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Issue 203 August 2021
Canon Tom appointed Auxiliary Bishop INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Four new Permanent Deacons ordained
Celebrating St Edmund Arrowsmith
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contents Welcome Last month it was announced that Pope Francis has appointed Canon Thomas Neylon to be an Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool. Ordained by Pope St John Paul II in Heaton Park, Manchester during the Papal Visit Canon Tom has served in Wigan, Skelmersdale, St Helens and Widnes and is well known throughout the archdiocese. This month he shares his thoughts and looks forward with hope to the future. He will be ordained Bishop on Friday 3 September, the Feast of St Gregory the Great, in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. We give thanks for his appointment and pray for him as he begins his new ministry among us. Last month also saw the ordination of five new deacons, four of them to the permanent diaconate and Deacon Michael Harwood from St Peter and St Paul in Crosby who was ordained in the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls in Rome where he is studying for the priesthood at the Beda College. Andrew Cleary, David Lawson, Alan Molloy, and John Sargent were ordained in the Metropolitan Cathedral by Archbishop Malcolm. We pray for them all as they begin their ministry.
From the Archbishop’s Desk The news that Canon Tom Neylon has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool by Pope Francis has brought joy to the hearts of the priests, religious and people of the archdiocese. Bishop Tom Williams and I will now be ably supported in our episcopal ministry by another bishop. The need has been all the greater since the death of Bishop Vincent Malone who, although officially retired, carried on working as hard as ever for at least a dozen years after 75 years of age until a year or so before his death. Bishop Vincent set a high standard of dedication and service to the Church and God’s people, and he is still greatly missed. An auxiliary bishop, as the name implies, is appointed to assist the diocesan bishop with the administrative and pastoral needs of the diocese. As we await the pastoral plan flowing from Synod 2020, Bishop-elect Tom’s appointment couldn’t have come at a better time. The comedians in the diocese have already said that with his appointment we now have ‘bishops TomTom’ or ‘Bishop satnav’. It struck me that this was very appropriate as we will need direction and guidance for the archdiocese as we hopefully emerge from the pandemic and embark on a new future together as we become the Church we are called to be. Please join me in a prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of Canon Tom as Auxiliary Bishop.
Main Feature A new Bishop for Liverpool
News From around the Archdiocese
14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent A parenting approach with pace 19 Profile Canon Tom Neylon Ready for a new role as Bishop 21 Animate Youth Ministry Lessons from a year of living differently 25 Cathedral Record Providing a warm welcome for our Cathedral Visitors 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
28 Pic Life Why silence really is golden Editor Peter Heneghan
Copy deadline September 2021 Monday 16 August 2021
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A new Bishop for Liverpool The Archdiocese will welcome its ninth Auxiliary Bishop when Canon Tom Neylon is ordained on 3 September. For Canon Tom Neylon, his upcoming appointment as the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s new Bishop ‘came out of the blue’. It began with a call from the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, summoning him to a meeting in Wimbledon. There, at the nuncio’s home, he learned that his days as a parish priest were over and that a new role beckoned as the ninth Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool. Currently parish priest at St Wilfrid’s in Widnes, Canon Tom will be ordained as a bishop on Friday 3 September at the Metropolitan Cathedral, but already he has gained a sense of the fresh challenge that awaits. ‘Since it was announced, I’ve had letters from bishops around the country and they’ve been very supportive, saying they’re praying for me and looking forward to meeting me and working together,’ he reflected. ‘I suppose that is encouraging as well. You’re part of a team of people that have got responsibility for the Church in England and Wales and seem to have a good way of working together. Before, the focus would be on the parish primarily and then the deanery you are part of and then the diocese, and the bishop has a broader horizon to be looking out on.’
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon underlined his own confidence in Canon Tom when announcing his appointment on 6 July. He said: ‘When I came to the Archdiocese in 2014, Canon Tom was already a Vicar General and trustee of the Archdiocese and his excellent pastoral and administrative skills have been invaluable to me in my ministry as Archbishop. He will now be able to use those God-given talents at a higher level in assisting me in taking the Church forward in the coming years.’ According to the Archbishop, the 63year-old’s experiences of pastoral ministry will serve him well. Canon Tom’s first appointment in 1982 was as assistant priest at St Cuthbert’s, Wigan, and four years later he moved to join the team ministry serving Skelmersdale. In 1996 he became parish priest at St Julie’s, Eccleston before also filling the same post at St Teresa’s, Devon Street, and English Martyrs, Haydock. He served as Dean of St Helens from 2006, as a Vicar General of the Archdiocese from 2007 and as a member of the Chapter of Canons of the Metropolitan Cathedral from 2008. Since September 2020, he has been at St Wilfrid’s. ‘He has always offered excellent pastoral care and been alongside his parishioners in times of need and times of joy –
‘He has always offered excellent pastoral care and been alongside his parishioners in times of need and times of joy.’ Archbishop Malcolm qualities which will serve him and the whole Archdiocese well in the coming years,’ said Archbishop Malcolm. Brought up in St Oswald’s Parish in Padgate, Warrington, where he attended the local primary school and then English Martyrs’ Secondary School, Orford, the Bishop-elect began training for the priesthood at St Joseph’s College, Upholland, at the age of 16. He had started exploring his vocation as an altar boy in his early teens when Father Bill Cook, a curate in his home parish, asked him, ‘Have you ever thought about becoming a priest?’. ‘It was a casual question, but it sowed the seed,’ recalled Canon Tom, who completed his training at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, Durham. However joyful next month’s ordination as a Bishop proves to be, it will not be on the same scale as his ordination as a priest in 1982. After all, the then 24-year-old was ordained by Pope St John Paul II in front of 250,000 people in Heaton Park, Manchester, on Monday 31 May – the day after the Pontiff’s visit to Liverpool. ‘The focus of the Papal visit was the sacraments, so they made a decision about having priests ordained at Heaton Park,’ Canon Tom remembered. ‘There were six of us who were diocesan priests and another six who belonged to religious congregations. All the ritual that goes with ordination was shared among the 12 of us – the questions were asked and collectively we responded together. ‘On the Monday morning, which was a bank holiday, the Pope went by
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Bishop-elect Tom Neylon, with Archbishop Malcolm and Bishop Tom Williams
helicopter to Heaton Park in north Manchester. There was quite a gathering of people and, as you can imagine, everyone looked like a little dot really!’ And there, among the dots, was a coachload from St Oswald’s. ‘We were allowed a coach of family and friends, all we had to do was submit names and addresses,’ he explained. ‘The visit itself was exceptional. It was the first time a Pope had come to the country, and there was intense coverage. But it all seemed to come together. Once I got over the initial surprise and shock, it was just a case of “Let’s go with it”.’ Thirty-nine years on, this ordination ‘will be a bit more intimate’, added Canon Tom with a laugh. ‘It will be an opportunity for the diocesan family to gather, which they’ve not been able to do for 18 months because of the restrictions that the pandemic has brought. It’s an opportunity for priests from the diocese to come together. All the parishes have been circulated with an invitation, and then family and friends I’ve known for a good part of my life.’
Bishop-elect Tom at his Ordination in Heaton Park 31 May 1982
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Archbishop Malcolm announces the appointment of a new Auxiliary Bishop
‘Since it was announced, I’ve had letters from bishops around the country and they’ve been very supportive, saying they’re praying for me…’ 6
Once he has been ordained, his work as a Bishop will involve helping to implement the Archdiocesan pastoral plan which is being prepared in response to the Synod. When confirming his appointment, Archbishop Malcolm noted that Canon Tom’s ordination date of 3 September was the Feast of Pope St Gregory the Great – ‘a man who reorganised Church life and administration and sent Augustine and his monks to evangelise the English’ – and added: ‘It is a fitting day to ordain a Bishop who will be charged with the tasks of administration and evangelisation in this part of England. I know that Bishop-elect Tom will accept these tasks graciously and fulfil them with diligence and care for others.’ The Archbishop went on: ‘Bishop-elect Tom will fulfil a vital role in implementing our plan so that we can better serve the people of our Archdiocese. It is a challenging time but one which offers a bright future for Catholics in this part of northwest England as we continue to be “together on the road”. Bishop-elect Tom will, I know, be always walking alongside our people on that journey.’
Canon Tom, who is a member of the Archbishop’s Council, said: ‘It is about trying to continue the process and be faithful to what the people voted for the at the Synod on 19 June, to try to shape all that into a plan. Some things may take further discussion locally because there is no “one size fits all”. It is being faithful to the strapline of “walking together” – we walk with people in parishes, the various departments within the diocese with responsibility for different aspects of diocesan life.’ And, he promised, the fact he will be wearing a Bishop’s mitre by the time the pastoral plan is launched on the first Sunday of Advent will change nothing regarding his own approach. ‘It’s about encouraging people,’ he said. ‘We all have to take some responsibility. I think the days of cracking whips are over really!’ Instead, he will take his cue from one of the Synod’s 19 recommendations. ‘One of the strong themes underpinning the recommendations is that of service. It is in this spirit that I hope to live my life as an Auxiliary Bishop.’
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News diary If you’ve got any news from your parish that you’d like featured e-mail us with the details at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael ordained to the Diaconate Michael Harwood from St Peter and St Paul parish, Crosby, who is studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, was ordained to the diaconate on Thursday 10 June. The Ordination Mass was celebrated by Cardinal James Harvey, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls, Rome, in the Basilica of St Paul. Michael is pictured during the Mass and afterwards with Cardinal Harvey and the Rector of the Beda College, Canon Philip Gillespie.
