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Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 285 (2020/29)
Tuesday 28th July 2020
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Welcome from Bishop Philip
Dear Friends,
I find it amazing that, with time flying, the month of August begins later this week! We are in high summer and I hope that like me you are able to find a bit of time for relaxation and reading, and also time to spend with family and friends. The coronavirus crisis continues, of course, and we must all play our part by taking care and following the government’s advice on safety and hygiene. As we begin this month dedicated to the Heart of Mary, it would be good to present our prayer for a speedy end to the pandemic and for the safety of all to the Heart of Mary and Her maternal intercession. This last week, two important documents were released by the Vatican, one on reforming parishes and the other, the long-awaited new Catechetical Directory. Here in the Diocese, our Formation for Mission (FFM) team is offering a series of online talks and videos these next weeks and Chris Stefanick is launching a new programme. There’s news this week from Guernsey, from Hungerford and Wash Common and from Southampton. Congratulations to St. George’s, St. Anne’s and Oaklands schools and to Ursula Clark as she heads for a new role in Portsmouth. Our thanks too to CAFOD for all its great work and to Anne and Peter Dodd for their new series keeping us aware of this year of Laudato Si’. Meanwhile, please pray for all our clergy at this time – I hope to announce some of the impending moves and new assignments over the next weeks – and for one another. God bless you all.  

Lourdes Mass

Wednesday 15th July 2020 would have been the day we set out on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes until events were overtaken by the pandemic. However, on the day I offered the midday Mass in the Cathedral for all our pilgrims and at the end, blessed the newly commissioned diocesan banner (pictured). Our gratitude to Fr. PJ Smith the pilgrimage director and his team of helpers. Here is the homily I preached at the Mass, which in our Diocese was the Feast of St. Swithun.
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At last - the New Directory for Catechesis!

Last month, the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation in Rome published its long-awaited new Directory for Catechesis (published in English by the CTS: ISBN 978-1-78469-641-2). The new Directory represents the work of more than 80 experts over five years. It is continuous with the previous Directory, published in 1997, but reflects the dynamic renewal in catechesis since then, whilst dealing with contemporary issues such as sex and gender, bioethics, care for creation and medical advances. A new feature is the stress on the link between catechesis and evangelisation (‘evangelising catechesis’) and how catechesis today needs to take on the characteristics of evangelisation, although without substituting it...

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New Vatican Document on Reforming Parishes

Last week, the Congregation for Clergy in Rome issued a document about parishes and their reform called “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the church.” It says the goal of parish reform must be to move parishes from a “self-preservation” model to an evangelising one. The document focuses primarily on questions of parish structure, rather than spiritual conversion or the specifics of evangelisation, and provides guidance on grouping parishes together, and the respective roles of clergy and lay faithful. It observes that many parishes seem to be more interested in preserving a nostalgia for the past rather than looking to the future with courage”...
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August - Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

With all that's happened this year many of us probably wonder where 2020 has gone, but this Saturday we begin August, the month traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Until 1969, when Pope St Paul VI reorganised the Roman Calendar, the Octave Day (22nd August) now celebrated as the Queenship (or Coronation) of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1944 (now celebrated on the Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart). Why not pray this Litany (composed by St John Henry Newman soon after his reception into the Catholic Church in 1845) each day during August?

Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is 18th Sunday of the Year and the Gospel is Matthew 14:13-21. You can read Scott Hahn's reflection on the Sunday reading here.

Join us for the Wednesday Webinar 

In this Sunday's Gospel Jesus averts a crisis by miraculously feeding a crowd of five thousand with five loaves and two fish...

After the death of John the Baptist, Jesus withdraws to be by himself in a deserted place - only to be followed by a great crowd in need of healing miracles. There a crisis develops: what are they to eat? Through the help of his disciples, Jesus transforms five loaves and two fish into a meal of abundance that prefigures the superabundance of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, brought to us through the ministry of His body the Church.

