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Pastoral Letter From The Bishop
Pastoral Letter From The Bishop

To all Baptised Catholics in the Diocese of Portsmouth on 13th September 2020, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday of the Year

‘COME BACK TO ME’ SAYS THE LORD

Dear Friends,

I am writing to everyone in our Diocese of Portsmouth, to every baptised Catholic, to all the clergy, religious and lay faithful, and to all members of our parishes, schools and communities. I write too to everyone of good will, to those ‘with ears to hear’, to anyone searching for God, and to all who wish to meet His Son, Jesus Christ and to know more about His Gospel. I say to you all: Come back! Come back to Mass! Come back to church for prlettivate prayer! Come back to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! You are truly welcome – we have missed you!

These last months have been extraordinary. The pandemic has caused great harm, physical, mental, emotional and financial. Sadly, many have fallen sick and some have lost their lives. At the same time, medical staff and key workers have responded with remarkable generosity and courage. Across our Diocese, parishes and schools, clergy and faithful have been highly creative. Priests have done all they can to serve their parishioners: live-streaming Masses, hearing Confessions in gardens, keeping in touch by email, phone and Zoom meetings. Parishioners have generously continued their financial support. Hospital chaplains have selflessly served the dying, ensuring they receive the Last Sacraments, Absolution and the Apostolic Pardon. Schools have sent out food parcels to the housebound. Our diocesan Caritas has adapted their projects to continue supporting the needy, whilst the work of CAFOD has been flourishing. Now that schools and many others are returning to work, let us keep up this good work. Let us keep safe. And let us ask the Lord for an end to the pandemic, the invention of a vaccine and the restoration of ordinary life.

In inviting you back to Mass, I am aware that in some places and for some of you – those self-shielding, the sick, the vulnerable – this will not yet be possible. Moreover, we are aware too that the infection-rate is varying, and we might even face a local lockdown. Indeed, for everyone it will require care, prudence and adjustments. It might mean attending Mass on a weekday instead of a Sunday. But as we enter the autumn and our schools return, rather than focusing on what we cannot do, let us focus on what we can, so that the great mission of our Diocese of Portsmouth can go forward: Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church.

Most of our churches are now open, with very stringent safety procedures in place. I thank our clergy and parishioners for their massive efforts. If you can, please do volunteer your time, help and support so we can keep up this good work. The pandemic has shown us how fragile modern life is. It has caused us to review our priorities. It has made us face our mortality and the question of God. For weeks, by government mandate, our churches were closed and the public celebration of the Liturgy suspended. I know that many felt hurt by this. As human beings we have not only bodily needs but spiritual needs too. Moreover, it is in our churches that the Lord sanctifies, teaches and guides us, uniting us together, giving us the Sacraments of eternal life, and sending us out on mission and service. Many followed Mass online and spoke of their hunger and thirst for God. Online has its place and we thank God for all the work done to enable this. But online is not the same as ‘inline’ and being there. It’s not the same as actually receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. It’s not the same as participating in the presence of the eucharistic community.

This is why I say: Come back to the Lord to be nourished by His Word and His Sacraments! True, the canonical obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days is still suspended. But what about the Lord Who calls to us in our hearts: “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice: I know them and they follow me” (John 10: 27)? What about His promise: “Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in him” (John 6: 56)? What about His invitation: “Come follow me” (Mark 1: 17)? His offer: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10: 10)? Surely, we do not follow Jesus our Lord and Master simply out of habit or duty? No, we follow Him because we love Him. We follow Him because He has called us. We follow Him because He is our Saviour: He has laid down His life for us.

May our diocesan patrons Mary Immaculate, St. Edmund and Bl. Pier Giorgio, pray for you and protect you. May they obtain for you freedom from fear. May they inspire in you a generous response to the Lord’s call.

Thank you for listening – and please be assured of my prayers.

In Corde Iesu,

+Philip

Bishop of Portsmouth

 

Laudato Si Pilgrimage - 19th Sept - 1:00pm - Lihou Island
Laudato Si Pilgrimage – 19th Sept – 1:00pm – Lihou Island

Laudato Si Pilgrimage to Lihou Island on Saturday 19th September gathering 1.00pm at Lihou carpark.

Those who would like to take part in the Pilgrimage please confirm with Pierre Paul whose email address is on the poster at the back of the three Church’s.

We would like to remind parents and carers that all children must be accompanied by an adult, and a good degree of mobility is essential.

Missio
Missio

So far this year the total collected is £2,387.32, approx 50% of the total for last year.

Available in the church porches is a copy of the ‘Impact Report’ which explains how and where the donations are used. Inside the back cover is a form for you to make a donation or request a Mass. The back cover is an envelope for you to return your form and donation direct to Missio & Mill Hill Missionaries.

