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Issue 148 JANUARY 2017

ARCHDIOCESE OF LIVERPOOL

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Liverpool’s Year of Mercy Inside this issue: Stephen Morris savouring his first year at St Edward’s

Celebrating with our new Canons


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contents Welcome May I first of all wish you a very Happy and Holy New Year in 2017. This month we take the opportunity to look back on the great Year of Mercy which reached its conclusion on the Feast of Christ the King. It was indeed a time of grace throughout the world and very much so in our own archdiocese with thousands of pilgrims visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral and our other designated churches. Many came on Saturday mornings with parish and pastoral area groups to follow the Stations of Mercy, with the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the celebration of Mass. Throughout the year smaller groups came from schools and many other groups and organisations. Others were among the 20 million people who made the pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate with Pope Francis, from Liverpool these included Deacons of the Archdiocese, and a group of Head teachers and Religious Education leaders. The year, which began on 8 December 2015, drew to a close with Archbishop Malcolm celebrating Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Feast of Christ the King. At the end of Mass the Holy Door was solemnly closed; but hearts remain open to the mercy of the Father.

From the Archbishop’s Desk

Archbishop Malcolm closes the Holy door at the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Feast of Christ the King

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Main Feature Liverpool’s Year of Mercy

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News From around the Archdiocese

The question uppermost in my mind at this time is, ‘Was Christmas worth it?’ Many families will have increased their debts to buy presents they couldn’t afford, yet despite the sacrifices expectations will not always have been met. Children wanted expensive toys and game machines that the advertisers told them were necessary for their happiness and satisfaction, and adults overindulged in food and drink. Now as you tidy up and recycle the bottles and the wrapping paper you ask the question whether it was worth it. Well I think it was. Maybe we should have been less extravagant and we could have picked presents that really showed how much we love our family, and not simply followed trends and got ourselves into impossible debts, but I still think that Christmas as we celebrate it really is worth all the fuss and bother. In the darkest days of the year when we have a lot to worry about such as keeping warm, feeding our family, the effects of economic changes and Brexit, the true Light has come in our lives to give us real hope, not just wishful thinking. The Light of the world shows us the way out of the gloomy low point of the seasons to a brighter future in the year ahead. It is our belief that the child born in the manger will guide us and support us that makes all the festivities worthwhile. I hope you and your families had a very happy Christmas, and I wish you many blessings in 2017.

15 Nugent News Exhibition marks 135 years of Nugent 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 19 Profile Stephen Morris Head teacher savouring first year at helm of ‘unique’ St Edward’s College 25 Cathedral Record A year of celebration 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 27 Animate Youth Ministry A fresh chapter or another false start?

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Editor Peter Heneghan Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk Pictures Cover Peter Heneghan Main Feature ©Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk Profile St Edward’s College Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567

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28 Pic Life The consoling power of God’s love

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30 Justice and Peace In the footsteps of the Good Samaritan

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Liverpool’s Year of Mercy The Year of Mercy touched many lives across Liverpool Archdiocese – and in many different ways. By Eleanor Lalley. ‘No-one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive.’ Pope Francis ‘The Year of Mercy began on 8 December 2015 when Pope Francis opened the heavy, bronze-panelled Holy Door of Mercy at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Holy Father had opened the very first holy door a week earlier in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Bangui in the Central African Republic. He declared a Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy centred on pilgrimage, reconciliation and forgiveness, and the appeal of the Year of Mercy was evident – over 20 million people visited Rome on pilgrimage, among them deacons of the Archdiocese of Liverpool in May, and a group of head teachers and Religious Education leaders in October. In the Year of Mercy everyone was welcome to step through the holy door of mercy – and not just in Rome. In our Archdiocese there were holy doors in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, and in the Jubilee Churches of Holy Cross and St Helen, St Helens; St Mary’s, Leyland; and St Mary of the Isle in Douglas, Isle of Man. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon explained that the ‘other Jubilee churches have been named so that the faithful will have another opportunity to make a personal pilgrimage and receive the indulgence granted to them for the Jubilee Year.’ Looking back, it is fair to say that the Jubilee engaged people, parishes and schools across the Archdiocese. Thousands of pilgrims walked through the Cathedral’s holy door, partook in the sacrament of Reconciliation and visited the stations of mercy.

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The Cathedral received groups on pilgrimage ranging from enclosed religious to children of all ages. Schools organised trips for staff and pupils, and there were child-led pilgrimages. Local pastoral areas made pilgrimages to the Cathedral and there were Saturdays on which as many as 1,000 pilgrims visited, some who had never been to the Cathedral before despite living in the Archdiocese. Other pilgrims travelled considerable distances to be there, often remarking on the welcome they received and the quality of the leaflets and reflections at the stations of mercy. These allowed pilgrims to reflect on God’s mercy and to prepare for Reconciliation. Using the Year of Mercy logo, the Cathedral art department designed and sewed banners and vestments embellished with embroidery and appliqué which were used across the Archdiocese. Canon Anthony O’Brien later received letters of thanks from pilgrims for the Cathedral’s hospitality, and hopes that the Year of Mercy ‘has been a help to many people on their journey of faith and a year of Grace.’ Around the Archdiocese The Jubilee Church of St Mary’s, Leyland opened for talks, prayer, Benediction, Reconciliation, Mass, and Benedictine hospitality all through the year. Visiting speakers delivered talks on mercy through the lenses of social justice; the Focolare movement; ecumenism; and Jesuit, Carmelite, Redemptorist and Benedictine spirituality. Father Jonathan Cotton OSB, the parish priest, explained that ‘charisms within religious orders are a great gift of mercy from God to the Church and the world.’

Mass for the closing of the Year of Mercy

Below are some samples of prayers left by pilgrims to St Mary’s to show how the Year of Mercy ‘deeply touched’ hearts and imaginations. ‘Dear God, thank you for the wonderful things you give us...’ ‘Lord, help me to see the good in others, not to be judgmental...’ ‘O Lord, grant peace in our troubled world through your Mercy...’ ‘Pray for all dementia sufferers. Thank you God for my wonderful family...’ Similarly, the Jubilee Church of Holy Cross and St Helen in St Helens organised a series of talks by visiting speakers around the theme of mercy. These were followed by confessions and Benediction. The talks included traditional spiritual subjects as well as challenging questions concerning addiction and healing. Father Sean Riley, the parish priest, also staged an Advent event titled ‘The light is on for you’, featuring confessions in an open, welcoming church, and the Lenten ‘24 hours for the Lord’ event. Works of mercy The Year of Mercy brought a renewed attention to the importance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy – tangible ways of showing mercy each day. At the start of the year, Archbishop Malcolm asked us to consider ‘how we can better reflect the mercy of God as individuals, families, parishes, schools, chaplaincies and the Archdiocese.’ Pope Francis mentioned especially the need to visit the sick and reach out to the housebound, and one initiative from the Archdiocese’s pastoral formation department was to design prayer cards for hospital chaplains and Eucharistic ministers who visit the sick and housebound, and for priests at the Anointing of the Sick. Another corporal work of mercy is to visit the imprisoned and prison chapels became places of healing


