SUNDAY THOUGHT: 29th March 2015
palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (Year B)

Today Holy Week begins: when we are all called to relive and to celebrate the events leading up to, and including Christ’s death and resurrection, the source of our salvation. We begin by recalling Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. In the second reading we learn that Christ “emptied” himself and humbled himself when he became man. St. Augustine called humility the 'royal road’. It is the road Christ took when he became man and it is the only way we can get back to God.

St. Francis de Sales wrote: “I especially commend earnest mental prayer . . . upon the life and Passion of our Lord. If you contemplate him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with him, you will grow in his likeness, and your actions will be moulded on his”. Francis knew that if we want to see real transformation in our lives, we need to dwell deeply on the ‘royal road’ and the cross.

One of the best ways to do this is to imagine yourself in the Upper Room; in Gethsemane; or on Calvary. Picture yourself sitting next to Jesus as he consecrates the bread and wine. What does his voice sound like? What is the expression on his face? Gaze into his eyes as he stands before Pilate and receives his death sentence. Why is he silent? What is going through his mind as he hears the crowd crying out for his crucifixion?

So often we think that what we do is what matters most. It does matter, but what God wants to do in us, matters even more. This is why it is so important to contemplate the Passion: the ‘royal road’ opening ourselves to God’s grace as we do.

Fr. Karl Rahner, once wrote: “We cannot deny that here below man can have experiences of grace that give him a feeling of liberation, open totally new horizons to him, make a deep impression on him, transform him, shaping, even over a long period of time, his deepest Christian attitude.” This is what really matters! This is how we can become more like Christ.

God wants to fill us with grace as we ponder the Passion this week. He wants to make a deep impression in our souls and cut us to the heart with his love. So look up to heaven every day this week, and thank him for giving himself to you so fully.
Jesus, I am amazed at your love. Your mercy leaves me at a loss for words. All I can say is Thank You!”

Fr Peter Glas
Please speak to your local Priest if you are interested in volunteering for the new Evangelisation Strategy Team that Bishop Philip is requesting of every pastoral area/parish in the Diocese. Your name and details will be forwarded to Fr John Cooke so that a discernment conversation can be arranged shortly after Easter.

Many thanks, Fr John Cooke

The next meeting of the Gosport Section of the Catholic Women's League will be at 2pm on Wednesday 8th April, in Maryhouse, High St, Gosport. This is the only C.W.L. group in Our Lady Star of the Sea parish – you are very welcome to come along to any of the meetings and make some new friends. To find out more about us please contact Marguerite: 01489 575663 margieboulter@aol.com
On Tuesday we welcomed the new community of Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate into our Parish. The Mass of Welcome and Dedication, was celebrated by Bishop Philip. The Sisters will be moving into the Presbytery at Bridgemary sometime after Easter. If you have a spare wardrobe or set of drawers you could donate to the Sisters it would be gratefully accepted. They would also greatly appreciate the use of a car so they can visit and minister within the Parish, and of course attend daily Mass (preferably a six-seater). If you are able to lend, or gift, a car to the community, please contact Fr John Cooke: 01489 572797 or email parkgate@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

‘The Sisters live very simply, as is the Franciscan charism, and have a strict vow of poverty.  I hope that we, as a community, will welcome them and assist them in their vocation and help provide for their daily needs.’


Keep in touch with the latest news! The Diocese of Portsmouth now issues a weekly e-news with photos, news, and information from around the Diocese. Go to www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk and add your email address to receive these updates.
Are you on Facebook? Like ‘Diocese of Portsmouth’ to see the Lent Video Clips & the latest info as it happens.
Proclaim '15 is a nationwide evangelisation initiative launched by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, aimed at supporting, inspiring and encouraging new expressions of parish evangelisation. It is designed to affirm the good work already being done by the Catholic community and is providing resources and events to profile and develop new expressions of Catholic joy and missionary outreach. It therefore ties in very well with our desire here in the Diocese of Portsmouth to “Share the Joy of the Gospel” and, as the initiative aims to support us who are working on the ground in parishes, I can readily recommend it to you. Bishop Philip
For more details: http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/Home/Special-Events/Proclaim-15-Building-Missionary-Parishes
Maryfield Convent – Catholic Residential Care Home, London Rd., Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9LA Tel: 01256 762394. Maryfield (a residential care home) provides care and comfort to members of all religious denominations. Mass is celebrated daily in the convent chapel and the sisters and staff provide continuous quality care, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. We presently have vacancies. If you would like to arrange a visit, or require further information, please call: 01256 762394
Keep in touch with the latest news! The Diocese of Portsmouth now issues a weekly e-news with photos, news, and information from around the Diocese. Go to www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk and add your email address to receive these updates. Are you on Facebook? Like ‘Diocese of Portsmouth’ to get all the latest info as it happens. You can also follow @BishopEgan and @PortsmouthRC on Twitter.

