Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 287 (2020/31)
Tuesday 1st September 2020
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Welcome from Bishop Philip
Welcome back to e-News after our short summer break. Over the next days, let’s remember to pray especially for our schools, their staff and students, as they return to work. Today, 1st September, is a Day of Prayer to begin the short “Season of Creation” that runs through September. Our thanks to Jo Lewry from CAFOD and to Angela Waterhouse from Abingdon for providing us with ideas and resources to keep this season special. Besides the invitation to join the Wednesday Webinar, Sr. Veronica and the Sisters at Sway draw our attention to an online course of study for catechists through Maryvale Institute. There’s also an invitation to join two pilgrimages: one on the Isle of Wight on 13th September, and the other in 2022 to Oberammergau for the Passion Play. Dudley Plunkett continues his series on the Forty Martyrs and John Paisley of Southampton University Hospital draws our attention to the plight of the Uyghurs. Meanwhile, who is that baby below … ? Please be assured of my prayers and best wishes to you all. 
World Day of Prayer

Today, 1st September, is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This Day was established by Pope Francis to encourage the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home. The Day is inspired by Pope Francis' landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on "every person living on this planet" to care for our shared Earth. He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” Here is a prayer we can say today...

Click here for the Prayer...
Not only Jesus but the Holy Spirit too 

“Being a Catholic is not just about being close to God: it’s about being filled with God. It’s about living IN God. It's about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so that His fire, His power, His passion might drive us with His gifts.” Here is the homily I preached in the Cathedral on Saturday 22nd August, the Memorial of Mary Queen of Heaven, at the special live-streamed Mass to inaugurate the 45th annual Alton Day of Renewal.
I welcome you to this Mass opening the annual Alton Day of Renewal, a charismatic Day of Prayer and Praise founded 45 years ago by Fr. Brian Coogan. Fr. Brian, now retired on the Isle of Wight, is this year 73 years a priest: let’s thank God for him and pray for him. I’m grateful to Alistair and the Core Team for inviting me to offer this Mass...

Continue Reading..

St. Gregory the Great

This Thursday 3rd September, we keep the feastday of Pope St. Gregory the Great (c. 540 – 620 AD). Born of a noble family, Gregory served as prefect of Rome before entering a monastery. He was elected pope in 590. Despite his frail health, he placed himself at the service of all, from the Lombard invaders to the 12 poor people with whom he dined every evening. Gregory was the first pope to sign himself ‘The Servant of the Servants of God.’ “It is fitting, it is truly fitting,” he wrote, “that the Lord’s priest should shine brightly in his morality and in his life, so that the people entrusted to him may be able both to choose what to follow and see what to correct, as if in the mirror of this life.” Gregory did much to enhance the Liturgy (hence “Gregorian Chant”) and wrote extensively on moral and theological subjects. He sent the ‘Apostle to the English,’ Saint Augustine and a group of fellow monks to convert Kent. Gregory died in 604. 

A Short Meditation

Recently, we celebrated the Memorial of St. John Eudes (d. 1680). He came from Normandy and joined the Oratorians. He preached numerous missions in country parishes with great success, and in 1643 founded the Society of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists) to provide seminary-formation. Against the prevailing background of Jansenism, St. John Eudes promoted the tender love of Jesus and Mary. Indeed, Pope Leo XIII said he was “the father, doctor and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.” Here is an extract from his writings that appeared in Magnificat that you might wish to use for prayer and meditation. Find a moment of quiet, then asking for the strength of the Holy Spirit, read slowly …
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Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is 23rd Sunday of the Year and the Gospel is Matthew 18:15-20. You can read Scott Hahn's reflection on the Sunday readings here.

Join us for the Wednesday Webinar 

In this Sunday's Gospel Jesus teaches His disciples how they are to reflect the love and forgiveness of God the Father within their own lives. Having given Peter the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and the power to bind and loose on Earth, Jesus now shows that the task of continuing His mission does not fall to Peter alone. In his teaching, Jesus makes clear that living the life of the Kingdom on Earth, a life of love, unity and forgiveness, is the task of the whole community of disciples – for it is the whole community of disciples that has received, through the gift of God the Son, the joy and the blessing of knowing God the Father.

