Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 273 (2020/17)
Tuesday 28th April 2020
View this email in your browser
Welcome from Bishop Philip
Dear Friends,
Welcome to the week’s e-News. As we enter the fifth week of the lockdown, let’s ask the Lord to bless the negotiations of our two Bishops’ Conferences with the government that our churches may be in the first wave of re-openings. A lot of people write to me asking for the re-opening of our churches and the restoration of the sacraments and the liturgy, all of which we dearly long for. We are dependent here upon government guidelines. Even when the restrictions are initially eased, we will probably need some sophisticated regulations on social distancing, cleansing etc. Indeed, with the leadership team here, we are already planning what might be the ways forward. Here at Bishop’s House, the lockdown is having an impact with a new rota for cooking and cleaning! But our main prayers at this time are to the Lord for all the sick and for all the medical staff, chaplains and carers who look after them. Let us pray this week once again for a speedy end to this scourge and for the financial security and well-being of all. May Mary and Joseph protect you this week with their powerful intercession, bringing you closer to Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. (Meanwhile, click on the picture of the holy father above for someone taking no risks during the virus!)
Message from the Pope 

Last Saturday, the Feast of St Mark, Pope Francis issued a Letter to the Faithful for the Month of May 2020 asking us to pray the Holy Rosary with to additional prayers. Perhaps we could all offer our daily Rosary throughout May for Vocations to the Sacred Priesthood for our diocese...

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The month of May is approaching, a time when the People of God express with particular intensity their love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is traditional in this month to pray the Rosary at home within the family. The restrictions of the pandemic have made us come to appreciate all the more this “family” aspect, also from a spiritual point of view.

For this reason, I want to encourage everyone to rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home in the month of May. This can be done either as a group or individually; you can decide according to your own situations, making the most of both opportunities. The key to doing this is always simplicity, and it is easy also on the internet to find good models of prayers to follow.

I am also providing two prayers to Our Lady that you can recite at the end of the Rosary, and that I myself will pray in the month of May, in spiritual union with all of you. I include them with this letter so that they are available to everyone.

Dear brothers and sisters, contemplating the face of Christ with the heart of Mary our Mother will make us even more united as a spiritual family and will help us overcome this time of trial. I keep all of you in my prayers, especially those suffering most greatly, and I ask you, please, to pray for me. I thank you, and with great affection I send you my blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 25 April 2020
Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

Collection for Vocations: Support our Seminarians and Clergy

On Good Shepherd Sunday, this Sunday 3rd May 2020, a special collection is made to support vocations and especially priestly vocations.

We thank you in advance for any donation you may make.

Our clergy are at the heart of our Church and communities.  At this time of crisis, they are continuing to provide spiritual and pastoral support to those most affected by COVID-19 - those working in Parish projects caring for the elderly and vulnerable, people in frontline roles, the sick and bereaved. They are doing an amazing job.

The Diocese of Portsmouth is training 11 seminarians, with another 6 young men joining them this September. We want to be sure we can continue to train these young men to provide spiritual and pastoral support, now and in the future.  Can you help us?  This Sunday, your Good Shepherd Sunday second collection will support vocations and training.  Please pray for all to discern their religious vocation and please consider making a donation.  

You can read more about these young men and how you can financially support their training on our Give As You Live Vocations fundraising page.  The formation of a new priest costs £85 a day and whatever you give will be used to train and support our clergy so that they can support their parishioners, the local community and the Church.  

Donate Here
Daily Mass with the Bishop

I’d like to invite you each morning to join me for Eucharistic Adoration, Morning Prayer and Mass in my private chapel in Bishop’s House, Portsmouth. I will be live-streaming the Liturgy over these next weeks. The liturgies will be simple. I will endeavour to offer a short message, inspired by the daily Readings. The Readings and Collects of the Mass and the texts for Morning Prayer can be found in Universalis and i-Breviary. At the Mass, you are invited to make a Spiritual Communion. Details of how to connect are given on the special page on the Diocesan website here. Here is the schedule for the next days:

Read more and Tune in...
Bishop's Homily for Easter Sunday III

Here is the homily I preached last Sunday, the Third Sunday of Easter, at the 12 noon Mass in the Cathedral.
When I was university chaplain in Cambridge, we used to have after Easter an annual pilgrimage to Walsingham. It was always popular, as for many students exams were just around the corner. In the summer, we had a pilgrimage to Lourdes, for me the first time I’d ever been. Nowadays, it’s run in July as a joint pilgrimage between the Oxford and Cambridge chaplaincies. But in my last year, a young history student from Trinity, while researching some 13C documents, discovered that the Blessed Virgin Mary had also appeared in Cambridge itself. In 1253, it was said, She appeared to St. Simon Stock, an early English Carmelite, and She gave him the brown habit and scapular. So one afternoon, a large group of us set off on foot across town to the spot where, reliably we believed, this appearance had taken place. It turned out to be in a cul-de-sac near a chip shop. There, amidst barking dogs and a cluster of satellite dishes, we said the Rosary and sang hymns to Our Lady. It was fascinating to see the looks on people’s faces as they came out of their homes to find out what on earth was going on!


Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday) and the Gospel is John 10:1-10. You can read Scott Hahn's Sunday reflection here

Deacon Martin writes...

Deacon Martin continues to explore the Sunday Lectionary’s first readings, from the Acts of the Apostles…

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been looking at the first readings during the Sundays of Eastertide, taken from the Acts of the Apostles.  The first reading this coming Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter (year A), is from Acts 2:14, 36‑41; it describes the reaction of the crowd after the conclusion of Peter’s address – and what the early Church goes on to do as a result...
Jennifer Geach reflects...
Jennifer Geach reflects on how they knew Him in the breaking of the bread...

When Our Lord rose from the dead to new life, he rose physically: he assures his disciples that ‘it is I myself: touch me and see. A spirit has not flesh and bones as you see I have’. And Peter affirms in his address to Cornelius and his household that the witnesses ‘did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead’. However, his risen body is evidently not quite like ours; he is able to pass through closed doors, so as to appear suddenly to the disciples huddled away for fear of the Judaeans...
Bible Words
Deacon Martin writes…

In early January, I launched a new series of articles and podcasts called
Bible Words, which explore each week how a single word is used across the Scriptures.  What you may not know, is that Bible Words can help explain words in the Scripture readings every Sunday, even weeks after the original article or podcast was published.  This Sunday’s readings (Fourth Sunday of Easter (year A)) are a great example.  Bible Words will show you meanings that come from the original Greek text, that are not evident in the translations you will hear at Mass.  Please let me show you how…

Join us for the Wednesday Webinar

In this week's Wednesday Webinar we shall see how Jesus presents himself to his disciples as the gate of the sheepfold: the entry-point to eternal life and beatitude for his beloved flock.

Read more
St Joseph the Worker

Friday 1st May 2020 this week is the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. In his homily for this day in 2013, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of Matthew when Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth and was called ‘the carpenter’s son’.

Read more
Divine Renovation Webinars

Hannah Vaughan-Spruce invites us to get involved with Divine Renovation UK's latest lockdown initiatives...

At Divine Renovation, we are really keen to do what we can to get behind parishes and support them during this bewildering time. We have held a series of ‘Parish Conversations’ webinars with invited guests, to talk about everything from taking church online, to bringing youth ministry online, to how this crisis could change parishes. These have been so well received, and we are amazed at the numbers of parishes joining these! We would like to invite you to join our upcoming webinars that are free and open to anyone. Click on the image above to watch a short video and the links below for more information and to sign up.
Thursday 30 April, 3-4pm, Spiritually Close, Physically Distant
What shape will your parish be in when lockdown is lifted? Connection and communication within parishes is more important now than ever. In this Parish Conversation we will be discussing strategies for parishes staying spiritually close while physically distant. 
Tuesday 5 May, 1-2pm, Leadership at a Time of Crisis
Leadership in your parish has never been needed more. How do you lead well in this crisis when your parish is not set up with the structures or culture of leadership? Join priests from Divine Renovation parishes in coaching as they discuss their experiences of leading through the crisis so far.

Faith and Fellowship in the Midst of Lockdown

In the midst of so many challenges and difficulties, lockdown and quarantine, it is easy to feel isolated and disconnected. Whether or not the lockdown ends soon, the Academy of the Annunciation is offering live lectures with inter-active discussion and real-time participation, all from the comfort of your lockdown! Enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine together with faith and fellowship! Here are the dates and topics for the twelve Eastertide Evenings:

Read more
Catholics going into Hospital

In our Diocese of Portsmouth, we have a number of major hospitals, including the Queen Alexandra (QA) Portsmouth, University Hospital Southampton, Christchurch Hospital, the North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and the Royal Berkshire in Reading. There are a number of other hospitals across the Diocese too including in the Channel Islands. It is always an issue but it is crucially important that when a Catholic is admitted to hospital, the family ensure that the Catholic Chaplaincy is contacted so that appropriate support can be given... 

