Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 272 (2020/16)
Tuesday 21st April 2020
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Welcome from Bishop Philip
Dear Friends,

As we enter this Second Week of Easter, welcome to this week’s e-News with its roundup of activities, events, prayers and reflections for the week ahead. The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact upon our lives, and I give some important information below for any Catholic admitted to hospital. We have some wonderful hospitals in our diocese – and heroic Catholic chaplains who serve them. During the lockdown it’s amazing to see that many of our parishes are live-streaming liturgies and prayer, such as Wash Common and Hungerford. I too am live-streaming morning Mass and devotions from my chapel: see the schedule below. We gratefully include our regular contributors to e-News Deacon Martin and Jennifer Geach whilst this week Dr. Dudley Plunkett begins a monthly feature on one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in the light of his recent book. Our thanks to Jo Lewry, our diocesan CAFOD coordinator for her encouragement to us all and to Kevin Gallagher from Caritas for his appeal. Meanwhile, let us keep praying for the sick, for the staff who care for them, for those who have died and for the bereaved. I hope and pray you keep fit and well - here’s a picture of me returning from a spot of exercise on my bike! Let us pray that our churches will soon be reopened and that we will be able once again to gather for Mass, adoration and the sacraments. May the Virgin Mary protect us and may God bless you all.
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...
Divine Mercy Sunday Homily

Here is the homily I preached last Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, at the 12 noon Mass in the Cathedral.
Four years ago, I visited Krakow in Poland for World Youth Day. Krakow is a beautiful city, with cobbled streets, many fine churches and a big town square with some excellent pubs. The home of Pope John Paul II, Krakow also houses the shrine of St. Faustina Kowalska whose prayers we invoke today, Divine Mercy Sunday. There, in the convent where she died in 1938, lies the image she painted of Jesus the Divine Mercy, red and white rays streaming from His Heart. That image, Jesus I trust in you, can now be found in virtually every Catholic church on earth... 


Next Sunday's Gospel

Next Sunday is the Third Sunday of Easter and the Gospel is St Luke's account of the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). You can read Scott Hahn's Sunday reflection here

Join us for the Wednesday Webinar

This Wednesday's Webinar focuses on the Gospel for next Sunday where on the Road to Emmaus, the identity of the risen Christ is hidden from two grieving disciples until He reveals Himself in the breaking of bread...

Read more

Deacon Martin writes...

Deacon Martin continues to explore the Sunday Lectionary’s first readings, from the Acts of the Apostle, where this week we go backwards from last Sunday’s reading, which had described the first community of the Church. We’ve gone back to the episode immediately preceding that description: the address of the Apostle Peter to the crowd in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, after he and the other Apostles had received the Holy Spirit....
Jennifer Geach reflects...

From my earliest years, in fact probably from babyhood, I was taught to say at the elevation of the host ‘My Lord and My God’ ( I was also taught us to say an Ethiopian prayer at the elevation of the chalice ‘We believe we adore thy precious blood O Christ our God’) I am therefore grateful to ‘doubting Thomas’...

Transformed by the Beloved

The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality at Boars Hills Oxford is run by a team of Discalced Carmelite friars and laypeople and offers courses and programmes, based mostly on Carmelite spirituality and its ancient tradition of prayer. Here they wish to share with readers their forthcoming live-stream presentation...

Transformed by the Beloved will be presented by Fr. Matt Blake OCD and will be live-streamed on Saturday 2nd May at 3pm. This presentation will explore key themes on the art of contemplation in the Carmelite tradition, highlighting how the transformative power of God’s love which is experienced in contemplative prayer and living can be celebrated in a constant spirit of gratefulness. For more information click here.

The God Who Speaks

Don't forget that we have lots of resources for the Year of the Bible on our special website here and also lots of other spiritual resources for this time of lock-down on our diocesan website here.

Regina Caeli
During Eastertide we pray the Regina Caeli (Queen of Heaven) morning, noon and evening instead of the Angelus. Click-thru below to find this beautiful Eastertide prayer in both Latin and English and listen to a beautiful version by Palestrina.
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. 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... 

Clap for our Chaplains

As we ‘Clap for our Carers’ every Thursday, please also ‘Clap for our Hospital Chaplains’ – and say a prayer for them. They are heroes, never more so than at this time of crisis ministering to the dying in our hospitals. I am grateful to Fr. Robert Stewart for becoming a second chaplain to QA Hospital Portsmouth under Fr. Daniel Agber for these weeks during the coronavirus crisis. Our thanks to Fr. Joe McNerney who is the Catholic Chaplain at University Hospital Southampton and to Fr. Elijah Fru Nde (pictured) who has moved from Newport IoW to live at St. Peter’s Winchester in order to be available as an auxiliary at University Hospital Southampton and at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital...