Read more here...
Thought for the Week
“We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy, by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy, by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy, by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy, by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy, by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.” (Pope Francis Gaudete et Exultate 6-7, 14).
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Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis
Hello from Sr. Veronica! I would like to invite you to take a few moments to consider the possibility of joining an online course of study for catechists, which is offered by the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham. This course has been offered in our diocese for a number of years now and a number of catechists from around the diocese have been awarded this certificate in further studies over the last 6 years or so; many have found it very helpful and stimulating course which addresses our understanding of our Catholic faith and its practical application as a catechist. Click the image above to watch a short video introduction or the link below to read more...
Find out more...
Join us on 13th September

Peter Clarke from the Isle of Wight Catholic History Society invites you to join him and the other pilgrims on Sunday 13th September for the annual walk from Ryde to Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight...

With so many cancelled events this year, due to the pandemic, many Catholics on the Isle of Wight are delighted that their annual walking pilgrimage from Ryde to Quarr Abbey is going ahead on Sunday 13th September. This walk was started in the 1880s, when Catholics would walk in Summer to the Medieval Cistercian ruins at Quarr, whilst reciting the rosary. They prayed that monastic life would one day return to Quarr. Their prayers were answered when the Benedictines arrived at Quarr in 1908. The photo shows the walkers at the ruins of the Cistercian Quarr Abbey two years ago.

This annual walk (which was resurrected twenty years ago by the Island Catholic History Society) emphasises our affiliation with those Victorian Catholics and their hope and desire for a return of monastic life. Further information on this walk can be found on the society’s website

Oberammergau 2022

A few more spaces for Oberammergau have become available as we have unexpectedly been offered one more double room and two single rooms for our diocesan trip to Oberammergau in May 2022. If you would like further information, please email Don’t delay as these rooms will not be available for long.

Standing Up for the Uyghurs

Bishop Declan Lang and a cross-community group of religious leaders, draws our attention to the plight of the Uyghurs. I am grateful to John Paisley of Southampton University Hospital for prompting this for our concern, prayer and advocacy.
There is mounting evidence of oppression of the Uyghur community in North West China and a cross community group of religious leaders including our own representative for international affairs Bishop Declan Lang published a statement of concern, which you can read here. Reporting restrictions make certainty over precise facts difficult to come by. However internment without trial in re education camps as well as forced abortion and sterilisation have succeeded from lower level aggression involving disruption of religious, social, cultural and family life. The board of deputies of British Jews believe that the practices seen are, at the very least, on the road towards genocide and it is possible when the facts become clear we will find that point has already been reached...

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The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

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, this time, three of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales around their feast-day... 

This past Sunday, 30th August would normally have be the feast day of St Margaret Ward, St Anne Line, St Margaret Clitherow. Although they died on different dates, these three outstanding women martyrs of the Elizabethan persecution are assigned to a common feast-day.

More In-Spiring News from Jersey 

In the last issue we reported how Canon Dominic Golding, the Catholic Dean of Jersey, wanted to see the top of the spire of his largest church for himself and donned protective harness and clothing and with Steve Marshall, Site Foreman, went all the way up in a cage to see the work being carried out to the 196ft spire at St Thomas Church, St Helier.

Since we ran the story, we have heard that Sophie Dulson from ITV news has visited St Thomas' to interview Canon Dominic about the progress of the project. She reported: "For nine weeks St Thomas' Church spire has been covered with scaffolding while work takes place to repair the granite stone work and cross. It's thanks to the church's congregation that the project is underway, with almost £1.3 million raised to restore the 19th century structure. I went along to find out how the project is coming along..." Click on the image to watch the interview.

Returning to Mass in Netley

Fr Ross Bullock shares news of welcoming the faithful back to public Mass in Netley...