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feature ‘Dear God, thank you for the wonderful things you give us...’ during the Year of Mercy. Anne Marie Harrison, a chaplain at Hindley prison, reported that prior to the Day of Mercy for Prisoners, inmates discussed mercy and forgiveness and Reconciliation was offered. ‘The uptake was amazing,’ she said. The day of mercy itself, on 6 November, began with Mass and the blessing of the icon received from the Bishops’ Conference. There was tea and cake after Mass, and each person received a small prayer card with an image of the icon, a prayer and a quote from Pope Francis. The chaplain reported that the prisoners ‘appreciated it. It was a special day, as they like to know they have been forgiven.’ In the case of the Justice and Peace Commission, its members found that the Year of Mercy led them in unexpected directions. They collaborated with Cafod to produce two reflection and prayer books, one in Lent and the other in creation time (September-October). These resources encouraged

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feature

Mass for the closing of the Year of Mercy

reflection on the Sunday gospels, teaching from ‘Laudato Si’ and stories from around the world, with the goal of finding ways to show God’s mercy in our lives. Parishes found the booklets very helpful and there is a new one in preparation for Lent 2017. The Commission is now working to develop a Year of Mercy ‘heritage project’ to help Syrian families settle into our diocese. Schools and young people engaged Our schools, meanwhile, engaged creatively with the Year of Mercy through chaplaincy, Masses, collective worship and a focus on how children and adults could practise the works of mercy in everyday life. There were Year of Mercy displays, with artwork illustrated and written by children, and some schools even had their own holy door.

‘The door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open’ 6

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Children and staff across the Archdiocese also donated clothing to the homeless, collected food for the hungry and food banks, sent cards to the sick, and prayed for refugees, prisoners and those without access to clean water. As for Animate Youth Ministries, they

found the Youth Reconciliation resource a helpful tool kit for working with young people on the sacrament of Reconciliation. Indeed Father Simon Gore said that an unexpected highlight of 2016 was the sight of ‘young people queuing out the doors’ to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation in Holy Week. Over 1,000 confessions were heard in this hectic but moving experience of God’s mercy. The final days of the Year of Mercy brought many pilgrims rushing at the last minute to the sacrament of Reconciliation in the Cathedral before the end of the Jubilee Year. A holy door is like any door. It opens and closes. At the end of the Year of Mercy on 20 November, the Holy Door in Rome was shut. In Liverpool, the eastside door of the Cathedral was closed having witnessed streams of pilgrims of all ages over the preceding 12 months. Crucially, though, as Pope Francis reminds us: ‘The door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open.’ • A full account of the Year of Mercy at St Mary’s, Leyland, by Father Jonathan Cotton can be found on the parish website at www.leylandstmarys.org.uk


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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: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk

Visit of the relics of St Margaret Mary

St Margret Mary's Parish was privileged to receive the relics of St Margaret Mary and those of St Claude de la Colombiere in November, two great saints who inspired the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in Paray-le-Monial, Central France, in 1647. At the age of 24 she entered the Convent of the Visitation where she remained for the rest of her life. Her visions of the Sacred Heart were doubted by all except for her Confessor, St Claude de la Colombiere. Eventually she was believed and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was accepted by the Church 75 years after her death in 1690. The relics were carried into church in gilded caskets by Fathers Mark Moran, Grant Maddock and Mark Beattie, and by Deacon Bill Cummings and devotions continued until 10.00 pm. Father Jean Reodolphe and his team from Paray-le-Monial gave reflections on St Margaret Mary's life and her revelations. The atmosphere in the church was calm and truly spiritual as visitors came from all over the archdiocese. After Mass on the Tuesday morning Father Readolphe and the relics left for Paris; he was full of praise for the welcome that he and his companions had received in Liverpool for what had been a memorable visit.

Welcome to our new Canons At the beginning of Advent Archbishop Malcolm installed four new Canons to the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter and created one Honorary Canon during Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral. Monsignor John Furnival, Parish Priest of St Peter and St Paul, Crosby; Father Chris Fallon, Parish Priest of St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Norris Green and Director of the Permanent Diaconate; Father Peter Stanley, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Chorley, and Father Stephen Maloney, Parish Priest of All Saints, Anfield and Episcopal Vicar for Sick and Retired Clergy, were all installed to the Chapter while Father Aidan Prescott, Parish Priest of St Clare and St Hugh, Liverpool and Chancellor of the Archdiocese, was created an Honorary Canon. The Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter, which was established in 1851, is a stable body of experienced priests with whom the Archbishop is able to consult.

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Canons Furnival, Prescott, Fallon, Stanley and Maloney with Achbishop Malcolm.


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news diary Ten out of ten for St Monica’s St Monica’s Catholic Primary School in Bootle is celebrating its tenth outstanding inspection judgement in its birthday year. The school made history as being the first school in the country to be named on the Ofsted list of outstanding providers five times as an outstanding provider of education in 1998, 2005, 2008, 2011, and 2014. It was also rated as outstanding in 2010 and the archdiocese has rated it outstanding in 2005, 2008, and 2011. Following the latest inspection by the archdiocese the school was again rated outstanding making it a perfect ten outstanding inspection judgements in a row. Paul Kinsella, St Monica’s headteacher, said: ‘The church and school have always worked closely together to form a parish which is celebrated in the archdiocese and across the city as one with a rich history and, we believe, a bright future. This is a wonderful way to celebrate our school’s 90th birthday and the 80th anniversary of St Monica’s church. There have been many changes over the 90 years but we now serve a diverse, dynamic and vibrant Bootle community dedicated to helping others at every level.

At the heart of the school’s success has been the support of the wonderful children, families, staff and the whole parish community.’ Mr Kinsella also paid tribute to former Headteacher Brian Mulroy, who led the school from 1981-2002 and who died recently, saying, ‘The many outstanding

judgements which the school has received locally and nationally all originate from the core standards which Mr Mulroy introduced’. To mark the achievement, throughout 2016 a display has been created with each year group studying different decades since the school and parish were founded.

Dedication of Cafod Liverpool Volunteer Centre Archbishop Malcolm McMahon dedicated the Cafod Liverpool Volunteer Centre alongside local volunteers Justine Silcock, Elizabeth Yankiah and Fergus Seavers, Cafod NW regional staff and Cafod’s new Head of Parish Engagement and Volunteering, Jo Kitterick. ‘It was a wonderful and relaxed occasion,’ said Jo. ‘It was a great honour to have Archbishop Malcolm with us and we spoke about our work in partnership in the Archdiocese; to have the Volunteer Centre for people across the archdiocese where people can get advice, materials and support for their work locally, is a great asset.’ Before dedicating the building, Archbishop Malcolm blessed it praying for all who come for work and for inspiration to help those in greatest need. He cut the ribbon to mark its new status as the Volunteer Centre. The Centre at 27 Crofton Road, Old Swan recently redecorated by a 22-strong staff team from Royal Sun Alliance and Accenture in Liverpool on their staff

Volunteer Day teaming up with Cafod staff to redecorate the rooms while some tackled the garden. ‘It was a really enjoyable day and good to see the benefits of your work straightaway,’ said Fergus Seavers,

representing the RSA and Accenture team. ‘It was a phenomenal achievement to do so much in one day’. To find out more about volunteering for Cafod, please call Ged or Colette on 0151 228 4028 or email liverpool@cafod.org.uk

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news diary New Cathedral Choir CD Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Choir has just released its latest CD, entitled 'The Choral Music of Colin Mawby.' The music of composer Colin Mawby, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, is often heard at liturgies in the Cathedral and is particularly suited to the acoustic and architecture. The composer himself said when he heard the recording, 'I have just listened to the CD and am absolutely delighted. There is great beauty in the music and it makes me feel that it would be gravely sinful for me to give up composing.' The Cathedral has a limited supply of the new CDs: these can be purchased (price £12) from the Cathedral Music Office (Tel: 0151 708 7283 Email: music@metcathedral.org.uk)

