Catholic Pic May 2024

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The Chrism Mass 2024

FREE Issue 237 May 2024 INSIDE THIS MONTH No mere Flower Show - The 1984 Garden Festival Celebrating a century of Sister Susan Mary

Discussion concerning whether Britain is still a Christian country has come to the fore once again. This is for a variety of reasons, such as the decline in church attendance or the rise in people of other faiths who have settled in our country. There are also secular pressure groups that contest the churches’ role in government, education, and healthcare. If we stand back from the present debate and take a historical view, then we can see how the churches have played a very big part in establishing these three areas. But more than simply setting them up, the churches have left their mark on the prevailing ethos which characterises their present function and ethos.

The Houses of Parliament debating chambers are like monastic choirs, and hospitals still use some religious terms like “sister”, but it is not these that make them Christian but the values which still persist: care for the poor, respect for life, freedom of speech, the inherent dignity of the person and welcoming the stranger, among many other such principles. Our liberal democracy allows for different opinions to be expressed and for a debate to take place. So it is very clear to me that our country is still Christian. The paradox for me is that we are supported in our Christian values by people of other faiths who agree with much of what we stand for - in other words, our multi-faith society makes Britain implicitly more Christian.

Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Monthly prayer intentions

Holy Father’s prayer intentions entrusted to his worldwide prayer network for the year 2024:


For The Formation of Men and Women Religious, and Seminarians

Let us pray that men and women religious, and seminarians, grow in their own vocational journey through human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, that leads them to be credible witnesses of the Gospel.

Welcoming St Francis Xavier's Catholic Academy to our St Joseph CMAT family! Mr Hayes Headteacher We are excited to be joining a wider family of local Catholic schools as we continue to ensure a strong Catholic education for our students. St Francis Xavier’s Catholic Academy Contents: 4 Main Feature The Chrism Mass 2024 7 Sunday Reflections 8 From the Archives “No mere flower show” The Liverpool International Garden Festival 1984 9 News News from around the archdiocese 14 Pastoral Ponderings 16 What’s On What’s happening in the archdiocese 17 Cathedral Record 18 Profile Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly 27 Animate Youth Ministry 28 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 29 Nugent News Celebrating Excellence: Nugent iACCORD Awards 2024 30 Dialogue and Unity contents From the Archbishop’s Desk
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“...and in the blessing of oils and the consecration of the chrism we enable those small gestures, signs of God’s saving grace, to leave an external mark, a smudge of oil; small signs that cause a great outpouring of grace.”

The Chrism Mass 2024

The Chrism Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral brought together people from across the archdiocese – and offered positive signs for the future.

‘It is a small gesture, a drop of water, a smudge of oil. A laying on of hands. The Lord has touched each of us through his ministers and that small sign has grown within each of us.’

These were the words of Archbishop Malcolm McMahon during his homily at the Mass of Chrism at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Wednesday 27 March.

Archbishop Malcolm, speaking to a packed cathedral, was affirming the significance of the oils whose blessing and consecration formed the centrepiece of this Mass, held on the Wednesday of Holy Week.

‘Touching with oil gives life,’ he attested as he mused on the enduring power of the sacraments. ‘Small gestures have great effects,’ he added. ‘They enable us to reach out to others to be ourselves in ways we never thought possible. They enable us to see with the eyes of the Lord. All of that comes

in being here and sharing in the Bread of the Eucharist if, when we leave this church, we’re not going to go and share – metaphorically and physically and materially – the unblessed bread with those in need.

from just a small touch by the priest, by the minister, so that is our starting point – literally that is where we start, at our baptism, with small gestures which open an added potential for every one of us.’

For anyone in the congregation that evening, the potential of Catholic life in the archdiocese was encouragingly evident. It was a Mass in which a variety of groups and individuals participated –and it brought together so many priests and deacons that they took fully seven minutes to process to the altar.

Prior to the Rite of Oils, those priests took part in the Renewal of Commitment to Priestly Service. Enhancing the sense of renewal, a quantity of each oil was then taken to every parish in the archdiocese for use in the administration of the sacraments. Archbishop Malcolm underlined the idea of stepping forth with renewed zeal as he added: ‘There is no point

‘Small signs can have big effects,’ he continued, ‘and in the blessing of oils and the consecration of the chrism we enable those small gestures, signs of God’s saving grace, to leave an external mark, a smudge of oil; small signs that cause a great outpouring of grace.’

Though called the Mass of Chrism, there were three different oils taken to the altar to be blessed or consecrated by Archbishop Malcolm. Both the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens – the first used in the anointing of the sick, the second during the rite of baptism – were blessed by the Archbishop. He then consecrated the Chrism, a mixture of sweet-smelling balsam and pure olive oil –the latter sourced, in the case of Liverpool Archdiocese, from Palestinian olive groves. This is used to anoint those being baptised, confirmed, or ordained.

On a night which brought together people from across the archdiocese, there were representatives from Whiston, Southport and Aintree hospitals, including chaplains and Eucharistic Ministers, who presented the Archbishop with the Oil of the Sick.

The Oil of Catechumens, meanwhile, was

carried to the sanctuary by candidates for baptism from the Hong Kong Catholic Community’s RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) group, Liverpool University chaplaincy, and St Anne and St Bernard’s Parish.

Finally, the Oil of Chrism was brought to the Archbishop by Deacons Peter Ross and Lister Tonge, together with members of the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage, two young people who had recently made their confirmation, and members of the Liverpool University Chaplaincy.

The presence of these young people highlighted the importance of the youth in the Church. Meanwhile, one of the readers, Rosie McGinn from the Isle of Man, offered

a reminder of the geographic spread of the archdiocese.

The offertory included groups from the Deanery Synodal Council with gifts brought to the altar by the members of the Sefton Coast South, Warrington and Widnes, and Lancashire deaneries. Additionally, Sandra Johnson and Maureen O’Donovan from the Liverpool South deanery carried a book with the names of all the deaneries featured in the new list of families of parishes, established as part of the pastoral plan.

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Archbishop Malcolm spelled out the importance of this in his homily: ‘As we establish those families of parishes to help each other share the resources we have and to grow, we are taking a brave step into the future life of the Church. We wish to secure the future of the archdiocese and this is the way we’ve chosen to do it, by reaching out to the parish next door.

‘We have come together tonight from all over the archdiocese. You will see the archdiocese is represented right across all its new synodal councils, diocesan councils and deanery councils to show we are on the move, and we’re here tonight because we believe that here in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, we have a future.

‘The way we’ll secure that future will be to reach out to each other to anoint each other for service, to be in touch with each other, to move out of our comfort zones, out of our little shells, and realise God speaks to us in many ways – not just directly, when we sit

in quiet and listen, but through other people, through other parts of His body, other parishes, other places in other parts of the world. To establish families of parishes to help each other share resources and grow is a very brave step. And I think it is a necessary one.’

The Mass of Chrism was noteworthy also for the presence of Bishop Hryhoriy (Gregory) Komar, the auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Diocese of Sambir-Drohobych. As the main point of contact for the archdiocese’s aid efforts for Ukraine, he was present to offer a message of thanks, while there were also members of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in the congregation, so ensuring representation for ‘all our brothers and sisters suffering in Ukraine and in Gaza’, as Archbishop Malcolm said.

He added: ‘It’s not just that our hearts go out to them, but that necessary aid goes out as well, through Bishop Gregory who has come to thank us this evening, and from the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre who support the diocese in Jerusalem

which serves the Catholic parishes in Palestine and in Gaza.’

The Mass also saw three new monsignori created “Chaplains of His Holiness”: Monsignor Philip Gregory, Monsignor Philip Inch, and Monsignor Canon Stephen Maloney.

According to Elizabeth Parsons, director of the archdiocese’s pastoral development department, the Mass proved a memorable occasion. ‘It was the fullest the cathedral has been since Covid and it was really nice to see everyone coming out for it. It goes beyond our parishes and deaneries as we were all coming together as Liverpool Archdiocese.

‘It was wonderful to see all of our priests and clergy when they came in in the procession. And with the priests renewing their priestly vows, it was a reminder for us that they’re going to be there for us during this next year.’

Another gesture for which to be glad.

On a liturgical note

Mary – ‘the perfect pattern of the Church at Prayer’

Once we have celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost on Sunday 19 May and thereby closed the Easter season on its 50th day, the Liturgy gives us a commemoration on Monday 20th, reminding us of the role of Mary as being united with the Apostles at prayer in the Upper Room. There she is awaiting the Spirit who had already overshadowed her at the Annunciation, and who had guided her in the generosity of humble loving with which she cared for the infant Christ, encountered her beloved on His Way of the Cross and finally received His lifeless body into her arms at Golgotha. It is this same generosity of spirit which allowed Mary to embrace all these aspects of her life as the unfolding of her fiat spoken in the presence of the Angel Gabriel: ‘Be it done to me according to your word’. There is a radical generosity of spirit in Mary’s fiat (that ‘let it be done’) which continued throughout her earthly life and also now continues in the life of glory which

she shares with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the fullness of life.

As is so often the case, it is in the preface of the Eucharistic Prayer which gathers together very beautifully the theology of the Feast Day:

‘She (Mary) received Your Word in the purity of her heart and, conceiving in her virgin womb, gave birth to our Saviour and so nurtured the Church at its very beginning. She accepted God’s parting gift of love as she stood beneath the cross and so became the mother of all those who were brought to life through the death of her only Son. She joined her prayers with those of the Apostles as together they awaited the coming of your Spirit and so became the perfect pattern of the Church at prayer.

‘Raised to the glory of heaven, she cares for the pilgrim Church with a mother’s love, following its progress homeward until the day of the Lord dawns in splendour.’

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!

Sunday thoughts

Mgr John Devine OBE

Her Majesty Queen Camilla visited the Isle of Man just before Easter. The occasion was the official signing of the Letters Patent conferring city status on Douglas, the island’s capital.

This honour had been announced as part of the late Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the summer of 2022. Queen Camilla presided at an official ceremony in Douglas Town (now City) Hall.