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 first in a new monthly series offering a brief biography of one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales ahead of their feast-day. We begin with St John Houghton...

Please continue your financial support
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...
Donate to the Diocese without Effort
A number of businesses these days are willing to make donations to a favourite charity, often at no cost to the consumer. One of these is the giant on-line retailer Amazon. Their scheme is called AmazonSmile. Basically, AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way to support a charity of choice every time you shop and at no extra cost. It is exactly the same selection and exactly the same shopping experience as, but with the added bonus that Amazon donates a portion of the purchase price to the selected charity. Millions of their products are eligible. You use the same account on and AmazonSmile. You can change charities any time you want and customers can select from a list of charities registered with the Charity Commission. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees).
If you shop with Amazon, may I invite you to look up AmazonSmile? Indeed, please remember the Diocese (“Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust”) when you make your online purchases. You can find further details and how to register etc. here
News from CAFOD
Jo Lewry writes about CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme...

Are you aged 18-30? CAFOD offers a gap year programme called Step into the Gap. As part of the 10-month programme, you will be based in either a youth retreat centre, university chaplaincy or a secondary school chaplaincy team gaining new skills, developing as a leader and gaining work experience. It also includes a 3 week visit to a country CAFOD works in to meet with partners and communities.  The gapper year runs for September 2020 to June 2021.
News from Caritas
Kevin Gallagher, Director of Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth writes...

The Food Foundation, a research organisation, said on Saturday that 6% of surveyed adults, the equivalent of 3m people, told them that a lack of food had forced someone in their household to go without eating during the past three weeks. I'm sure you will agree that this is an appalling figure and will not be surprised to know that most of those suffering from food poverty are from lower income families. 

News from Wash Common and Hungerford

Dr Caroline Ness, a parishioner Our Lady of Lourdes Hungerford shares news of how the parishes of St Francis de Sales, Wash Common Newbury and Our Lady of Lourdes, Hungerford are continuing to provide Holy Mass for their community during this very strange time of lockdown...
(If your parish is doing something unusual to gather virtually during the lock-down, do let us know. Ed.)

News from Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea)

Fr John Lavers, South Coast Port Chaplain for Stella Maris shares with us news of how Stella Maris ship visitors support seafarers in Southampton port. The Apostleship of the Sea is a Catholic charity supporting seafarers worldwide. It provides practical and pastoral care to all seafarers, regardless of nationality, belief or race. its port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors welcome seafarers, offer welfare services and advice, practical help, care and friendship. The Apostleship of the Sea in Great Britain is part of an international network known as Stella Maris, working in 334 ports with 227 port chaplains in 59 countries. 90% of world trade is transported by ship. However the life of a modern seafarer can be dangerous and lonely. They may spend up to a year at a time away from home, separated from their family and loved ones and often working in harsh conditions. The Apostleship of the Sea seeks to support and help.

The Chosen

Anne-Marie Kershaw of our Called and Gifted team wrote recently to make a hearty recommendation of a new mini-series called 'The Chosen’. It’s best to read what she says for yourself, but her enthusiastic recommendation prompted all of us here at Bishop’s House to begin watching... 

A Poem for our Times
Could this be just the right message we all need to hear? Here is a poem that has been doing the rounds this Easter. It’s by Kristi Bothur with a nod to Dr. Seuss, and has a powerful message "the churches are empty but so is the tomb...
From the Archives
Adam Pettigrew has sent us this historic photograph of Holy Ghost church, Basingstoke. (Click on it for a larger version.) He writes...

During the First World War the Belgian Royal Family were evacuated to nearby Hackwood House. King Albert and Queen Elizabeth, with Prince Leopold, Prince Charles and Prince Marie Jose often attended Mass in the Holy Ghost. On one occasion they were accompanied by Queen Annelie of Portugal.

[We invite readers to send any photos they have of specific memories from the past. Ed.]

A Reader responds to "From the Archives"

Juliet Pearson from Fleet writes of memories stirred by our "From the Archives" feature...

I noticed Fr Michael Peters' photo in e-News Issue 270 and it made me think back to the Living Your Faith Weeks (or as some people called them, Summer Camps) that I attended as a child in the 1980s and 1990s... 

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 271 was Fr Chris Rutledge, Parish Priest of St Bede's Basingstoke and Dean of Blessed John Boddy Deanery. Congratulations to Canon Gerard Flynn who was the only person to correctly identify him. See how you get on with this week's mystery cleric. 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.

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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:

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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 28th April.
Deadline for submission of items for consideration is
Friday 24th April 2020.
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