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Thought for the Week
“The world typically sees the Catholic Church as a vast, complex, global organisation. More than a few Catholics also think of the Church that way. The entirety of modern Catholic history, however, has been pointing the Church in another direction and asking the Church to think of itself in a different way. In a Spirit-led and Spirit-guided movement of evangelical renewal, the Catholic Church has been and is being called to be radically Christocentric and evangelical. The Church is being summoned to put every facet of its organised life at the service of the Gospel, the proclamation of the Kingdom of God among us, and the offer of friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the reason for the Church’s existence. All authentic Catholic reform is the return to the Churches originating ‘form’ given it by Christ himself. At the centre of that ‘form’ is the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations.” (George Weigel, The Next Pope).
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Grow in your Faith this summer

The Diocesan Formation for Mission (FFM) team is offering a series of online talks and videos this July and August to help bring you closer to Jesus Christ. Whether you're a catechist wanting to develop your ministry or a faithful Catholic looking to learn more, they are here to help...

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Do you talk to yourself as God would?

There’s never been a more important time in recent history than now to refocus on God’s truth about ourselves so we can each live the life we were made for.  The recent lockdown has turned our daily experiences upside down; we have all had to journey through the reality of the epidemic but each of our experiences and trials will have been have different.  For many of us the journey will have given us a chance to be aware of and consider what is going on in our hearts and heads, to question our priorities and whether our lives are in line with the Gospels. Yes, we are living in unprecedented times. But God doesn’t want us to live in fear or believe the lies that fill our heads as we are stuck in isolation, or trying to retain the correct social distance from each other...
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Update from Guernsey

Elizabeth Dene, a parishioner from Guernsey shares the latest update on the changes to the Island’s 1997 Abortion Law...

The decision by the States of Deliberation on 24th June 2020, the Birthday of St John the Baptist, is not the end of the endeavours by people of faith and goodwill in Guernsey to challenge the changes to the Island’s 1997 Abortion Law. Immediately following the decision, Deputy Stephens submitted ten questions for written answer by the Committee for Health & Social Care. Each question related to questions that had been asked by States Members during the two days of debate but which the Committee had not answered in their responses to the debate. The questions sought to clarify the process for drafting the policy letter and, in particular, the Committee’s consultation on the draft proposals...

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Congratulations to Wash Common and Hungerford

Dr Caroline Ness a parishioner from Our Lady of Lourdes Hungerford, shares joyful post-lockdown news of more new Catholics in the diocese...

In common with many parishes up and down the country, the long-anticipated reception into the church of our candidates had to be postponed this year as our churches were closed at Easter. It was therefore with prayerful thanks that on Thursday 16th July Our Lady of Lourdes Hungerford and St Francis de Sales Newbury joined together to welcome Tim Craig, Romain and Verity Lambert, Chris Trickey and Susan Werney into the Full Communion of the Church...

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The New Normal (well, for a little while anyway...)

Michael Keogh, a parishioner at St Boniface Shirley shares news of hoe the parish is returning to public Mass...

Banners, Zoom meetings, WhatsApp groups, Microsoft Teams, Excel spreadsheets, email booking system, minutes of meetings and Risk assessments; rotas for stewards, cleaning regimes, sanitisers, PPE, all sort of cleaning products; hazard warning tape, one way systems; who knew all this might be required for a safe return to public Mass. There was even a kick start event on the church steps to notify parishioners and the good people of Shirley, that public Masses would resume... 

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Three Catholic Schools in Hampshire's Top Ten

Congratulations to St. George College, Southampton (pictured), St. Anne’s Secondary School, Southampton and Oaklands Secondary School and Sixth Form who all feature in the top ten secondary schools in Hampshire according to a comprehensive new guide.

The Real Schools Guide 2020, compiled by Reach's data unit, aims to give a far more comprehensive picture than traditional league tables. It takes into account 51 different data points - including not just GCSE results and Attainment 8 scores but also factors like Progress 8, pupil-teacher ratios and absence rates. You can read exactly how the guide is put together here.

Headteacher’s Farewell Fundraiser

Chris Rayner, a Governor at St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School in Chandler's Ford  shares news of a farewell charity cycle ride undertaken by their headteacher, Ursula Clark who is moving on to become head at Corpus Christi Primary School in Portsmouth in September...

Ursula Clark, headteacher at St Swithun Wells Catholic Primary School in Chandler’s Ford, could have opted for an easier end to her fifteen and a half years at the helm - as if seeing the school through lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been enough. Instead, Miss Clark decided to do a ‘cycling marathon’ – 26 miles on her bike from Salisbury Cathedral to the school... 