OfSTED envisage a new lease of life for local infant school A recent Ofsted inspection of St Teresa’s Infant and Nursery School, Birkdale has backed the Headteacher’s assessment of the school and says that she has given the school ‘a new lease of life’. The report states that, ‘since she has joined the school, the Headteacher, supported by the Governing Body, has taken decisive and effective action to address weaknesses in safeguarding, early years, pupil conduct around school and the teaching of phonics.’ Although the school has been judged inadequate, the report acknowledges that the Headteacher has been swift to act and as a result of her actions, supported by the Local Authority and Archdiocese, a new curriculum is in place with daily mathematics, reading and writing lessons so that all pupils spend enough time securing basic skills. Parents of early years children who spoke to the inspector have been pleased with how well their children have settled in since joining the school. Headteacher, Eleanor Daniels, said: ‘Obviously the whole school is disappointed with current outcomes but our priority is and always will be for all our pupils to get the best start in their education journey and I am intent on making this happen at what I class an amazing school.’ 10

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Thousands raised by Christ the King School, Southport Pupils and staff from Christ the King High School, Southport presented Queenscourt Hospice with a cheque for £17,856.35. The money was raised by pupils and staff over a two year period and included many fundraising events including cake sales, raffles, sponsored events and even two members of staff trekking to the base of Mount Everest. Slummy money collections are now well known and many people regularly contribute

loose coins. School Chaplain, Maria Parker, said: ‘We are immensely proud of what our young people do in terms of fundraising within school. The students who went to Queenscourt were amazed at the facilities available to our local community. Many staff and volunteers were there at the cheque presentation and congratulated the young people on their incredible achievement.’

MPs send 80th birthday greetings to Pope Francis MPs sent a message of congratulations to Pope Francis ahead of his 80th birthday on 17 December. The motion was signed by MPs from five different parties and sponsored by Rob Flello MP for Stoke-on-Trent South who said, ‘In wishing Pope Frances a very Happy Birthday can I also thank him for his clear and merciful leadership of the Church’. The full motion reads: ‘That this House congratulates His Holiness Pope Francis on his 80th birthday; recognises his spiritual leadership of over 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide; commends his leading contribution to tackling climate change, promoting sustainable development, welcoming refugees, building peace, encouraging prison reform, protecting religious freedom, and advancing global abolition of the death penalty; and wishes him well for his continued Pontificate.’


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A reluctant pilgrim? Paul Swift, Headteacher of St Anne’s RC Primary School, St Helens, reflects on a pilgrimage to Rome to mark the Year of Mercy. They are a constant feature of city centres, alongside the buskers and street entertainers, though they rarely attract the same response. In fact, they are more likely to be ridiculed. These are the Christians you see with microphones and Scripture references which they bellow out with confidence, immune to the awkward glances of shoppers. I have to admit, I’ve always felt little connection to them. Mine is a quiet spirituality: I enjoy the peacefulness of Mass, the stillness of church and the opportunity to talk to God in my own words without forcing them upon others. Imagine then my feelings on processing through Rome, carrying a large wooden cross and accompanied by priests, deacons and Liverpool Archdiocese’s Christian Education Department! I had travelled to Rome with the RE co-ordinator from my

school, St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, and two fellow St Helens head teachers. There were teaching staff from other Archdiocesan schools and our genial tour guide, who was keen to remind us that we were pilgrims not tourists. This was clearly the case, as often we were the subject of a tourist’s long zoom lens or curious expression. Our first night was memorable not only for the privilege of having a private Mass in the side chapel of one of the basilicas, but the feeling of being a tourist attraction as several individuals pressed their faces up to the glass to study us! Another highlight was the papal audience for which we queued for seats from 6.30am – jostling with ‘pilgrims’ from around the world as everyone, no matter how old or young, scrambled for a prime location. We were fortunate enough to secure the seats that our guide had promised would

allow for unobscured views of Pope Francis ... and were not disappointed as the sun rose over St Peter’s Square and the Holy Father passed within

touching distance. It was later that day that we found ourselves processing behind a large wooden cross (sometimes in defiance of the Roman traffic), singing, praying and celebrating the Year of Mercy, with the gusto of a street preacher! Initially selfconscious, we found ourselves lifted by the passers-by who stopped to smile, joining in with the hymns, taking photographs or simply bowing their heads in prayer. As we entered St Peter’s and made our way towards the altar a rush of emotions overtook us in a moment that will last long in our memories, and gave us much to reflect on as we returned to our everyday lives. And perhaps, when I next see a Christian preaching on the rain-splashed streets of Liverpool, I will be transported back to the Vatican and understand that it is within us all to spread the Good News.

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news diary Primary pupils celebrate Year of Mercy efforts More than 600 primary schoolchildren from across the Archdiocese came together at St Oswald’s Church in Old Swan, Liverpool before Christmas to mark the end of the Year of Mercy. The children from a range of schools had taken up the challenge to undertake corporal and spiritual works of mercy throughout the year, as requested by Archbishop Malcolm, and they now gathered for a celebration of their efforts led by John Burland, a musician and religious educator from Sydney, Australia, who had previously visited schools in the Wigan area of the Archdiocese. At the host school, St Oswald’s, each class had to undertake a work of mercy – from collecting unwanted clothes and taking them to a charity shop, to making cards to send to sick people in the community, to creating a Remembrance garden. The activities at other schools included: • Pupils at St John Fisher, Widnes collected clothes for charity and the homeless, as well as food for the hungry, and wrote prayers for the sick. • At Bishop Eton, Childwall, pupils made a

spiritual bouquet of prayers for sick people in the parish and gave them to the SVP to deliver. • Children at St Mary’s, Newton made a model of Pope Francis and wrote down all the things they hoped to achieve during the year on his vestments. • St Michael and All Angels, Kirkby pupils retweeted Pope Francis’s words on the

Year of Mercy, wrote prayers for prisoners on a chain of freedom, took part in Cafod Make a Splash Campaign, collected money for refugees and went on a pilgrimage praying for the homeless. • At Our Lady of the Assumption, Gateacre, pupils collected items to donate to the British Heart Foundation’s charity shops.

Sky’s the limit for school fundraisers From a head teacher’s sky dive to a summer ball via a family fun run, one south Liverpool primary school has gone to impressive lengths to raise money to provide a specially trained support dog for a child with autism. Carleton House Preparatory School, an independent Catholic primary school on Menlove Avenue, raised a total of £20,030 during a six-month fundraising drive in aid of the Support Dogs UK charity.

