I hope and pray that high summer is a time of refreshment and recreation for you. Josef Pieper (d. 1997), one of the great Catholic philosophers of the 20th Century, a specialist in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, speaks about the importance of leisure in our lives. Leisure is not a break from an activity or a distraction, but a state of the soul. It is a contemplative and spiritual attitude consisting of an inner silence. It is receptivity to the world and an embrace of who we truly are. It leads us to God and the seventh-day rest He offers us after the six-day labour of creation. An unfortunate tendency of life today is the impulse to idolise work and busyness. So I hope and pray you can find some way to give a counter-witness to this tendency over the days ahead. Meanwhile, please find below all the news for this week. Next week, there’ll be a brief summer edition of e-News (the copy deadline is this Thursday) and then, after a week off, the subsequent e-News will be on 27th August. Thanks to Deacon Craig for his great work. God bless you with His love - and with true leisure.
The Pope has just written a surprise Letter to Priests, marking the 160th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, Curé d’Ars and Patron Saint of Parish Priests. In four parts – on pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise – the Holy Father seeks to address the abuse crisis and the sense of shame that many priests feel. He thanks the silent army of priests who betrayed neither faith nor trust but who continue to serve faithfully the People of God. The Letter is meant to give priests, many of whom feel disheartened because of the horrendous crimes of abuse committed by a small percentage of their fellow priests, hope in these times of tribulation when they are so often blamed or treated with suspicion, distrust, contempt or ridicule. Pope Francis addresses the Letter to all those priests who have given their lives to Jesus and “are working in the trenches” exposed to countless difficulties, and says he wants to be close to them. “I want to say a word to each of you who, often without fanfare and at personal cost, amid weariness, infirmity and sorrow, carry out your mission of service to God and to your people,” he says. He tells them that “despite the hardships of the journey, you are writing the finest pages of the priestly life.” Writing “as an older brother and a father,” he says he wants “to thank you in the name of the holy and faithful People of God for all that you do for them” and “to encourage you never to forget the words that the Lord spoke to us with great love on our ordination day: ‘I no longer call you servants…I call you friends.’”
You can read the text here.
Next Sunday is 19th Sunday of the Year and the Gospel is from Luke 12:32-48. Here we give it in the Anglicised English Standard Version (ESVUK) translation with a link to a commentary on the readings by the well-known biblical scholar and apologist, Dr. Scott Hahn.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming’, and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Read Scott Hahn's commentary on Sunday's readings here.
Not wasting - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Luke 12:32-48
The habit not to waste is one that we must crucially adopt in these times of environmental crisis. Each one of us has a duty to use wisely and sparsely the riches of the earth which have been given to us and which we have abused for so long. Yet the duty not to waste applies to every aspect of our life: to our possessions, to our gifts and capacities, to our health, and especially to our time. We are stewards of everything we have and are. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus reminds us especially about the watchfulness we all must have in dealing with the time that is given to us, and be the stewards of God’s gifts, not to hoard them or waste them, but to spend them wisely in his service. Because as we know, there will be an end to them, when the Master returns, and we have to give an account to him. In this Wednesday webinar, we’ll reflect on:
Faith: Do we believe in the return of the Master?
Hope: Do we live in the hope of his return?
Love: How can we use our time wisely?
This Thursday 8th August is the feast of St. Dominic (1170-1221) – and therefore a good day to pray for Sr. Julie and our Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph in the New Forest. Pope Emeritus Benedict devoted a General Audience to St. Dominic in February 2010, in which he said: “Today I want to talk about [a saint] who made a fundamental contribution to the renewal of the Church of his time: St Dominic, the Founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominican Friars. His successor at the head of the Order, Bl. Jordan of Saxony, gives a complete picture of St Dominic in the text of a famous prayer: "Your strong love burned with heavenly fire and God-like zeal. With all the fervour of an impetuous heart and with an avowal of perfect poverty, you spent your whole self in the cause of the Apostolic life" and in preaching the Gospel. It is precisely this fundamental trait of Dominic's witness that is emphasized: he always spoke with God and of God. Love for the Lord and for neighbour, the search for God's glory and the salvation of souls in the lives of Saints always go hand in hand.
