Bishop Philip writes: I have gradually, through prayer and reflection, begun to develop a vision of where
I believe the Lord wants to lead us over the next decade or so. Here are the main points. I believe we have four priorities:
1. Mission to
That we enable immeasurably more people
to hear the Gospel afresh and to come to know, serve and love Jesus Christ in the saving communion of His Catholic Church so that, persevering in faith, hope and charity, they may one day reach the
happiness of Heaven.
2. Conversion of
That we assist all Catholics, especially
those who are not yet practising, to reach a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, to be more intentional disciples and, discerning their charisms, to become more
actively engaged in the Church's mission.
3. Dependence on the Holy
That shifting from maintenance to
mission, we trust more completely in God through prayer, imploring the Holy Spirit to inspire our clergy and our laity with constant joy and creativity to develop and realise new, innovative
ministries and ways of Christian living.
That we help our parish and school
communities to become outward-facing service-centres, brighter beacons of mission, dialogue and service to people around, especially to the poor, the homeless, those in need.
These four priorities lead to three
specific focuses or areas of attention:
5. Focus on
That we do all we can to teach and hand
on the gift of Faith through the Church’s Scripture and Tradition to young men and women, young couples and young families, converting, forming and equipping them as joyful missionary-disciples of
That we earnestly pray for, foster and
support vocations to all states of life and ministry in the Church, including new movements and new communities, but especially to the sacred priesthood.
7. Prioritising our
That managing wisely our property and our
resources, we use our God-given patrimony more flexibly and more determinately in the service of mission and the new evangelisation.
The most basic need is that
Portsmouth Catholics become holy:
8. Holiness through communion in
That we seek holiness of life in
imitation of Jesus, obedient (ob-audire) to God and legitimate authority, loving and respecting one another, and filled with the Holy Spirit, that we foster a joyful, positive, 'can-do'
This Vision Statement underpins the
Four Diocesan Priorities:
that each person, each parish community,
each Pastoral Area and Deanery, each school and every ministry within the Diocese is called:
♦ to seek out and draw in the un-churched and the unbelieving;
♦ to [help Catholics] develop life-long discipleship, spiritual growth and a living relationship with Jesus Christ, above all, in the Holy
♦ to discern the gifts, charisms and vocations
God has given;
♦ to form and support existing and new ‘creative apostolates’
Holydays of Obligation
With effect from the 1st Sunday of Advent 2017, two
holydays of obligation are being reinstated.
This decision was made by the Bishops of England and Wales, and
has been confirmed by the Holy See.
The days are:
The Epiphany of the Lord
(transferred to the adjacent Sunday when it falls on
Saturday or Monday)
The Ascension of the Lord
Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter
The Holydays of Obligation
for England and Wales are therefore:
Nativity of the Lord
Epiphany of the Lord
Ascension of the Lord
Thursday after 6th Sunday of Easter
St Peter & St Paul
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
*According to a decision of the
Bishops’ Conference (1984) Holydays which fall on Saturday or Monday are transferred to the Sunday. The Bishops decided to retain the decision made in 2006 for the Body and Blood of the Lord to be
transferred to Sunday as it allowed for Eucharistic Processions and other devotional practices to be celebrated.
(Liturgy Office England &