MASSES AND OTHER INFORMATION
Please visit the Mass Times page for more information on Mass times and other events, or click here.
PARISH OFFICE OPENING HOURS
The parish office opening hours are from 9am to 12.30pm Tuesday to Friday.
ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
“…the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name…” (Luke 1:49). What a perfect example Mary sets for us! She takes no credit for anything and instead points to what God has done for her. She also continued to serve the Church founded by her Son. Pope Pius XII in his dogma, stated: “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” As such, Mary’s death or burial is not specified as an article of faith in the dogma. The feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the celebration of our hope of reaching heaven after death. Jesus received the body and soul of His mother Mary, and, as He promised, He is waiting for us to fulfil our mission so that He can receive us in heaven too. Jesus will raise us from the dead and present us to His Father in heaven at His second coming. So much to hope and live for!
WE'RE HERE TO HELP!
Our parish St Vincent de Paul Society group (SVP) are here to help wherever possible. If you are lonely or know someone who is and would like a visit, do get in touch via the parish office. We are also able to offer some practical help where this is feasible – just get in touch with us via the parish office and we will see what we can do to help. Or get in touch with us if you would like to know more about the SVP.
10th ANNIVERSARY AS BISHOP!
The Cathedral Chapter would like to organise a Thanksgiving Mass on the occasion of Bishop Philip’s 10th anniversary as Bishop of our Diocese. It will be held on Thursday 29th September at 12 midday followed by a reception in the Cathedral centre.
Please would you email Kirsten McGuire on: email@example.com to say if you can come and join the Bishop for this Mass.
A pilgrimage to the beautiful Greek island of Patmos, is planned for 7th to 14th June next year. Keep this date in your diary!
Patmos is the island that St John (Apostle and Evangelist) was exiled to as a result of anti-Christian persecution in Ephesus (where he was at the time) under the Roman emperor Domitian. Patmos was the setting of a vision of Jesus by the Apostle John which led to the writing the book of Revelation. This tiny island in the Greek Aegean sea is a unique blend of natural beauty and the hum of ancient piety. We will visit the cave where St John met the Glorified Christ, take part in guided tours of this historic island, have free time to explore – and much more.
An information evening will be organised in our parish centre in early September – details to follow.
CHURCH ON THE WAY
In his prayer intention for the month of August, the Holy Father invites everyone to work for a transformation of the Church - a work that begins with “a reform of ourselves” through an experience of prayer, charity and service, inspired by the Holy Spirit. In his video message (which you can view above), Pope Francis reminds the faithful that “the vocation of the Church is evangelization,” and even more, “the Church’s identity is evangelization.” He reflects on the situation of the Church, its vocation and its identity, and calls us to renew it “by discerning God’s will in our daily life,” and “embarking on a transformation guided by the Holy Spirit.” Concluding the video message, the Holy Father invites us all to pray for the Church, “that she may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel.”
BISHOPS' DISCERNMENT OF SYNOD DOCUMENT
The national Synthesis of the recent Synodal process has now been submitted by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales to the Synod office in Rome. Meanwhile, following the process decreed, the Bishops have issued a response to the document. It is called Seeking our Hearts’ Desire, and you can read the text using the link here.
YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES
After various consultations and discussions with clergy and with the laity over the last three years, the draft of the new diocesan Mission Strategy document is published, called You will be My Witnesses, and Bishop Philip wishes to hear what we think and how we can be involved. You can download a copy using the link on the link here, and he asks that if you spot anything that needs correcting, improving or developing, you can email the planning team by using a special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org A shorter version of the Mission Plan in printed form will be available in September. The key message of You will be My Witnesses is the need for personal conversion and holiness of life. Feedbacks can be made to the special email address but must be submitted by the cut-off date of 15th December. The aim is that in the New Year, the (new) Pastoral Areas can begin developing local plans.
HELP STOP ABORTION COERCION
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) says that a recent BBC poll found that 15% of British women had experienced pressure or coercion to have an abortion that they did not want. This abuse must be stopped. Please consider signing SPUC’s petition calling on the Health Secretary to urgently commission research into the area of abortion coercion, and in so doing recognise coerced abortion as a priority for health and social policy moving forward, by going here.
WORLD YOUTH DAY 2023
If you are going to be aged 16 or above by July 2023, you are invited to join with like-minded young people from across the diocese to journey on pilgrimage to Lisbon for World Youth Day in the Summer of 2023. This is a life changing experience for all those who accept the invitation and this pilgrimage, led by Bishop Philip, is set to be the best one yet! Spaces are limited! Please email email@example.com for more information and register your interest ASAP here - or click on the image above.
HOLY COMMUNION FROM THE CHALICE
The Bishops Conference have looked into the possible resumption of the reception of Holy Communion under both kinds to the congregation. Having taken advice from Professor Jim McManus, it was thought that it would not be prudent to resume this now, but that this would be kept under review as further research becomes available.
Did you know that CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, helps some of the poorest and most marginalised people across the world? We can reach so many people because we are a member of Caritas Internationalis, the Catholic Church network with a presence in 165 countries. Our local experts work with people over the long-term, helping them to have the right skills, tools and opportunities to live with dignity and support their families. For example, in South Sudan we are helping families learn how to farm better as the climate gets hotter, so that they can cope better in the future when things get even more difficult. Thank you for your support. Why not consider volunteering for CAFOD? We are looking for school volunteers to deliver assemblies and workshops please contact Jo on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
St Edmund’s School wish to appoint a self-motivated, organised and adaptable person to take on the role of part-time Caretaker. The successful candidate will be responsible for maintenance, security, carrying out compliance checks, general caretaking duties and for the unlocking and locking of the school premises.