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The Forty Martyrs: St John Boste 

Dr Dudley Plunkett, former Senior Tutor at the Maryvale Institute and parishioner of the Immaculate Conception, Southampton believes that we need the merits and prayers of our martyrs for the revival of the faith in our country. It was this idea that inspired his recent book, The Noble Martyr: a spiritual Biography of St Philip Howard. Here he offers us the latest instalment in his monthly series offering a brief biography of one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales aound their feast-day... 

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Laudato Si' Year

In the run up to the celebration of the Season of Creation in September, Anne Dodd from Our Lady and St Edmund Parish, Abingdon kicks off a new series of articles to heighten our awareness of Laudato Si' Year, celebrating the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' Encyclical on Care for the Common Home...

Laudato Si' – Care for our Common Home is a call to everyone in the diocese by Pope Francis. This letter from the Pope was published 5 years ago now but is still largely unknown within Catholic parishes and congregations. The Laudato Si' Year announced by Pope Francis in May is a wonderful opportunity to help every one of us in the diocese to see that a right relationship with the earth, our common home, is as much part of our faith as our relationship with God and with our neighbour. In Laudato Si', Pope Francis calls on everyone to change their way of life, to respond to “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor...”

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633,000 Steps for CAFOD

Jo Lewry thanks all those who took part in the 10,000 steps challenge and have walked an amazing 630,000 steps; about 255 miles!

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken part in our 10,000 steps challenge to walk the length of Portsmouth Diocese  to raise funds for CAFOD’s Coronavirus appeal and to all those who have donated to our JustGiving page. Although we have reached our target of £2000 you can still donate...maybe we could get to £2500 or even £3000! The funds are urgently needed as many of the communities that CAFOD supports are in desperate need of food, clean water and hygiene packs so please just click here.

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Congratulations Fr Chris Rutledge

Judith Aylmer reports on recent celebrations for the Silver Jubilee of Fr Chris Rutledge's Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood...

Fr Chris Rutledge from Holy Ghost parish, Basingstoke celebrated his Silver Jubilee in these difficult times with a very pared down celebration. After Midday Mass at St Bede’s Church, which members of his family attended, there was a glass of champagne in the garden with a simple barbecue. It was a bittersweet occasion as Fr Chris had announced his move in September to take up the post as Dean of Guernsey the previous Sunday. That came as a shock as he has only been in Basingstoke for seven years. Still, onto pastures new! Good luck, Fr Chris.

Fr Chris Rutledge was ordained on 22nd July 1995 at St Joseph's Newbury by Bishop Crispian Hollis. He has served in Newbury, Windsor, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Winchester, Hook, Hartley Wintney, Bracknell and Basingstoke as well as a Co-ordinating Pastor and Dean. (Ed.)

Fr Tom Grufferty

This autumn, we are bidding farewell to some of our best-known and best-loved priests, who having reached the canonical age, are retiring. One of these is Fr. Tom Grufferty who comes originally from Swinford, Co. Mayo and after formation in All Hallows College, Dublin, was ordained a priest in June 1973. In the Diocese, he has served as Assistant Priest at Immaculate Conception, Portswood, Sacred Heart, Waterlooville and St. John Bosco, Woodley. In 1982 he became the first parish priest of Immaculate Conception, Sandhurst before moving to Holy Ghost, Basingstoke in 1986. In 1992, he became parish priest of St. Joseph’s Havant, a role he fulfilled for 22 years until 2014, when he moved to Immaculate Conception, Christchurch. At that time he became the Dean of West Solent and Coordinating Pastor of the Avon Stour Pastoral Area. Fr. Tom also generously served for several years as the Chair of the Priests’ Retirement Fund. Fr. Tom will be missed by us all, and not least by our schools. For the last three years, he has been the Bishop’s personal Chaplain to Heads and Principals. Grateful for his service of the Lord and His Church in our Diocese of Portsmouth, we wish him every grace and blessing in the years ahead, with good health and much joy. Fr. Tom is retiring within the Diocese, so we hope often to see him around and about.

