Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 434

February 13th, 2024

Shrove Tuesday – I always have happy memories of this day, coming home from school and looking forward to ‘tea.’ My mother made delicious pancakes, very simple ones with lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar. As a child, I knew that Shrove Tuesday came before Ash Wednesday and that Lent would begin the next day, but it never occurred to me to ask what ‘Shrove’ meant. In fact, ‘Shrove’ comes from the old middle English word ‘to shrive,’ meaning to go to Confession and receive penance and absolution from the priest. This was the day when people used to go to Confession to get ready for Lent, hence ‘Shriven Tuesday.’ But why pancakes? Pancakes come from the custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent begins, such as eggs and milk, which, when combined with flour, are made into pancakes. This is why in many other countries, Shrove Tuesday is known as ‘Mardi Gras’ (‘Fat Tuesday’). So, there you have it! Anyway, welcome to this week’s e-News with its mixture of news, courses on offer, upcoming events, prayers and reflections as we enter the great and holy season of Lent. Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, is a Day of Fasting and Abstinence. Do try to get to Mass to inaugurate this holy season of renewal and to receive the ashes. Happy Lent!

In Corde Iesu

+ Philip


[Image: deliaonline]

This Lent

From the Bishop

bishop philip

Now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6: 2). We are now entering the joyful season of Lent, a time of real personal renewal and I would like to suggest, a time of renewal for us all as the People of God within our Diocese of Portsmouth. I know that in many of our parishes and Pastoral Areas clergy and faithful are collaborating on the implementation of our ten-year mission strategy You Will be My Witnesses. The plan involves three interrelated activities: (1) renewal of faith and deepening our love for Jesus Christ as His disciples, sent to proclaim the Good News and to usher in the Kingdom; (2) becoming true missionary-disciples of Christ, apostles who reach out to the poor and needy around us in loving service; and (3) prudently planning and using our resources in the service of the Church’s mission and evangelisation. I thank all of you for your commitment and all the efforts and initiatives being made. At the same time, we continue towards the goals of our Closer to Christ Campaign which has been raising the funds we need to train our seminarians, to secure the ongoing formation of our clergy and to care for our retired priests. Thank you to so many who have very generously contributed to the campaign. This Lent, I wish to invite everyone in the Diocese, clergy and faithful in our schools and parishes, to undertake with big-heartedness the three Lenten works of prayer, self-denial and charity, offering them for the renewal and the mission of the Church in our Diocese. May we bring many more souls closer to Jesus Christ through His Church. Let’s pray to God for His grace and for the gifts of His Holy Spirit that we might ‘turn the ship.’

Read Issue 434 in full here.