Letter to our Confirmation Candidates

Usually during Eastertide, we have celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Sadly this year, because of the crisis, we have decided to postpone this year’s Confirmations until next year, when we hope – please God, by then - it will be once again possible to hold large-scale public liturgies. Those hoping for Confirmation in 2021 will be asked to wait until 2022, and so on. Many candidates will have had their preparations disrupted and they will be disappointed at having to wait. Our thoughts go out also to the clergy, sponsors and catechists who have been working hard to prepare the candidates. To offer my own consolation and prayers, I sent a Letter to Confirmation candidates late last week. Here is what it said...

Praying for Vocations

Sunday 3rd May is Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Diocesan Vocations Promotion Team would normally send out resources (prayer cards and posters) to parishes for this weekend, as we join in prayer for Vocations. Despite our lockdown, we can still reflect on Vocations and pray that we all, especially our young people, come to know what God is asking us here & now. Pope Francis has offered a wonderful reflection for us focused on gratitude, encouragement and courage.  Do try and take some time to read it in full

Fr. John Cooke, our Vocations Promoter, asks us to click through to read the latest Vocations Prayer Newsletter.

Vocations Prayer Newsletter
Life from Conception - No Exception

Antonia Moffatt, who recently helped lead our Day of Prayer and Reparation, reminds us that this week is the 52nd anniversary of the implementation of the 1967 Abortion Act in the UK. You can read extracts from what she writes here.

Please continue to...
These weeks of lockdown are difficult for all of us, and we are particularly mindful of those whose jobs and lives are put on hold because of the pandemic. We want to be here for you during these difficult times. Even so, the Church in our Diocese of Portsmouth, its clergy, parishes and schools, is entirely dependent upon your generous charity. So that we can continue to provide the Liturgy of the Lord and our works, both centrally and from our parishes to the local community, I kindly ask all of the faithful who are able to do so, to continue their generous regular-giving to the Diocese and to their parish churches, which would otherwise lose vital income. You can donate via the button on the diocesan website – or here below.
Donate here...
A Body of Work
Our Chief Operating Officer, Heather Hauschild draws our attention to this thought-provoking article for the present time... 

Inspired by deep compassion for others and informed from a Christian perspective, psychiatrist Curt Thompson shares fresh insights and practical applications for developing more authentic relationships and fully experiencing our deepest longing: to be known.
Virtual Church in Winchester
Allegra Mutanda started her role as Director of Evangelisation and Leadership at the Parish of St Peter and the Winchester Martyrs two weeks before lockdown. Some readers may know Allegra as she previously led several Parish Missions across our Diocese when she was part of Sion Community. Here, she shares how the parish has reacted to the lockdown and the exciting opportunities this has brought.   
From St. Patrick's Soho
Canon Alexander Sherbrook is the parish priest of St. Patrick’s, Soho, right in the middle of London by Tottenham Court Road tube station. In the middle of St. Patrick’s Square, outside his church, several hundred homeless gather twice a day for hot meals. Fr. Alexander and his team do their best to supply not only meals but care and spiritual help too, rosaries and medals. He has established an Adoration Tent with the Blessed Sacrament. In this short video, (click on the picture) which is based around the liturgy and scripture readings of the Third Sunday of Easter, with its Gospel-passage of Christ’s appearance as the Divine Stranger on the road to Emmaus, he reflects on the work they are doing.
Could you be a CAFOD Schools Volunteer?
Jo Lewry is looking for more CAFOD school volunteers for September…

Schools Volunteers are a vital part of our work bringing Catholic social teaching to the next generation – but there is a shortage in Portsmouth Diocese, and we need your help...
News from Caritas
Kevin Gallagher, Director of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth asks what we can do to help those having to self-isolate...

With us well into the coronavirus lockdown there many people having to self-isolate facing a very confined lifestyle for a significant amount of time. Sadly most of our Caritas projects throughout the diocese have had to be suspended due to the present health crisis however there is still much that we can practically do and we are looking at setting up other emergency projects during this difficult time...

News from the Bournemouth Oratory

Fr Peter Edwards, Cong.Orat., Parish Priest at Sacred Heart Bournemouth and Moderator of the Bournemouth Oratory shares news of initiatives in the community during the pandemic...

Coffee after the Oratory’s Sunday Solemn Mass continues as usual through the lock-down - but by video-conferencing. Over 90 Oratory Parishioners click the link each week to participate in this post-Mass virtual social time, to offer mutual support to those in need, catch up on personal news, and hear about other Oratory initiatives.  

