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Saturday 7th September

A Day with Mary

St John's Cathedral, Portsmouth

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Monday 16th - Thursday 26th September 

Pilgrimage to The Eucharistic Miracles & 
the special saints of Italy 

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Sunday 1st September 

Annual Walk from Ryde to Quarr Abbey

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Saturday 21st September 

Climate Change, Faith and Me

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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





Payroll Administrator

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth wishes to recruit an experienced Payroll Administrator to ensure that all staff (250 over 90 parishes) are paid correctly and on time.  The role may suit someone looking for a part-time payroll position during the last 2 weeks of each month (70/80 hours per month starting on the 15th of each month to payment close at end of month).   This is a permanent appointment but may consider temporary appointment. Salary by negotiation will be around £22,000 per annum pro rata.  Free car parking is available on site.


For an application form, job description and Equal Ops Monitoring form please visit the Vacancies page of the Diocesan website.




Please pray for..

Vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, especially to the Sacred Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life. For the recently ordained and for all our students currently in formation for ordination and those responsible for their formation in the various seminaries in which they are based. 


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.


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: 



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


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