Thank you so much for your support. Richard Williamson

Musicians Needed
Musicians Needed

Can you play an instrument? The Delancey Music Group plays contemporary and some traditional music each Sunday at the 9.15am Mass at Delancey and we really need some more instrumentalists!

Any instruments would be welcome and additional singers would also be welcome too.

For more information please contact Angela – E-mail: acgaudion@cwgsy.net / Judy – Tel: 245197

Or come and speak to us after the 9.15am Mass.

Blanchelande College Open Morning - 26th Sept - 10:00am - 12:30pm
Blanchelande College Open Morning – 26th Sept – 10:00am – 12:30pm

Blanchelande College Open Morning on Saturday 26th September from 10:00am – 12:30pm.

Blanchelande offers independent Catholic education for boys and girls from age 4-18. The College now has over 400 students and this September has reopened its Sixth Form meaning Catholic education is now available all through to A-Levels.

The Principal Robert O’Brien will give a brief presentation to families in the De La Salle Hall at 10:00am.

For enquiries contact Sonia Hollowell (Registrar) – Tel: 232744 / E-mail: hollowells@blanchelande.sch.gg

Farewell to Fr Bruce – 13th Sept – 10:30am – St Josephs
Farewell to Fr Bruce – 13th Sept – 10:30am – St Josephs

You are all Invited to a Reception to say Farewell to Fr Bruce after the 10.30am Mass on Sunday 13th September.

The Reception will be in the garden of Ampthill House (if wet in the Parish Hall).

Laudato Si Group - 9th Sept - 7:00pm - St Joseph's Youth Room
Laudato Si Group – 9th Sept – 7:00pm – St Joseph’s Youth Room

Laudato Si Group meeting on Wednesday 09th September at 7.00pm in St Joseph’s Youth Room.

In Laudato Si (37) Pope Francis writes about Biodiversity and “the need for particular attention to be shown to … endemic rare or less protected species”. Did you know that Guernsey and Jersey are now the only places in the British Isles where the Black-Backed Meadow Ant is found. They are found on the cliff path between Icart and Pleinmont.

For further details/info please contact Maddie Hearne – E-mail: mhearne@notredame.sch.gg / Teresa Cable – E-mail:  tcable@notredame.sch.gg

~oOo~

Laudato Si Pilgrimage to Lihou Island

Saturday 19th September gathering at 1.00pm at Lihou carpark. Those who would like to take part in the Pilgrimage please confirm with Pierre Paul whose email address is on the poster at the back of the three Church’s. We would like to remind parents and carers that all children must be accompanied by an adult and a good degree of mobility is essential.

Prayer Vigil for Youth – 18th Sept-19th Sept – 7:30pm-7:00am – Delancey
Prayer Vigil for Youth – 18th Sept-19th Sept – 7:30pm-7:00am – Delancey

There will be an all-night prayer vigil in the church at Delancey on Friday 18th September starting at 7.30pm and finishing at 7am the following morning. We will be praying for our young people and youth work in the parish.

7.30-8pm will be a time of praise, prayer activity, and ‘Adoration’ for families and young people (everyone welcome – please come along!) followed by silent ‘Adoration’ with some prayers and music through the night.

Please come along for as long/short time as you are able.

If you can commit to being there for an hour during the night please let Tom know – Tel: 07781 129310 / E-mail: youthministry@catholic.org.gg

Le Platon 100 Club Lottery – Aug
Le Platon 100 Club Lottery – Aug

Le Platon 100 Club Lottery winners for August

First Prize £100 – 22

Second Prize £50 – 30

Third Prize £25 – 78

Thank You - Service of Healing
Thank You – Service of Healing

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to the wonderful Service of Healing and Wholeness at Our Lady Star of the Sea this week. All the planning and preparations came to fulfillment and now we give thanks for the shared yet unique and profound experience of the Laying on of Hands and Anointing led by Fr Bruce followed by the opportunity to come together as a parish community at the tea party.

It is impossible to individually thank everyone who gave their time and effort so lovingly, for instance besides family members there were at least 15 lift givers and probably the same number of servers at the tea but there are some ‘key’ people who should be thanked for their tireless work. These are firstly of course Fr Bruce, Fr Nishan, Deacon Mark for their roles leading the Service then Audrey Castanha in charge of the refreshments, Tom Saddington preparing the Church, the Overhead Projector and design, and Michelle Nash for the Music.

Grateful thanks also to all the Befrienders group and to members of the Legion of Mary for their support and Owen and Cora Lee as Catenians for their essential help in the carpark. Last but not least thank you to Marie Banton representing the Healing Profession to whom we all owe so much this year in particular. May we go forth now together in faith and thanksgiving to God.