Obituary of Canon Albert Shaw Former Vocations Director and Parish Priest of St Helen’s, Crosby, for 24 years, Canon Albert Shaw, died on Tuesday 25 May aged 91 and in the 67th year of his priesthood. His priestly ministry fell into two broadly distinct phases: firstly, in priestly formation and the promotion of vocations, and then as a devoted parish priest at St Helen’s, Crosby, and was distinguished by a generosity of spirit, kindness and good humour. Albert William Shaw was born on 20 January 1930 at Bamber Bridge, the son of John Aloysius and Amy Shaw (née Williams). He attended St Mary’s School, Chorley, and Thornleigh College, Bolton. At 18 he entered the seminary at St Joseph’s, Upholland, where he proved to be a popular member of the community. He distinguished himself as a fine soloist in the various Gilbert and Sullivan productions that were staged and was a keen sportsman. He was ordained priest in the college chapel on 12 June 1954 by Archbishop William Godfrey. Following ordination, he was appointed as curate at St Robert Bellarmine, Bootle, where he served until September 1958. He then returned to Upholland College to take up the post of Prefect of Discipline. Monsignor John Butchard, a student in that period, observed that, ‘He was a very humane Prefect who did much to make our lives pleasant without challenging the status quo. His spirituality shone through in a job that does not lend itself to that.’ That spirituality found a more obvious outlet from January 1969, when he was appointed Spiritual Director at Upholland in succession to Father James English. He remained in this post until July 1975, having been involved in the difficult transition
period as the senior house moved to Ushaw and Upholland became exclusively a junior seminary. Upon leaving the college he moved to St James, Bootle, combining his parish duties with the responsibility of being Vocations Director. In September 1979 he was appointed for his first and only appointment as parish priest as he moved from Bootle to St Helen’s, Crosby. He soon immersed himself in this busy and thriving parish and was renowned for his encouragement of singing during the liturgy. His tenure also saw changes to the fabric of the church, with a new stone altar and ambo, and the building of a Lady Chapel. Ecumenical activity was promoted in the parish, and the covenant establishing Churches Together in Crosby was signed in St Helen’s Church in the presence of Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard in 1984. Many groups were established in the parish to represent the full richness of Catholic life. By 2003 he had been the local dean for best part of twenty years and only increasing frailty forced his retirement. Jim Dillon’s history of the parish, ‘80 Years On’, notes, ‘He was in his twenty-fourth year as parish priest and the parish was as lively and active as ever. It was a warm, exciting and spiritually stimulating place to be.’ For his distinguished service in the archdiocese, he was appointed firstly as an honorary canon in October 1992 and then became a member of the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter in 1998. Throughout his retirement, until his final illness, he lived at Alston Court in Ainsdale. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St Helen’s Church, Crosby, on Tuesday 8 June followed by burial at Ainsdale Cemetery.
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news diary First Holy Communion ‘detectives’ use author’s book to become Mass Experts
Father Roy Cooper (left) and Father Michael Barrett (right) with author Sue Ellis
Sue Ellis, author of the recently published book 'Thank God for Mass!’ was delighted to meet Father Roy Cooper from St Teresa’s and St Mary Magdalen’s Churches, Penwortham, and Father Michael Barrett from St Oswald’s Church, Longton, when she delivered a large order of books straight to their door. ‘Thank God for Mass!’ is an interactive book for children, families, schools and adult formation groups designed to encourage everybody to look and listen to key aspects of each section of the Mass. Father Roy Cooper said, ‘Thank God For Mass! has arrived at the right time for us, as we are currently doing catch up on First Holy Communions, following the Covid-19 closures and lockdowns’. After taking copies into the two primary schools of St Mary Magdalen and St Teresa’s in Penwortham, the Deputy Headteachers in both Schools were really excited on seeing the book and will be using them with the First Holy Communion children. Father Michael Barrett added, ‘Thank
God for Mass may be used in a number of ways by parents, catechists and teachers to support and grow the love of the Mass in our children. Children are good detectives and by asking them to look and listen to parts of the Mass allows them to develop their natural curiosity and to ask further questions. In encouraging and nurturing this knowledge of the Mass we pass on our faith and our love of God.’ ‘Thank God for Mass!’ is available from Sue Ellis by emailing her at email@example.com and part of the royalties will be sent to the London SVP office to help fund Youth SVP and Mini-Vinnies groups. Each 16page book is £8.50 plus postage and packing but there are reductions for schools and churches for 10 and 20 books. It can also be ordered from all good bookshops. Churches and schools around the country are using the book to help their children and families enjoy returning to Church after lockdown as we all appreciate being able to have Holy Communion again and proclaim ‘Thank God for Mass!’
Obituary of Deacon John Keeley John Keeley was born on 6 November 1939 and followed in his father’s footsteps as a craftsman, mastering a whole range of skills in the construction and maintenance of buildings and gaining a reputation for dedication to his work and utter reliability. He married Maureen on 11th April 1970 and they enjoyed 50 years of family life together, bringing up their children, Catherine, Gerard and Damian and the generations to follow. John was dedicated to his family but also generous with his time and his talents in looking after the needs of his extended family and of an untold number of parishioners in Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton. John’s son Gerard, in his eulogy at the Requiem Mass, said that whilst there was great demand for John’s presence and his skills within and beyond the extended family, there was always enough of John to go round. John’s commitment to service and the depth of his faith led to the discernment of his vocation to the permanent diaconate and, with the support of the parish priest of the time, Father Peter Brett, he was ordained on 28 June 1987. John continued his practical work of service but now added to it the liturgical role of assisting at Mass and presiding at baptisms, weddings and funerals, developing a great gift for preaching. The present parish priest, Father Tim Buckley, described his liturgical presence as impressive, unfussy and exuding a calm authority, his magnificent beard making him look like an Old Testament prophet, but always preaching the New Testament message of Christ’s compassion. Father Tim went on to say, ‘on many occasions he would so touch my heart that I would be moved to share his insights with the congregations at St Mary’s later in the day’. John remained fit and active well beyond the retirement age for deacons of 75 and his death on Friday 9 April, just two days short of the 51st anniversary of his marriage to Maureen, was a great shock to everyone who knew him and relied on him so much. Bishop Ralph Heskett, another former parish priest of Bishop Eton, travelled from his diocese of Hallam to preside at John’s funeral, which was attended by the limited number of his family and friends allowed by the Covid restrictions in place at the time but also watched via livestream by many more priests, deacons and lay people who would have wanted to be there to thank God for his life and ministry.
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news diary Sainthood: not the end but just the beginning Pilgrims’ Mass’ on Sunday 29 August at 3.00 pm at St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith Church, Ashton-in-Makerfield by Paul Hurst Father John Gorman is the Parish Priest at the church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith in Ashton-inMakerfield and as we approach the feast day of St Edmund, Father John spoke about this year’s celebration Mass and why he thinks we’ve still got so much to learn from the lives of the Saints. ‘It’s easy to see Sainthood as the end of a journey’ Father John told us ‘but really it’s just the beginning. In the lives of the Saints, we see someone who, by the grace of God, has endured and run the race set before them, and we can all receive great comfort that these Saints continue to offer their prayers with ours today. ‘Sainthood may seem like the end of things to us but we mustn’t forget this, the Saints continue their ministry, the Church is not separated by death. We can be comforted by this. Not only by their example, but also by their continued prayers too. This is particularly powerful when we consider the lives of local Saints such as Edmund Arrowsmith who endured martyrdom for his ministry as a Catholic Priest’. Edmund Arrowsmith was born in Haydock in 1585 and was ordained to the Priesthood in 1612 in France. He returned to north-west England and served as a priest to Catholics living in Lancashire. The work was difficult and dangerous as Catholics were living under persecution from the Protestant-led monarchy. Father Edmund was initially detained in 1622 and questioned by the Bishop of Chester before being released. He continued with his ministry and joined the Jesuit Order in 1624 serving as an ‘underground’ Priest until his capture in August 1628. After his second arrest, Father Edmund was imprisoned at Lancaster Castle. His trial before the assizes Judge Henry Yelverton took place on 26 August 1628 and by all accounts, the matter was concluded speedily. Father Edmund Arrowsmith was found guilty of being a Catholic Priest (and by extension, High Treason) and his sentence was death. He was taken back to the smallest cell in the castle to await his execution. Around lunchtime on 28 August 1628. Father Edmund Arrowsmith was drawn through the streets of Lancaster from the castle up to the hill where the sentence 10
was to be carried out. Father Edmund refused to turn from his faith and, after giving a statement outlining this, he was hanged and quartered. His family secured the return of his right hand as the rest of his mortal remains would not be granted a Christian burial. On the 25 October 1970, Pope St Paul VI canonised St Edmund Arrowsmith along with 39 other Catholic Martyrs from England and Wales and the ‘Holy Hand’ of St Edmund Arrowsmith continues to be venerated at the Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith to this day. Father John picks up the story: ‘For many years after the canonisation of St Edmund, pilgrims would visit the church here in Ashton. On the feast day Mass, we could expect hundreds to visit from all over the country and it’s only in more recent years where the numbers aren’t at that same level. That’s something I’d like to see change. ‘There are so many lessons we can learn from the witness of St. Edmund on resilience, faithfulness and determination. Although the trials and challenges we face today as Catholics are completely different, it’s all too easy for us to be tempted to sideline our faith
especially given what’s going on around us in these difficult times. I’d really like to encourage us all to learn from the example of St Edmund and also to seek his intercession and that’s why I’m trying to encourage people to take a look once again at his example. Father John will celebrate a ‘Pilgrims’ Mass’ on Sunday 29 August at 3.00 pm at St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith Church, Ashton-in-Makerfield. Father John has also been working on a special mini documentary which will be available via the Church’s YouTube Channel (rcchurchesashton). The documentary visits most of the locations from the life of St Edmund Arrowsmith and offers an in-depth look at his life and example.
