Catholic Pic August 2018

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Issue 167 August 2018


Welcome Father Carl, Father Philip and Father Anthony INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Churches Together Award for Pic columnist

The Great Cathedral Bake-Off

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contents Welcome What a welcome we have this month: to our three new priests. Father Philip Carr, Father Anthony Kelly and Father Carl Mugan were ordained by Archbishop Malcolm in the Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 7 July. Our main feature has more details of the day and offers an opportunity to get to know our new priests a little better. All three of them studied at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome where Canon Philip Gillespie is the Rector, it was truly a wonderful day for the people of the archdiocese. As I write our pilgrims are in Lourdes on the annual pilgrimage. It is not very many years ago that the pilgrimage left Liverpool and virtually nothing was heard of them until they returned a week later. Things are very different now though with our modern means of communication and we can follow daily the events of the pilgrimage, largely through social media. It is always a great joy to witness the work of our young people who, after a 24-hour coach journey, are immediately hard at work helping the assisted pilgrims. They are truly an inspiration to us all and it is wonderful to be able to join them in prayer at this time.

From the Archbishop’s Desk Sometimes when I am making a speech or passing a comment I inadvertently say the wrong thing. Usually I am aware of it and can correct it immediately. But if I am unaware of my mistake at the time then I can come in for a lot of criticism afterwards. The golden rule is not to dig myself into a deeper hole if I know that I have ‘mis-spoken’, to use a Trumpian word. You can imagine that I felt some sympathy for President Trump when after his conversation with President Putin he really put his foot in his mouth when referring to the possible Russian involvement in the United States presidential election. Instead of quickly retracting his words he tried to make sense of what he just uttered and caused a tremendous furore amongst his aides who had to speak up for the President of the United States. The fuss lasted for a couple of weeks and has left us all wondering whether we can trust his words in future. In Jesus’s day people did not know which political and religious leaders to trust. The religious leaders had divided into parties and many different interpretations of Holy Scripture were offered, and on the political front the Jewish kings had married outside of Judaism and colluded with the occupying Roman forces. Who were they to believe? But we read in St John’s Gospel that Jesus spoke with authority, unlike the Scribes and Pharisees. In our time we can turn to Jesus’s words in the Gospels and find that they have the power to help us find our way through words spoken and ‘mis-spoken’. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Copy deadline September 2018 10 August 2018

Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email:

Publisher CPMM Suites 3 & 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ

Pictures Cover and main feature:


Main Feature ‘A little voice that never goes away’ Welcome to our new priests


News From around the Archdiocese


Letter from Rome Joshua receives the Ministry of Acolyte

14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 19 Nugent News In our Liverpool home 21 Animate A year of growth and discovery 25 Cathedral Record From the Archives The great Cathedral bake-off 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life The enduring impact of a First Communion Day

Editor Peter Heneghan

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30 Justice and Peace September Congress will have something for everyone

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‘A little voice that never goes away’ Liverpool Archdiocese’s three new priests – Philip Carr, Anthony Kelly and Carl Mugan – explain the calling that none of them could ignore. By Simon Hart There must have been many times when you thought it would never come but now you are here.’ This was a line from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, delivered as part of his homily during the Ordination Mass on Saturday 7 July for the three new priests of Liverpool Archdiocese, and it could not have been more pertinent.

In the case of all three men welcomed to the priesthood at the Metropolitan Cathedral last month – Philip Carr and Anthony Kelly, both 41, and 55-year-old Carl Mugan – there had been a long, winding road leading them to their vocation. They had shared the final steps along the way, studying together at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome, yet each had experienced a lengthy process of discernment before choosing to embrace the responsibility of life as a priest – a role that the Archbishop described as ‘awesome’. It is intriguing to hear each of the three describe this process – and a shared experience of a voice calling them, over a period of years, which would simply not be silenced. In the words of Father Philip: ‘There was always that thing at the back of my head 4