Amazingly, it was one of the few rainfree days in recent weeks. She arrived in the maroon royal Daimler (shipped over for the occasion) and was greeted at the door of the Town Hall by the Mayor of Douglas, Mrs Natalie ByronTeare. As official chaplain to the mayor, was introduced to Queen Camilla. We then entered the council chamber where read prayers to mark the beginning of an extraordinary meeting of the council.

lead prayers at the beginning of every council session but, on this occasion, took care to include prayers for the good health and happiness of King Charles and all the members of the Royal Family. It had been intended that the King, as Lord of Mann, would lead the celebration. His recent diagnosis and treatment meant that Queen Camilla read his speech in his place.

The meaning of Shalom

My friend Helen lives many miles away and very seldom do we meet, yet she has had a profound effect on my life.

Helen is bipolar and there are times when she is very high and times when she is very low. When she is high, she goes to extremes, spending huge amounts of money. When she is low, she can hardly get out of bed and struggles to put one foot in front of the other.

There have been times in Helen’s life when she has been arrested for her behaviour in public and sectioned under the mental health act. Boundaries have always been difficult for Helen and that has led her into many sticky situations. think it would be fair to say that life has been a rollercoaster ride for her.

These days Helen is a much calmer person. Her medication helps, but so does her self-awareness, which has increased dramatically. She long ago gave up condemning and judging herself for who she is and accepts herself with all the difficulties of her personality. She knows her triggers and avoids stressful situations. She laughs at herself constantly and is probably one of the most rounded and whole human beings know. She has taught me about acceptance and love of self in a way that few others have.

The King’s speech spoke of the ancient culture and history of the island and its distinctiveness from the ‘adjacent isle’ (Great Britain to you and me). To my delight, the King went on to say: ‘You also now have your own cathedral, which holds a newly designated “co-cathedral status” with Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.’

The Queen flew on a privately chartered plane. Travel to the island by both sea and air has been difficult in recent months. Unlike the ferry it was commissioned to replace, our new super ferry ‘The Manxman’ has difficulty docking unless tidal conditions are perfect. Manx air travel is routinely uncertain and liable to delays and cancellations. This can be due to fog and high winds. This winter disruption has been compounded by a shortage of air-traffic controllers at Ronaldsway Airport.

The extreme weather of recent weeks has led to unscheduled overnight stays in Liverpool hotels. Fortunately, airlines foot the bill but that still does not remove the stress of wondering whether will arrive in time for funerals and other commitments.

I think it would be true to say that most of us struggle towards wholeness. Yet the call to wholeness is central to the Gospel. The risen Jesus greets the disciples after the Resurrection and says ‘Shalom’, which is really a call to wholeness. We are very familiar with that Hebrew word, Shalom, but the translation of the word as ‘peace’ does not begin to draw close to its Jewish meaning.

For many people, peace simply means an absence of violence. The word Shalom has a far deeper meaning and is a truly active word. The greeting of Shalom wishes good health, wealth, harmony and completeness on another person. It wishes tranquillity, fulfilment, freedom from trouble and anything which would stop ultimate contentment. Walter Brueggemann in his book ‘Living toward a Vision: Biblical Reflections on Shalom’, writes the following: ‘Shalom is a persistent vision of joy, wellbeing, harmony and prosperity, many dimensions and subtle nuances: love, loyalty, grace, salvation, justice, blessing, righteousness. Shalom is at the heart of a dream of God that resists all our tendencies to division, hostility, fear and misery.’

Thus when a Jewish person says ‘Shalom’, he or she is wishing on another the blessedness of God, which covers all that have tried to share. It’s an amazing word that we translate as peace!

In this season of the Resurrection, it seems to me that God has grown accustomed to our small and cowardly ways of waiting behind closed doors, led by our fears, anxieties and self-doubts. God knows how easily we settle for those things rather than Gospel freedom and an awareness of His presence deep within. God knows how most of us seem to want a very small god instead of a Big Mystery. Yet God seems determined to break through: ‘And Jesus came and stood in their midst and said “Peace!”.’

In short, God still wants us to experience that deep Shalom which will carry us through life and into eternity – and so open your hearts today and find it.

Father Chris Thomas

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Canon Philip Gillespie
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Sunday reflections

“No mere flower show”

The Liverpool International Garden Festival 1984

It’s 40 years since the opening of the International Garden Festival in Liverpool on 2 May 1984. The Queen came to unveil the plaque that officially opened the event, and in her speech told the assembled crowds “You have created something of great value, a symbol which I am certain will bring new life and confidence to the people of Liverpool.” What in fact was its impact and what is its legacy?

The festival was the brainchild of Conservative politician Michael Heseltine when, as “Minister for Merseyside”, he sought ways of regenerating Liverpool following years of industrial decline and high unemployment and the 1981 riots in Toxteth. The task was delegated to the Merseyside Development Corporation, and a site was chosen in south Liverpool to reuse derelict industrial land. Sprawling across 100 acres overlooking the River Mersey, this international event, the first of its kind in the country, featured oriental gardens, a Yellow Submarine built at Cammell Laird shipyard and set at the heart of a Beatles maze, a narrow-gauge railway, and a large exhibition space.

Three miles away, the Metropolitan Cathedral offered extended opening hours and 65 extra guides to cope with the anticipated increase in visitors arriving for the festival. Twenty new banners were made for the cathedral, decorating the entrance porch and the nave with images of plants mentioned in the Bible. The Metropolitan Cathedral Choir sang at the first ecumenical service on Sunday 6 May, when Archbishop Worlock preached the sermon. Alluding to the negative publicity that Liverpool often got, the Archbishop hoped “that this summer, the rest of the nation will take pride as well as pleasure in what has been achieved here.” He noted the creation of the festival gardens “in apparently record time” and suggested that this was largely due “to the faith as well as the hard work, enthusiasm, and creative skill which we know is a true picture of our city, of Merseyside and its people. This is no mere flower-show”, he said, “it is an opportunity for new life and hope.”

An “Ecumenical Garden” called “The Garden of Hope” was one contribution by the Christian traditions represented on the Merseyside Churches Ecumenical Council. As an expression of two sides of life in the inner city, the garden had a scene of dereliction that led to a “Garden of Delight”, a colourful contrast to the decay of the other part. Another contribution was the “Ship of Faith”

exhibition in the Festival Hall, featuring the great “anchor of hope” made to commemorate the Papal visit to the city’s two cathedrals.

The Catholic Pictorial promoted the festival in various ways, reporting on local schools winning garden design competitions, holding its own colouring competitions with free family entry tickets as prizes, and even giving a promotional plug to the newly-built Britannia Inn, part of the festival complex. A feature in the “Woman’s World” page notes the extortionate cost of a sandwich and a cup of tea elsewhere on the festival grounds, while you could get a bowl of soup for 55p or a homemade steak and kidney pie and chips for £2.20 at the on-site pub.

The festival closed on 14 October, having welcomed well over 3 million visitors. Sadly, many of the gardens weren’t given time to grow. “A festival came to my town and quickly went away”, as Ian McNabb lamented in a song by local rock group The Icicle Works. New housing covered some of the site, but ironically many of the 60 gardens built on reclaimed land themselves fell into dereliction. Part of the festival site carried on for a few years as the Pleasure Island amusement park, but little now remains of the original gardens. You can take a nice walk from Sefton Park past restored pagodas in the Chinese and Japanese gardens to Otterspool Promenade, and the Britannia Inn still survives to offer views over the Mersey, and perhaps some homemade pie. As a shortlived boost to tourism and a great encouragement to the city’s pride, the Garden Festival was very effective, but in some ways it was ahead of its time.

More lasting regeneration was about to take place at the Albert Dock, with the establishment of Tate Liverpool, though Liverpool One and the Capital of Culture were still a quartercentury away. The festival was meant to promote the tourist economy. Now, it sometimes seems, the tourist economy is the only game in town.

News diary

If you’ve

Obituary of Fr Barry McAllister

Patrick Barry McAllister, the son of Patrick and Catherine McAllister, was born in Wigan on 21 March 1960. He received his early education at St Mary’s School, Wigan, and St John Rigby Grammar School, Orrell, before entering Ushaw College, to begin his seminary formation. He was ordained to the priesthood at St Mary’s, Wigan, by Archbishop Derek Worlock on 6 December 1986.

Fr McAllister served as assistant priest in several parishes across the archdiocese: St Cuthbert, Pemberton (1986-88); Sacred Heart and St Alban, Warrington (1988-95); and briefly at St Mary, Chorley, in early 1995.

In September 1995, he became parish priest at St Elizabeth’s, Litherland. Like many priests, he was asked to take on additional responsibility for another parish, in his case St Robert Bellarmine, Bootle, from September 2011. He proved to be a dedicated, zealous, and kindly pastor, devoting the remainder of his priestly ministry to the people of these parishes. His parishioners were blessed with someone genuinely interested in their lives, possessed of a good memory and a ready wit, and with a great gift for listening. His brother priests, too, held him in very high regard, so that he served successive terms as the local dean between 2006 and 2021.

His strong faith sustained him as he faced treatment for cancer, and the eventual terminal diagnosis, with immense courage and patience. He died at Wigan and Leigh Hospice in the evening of Friday 22 March 2024, the day after his 64th birthday. He was in the 38th year of the priesthood.

May he rest in peace.

Obituary of Fr John Johnson

John Johnson was born in Wigan on 6 September 1938. He was educated at St Joseph’s School, Wigan, until the age of 15, when became apprenticed as a butcher. He entered Upholland College in 1961 and was ordained priest on 20 May 1967 at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool, a few days after its solemn consecration.

Fr Johnson served as assistant priest in several parishes across the archdiocese: St Agnes, Huyton (1967-74); Holy Ghost, Ford (1974-78); and St Oswald, Ashton-in-Makerfield (1978-86).

His first appointment as parish priest was at St William’s, Ince, where he spent five happy years ministering with great dedication. He brought that same dedication to his most significant parish appointment in September 1991, when he returned to his native town to become parish priest at St Mary’s. For several years he also had the pastoral care of two adjacent Wigan parishes: St John (2000-17) and Sacred Heart (2009-14).

For more than 30 years he provided devoted care to his parishioners, and to the countless others who came to the town centre for Mass and confession. Fr Johnson was noted for his devotion to Our Lady, and also for supporting and encouraging those discerning a priestly vocation.

Such was Fr Johnson’s dedication, that he had expressed the wish to die ‘in harness’. However, he was forced to retire due to ill health in the early part of 2024. He died at Wigan and Leigh Hospice on Wednesday 3 April 2024, aged 85 years. He was in the 57th year of the priesthood.