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Synod 2020 Update
by Father Philip Inch and Father Matthew Nunes – Synod Moderators After all the Synod votes were counted and considered the next step was a meeting with the Archbishop, his Council and the Pastoral Plan Group. This took place at the Pastoral Centre of the Leeds Diocese, Hinsley Hall, for 5 days from July 12th. During this week the votes on the 19 Recommendations took centre stage. These votes, the Synod Themes and the 27,000 contributions of the listening stage
were allowed to direct and speak to the development of ideas for the pastoral plan. Alongside this the prayer and liturgy of each day inspired our thoughts and plans. At the centre of this was Christ himself whose light was shed on our Synod and on the realities of the world in which we are called to minister and live. It was a hard week but one full of life and energy. By the Thursday a way forward was beginning to emerge. It is challenging but also life giving and most of all faithful to Christ experienced through the discernment that has been our pattern
of working throughout the whole synod journey. The ideas, and there were many of them, have surfaced. The next stage is for a writing group to gather (for a week) and to try to present what has emerged in a way that we can put it into place and make a difference. The Archbishop and his Council will review the Plan; the Pastoral Plan Group will meet again for 3 days in September and then we will work out how to rollout the Plan towards it being shared at the end of November.
Welcome Father Joseph On Thursday 27 May, Fr Joseph Kiganda CSSp was formally inducted as the Parish Priest of St Mary and St Columba, Castletown and Port Erin, Isle of Man. The Rite of Induction was led by the Dean, Monsignor John Devine. The first reading was read by Howard Connell, Vicar General of the Anglican Diocese of Sodor and Man and Ecumenical Adviser to the Liverpool 2020 Synod. The Gospel was read by Father Brian O’Mahony CSSp, Parish Priest of Our Lady, Star of the Sea and St Maughold, Ramsey and St Patrick, Peel; Father Joseph was assistant to Father Brian when he first arrived on the Island last year before taking up his new appointment. The service was attended by clergy from other local churches and civic representatives as well as a large number of parishioners and Catholics from across the Island. After the service everyone was able to meet Father Joseph over
refreshments. Father Joseph is pictured with (l to r) Father Brian Dougherty; Mark Radcliffe, Vicar of Malew and Santon; Sean Turner,
Methodist Minister for the South of the Island; Liz Hull, Curate in Rushen; Monsignor John Devine and Father Brian O’Mahony CSSp.
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news diary Bags of hope from Huyton to Mary’s Meals Parishioners from churches in Huyton have donated backpacks, filled with school items, for children receiving Mary’s Meals more than 7,000 miles away in Malawi where many of the children do not have basic items for school and the backpacks are often the only gift they have ever received The parishioners from St Agnes and St Aidan took part in The Backpack Project, run by the global school feeding charity, and filled 173 back packs with notepads, pencils, clothes and other useful educational essentials. Joanne Matthews, parishioner and long-time supporter of Mary’s Meals says: ‘We have supported the backpack project for a number of years now and it is something that the parishioners love to work together to help with. Knowing that the simple things we take for granted each day like a spoon or a pencil, packed into a backpack with other items, will be the first gifts some of these children will have received, spurs us on each year.’ Head of Grassroots Engagement at Mary’s Meals, Emma Hutton, said: ‘We are so grateful to the people of the parish of St Agnes and St Aidan for supporting our Backpack Project. It’s truly wonderful to see the immense joy these bags bring to each child who receives one and to see their faces light up when they pull out a simple item from their backpacks such as a pencil or ball.’ A donated backpack – which can be brand new or a recycled one, such as a school bag, that is in good condition - can be filled with the following items: notepads, pencils, pens, crayons, eraser, sharpener, ruler, pencil case, towel, shorts or skirt, t-shirt or dress, flip-flops or sandals, small ball like a tennis ball, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and a spoon. The Backpack Project is helping young people like Lagia, 13, at Ngabu Primary School in Malawi, to learn in class. She says: ‘I am so happy because I have received a backpack. Inside, I found a dress, pens and a hardcover book. I will use the bag every day
Christopher’s Papal Blessing
Parishioners helping to pack the backpacks into sacks ready for collection
to carry pens and books when I am coming to school.’ For more information on what to donate and how the project works, please visit www.marysmeals.org.uk/backpack. Anyone in the Liverpool Region can phone 0800 698 1212 for more information. Christopher Holden, the oldest altar server at St Anne and Blessed Dominic, Sutton, St Helens, was presented with a papal blessing on his 90th birthday by Parish Priest, Father John Paul Illunga. The Mass was attended by his children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. Chris still regularly serves at Mass.
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news diary Protest Fast at SFX church, Liverpool ‘I am so angry at the Government’ said Jesuit Parish Priest, Denis Blackledge, of Saint Francis Xavier in Everton, near Liverpool City Centre. ‘Two years ago, they promised 0.7% of gross national income to overseas development, and now they’ve broken that promise by only giving 0.5% of an already depleted gross national income. So, for the first time in my life, at 78 years of age, I’m going to protest publicly – I’m going to do a water-only 24 hour fast. I’ll sit in my armchair in front of the High Altar after 12.00 noon Mass on Thursday 3 June until 12 noon the following day, and we’ll keep the church open for the whole 24 hours so people can give their support.’ Having celebrated Mass on Thursday 3 June Father Denis took off his vestments and sat in his chair – to start an interesting 24 hours for him. As it turned out, between 12.30 pm and 8.30 pm he only had about five minutes to himself. A procession of people, from friends and parishioners, swimming companions, local City Councillors, the Deputy Mayor, an MP and clergy gathered for conversation and encouragement. Then the hard part – the vigil hours. Father Denis got about an hour’s sleep in his chair from eleven until midnight, but from then on people came into church throughout the night to keep him company in prayer and reflection. From 8.00 am to 11.00 am Father Denis enjoyed the silence in church until his meeting with friend and ecumenical colleague Rev Henry Corbett. As it was half term, Joint Church School, Faith Primary, sent their support remotely, and one student, Luca, came along and gave a short performance on the violin. None of this could have been done without the quiet presence of Debbie Reynolds, Pastoral Assistant at SFX Church, coordinating the Church being open safely and attended with covid measures. The original intention was to protest, not to make money, but, in the end, some £1,557.24 was raised and donated equally to Cafod, Jesuit Missions and the Jesuit Refugee Service, as all were instrumental in helping to raise awareness with facts and figures of this unfair cut to overseas aid, which will cost lives. Father Denis said, ‘I hope my small gesture will encourage us all to stand up for our poor sisters and brothers in our one world and will awaken our government to respond to their urgent needs.’
Father Denis (centre) with l to r Debbie and Peter Reynolds, Liverpool Deputy Mayor Cllr Jane Corbett and Rev Henry Corbett, Liverpool Cllr Sarah Doyle, Cabinet Member for Development and Economy.
Thanksgiving for St Joseph’s
On Sunday 27 June parishioners past and present gathered at St Joseph’s, Willaston on the Isle of Man for a service to mark the closure of the church. They are pictured with Monsignor John Devine and Father Brian Dougherty afterwards. Monsignor Devine gives a full account of the occasion in his ‘Sunday Thoughts’ column this month.
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note ‘(Mary is) a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people.’ (Preface of the Assumption) For the Italians, the Solemnity of the Assumption on 15 August is a wellloved and well-honoured feast – not least because it falls in the middle of what can be the hottest month. Not for nothing do they speak of ‘fer Agosto’ – the iron heat of August – and so the Assumption can be an opportunity for a much-needed extra day of rest, and perhaps a trip to the seaside or an extra ice cream! Our devotion for and love of Mary does not turn her into a goddess to be worshipped, but acknowledges her powerful example, inspiration and intercession for us on our journey of faith and life. She is ‘the handmaid of the Lord’, the one who acknowledges that ‘the Almighty has done great things for me and Holy is His Name’ and who encourages us to echo her words of thanksgiving – not just by the words of our mouths but by the ‘words in action’ of our Christian living. The unique privileges of Mary do not distance her from us but make her that motherly and compassionate presence at the heart of God’s faithful
Sunday thoughts We recently gathered in the Isle of Man to mark the closure of St Joseph’s, Willaston. Sad as it is when a church closes, it is important to remind ourselves that the Church is its people rather than the bricks and mortar of any building. The occasion was a joyful celebration of milestones and memories in the life of the community. At a Sunday afternoon service, the parish registers were placed on the altar. Names of those who had been baptised, confirmed, married and whose funerals had been celebrated over the last 60 years were read out. They included the very first baptism and the last wedding. It brought these past events alive. Their names live on. People who had not gathered together in a long time had the opportunity to reunite and talk about the old days and share photos. These raised peals of laughter as people recognised their younger selves over tea and cake. As one longstanding parishioner movingly wrote to me:
Canon Philip Gillespie
people. Perhaps that is one reason why Pope Francis instituted an annual Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, on the Monday after Pentecost, ‘encouraging the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety’ (Congregation for Divine Worship, 2018). England was traditionally known as the Dowry of Mary and whether it is in our churches dedicated to Saint Mary (later Our Lady) – places of pilgrimage such as Fernyhalgh near Preston, Walsingham in East Anglia, Our Lady of the Assumption at Aylesford – we rejoice in a rich heritage of Marian devotion. On the Feast of the Assumption, therefore, perhaps it is a good opportunity to echo again one of the earliest prayers to the Blessed Virgin: ‘Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.’
