At the start of a New Year, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support our Clergy in their ministry and in helping with the life of our local Catholic community. A special word of thanks must be extended to all our Parish Staff: Maria Owen, Doug Savage & Clare Ryan. I would also like to formally thank Michele Edwards, who worked as the Fareham & Portchester Administrator for many years & who left for pastures new shortly before Christmas. I am pleased to offer a very warm welcome to Daniel Russell, who has taken this position, offering support to Fr Joe. Please join me in making him feel very welcome. A.M.D.G. Fr John Cooke

PLEASE TAKE TIME TO READ THE IMPORTANT LETTER BELOW ..... you can open it by clicking on this link

SUNDAY THOUGHT: 1st February 2015
Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

‘For my eyes have seen your salvation’
To see something, a person needs to be present to it: in line of sight of it. The psalm today (Psalm 94) is a humble expression of presence. It is a call to listen, to be quiet and to hope. “Harden not your hearts ...” it says. I heard on the radio the other day that our postmodern culture is becoming ‘hard’, because it is becoming one of expectation and excuse. We believe we have a right to our wants and yet we excuse ourselves of what is wanted of us. I wonder if it is because we are afraid of being open to each other and to the ‘God of surprises’? Do we offer Him a chance? Or do we create excuses not to be present to His voice?
As a suggestion, could we strive to be more like Simeon in the Temple? When he was in the presence of the 40-day-old Christ Child, he was open to being provoked into a new joy, despite the inevitable shadows of life closing in. A baby does not usually say anything, but just being in His presence, gifted Simeon with an epiphany of something that completed his life’s waiting for meaning, for salvation, for peace. (See the Gospel for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on Monday 2nd February).
Lent begins in two & a half weeks’ time and during this period, the community at St Margaret Mary invites you all to join us for our 40 Hours vigil of continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This ancient devotion traditionally represents the forty hours Jesus spent in the Tomb from Good Friday until His glorious Resurrection that Easter Sunday dawn. This Vigil offers you an ideal time to come in love and praise, and invites you to have the courage to bring all your worries, anxieties and concerns to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. Come and be……….
Please contact David Walford 01489 481698 for more information, or if you would like to offer to help our parish community in keeping this Vigil (from 3pm Friday 13th March, until 7am Sunday 15th March). No-one who sought Jesus was refused help. Just sit or kneel, and
‘be still’ before the Lord, be present to the Lord, and listen with an open heart. Blessings will be yours and a loving welcome and spiritual communion with Our Lord waits.
Fr. John Cooke
Pope Francis@Pontifex: Practising charity is the best way to evangelize.

Bishop Philip Egan@ BishopEgan: Evangelisation teams - great opportunity to make a difference by helping others encounter Christ: https://vimeo.com/114040348 Is God calling you?

PARISH OF OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA, FAREHAM & GOSPORT HOLY HOUR, to pray for the new Evangelising Strategy Teams initiative, will be at 3pm on Sunday 15th February in Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Bells Lane, Stubbington.

FIRST FRIDAY Devotions: 6th February in Sacred Heart Church, Fareham. Rosary at 9 am followed by Mass at 9.30 am. Tea and Coffee are available in the Hall after Mass. In the Church there is
Adoration; Meditation; Devotions; Sacrament of Reconciliation & Spiritual Guidance. Contact: 01329 318869 or 02392 381802.

FIRST SATURDAY Devotions: 7th February in St Mary's, Gosport.
9.30 am Mass followed by Adoration with Rosary. There is also Ministry of Healing available. In need of healing, a listening ear know someone who is troubled, why not bring them along? Sacrament of Reconciliation at midday. Contact 02392 580119
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
AGM of Gosport Section of the CWL (Catholic Women's League) will be held at 2pm on Wednesday 4th February at Maryhouse, High Street, Gosport. All welcome

Bishop Philip writes: “As you know, the Church in our time is calling us to the work of new evangelisation. We are Christ’s missionary disciples, and He has given us many charisms and talents for this work. Now we want to set up in every Pastoral Area an Evangelisation Strategy Team, comprised of clergy and laity, to direct the work of mission at the local, parish level. In your Pastoral Area, there will soon be a Holy Hour to pray for this initiative. The Strategy Team is a new body to replace the Pastoral Council. It should represent all ages and types. It’s all about vision! Its purpose is to sponsor mission-projects across the area. Teams will meet once a term. To find out more, go to our diocesan website: www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/evangelisation-teams. There you will find a video with more information and details of what the commitment would be for team members.”
Bishop Philip

Message from Bishop Philip: Last weekend, you will have heard my Pastoral Letter on Mary's husband, St Joseph. In it, I spoke of the crisis of fatherhood we are experiencing: Today, fatherhood, along with marriage, is in crisis. To the great distress of everyone involved, 42% of marriages in the UK end in divorce and nearly 50% of children are born outside marriage………
Please ask if you would like a copy of the letter or visit the Portsmouth Diocese website.
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).
Sign up for Portsmouth Diocese E-News
Keep up to date with what’s happening in the diocese. The diocesan e-news comes out once a week: latest events, photos, videos. www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk
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