May he rest in peace.

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Queen Elizabeth II with some of the crowd gathered to greet her A Pic colouring competition shows many of the festival’s main features Archbishop Worlock with Bishop David Sheppard and his wife Grace at the opening of the Garden Festival
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News diary from the archives

CDSC’s CHARIS Event Invites Liverpool Catholics to Deepen Faith and Foster Unity

Liverpool Catholics are eagerly anticipating an upcoming event organized by the Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC) on behalf of CHARIS. CHARIS was founded by Pope Francis in 2019 to nurture the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) movement. Titled “Pour out your Grace as at a New Pentecost,” this event promises a day of spiritual renewal and communal prayer. CHARIS, an international organisation, aims to serve as a beacon of unity and renewal. The organisation is dedicated to fostering communion among charismatic realities for the greater good of the Church and the proclamation of the Gospel.

Embracing the mission entrusted by Pope Francis, CHARIS endeavours to deepen the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit, promoting a profound conversion to Christ and the activation of charisms throughout the Church. This spiritual renewal, according to Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M.Cap, is “a simple and powerful means to renew the life of millions of believers in many Christian Churches.”

CHARIS seeks to enhance an ecumenical dimension, recognizing the shared mission to serve the unity of all Christians. Emphasizing social action and service to the poor, CHARIS aligns with Pope Francis’ call to address the physical and spiritual needs of society.

In Liverpool, where Charismatic Renewal has deep roots, the Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion is set to facilitate a day of renewal on 11 May at the Irenaeus Centre. Led by Michelle Moran, who led the international body of Charismatic Renewal for many years and was one of the original team that formed Charis, this event invites individuals, whether newcomers or seasoned participants, to explore the leading of the Holy Spirit and embrace the opportunity for spiritual growth.

‘Pour out your Grace as at a New Pentecost’ is on 11 May 2024 at the Irenaeus Centre, Great Georges Rd, L22 1RD. For more details, contact

Wigan Celebrates Saint Patrick

St Patrick’s Church in Wigan celebrated their Patronal Feast in style! As St Patrick’s Feast was transferred this year (due to falling on a Sunday in Lent), the festivities began two days earlier with a whole-school Procession, from School into Church, before Holy Mass.

During the Procession, St Patrick’s statue and various banners of St Patrick were carried, alongside children’s artwork and writing they had created about their Patron. On the Sanctuary, St Patrick’s statue had been brightly adorned with beautiful flowers by the church’s talented team of flower arrangers and parishioners had arranged for the importation of shamrock from Ireland to complete the decorations.

Parish Priest, Father Ian O’Shea, was joined by Concelebrants Father Hugh Donleavy (Parish Curate), Canon Pat MacNally, and Deacon Mick Moffatt at the altar. During his homily, delivered to an

overflowing church, Father O’Shea encouraged the children to make a conscious effort to live more like Saint Patrick by trying to love each person of the Trinity more dearly. Many in church commented that the schoolchildren’s singing was fantastic and a number in the congregation were seen drying their eyes during the recessional hymn which was, of course, Hail Glorious Saint Patrick. Later that evening, a group of younger parishioners organised a St Patrick’s Night in the Parish. The evening featured a performing Irish artist, DJ, raffle, and food; it was a true celebration of Irish culture and the influence of St Patrick in Wigan and beyond. On Sunday 17, the celebrations continued as Parishioners were given shamrock to wear for Holy Mass, and the St Patrick’s Men’s Group enjoyed a social later that week.

For more photographs and to listen to the children’s highly commended singing, please visit the church’s Facebook Page: ‘St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Wigan.’

Celebrating a Century of Sister Susan Mary

Sister Susan Mary Waters, who has been a Sister of Notre Dame for over 75 years, celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday 5 April.

Born in Barrhead, Renfrewshire in April 1924 and raised in a family deeply rooted in faith, Sr. Susan Mary’s early years were shaped by the teachings of her Catholic upbringing. She first encountered nuns at her secondary school, St Margaret’s FCJ convent in Paisley, and even this early on she felt her first call to follow in their footsteps – a call she would feel often throughout early life.

Inspired by the example of the Sisters of Notre Dame, she answered the call to join their community, dedicating herself wholeheartedly to a life of prayer, service, and devotion.

Throughout her life, Sr. Susan Mary’s commitment to education and service remained unwavering. From her days as a teacher at St. Anne’s Girls’ School in Leeds to her later role as headmistress at Everton Valley, she touched the lives of countless students, instilling in them not only knowledge but also values of compassion, integrity, and faith.

Sr. Susan Mary celebrated with the community on Friday, and with her family on Sunday. As well as gifts, warm wishes, and two fantastic cakes, there was also a birthday card from King Charles, and a bench donated by her family in honour of the occasion.

As she celebrates her centenary, Sr. Susan Mary’s life serves as a testament to the power of faith, love, and resilience. Her dedication to God and to her community has left an indelible mark on all who have had the privilege of knowing her.

The Archdiocese of Liverpool extends heartfelt thanks to Sister Susan Mary and wishes her a very happy birthday!

St Mary’s, Leyland, Celebrates Diamond Jubilee

“St Mary’s – a gem for Leyland’s new town centre” was how the Catholic Pictorial of 12 April 1964 described St Mary’s, Leyland.

The parish was founded in 1845 by the Benedictines of Ampleforth Abbey and the new church was consecrated on 4 April 1964 by Archbishop George Andrew Beck in the presence of 4000 people. Architecturally innovative and radical, beautiful and elegant, the church reflects the “noble simplicity” that the Second Vatican Council speaks of in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

On Sunday 7 April, Archbishop Malcolm joined parishioners for Mass to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the consecration of the church. Parish priest Fr Joe Bibby, said: “It was wonderful to see so many parishioners at the Diamond Jubilee Mass. We gathered to give thanks to Almighty God for our faith, our story, and our heritage, and we look forward to the future with renewed enthusiasm and hope.”

After Mass, parishioners gathered with the Archbishop to share memories, stories, and a beautiful buffet.

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News diary Catholic Pictorial News diary

SVP marks 180 years of helping those in need at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

The St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales) hosted a landmark event at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King to mark 180 years of aiding those in need.

The awe-inspiring building was a perfect setting to honour this great milestone. Among those in attendance were Bishop Tom Williams, Membership Support Officer Kathy Riley, and local Mini Vinnie groups.

CEO of SVP Elizabeth Palmer said: “The challenges facing individuals, families and communities have changed over the past 180 years, but in many ways, they have remained the same.

“In communities across the country, our members and Conferences continue to provide hope in times of great uncertainty and help those experiencing poverty.”

Ann Kirby, Conference President & SVP member for over 35 years, spoke at the event: “In our Conference, we go out and visit elderly people who are on their own, people in homes, and families who need our help.

“We recently had a family who came over from Japan who had nothing. Within 24 hours, we got them and their whole house sorted.”

Dignity and discretion are something that SVP members take very seriously, ensuring that those who need help are not singled out and no one would know they are struggling.

Bishop Tom Williams added: “The beauty of the SVP is that it’s secretive, it’s done quietly without any show.

“It’s done to the need and wasn’t a display and I’ve always supported them. It’s done discreetly and it’s done quietly and caringly with discretion and respect.”

Welcoming new Catholics at St Teresa’s, Upholland

The Easter Vigil at St Teresa’s Church in Upholland was an especially joyous occasion this year, as the parish welcomed several RCIA candidates into the Church.

The Vigil Mass was celebrated by Fr Anthony Cruz, who recently became the new chaplain at Wigan Infirmary. During the Mass, 9 people received the sacrament of baptism, while 14 others received the sacraments of first holy communion and confirmation.

The newly initiated members of the Church have embarked on a journey of deepening their faith through Mystagogia, known as Growing In Faith Together (GIFT) at St. Teresa’s. This period of reflection and formation allows individuals to explore the richness of the Catholic faith and deepen their understanding of the faith in community with fellow believers.

HCPT Lourdes 50 Years

This year is a special celebration for HCPT Merseyside, as it marks 50 years of their trips to Lourdes.

The first group to take Disabled and Disadvantaged children from Merseyside was led by Kath O’Gorman in 1974, who collected stamps to fund the trip.

Since then, the groups have continued to grow, with seven groups and over 70 benefactors travelling to Lourdes at Easter this year.

At the Regional Mass in Lourdes this year, groups celebrated the milestone by embodying each decade through outfits and dancing while describing the significance for each group.

Regional Chaplain Fr Kenny Hyde celebrated Mass, assisted by Fr Eddie Kane and Deacon Eddie Miller and with commentary from Clare O’Brien.

The groups remembered past children and helpers who had been to Lourdes over 50 years and the benefactors who have helped make the pilgrimages so successful.

The Mass was so special to everyone who attended and lots of music and hymns were sung throughout, including “My Lighthouse,” which has become synonymous with the Merseyside region.

The rest of the week was also a success as everyone enjoyed a reflective and spiritual time in Lourdes.

Here’s to another 50 years in the Merseyside region!


Holy St Jude, Apostle and Martyr great in virtue and rich in miracles, near Kinsmen of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need, to you I have recourse from the depths of my heart and humbly beg to you whom God has given such great power to come to my assistance.

Help me now in my urgent and present need and grant my earnest petition. In return I promise to make your name known and cause you to be invoked. For nine consecutive days say three Our Fathers, three Hail Marys and three Glorias.

Publication must be promised. St Jude pray for us and all that invoke your aid.


This novena has never been known to fail. CY

Jottings of a Lourdes Pilgrim

The day of our annual Lourdes Easter Bunny Walk dawned – cloudy, cool, and rather wet. However it did not dampen the mood of the walkers. After Mass at St Gregory’s church, celebrated by Father Grant Maddock, our walkers pulled on the rainwear and away they went. A great atmosphere, and a reminder that the weather in the town of Lourdes can be just as diverse, even during our pilgrimage week towards the end of July.

Once arriving at Our Lady’s, Lydiate, Father Grant gave a quick tour of the lovely old church and it was an about turn to return to the warmth of St Gregory’s, and the well-earned reward of chocolate bunnies at the end of the walk. Many thanks to all who came along and supported the walk; also to those who sponsored walkers. Every penny raised supports the work of the Lourdes Association.