Mgr John Devine OBE
‘Thank you and to all your team who made the sad closure of St Joseph’s Church into a happy and memorable day.’ Each of the church’s 14 stations of the cross had been donated in memory of loved ones. Parishioners were invited to give them an honoured place in their homes. A carved statue of Saint Joseph the Worker, donated by Father James English to the first and only parish priest, Fr Leslie Daley, now has pride of place in St Mary of the Isle Church in Douglas. One family claimed the pew where their dad sat for many years as he attended Mass. This prompted other parishioners to take the remaining pews. As well as serving as a memento of St Joseph’s, they make excellent garden furniture. Over the years St Joseph’s has developed as a hub for social welfare agencies. Their work will continue in partnership with Living Hope, an evangelical church in the Baptist tradition.
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com 14
Compassionate living In 2019 we were lucky enough to host Peter McVerry at our Come & See Conference. Peter spoke very movingly of his time in Summerhill in North Dublin. It was there that he came face to face with the problem of homelessness and deprivation. This had a profound effect on him, and he devoted his life to working with and for the poor, and particularly young people. Peter was one of those men whose compassion flowed from him as he talked of the young people that he worked with. He almost broke down as he shared their stories and enabled us to begin to understand what was going on in their lives. The crowds that followed Jesus were like those young people: lost, confused, living under a cruel Roman occupation, needing something to give them reasons to live. The Greek word that we translate as ‘pity’ means to have a gut reaction of compassion. This Gospel is meant to affect our guts, the core of our being. Jesus is the icon of humanity who helps us understand what the compassionate way of our God is all about and the Gospels record this way for us. He always allowed the suffering of others to touch Him, sometimes even reacting without being asked. Compassion was at the heart of everything Jesus did and He lived His life without concern for reputation, financial security, or selfserving traditions. The lesson for me is that we should not spend time trying to protect what we have at the expense of being open to the Kingdom and the invitation to enter into the pain of the world. Maybe the challenge of this Gospel passage is to be like Jesus: receptive to others, particularly the poor and the broken. This call to compassionate living demands a movement away from our natural aversion to suffering. Each of the Synoptic Gospels begins with the word metanoia, which we translate as repent. This isn’t about beating ourselves up for our sins but about falling into the grace of God and realising that God is everything, that God is life. We are to turn around from what the world sees as reality and believe in the Lord’s reality, which is the Kingdom of God. It is an invitation to put on a new mind, to see things in a different way. It always involves an openness to the spirit and a letting go of that which stops us being like God. It calls for compassion, to not run away from the pain and suffering around us. We are called to be the healing, loving, transforming presence of Christ in the world; to be His hands and feet and eyes. We’re to be His compassion as we proclaim the Kingdom of God. Father Chris Thomas
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A parenting approach with pace Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
After a roller-coaster year for most families and parents alike, with new and sometimes hectic homeschooling dynamics thrown in, many can be forgiven for not sticking to their regular parenting techniques and looking for advice. Originally developed by psychologist Daniel Hughes, PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy) is an attachment based therapeutic parenting approach, which embodies a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and behaving as a parent that aims to make the child feel safer. PACE focusses on the whole child, not simply the behaviour and helps children to feel more secure with significant adults around them and reflect upon their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. By using PACE most of the time, parents can reduce the level of conflict, anxiety, defensiveness and withdrawal that tends to be present when trying to support a child with developmental trauma. From using this approach, more attuned, reflective, empathic and contingent responses leads over time to more secure attachment, the development of a more positive internal working model and improved emotional regulation abilities. This psychological intervention approach has the most evidence base regarding effectiveness in relation to developmental trauma, particularly with younger children, where individual therapy can be hard to engage in and tolerate. Parental emotional well-being and self-care Parental self-care and emotional regulation is heavily promoted within therapeutic parenting approaches.
Investment in this for a small amount of time daily can help prevent compassion fatigue and burn out, help with keeping calm and regulated during an incident, and be protective of your relationship with your children. It is important to take some time out daily to nurture yourself. If you are constantly pouring from an empty cup, you are far more likely to become reactive in the face of any challenges and may not respond in a way that is most conducive to keeping things as calm as possible. Self-care can range from anything, such as a few minutes spent practicing relaxed breathing to having a walk, engaging in something creative or chatting with a friend. When you are time poor, even just the simple act of twice a day putting your hand on your chest or stomach and taking five breaths in and out can be incredibly helpful. Also, taking a minute to understand and name how you are feeling - name it to tame it - such as, ‘this is frustration rising’, gradually calms the amygdala (part of brain that is responsible for fight, flight or freeze responses) down and makes it less reactive over time, which is very beneficial for the nervous system. Looking after yourself puts you in a better place to look after the little people in your care. Article by Nugent Adoption. If you would like more information about starting your adoption journey and giving children a chance to grow and dream then get in touch with our friendly, dedicated team. 01744 613 041 firstname.lastname@example.org nugentadoption.org
The pandemic has shone a bright light on the shortcomings and fragilities of our social care system and underlined the woeful lack of sustained investment in social care provision over the course of the last decade. There are clearly momentous challenges within the sector to overcome – with thousands of vulnerable children still in unregulated accommodation up and down the country. We also still see a worrying shortage of places nationally and a dearth of adequate placements for children who would benefit from staying closer to ‘home’. This situation has forced some looked-after children to take up placements hundreds of miles from where they are from. Whilst this can be an intentional and therapeutic decision, it is not always. If we are to recover from this crisis, we must also address longstanding failings within the social care system. 2021 must be the year we change gear and take action. Back in January, I enthusiastically welcomed Gavin Williamson’s launch of and commitment to a wholesale independent review of children’s social care – with the underlined ambition to ‘radically reform the system’ and thus ‘improve the lives of England’s most vulnerable children so they experience the benefits of a stable, loving home’. I was particularly encouraged by the ‘call for advice’ that Chair of the Review, Josh MacAlister, issued to help shape the early work of the review. This is something I fully intend to pursue. Ours is a complex sector, characterised by a cacophony of local authority operated children’s homes as well as a large number of privately owned children’s homes. There are also a handful of charitable organisations operating within the sector, such as Nugent. This is why I have recently opted to join the board of the Independent Children’s Homes Association (ICHA). I see collaboration and the establishment of corporate-charity partnerships as a route to renewed sector innovation, the proliferation of best practice and the development of much needed applied research activity. In forthcoming weeks and months ahead, I will be calling upon ICHA colleagues and sector allies to join me in collaborating for the benefit of all children. I will also be calling upon our faithful community of donors and supporters to rally behind our children’s homes so that we can ensure they remain stable loving environments where all young people feel safe and welcome. If you would like to find out more about Nugent and our Children’s Homes, please visit: www.wearenugent.org If you could find it in your heart to support Nugent this year, please email email@example.com or call 0151 261 2000.
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Ordination of Deacons
L-R Alan Molloy, David Lawson, Archbishop Malcolm, John Sargent, Andrew Cleary On Sunday 18 July Archbishop Malcolm ordained four men to the Permanent Diaconate in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, to serve in the Isle of Man, Penwortham, St Helens and West Derby. In his homily the Archbishop referred to images of the Diaconate including acting as a bridge between the Church and the world – carrying the peace of the Risen Lord to the local community – and acting as models of service through the Ministry of Charity by bringing God’s love to others. Our new Deacons are: Alan Molloy who is 64 years old, Irish by birth but has lived on the Isle of Man for approximately 35 years in Port Erin in the south of the island. He has been married to Helen for almost 39 years and they 16
have two adult sons, Hugh, who is married and lives in Wales and elder son Alexander who lives on the Isle of Man. Alan is self-employed, working as business consultant and independent director, following a career in the financial sector, initially in Dublin where he and his wife grew up and met, and, then on the Isle of Man. Alan says, ‘Helen, my wife, has been a great supporter of my diaconal journey and, whilst I may be the eldest of the Liverpool diaconal ordinations for 2021, I feel blessed, energised and privileged to be joining the ranks of the diaconate in the Archdiocese’. David Lawson is 55 years old and lives in Sutton St Helens. Married to Paula for the 29 years they have two children Maddison
15 and Matthew 13. He is a Senior Lecturer working for Edgehill University based in Manchester, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students in the profession of Operating Department Practice (ODP) and especially surgical first assisting - working in a operating theatre. He has worked both in the NHS and in the private sector for twenty-four years and has been teaching in higher education for the last nine years. David says, ‘My family and friends have fully supported me on my diaconate journey, and I am so blessed for all the support and encouragement I have received. I am looking forward to my service to the Church and the people of my parish or parishes. As Pope Francis recently said, “we are all called to lower ourselves because Jesus lowered Himself” - as we all prostrate ourselves during the
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ordination, we do so with humbleness, charity and a profound desire to serve the people of God’. John Sargent will minister in the Leyland pastoral area in the northern part of the archdiocese with a base in his home parish of St Mary Magdalen and St Teresa in Penwortham. John is married to Clare with two adult sons, Brendan and Aidan. He is a member of the L’Arche Community, previously in Liverpool and now in the Preston community serving in full-time work as a member of the L’Arche International support team, leading the process to create a new Charter for the Federation of L’Arche Communities, and in the international formation team.