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The charity provides assistance dogs for people living with epilepsy, autism and disability, and it showed its gratitude to Carleton House when presenting head teacher Mrs Daniels with an award for School of the Year 2016 at its annual awards ceremony in November. Mrs Daniels, whose sky dive had been at the heart of her school’s efforts, said: ‘We are thrilled that Support Dogs have been able to source and train a dog for a very

special family. She has been named Carly by the children, just a nod towards the name of our school and we will continue to support her through annual sponsorship.’ Explaining the work of Support Dogs UK, Mrs Daniels added: ‘Many come from rescue centres as the charity does not have its own breeding programme. Some are gifted and others are family pets. Two years of intensive training produces dogs which can transform lives. Seizure-alert dogs, which can give up to fifty-five minutes’ warning of a seizure, not only give their owners independence but save them from serious harm, restoring their dignity and improving their quality of life. The charity also trains dogs to support young children with autism, bringing positive change not just to the life of a child but that of their whole family.’ The pupils at Carleton House saw the fruits of their efforts when Jay, the black Labrador trained thanks to their donation, attended the school’s prize night. To find out more about Support Dogs UK, contact Danny Anderson Tel: 0114 261 7800 or visit www.supportdogs.org


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sunday reflections On a liturgical note ‘Health and peace and length of life and happiness for ever’ – a wish to you for the new calendar year of our Lord 2017. As we launch into a further 12 months of life not knowing what exactly will come our way (we never do!) we are certain that by keeping close to the Lord Jesus we will have a joy which is far more than just an exterior happy feeling, an optimistic attitude or a ‘we’ll muddle through somehow’ approach to daily life. Joy, praise of God and the search for true happiness are themes which are evidently very close to Pope Francis’ heart – his first document was ‘the Joy of the Gospel’ (on the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world), then came ‘Praise be to your, O Lord’ (on care for our common home) and, most recently, ‘the Joy of love’ (on love in the family). The year began with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which coincided with the World Day of Prayer for Peace; the two themes are intimately linked because Mary’s perfect openness to the will of the Father – ‘Be it done to me according to your word’ – lies at the very

Sunday thoughts Some years ago I went to Tunisia in search of winter sun. I fulfilled an ambition not only to ride a camel, but to do so on the Feast of the Epiphany. And on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord I went to Sunday Mass in the local church. The parish was run by French Dominicans. Appropriately, a child was baptised during Mass. At the final blessing the priest took the child in his arms, held it aloft, and blessed the congregation with the baby. It was as if the infant Jesus had risen from the Christmas crib. The priest became Simeon all over again. There was no introduction or commentary or explanation. The gesture spoke for itself. I shall never forget it. Needless to say, I have added it to my own liturgical repertoire. Mothers have been known to cry. Its power is not confined to the theologically literate. It evokes a reaction from the

Canon Philip Gillespie

foundation of any sense of peace in the world. Peace is not just the absence of war, but it is a way of living, respectful of the Godgiven dignity of each life and seeking always to realise fully the potential given to each of us through the relationship of love and trust with God. Mary, Mother of the Lord, is unique in her vocation yet one with us on the pilgrim journey which leads to God: O God, who in your loving kindness begin all good things and bring them to fulfilment, grant to us who find joy in the Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God that, just as we glory in the beginnings of your grace, so one day we may rejoice in its completion. Amen Finally, a greeting for 2017 in Manx Gaelic: ‘Slaynt as shee as eash dy vea as maynrys son dy bra’ – Health and peace and length of life and happiness forever

Mgr John Devine OBE

most cynical of Baptism guests. Symbols speak for themselves, yet unpacking the significance of this gesture could fill volumes. The priest pronounces the words of blessing but it is the child in his arms, not yet able to speak, who blesses us. In Baptism we celebrate the fact that a baby is a child of God. Blessing the congregation with the child is a reminder that both the child, and we the congregation, are the body of Christ. The child – so recently baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – blesses us in the name of the same three persons of the Trinity. It might be said that only an innocent child could bless. But all of us, sinners that we are, have the power to bless each other. We can also bless ourselves.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/reflection 14

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Our life in God Just recently I was talking to a ninety-three-year-old Daughter of Charity. She was telling me that the happiest and most fulfilling part of her day was when she spent an hour or so sitting with God. She told me that she couldn’t remember a thing that happened during that time but said, ‘I look at God and God looks at me and we laugh at each other’. She also told me that the most important lesson she had learnt in her Religious life was to stay close to God and, in the staying close, to let love form her. It was for me a very powerful image of entering into the mystery that is God and revealing that mystery by the way in which we love everything around us. This sister was a wonderfully warm human being caught up in the mystery of God’s love and the universe. It is a mystery that can consume us and invigorate us but a mystery that we can never come to the end of. We can’t understand the Godhead with our finite minds but we can experience and enter into relationship with that God. We can experience a relationship with a creative God, a God who breathes life into the world and into us. The God in whom every creative thought and action has its origin is open to a relationship with us. This incredible creative power – the source of all that is – wants to know us and to love us and, more than that, wants to continue creating within us and through us. We can experience a relationship with a saving God. Christian tradition tells us that Jesus is the God who saves. ‘Saves us from what?’ you might ask … Well, saves us from ourselves, from bitterness and anger and self-hatred, and reveals the love that holds all things in being. This all-powerful, creative God has become flesh in Jesus and through that becoming has opened the way to life that knows no end. We can experience a relationship with an indwelling God who leads us into the truth of the very essence of who this God is who comes to live within us – and what is the key is time spent gazing at God and allowing God to gaze at us. This relationship is not saying prayers, filling the space with empty words which make us feel good about having done our duty. It is not words meant to appease a God who demands or to help us get into heaven or avoid hell. It is not about saying this or that novena in the hope that we can get God to change His mind about certain things. It is simply being before God, because God is God. The invitation at the start of a new year is to open ourselves and experience the life-giving presence of God who is Life-giver, saviour and in-dweller in a deeper way. It will change your life. Father Chris Thomas


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nugent news Exhibition marks 135 years of Nugent

Strictly Nugent 2016 Winning dancer Natalie Veitch with dance partner Liam Craddock receiving their trophy from event sponsor Ian Hayman from Lynbrook Repro.

As we come to the close of our anniversary year, Liverpool’s Central Library is hosting an exhibition of archive material from the Nugent collections. The origins of Nugent date back to the 1800’s and the pioneering work of Monsignor James Nugent, (1822-1905) in relation to child welfare, relief from poverty and social reform. Father Nugent witnessed first-hand the suffering caused by poverty and appalling conditions and took action by founding The Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society in 1881 with Bishop O’Reilly. This 135th commemorative exhibition aims to highlight the work begun by Father Nugent by showcasing material from the archive held at the SheppardWorlock Library at Liverpool Hope University, together with the institutional records held by Liverpool Central Library and items from Nugent’s archive highlighting the development of the organisation from the 1970’s to the work of Nugent today. The archive at Liverpool Hope University contains 26 books and 264 items in total, including Father Nugent’s letters written during his time as Chaplain of Walton Gaol and as co-founder of the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society, and his successor, Monsignor Bennett’s correspondence with letters covering subjects such as child welfare, juvenile delinquency, child psychology, and the end of child emigration to Canada.

In 2013 Nugent transferred their extensive archive to Liverpool Record Office. This collection consists of nearly 300 items covering 22 different organisations in Liverpool. They also transferred to the Record Office responsibility for the 2,500 files of children emigrated to Canada under the auspices of the Liverpool Catholic Emigration Association. The Nugent collection tells the story of children in various institutions, including industrial schools, reformatory ships and orphanages. The records are varied but admission and discharge registers for the institutions are significantly important as they often provide personal information on family circumstances as well as an insight into Liverpool’s social conditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The policy of child emigration in Liverpool was led by Father Nugent and the emigration files are a rich source of information which include background information on the child as well as yearly visitation reports by the Association. The Nugent Archive is available to view, by appointment, at Liverpool Record Office. Some of the records are closed under the Data Protection Act but advice on accessing these records will be given on request. ‘Nugent’s 135 years’ runs until Wednesday 16 January 2017 on the 3rd floor of Liverpool Central Library. William Brown Street.