Places are filling up for the pilgrimage, but you still have time to book and join a wonderful week in Lourdes. If you have never been and are unsure, as you think its heavy-duty church and pilgrimage – yes, there is a service each day that all Liverpool pilgrims are invited to, but there is plenty of time for selfreflection, meeting with friends of old, and making new ones, visiting the surrounding towns, and certainly re-energising yourself both mentally and physically. One pilgrim said to me last year “I need Lourdes week each year to help me get through the next 51 weeks of the year. The memory of the week I have enjoyed, and the joy of thinking of returning”.

Pilgrimage means different things to everyone. Lourdes is certainly one pilgrimage you never forget.

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News diary Catholic Pictorial

Pastoral ponderings

Celebrating Chrism Mass 2024

Having celebrated the joy of Easter and the Lord’s Resurrection, I found myself deciding what to write about for this entry when I realised that, although I’ve previously hinted at it, I haven’t really talked about everyday life in a seminary or what is involved in community life.

Last year, attended the Royal English College in Valladolid, Spain, where completed what is called a propaedeutic year. This year is designed to allow men discerning a vocation to the priesthood to reflect, pray and grow into a closer relationship with the Lord and His Church.

However, the year is also incredibly helpful in introducing people to community life and a daily structure of prayer (the Divine Office) and Mass. found the experience of living alongside twenty-one other seminarians from various backgrounds and nationalities to be just as beneficial in aiding my formation as the familiarisation with the formal prayers and doctrines of the Church. The year certainly helped in preparing me for my time in Allen Hall, where I currently study.

Here in Allen Hall, we begin our day with a period of silent meditation in the Chapel, mostly from 7am. It is a chance to simply sit in the peaceful presence of the Lord, present in the tabernacle, and prepare for the day ahead. This is then followed by Morning Prayer, also known as Lauds, when we join the wider Church in praying the Divine Office. This is followed by our celebration of the Mass when we can draw strength for the day from the Lord in the Scriptures and the Eucharist. Following Mass, we then have time for breakfast and preparation for lectures which cover various topics as we move through the years of formation. Currently, am studying my first year of philosophy alongside my diocesan brother, Rhys J. Lectures take us to midday when we sit down for lunch together as a community and are able to enjoy wonderful food and company. Our afternoons are mostly free for study and individual meetings until we pray Evening Prayer together, also known as Vespers, then sit down for supper, before resting and starting all over again!

hope this somewhat whirlwind and general overview of seminary life is useful in giving you all an insight into what goes on inside a seminary. Please keep us all in your prayers and be assured you are in ours!

find the Chrism Mass to be a humbling experience. There is something special about the sheer volume of people who come together in Holy Week to prepare our ministries for the coming year. On this night, the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral was full - full of people, full of hope and full of prayers.

The Holy Oils of Chrism, Catechumens and the Sick are blessed by Archbishop Malcolm and sent out to every parish in the archdiocese to be used in the celebration of our sacraments throughout the year. Various members of the clergy and the laity associated with these sacraments present these oils to the Archbishop. This year, the Oil of the Sick was carried by Hospital Deacons, Chaplains and Workers from Aintree, Southport and Whiston. The Oil of Catechumens was presented by Catechists, Catechumens (people preparing for baptism) and members of the community who have been supporting the Catechumens. Finally, the group who presented the Oil of Chrism included two Deacons (to be ordained in July), two young people who have recently been confirmed and members of the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage who support our assisted pilgrims. Members of our Deanery Synodal Councils presented the Offertory Gifts, including the Families Parishes Book.

Archbishop Malcolm spoke about the great impact of small gestures: “Every one of us has been anointed by the Lord… It’s a small gesture really, a drop of water, a smudge of oil, the laying of hands; the Lord has touched each us through his ministers and that small

sign has grown within each of us and it’s expanded; it’s possibly exploded into a great outburst of grace… The small gestures which we celebrate in our sacraments have an even greater effect, believe, on the way in which we become who God has created us to be. They enable us to reach out to others; to be ourselves in ways in which we never thought was possible. They enable us to see with the eyes of the Lord. All of that comes from just a small touch, by the priest, by the minister...

Small gestures which open an added potential for every one of us.”

This sentiment is so important for us as ministers and in our vocations. We may never know the full impact of the small gestures we make, but in our sacramental preparations, we plant seeds and give them a chance to grow.

The Chrism Mass was a wonderful celebration of our diverse communities, of the impact they have on the world in which we live and of the work still to do.

To watch the full Chrism Mass:

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Volunteer with Nugent and see how your time can make a positive impact in people’s lives within your local communities.

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Young people from our archdiocese who made their Confirmation, a group from the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage and a member of a DSC.
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what’s on May

Thursday 2 May

Agape Mass

7:00PM at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

Join us for an evening of love and community. No booking required.

32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD

Wednesday 8 May

Songs we Remember

2:00PM - 4:00PM at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

Join us for “Songs we Remember,” a dementia-friendly singalong.

32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD

Thursdays 16, 23 & 30 May

Scripture Morning - “Into the belly of the whale” - Book of Jonah

10:30AM - 12:00PM at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

Delve into the Book of Jonah with us in this Scripture Morning series.

32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD

Saturday 11 May

A Charismatic Day of Renewal - Pour out your Grace as at a new Pentecost 10am – 4pm at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

The Irenaeus Project will host a day of renewal by the Charismatic Diocesan Service of Communion (CDSC) on behalf of CHARIS Liverpool. If you were previously involved in Charismatic Renewal, then this is a great chance to reengage. It is a chance to reignite the Spirit in your life. All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact

Monday 13 May

Craft Workshop

1:00PM - 3:00PM at The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool

The Irenaeus Project will be putting on a Craft Workshop. You must book in order to secure your place. To do so, contact or phone 0151 949 1199

The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD

Tuesday 14 May

Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Liverpool Time Out on Tuesdays 10:30AM - 4PM at Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Liverpool Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Wavertree, L15 6TW

Wanting time for yourself? Time to stop and reflect? Time to step aside for a while from the daily round of life? Then why not join The Sisters of Our Lady and the Cenacle on a Tuesday to get away for a few hours to stop and ponder the important things of life? No need to book, just come along and maybe bring a friend. Suggested offering for the day is £10, bring your own lunch, tea/coffee provided. For further information contact Sr Winnie 0151 722 2271.

Thursday 16 May

St Helen, Crosby Newman Association Talk: “Stuart England’s Catholic Queens”

7:30pm - 8:15pm at St Helen’s Parish Centre, Alexandra Road, Crosby, L23 7TQ

Speaker: Roger Mitchell. The talk will start at 7.30 pm, on Thursday 16th May, and will last for around 45 minutes leaving time for any questions. The Stuart period of British History lasted from the death of Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1603) to the death of Queen Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1714). There is no charge, but donations are welcome.

Sunday 19 May

Pentecost Ecumenical Celebration / Two Cathedrals Walk, 3pm - 5pm (start: at the Metropolitan Cathedral)

This year, Pentecost will mark 100 years of the Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican). The theme of the celebrations will centre around how to bring us from being a group of disparate people to people who are working together. The event will start at the Metropolitan Cathedral at 3pm and then move to the Liverpool Cathedral, where the main speaker will address the congregation.


Sunday 2 June

Cantata 5: Wo soll ich fliehen hin?

(To where shall I flee?)

6:30PM at St Philip Neri, Liverpool, Catherine Street, Toxteth, L8 7NL

On the feast day of Corpus Christi, the Liverpool Bach Collective will dwell on how the wounds and blood of Christ bring salvation to the Christian soul. The four vocal soloists and chorus will be joined by the usual ensemble of oboes, strings and organ, together with a trumpet.

Thursday 6 June

CAFOD Legacy Event

10:30AM - 2:00PM at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Formby

Join CAFOD for a day of sharing stories with Tom Delamere of CAFOD’s advocacy team and learning more about how we can make a lasting difference through a gift in a Will. You will be spending time in reflection and exploring the natural beauty of the grounds of St Joseph’s.

Friday 14 – Sunday 16 June

The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool Women’s Weekend

Join the Irenaeus Project for their Women’s Weekend on 14-16 June. The theme is ‘Mary in a World of Martha’ where they will explore what it is like to be Mary listening at the feet of Jesus, and what it is like to be Martha in her busy life, ministering to those around her. It is important to book early for a residential place. For more information, contact jenny@irenaeus. or 0151 949 1199

The Irenaeus Project, Liverpool, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD

Wednesday 19 June

Cathedral Event – Dining Experience at The Art School

7:00PM The Art School, Sugnall Street

We would like to invite you and your friends and family to a wonderful dining experience in the Art School on Sugnall Street, just around the corner from the Philharmonic. Chef Paul Askew and his team will provide a two-course meal with a glass of prosecco on arrival and an amuse-bouche for just £50.00 per person. We hope that you will come and enjoy a convivial evening in surroundings that are timeless and yet modern enjoying the company of new friends and old ones. To book your ticket and to arrange payment please contact Claire Hanlon at

Cathedral Choir Auditions

Cathedral Record

Do you know a child who would like to be a chorister at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King here in Liverpool?

Do you know a child who would like to be a chorister at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King here in Liverpool?

The search is now on for our next generation of Boy and Girl choristers.

There are three main elements to our chorister recruitment. Firstly our ‘Chorister Experience Sessions’: These taster sessions are designed to see if a child enjoys group singing, and are an excellent way to refine the skills required to audition for the Cathedral Choir. These take place in locations around the city in May.

Secondly, our ‘Be a Chorister for a Day’ event (Sunday 9 June), which gives boys and girls and their parents the opportunity to come and experience chorister life ‘from the inside.’ During the day, they get to sing with the choristers, rehearse with them, try on cassocks, and sing alongside the Cathedral Choir at Choral Evening Prayer.

The third element of our recruitment is the ‘Voice Trials’ which take place in late June. These are the auditions (think of X Factor, but without Simon Cowell!) where individual aspirants are put through their paces in singing songs, tests etc. At this stage we look for potential, rather than fully formed musicians. As we are fortunate

to get good numbers applying each year, entry to the choirs is competitive, but for those who are successful, the chance of a lifetime awaits.

All our choristers are educated at our two choir schools: Runnymede St Edward’s Catholic Primary School (age 7-11) and St Edward’s College (age 11-15).

If you know of a Catholic family who might be interested in this wonderful opportunity, please share this information with them.

