If you are new to the Church and want to understand more about the practicing faith in the XXXXX Pastoral Area, this section of the website contains an overview of the Roman Catholic faith and a number of useful resources including a Catholic Dictionary and liturgical calendar.
For parishioners looking for daily spiritual services and resources, here is where you can access and view daily and special prayers, request a mass or prayers to be said, download the latest readings in up to 13 languages and check mass times.
The Faith of the Catholic Church.
At the heart of our faith is Jesus Christ. Born into a Jewish family in the Roman province of Judaea some 2000 years ago, we believe that he is not only the 'Messiah',('Christ') awaited by the Jews as their Deliverer, but that he is also 'Lord', 'Universal King' and 'Son of God'. We believe this not only on the basis of his teaching and miracles of healing, but supremely because of his death and resurrection from the dead. Eventually put to death by crucifixion, three days later his demoralised followers were astonished by reports that his tomb was empty, and that he was alive. They later encountered him, not restored to life within the limitations of this world, yet fully himself, and fully alive with a life beyond death; alive, in fact with the life of God.
The Charter of the Catholic Church
After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus instructed his followers to 'preach the Gospel to all nations'. This is the basic charter of the Catholic Church. 'Catholic' means 'universal'. The 'Gospel' ('Good News') which Jesus preached concerned 'Kingdom of God'. God created the world good, and intended the human race to live in harmony with God and with each other. Humanity has clearly failed to live in that harmonious relationship. We believe that it is through the risen Jesus, who is both truly God and truly human, that God has begun the restoration of that original harmony. As such, the risen Jesus is 'Universal King'. Those who accept him as their Lord and King are invited to become members of the Church through Baptism in the name of the One God, 'Father, Son and the Holy Spirit'. The Catholic Church, united to Jesus Christ, (and described in Scripture as 'Body of Christ') is intended to be a sign to the world of God's purpose of unity for the whole human family.
The Structure of the Catholic Church
The unity of the Catholic Church throughout the world is maintained through the communion of the bishops who are the leaders of local churches ('dioceses') in every land. They are the successors of the original apostles chosen by Jesus. In communion with their leader, the Pope, the successor of St Peter, they are responsible for governing the Church and keeping it true to the faith of the apostles. The present Pope is Benedict XVI, and the Bishop of our Diocese of Portsmouth is Bishop Crispian Hollis.