“Dominic was born at Caleruega, Spain, in about 1170. He belonged to a noble family of Old Castile and, supported by a priest uncle, was educated at a famous school in Palencia. He distinguished himself straight away for his interest in the study of Sacred Scripture and for his love of the poor, to the point of selling books, that in his time were a very valuable asset, in order to support famine victims with the proceeds.”
Sr Rosaleen OP, Leader of the Diocesan Intercessors, invites your prayer requests...
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, intercessory prayer “consists in asking on behalf of another. It knows no boundaries and extends to one’s enemies.” (#2647) There are fifty-four Intercessors in our Diocese who would be pleased to pray for your intentions. You can post your prayer requests on the Diocesan website here. We look forward to hearing from you!
At the same time, please would you look through the prayer requests towards the end of each issue of e-News and include these intentions in your prayers, perhaps offering a decade of the Rosary for these intentions. There is also our Diocesan Ordo (found after Bishop Philip's engagements in each issue). Each day of the year there is a recommended prayer intention, often for someone celebrating an anniversary or for members, groups or parishes of the diocese. You can find all the intentions for this month here. We are grateful to Sr Rosaleen and the Diocesan Intercessors for their commitment to prayer on behalf of us all.
Deacon Martin is on holiday this week, with his wife and family, in the Gap of Dunloe, in Ireland (see photo). In place of his usual column, he invites us to reflect on Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains,
From where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
May He never allow you to stumble!
Let Him sleep not, your guard.
No, He sleeps not nor slumbers,
The Lord is your guard and your shade;
at your right side He stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you
nor the moon in the night.
The Lord will guard you from evil,
He will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming
both now and for ever.
‘We know’ says St Paul ‘That to them that love God all things work together for good’ This bold assertion means that even our sins and our failings will lead us to God if we love him and are willing to submit ourselves to his holy will. It is easy to mistake wounded pride for repentance: true repentance is not a matter of self-punishment, but ‘a joyous return into the right way’. Taken rightly, our sins themselves will drive us closer to God: for our sins will drive home to us our utter dependence on God, our absolute need of his mercy, and the glory of our redemption in Christ Jesus.
It is so hard to believe more than notionally how much we are loved! We may see pale images of how much God loves us in human affairs: a mother snatches her filthy child from a muddy puddle and holds him close; a father runs panting beside his child wobbling on a bicycle. But these images are pallid reflections of the burning fire of God’s love for us. The whole magnificent panorama of the Universe shouts his love for us: the smallest atom is a witness to his care. The good news that Christ came to bring is precisely this; that the Mind that made the universe, that holds all things in being loves us to distraction. Catherine of Siena addresses God ‘O loving madman! Was it not enough for thee to become incarnate, that thou must also die?’ Christ’s life death and resurrection are the sure and only foundation of our hope.
As of the time of writing I am on my way for the first time to join the New Dawn in the Church Conference and Family Pilgrimage. It takes place each summer at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. (Click on the picture for a short promo.) The Conference has been running now for many years and is blessed by Pope Francis and endorsed by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. Founded on a direct Word from God to Miles Dempsey its founder, it takes inspiration from the words of Pope Leo XIII: “When England returns to Walsingham, Mary will return to England”. New Dawn is a Spirit-filled Conference where “the beauty of the Church [can be] seen in all Her splendour…with all Her lights on and aspects celebrated” (cf. Myles Dempsey): Trinitarian, Christo-centric, Eucharistic, Sacramental, Liturgical, Hierarchical and Charismatic, Marian, Eschatological, Mystical and Contemplative, Catechetical and Missionary. With a global mandate, New Dawn has now been embraced by several countries including the Czech Republic, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Uganda and Zambia, with plans for Kenya.
This year the Conference runs from 5th to 9th August 2019. The theme is "I hereby command you: be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9). You can read more about this year’s Conference and its programme here. The themes to be covered are The Holy Spirit (Monday), Reconciliation (Tuesday), Mary and the Eucharist (Wednesday), Youth and Empowerment (Thursday) and Evangelisation (Friday).
Caritas Portsmouth diocese will be running two Children’s activity weeks this year during August in Basingstoke and Southsea:
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
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 get in touc. Basingstoke Club: Catherine Knight (telephone: 07787 456955) or Southsea Club: Fiona Allen (telephone: 07981 204886).