For full details of choristerships at the Metropolitan Cathedral, scan the QR code, or go to: www.liverpoolmetrocathedral.

Our cathedral was consecrated on 13 May 1967 and had its grand opening Mass the following day, which that year happened to be Pentecost Sunday.

The newly designed and built cathedral organ was played in public for the first time at this Grand Opening Mass. The organ was designed by the firm JW Walker and although the newly designed instrument had been gradually constructed in the workshop from 1962, the installation could only start on site from November 1966. In the six months prior to the opening, the instrument had to be built on-site and voiced, which looking back seems an impossibly short timescale for the instrument to bed in, and Terry Duffy, who was the cathedral organist at the time, had to cope with certain stops failing to work on the instrument on the opening occasion.

After 50 years of operation, the cathedral organ was in desperate need of a major overhaul. This project to dismantle the organ, refurbish everything off-site at the Harrison workshop in Durham, and then rebuild the instrument with certain improvements to the layout and the console began in 2020 and took over two and a half years to complete. After a considerable bedding-in period, the organ is now sounding as good as ever, and this month we are holding a special service of Choral Evening Prayer on 12 May (the day before the Anniversary of the Dedication of the Cathedral) to re-dedicate the organ now that all the work is complete. This will be followed by an inaugural recital by Martin Baker. There will also be a talk on the organ and its significance from 2pm prior to the service.

Canon Anthony O’Brien –Cathedral Dean
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Website at

Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly

‘We must never be an island’ By Simon Hart

For the Most Rev. Patrick Kelly, Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool, the first week of April brought a special anniversary. It was 40 years since his ordination as a bishop, at Saint John’s Cathedral in Salford.

Some memories of that day, 3 April 1984, remain strong. The 85-year-old recalls the singing of St John Henry Newman’s hymn ‘Praise to the Holiest in the Height’ – significant given his connection to Oscott College where he had taught Theology and served as Rector. There was also the homily by Bishop Thomas Holland, his predecessor in Salford, based on the writings of St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. And he remembers too the advice of the head of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome. ‘He said, “Above all, take care of your priests”.’

Looking back today on his 12 years as Bishop of Salford and subsequent 17 years as Archbishop of Liverpool, he offers his own piece of wisdom: ‘A bishop must not be an island.’ In short, look outwards, not inwards.

‘One element is to make sure the diocese is not parochial,’ he asserts, and this meant two priorities for him, the first being ‘to maintain every aspect of diocesan life and all its people in communion with each other.’ The second was ‘communion with the whole universal Church. was quite clear from day one that must every other year make a significant visit to another part of the Catholic world. It was one of God’s bits of humour since I hate flying!’

Two particular commitments beyond the diocese were roles with the International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf People and the Holy Land Coordination – the latter undertaken at the behest of Cardinal Basil Hume. ‘It is a group for the presidents of the Bishops Conferences of those countries which have played some role in bringing about the reality of Israel-Palestine today.’ The current reality of Israel’s assault on Gaza troubles him deeply. ‘I’ve been aware for a long time that the Palestinian people are in need of security and of liberty and a place they can really call their own, with all the political, social and economic freedom that gives. How that is achieved I have no idea, but it has come home to me how deeply they have suffered.

‘I was also able, thanks to the late Rabbi Malcolm Malits, to establish a strong relationship with the Jewish community in the Liverpool area so all of it has been a balanced appreciation and one where the need is for no silence in the face of any violence or injustice from whatever source it comes.’

Ironically, for this outward-looking man, ill health has recently narrowed his own personal possibilities. Prior to retirement in 2013, Archbishop Patrick suffered a meningioma, a tumour that can cause stroke-like symptoms. Then, in December 2022, he was left bedbound by a heavy fall. ‘Thanks to a pebble which affected the wheels on my walker fell backwards. I remember nothing about the first few days but I was told it was a partial fracture of the neck.’

After six months in the spinal unit at Southport Hospital, he was moved to a residential care home. ‘I was advised early on that the odds are I wouldn’t be able to stand or walk. Yet very unexpectedly, a Daughter of Charity, Sister Sheila, who is very knowledgeable on skeletal and muscular issues and reflexology, noticed movement where it wouldn’t be expected with a very serious neck fracture.’ Last month brought an even more hopeful sign. ’I managed to stand with help and walk about 10 yards, all totally unexpected.’

Another challenge has been the long delay to the cataract surgery that had been due in the week of his fall, leaving him unable to read. ‘One of the biggest blessings of my life has been reading a chapter of the Gospels every day. That I have missed enormously. hope it’s coming back in the not-too-distant future.’

With surgery scheduled for mid-May, he should also be able to resume his reading of the Economist, another source of wisdom as the ‘best publication know to make you ponder the whole breadth of the world’.

This returns us to that question of looking outwards. ‘It is always the same thing – communion, communion, communion. It is not being an island. There is a safe world where it’s all about vestments and bells and incense. But the Word became flesh and pitched His tent in the middle of our messy world.’

Liverpool school hosts Iftar meal for its Muslim community

The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool held its first-ever Iftar meal for Muslim students and families within the school community.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world observe fasting from dawn until sunset, culminating in the breaking of the fast at sunset with a meal known as Iftar.

The Iftar dinner provided an opportunity for members of the school community to come together, share a meal, and learn about the traditions and significance of Ramadan.

Typically, the breaking of the fast begins with a date and a glass of water or juice, and then worshippers will gather to pray. Former head boy, Mazen Daham, led the call to prayer, with male and female prayer rooms available for guests.

Following the prayers, attendees were treated to a delicious array of traditional dishes, including contributions from families who brought homemade specialities to share. Additionally, local businesses like Kebabish Original and Fozia’s Kashmiri Kitchen generously provided food.

Students and their families shared personal reflections on what Ramadan means to them, fostering a deeper understanding of their faith and traditions among guests.

This significant event marked a milestone in The Academy of St Francis of Assisi’s ongoing commitment to celebrating cultural diversity.

Mrs Jo Leech, headteacher of The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, said: “As a Christian school, we hold dear to our school value of respect for all.

“We recognise the significance of Ramadan for many of our Muslim students and families, and we believe that opportunities like this, where we gather as a community, are an essential part of our school ethos.

“By hosting this Iftar meal, we aim to create a space where people of all faiths and backgrounds can come together and share the values we cherish collectively.”

Norris Green school joins All Saints Multi Academy Trust

St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School has officially become part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust.

Going forward, the primary school, which is the fourth primary to join the growing Liverpool-based multi academy trust, will be known as St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary Academy.

St Teresa of Lisieux was formed in September 2011 following the amalgamation of the previous infant and junior schools on the extensive site in Norris Green.

As a Catholic school, its spiritual and religious education is central to everything. Its mission ‘All things are possible when we love, learn and grow together’ encompasses all aspects of school life and fosters a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

By joining the trust, the school will have access to a wealth of resources, expertise, and support. There will also be opportunities to collaborate with partner primary and secondary schools within the trust.

Headteacher of St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary Academy, Andrew Tremarco, said: “We are proud to be joining All Saints Multi Academy Trust and becoming part of a growing family of schools.

“Collectively, we hold the same values and ethos. More than ever we are committed to our mission to Love, Learn and Grow

together and I look forward to a bright future with our pupils at the centre of everything we do.”

CEO of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, Heather Duggan, said: “We are delighted to welcome St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary Academy into our trust. The school stands as a trusted pillar within the community and delivers a rich and varied curriculum, which is bound together by Gospel values.

“The school’s mission closely aligns with the vision of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, and we look forward to working together to deliver exceptional educational outcomes and enhanced learning opportunities for all.”

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HFCMAT appoints new lay chaplain

Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust (HFCMAT) has announced that Hans van Mourik Broekman will join the trust as lay chaplain in September 2024.

Across his extensive career, Hans has worked in headship roles for over 25 years, and has been committed to improving social mobility and the life chances of all students.

When appointing a lay chaplain, it was important for the trust to find an individual who has experience, enthusiasm and a passion for providing rich opportunities for young people to encounter God and deepen their relationship with him.

Hans’ role as lay chaplain will see him work across all the trust’s schools. As lay

chaplain, Hans will provide spiritual and pastoral support and opportunities for reflection. He will oversee the development and enhancement of spiritual, liturgical and prayer life for schools.

In addition, Hans will be responsible for developing and nurturing links with schools, the archdiocese, local parishes and the wider community.

Hans said: “I am very excited to join Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust as lay chaplain from September 2024.

“My goal has always been to make a real difference in the lives of young people, and I look forward to supporting students from every background and accompanying them on their spiritual and

personal formation journey.

“As a practising Catholic, am passionate about helping young people connect and flourish in faith. I am excited to embark on this new journey and join an ambitious and growing team within the Trust.”

Andy Moor, CEO of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said: “Hans’ role as lay chaplain will see him work across all our schools, drawing on his previous experience working across all key stages at Liverpool College. His invaluable experience and expertise will make him a fantastic addition to our dynamic and growing team.”

St Mary’s College’s first XV rugby team celebrate Lancashire Plate success

St Mary’s College in Crosby has landed more red rose rugby silverware after winning this season’s prestigious Lancashire Plate event.

The school’s First XV recorded an emphatic 60-3 victory over Bolton School in the final, staged under floodlights by Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club.

The road to the final included an excellent 36-26 win for the Crosby side over Manchester Grammar School in the semi-finals.

The Lancashire Plate success crowns an excellent year for the senior team who also won the Rydal Sevens and finished as runners-up in the Birkenhead Sevens.

Their Plate victory also follows hot on the heels of the St Mary’s under 15 team bagging county honours by winning the Lancashire Cup competition for their age group.

St Mary’s head of rugby, John Armstrong, commented: “It’s been a remarkable season for rugby at the school and our First XV players deserve huge congratulations for ending the season on such a high with victory in the Lancashire Plate competition.

“All their hard work over recent months has paid off and playing a floodlit county final at a big club like Preston Grasshoppers was a very memorable way to finish the campaign.

“Thank you to our Upper Sixth players Tom Davis, Archie Kennedy, Dillon Smith, Adam Chapman, Freddy Addyman and Alex Edginton for whom the final was - sadly - their last game for the school. Their commitment has been a great example to their younger teammates.