Welcome 2017 I am sure by now you have heard many well wishes for the coming year and of course I would like to add my well wishes too. In December we had our Annual General Meeting at Liverpool Town Hall and of course our Strictly Nugent event and we are now looking forward to our Start of the Year Conference. The AGM has always traditionally been held at the Town Hall: there is so much history steeped in the walls of the building and the building is in the heart of Liverpool. However we are a charity that covers the geographical footprint of the Archdiocese so we may explore having the AGM rotate to different locations, particularly those areas that hold many of our services that are not in Liverpool. Our Strictly Nugent event was such as success. Did you see it streamed live on Facebook? I must say how impressed I was by the participants and the audience who really brought enthusiasm and support to their favourite dancers on the night and for the staff and volunteers of Nugent who put on a polished show. It is looking like we are going to do this event in 2017, a little larger perhaps as the interest was so great we sold out of tickets before the tickets even went on sale. This is a great way to raise funds for a charitable cause whilst having a fantastic evening. Many thanks to our sponsors, partners, judges and supporters of the event. We could not have done this without you. With the big event now complete, we are turning our attention to our Start of the Year Conference in March. We are currently confirming all of the details but we will share this in due course. So enjoy the start of this New Year with all the opportunity and hope that it affords. Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent Care

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what’s on Sunday 8 January Feast of the Epiphany Epiphany Carol Service 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 65: ‘Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen’ (‘From Sheba, they shall come, bearing gold and incense’) 6.00 pm at the Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas (Liverpool Parish Church), Old Churchyard, Liverpool L2 8TZ. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. Wednesday 11 January UCM Bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at All Saints, Oakfield, Anfield, L4 2QG. Friday 13 January to Sunday 15 January ‘Stories to live by.’ Discovering the parables. Scripture Weekend led by Father Chris Thomas at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk

Looking ahead Thursday 2 February 2017 Feast of the Presentation of the Lord ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’ A look at the Acts of the Apostles. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Oasis A listening ear and a cuppa at St Thomas of Canterbury church, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Tel 0151 949 1199 or email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Sunday 5 February ‘You are the light of the world.’ An afternoon preparing to celebrate Lent and Easter for Children’s Liturgy Leaders, led by Jo Boyce of CJM Music. 2.00 pm at LACE Conference Centre, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool, L17 1AA. Details and Bookings: Maureen Knight Tel: 0151 522 1046. Email: m.knight@rcaol.co.uk Cost £10 per person. Wednesday 8 February Day of Prayer for victims of trafficking (Feast of St Josephine Bakhita) Animate Youth Ministries ‘Life and Soul’ an evening of adoration and prayer. 7.00 pm at Liverpool Hope University Chapel, Hope Park, Liverpool, L16 9JD. Thursday 9 February ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’ A look at the Acts of the Apostles. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk

Sunday 15 January Peace Sunday The theme chosen by Pope Francis is ‘Nonviolence: a style of politics for peace’. Pax Christi have produced Liturgy and reflection materials to support parishes in celebrating the day. Details: paxchristi.org.uk/news-and-events/peacesunday/ Wednesday 18 January to Wednesday 25 January Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity Wednesday 18 January Animate Youth Ministries ‘Life and Soul’ an evening of adoration and prayer. 7.00 pm at St Charles Borromeo, Aigburth Road, L17 9PG. Wednesday 25 January ‘Songs we Remember’ Choir A morning of singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 11.00 am to 12.30 pm, followed by lunch, at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk

Friday 10 February to Sunday 12 February Men’s Weekend Led by Father Chris Thomas at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Saturday 11 February Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes World Day of Prayer for Sick People Thursday 16 February ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’ A look at the Acts of the Apostles. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Saturday 18 February UCM Business Meeting 1.00 pm in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Thursday 23 February ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people.’ A look at the Acts of the Apostles. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Sunday 26 February Day of Prayer for the unemployed.

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january The Gift – Saturday 4 February 2017 and Saturday 25 February 2017 (attendance on both days essential) Christ the King Parish Club, Queens Drive Liverpool, L15 6YQ. (at the end of the M62) Archbishop Malcolm has invited CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) into the archdiocese to train people involved in faith sharing and evangelisation in the use of their new resource called ‘The Gift’. This is an opportunity to experience an inspiring and practical series aimed at people of all ages to help them encounter the Holy Spirit and empower them to share their faith. The CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) team will lead these two days and Archbishop Malcolm will join us on the second day. It is open to priests, catechists, youth workers, chaplains and anyone interested in evangelisation and faith formation. The aim is that those who attend will feel confident in leading the programme themselves. Please register your interest by email to moira@irenaeus.co.uk or by post to Sister Moira Meeghan, 32 Great Georges Road, Liverpool, L22 1RD.

World of Atherton

Samuel Group offers guiding hand to young Catholics The Biblical story of Samuel is the source of inspiration for a new course of spiritual direction open to young Catholics in Liverpool. Just as Eli offered guidance to Samuel – the young boy who called out, ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening’ – so the organisers of the Samuel Group are offering support to any Catholics aged 18-30 who are looking to find the right path in their lives. This is a programme led by Father James Preston, Sister Catherine Skelton and Sister MaryAnne Francalanza and consists of a series of monthly meetings featuring the opportunity to share reflections with fellow young adults, to hear from guest speakers, and to receive one-to-one spiritual direction. The Samuel Group may be of particular interest to people wishing to live their faith more deeply, to those seeking to focus on an area of work such as voluntary service, or to those who feel they have a particular call to the priesthood, diaconate or religious life. The Sunday evening gatherings will take

place at St Charles’ Church in Aigburth, Liverpool (L17 9PG); there will be time devoted to prayer with Scripture and to reflecting with other young adults who are on a similar journey. There will also be opportunities to listen to people talking about the meaning of vocation in their lives. Each meeting will close with a time of silent prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by an opportunity to socialise and eat together.

The next gathering is on Sunday 15 January from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm and anybody interested in learning more should email SamuelGroupLiverpool@gmail.com or call any of the following: Father James Preston … 0151 727 2493 Sister Catherine Skelton … 0795 1940 308 Sister MaryAnne Francalanza … 0758 1500 846

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profile

Stephen Morris Headteacher savouring first year at helm of ‘unique’ St Edward’s College by Simon Hart t is no surprise to hear a principal sing the praises of their school. Yet when Stephen Morris, reflecting on his first term at the helm of St Edward’s College, describes the Liverpool school as ‘unique’, this is no mere sound bite.