Looking forward to his ministry John says, ‘I am excited to continue this diaconal journey as we prepare to implement the Synod recommendations in the archdiocese’. Andrew Cleary is married to Elizabeth and has two teenage children Joseph and Anna. He has worked in the NHS since 1987 when he started his nurse training. He currently works as the Senior Manager for Critical Care and Pain Services at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust. Andrew attends St Paul's and St Timothy's churches in West Derby and is an active member of the parish community
including the ‘Laudato Si’ Group as well as the Knights of St Columba. Through his work with the Knights, he has had the opportunity to work ecumenically and supported the volunteer programme at St Johns the Baptist church, Tuebrook, foodbank. Andrew says, ‘the opportunities to serve the wider community have helped me through my formation journey. To be ordained Deacon and to be called to serve the Church through the Ministry of the Word, Altar and Charity is a great honour and I look forward to witnessing to the Good News of Jesus Christ with my fellow Christians’.
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Lifelong human rights campaigner Lord Alton receives Westminster Award Human rights campaigner and Member of the House of Lords, David Alton, has received the 2021 Westminster Award for Human Life, Human Rights, and Human Dignity. The award recognises extraordinary and notable work and achievements that safeguard the dignity and right to life of human beings. It was founded in 2013, a year after the death of Right To Life UK founder Phyllis Bowman DSG, in whose memory it is awarded. The recipient of the Westminster Award is chosen by the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group and the Trustees of Right To Life UK, having taken advice from senior MPs and Peers in both Houses of the Westminster Parliament. Author of eleven books, Lord Alton is a Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University, serves on the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Select Committee, is Co-Chair or Vice Chair of eight All-Party Parliamentary Groups, and is Trustee or Patron of a number of charities and voluntary organisations. He served as a Liverpool MP for 18 years standing down from the House of Commons, and from party politics in 1997 and was nominated by the Prime Minister, Sir John Major, to the House of Lords, where he sits as an Independent Life Peer. Lord Alton said of the award, ‘To receive the award is a huge privilege. It is an encouragement to carry on. Everyone knows I care about a whole variety of human rights questions but if you don’t have the right to be born then all the others fall by the wayside - all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are worthless if you don’t have the right to be born in the first place’.
and so many other just causes, throughout his lifelong advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable. Thank you, Lord Alton, for 41 years of service, tirelessly championing a better world for the next generation, both born and unborn.’
Chris Whitehouse KCSG, a trustee of Right To Life UK said, ‘The work of Right to Life UK would simply not be possible without the encouragement and expertise Lord Alton has contributed to our mission,
Catherine Robinson from Right To Life UK, said: ‘We are so pleased to be able to celebrate Lord Alton's decades of public service, and his role in the pro-life movement in the UK and internationally.
His example has already, and will continue to, inspire countless people to stand up on behalf of what is right, not what is simply popular’.
‘Thank you, Lord Alton, for 41 years of service, tirelessly championing a better world for the next generation’
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Canon Tom Neylon
Ready for a new role as Bishop - by Simon Hart Canon Tom Neylon is remembering a conversation he had on a recent visit to see his sister Mary in Cumbria. ‘My brother-in-law is a similar age to me,’ he tells the Pic, ‘and he said to me that he was thinking about retiring in two or three years’ time. He asked me, “Have you got any plans to retire?”.’ For Canon Tom, 63, retirement is the last thing on his mind. After all, next month he will become the new Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool. A new chapter and a new challenge, as he acknowledges. ‘The first thing is I won’t be attached to a parish, as I have been for the last 39 years, so that’ll be a big change,’ says the Bishop-elect, who will leave his post as parish priest at St Wilfrid’s in Widnes prior to his Episcopal Ordination Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 3 September. ‘There’s a lot I have to learn now as the role is totally different,’ he affirms, before continuing: ‘In terms of the scope of work, it’ll cover the whole of the diocese whereas I’ve been focusing on whichever parish I’ve been involved in and the local deanery. It’s a broadening of the scope, and then working with Archbishop Malcolm and Bishop Tom on the new things beginning to emerge when the pastoral plan is announced in
Advent as a result of the Synod. That will shape some of the work going forward.’ Looking back, it was the example of parish priests which first fuelled his vocation. The son of Irish parents who had met in Warrington, he grew up in St Oswald’s Parish in Padgate. ‘There’s a very strong Catholic presence in this part of England,’ he says. ‘Throughout my life I’ve been privileged to witness testimony to the Catholic faith in families, in parishes and in schools. What particularly drew me into the priesthood were the priests I knew at the parish where I grew up. They and the other priests I met seemed to be content with what they were doing, serving people and serving God and there was an attraction in that.’ He was 16 when he began his training at St Joseph’s College, Upholland. ‘When I went to the seminary, I went with the view that if it is for me I will find out and if it is not for me I will find out as well.’ He got his answer. In 1982, Archbishop Derek Worlock selected him as the candidate from Liverpool Archdiocese to be among 12 priests ordained by Pope St John Paul II at a special Mass in Heaton Park, Manchester. The rest is a history he rolls off for us. ‘I spent four years as an
assistant priest at St Cuthbert's, Wigan. This was followed by nine years in Skelmersdale as part of the team ministry. In 1996 I was appointed parish priest at St Julie's, St Helens. Over the next 24 years I also had responsibility for St Teresa's, Devon Street, and English Martyrs, Haydock.’ Having never strayed too far from his favourite rugby league team, Warrington Wolves, he says that ‘getting out across the diocese’ will be part of his new remit. ‘There are parts where I’ve worked and others where I’ve passed through, so it’ll be nice to get to know people across all the diocese. It’s quite a diverse geographical area – the Isle of Man covers a third of the landmass of the diocese and I’ve never been there so that’d be nice, just to get to know what parish life is like in all four corners and to get a better picture.’ Retirement? Not quite.
‘Throughout my life I’ve been privileged to witness testimony to the Catholic faith in families, in parishes and in schools.’ Catholic Pictorial
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Father Lennon and the Heather Priests by Neil Sayer - Archdiocesan Archivist Rumours of Father Lennon’s wealth circulated around the parish of Weld Bank, Chorley, following his death in 1897. The parishioners held back from contributing towards a headstone for his grave in the cemetery at St Gregory the Great, though they did eventually do so. In life, Father John Lennon had certainly been generous to them. The poor of the parish, and particularly those in distress, could always rely on a discreet handout. As his obituary said, ‘no deserving case of want came under his notice without evoking a responsive sympathy in his heart and prompt relief.’ His philanthropy in fact reached much further than the venerable precincts of Chorley. At least two Catholic churches in our Archdiocese exist through his generosity, as he funded the building of Sacred Heart at Chorley and Sacred Heart in Warrington. He also gave several thousand pounds to the schoolchapels at Longton and Withnell, and to the Catholic College at Upholland. Born into a Liverpool family in 1830, he was sent to Douai and then to the English College in Lisbon to be trained for his priestly calling. It seems his ability was quickly recognised on his return to Liverpool, as a year after his Ordination he was given charge of the new Mission of St Mary and St John in Newton-leWillows, where he undertook the building of the church and presbytery. Following his appointment to Weld Bank in 1870, his younger brother James became Rector at Newton-le-Willows. Father James had followed his brother to Douai and Lisbon and enjoyed an equally meteoric rise, becoming the first Rector of Sacred Heart in Hindsford and building the new church there at around the same time as his brother was doing the same a few miles away in Newtonle-Willows. Unfortunately, Father James seems to have created petty squabbles among his parishioners, and whilst his elder brother was funding the school, the brass band and the club in Weld Bank, Father James is the subject of more than 20
Monsignor James Lennon one complaint among Bishop O’Reilly’s papers in the Archdiocesan Archives. Father John was said to have been ‘possessed of private means’, though whether that wealth derived from the brother Edward whom he buried at Newton-le-Willows in 1866, or from earlier family money, isn’t clear. It is certain that he invested shrewdly and profitably in the railway companies and other stocks and shares that could be said to have provided the dotcom boom of their time. After his death his younger brother inherited what remained of his wealth - he claimed to have been ‘empty’ after his church-funding activities of the mid1890s. Father James, his executor, fell out with Bishop Whiteside possibly over his brother’s will. After he died in 1908, Father James was characterised as ‘a peculiar man and very touchy’. Canon Alfred Snow, the Diocesan Treasurer, also vaguely described the falling-out as ‘some wholly imaginary grievance’, despite which Father James ‘declared that he would not leave a penny to Liverpool’.
In fact, he didn’t leave a penny to anyone. Having retired from working in the Diocese of Liverpool, he spent some time staying at Blairs College, near Aberdeen. This was the seminary for Scottish boys training to be Catholic priests, founded in 1829 as the successor to the secret institutions educating young men in the Highlands and Islands: those whose training was entirely in Scotland were known as ‘Heather Priests’. Father James had made the acquaintance of Rev Aeneas Chisholm, then the College Rector, and the College became the main recipient of the Lennon family benefactions. The church of St Mary, attached to the College, as well as a church in Colwyn Bay, were funded by Father Lennon – who, in 1898, became Monsignor Lennon. He lies buried at Blairs College, to which ultimately he had donated some £12,000. The College closed in 1986, and part of it is now a museum for Scotland’s Catholic heritage. The church has a memorial plaque to Monsignor Lennon and stained-glass windows in his honour.