During the month of August and into September the Parishioners of the Annunciation Church, Netley along with Fr Ross thought it would be a good idea to offer open air Masses in the grounds of the Church in Netley during a Sunday afternoon. By doing so we were able to offer an extra fifteen places at Mass and it has proved very popular. Attendees bring their own chair and sunhat or umbrella and the grass has white markings to indicate the boundaries for safe social distancing. Fr Ross is safely contained under a marque whatever the weather may be...

80 years of Marriage in Fareham

Fr John Cooke recently blessed two couples on their Ruby Wedding Anniversary at St Philip Howard Church, Fareham. 

The celebration in partial lockdown and with Covid hygiene precautions was very different than expected a year ago!  Fr John Cooke spoke of their commitment 40 years ago and now to Covenant Love for Better and for Worse declared in front of community and in the presence of God.  Both couples; Paul and Lucy and Annette and Paul, were married, by chance, on the same day at the same time at different ends of the country...

Celebrating GCSE achievements at St Anne's

Julian Waterfield, Deputy Headteacher at St Anne's Catholic School in Southampton shares news of the recent GCSE results days with a difference...
St Anne’s Year 11 students recently collected their results in a socially-distanced results day. Despite the restrictions, students received their results, hoodies and a little present from the school to congratulate them on their success in such unprecedented times...

Catholic Home Care

Anne Monaghan, Home Care Coordinator for Catholic Home Care in our diocese highlights what the service has been doing in recent time and shares good news of a recent community funding award...

The Catholic Home Care has been supporting elderly people in their own homes since 1992, firstly frail parishioners on a voluntary basis, and then as an agency with paid carers to provide help for any resident over 65 years in the Southampton City Centre area. Since its early days the service has developed and spread to cover the whole west side of Southampton stretching from the River Test in the west to the River Itchen in the east and going as far north as the M27 - quite a geographic area! Catholic Home Care is based in St Edmund’s Lodge in The Avenue, Southampton.

News from Aid to the Church in Need

Click on the picture for a short video about the Pontifical Charity Aid to the Church in Need. Recently I received a letter from its UK director Neville Kyrke-Smith:
Dear Bishop Egan, I do hope you are keeping well. I would like to thank you for all your kindness, encouragement, and prayers for the work of Aid to the Church in Need. I am sorry to have to write to you to let you know that due to the pandemic, the resulting lockdown and the limited reopening of churches, we have taken the difficult decision to dissolve our wonderful team of ACN Area Secretaries. We are truly sorry to lose this remarkable group of people who for so many years have been the backbone of our face-to-face engagement with our dioceses—with the clergy, parishes, religious houses and special interest groups...

Resources from CAFOD

Jo Lewry shares CAFOD’s resources for the forthcoming Season of Creation which is celebrated from Tuesday 1st September to Sunday 4th October.

To mark Creation Time, CAFOD has prepared a Novena to St Francis - nine reflections asking St Francis to pray for us and our world based on the canticle of the Sun. This novena is a song of penitence and praise, guiding us to care for the earth and for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, especially the Amazon peoples. They are currently under grave risk from coronavirus, given their fragile situation, often in remote locations far from government services. Communities with whom we work are reporting a sharp increase in predatory attacks on land. People smugglers are also active and those being trafficked are in more danger than ever, having no access to healthcare. You can use these video prayers over nine days or at nine moments of personal prayer. Each has four phases: Canticle; Amazon voice; penitential prayer; plea for intercession. You can download the prayers or watch the videos by clicking on the image above.

The pandemic shows us that “we have not heard the cry of the poor and our seriously ill planet” warns Pope Francis, describing this as "a time to choose what matters and what passes away". (Urbi et Orbi, 2020)

How Caritas helped Change my Life

Brita Coleman from Sacred Heart Parish in Hook (pictured on Kevin Gallagher's right along with his wife Amy at a Caritas fundraiser in Basingstoke earlier this year) offers a heartfelt testimony about her role as a Caritas Ambassador...

