Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 278 (2020/22)
Tuesday 2nd June 2020
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Welcome from Bishop Philip
Dear Friends,
(I hope you enjoy the Irish Blessing above!). Welcome to this week’s e-News as we enter the month of June, leading us into high summer. It’s a month that is especially dedicated to the Heart of Christ. This season of the Church’s year is full of celebrations, and I invite you to join me for Mass livestreamed from my chapel here in Bishop’s House. Last Sunday, we had the great feast of Pentecost. This Thursday, we celebrate the feast of Jesus Christ Eternal High Priest, a good day to pray for all our priests and for vocations. This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, and you can read Scott Hahn’s reflection on the Gospel reading below. Plus, you’ll find lots of other news too from around the Diocese. So this coming week, let’s redouble our prayers, especially our love for the Bible during this Year of the Word. Let’s pray for an end to the pandemic, for the sick and those who care for them, and for the speedy reopening of our churches. God bless you and protect you these next days.

Daily Mass from my Chapel

Please join me in the mornings for Eucharistic Adoration, Morning Prayer and Mass in my private chapel in Bishop’s House, Portsmouth. I am live-streaming the Liturgy over these days. The liturgies are simple and I (or Fr. Philip, Bishop’s Secretary) usually offer a short message, inspired by the daily Readings. 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. This is the schedule for the next days: 
Read more and tune in...
Bishop's Homily for Pentecost

Here is the homily I preached last Sunday, Pentecost, at the 12 noon Mass in the Cathedral.

Last Tuesday was the feast of St. Philip Neri, whom I take as my own patron-saint. Born in 1515, Philip came from Florence and would have become a merchant but for a conversion-experience at 18 that totally changed his life. Leaving penniless for Rome, he lived for five years in a tiny attic, tutoring, whilst off his own bat studying theology. A man of amazing joy with a hugely attractive personality, he soon drew a group of friends on whom he’d often play practical jokes, whilst also getting them to pray and to visit the sick. Sometimes himself, he’d spend the night in prayer in a church.


The Month of June

The month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the feast itself falling on the Friday after Corpus Christi, this year Friday 19th June. Here is a prayer to say each day...

Feast of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest

In England and Wales on the first Thursday after Pentecost – that is, this week Thursday 4th June – the Church celebrates the feast of Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest. The texts for the day can be downloaded from the national Liturgy Office here. Approval for this feast was first granted by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 1987. It is observed in various countries and has been observed in England and Wales since 2018. This day focuses on the High Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, his munus sacerdotale. Jesus is the model for all believers, but especially for the clergy, with priests acting in persona Christi (‘in the person of Christ’). Every single disciple should offer up each day all the prayers, works, joys and sufferings of the day, uniting them by the power of the Holy Spirit to the offering of Christ to the Father in the Holy Eucharist. This daily offering is made through the hands of those ordained priests to act in Christ’s name. So on Thursday this week, please pray for vocations to the priesthood, for our seminarians and for all our priests that may be holy, more like Christ, the compassionate and trustworthy high priest (Hebrews 2:17), Who is ever interceding for us all before the Father (Heb 7:25).

Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Most Holy Trinity and the Gospel is John 3: 16-18. You can read Scott Hahn's Sunday reflection here

Wednesday Webinar is back

In this week's Wednesday Webinar we shall see how Jesus tells Nicodemus, a curious Pharisee who visits him in the dead of night, that he is the one sent by the Father for the salvation of mankind...

Read more
Thank you 

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...
Important Information about going into Hospital

We’ve said these past weeks that in our Diocese of Portsmouth, we have a number of major hospitals, including the Queen Alexandra (QA) Portsmouth, University Hospital Southampton, The Royal Bournemouth Hospital in Christchurch, the North Hampshire Hospital, Basingstoke, the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester (pictured), and the Royal Berkshire in Reading. We also have a number of smaller hospitals, including those on the isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. It is always an issue but it is crucially important that if as a Catholic you are admitted to hospital, please ensure – or ask your family to ensure - that the Catholic Chaplaincy is contacted so that appropriate support can be given.

Read more

What do you think?

Sr Hyacinthe and the Formation for Mission Team are trying to discern how to move forward with the team, to make it as helpful as possible to you in your mission to proclaim the Gospel as baptised members of Christ. To do this they need your help... 

Please fill our quick survey and share it with others from the diocese who may be interested. It will take 5 minutes and will help us to offer you what would be actually accessible and useful to your life of faith and ministry.  Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us! you can access the survey here.

Could you be part of our Diocesan Safeguarding Commission?

Our Diocese of Portsmouth is seeking to re-establish a professional and credible Safeguarding Commission, who can provide leadership and strong oversight in the development of safeguarding practice across the Diocese, in the context of wider developments in safeguarding within the Catholic Church. We are seeking a number of skilled and experienced professionals who are passionate and committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people and sympathetic to the teachings and ethos of the Catholic Church, with capacity to undertake this important volunteer role...

Read more

More on Blessed Margaret Pole 

After the feast day last week and the accompanying article in e-News, Fr. Anthony Pennicott emailed me with some fascinating information into Bl. Margaret Pole. His email has encouraged me to ask her intercession for us all these last days...
Read more
The Bible Challenge

Judith Aylmer from our diocesan Year of the Bible team shares a fun bible challenge with us...

In this Year of the God who Speaks, the challenge was to encourage people to open their Bible. At Holy Ghost parish in Basingstoke, a Bible Challenge was set, asking people to answer thirty-five questions, incidentally raising money for CAFOD along the way. There was also a Youth quiz. The pandemic came along before the closing date which might have affected the entries as they were low, but some were returned on time. The winners have been decided and will be announced at Church when things are a bit more normal.