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Lessons from a year of living differently Father Simon Gore reflects on the 2020/21 academic year with the Animate Youth Ministries team. The end of the year here at Animate is upon us. The team have all left for home and, as in much of these past 18 months, I am back on my own in the house. As I sit back and think about the year, it is a difficult one to review: where has the time gone and what did we actually do? My first recollections are not entirely positive – as I am sure they wouldn’t be for many others when looking back at 2020 and the first six months of 2021. They are probably not going to be months of our lives that we remember fondly. And yet, as I think about what I can put down on paper, there are some silver linings that seep through the dark clouds of my memories. I remember going for a morning run in early September as the team had just started back here and parents were taking their children to school, and you could hear laughter and noise on the street
once again. It seemed as though a corner had been turned in how we lived life; as if we were back on the road to something approaching normality. We planned our year here accordingly and took the usual bookings for retreats through 2020/21. We made a few changes to how we were going to work and brought in what seemed like all the available sanitiser in the world. We erected a marquee in the garden to allow for some small group work outside. But by the time we got to October half-term, you could see the way things were heading with another lockdown on the cards. And so it came to be. That pretty much brought an end to
any normal retreat programme we could offer until Easter. Although we might have odd days scattered across a year when we don’t have a group to work with, we are used to working on retreats or missions every day. To have such a big gap is unsettling. And amid all that, as lockdowns continued, so too did talk of ‘key workers’ and ‘essential work’. Such a change in lifestyle and how we work and what we can do – while being told we are not ‘essential’ – is interesting. While a retreat day is not as important as making sure we can buy food from the supermarket, it does leave some questions echoing around your head: ‘What am I?’ and ‘Is there any value to what I am doing?’. And yet from that, I was reacquainted with the sometimes lost concept of ‘living as a community’. I have written enough times in these pages that ‘community’ is important to me at Animate. I wonder, though, if I had been paying more lip service to the concept than I had realised. Unlike with the first lockdown, this time the team stayed in the house with me and with no face-to-face work with young people, we had to think about what our lives would be like. The answer lay in the community aspect of life. There is the obvious side of prayer with each other. But also allowing more time to cook for each other rather than a rapid chucking together of Chicken Kiev and chips after a day’s work. And some more social time together. I even made abortive attempts to get the group interested in joining me for a run – which did not end well! We also continued to try to offer some meaningful work in the virtual realm with the videos we produced on YouTube. But above all, there was the reminder than when things are removed from you, what you have left can be the thing that ends up defining you: without our work, it was community life which came to define the year. It is not always sunshine and birdsong living with a handful of other people with no opportunities for escape. Yet I suppose it is these occasions that can help the individual develop as well. And as 12 April hit and we could start to plan for retreat days once more, the time we had spent together meant that we could look at those days ahead in a different light – a community offering a glimpse of a relationship with God rather than co-workers doing some work together.
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education news ASFA commemorates Refugee Week in school The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) recently held a week of activities and events in honour of Refugee Week. Refugee Week has become a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year, Refugee Week is becoming a growing global movement. ASFA is home to many students who are refugees or asylum seekers. The awareness week encourages the understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety, amongst students and staff. This year, the academy was privileged to have students share their experience and culture with their ASFA family. Two years ago, three Eritrean students came to the school and spoke very little English and struggled to communicate. During Refugee Week, students and staff watched in awe as they commanded the stage with confidence and spoke eloquently in front of the whole of Year 7 about their journeys and the political situation in Eritrea. Student Alfonso also spoke about his experience of moving from the Congo. In addition, a dedicated menu for the canteen was created which allowed
students and staff to taste food from places such as Syria, Eritrea and Iran. Staff donated money as part of their lunch to the Asylum Link in Liverpool. A conceptual art exhibition also took place in the school’s foyer. Students painted and decorated shoes to represent a refugee’s journey to safety. Later in the week, students got to hear about Arthur Britney Joestar’s refugee experience. Arthur Joestar, from El Salvador, is the first non-binary refugee in the UK. They talked about being the first nonbinary person to receive refugee status after a judge concluded that they would face persecution for their identity if they
returned to their home country. They have since settled in Liverpool. Kate Allen, head of history, led the week’s events alongside 25 Year 10 students from the refugee organisation group. Kate said: “Listening to talks from both our students and Arthur Joestar reminded us that being a refugee is only one part of a person’s identity and doesn’t define who they are. “The week was a chance to celebrate diversity and share our cultural experiences. The theme this year was ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’, a fitting reminder that we all have a responsibility to support refugees and asylum seekers in our community.”
‘Queen’ of Halewood retires in style A much-loved and respected deputy headteacher who has been described as the “Queen” of her school received a surprise send-off as she retired after 32 years teaching in Halewood. Children and staff at Holy Family Catholic Primary School lined Arncliffe Road to wave goodbye to Angela Rigby as she paraded down the street in a horse and cart. Mrs Rigby, wearing a tiara and cape, was overjoyed with her send-off from the school where she has taught several generations of the same family. Holy Family headteacher, Mr Quigley, said: “Every school needs a Mrs Rigby. She has made a huge impact on the children and families at Holy Family school over her 32 years in post. “She is a passionate, fun and energetic teacher who seeks only the best in all that she does. She has been a great leader in the school too and has maintained our high expectations and standards by setting an excellent example for others to follow. “She deserves this well earned retirement.” The day was a total surprise for Mrs Rigby who said: “Holy Family School is such a special school, I have loved every one of my 32 years teaching there. “It is the children, parents and staff that make Holy Family a pleasure to be a part of. “Making the decision to retire was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make as being part of such a wonderful community has been a huge part of mine and my families lives. It was such an amazing send off and one I will never forget.” 22
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education news Schools tremendous effort for Zoe’s Place Pupils and families from St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Huyton have raised an outstanding £4,262 for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice. Pupils were inspired to raise funds for the West Derby based Hospice following a visit to Year 6 pupils from the hospices head of care Mrs Bergquist, who talked to the children about the amazing role Zoe’s Place plays in caring for babies and their families. In response to the visit the whole school took part in a sponsored run (cheered on by Zoe’s Bear). Throughout the day all the children from nursery to Year 6 went for a run with their classes. The children had lots of fun, and thanks to their generous families raised a staggering amount of money. Tess McGrath, community and events fundraiser for Zoe’s Place, said: “St Anne’s Catholic Primary School Year 6 class recently had a talk from our head of care, Flo, who made such an
impression, the wonderful Year 6’s wanted to do something to help us. Soon enough, the entire school got involved, and I was delighted to hear what fantastic efforts they were going to, to support our babies. “Myself and our mascot Zoë Bear went along to cheer the young ones on, and see what a fantastic job the pupils were
doing, especially thinking of others. “£4262 is a fantastic amount and we’re so grateful for what the entire school have achieved.” Staff at the school were said to be totally amazed at the generosity of their wonderful children and families when they presented the massive cheque to the hospice.
Our Lady’s school looks climate change in the eye by going green Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in Seaforth has hosted a ‘Week of Wonder’ in solidarity with Cafod’s ‘Eyes of the World’ campaign, aiming to help fight the climate crisis. The campaign calls on young people to lobby the government to ensure that the world’s poorest communities are at the heart of discussions amongst world leaders at the upcoming COP26 climate conference. Beginning with a mass commitment to fulfil individual eco pledges, the Week of Wonder went on to educate pupils about composting and recycling, prompting a commendable litter-picking effort in the surrounding community as well as giving students the chance to swap and regift preloved toys. Cafod volunteers gave a virtual Eyes of the World workshop by, encouraging pupils to draw pairs of eyes to show the government that the world is watching them. Inspired by Cafod’s message of support to the world’s most vulnerable communities affected by the climate crisis, Sophia a student from Our Lady’s said, ‘I enjoyed the Eyes of the World workshop because it taught me so much about what is
happening in the world. It also made me realise that we can do more than we think to try and stop climate change’. Eager to raise funds as well as awareness, the Seaforth school organised a ‘Wear it Green’ fundraising event, which saw the whole school dress in green for a day raising £124 for the work of Cafod. Teacher, Debbie Crockwell, praised the success of the campaign, ‘the children were so enthusiastic about Cafod’s campaign for Eyes of the World. A huge thank you to Cafod for coming in and to
our Eco Council for helping to organise our Week of Wonder’. Siobhan Farnell from Cafod said, ‘We were thrilled to hear about Our Lady Star of the Sea’s Week of Wonder and delighted the Cafod training was a catalyst for inspiring the school to undertake such positive actions. We also congratulate the school as they have recently been awarded the Cafod Laudato Si Award recognising their “live wisely, think deeply and love generously” approach’.
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news St Bede’s Gardening Angels bring smiles to West Lancashire
St Bede’s are presently developing outdoor space to include a ‘Laudato Si’ garden area. This will also offer the opportunity to support the spiritual and liturgical life of the school by creating a ‘Laudato Si’ outdoor prayer space.