Calls to discuss this position further with our Headteacher, Mrs Maria Delany-White are encouraged and warmly welcomed. Please contact The School Business Manager (01235 521558 or email@example.com) to request an application pack.
Closing date: Wednesday 31st August 2022 at 4.00pm
READ ALL ABOUT IT! NEWS FROM FR. PHIL
Fr Phil, whom some of us will remember was in Abingdon as an assistant priest soon after his ordination 6 years ago, tells us what he has been doing since then! You can read his account here.
FLAME YOUTH GATHERING
This is taking place on Saturday 4th March next year, and is an awesome and inspiring experience for young people in Year 9 or above, at College, or Uni, or a young adult. Tickets to attend Flame 23 are now on sale at the early bird price of £24 and it is expected that they will be snapped up quickly, so act soon if you would like any, by contacting the Diocese by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Clothing bearing the Diocesan logo and transport from Portsmouth Cathedral are also available for purchase.
The Abingdon Food Bank regularly need:
sauces for rice – e.g curry, sweet & sour, etc;
j-cloths or similar;
shower gel for men;
sturdy carrier bags;
washing up liquid;
cartons of long-life fruit juice;
bottles of squash.
Please do not leave items in our church! The food donation points and opening hours are shown below.
GIFT AIDING YOUR MONETARY DONATIONS
If you aren't doing so already, please consider gift aiding your donations – it makes them all the more worthwhile, because if you tell us that you pay tax in the UK, then we can claim back 25% from the Government - that's 25p for every £1 you give! You can do so by filling in the yellow form available at the back of the church or online on our website here. Thank you.
INTERNATIONAL WELCOME CAFE
Abingdon’s International Welcome Café was set up in response to the Homes for Ukraine scheme and to provide wider support of refugees through a collaborative partnership of Christ Church and Host Abingdon, the main partners, as well as many other churches in Abingdon and local groups and organisations, including the Food Bank. The café offers friendship, support, refreshments, toys and help with English run by a qualified TEFL teacher. The main needs of Ukrainians arriving here are help with English, help with forms, opportunities to meet, and childcare/schooling provision to enable mothers to work. There is also a plan to collaboratively run an English language class based at Abbey Baptist Church in September with a
trained Host Abingdon TEFL teacher and supported by volunteers. This class will be open to all nationalities. A welcome to Abingdon leaflet is also being put together by the Church in Abingdon Administrator on request of Abingdon Town Council. Lots of volunteers have come forward and the main challenge is to assign them roles/rotas to be able to help support hosts/guests professionally and in a sustainable manner. Anyone keen to get involved, please email Julie Kemp-Harper at email@example.com
DOMINICAN SISTERS OFFER COURSES
The sisters are inviting all catechists, seasoned and new, and all children’s Liturgy leaders and helpers to attend their Diocesan Day for Catechists, which will be taking place on the 8th of October in Winchester. All details and registration here.
RELICS OF ST BERNADETTE
The relics of St. Bernadette are coming to visit our Diocese! You may well have seen reports in the Catholic press that the relics of St Bernadette are to tour Britain from 3rd to 30th September. The dates and venues of the tour have now been confirmed and Bishop Philip is delighted to announce that the relics of St Bernadette will be with us here in Portsmouth, in the Cathedral, on 8th September and on the morning of 9th September 2022. Details of the tour venues and registration can be found here.
BIBLE IN A YEAR
In The Bible in a Year podcasts, Fr Mike Schmitz walks you through the entire Bible in 365 episodes, providing commentary, reflection, and prayer along the way. Ascension’s Bible in a Year podcast follows a reading plan inspired by The Great Adventure Bible Timeline, a ground-breaking approach to understanding salvation history developed by renowned Catholic Bible scholar Jeff Cavins. With this podcast, you won’t just read the Bible in a year… you’ll finally understand how all the pieces of the Bible fit together to tell an amazing story that continues in your life today! You can access it through the link here.
HELPING THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE
Caritas is coordinating the Diocesan response to the situation in Ukraine and you can find out a lot more about what you can do to help them by visiting the Caritas website here.
Following the pandemic, many households now also face new hardships as prices rise. Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) has released a new booklet to increase awareness of Catholic Social Teaching on poverty, and to inform local responses. You find more information here and download a copy of the booklet here.
THE PARADOX OF ABUNDANCE
Over 800 million people go hungry each day. Yet the world produces over 4 billion tonnes of food and we only need 3.7 billion tonnes to feed everyone. From all this food produced, a third is wasted. St John Paul II called this ‘the paradox of abundance.’ Clearly the currently global food system is not working. But as Pope Francis said, "Each of us has a role to play in transforming food systems for the benefit of people and the planet." Let’s respond to his call! CAFOD’s new campaign is called Fix the Food System. See here for more information, including an invitation for parish groups to learn about the impact of our food with our Fix the Food System: a 7-station journey resource.
Items for the newsletter should be sent to the parish office (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the Wednesday of each week please. Copies are available in the church and on this website here. Please keep contributions as brief as possible and please take newsletters home with you. Thank you.
To keep up to date with the news of the Diocese and the Bishop please follow on:
E- News: use the link here. (subscription service available)
The Diocese website: https://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/
If you would like to share news with the rest of the Diocese, please contact: email@example.com
NEW TO THE PARISH?
We warmly welcome all new parishioners who have joined our parish in the last year. Please do make yourselves known if you have not already done so, and also let us know if you would like to contribute to parish life in any way. You can use the form on our website here to register. Forms and other information are also available in the porch at our church.