Fr. Antony Conlon RIP

On 19th April, Fr. Antony Conlon, a priest of the Archdiocese of Westminister, died. He was a friend of mine and known to many of us in the Diocese of Portsmouth. For years he was the chaplain at the Oratory School and later the parish priest of Our Lady and St John, Goring-on-Thames. May he rest in peace. Meanwhile, Mgr. Martin Hayes VG (Westminster) has crafted a fine obituary...

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New Book from IoW Catholic History Society

The Isle of Wight Catholic History Society has recently published a Book of Christian Poems by seventeen different people from all four parishes on the Isle of Wight. They range from a couple of accomplished poets to a number of people who have never before written any form of poetry. The result is a very attractive and well presented book with poetry on all aspects of Catholic life. The booklet costs £4-00 (£5-50 with p&p) from the Island Catholic History Society.

Here is a taster, one of the poems written by Edmund Matyjaszek, Walk in the Wight...       

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From the Archives
This week we focus again on Bishop John Baptist Cahill, 2nd Bishop of Portsmouth, the 110th anniversary of whose death falls next Sunday. Peter Clarke from the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society writes...

Ten years ago Bishop Crispian came to Ryde for a Solemn Requiem Mass to mark the centenary of the death of Bishop John Baptist Cahill (2nd Bishop of Portsmouth). After the Mass in St. Mary’s Church (organised by Fr. Anthony Glaysher), the bishop led an Act of Commemoration at Bishop Cahill’s grave in Ryde cemetery, where the De Profundis and the Litany of the Dead were recited (see picture here)...
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And finally...Who is this?

We continue to feature some of the clergy of our Diocese of Portsmouth for you to try an identify. This week we test your powers of observation with this classic photo of a Portsmouth Priest in his youth from a Good Friday procession. Clicking on the photo for the full image might give you a helping hand to date the photo by the prices in the shop window!  Just e-mail your answer to Deacon Craig by Friday for a mention. 

Our mystery cleric from our baby vault in the last issue was Fr Leo Odomeja, Assistant Priest at St Bede's Basingstoke. Unfortunately nobody managed to correctly identify him.

Please remember to send in any photos of clergy from years gone by or challenging angles from your own collection - and please encourage your own clergy to offer photos of themselves - to feature in a future issue!. Ed.

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. You can find the daily intentions for July here and for August here.

Please pray for the Renewal of the Diocese

During 2020 the Year of the Word and 2021 the Year of the Eucharist, please pray each day the following prayer for the spiritual renewal of all the members of our Diocese of Portsmouth, bishop, clergy, religious and people...

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Please pray for...

Please pray for these intentions.  

During 2020 the Year of the Word and 2021 the Year of the Eucharist, please pray each day this prayer for the spiritual renewal of all the members of our Diocese of Portsmouth, bishop, clergy, religious and people.

Click here if you have a prayer intention you would like our Diocesan Intercessory Prayer Team to pray for.
 
Click here if you have a prayer intention you would like the Sisters at the Adoremus Centre in Alderney (our Powerhouse of Prayer) to pray for.

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Job Opportunities in the Diocese

English Martyrs Parish in Reading is seeking an Evangelisation and Discipleship Development Officer. Full details can be found here.

Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth is seeking a part-time temporary Mentoring Support for the Caritas Gosport Open Doors Project. Full details can be found here.

Diocesan schools vacancies
can be found here.

Share your Good News...

We like to share news of what's happening across the diocese and try to include a broad range of news and reflective articles, but please note:
  • The Editorial Team reserve the right not to use submitted copy. Publication of submitted articles is not guaranteed. 
  • Publication does not necessarily reflect the views of either the Editor nor of the Bishop.
  • The Editorial Team reserve the right to edit any articles prior to publication.
  • Due to space, articles may not be published immediately and may be held in reserve for future use.
Please e-mail all news items and forthcoming events to Deacon Craig Aburn: executiveassistant@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue

Please send news as plain text and images as attachments rather than embedded in a document. Thank you.

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With all good wishes and an assurance of my prayers, 

In Corde Iesu

 Bishop of Portsmouth
The next issue of e-News will be on Tuesday 4th August.
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Friday 31st July 2020.
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