My name is Brita and I only came across this wonderful charity, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth, in May last year. I can safely say that between Caritas, Fr Paul Leonard my priest in Hook and the Holy Spirit, my life has totally changed! Caritas is the Catholic Church's global response to reach out in charitable action to those in need. Although well known in other countries, it is relatively new in the UK and I am its ambassador in the Basingstoke area.  I am part of a small team and I thank Caritas for having me, but we need other Caritas ambassadors in other areas.

Season of Creation 

As we begin the celebration of the Season of Creation which runs from 1st September - 4th October, we continue with 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. In this third instalment, Angela Waterhouse from Our Lady's Abingdon writes about how her parish celebrated the Season of Creation last year in more normal times...

The parish of St Edmund’s in Abingdon joined in this global ecumenical celebration for the first time last autumn, having made a concerted effort to become a Live Simply parish, basing everything we did firmly on ‘Laudato Si – on the Care of our Common Home’.

The Early Bishops of Portsmouth

The Isle of Wight Catholic History Society has recently published a new book The Early Bishops of Portsmouth 1882 – 1940 by Dr Paul Severn which looks at the life, times and achievements of the first three Bishops of Portsmouth (covering almost sixty years) in the early development of the diocese. It records the growth of the Faith and the building and formation of churches, parishes and religious institutions, which laid the basis of our diocese, as we know it today. 

The book has recently been reviewed by Monsignor Nicholas France who comments: "The story of our diocese is the story of our bishops. For in every case their leadership created a particular form of cultural Catholicism and guided us in how to be a Diocesan Church in fidelity to the Pope. This book marks the different eras in which from small beginnings they led the Diocese of Portsmouth...We should be most grateful to Dr Paul Severn for the research he made into early Bishops of Portsmouth, which has led to the creation of this small book about their lives...I commend the reading of this book to all, who would like to know more about the foundation stones of our beloved diocese."   You can read Mgr France's review in full here, along with details of how to order a copy of the booklet which costs £4-00 (£6-00 with p&p) from the Island Catholic History Society here.    

Canon Alan Griffiths

This autumn we bid farewell to another priest of the Diocese who is retiring, Canon Alan Griffiths. Canon Alan, who comes originally from Wolverhampton, did his priestly formation at the Venerable English College, Rome and was ordained on 29th June 1974 in St. Peter’s Winchester by Bishop Derek Worlock. He went as assistant priest to Sacred Heart Fareham and then became in 1977 a member of staff at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh where among other things he taught Liturgy. He was resident in the seminary until 1983 when for one year he moved to Guernsey as Assistant Priest and then in 1985 as parish priest to Our Lady of Peace, Earley...


And finally...

We continue to feature some of the clergy of our Diocese of Portsmouth for you to try and identify. This week we test your powers of observation as we return to our baby vault - but who is this? Just e-mail your answer to Deacon Craig by Friday for a mention next week. 

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 so we can continue this fun feature after our summer break. 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 September 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...


Please pray for...

Please pray for these intentions.  

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

St John’s Cathedral is seeking a Director of Cathedral Development
(Full time, 35 hours per week)
Competitive salary
(Closing date: Friday 25th September, 12 Noon)

Didcot and Wallingford Parish is seeking a Parish Secretary
(Part time, 16 hours per week)  
(Closing date: Sunday 6th September 2020)

Fleet & Church Crookham Parish is seeking a Parish Secretary
(Full time, 35 hours per week)  
(Closing date: Friday 18th September 2020)

Catholic Home Care is seeking a Part time Assistant Coordinator
(15 hours per week - initial 9 month contract) based in Southampton.
(Closing date: Friday 18th September 2020 at 13:00)

The Grail Community is seeking to appoint a bookkeeper
(Approx 10 hours per week, self-employed) based in Winchester.

Full details of the above vacancies 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: 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 8th September.
Deadline for submission of items for consideration is
Friday 4th September 2020.
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