News from Marriage and Family Life


St Colman's Church
St Coleman's Church

On Tuesday 9th July 2019, some keen grandparents gathered in front of the Exposed Blessed Sacrament to pray the Holy Rosary  for their grandchildren and all the grandchildren in the world. We had arranged this prayer time with grandparents from St Coleman’s at the end of  a WEEKDAY Mass. With the blessing of their Parish Priest Fr Innaiah, grandparents kept their word and gathered to pray. We had hoped that at least one Scottish grandparent might turn up, since it was the feast of Our Lady of Aberdeen. A little research reveals that St Colemans and Our Lady of Aberdeen Church in Kincorth (North East Scotland) share a common theme of a love and devotion to Our Lady and well- manicured Church gardens. 



Loving 4 life Marriage retreat weekend at Douai

Testimonial from participants:

"It was an intense weekend of exploring our marriage. We attended  along with other couples from other dioceses. We were able to explore our relationship through the various stages of our life and learned how to use the L.I.F.E. tool as a way of describing our emotions. We came away with much to discuss but feeling that we had learned much about each other even after 38 years!"



 St Vincent de Paul, Retreat – Southampton
The turn - out (45 people) was just as impressive as the warm weather , the delicious  home cooked food and the  rich content of the retreat.  Our Parish Priest,  Father Tomy, started us off with a brief overview of the life of St Vincent de Paul, which set the tone for the day.  Read more





St John's Cathedral Grandparents – Portsmouth

Father Ansel  welcomed the St John's Cathedral Grandparents  at Holy Mass today 16th of January 2019. The group met for the second time, immediately after the midday mass celebrated by Fr Ansel.  Read more



Special Christmas Afternoon Tea for Grandparents on the Feast of the Holy Family

On the 30th of December, the Feast of the Holy Family, 16 people ventured beyond their Christmas festivities to celebrate the Holy Family - with a focus on grandparents in Southampton.  Read more





Theology of the Body

The Marriage and Family Life Office was invited to meet and talk with students from University of Portsmouth Cathsoc on a subject relevant to living our catholic faith. After much prayer and some deliberation, we choose to speak on St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.


Cathsoc Portsmouth had led the liturgy at Sunday evening mass and finished with “Zion, Holy Mountain Holy City” which rocked the Cathedral, and all at Mass, as they played and sung joyfully proclaiming their faith. They sauntered into the hall obviously full of the Spirit and encouraged by Fr Phil’s homily. We were a group of about 18 students, with a visiting seminarian and their chaplain, Fr Phil Carroll.



The presentation begun by highlighting the links between love and sex, often bandied about in contemporary music. The lyrics of Marvin Gaye’s, ‘Sexual healing’, Davido’s ‘IF’ and ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, were referenced.  We hinted at the contrast of this type of love with the biblical definition of Love in Corinthians 13.  Uncovering the teaching of St John Paul’s Original Man, Historical man and Eschatological man was intriguing and exciting as these young catholic adults engaged with the subject matter and took it all in.


The beautiful Eucharistic prayer Father Phil had just prayed, which is proclaimed at every mass was mentioned to remind us that indeed ‘by the mingling of the water and the wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity’.  In our lives, this includes our sexuality, God invites us to share in His Divinity.  The fact that the world we live in is saturated with sexual language and behaviour, can undermine the great gift of our sexuality, but we are called to be counter cultural and radical in our living.  Sex is often presented as an activity, yet it is a language of love which requires a total gift of self and is reserved for a married couple. The sacrament of confession was named as an excellent opportunity for ‘historical man’ to be redeemed and walk to claim ‘eschatological man’


More questions came up in the car park and in some regard, I felt like an ‘agony aunt’ and hopefully offered some useful tips.


‘Thought provoking and a nice relaxed, open environment to talk about what a lot of people would consider ‘sensitive’ topic.’


‘A wonderful and insightful talk’


‘super interesting and thought-provoking. Legit, I loved everything about her talk.’


‘We stayed in the car park after for ages talking. It was something everyone could relate too, both with laughter and tears.’ 


‘A very honest and interesting topic, that everyone had to be aware of! I enjoyed it.’


The feedback above is what we received from our Catholic Students. We wish the students a holy Advent and a peaceful Christmas.



November 2018
Deacon Andrew Carter  [Nicola Carter and Aba Shields] and others spoke to over 30 people about  the Catholic Grandparents Association, Natural Family Planning, and being Mentors  for  engaged couples in our Diocesan "Smart Loving" marriage preparation course . 


Matt & Esther shared their testimony of living an NFP lifestyle. It was both admirable, courageous and generous. 



The event was advertised in 4 parishes and the evaluation reports captured the mood and the ambience - ‘lovely day, very uplifting, this should have been advertised more widely, met lots of interesting people, almost all participants said ‘the young couple’s testimony on living an NFP lifestyle  was just amazing’. 


Marriage Enrichment
Talks and adresses
Marriage Enrichment



See website for full report



November 18th 2018 - Exploring Natural Fertility’- St Marys Gosport





Saturday October 6th - A Celebration of Family Life on the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae. Further information



Demystifying Natural Family Planning Day: Saturday 11th November 2017







Marriage enrichment introduction 2nd September 2017








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