Many thanks to Pat Murphy and Joe Shelvin from the Catenians for organising a golf day in aid of CAFOD which raised £1200 for CAFOD 's Cyclone Idai appeal. Pat sent in a report about the day which was in last week’s e-news, and I would like to thank Pat & Joe for all their hard work in organising the day and making it so successful. Also, many thanks to Annie, Maureen and Dave our parish volunteers at Corpus Christi Boscombe for organising a bag and cake sale after Sunday Mass. What a great idea to have a sale of reusable bags, and delicious cakes and jams so that you have something to put into your new bag! The sale raised an amazing £181. So thank you all so much!
The summer is a great time to fundraise for CAFOD and we have an A-Z of fantastic fundraising ideas here on our website. Here are some exciting fundraising events coming up. At St Saviour’s in Totland Isle of Wight there is the annual summer BBQ on Sunday 8th September. St Edward the Confessor’s Church in Chandlers Ford is holding a BBQ on Saturday 10th August and Holy Cross Church in Eastleigh are having an afternoon tea on Thursday 5th September. Please do go along and support these events and I hope that the sun shines! Contact the CAFOD Portsmouth office for more information on 01252 329385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr John Chadwick, Parish Priest at Holy Redeemer Highcliffe writes...
More than 150 people filled the church last Saturday for the Golden Jubilee Mass at Holy Redeemer concelebrated by parish priest, Fr John Chadwick, and several other clergy. We were graced with the presence of Rev Gill Nobes, Vicar of St Mark's Anglican Church and Rev Philip Dixon, Minister of the Methodist Church. The music for the special Mass was composed by our organist Pene O'Neill. Vincent May gave a talk on the history of the Catholic Church in Highcliffe and a montage of photos from the last 50 years generated great interest. Lunch was held in the beautiful gardens and ended with champagne and a most magnificent cake, created by Amanda Pillinger, depicting all aspects of parish life. The previous evening had over 100 past, present and future parishioners, and their friends and families, rocking to the music of popular local band, Rapport, at a SIXTIES NIGHT! The Redeemers (aka Fr John Chadwick & Stevie Geoghegan) had a standing ovation for their rendition of the old Beatles favourite Let It Be!
Photo (left to right): Canon Paul Townsend (Vicar General), Fr Tony Pennicott, Fr Kevin Hoiles (hidden) Deacon Hugh Parry, Fr John Chadwick, Fr Inna Reddy Gade, Fr Paul Obada (former parish priest), Monsignor Ron Hishon. (Click on the photo for the full shot which also includes guests Rev Gill Nobes & Rev Philip Dixon.)
Francis Connolly, a parishioner from Wash Common, reports on recent celebrations of a great event in Mission and Evangelisation...
Sunday 28th July was the culmination of our pastoral outreach to the Vietnamese Community of this area with the Reception of three young Buddhist members of their community into full communion with our church by our Parish Priest, Fr. Bruce Barnes. This community has been nurtured and encouraged over the last two years by Sr. Tram of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary from St Gabriel’s Convent Cold Ash and with a monthly Sunday afternoon Mass at St. Francis de Sales and usually followed by a shared meal. It was a most prayerful and moving celebration and with their own choir leading their very musical hymns in their own language and with over 50 of their own community present in the church. This was followed by a celebratory meal. A wedding from their community is due to take place at our church in mid August.
This month we are asked to pray for Ambrose Chou. He is about to start his second year of formation at St Mary’s College, Oscott and has links with the Cathedral Parish, Portsmouth. He writes...
“I was born into a very devout Catholic family. From a very young age I did think about being a priest. I remember growing up I always attended Mass at weekends with my family and I started altar serving after making my First Holy Communion. At such a young age I didn’t fully understand everything that we were taught about the Eucharist, but I knew there was something really special. It was only a little later on, when I was a little older that I really began to appreciate and come to understand the mystery and beauty of the Eucharist and that’s where I encountered Jesus. I didn’t go to a Catholic secondary school, I went to a secular secondary school. In year 7, I soon realised that the God wasn’t important to everybody and not everybody prayed, which was very different to my primary school. Whilst at secondary school, being a Catholic became a really important part of my life and now my beautiful Catholic Faith is so precious to me.