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After all, as a man who had his own schooling at Hereford Cathedral School and arrived in Liverpool after eight years as head of Llandaff Cathedral School in Cardiff, he can speak with some authority about what makes his new school different. ‘St Edward’s College is unique,’ he begins. ‘It is the only secondary Catholic Cathedral School in England.’ And for this Catholic convert, the factor of faith brings a ‘distinctiveness’ worth cherishing, as he explains: ‘These are schools that were founded not to be secular schools with crosses on the wall but actually to be schools which promote a Catholic worldview because central to their life are the scriptures and prayer and the holy Mass. There is a great joy at encountering that distinctiveness and, on my part, a determination that it should always be renewed and treasured.’ St Edward’s relationship with the Metropolitan Cathedral certainly helps to maintain this, and leads, he adds, to ‘a

very strong sense of Catholicity … a sense of being deeply part of the mission of the Church’. Additionally, of course, it provides a wonderful platform for learning for its 36 choristers. ‘It gives a musical excellence. After all, we have boy and girl choristers plus retired choristers who form their own choir, who’ve been creating liturgical music of the very highest standard and doing it at an amazing rate. No sooner do they finish with one thing then a few hours later they are performing the next, so there is a very high degree of professionalism and endeavour.’ Those who attended a Christmas service at the Cathedral will likely concur, and Stephen adds: ‘What cathedral schools generally do is quite extraordinary and I think you would not find anything quite like it anywhere else in the world.’ There is something else which appeals to the Theology graduate, whose CV includes spells teaching at four independent schools – Bedford School, Brentwood School and Reading Blue Coat School, as well as Llandaff Cathedral School. ‘Because this is an academy rather than an independent school,’ he explains, ‘there is a joy in not having to charge fees to parents to

attend and to benefit from this fantastic education. The fact that we have a much wider range of abilities and types of child is great.’ Stephen is a father of three boys himself and with his wife Becky, he is enjoying life beyond the school gate too, as the family get to know their new surroundings. ‘Liverpool is a very warm place, and welcoming. I think it has great sense of its own distinctiveness and a pride in that, which is wonderful, and a sense of being outward-looking as well.’ They are a family who became Catholics in 2011, inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to this country. Previously an Anglican, Stephen says: ‘There is a clarity in the Catholic Church over some of the issues that other Churches spend a great deal of time thinking and worrying about.’ He was drawn, he continues, by the ‘continuity’ and ‘authority’ offered by the Church, and now he has his own opportunity to help sustain these virtues at one of our city’s great schools.

‘Liverpool is a very warm place, and welcoming’ Catholic Pictorial

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youth ministry

A fresh chapter or another false start? Animate gap year team member Michael ponders how to make those New Year resolutions last... January is usually the time of year to think about starting something new. Minds are brimming with enthusiasm, ready to tackle the challenges the coming year will bring. We make New Year’s resolutions, eager to make that ‘New You’. Naturally we start off strongly, but maybe it takes a couple of months, or even only a few weeks, before our good intentions are forgotten completely. It leads you to wonder how we can set ourselves up with the right mindset to really achieve these goals, and go about creating the change that we wish for within ourselves. I must admit, all too often I am susceptible to starting a new hobby only to lose interest within weeks. All it takes is the purple glint of the Cadbury’s packaging and healthy eating goes out of the window! Research suggests that it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a habit, and around two or three months to make it stick. So how can we build the strong foundations within ourselves to carry out our goals, and succeed where so often we fail?

Here at Animate, we start every working day with a short time of prayer. It is an opportunity to forget about the worries of previous days, and start the new day off on a solid footing. With these foundations in place, we can ensure that no day is wasted and that we are always the best we can be. Maybe it is something we can incorporate into our home lives too, to give every day a sense of purpose and distinction. Like the palate cleanser used to refresh taste buds between courses at a fine restaurant, we can use prayer to refresh our minds. Perhaps if we could set aside a little time for prayer, we might be able to see things in a different light. This could be our catalyst to step out of the mundane, and become better engaged in everything we do. It has often been said that breaking tasks down into smaller parts is the best way to negotiate difficult obstacles. Could this be a method to improve our prayer lives? If we incorporate short prayer breaks into

our daily lives, we can make sure God is always with us. Bringing God into our lives whenever and wherever possible is something we should all strive to do, but often it seems like an inconvenience. • As we enter 2017, let us keep in mind those who have started their own spiritual journey. Spare a thought for those taking part in the RCIA programme, that they may achieve the new beginning they are seeking within the Church. We must welcome these people, and provide support as they carry out their journey of faith. Spare a thought also for young people, that they may be guided towards God. We see all too often young people becoming disillusioned with the Church, and unable to see its importance. It is essential to reach out and inspire them; they are the future after all. Finally, think of yourself. In what ways can you make the coming year more rewarding than those that have gone before? How can you make the most of what God has given you? Perhaps if we start small, by the end of the year we can look back and notice what a real difference we have made. Dates for the diary 14 January: Eucharistic Ministry Training for young people. See website for details. 18 January: Life and Soul+ at St Charles, Aigburth – an evening of adoration and prayer from 7pm. 8 February: Life and Soul+ at Hope University Chapel – from 7pm. Website: www.animateyouth.org Facebook: Animate Youth Ministries Twitter: @animateyouth

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Enterprise South Liverpool Academy 51 Horrocks Avenue, Liverpool, L19 5NY T: 0151 230 2570 E: enquiries@esla.org.uk

Ofsted gives thumbs up to improving ESLA Academy Staff and pupils at the Enterprise South Liverpool Academy (ESLA) are celebrating what Ofsted have described as ‘significant improvements’ in the Academy’s performance, in a short period of time. ESLA has been removed from special measures following the most recent inspection, with Ofsted praising the school for its improved quality of teaching, leadership and pupil achievement. Headteacher Linda Foley who took up the post in March, has high ambitions which are shared by the staff and members of the academy trust. Ms Foley says: “Change is difficult, so many thanks need to go to everyone in ‘Team ESLA’ this year. Our success is down to the commitment of so many different groups and everyone has played their part. So thank you and well done to them all. There is still a way to go to become the outstanding school that this community deserves, but we are clearly heading in the right direction.” Ms Foley is optimistic about the future, believing that the commitment and diversity of those working together to make ESLA a success has been impressive. These include primary, secondary and university partners, the local churches, and business and community partners amongst others. She says: “What all the partners involved understand is the importance of a good school to a proud, thriving community. It has a huge impact on the future of the local community and we all believe that it is worth investing in it. Our team is passionate about giving our students the best opportunities we can and helping to shape young people who have the character and ambition to achieve whatever they set their hearts on.”

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cathedral A year of celebration Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean Welcome to 2017 a year of special celebration in the life of our Cathedral as we mark our golden Jubilee. Our actual anniversary Mass will be celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, 4th June.

by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral After the excitement of Christmas, January can feel a bit flat. However, the liturgical season of Christmas continues up to the Solemnity of the Epiphany (and in fact technically all the way up the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd). To mark the Epiphany this year, we are holding a special Epiphany Carol Service in the Cathedral on Sunday 8th January. The service will open at the Crib, before proceeding with a mixture of carols, readings and motets, all of which will reflect on the later parts of the Christmas Story and the early parts of Jesus's ministry. The Carol Service will begin at 3.00 pm and all are very welcome. Liverpool is a unique city in many ways, but none more so than the close relationship between its two Cathedrals. To mark the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the choir and congregation of both Cathedrals will

gather at Liverpool Cathedral for Choral Evensong on Sunday 22nd January. This is the latest in a series of joint ventures between the two Cathedral Choirs. In 2016 we performed Handel’s Messiah together, gave the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece by Sir James MacMillan and sang on the steps of the Metropolitan Cathedral at the conclusion of the Pentecost Pageant. 2017 is of course a very big year for the Cathedral, as it marks the 50th anniversary of our consecration. There are many big events taking place during the year. Musical highlights include a concert on Saturday 10th June featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir with our own Cathedral Choir under the baton of Sir James MacMillan, and a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in November performed jointly by the Choirs of Westminster Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. A 50th anniversary CD is in the works, featuring many of the hymns and musical items that have been used at important times over the first 50 years of the Cathedral’s life. Watch this space for more details of this special year.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols will preach at the Solemn Mass that day and at the afternoon ecumenical service attended by all the church leaders from Merseyside and Lancashire. There will be a whole series of celebratory events throughout the year with a particular concentration within the weeks on either side of the anniversary date. These will include a grand Festival of Flowers, a whole series of special concerts involving the Philharmonic and various choirs and musicians, events for school children and exhibitions both within the Cathedral and in other venues such as the Tate. So hopefully a great deal to look forward to and for all to enjoy and participate in. We will be making a programme of events available in the near future. As we reach this important milestone in the life of our Cathedral it is also important for us to ensure that this building and all it stands for will continue as a place of worship and powerful symbol of our faith for the next fifty years. That places a challenge and responsibility on all our shoulders to support the Cathedral. We will in the near future have to embark on a major project of repair of the high level Cathedral Central Lantern Tower. This will need a concerted fund raising campaign to collect the moneys required. Towards the end of this Jubilee Year we will be launching a 50+ fundraising campaign which I hope will receive widespread support from across the Diocese. Heres to a blest and enjoyable 2017

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Pic extras Mums the Word I wish you all a holy, happy and healthy New Year – 2017 is now here.

