Portsmouth Diocese E-news 83
Tuesday 5th April 2016
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Portsmouth Diocese E-news

Dear all,
I hope you are still rejoicing in the Resurrection. Although the Easter Eggs are probably long gone from the supermarket shelves, the Church is an Easter People and we continue to celebrate the Easter Season for 50 days, through to the Feast of Pentecost.
Please keep our many Confirmation Candidates in your prayers as they prepare to receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit this Eastertide.
May God bless you and your families this Eastertide.

I encourage all Catholics to please sign the petition against taxpayers' money being spent on abortions. About  £1 million a week is spent on repeat abortions alone.
You can find the petition here

Divine Mercy documentary

The orginal image of Divine Mercy

In this Second Week of Easter, following Divine Mercy Sunday, I commend to you this documentary which is readily available for parishes, groups and schools to host screenings during this holy year. This is a film that will make viewers thirst to learn more about the Divine Mercy message and promises.

The original Divine Mercy image — the only one that existed in Faustina’s lifetime — was displayed for the first time in 1935 on the Second Sunday of Easter — now Divine Mercy Sunday — in Vilnius, when it was part of Poland, at the Gate of Dawn, the shrine of Mater Misericordia, Mother of Mercy.

Faustina was at the Mass during that first public exposition and described how she saw Jesus’ hand move in blessing over the crowd and the city, with the red and white rays from his heart radiating out to the people gathered there.

The original image was restored to its pristine beauty in 2011. Our Lord promised that graces would flow through it (St. Faustina’s diary, 313). Since it was returned to Vilnius, the original image is enshrined in the city where, according to Father Sopocko, it must be. Today, it is permanently placed in the Church of the Holy Spirit.

Divine Mercy Sunday in Ryde
A photo from my visit to St. Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde where I celebrated the Mass on Sunday. They are an inspiring community. Please pray for them and for many more vocations.

School Visitation
I recently visited St Walburga's Primary School in Bournemouth where I was presented with this lovely gift at the end of my visit.

Encountering Christ
We have a wonderful annual event in our diocese where students from the three Catholic Secondary Schools in Southampton join together around this time to give them a real experience of faith.  The group is called ‘Encountering Christ’.

This year they met at St Anne’s and were delighted to begin the day in prayer and praise (after the obligatory squash and ice breakers!), followed by an Emmaus walk.  The young people reflected on their recent experience of church and Church before some wonderful input from Sr Maria Natella,OP about Encountering Christ in the Sacrament.  She used an image of Moses being asked to remove his shoes before approaching the Burning Bush.  The walk over to church for Eucharistic Adoration became a walk to Mount Horeb!  All the teachers shared their memories of Adoration, too – there are some wonderful witnesses in our schools!  It was wonderful to see so many young people kneeling in silent prayer.  The day ended by sharing lunch and a feeling that Holy Week had begun in style, each person walking their way to a very different Mount.

Baptism of Adults - the central Rite of the Easter Vigil
During the Easter Vigil at St James' Reading, Abram Graham was baptised by being immersed three times in the water. He emerged drenched and gasping for breath to be met by his sponsor holding the baptismal garment and a lighted candle.  This event is perhaps one of the most powerful moments of Evangelisation that we can experience in all our churches at Easter time.

Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible -
a Jeff Cavins course

A special one day course ‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible’ is being held in Winchester. This DVD series presents a very simple way to access the narrative story of the Bible and place all the other books in relation to this narrative. All the books are un-jumbled and the story emerges. Jeff Cavins is a wonderful teacher with great insights. (He also has a great sense of humour!)

A young couple were so inspired by these Ascension Press Bible Study courses they bought them all. ‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible’ sets the scene for the other courses which could be borrowed for further study. 

We hope you will join us for this race through the course in a day and that you might take this study or others to your parish. We look forward to welcoming you on Saturday 7th May at the Pastoral Centre next to St Peter’s Church, Jewry Street, Winchester from 9.00am-4.30pm. Please e-mail to book a place and for more details.