Gardening Angels from St Bede’s Catholic High School, Ormskirk, with support from Ormskirk School Pastors and Morrisons, have created some flower planters and pots. Families donated pots and planters and the plants were grown from seed or bulb in school during the third lockdown and then nurtured by the Gardening Angels in Year 7, 8, and 9. The planters and pots have been given to people who have been suffering or isolated by the pandemic in the West Lancashire community. This is part of the school’s ‘Laudato Si’ outreach programme with the sunflowers bringing smiles to people’s faces.
Thank you Sister Eileen Father Mike Thompson, Parish Priest of St Luke the Evangelist, Whiston, celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for Sr Eileen Moore, former Parish Sister who had served the parish for ten years before leaving earlier this year. Following the Mass parishioners held a ‘parish picnic’ in the grounds of the church where they presented Sister Eileen with gifts and a special cake to mark her years of faithful service.
Taking Liturgy Seriously – new study course, starting in September via Zoom
As part of our commitment to promote and support the liturgy of the Catholic Church, the Society of Saint Gregory will be offering a new modular study course, aimed at developing liturgical understanding. The course, which will be run in partnership with the London Jesuit Centre, starts in September and will take place via Zoom. Held over 1 year, each module will comprise 3 sessions and provide a theological and historical overview, which will form the background for a deeper study of how we celebrate the liturgy today. Modules include The Paschal Mystery, Healing and Forgiveness, Initiation, Commitment and Ways of Prayer. Within each theme we will look at how we apply general principles of liturgy, how music and space affect the way we celebrate, and above all how we are enabling people to pray together. The course is aimed at all who wish to widen their understanding of the liturgy. Further information, including details of the course leaders, cost and online booking, is available at www.ssg.org.uk
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cathedral Providing a warm welcome for our Cathedral Visitors! Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean
by Deacon Paul Mannings Would you like to join our voluntary team to welcome and/or guide? At the Cathedral, just like in any good parish, we strive to offer the best welcome to all. As well as our regular community of parishioners, we receive pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. We have a thriving group that is being further enriched, as we continue to move forward from the pandemic and visitor numbers increase rapidly. We are looking for people who can work for a three-hour duty period each week, selected from Mondays to Saturdays 10.00 am until 1.00 pm and 1.00 pm until 4.00 pm. We ask you to select one. There are three alternatives you might consider. Firstly, you may prefer to specialise in welcome desk ministry, greeting our visitors, listening to their stories and impressions, and answering queries. Secondly, you may prefer to offer guided tours for individuals or groups. This too has tremendous scope for engagement. It isn’t about facts and figures, rather our history and story; our signs and symbols; that continued scope for conversation and establishing a rapport. Visitors too, have amazing stories to tell. They may be returning home after many decades with only vague recollections of the Cathedral when it opened in 1967. International visitors love what we have to offer. Thirdly, you might want to combine the work of a guide and a welcomer. The choice would be yours. Essentially, we want our visitors to gain a first-hand experience of Church, a sense of a vibrant and living Catholic Christian
community. At the heart of everything is the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral and Crypt so defining exactly who we are. Visitors are from many world faiths religions and world views. Many call to pray, others to reflect, to be still or to simply call in and see. What do we show our visitors and where do we take them? After being greeted at the Atrium they can take their own time by themselves, with the knowledge that a guide is always on hand to answer questions or to point the way. Alternatively, we can accompany them for a tour. Visitors currently explore the main body of the Cathedral. From 1 September we shall once again open our Crypt with its spaces for prayer and viewing of our diocesan treasures. You are invited to come and train on the job with support from existing teams and from our training hub, held on Saturday mornings. You are welcome to use the resources we offer you as a starter for designing your own guiding script. As a volunteer we want you to enjoy being here as part of the community of ambassadors to Catholic Life in our archdiocese. The guiding team is big and needs to be bigger by 1 September, from which time we shall have two welcome desks to manage at both the Atrium and Rotunda Crypt Entrance. We shall need to maintain our guiding presence in Cathedral and Crypt. Could you give us those three hours each week? In return, you would be a valued volunteer, here to share of your best and to belong. A warm welcome awaits you. For further information contact Deacon Paul Mannings. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcomed the announcement that Canon Tom Neylon is to be ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Liverpool Archdiocese on 3 September at the Cathedral. However, the reality has soon dawned that we only have a few weeks to coordinate all that will be needed for the liturgy and the reception afterwards - both at the Cathedral. It has been some time since we had a celebration on this scale so we are having to step up a gear or two during August to get everything ready. Invitations have gone out to personal guests, other church leaders and bishops and priests throughout the country and the preparations are underway. We are only planning to return to our full schedule of services, including the opening of the Crypt and Chapel on the weekend of 4/5 September so the ordination on 3 September should be a wonderful occasion to mark a new start for the Cathedral post pandemic as well as a celebratory Diocesan occasion. Prior to the Covid outbreak there had been a group of volunteers and staff carrying out research in preparation for a new series of Exhibition boards for the Pontifical Hall within the Crypt. This display in text and illustrative form is now in the final stages of preparation to be in place for September. They give an account of the development of our Cathedral buildings with lots of interesting Diocesan and historical facts related to our buildings. The Cathedral is grateful to all the people and students who carried out the research and contributed to the final exhibition. We look forward to seeing it in situ when the Crypt opens again. The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 15 August falls on a Sunday this year and will be celebrated at the Vigil and Daytime Masses.
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Mums the Word The Union of Catholic Mothers would like to thank Archbishop Malcolm McMahon for taking time out from his very busy schedule with the Synod to celebrate our annual Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 26 June. It was a lovely occasion, with so many of us coming together for our special Mass. The following weekend, on Sunday 4 July, the UCM committee and many members from his previous parishes were invited to Father Grant Maddock’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of his ordination. What a wonderful occasion it was at Our Lady’s, Lydiate, with a Mass concelebrated by his priest and deacon friends. The UCM members from St Gregory’s played a part in helping with refreshments and we even managed to stay dry during the 15-minute storm that arrived at the end of the afternoon by hiding under the huge canopy erected in the grounds. Thank you, Fr Grant, for a lovely afternoon. Another thank you goes to all the delegates to the Synod who worked so hard on our behalf; we pray for success for all their efforts. We send our congratulations, meanwhile, to Canon Tom Neylon on his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool. Many of our members have fond memories of him as a young priest in Skelmersdale. Now, how good do you think I am at forecasting the future? Well, I am going to try. The Annual General Meeting of UCM Liverpool will be held on Saturday 14 August at 1pm at St Albert the Great parish, 31 Hollow Croft, Stockbridge Village, L28 4EA, followed by Mass. This will be followed by our next bi-monthly Mass at St Anne’s in Ormskirk on 15 September at 7.30pm. So you see: if restrictions are lifted, I can clearly see what will happen! Finally, I hope you are all putting on your volunteer hats for the soon-to-be-vacant positions on the diocesan committee. Keep safe and God bless, Madelaine McDonald, media officer
A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
Brother Bertie honoured as Knight of St Gregory The Knights of St Columba celebrated their National Memorial Mass for deceased members at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 12 June. The Mass is held every two years and this was the Mass originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Admission was by prior booking and 175 people – members and their families – attended with many more watching the live broadcast on YouTube and Facebook. During the Mass, supreme knight Bertie Grogan announced that a donation of £3,000 had been made for the upkeep of the cathedral’s Columba Chapel. In response, Canon Tony O’Brien, the cathedral dean, thanked the KSC not only for their donation but for the help that those based locally provide in the cathedral all year round. Brother Bertie has been made a Knight of St Gregory and he was the subject of a special presentation by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, thanking him for all he had done for the order and conveying the blessing of the Holy Father.
• Continuing our series on the centenary of local KSC councils, Brother John Hamilton – a past provincial grand knight – gives an account of how Council 18 Widnes was formed: In 1921 a group of Catholic gentlemen in Widnes applied to the supreme knight of the KSC for permission to form a council. The application was made by Mr P Caldwell together with 13 other men, following the first supreme council meeting to be held in England, at St George’s Hall in Liverpool. The supreme council discussed the application and decided that a new council could be formed in Widnes and would join the other new English councils (9, 12, 13 and 14) in the newly formed Province 2 (Liverpool). The Widnes group took the name Council No18 and on 29 May 1921, the charter was signed and issued with the names of their chaplain, Rev Fr F Mulholland, and the officers and the positions they would hold. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: email@example.com
Congratulations Congratulations are in order for Professor Gerald Pillay, ViceChancellor of Liverpool Hope University who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to higher education and to Steve Atherton, former Field Worker for the Justice and Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Liverpool who received an MBE for services Steve Atherton to the community in Liverpool.
Professor Gerald Pillay
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PIC Life Why silence really is golden By Moira Billinge The hot summer days we have experienced on our UK shores so far this year will probably have done nothing to change the minds of the global warming sceptics. Despite the message of Pope Francis’s encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ (Praise be to you), which called for us to respect and value all aspects of human existence and included concerns for the environment, the debate about the effects or otherwise of the pollution of our planet by carbon gases will remain deeply polarised. Noise is one of the more immediate and obvious forms of pollution in our modern times. While sound is essential to our daily lives, noise is not and though it probably causes less harm to humans than water, air or land pollution, it is an increasing problem.