During my first year at college I found out about discernment days and groups through a seminarian who was on a placement at the parish at the time and I decided to accept his invitation to go along. This is where I found that there were young men like myself who felt the same way and had the same questions. In time, I became an Extraordinary Minister and I grew to experience more the amazing greatness of the Eucharist in a very special way. After college, I went on to study Criminology at university, I continued to attend Mass with my family and also joined CathSoc. I also went to our local youth group and Fanning the Flame summer camp run by the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph in Sway, and even had the opportunity to go to World Youth Day Krakow 2016 with the Diocese. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to experience the greatness of God’s love in the Church and in my own life.
During my final year at University I still felt a calling to discern my vocation to the sacred priesthood, and so just before graduating, I applied to begin formation to the priesthood. I was accepted by the Bishop and was sent to the Royal English College in Valladolid, Spain for a propaedeutic year. I have just finished my first year of formation at the Oscott Seminary continuing on my journey following & discerning the calling to the sacred priesthood with really amazing people.”
Ambrose asks that this month, ’Please keep in your prayers all men discerning the priesthood, and for all our priests, for them to feel God’s presence and love in every moment of their lives, that they may discern and follow His call, and for God’s love to radiate joy in their lives, especially when things get tough.’
Sunday 4th August
EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Diocesan Prayer: Bishop Philip (ordained priest 4.8.1984)
Ruby Jubilee: Fr Thomas Taaffe (ordained 4.8.1979)
Monday 5th August
Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major, Rome, optional memorial
or: Feria [18th Week in Ordinary Time]
Diocesan Prayer: Don Bosco Summer Camp
Tuesday 6th August
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD, feast
Diocesan Prayer: Church Fabric Committees
Wednesday 7th August
St Sixtus II, Pope & Companions, Martyrs, optional memorial
or: St Cajetan, Founder, optional memorial
or: Feria [18th Week in Ordinary Time]
Diocesan Prayer: Lay Dominicans and Dominican Secular Institute
Thursday 8th August
St Dominic, Founder, memorial
Diocesan Prayer: Dominican Sisters [of Malta, of Saint Joseph & of the Presentation] in the Diocese
Friday 9th August
ST TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS [Edith Stein], Religious, Martyr, Patron of Europe, feast
Diocesan Prayer: Dialogue with other faiths, and especially the work of the Council of Christians & Jews
Saturday 10th August
ST LAURENCE, Deacon, Martyr, feast
Diocesan Prayer: Parishes, Communities & Schools in the North West Hampshire Pastoral Area
Sunday 11th August
NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Diocesan Prayer: Caritas Christi
You can find the prayer intentions for each day of this month here.
Thursday 8th AugustAnnual Mass at St Dominic's Priory
Thursday 15th August
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Holyday of Obligation
Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th August
Behold the Man!
Havant Passion Play
Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August
An Amazing Adventure
Fanning the Flame Summer Camp
Sunday 1st September
Annual Walk from Ryde to Quarr Abbey
Wednesday 4th September
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing
St Joseph & St Margaret Clitherow Church Bracknell
Saturday 7th September
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing
St Bede’s Church Basingstoke
Wednesday 18th September
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing
St Colman’s Church Portsmouth
Saturday 21st September
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing
St Edmund Campion Church Bournemouth
Saturday 21st September
CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Briefing
St Thomas of Canterbury Church Cowes Isle of Wight
Saturday 21st September
Climate Change, Faith and Me
Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th September
Southampton Celebrate Weekend
Extraordinary Mission Month
Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi for Extraordinary Mission Month
Sunday 13th October
Canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman
St Peter's Rome
Friday 25th October
Thanksgiving Mass for the Canonisation of Saint John Henry Newman
Bournemouth Oratory at Sacred Heart Bournemouth
We currently have the following job opportunities in the Diocese:
For application forms, job descriptions and Equal Ops Monitoring form please visit the Vacancies page of the Diocesan website.
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 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.
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: email@example.com.
COPY DEADLINES FOR THE REST OF AUGUST:
Deadline for next week's issue is Thursday 8th August
Deadline for 27th August issue is Monday 26th August.
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.
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