Mr Armstrong added: “However, equally well done to the lads in the team from the Lower Sixth and Year 11 who played so well. We’re really excited to see how they develop over the next two years.”

Liverpool student crowned winner of Liverpool Catenian Association’s speaking competition

A student from Archbishop Beck Catholic College in Liverpool has won an annual public speaking competition, organised by Province 4 of the Liverpool Catenian Association.

Six speakers represented schools from Liverpool, St Helens, Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port and Chester. The competition took place at Liverpool Hope University Chapel.

The speakers spoke on a variety of topics, with titles including ‘Christianity to me’ and ‘Some thoughts on artificial intelligence (AI)’.

Neve Kirby-Collins won the competition with her topic ‘The impact of Barbie!’.

With her wit and strong grasp of the subject, Neve captivated an audience of over 100 people. She will be representing both her school and Province 4 at the Catenian Association’s National Public Speaking Competition on 1 September in Manchester.

Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald MAfr OBE, assisted by provincial president Peter Matthews, presented certificates and gift vouchers to Neve and the speakers from the other schools.

Southport primary school achieves CAFOD Live Simply Award

Pupils and staff from Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Southport have achieved the Live Simply Award, validating they are living simply, sustainably, and in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities.

The award, championed by overseas development charity CAFOD, was presented to the Catholic school after they successfully planned and implemented faith inspired actions that highlighted the importance of caring for people and the planet.

Their actions have had a positive impact throughout the school, in their local community, and globally too, as they reached out to make a difference.

Natalie Carey, RE subject leader at Holy Family Catholic Primary School, who led the Live Simply journey, said: “We are very proud of the journey we have been on in our Live Simply journey so far. We are excited for the future and look forward to what is to come.”

Pupils worked together to raise funds and donate items for local and global charities. They made sure that other pupils knew the importance of helping others. They also developed their nature trail into a prayer space with the help of the community and designs by the children.

A pupil in Year 6 commented on why they took part in the Live Simply Award, saying: “It feels good to know that we are serving our local community and supporting families who need help.”

CAFOD’s Live Simply coordinator for schools, Siobhan Farnell, said:

“Congratulations to the pupils and staff on achieving the Live Simply Award.

“Their actions are wonderful examples of caring for others and our common home and we wish them well as they continue to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity”.

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Neve and Archbishop Beck’s headteacher, Paul Stirling, were presented with the prestigious Hope Shield, which will be displayed by the school until next year’s competition.
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38

In Catholic tradition, the month of May is dedicated to Mary. Chosen by God above all other women, Mary’s faith and obedience paved the way for the Incarnation. Her example teaches us faith, obedience, humility, and most of all, how to love.

Mary devoted her whole life to serving God and all of us are asked to do the same. In our schools and colleges, our young people are asked to follow the example of Mary.

Prayer and Liturgy are at the heart of the school community. Their prayer time, assemblies, and liturgies allow our young people the opportunity to hear God’s Word and His calling to them. The example of Mary humbly following God’s instructions, and keeping His commandments even when it is not easy, is relatable to our young people. Our schools and colleges show our young people a way of living that may at times be at odds with the secular world. Our young people are constantly reminded that they can, like Mary, move forward on faith even when facing fear and uncertainty.

Mary showed obedience to God. The term “obedience” is seen as a negative concept in some aspects of our society. It is seen as authoritarian and old fashioned. Indeed, in history we have seen examples of where simply following the rules can do great damage in an unethical situation. Our schools and colleges teach young people the importance of self-discipline and responding to authority. They enable them to learn these skills as they go out into society as adults. Obedience to God involves submitting our lives to Him and trusting in Him. Pope Francis said that “Obeying God is listening to God, having an open heart to follow the path that God points out to us”. There is no better example to our young people than that of Mary.

Mary showed great humility. Pope Francis said: “The humility of the childlike is that of somebody who walks in the presence of the Lord, does not speak badly about others, looks only at serving and feels that he or she is the smallest That is where their strength lies.”

Mary receives the gift of God’s son and then goes immediately to her cousin Elizabeth to help her. Humility is like this, says Pope Francis; journeying in the presence of the Lord, happy, joyful because they are humble.

This is a great example for our young people and all who serve in education to follow.

We give thanks to Our Lady in the month of May.

Everton school achieves ‘Centre of Excellence’ status for inclusive practice

Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School in Everton is celebrating after achieving an IQM Inclusive School Award.

The school achieved ‘Centre of Excellence’ status, which shows their demonstrable plans to sustain and develop internal inclusive practice in the school.

With 392 pupils on roll, the school demographic of Our Lady Immaculate has changed significantly over the years. 30.9% of pupils speak English as an additional language (EAL), which is above the national average.

An above average number of pupils have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and the percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals is significantly above the national average.

School leaders said that through welcoming pupils from more diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, school life has been enhanced, and that members of the community have embraced the newcomers and learnt a lot from them and their families.

The school’s most recent Ofsted report highlights that pupils are happy and proud to belong to the ‘calm and welcoming’ school community.

At the IQM visit, visitors to the school said a notable highlight of the school was the emphasis on pupil voice. The school council and chaplaincy group had impactful roles, and IQM stated that pupils feel valued and empowered within their school community.

IQM also emphasised that the integration of traumainformed approaches is evident through all observations and meetings, including those involving pupils and parents/ carers, and said the lack of exclusions or suspensions ‘speaks volumes’.

All stakeholders feel valued at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary, from pupils to governors. IQM labelled the school as ‘an exemplary centre of inclusivity’.

Maricourt raises £1,000 for Good Shepherd Lent Fundraising

Some Year 8 and 9 footballers from Maricourt Catholic High School walked 13.8 miles in just over four hours, raising close to £1,000 as part of the Good Shepherd Lent Fundraising.

Pupils walked from Maricourt in Maghull stopping off for photographs at Aintree Racecourse, Everton’s Goodison Park and Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium before turning around and walking back to school.

Funds were split between the Nugent Care appeal and the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, started by one of Maricourt’s former pupils, Stephen Darby. Maricourt played its part in contributing to the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation’s ‘March of the Day’ event, which was featured on National and Regional TV and raised over £200,000 in total.

Maricourt then went on to take part in the Maghull and District Bleed Kit Mini Marathon #kNOwKnifecrime initiative as part of the Connor McGinty campaign, which was sponsored by charity Cash for Kids and not-for-profit organisation Knifesavers UK.

Summerhill Primary School passed the baton to Maricourt, and the students received an amazing welcome from Northway Primary School, who then carried the baton on.

This was a real opportunity for the whole community to come together in solidarity to raise awareness for such an amazing campaign.

Assistant Headteacher of Maricourt Catholic High School, Danielle Lawler, said: “The only way we raise awareness of such important things is by coming together as a wider community; this fits in with our school mission which states that all young people should aspire to be the change we want to see in our world”.

Teacher and parent duo run London

marathon in memory of late colleague

A teacher and a parent from Our Lady of Pity Catholic Primary School, Wirral, have completed the London marathon to raise funds for Brain Research UK.

Mrs Nicola McShane, early years foundation stage leader, and Mrs Stacy Walsh, a parent of a pupil, ran the 26mile course in an incredible 4 hours 55 minutes and 5 hours 33 minutes, respectively.

The duo ran the iconic marathon in memory of Miss Susanne Adams, a former teacher at the school, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour and sadly passed away in June last year.

Miss Adams worked at the school for 25 years and was much-loved by staff, students and the wider community.

Mrs McShane and Mrs Walsh decided to honour her memory by taking on this challenge and raising vital funds towards Brain Research UK, a charity dedicated to supporting those affected by neurological conditions.

With the help of the whole school

community, the pair have raised over £10,000 and counting.

Pupils at the school even got the opportunity to raise funds for ‘Team Miss Adams’ and completed their own mini marathon in the school’s grounds, where they ran past some London landmarks.

Mrs McShane shared a heart-warming tribute to Miss Adams. She said: “Miss Adams was an incredible teacher and friend. Her dedication to her job was fantastic, and she constantly went above and beyond for her students. She will be missed greatly.”

Head of school at Our Lady of Pity Catholic Primary School, Mrs Kathryn Dunne, said: “The last 12 months have been a sad time for our school, but in the face of such difficult circumstances, our community has come together and demonstrated respect, compassion, and resilience.”

Donations for Team Miss Adams can be made on the school’s Just Giving page: susanneadams

Catholic Pictorial 23 education news education news
Joan McCarthy Director of Education Archdiocese of Liverpool

Seaforth school praised by MP for cleaning up the local community

MP for Bootle, Peter Dowd, visited Our Lady Star of the Sea (OLSS) in Seaforth to learn about OLSS’ school council, who are aspiring to improve a local area in Seaforth which is full of litter.

The school council are aiming to raise enough money to buy plants and develop the area with them - to help the local community take more pride in the vicinity.

As part of the fundraising project, each class was given £10 to create an enterprise project to sell at the pupil-led spring fair event. Each class produced creative Easter-themed items to sell, including:

- Easter cards

- Easter cakes

- Easter pom poms

- Spring plant pots

- Easter-themed games

The children raised a staggering £322.52.

Additionally, all children will be partaking in a litter pick and will be creating dog poop bag holders and posters to place around the area, encouraging the community to use them when out walking their dogs.

MP Peter Dowd praised the school, saying he is very impressed with the good work Our Lady Star of the Sea is doing for the local community.

Mrs Roberts, headteacher of Our Lady Star of the Sea, said:

“I felt extremely proud of the amazing efforts from all our children and staff who have worked together as a team to support our local community.

“MP Peter Dowd was delighted with the children’s enterprise projects and made lots of purchases himself. We are looking forward to moving forward with our project in the upcoming weeks.”

Croxteth students get a look inside the prison system

Year 13 students from St John Bosco Arts College, Croxteth, recently visited Shrewsbury Prison to explore the inner workings of the UK prison system and how it works as part of their criminology studies.

The visit allowed the 22 criminology students to gain first-hand experience inside a prison and explore the potential successes and failures of the prison system.

Students were guided around the prison by a former prison guard, who shared what prison life looked like and what his job involved before Shrewsbury Prison was decommissioned in March 2013.

The 200-year-old prison is steeped in rich history.

The visit was organised by Mrs Donnelly, head of psychology and criminology, at St John Bosco Arts College, to support students in their upcoming exam in June.

