Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 437

March 5th, 2024

As hopes grow for a ceasefire in the Middle East, although matters are still very uncertain, let us pray earnestly for all those affected by homelessness, hunger, loss of family and friends, suffering and injury. Let us pray for a new spirit of peace and reconciliation on both sides of this conflict and an end to hostilities. Let us not forget too the war in Ukraine and to pray for peace and reconciliation there. Meanwhile, I welcome you to our e-News this week and invite you to a number of events, especially our exciting Symposium in Winchester a week on Saturday. The Symposium will tackle a lot of the hot button issues of the day such as abortion, assisted suicide, the sexual revolution and gender dysphoria, and aims to present our Catholic position in a gentle and appealing manner, whilst taking into account the challenges. There are also other events coming up too: the Passion in Christchurch, the Alton Day of Renewal and more. Have a blessed Third Week of Lent. As our Editor is on retreat next week – please say a prayer for him – the next e-News will be in two weeks’ time on Tuesday 19th March. God bless you all – and thank you for your faith. [Image: Sky News]

Come to our Symposium next week

From the Bishop

Symposium Poster Final

The Diocese has organised an exciting Symposium called What does it Mean to be Human? – a discussion day on some of the controversial issues in medical and health-care ethics. Start of life and end of life questions are always in the news these days, together with issues to do with gender and mental health. All these raise the deeper question about what it means to be a human person. The Symposium will take place at The Arc (formerly The Discovery Centre) in Winchester (opposite St. Peter’s Catholic Church) on Saturday 16th March 2024 from 10.00 am until 4.15 pm. It features presentations from well-known experts, led by the popular motivational speaker and presenter, David Wells. It is open to people of all faiths and none and there will be something here not just for specialists but for students and anyone with an interest in medical and social care. The aim is to bring the Catholic Tradition and its values into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with people of other viewpoints. Tickets cost £20, including sandwich lunch and refreshments, and are available on-line via Eventbrite.

It promises to be a fascinating day. To give you an idea, there will be two keynote presentations: What does it mean to be a Human Being? (Mgr. Michael Nazir Ali) and How significant is the Sexual Revolution? (Ryan Christopher of ADF International). Participants then choose two of the six workshops on offer. The Workshops are The Human Person:  United or Divided? (Dr. Catherine Knowles), Abortion: The Unseen Grief (Rachel MacKenzie), Mental Health and Spirituality (Dr. Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne), Dysphoria v. Ideology: Walking the Gender Tightrope (Dr Collette McGovern), The End of Life: Fact and Fiction in the novel The Beast of Bethulia Park (Simon Caldwell) and Should Religion and Spirituality have a role in Healthcare Provision? (Dr Maria Lynch.). More details are available on the Eventbrite site.

New Canon Installed

From the Bishop

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Today, 5th March, the Chapter of Canons met and at the midday Mass in the Cathedral I installed Canon James McAuley as a new canon of the Chapter. The Chapter of Canons exists to care for the Cathedral and its Liturgy and also to give good advice to me as the Bishop, mainly on matters to do with Liturgy and on the devotional and pastoral life of the Diocese. Canon James is one of our Vicars General and also the Moderator of the Curia, as well as an experienced priest of the diocese. After Formation at the Venerable English College in Rome, he was ordained in 2010, serving first as an assistant priest in Jersey, then at the Cathedral during which time he was also Bishop’s Secretary and University Chaplain. After five years back in Rome on the staff, he returned to the diocese in 2022. He is currently the Dean of the Cathedral, with many responsibilities and so he will be well equipped for the role of canon. I will continue to look to him for wise and trustworthy advice. Please pray for him.

Mgr. Canon Jeremy Garratt celebrated the Chapter Mass. You can read his thought-provoking Homily here.

Continue reading this edition of e-News here.