Invitation from Fleet and Church Crookham

Deacon James Snyder invites you to join him for his Daily Prayer from the Divine Office before the Blessed Sacrament at either Holy Trinity or Our Lady’s via Zoom at the following times: Lauds (Morning Prayer): Mon to Fri 08.15 to 08.45, Sat 09.30 to 10.00, Sun 09.30 to 11.00 (with Adoration); Vespers (Evening Prayer): Daily 18.00 to 18.30; Compline: Daily 21.30 to 22.00. It’s really easy to join the Zoom Meeting just google “Zoom” and enter the Meeting ID which can be supplied by contacting either the parish office ( or Deacon James (

A Poem for our Times

Maria Burns, a parishioner at Sacred Heart, Hook writes...

I have recently felt an unexpected urge to write my thoughts down in the form of poetry, which first started in the early hours of Palm Sunday morning as I was unable to get to sleep. I have never really written poetry before. I woke up this morning, again with a few verses in my mind and would like to share my second new poem with you...

From the Archives
This week's archive photo is of the Consecration (nowadays the Episcopal Ordination) of Bishop Thomas Holland on 21st December 1960 as Coadjutor Bishop of Portsmouth. The principal consecrator was Archbishop John Henry King (4th Bishop of Portsmouth) and the principal co-consecrators were Bishop George Dwyer of Leeds (later Archbishop of Birmingham) and Bishop John Healy of Gibraltar. He participated in all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, held between in 1962 and 1965. Ultimately, he did not succeed Archbishop King to the See, instead becoming Bishop of Salford in 1964. He retired on 22nd June 1983 and assumed the title Bishop Emeritus of Salford. He died on 30 September 1999, aged 91.   

Fr Michael Peters who sent in the photo adds: "He was an old boy of our English College, Valladolid. Any vocations that came along during his 4 years with us were sent off to Spain to study."

[We invite readers to send any photos they have of specific memories from the past. Ed.]
Bishop Leo McCartie RIP
Please pray for the Repose of the Soul of Bishop Leo McCartie, who has died at the age of 94. Patrick Leo McCartie, auxiliary bishop of Birmingham then tenth bishop of Northampton, died in St Joseph’s Home, Harborne, Birmingham, on St George’s Day, Thursday 23rd April. Bishop Leo was ordained bishop on 20th May 1977 and was a priest for over 70 years. He lived most of his priestly life in the Archdiocese of Birmingham and retired first to Aston Hall in Staffordshire and then to Birmingham itself. Bishop Leo was born in Hartlepool in 1925. Following ordination to the priesthood, he was appointed curate at St Elizabeth's, Coventry. He then served on the staff of Cotton College, Staffordshire from 1950-55.  In 1955, he was appointed to St Chad's Cathedral, then received appointments to SS Peter & Paul, Wolverhampton (1956-58) and Our Lady's, Wednesbury (1958-63). From 1963-68 he was Diocesan Inspector of Schools until his appointment as Administrator and Parish Priest of St Chad's Cathedral in 1968, a role he fulfilled until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham in May 1977.  At national level he was involved for many years in the important work of the Church's influence in race relations.  In February 1990, he was appointed the Bishop of Northampton. He retired in 2001. He was the oldest living Bishop in England and Wales. We pray for Bishop Leo’s family and friends and for all who mourn him.

And finally...Who is this?

We continue to feature some of the best known and best loved clergy of our Diocese of Portsmouth – but in their younger forms. But who did this little boy grow up to be? Just e-mail your answer to Deacon Craig by Friday for a mention. Don't forget to send in any photos of clergy from years gone by from your own collection to feature in a future issue!

The mystery priest in issue 272 was Fr Jamie McGrath, Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Edmund of Abingdon parish, Co-ordinating Pastor of Thames Isis Pastoral Area and Dean of St Edmund Campion Deanery. Congratulations to Caroline Himpson who was the only person to correctly identify him. See how you get on with this week's mystery cleric (click on the photo for a second image). 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. The daily intentions for April can be found here.    

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 Powerhosue of Prayer) to pray for.

Donate to the Diocese of Portsmouth

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:
  • Submission of copy does not guarantee publication of an article. 
  • Publication does not necessarily reflect the views of either the Editor or 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 by Friday for consideration for the following week's issue to Deacon Craig Aburn:

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

Follow us on Social Media

Twitter (Bishop)
Vocations Website
Twitter (Diocese)
Viva Voce
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 5th May.
Deadline for submission of items for consideration is
Friday 1st May 2020.
Please click here to send an item for consideration.
© Copyright 2020 Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocese Trustees Registered - all rights reserved.
UK Registered Charity 246871

Data Protection law applies to the information on this newsletter which cannot be copied or republished without the express, written permission of the Trustees.

Our mailing address is:
Bishop's House, Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth PO1 3HG