Mrs Donnelly said: “The visit to Shrewsbury Prison was an excellent opportunity for our criminology students to hear a first-hand account from a former prison guard, and gain a deeper understanding of how the UK prison system works and explore its successes and failures.”

Students also had the opportunity to participate in a ‘cell escape’ activity, where they worked together in groups to complete several puzzles under timed conditions to escape the cell. The trip was a huge success, with students sharing how beneficial they found it.

One student said: “The tour guide was informative and shared his experience as a guard in other prisons.”

Mr Darren Gidman, headteacher at St John Bosco Arts College, said: “Learning beyond the classroom supports our students to develop skills and independence in a widening range of environments.

“At St John Bosco Arts College, we are always looking for new ways to make learning more engaging and relevant to our students, and trips such as this offer an opportunity to learn and develop beyond the confines of a classroom.”

St Nicholas takes on an exciting walking challenge as they embark on their ‘Live Simply’ journey

St Nicholas Catholic Academy, part of the St Joseph Catholic Multi Academy Trust, recently took part in their ‘Big Lent Walk’, raising money for CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development).

As a school, they walked over 200 km. The walk also incorporated circling around Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. St Nicholas was incredibly pleased to welcome parents and families on its walk. The school’s ‘Big Lent Walk’ was used as the launch of its ‘LiveSimply’ award and project, which they are now embarking on.

The ‘Live Simply’ award enables Catholic communities to care for God’s creation and stand in solidarity with their global family - to answer the call for them to care for their common home and stand in solidarity with their sisters and brothers around the world. The award celebrates what people have already done and inspires them to do more. The award and project help communities live not just more simply but also more fully.

Through this award, the school will learn and complete activities and projects to ‘Live Simply, Live Sustainability and Live in Solidarity’.

This will help students and staff make a change to their school, their local communities and also globally as they work together to ‘Live Simply’. After completion, St Nicholas will receive a Live Simply award plaque to display in their school.

Students champion creative thinking within HFCMAT

Students from St John Plessington Catholic College and St Mary’s Catholic College, part of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust (HFCMAT), curated and delivered a conference in a bid to inspire creativity amongst their peers.

As part of its ongoing C Change programme, HFCMAT empowered students to lead and have their say on how creativity should be fostered within the curriculum.

C Change is one of eight Creativity Collaboratives in England and serves the North West. Creativity Collaboratives is a pilot research programme that aims to build networks of schools to test a range of innovative practices in teaching creativity, with all learning shared to facilitate system-wide change.

The conference took place at St John Plessington in Bebington, with C Change’s student learning ambassadors planning and managing the entire event.

The ambassadors shared their own personal journeys and reasons why they became part of C Change with a group of 60 students. They explained how using ‘The Learning Habits Wheel’ has supported them.

The Learning Habits Wheel, a tool to help students become more confident in the classroom and beyond, is made up of five key elements; inquisitive, persistent, imaginative, disciplined and collaborative.

The conference started with an interactive session which enabled students to express whether they agree or disagree with statements surrounding creativity. A marketplace task then encouraged the young people to form small groups and work together to create posters for their chosen word within the learning habits wheel. The students then taught others about their selected word and learnt about other habits from the different groups.

CEO of HFCMAT, Andy Moor, said: “The world of work is telling us that businesses want young people who can work together effectively, stick at difficulty, solve problems, be curious and learn their way into the future. That’s exactly what we’re doing here.”

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education news
education news

An interview with...

Philomena Golding, a receptionist at St John Bosco Arts College

Known as the ‘voice of Bosco’, Philomena Golding is celebrating ten incredible years at St John Bosco Arts College after joining the school in 2014. But 2024 marks another special occasion for Philomena as she celebrated her 85th birthday on 22, April.

“From the moment I joined Bosco, everyone was so friendly and welcoming,” Philomena says. “My love for the job and the school is a combination of things: the staff, the students, the parents, the values. It sounds cliché, but we really are one big community that supports and respects each other.”

As the first person to greet students, parents and visitors at the school’s reception, Philomena’s warm and welcoming aura has helped her build relationships with parents.

She comments: “I’ve built a rapport with parents whose children might be more vulnerable and have been able to offer a calming and compassionate ear should they need it. Some have been so kind, generous, and really appreciative of my role within the school.”

For Philomena, the ‘hustle and bustle’ is one of her favourite parts of the job. “I just love it when it’s all systems go, it’s none stop, but like that,” Philomena says. “I enjoy working with the admin team, and despite being work colleagues, we have built great relationships, which demonstrates the power of community within every aspect of the school.”

Since 1983, Philomena has worked within schools across Liverpool, starting her career as a dinner lady in a primary school in Dovecot, the same school her children attended. Over the last 39 years, Philomena has worked in schools of different shapes and sizes in several roles.

Philomena adds: “I have worked in lots of schools, but Bosco was the perfect fit for me. Every morning, I look forward to coming to work, catching up with my colleagues, chatting with the students and building those relationships with people.”

As a much-loved staff member at St John Bosco Arts College, Philomena has established strong relationships with members of the senior leadership team, teachers, and support staff.

She concludes: “St John Bosco is such an incredible place, with so many wonderful people who truly care about others. The school’s primary goal has always been to support its students to achieve their true potential, and that is embedded into every aspect of school life.”

A journey of resilience: Walking Camino de Santiago to raise money for charity by

A director for executive education recruitment organisation, Satis Education, recently raised over £1,800 walking a Camino de Santiago route to raise money for St Helens Carers Centre.

Helen Stevenson, who is a parishioner at St Charles and St Thomas More in Aigburth, took on the challenge with her husband, Mark. Together, they braved the first stage of the ancient pilgrimage, which was around 70km to walk and took four days in total.

While she says she has never particularly been sporty, Helen decided she wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago (way of St James) in its entirety before she turned 60.

St Helens Carers Centre was Helen’s chosen charity because she saw how supportive the charity was for young carers.

Starting in St Jean de Pied Port in southern France, Helen and Mark passed through Valcarlos, Roncesvalles, Zubiri before finally arriving in Pamplona, Spain.

Helen said the walk gave her plenty of time to reflect on her religion as a Catholic and what it means to her.

On her journey, she had her St Christopher medal from her mum and a Santiago rosary from her son, as well as a Manx scallop shell from her best friend’s daughter, Emily, who will be making her Holy Communion in May.

The journey was tough, and Helen faced pain along the way in her legs and feet. She said during the toughest parts, like climbing a very steep mountain in a hailstorm, she kept thinking about all the young carers in the UK and the resilience they demonstrate on a daily basis.

Helen said: “We are delighted to have raised such an amount for such a worthy cause. However, the thanks goes to all those who sponsored us - all we had to do was go on a walk through some beautiful countryside.”

Helen said she and Mark are looking forward to planning the next stage.

A day in the life of Animate

You want the activities to be engaging but also challenging. Activities at the start of a day tend to be more dynamic. Things become more thoughtful and reflective as the day goes on, with a time of prayer at the end that we hope brings all the separate strands together.

Once we have the timetable planned, we allocate roles to each team member so we all know what each other is doing. Then we run through the day to make sure we know the resources are ready and what each other is going to say.

Every day at Lowe House starts with a time of prayer in the house chapel, after which we go into the hall and get the room ready – including getting the tech set up and preparing tea and coffee for staff (always essential!).

By the time you read this, Vocations Sunday will have been and gone. For me writing this, it is still a couple of weeks away, and I am wondering to what extent I should talk about my own vocational journey in that week’s Masses.

Some people may find that interesting, others may not. At some point it feels like the law of diminishing returns, whereby if you continue to tell the same story then it loses any value. And I generally feel a little uncomfortable focusing on myself – even if part of the suggestion for Vocations Sunday is to be open about how vocations can happen so some personal input might be appropriate.

A more interesting spin on the subject might be to offer some words on my role with Animate and its place in my own vocation story. I am aware that we often write about retreats and Confirmations and the Faith in Action Award yet there is rarely any context. So, in the best spirit of the Beatles, here is ‘A Day in the Life’.

One of the things I have always liked about this role is that days are rarely the same. Even if you have the same school in for a week of retreats, the group that comes one day is never the same as the group that comes the next. Moreover, each school has a slightly different ‘feel’ to it. This helps keep you on your toes – if you just do the same material each day, no matter who is in front of you, it will never quite click. Therefore, when we have a group coming in, a team member will plan what we will deliver and create a detailed timetable. We are lucky that we have lots of resources to help illuminate our themes. A school always chooses the theme that they want their young people to think about and we assist with the resources. You would never use a resource designed for a day themed ‘Let Your Light Shine’ when looking at ‘Reconciliation’, for example.

There are many moving parts to any retreat. For instance, if we are using breakout rooms for smaller groups, we must all know the times we are due to move and where to take each group. If this gets mixed up, you have 20 or 30 young people just standing around waiting.

We have spoken at length about the content of our retreats, so I will not go into additional detail about that here. When it comes to an end and the group leaves, then, we are then on house-cleaning duty. We tell our groups we have to clean up after them, but I am not sure they believe us; perhaps they think there is a team to help with the cleaning and maintenance. But here, it really is us. So we have to hoover and tidy away and – everyone’s favourite job – clean the toilets after hosting 60 young people!

Finally, we then sit down and evaluate the day and see if we need to change anything. If the day has gone well, we will keep things the same for the next group and, if so, will spend time in the office planning further ahead – for example, for retreats the following week or looking at preparations for the Lourdes pilgrimage or other events. We then finish the day as we began by moving to the chapel for evening prayer. This is a small snapshot of a fairly typical day when we have a group coming to us. The day looks different when we visit schools. Likewise, our office days are spent moving through the ‘to-do’ list for other events.

All in all, it is an interesting role. Maybe not one I might have envisioned when I started to think about a vocation to the Priesthood, but then Priesthood as a vocation can be funny like that. It may not be what you had anticipated, yet it isn’t really about what you as an individual might want – it has to be what the Lord is calling you to be and allowing the Holy Spirit to blow where it may. As such, it may end up taking you to places you never imagined.

27 Catholic Pictorial
youth ministry

Mums the Word

Firstly, would like to say a huge thank you for your generous support during my illness. I received numerous cards and good wishes and especially prayers for a speedy recovery.

For those of you who don’t know, I had been waiting for over two years for a hip replacement and some six weeks ago my dreams came true and it happened. am still stuck in the chair with little mobility, but each day I am getting stronger and moving more.