News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

Fatima centenary celebrations … and new members welcomed

January, of course, brings the Feast of the Epiphany on Friday 6th, commemorating the arrival of the three kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, bearing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This made me wonder what gifts I would wish for. I settled on four Fs: faith, family, friendship and fun. And where will I find them? Why, with the UCM, of course. So let us resolve to hold out a welcoming hand to new members and to hold existing members close, supporting each other in good times and bad. • Val Ward, our national president, was recently invited to the 140th anniversary of the Anglican Mothers’ Union at Winchester Cathedral. The main celebrant was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Val was struck by the similarities between their aims and objectives and ours – a strong support for family values and help to those in need. This surely demonstrates once again the rightness of the drive for ecumenism. Please God that one day we shall be one Christian church, sending out the Gospel message to all. It is surely needed in Britain today. • On Wednesday 11 January our bimonthly Mass will be held at All Saints, who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UCM foundation in their parish. At the Mass, cheques will be presented from our charity fund to four charities: the Priests’ Training Fund, Asylum Link (assisting refugees and asylum-seekers), Bradbury Fields (services to the blind and partially-sighted), and the Marie Curie Patient and Family Support team in Liverpool. The Priests’ Training Fund is supported every year, with the three other charities voted for by the foundations. May God bless us in this new year and may His mercy shine out on us and our families and friends throughout 2017. Madelaine McDonald, media officer

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The Knights of St Columba will be commemorating over the course of 2017 the appearance of Our Lady to the three young children in the town of Fatima, Portugal 100 years ago. To celebrate the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, KSC members will be visiting, on pilgrimage, many churches and shrines across Britain. Moreover, there will be visitations of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to each diocese in England and Wales during the coming year, starting at Westminster Cathedral on 18 and 19 February. To mark the occasion, Cardinal Vincent Nichols will crown Our Lady’s statue during a 2.00 pm service on Saturday 18th. • As mentioned in last month’s issue of the Pic, we welcomed seven new members to full knighthood during

the 11.00 am Mass at St Gregory’s, Lydiate on 13 November. The seven are John Darby, Brian Steele, John McCarthy, John Hastings, James Riley, Thomas Lonan and Ted Rawlingson, and they are seen here photographed (above) with provincial grand knight Pat Foley and provincial action and youth officer Michael Nolan. Our second photo (below) shows them with the provincial chaplain, Father Thomas Wood, parish priest of St Gregory’s, who arranged the Mass which was also the annual memorial Mass for deceased members. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk Email: dpokeane@aol.com


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PIC Life The consoling power of God’s love By Moira Billinge The 9/11 Twin Tower bombings in New York will be forever ingrained into our memories. The world watched aghast as the horror unfolded and was replayed, hour after hour, on our television screens. The planes that had crashed into the imploding buildings caused the deaths and maiming of thousands of innocent people, while the smoke and the dust from the towers coated the city in a thick, dense, eerie, grey mist. We watched in disbelief as one by one, people launched themselves from the windows of the towers. Tiny figures set against the giant buildings like freefalling debris, decided to take their chances, preferring to swap the acrid smoke and flames that engulfed the building, for an equally inevitable demise on whatever surface greeted their landing. Minutes before the disaster, the people on the streets below the Twin Towers had been going about their business, blissfully ignorant of what was about to happen. As they fled the scene in their droves, others – the fire and emergency services – sped towards the chaos, devastation and tragedy, determined to rescue whoever they could. As we know, many lost their own lives in the process. In the years that have followed, many disasters – both natural and man-made – have shaken humanity. The consequences of war, famine, drought and flooding have left a global and indelible imprint on the hearts and minds of their victims and on those who tried to help them. Suffering touches most of us at some time or another, and it is no respecter of 28

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status or wealth. Knowing that other people are suffering does not change the pain and difficulties in our own lives. Nor does it make coping any easier. In fact, we can even feel guilty in complaining about our hardships, believing that others are experiencing far worse. Some appear to be assailed, relentlessly, by one serious problem after another with very little breathing space in between. There are easy, stock comments that we can make when we are trying to ease the burden of another’s pain. In some circumstances, though, a silent presence and solidarity can be more powerful and honest than glib platitudes, however well-meant. In the words of the popular country love song: “You say it best, when you say nothing at all.” There is a common belief that God allows us to suffer because He is testing us and the strength of our faith. He isn’t. God knows already our strength and handling capacity – He has no need to test us. We, however, don’t always know how strong we are, or how strong our faith is, especially during the good times when everything is going well. So, when horrible things do happen – either man-made or otherwise – God is in there with us if we are openeyed and open-hearted. He often uses situations to bring us closer to him. Difficult times can show us our weaknesses and our utter need for Him in ways that perhaps we might not have learned without those bumps on our road. God is the loving father who waits with open arms to welcome back the contrite Prodigal Son. God, like the rescue services of 9/11, comes to meet us in our darkest hours – to be with us, to console us, and to strengthen us.

Quote from Pope Francis “We cannot be messengers of Gods comfort if we do not first feel the joy of being comforted and loved by Him. This happens especially when we hear his word, the Gospel, which we should carry in our pocket. Do not forget this!”.

Worth a visit

Begin this new year with a resolution to explore more of Europe’s beautiful church buildings, writes Lucy Oliver. A good place to start would be Eindhoven, which may surprise you with its hidden gems. Once under Spanish governance, Eindhoven is perhaps most famous as the place where Philips was founded in 1891 and today its business and technology firms co-exist in the city centre alongside some beautiful gothic buildings. Saint Catherine’s Church – or Catharinakerk – was the work of Pierre Cuypers, a Dutch architect renowned for his church designs, who also produced Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and Central Station. It replaced a derelict 13th century church in 1897 and features two towers that soar to heights of 73 metres and rose windows symbolising St Catherine’s wheel. Visitors should also take in the Van Abbemuseum, an unusual building which houses contemporary art, and also the Philips museum, which opened in 2013. Stop off too for a coffee at the Usine café in the Light Tower, a futuristic landmark building whose top floors were used by Philips to test out its light bulbs. For a gentle stroll among more impressive sculptures, visit the Stadswandelpark in the city centre, before enjoying an afternoon treat at Pinkie Patisserie, renowned for its pastries.


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join in Eating Out

Children’s word search Baptism of the Lord is a feast to remember on January 9. Check out our clues to learn more.