More information about the courses can be found on the Formation for Mission page of the diocesan website.

Inter-Faith Calendar
Baisakhi on Wednesday 13th April is marking the commencement of the solar year; and in Punjab, it is celebrated as the New Year. On the event of Vaisakhi, devotees show gratitude towards the Almighty for granting them with good harvest. Baisakhi has special importance in Sikhism, as this is the day on which Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the tenth guru) established the Khalsa Panth.

Passover (Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesach) commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, which is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days. It is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays.  Pesach begins at sundown on Friday 22nd April.  Please pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Sharing the Joy of the Gospel

Tuesday Faith Formation
The next six week series of workshops will take place in the parish of St Edmund’s, Abingdon every Tuesday evening from 7.30 to 9.00pm, starting on 12th April. Find out more details about the content of these workshops here.

These evenings are open to everyone, and especially to those who wish to pass on the faith to others and would like to be better equipped to do so. There are times of sharing and discussion after each presentation. This short course is validated by the diocese, with certificate presented at the end to the participants who have attended the 6 evenings.

Day of Prayer for the New Evangelisation
Fr Mark Hogan would like to invite you to take part in a Diocesan day of prayer for the New Evangelisation (Sharing the Joy of the Gospel) from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 14th May, at St. Joseph’s Church, Basingstoke (RG22 6TY).  It’s so important that our evangelisation efforts are rooted in and sustained by prayer and we’d really love you to come along and be a part of that. More details coming soon, but please put the date in your diary.

Keeping Faith in the EU

Are you finding the debate on the EU referendum too narrow? Are the Christian values of the original vision still relevant? The Theology Department at Winchester University has organised a conference to discuss these important issues on Saturday 9th April with a number of interesting speakers. The cost is £12.For information and booking details click here. Closing date for bookings is Thursday 7th April.

Carers' Day organised by the
Catholic Disability Fellowship 

There will be a speaker in the morning from FitzRoy about Disabled Youth, time to walk in the gardens or visit the church. In the afternoon we hope you will tell us your needs and CDF members will talk from their own experience of coping day to day. We consider how we enable those who are less able to take part in parish ministries. A light lunch will be provided. All carers are welcome but please let us know if you are coming.

When: Saturday 16th April from 10:30am to 3:30pm.
Where: Medstead Convent, Medstead, Alton GU34 5LL
Contact: Marjorie Cumpsty by e-mail or telephone 01252 693606

Download Poster for more information

Alton Day of Renewal

You are warmly welcome to a mini-retreat day (or morning/afternoon) of spiritual refreshment and renewal, focussing on the Year of Mercy. Featuring guest speaker Peter Hobbs on "Father forgive them: Intercessory prayer." 

Where: St. Lucy’s Convent, Medstead Manor, Medstead. GU34 5LL, Directions

When: Saturday 23rd April 2016.

More information can be found here.

Significant Wedding Anniversaries
Are you celebrating a 25th, 30, 40th, 50th, 60th or anniversary over 60 years?  If so then I invite you to a Mass of celebration.  This will take place at St Bede's church in Basingstoke on Saturday 9th July 2016.  

If you would like to come, please visit the diocesan website and complete the online form, or send an email to  To help celebrate the occasion please could you provide a COPY of your Wedding photograph, either by email to the above email address or by post and send to the following address: St Bede's Parish Office, Popley Way, Basingstoke, RG24 9DX.  (Please mark the envelope, "Significant Anniversaries Mass").

Do you have an event to advertise or news item to share?

We receive a lot of adverts for events. If you would like to advertise an event, please fill out this form hereAll upcoming events in the diocese and beyond are listed here.

Bishop Philip's Engagements

  • No public engagements this week

Facebook & Twitter

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With an assurance of my prayers, 
In Corde Iesu

 Bishop of Portsmouth
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