On Easter Sunday morning was unable to go to Mass, so decided to watch the live-streamed Mass from the Vatican with Pope Francis. I was sitting there, thoroughly enjoying it, when it came to the Gospel and I saw our very own James Finnegan, who is being ordained in the Metropolitan Cathedral in July. could not believe my eyes that he was there, processing with the Gospel. And not only did James sing the Gospel, but he sang it in Latin. It was so beautiful. James also did the response to the intersessions and then, at Communion, he gave Holy Communion to the Holy Father. think this is a day that James will remember for the rest of his life, and his family must be so proud of him.

The next time you are praying for vocations to the priesthood, do think of James and all our seminarians. Our prayers have helped towards their ordinations, and we should pray that we will get many more seminarians.

Finally, Nugent Care have asked for sanitary products for young women who cannot go to school because they cannot afford to buy them. Therefore, please be as generous as you can and bring your products to the next bi-monthly Mass which is on Wednesday 29 May at St Joseph’s, Penketh. I hope to see you all there.

A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

An Easter message for our Knights

At Easter, KSC members from Liverpool and beyond received a letter from the president of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights (IACK), Brother Brendan McCann. It included the following reflection on the Easter season:

“As Catholics, we agree that this is the greatest feast day in the Church’s calendar. We celebrate that Jesus overcame death, not just to demonstrate that He could, but to fulfil the prophecy that He would rebuild the destroyed temple in only three days. For the latter, He was scoffed and mocked; as we know, it took many decades to build the temple of stone. Jesus was referring to Himself as a temple, His own mortal body. He would sacrifice Himself at great personal pain for our sake. For this, we celebrate Easter when Christ overcame death to take away our sins.

“It’s been over 2,000 years since the Resurrection. would like to use a quote, not a biblical quote, but one from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Just as Jesus was mocked and killed for the one true faith, many Christians are mocked and sometimes killed for their faith today.

Persecution is still with us; it comes in many forms: government restrictions, peer pressure, and the temptation to join with secular traditions that believe in nothing but the betterment of oneself. That is not the way of the Knights, no matter what country you come from.

“Every week we hear about priests or other religious groups being murdered for their faith, as well as churches being destroyed. Much of this is not reported in our domestic media, but through Vatican media and other reputable news outlets, one can see the attacks our faith comes under.

“As Knights, we put our faith into action by feeding the hungry, protecting the marginalised, and standing up for many other social justice issues. The faith in our respective countries has become richer because of our vocation to the Church’s teachings, which has become our moral compass.

I’d also like to share the sad news that Mrs Marie Melia, president of St Philomena’s UCM for the last 18 years, passed away on 28 February 2024 aged 93 years. Mrs Melia was laid to rest on 27 March 2024 at her beloved St Philomena’s church.

“Being Catholic can have its difficulties, but the reward of eternal life should be our motivation to overcome any impediments. Jesus has told us: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is God’s reveller; that is, he reveals the truth, and he is the source of all truth. As God’s disciples, we are to speak the truth, walk in the truth, and believe in the truth. Christ embodied the truth.

“Keep the faith, brothers, and spread the faith. God willing, when we meet next, we can share our experiences. Be the light of your community, and may your example inspire others, especially at this time.”

The full message can be seen on our website:

News from the councils

• Council 18 Widnes Brother Ste Kelly (pictured) completed the Liverpool Half-Marathon on 23 March, raising almost £800, which the council is putting towards its sponsorship of the annual Lourdes Archdiocesan Pilgrimage. This is Ste’s second sponsored run for the KSC following his completion of the (much hotter) Lanzarote equivalent. The Widnes council can also report its success in the Knights’ Christmas photography competition, with pupils from Year 7 at St Peter and Paul Catholic High School submitting the top three photos in the competition.



Celebrating Excellence: Nugent iACCORD Awards 2024

Nugent recently had the pleasure of hosting the annual iACCORD Awards sponsored by Aabyss, a night dedicated to recognising the outstanding members of our team. Held on Tuesday 19 March at the prestigious Hilton Hotel in Liverpool City Centre, the event was a celebration of dedication and passion.

The event began by honouring our Nugent Heroes with the Long Service Awards. These individuals, with 10, 20, 30, or 40 years of service, truly embody Nugent’s values and have played pivotal roles in shaping our mission and impact.

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the presentation of awards across various categories, celebrating everyone from frontline staff to business support and volunteers.

Among the deserving winners were:

- Volunteer of the Year Award: David Warner

- Leader of the Year Award: Andrea Marshall

- Team of the Year Award: Marydale

- Integrity: Gintare Jurciukonyte

- Ambition: Monique Berry

- Compassion: Sarah Hodson

- Optimism: Emma Foy

- Respect: Lorna Towner

- Dignity: Ashley Taylor

Additionally, our CEO, Jo Henney, personally chose recipients for the CEO Highly Commended Award and the CEO Special Recognition Award. Matty Taylor received the CEO Highly Commended Award for his exceptional dedication to safeguarding within Nugent’s services.

Jo Shannon was honoured with the CEO Special Recognition Award for her outstanding dedication and resilience, and for reflecting Nugent’s commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.

The iACCORD Awards not only celebrate individual achievements but also highlight the collective commitment of our Nugent team to making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. We applaud all nominees and winners for their outstanding contributions and their embodiment of Nugent’s values and spirit.

Ready to be part of a team where your contributions are valued, celebrated, and impactful every day? Discover our wide range of career opportunities with Nugent at Join us in our mission to serve our community and make a positive impact on the lives of those we support.

Every day within Nugent, our colleagues, across all areas of the charity, are providing vital care and support to vulnerable individuals from our communities.

Our colleagues are amazing, and each year we celebrate their achievements at our annual iACCORD Awards. iACCORD is an acronym formed from Nugent’s values of:

• Integrity

• Ambition

• Courage

• Compassion

• Optimism

• Respect

• Dignity

As the CEO of Nugent, I am filled with immense pride witnessing the celebrations among our colleagues. Our internal iACCORD Awards ceremony stands as a testament to the friendship and mutual respect that permeates every aspect of our organisation. It truly reflects the deep value we place on each other’s contributions and commitments.

This occasion is a highlight on our Nugent calendar, where we come together in the spirit of celebration and gratitude. We gather to recognise those colleagues who tirelessly serve across our diverse range of services, including homes, communities, education, family, and support services.

This year, in my first full year as CEO, we introduced a new Volunteer Award. It was truly uplifting to express our gratitude to our exceptional volunteers who generously donate their time within our services. One of the remarkable services run by our dedicated volunteers is the Nugent Pantry. Located within St Anne’s Church, Kensington, the Pantry operates every Tuesday from 1 pm to 3 pm, providing support to families and individuals by offering fresh produce and pantry staples. The volunteer team goes beyond merely providing food; they cultivate a sense of community and unity. Through the shared experience of food, we build connections, alleviate the impact of poverty, and contribute to healthier, happier lives.

Thank you for being part of our journey and for making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

Catholic Pictorial 28
Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
29 Catholic Pictorial
Jo Henney Chief Executive Officer Nugent

Dialogue and Unity National Elections Looming and Ecumenical Action

With May Local Elections just about to happen, we now await a General Election. Churches, often in wider Consortia with offer faith communities and the wider Third Sector, get involved in reminding people of the responsibility to vote, arrange hustings (often churches and churches halls are available and seen as a neutral venue) and producing guidelines on topics to consider as you vote whether local, national, or international.

We should also be praying for the Elections and for our MPs when they are elected. Building up links with MPs is critical not just when we have a moan but to forge a relationship and show the vital contribution that churches, church schools and the ever-growing numbers of church-inspired social and community action projects.

The Church Leaders Group of Churches Together in the Merseyside Region take linking with MPs seriously and arrange a meeting at least annually with them. Another important but more convivial event with civic life is that the Church Leaders normally hold a reception with Mayors once a year.

The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) is forming a Constituency Action Network. JPIT is a partnership between the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church. Its purpose is to help the Churches to work together for peace and justice through listening, learning, praying, speaking, and acting on public policy issues. They produce excellent material of use to any local church, Christian social action project or Churches Together Group working on social justice issues.

The aim of the Constituency Action Network is to facilitate at least one local church congregation in every parliamentary constituency in England, Scotland, & Wales in developing a meaningful relationship with their MP.

They will offer support relevant to your church. As participants deepen their engagement with the network, JPIT will aim to encourage your whole church to be on board, to actively listen to and respond to the needs of your neighbourhood, to pray for your MP and to create opportunities for interaction with your MP.

JPIT are currently running a pilot programme for a limited number of churches and aim to launch the wider network during 2024. If you would like to be on the list to find out more, please contact them and I know they will be delighted to have Catholic engagement! They can be contacted via the JPIT website: contact-us

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) have a Guide for Churches arranging Hustings available on their website:

This is an excellent guide and in this technological age suggests a range of alternatives to the traditional hustings including speed hustings and online version of traditional hustings plus other creative ideas.

Citizens UK have a scheme for any queries about the voter registration called the Voter Registrations Champions Scheme.

Currently the Electoral Commission estimates that eight million eligible voters will miss out because they are not properly registered.

Four million eligible voters will miss out because they do not have Photo ID. And fourteen million eligible voters will not see the point of turning out to vote. Churches and other bodies are being encouraged to get people to register and get everyone to vote.

Your parish, Justice & Peace Group, Churches Together and Food Bank can encourage people to register and vote. Contact the Voter Registration Champions scheme, at

By accrediting as a Voter Registration Champion, your faith or community group can have influence on democratic participation in your area and join a non-partisan movement seeking to make sure 300,000 at-risk voters can exercise their right to vote.

This is just an ecumenical introductory advert - more will be coming in the months ahead via the outstanding work of Pablo Guidi (our Catholic Social Action Coordinator) and our active Justice and Peace Commission (which has decades of experience of taking initiatives at the time of General Elections). But check what other churches may be considering in your area - remember we’re better together!

Two Prayers For Upcoming Election:

Lord Jesus, forgive us for the times we have entered a conversation without really listening. Show us how to listen with open and humble hearts, especially to people different from us. Help our leaders to do the same. Amen.

We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear Your Word, live Your love, and keep in the ways of Your truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and His Apostles and guide us to Your Kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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