To encourage you to open your Bible, just for fun, please have a go at the Bible challenge yourself. Click here to see the questions which you will probably want to print off. The answers will be published next week.

Discipleship Opportunities for Young People

Anne-Marie Kershaw shares news of theAscent UK, a discipleship programme for young people in Years 10-12.  There are currently three locations in Brentwood, Wigton (Cumbria) and Worth Abbey...

theASCENT is a three year discipleship process for Catholic young people in years 10-12 who want to embrace their faith in Jesus Christ at a whole new level and learn how to share it with others. First launched in 2013 at the Sion Catholic Community for Evangelism, the process is currently run in three locations around the UK, where over 100 young people have or are participating; led by a competent team of volunteers who give over 15,000 hours of their time a year to support the young people in their discipleship journeys. My son Joseph has had a great experience this year with theAscent, so I wanted to share it with others in the diocese. Bookings for the cohort beginning in October 2020 are now open. See here for more information.

New initiatives for Young People in St Swithun Wells parish

Fr Luca Speziale from St Swithun Wells parish shares news of their new parish initiatives for young people...

The greatest emergency we are facing today is loneliness and lack of purpose especially among young people. Our youth groups, Grail Seekers and Toz, represent an attempt to try to answer these needs, to rediscover the true value of friendship and Christian faith as an opportunity to seek and find a meaning in life. See here for more information.

News from St Teresa's Wokingham

Paris Finnegan, class teacher at St Teresa’s, Wokingham tells us how the school is helping to support local care homes...

St Teresa’s Catholic Academy have joined forces with our local St Vincent de Paul society and through a new initiative called Wokingham Churches together will continue to support our designated care homes.

Read more
Being at the Heart of Society

Kevin Gallagher, Director of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth reflects on the current situation and what it means to be at the heart of society...

Thinking back to only a few months ago, when I heard about a virus in China that was spreading around other Asian countries, seeing a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, a lockdown in Wuhan, etc, I don’t know about you, but I certainly thought that was something over there and not here. Well a few months down the line, as I sit at my desk at home, binging out on Zoom, Teams and Skype meetings its all very different.

Read more
Turning "Trash into Cash" for CAFOD 

Jo Lewry shares Alison’s story about how she has turned “Trash into Cash” for CAFOD…

Alison, one of our school volunteers decided to use the lock down as an opportunity to have a good sort out! She told me " John and I are using the lockdown to have a massive clear out of boxes of items of his parents that have been in our garage or loft for decades.  We have old coins, stamps, and little bits of jewellery. We found out that  Recycling for Good Causes would take all these things and more for the benefit of CAFOD"...

Read more
Book Review

Sr. Carino OP reviews "Stronger than Death", the true story of how Annalena Tonelli defied terror and tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa...

Stronger Than Death, Rachel Pieh Jones' lively biography of innovative humanitarian aid worker Annalena Tonelli, is in many ways two books. On one level it is a journalistic investigation of one woman's radical and game-changing response to an international health crisis: the tuberculosis pandemic in the Horn of Africa. But on another level, it is a strongly Christian meditation on self-gift and Christlike love practiced in arduous and life-threatening circumstances. Annalena Tonelli is not a household name as, say, St Teresa of Calcutta is. Yet the depth of her commitment to radical service of the poor, commitment that ultimately cost Tonelli her life, rivals that of a canonised saint.  

Read more
A new Rector for Oscott

Our congratulations to Fr Giles Goward who has been appointed as the next Rector of St Mary's College Oscott in the Archdiocese of Birmingham in succession to Bishop David Oakley, now Bishop of Northampton. Born in 1965, Fr Giles studied at St Chad's College, University of Durham and the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield before ordination in the Church of England. Following his Reception into the Catholic Church he studied at Oscott, Reading University and Heythrop College, University of London. Before joining the staff of Oscott College in 2013, he was Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Anne Caversham, neighbouring parish to St John Bosco, Woodley. You can read more about the appointment here.

Please pray for Fr Giles and for the community at this time, including our two Seminarians and six Diaconate students currently in formation there. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!‬

Praying for our Seminarians

Our Seminarian to keep in your prayers this coming month is Ryan Browne a 1st Year Student at the Venerable English College, Rome. He heralds from the peripheries of the Diocese; the parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Bournemouth. He writes...

Read more
From the Archives
This week we continue a look at the previous bishops of the diocese with our second and third bishops, Bishop John Cahill was appointed initially as Auxiliary to Bishop Vertue in 1900 and then became Bishop of Portsmouth later that year. Bishop William Cotter was Cahill's Auxiliary from 1905-1910, succeeding him as third bishop from 1910-1940. Both men were Rector of St Mary's Ryde at the time of their episcopal appointment.
Read more

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 is this young man? (Click on the picture for the full scene) Just e-mail your answer to Deacon Craig by Friday for a mention. 

It looks like we finally defeated our readers last week, as nobody managed to correctly identify the mystery priest in issue 277 as a much younger Fr Philip Harris, Parish Priest of Didcot and Wallingford. Here's an easier one to have a go at this week.

Please remember to send in any photos of clergy from years gone by from your own collection 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. The daily intentions for May can be found here and for June 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

Job Opportunities in the Diocese

The Diocese is currently recruiting for:

Head of People Management (Human Resources)
(Closing date: Wednesday 10th June, 1pm). 
For more information and to apply, please click here.

Administrative Services Manager
(Closing date: Friday 12th June, 1pm). 

For more information and to apply, please click here.

For vacancies in our Diocesan schools see 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:
  • 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.

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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 9th June.
Deadline for submission of items for consideration is
Friday 5th June 2020.
Please click here to send an item for consideration.
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