CAFOD & UK Aid Match Funding - Good news!
The UK government has promised to match every pound and penny you give to CAFOD’s Lenten appeal (from 18 Feb – 17 May) up to the value of £5M. Your donations can be used to help more of our sisters and brothers deal with the devastating impact of extreme weather such as storms, droughts & floods. Thank you for your generous compassion for those living in poverty and for fasting in solidarity with them on Lent Fast Day (Friday 27 February 2015
St Jude’s School 50th Anniversary
St Jude’s School opened on 4th May 1965. Below are some of the events planned to mark the occasion. Parishioners (especially past pupils and staff) will be most welcome.
Occasions like this need to be marked in a tangible way so we are hoping to raise funds to provide a Stained Glass Window for the library, designed by the current children that will give them a memento of their own. If you have good memories of St Jude’s and would like to help - we have set up an account:-
St. Jude’s Catholic Primary School Governor’s Fund Sort: 40-52-40
A/C no:00083345 Ref: St Jude’s 50th
Alternatively cheque/cash can be sent to school All donations will be appreciated.
Many thanks, St Jude’s Governors 50th Committee

Our Facebook page: ‘St Jude’s Catholic Primary School 50th Anniversary’ gives more information about planned events
School Open Day Tuesday 5th May 2015 1.30pm- 6pm
St John’s Cathedral Mass Friday 22nd May 2015 11am
Hog Roast & Dinner Dance*: Marquee at St Jude’s 7.30pm 22nd May 2015 (18+)

*Tickets on sale now - available from: St Jude’s School; Sacred Heart Office; St Anthony’s School; St Margaret Mary Office and Immaculate Conception Office.
The charities involved in this scheme save and change lives every single day. Whether helping people who are homeless, seafarers, prisoners, children with disabilities and low income families here in the UK or providing practical survival solutions and sharing God’s love with communities around the world. Find out more via 020 7095 5367 or yourcatholiclegacy.org.uk
 Fr John Cooke is planning to lead a 12-Day Pilgrimage to the Holy Land [Travelling Sun 14th- Thurs 25th Feb 2016]
Information regarding this awesome experience can be obtained from: St Margaret Mary’s Church, Middle Rd. Park Gate, SO31 7GH (01489 572797 or email: office@stmm.org.uk)
Did you know you could receive this Newsletter by email? Ask your local Parish Office to set this up… or use the contact form on the Parish website
(see address below).
Framework for Collaboration - Formation for Mission Team
This Diocesan Team, led by Fr. David O Sullivan, is responsible for advising, training and developing catechetical resources in the Diocese.
Why is this important? We are all concerned with the transmission of our faith to the next generation, as parents, grandparents and as church members. Good catechesis does really help this process.
We have parish catechists. There are many wonderful and committed parish catechists all over the Diocese. However, they are not usually experts in catechesis and rely on published programs. In addition, there are rarely resources within the parish for monitoring of and training in the delivery of programs. The Formation for Mission Team will be able to fill this gap.
The Formation for Mission Team needs the input of parish catechists. We need 5 parish volunteers to form each of the following central teams: children’s liturgy, baptism preparation, first communion preparation, confirmation preparation, RCIA, Courses & events (30 volunteers in total). We need people who can use their experience at parish level to help and encourage others to develop excellent catechetical programs at all levels.
Time Commitment? About 6 Saturday meetings a year, with a few hours individual work in between. Some may choose to offer more time.
Welcome to the Catholic Parish
of Our Lady Star of the Sea,
Fareham & Gosport.

Extending from the River Hamble in the west to Portsmouth Harbour in the east, and including the former Parishes of Fareham & Portchester, Gosport & Bridgemary, Lee-on-the-Solent & Stubbington, and Park Gate, the Parish is part of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.

The Parish has 9 Church Communities: St Mary's, Gosport; St Columba's, Bridgemary; St John the Evangelist, Lee-on-the-Solent; Immaculate Conception, Stubbington; Sacred Heart, Fareham; St Philip Howard, Fareham; St Mary's Anglican Church, Portchester; St Margaret Mary, Park Gate; and the Chapel of St Thomas More, Park Place, Wickham.
The aims of the new Parish are to work collectively, sharing talents for the good of the individual church communities and to develop the Church’s mission in the Solent area and reaching out in particular to those who are disaffected. It is still early days, but there are positive signs that the original four communities are learning how to work together more effectively. Good communication, as well as a positive attitude will be crucial to the success of this evolving process.

A message from the Chair of the PPC

The Parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Fareham and Gosport (which was named to reflect the area’s close association with the sea) covers the Boroughs of Fareham and Gosport. It officially came into being on 1st November 2010. Father John Humphreys was inducted as Parish Priest by the Episcopal Vicar on 7th December 2010 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stubbington.

Following the formation of the Parish, a new structure was needed to oversee and develop a working relationship between the four 'Areas' and their Chuch-going communities. A new Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) was formed by inviting lay representatives from across the Parish to work with the members of the clergy. The role of the PPC is to advise the Parish Priest and is primarily concerned with matters spiritual, communal and social so as to help the Parish grow together as a community.
A new Parish Finance Council advises on the management, property and administration of the Parish.

At a local level there are four Pastoral Teams working with their Associate Parish Priests and dealing with day-to-day matters within each church-going community.
Michael Ricketts,
Chair of the PPC

Minutes from the latest PPC Meeting available below:

Weekly Mass Times

Details of regular Mass times and the availability of various Sacraments (as well as other useful information) is published in the Parish Contact Booklet. The latest copy can be downloaded here.
Contact Booklet
click to download