JESUS

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SON OF GOD

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BELOVED

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JORDAN JOHN BAPTISM

WATER

A drive into the nearby countryside is lovely during January - the days are a little longer and new growth is all around you you may even see some new lambs. Spring is not far away. Maybe enjoy a nice meal before heading home. Fishpool Inn Fishpool Road, Delamere 01606 883277 Hare & Hounds Bolton Road, Abbey Village, Chorley 01254 832290 Alvanley Arms Cotebrook, Tarporley 01829 760200 The Ship Wheat Lane, Lathom 01704 893117

BLESSING Blue Mallard Burscough Wharf, Burscough 01704 893954

More Mullarkey

The Sparrowhawk Southport Old Road, Formby 01704 882350

From Johnny Kennedy

Greeting Cards from Carmel

The UCM at the church has been going for 50 years so it was no surprise that they decided to have a big party. The young curate and Father Mullarkey were chatting about it over a cup of tea in the presbytery kitchen. ‘I’m really looking forward to it,’ said the YC. ‘So am I,’ said the auld fella. ‘They make us so welcome. And the food’s always good, especially the chocolate cake.’ ‘They’ve asked me to do one of my quizzes,’ said the YC. ‘They really like them.’ ‘Jeremy Paxman wouldn’t have got a look in if the TV people had seen you first!’ ‘Thank you,’ said the YC. ‘But I’ve got a question for your quiz,’ said Father Mullarkey. ‘I thought you might have.’ ‘Which animal has eyes but can’t see and legs but can't walk, but can jump as high as the Liver Buildings.’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘A wooden horse.’ ‘That’s a daft question,’ said the YC. ‘How can a wooden horse jump as high as the Liver Buildings?’ ‘The Liver Buildings can’t jump!’

Audio copy of the Pic out now An audio version of the ‘Catholic Pictorial’ is available free of charge, compiled by students, technicians and Chaplain, Dan Antonio, at All Hallows RC High School, Penwortham Anyone interested in receiving the audio copy should contact Dan Antonio on 01772 746121

If you haven’t had a chance to see the lovely greeting cards from the Carmelite Sisters maybe you will be able to soon. The cards are delightful and for all occasions and very well worth a look. Visit the Monastery at: Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at marytoncards@outlook.com Cards for all occasions are also available in the Monastery shop try to visit if you can.

Catholic Pictorial

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justice & peace Postcard from Valladolid Joseph Champion-Williams focuses on the heroism of St Joseph in this latest missive from his seminary in Spain. The lead-up to Christmas in Valladolid was very busy, but mercifully the college allowed us to take advantage of a puente – which translates literally as ‘bridge’, but whose nearest equivalent is our bank holiday weekend – with a trip north. The other men and I hired a car and headed up to Asturias for a few days, a time of true friendship and an opportunity to make the most of being here in Spain. Following this, we had the blessing of a visit from a fascinating Scripture scholar, Father John Farrell OP, a dear friend of our own Dominican Archbishop. Father John completely opened my eyes to just how much Scripture is a gift to us and made me feel very at home with the synoptic Gospels. For me, Matthew's account of Joseph is a source of particular intrigue, particularly the readings we heard the Sunday before Christmas. It is only in Matthew where we receive so much detail about Saint Joseph, and as Joseph is my patron saint – not to mention patron of our diocese, and of Upholland which formed so large a part of our history – it is easy to understand why I was drawn to this great saint. We, as Catholics, tend to imagine a hard-working carpenter, which indeed he was. The point we overlook is that he was also a man of mystical union with the Lord; this is integral to our understanding of our call to holiness, or, as St Josemaría Escrivá put it: ‘Everyone and everything for the glory of God.’ So, if we leave our understanding at Joseph the carpenter, then we are completely missing the true Joseph – St Joseph the mystic. Apart from Our Lord, Joseph is the true hero in Matthew’s Gospel. All throughout Matthew we see this beautiful fulfilment of prophesy. Prophesy, for Matthew, is not just a checklist to be completed, but instead it is the golden thread linking the Old to the New Testament, exile to salvation. Imagine if we watched a film without the sound on. We wouldn't quite comprehend the enormity of the message; we would still understand what was going on, but it wouldn't be as captivating as with the soundtrack. When Matthew is explaining the fulfilment of prophesy, we mustn't think of it as a dull checklist, but instead as the enchanting symphony which completes the Gospel. Joseph’s dreams give Matthew this very music. He was so in tune with the Holy Spirit, and, more importantly, he does not only dream, but also takes action. Consider his actions: accepting a Father's responsibility for the Messiah (a Messiah conceived of the Holy Spirit, so truly Son of God and Son of Mary); moving his whole family to Egypt; and then, after all that, returning to Nazareth. Part of the spiritual life is to be open to our instincts which are prompted by the Holy Spirit, and for this we can take true example from St Joseph, a holy man of deep prayer and action. In Domino, Joseph 30

Catholic Pictorial

In the footsteps of the Good Samaritan By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker. The asylum seeker/refugee situation, with all its problems, looks set to be with us for the foreseeable future. In this respect at least, 2017 will be very similar to 2016. The UK part of the story of an asylum seeker begins with the lodging of a claim for asylum and ends with a decision: ‘leave to remain’ or ‘voluntary return’. The process is often long and usually difficult. Its ending can be traumatic. Just before Christmas I met a small group of volunteers at a church near Wigan. They don’t want to be identified and they definitely don’t want any praise. They would be embarrassed to be called the face of Christ but I am certain that is what they are. Their story is of how they responded to a situation that presented itself to them. Resolutely throughout the last year, this anonymous group have been offering kindness to asylum seekers who are temporarily lodged in a hotel close to the motorway near their parish. The hotel is one of those places of legend, beloved of the tabloid press, where asylum seekers are reportedly housed in luxury apartments with all the benefits of hotel living from where they emerge to be a threat to local people. The reality, of course, is much different. It suits Serco to house their clients near the motorway network while they are in transit, waiting to be dispersed to somewhere in the region. It suits the hotel company to have a steady stream of paying guests who will never complain about anything. The accommodation is cheap, with no facilities other than a bed, a sink and a toilet. The food is basic. The asylum seekers are supposed to be there for a few days and certainly not longer than three weeks. One man who was there for three months was given fish fingers and chips every day. The group from the parish visit the hotel and meet the new arrivals. For some, these may well be the first friendly faces glimpsed in the UK. Everyone gets welcomed and greeted

with a smile but there is practical help as well. People are offered toiletries and warm clothes suitable for our climate. Young mothers are offered baby clothes and, whenever possible, buggies for their children. A basic English class is offered every Wednesday afternoon and the parish makes its internet available so that people can contact their families back home. Serco now contact the parish volunteers when there are emotional problems that they – the professionals – are unable to deal with. One of the volunteers has even been ‘birth companion’ to two female asylum seekers. All of this wonderful work is done with no funds other than what the parish and the volunteers provide out of their own resources. At the other end of the asylum seeker/refugee journey, a group of people in Liverpool are preparing to set up a night shelter for those who have disappeared into the murky world of destitute ‘failed’ asylum seekers. Estimates vary of the numbers in this group. It is thought that up to a hundred new ‘refused’ asylum seekers stay in Liverpool every year rather than return to a place that they think is dangerous. Whatever the legalities of their decision, these vulnerable people are in danger and the local community has a problem on their streets. The proposed shelter is a limited attempt to keep some of these people safe and at the same time bring them back into the system so that they either get leave to remain or return home. As well as these two extremes, we are still looking for a way to join in the Syrian Resettlement Programme. I hope that there will be positive news about this later in the year.


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Cath pic jan 2017  

Catholic News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool

Cath pic jan 2017  

Catholic News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool

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