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that said, “I’m not the right person for this” but it got to the point where I thought, “I can’t ignore this anymore. God’s calling me to do this and I need to say yes”. ‘I kept putting it off and telling myself I wasn’t ready to do it. And eventually about five years ago there were just too many signs.’ One particular sign, he recounts, came during the Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, which he had long attended as a member of the Liverpool Lourdes music group. ‘I hadn’t mentioned my vocation to anybody and on the last day one of the lads was writing out a petition and he asked if he could write one for me. I said, “Would you mind telling me what it is?” and he said, “That you follow your vocation”.’ The memory of another conversation comes to mind as he continues: ‘I remember saying to the rector of Valladolid (where he studied for a year together with Father Anthony) that “I just don’t know why I’ve left it so long.” His answer to that was, “You’ve left it till exactly the right time. God’s been calling you but when you answered ‘yes’, that was the exact right time for you to answer.” It made me feel a bit better about putting it off.’ While Father Philip had worked previously in finance, Father Anthony was a history teacher at St Thomas More

‘I can’t ignore this anymore. God’s calling me to do this and I need to say yes’

Catholic High School in Crewe, before responding to his own call to the priesthood. ‘I’d never have been ready to go to seminary at 18,’ he reflects. ‘I wouldn’t have been mature enough or my faith wouldn’t have been strong enough to carry me through at the time. Having experienced the world, relationships and different working environments has given me an ability to empathise and relate to people more.’ It was during the Year for Priests in 2009/10 that he heard the words of Pope Benedict XVI and began pondering a different path. ‘I’d connected a bit more with my faith and the parish and I felt a real sense of joy going to Mass – Mass became the focal point for the week. We had a letter from Pope Benedict one day instead of a homily and it said, “If you’re single maybe have a think about this” and I couldn’t quite knock it away. I gradually got in touch with different people like Father Steve Maloney who was then vocations director for Liverpool.’ Father Carl, the oldest of the diocese’s new trio of priests – ‘The granddad of the three,’ he jokes – knows better than anybody that sense of not quite being able to knock it away. ‘The vocation came way, way back,’ he explains. ‘I first met a vocations director 35 years ago. It was Father Tom Leigh, who passed away at the beginning of the year. It’s been a long time coming but that little voice doesn’t ever go away. ‘My whole work life has been very pastoral – social housing, work with

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refugees and asylum seekers and I then became a qualified counsellor,’ he continues. From there he trained as a chaplain and worked at St Peter’s Catholic High School in Wigan. ‘It never left me, though, and I had to do something about it.’ For Father Carl, the Ordination Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral was a moment to treasure. ‘It was absolutely amazing because I was there with the guys who’d travelled through seminary with me, and that meant a lot. In the past they used to

do it in the parishes but because we’d done this together, it felt very personal for the three of us.’ As rector of the Beda College, Canon Philip Gillespie was present to participate in the Mass and so too his predecessor, Monsignor Roderick Strange. For the investiture with the stole and chasuble, Father Carl was joined on the altar by his son Michael and Father John Causey, parish priest at St Cuthbert’s in Wigan where he has been based when


Father Philip offers his own recollection:

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Performing this role for Father Anthony, meanwhile, was Fr John Johnson, priest at his home parish of St Mary’s, Wigan, together with his mother, Agnes. His father’s passing in January enhanced the emotion of the occasion. ‘I remember going over at the sign of peace to shake hands with the family and give them a hug, and that was a very special moment,’ he says.

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‘My mum and dad (Bernadette and John) brought up the chasuble and the stole for the priest but it was Father Grant Maddock who vested me. I’ve known him for 23 years now and in all that time he’s been the one I’ve been able to lean on and talk to.’ The first Mass that followed at his home parish, St Benet’s in Netherton, where he has received ‘brilliant support’ was a ‘humbling’ experience.

‘I remember going over at the sign of peace to shake hands with the family and give them a hug’ 6

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The trio’s first assignments will begin in September. Father Philip will be an assistant priest at the Metropolitan Cathedral, while Father Anthony will join Father Tom Neylon at St Julie’s, Eccleston, St Helens. Father Carl will become part of the team ministry at St Wilfrid’s, Widnes alongside Father Michael Fitzsimons, Father Joe Bibby, Father Bill Murphy and Bishop John Rawsthorne.