Mobile phones, household gadgets, radios, road vehicles, car and house alarms, industrial noise, and the mindnumbing piped music played in shops (together with the commands bellowed out to staff over increasingly loud PA systems in supermarkets) all combine to create a clanging cacophony of sounds which continually assail our senses. ‘I can’t hear myself think’ will be a familiar adage to many of us and it says something about our constant immersion in noise that some advertising gurus have even responded by cleverly producing silent television adverts that grab our attention immediately. Silence is very important to the welfare of human beings and a lack of it can deprive us of the many opportunities to appreciate and reflect upon the beauty of the world around us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote: ‘We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and
restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.’ Referring to Good Friday at the beginning of August is rather out of sync with the liturgical calendar, but some years ago, before leaving the altar after the 3.00 pm celebration of the Lord's Passion, the parish priest at my local church turned to the extremely packed congregation and said: ‘As you leave this church today, please do so in silence, reflecting upon all we have seen and heard during our Good Friday service, as we accompanied Jesus during His Passion and death on the cross. ‘Carry that silence and peace with you, out of church, into the streets and into your homes. If, as you leave, you are tempted to speak to the person next to you, please don’t. Have some respect for that person and their desire for silence.’ The effect was profound. Hundreds of people processed from the church and made their way home, through to the car parks and along the pavements of the busy main road nearby, in total silence. There were so many people, but noone spoke. Little did the priest know, as he made his appeal for silence, just how generously his parishioners would honour that request; indeed, what followed was a beautiful, prayerful public witness to the sacredness of the day. On that rare occasion, the silence spoke volumes.
Worth a visit - North Wales The past 18 months have taught us to value what we previously took for granted, and a visit to Colwyn Welsh Mountain Zoo offers the opportunity to embrace the wonders of our natural world with a fresh outlook, writes Lucy Oliver. Conservation efforts are ongoing despite the pandemic, and visitors to the zoo – which includes a children’s farm – can meet a host of endangered species: from reptiles and amphibians to big cats, such as leopards and tigers, and primates including chimpanzees and lemurs. The bird life, meanwhile, features flamingoes and ostriches as well as an Amazonian aviary; in short, a feast for the eyes in colour and birdsong. Visitors should note it is essential to book online before arrival. It is also worth calling into the Conwy Water Gardens, a 20minute drive from Colwyn Bay. Here, a nature trail has been created in the woodland valley and visitors can spot pheasants and otters as well as take up an invitation to feed the hens and ducks on the trail. Don’t leave without a visit to the Dutch Pancake House for refreshments. Admission is free and although the gardens are closed on Mondays, bank
holidays are an exception. Call 01492 650063 for more information.
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Praying with the Pope in August – for the Church The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network promotes the monthly prayer intentions of Pope Francis.
‘Let us pray for the Church, that it may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform itself in the light of the Gospel.’ Reflection by Father David Stewart SJ The people of God, and all people of good will, have many concerns that they want to bring to their prayer, as does Pope Francis; yet some of our prayer may be devoted to his particular intention selected for this month. Let us remember his Intention, then, in our own prayers and at Mass. Three Proposals We have been reviving the old tradition of the Apostleship of Prayer, now known as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, in which three challenges based on the Pope’s intentions are offered to the people of God. Although in many parts of our hemisphere less happens in August, there can still be unity in prayer, never wasted or useless. In this spirit, recalling that this Pope’s Intention is for the Church anyway, here are three proposals for this month. 1: Think and pray over what reform ‘in the light of the Gospel’ might mean, from your own experience of the Church. Be open to questioning some of your own assumptions; ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that might have gone
unchallenged. Let the Trinity’s gaze fall on you as you do this. 2: Think over and pray about what you mean when you talk about ‘The Church’. Is it still, for you, the name we give to the institution and the mechanism of the Church, based in Rome and in the cathedrals and diocesan offices around the world, and maybe in the sacristies of our church buildings? Or is it, as the Second Vatican Council discerned, the entire People of God, united in praise, worship and the infinite mystery of God, who continues to seek out each one of us? Look again at the Council’s documents and ponder how we are living out our vocations to be Church to and in the world. 3: The Climate Sunday initiative is calling on all local churches across Britain and Ireland to hold a climate-focused service on any Sunday before COP26 (November 2021). So far over 1,000 churches have joined in. Could your church add its voice this year? Discuss the proposal with everyone in your parish, chaplaincy or worshipping community; speak to your
leaders and pastors to explore how this call could be taken up where you are. Visit www.climatesunday.org for more information and further suggestions. The Church – all of us We are asked to pray directly to the Holy Spirit for the Church this month. There have been and will continue to be controversies, for example over the liturgy of the Church, which could and does divide the people of God. The outrage of clericalism shows itself every now and again too, and that is also divisive, because it by its very nature separates one part of the People of God from another; a kind of clerical class or caste can be placed, or can place itself, over and above the majority. As is suggested in our Three Proposals this month, our prayer must include careful reflection on how we participate in the life and worship of the church, the body of which we are all members. For more details visit www.praywiththepope.net or www.popesprayer.va
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Dialogue and Unity Liverpool Community Spirit – Building Relationships Compared with many urban areas most of the archdiocese has lower percentages of members of other living faiths than say Birmingham, Manchester, Blackburn, or Nottingham. Despite that the Merseyside area has nurtured two nationally renowned interfaith bodies – Faiths4Change (with a focus on the environment but with many wider creative links) and Liverpool Community Spirit (LCS for short). The Director, Matthew Thompson, had been developing the vision for the previous three years as he was passionate about Liverpool and building communities. At that stage he was working at the International College in South Wales as Head of the Department of World Religions. He drew together a Steering Group and asked Bishop Rupert Hoare, then the much-loved Dean of our Anglican Cathedral to join it. Bishop Rupert’s support was vital in securing the funding, putting the vision into practice, and offering office space at Liverpool Cathedral. So LCS is now 20 years old. Father Austin Smith was a good friend to and advocate for LCS in their early years. The Charity’s current Board of Trustees include two Catholics – Sylvia French who is the active and enthusiastic Chair (who attends St Anne’s Overbury Street) and Father Terry Madden, MAfr (one of the community of White Fathers who have moved to St Vincent de Paul in Liverpool 1 and with Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald are the archdiocese’s Interfaith Advisers). They support LCS alongside members of other Christian denominations and other faith communities. The history of LCS has been one of creativity and innovation. One particular focus has been the formation of the Merseyside Interfaith Youth Forum which has brought young people of different faith traditions together to share, celebrate and build partnerships so vital for a healthy society. It was the first such initiative gathering young people together and its work has been replicated elsewhere. Covid has seriously curtailed activities recently but in 2019/2020 a range of events in the style of pilgrimages included: visiting to the Buddhist Kadampa Centre in Aigburth; arranging an Eid-Ul-Adha event to mark this Muslim Festival bringing together Christians Jews and Muslims; being warmly welcomed when they visited St Vincent de Paul in Liverpool 1; and a visit to King David High 30
School to meet Jewish Six formers. The work of the Forum has received national recognition notably from the National Interfaith Network. Members are geared up for many initiatives post Covid. Recently Matthew Thompson has written an adventure book for children called ‘Through the Arched Window’. The book received a fantastic review from Gee Walker, mother of Anthony Walker and Founder of the Anthony Walker foundation who read it to her grandchildren and said: ‘A stirring tale of suspense, full of insights into human relationships, diverse cultures and dealing with upheaval. The thoughtprovoking finale will arouse discussion in families in all our communities’. LCS is developing ‘Through the Arched Window’ workshops for schools to enable Key Stage 2 pupils to explore its key themes of friendship, trust, faith and dealing with change and tragedy, all in a multicultural/faith context. LCS has done considerable work in prisons with staff and inmates and hopes to take the book into prisons to support prisoner-child reading schemes which help maintain positive parent-child bonds during incarceration. The book will help children embrace difference and see it in a positive light, which is so important in these times of heightened concern about racism, bigotry, and exclusion. Another imaginative initiative are the ‘Taste of Life’ Courses. An opportunity to spread intercultural awareness, teaching people all about what it is like to be a practicing Jew, Christian and Muslim in Liverpool and participants have great fun making some delicious cultural food. Covid has had the positive effect of enabling LCS to devise online materials.
There is a wealth of material for primary and secondary schools notably a series of online interactive workshops ‘At Home with Christianity, Islam, and Judaism’. LCS is currently working on Religious Education material for schools on Judaism. LCS also arranges visits to schools and mounts Faith Encounters Workshops where representatives of faith come in to share, enthuse and educate students. There are strong links with Church Schools. Another fruitful way to build bridges across faith and culture is ‘Taste of Life’ with the acronym added C.H.A.N.G.E which stands for Culture, Heritage, Awareness, Nurturing Growth and Empowerment. It is a personal development and wellbeing course for unemployed adults of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds (including those in recovery, isolated, suffering poor mental health and ex-offenders). The course aims to inspire learners by giving them a taste of the rich flavours of life from eight diverse cultures and faiths (Hebrew and Jewish, Ethiopian and Christian, Arabic and Muslim, Indian and Hindu/ Sikh, Chinese and Buddhist, Welsh/Jamaican/Irish/Scouse). Activities include cooking healthy meals, hospitality, storytelling, history, song, discussions, and reflections on life. Interfaith relationships are a vital part of our community engagement as Catholics we are fortunate to have bodies such as LCS to support and advise and to have Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald M Afr and Father Terry Madden M Afr as our interfaith Advisers. We wish LCS well as they seek to come out of Covid with renewed funding to build on their innovative work which has done so much to build community.
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