As Archbishop Malcolm noted in his homily at the Mass on 7 July, a special challenge now awaits – a challenge that, rightly, should bring a sense of awe. ‘It’s truly amazing to be a priest,’ he said, ‘because through you and your actions you will bring the people of God into being, baptising them in the name of the Trinity, reconciling them when they’re lost, and you’ll build them up through bringing God’s love to them, through the healing touch of Jesus and celebrating the exchange of vows from holy matrimony. You’ll break open the Scriptures for them and show them God’s wonder and loving deeds and you’ll become a herald of what you read and believe.’ After the long road to get here, another, even more significant, journey has just begun.

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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:

Church of St Albert the Great consecrated Archbishop Malcolm McMahon consecrated the Church of St Albert, Stockbridge Village, on the Feast of St Peter and St Paul. The parish was founded in the then new housing development of Cantril Farm in 1966 and for the first eleven years of its life Mass was celebrated in St Albert’s Chapel, which now forms part of the parish centre. The new church was opened by Archbishop Derek Worlock on 18 March 1977.

Parish Priest, Father David Potter, lights the consecration candles in the church

For forty-five years the parish was served by priests from the Order of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart before the care of the parish was taken up by archdiocesan priests in 2011. In his homily Archbishop McMahon spoke of the foundations of the faith and the Church in the witness of the apostles Peter and Paul. Parish Priest, Father David Potter, spoke of the consecration as an important stage in the journey of faith for the parish which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon anoints the altar with chrism

Obituary of Rev Peter Kelly Father Peter Kelly, who was well known for his devotion to Our Blessed Lady and for making regular pilgrimages to Medjugorje, died on Tuesday 10 July aged 84 and in the 56th year of his priesthood. Peter Kelly was born in Liverpool on 31 March 1934 the son of Daniel and Mary Kelly. He attended De La Salle Grammar School, Liverpool. Before commencing his studies for the priesthood at St Joseph’s College, Upholland, he worked at the Liverpool Customs and Excise Office. He was ordained to the priesthood at Upholland on 8 June 1963 by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan. Following ordination he was sent to Plater College, Oxford, where he obtained a diploma in economics and political science in 1965. He then worked for a short time as a social worker in London and as a youth worker in Manchester before returning to the 8

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archdiocese in 1966. He held various appointments as assistant priest, many of them short due to periodic bouts of ill health: St Michael, Kirkby from January 1967; St Timothy, West Derby from August 1967; Our Lady, Wavertree from1974; Sacred Heart, Wigan from July 1975; St Oswald, Ashton-in-Makerfield from October 1975; St John, Kirkdale from August 1977; St James, Bootle from 1978 and St Mark, Halewood from March 1982. He had two appointments as parish priest, St Paschal Baylon, Liverpool from May 1983 and Our Lady, Tarleton from August 1989, before his failing health forced him to take on lighter duties as chaplain at Nazareth House, Ditton, in February 1993. He eventually retired in 2002. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St John Stone, Ainsdale on Tuesday 24 July, prior to burial in Ford Cemetery.

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news diary

Letter from Rome: August 2018 By Joshua Dixon Hopefully, August offers us time to slow down a little and to ponder what has happened over the previous year. At least this is the intention of the seminary timetable. In July, I finished my philosophy degree and went to visit a friend who was ordained a priest in Bordeaux. It is always a joy to attend an ordination and to receive the blessing of a newly ordained priest, but especially a privilege when it is a friend. Friends are indispensable on the journey of life but especially on the Christian journey: Our Lord Himself needed friends. It is also the time of year we bid farewell to leavers, those who are either finishing their time in Rome or those who have discerned that the Lord is calling them to another way of life. For my part, looking back over the year, it has been a busy but a worthy one. It has been a pleasure for me to write each month for the ‘Pic’ and to share some insights of mine with you about life in seminary and the whole business of being a Christian and a seminarian. Every year, the entire community leaves Rome to go out to the villa Palazzola; an ancient Cistercian and subsequently Franciscan site nestled above Lago Albano. The vista gives off over the enticing blue lake (formed by the cone of a, hopefully, now dormant

volcano) towards the Pope’s own summer palace, Castel Gandolfo. I write this looking out over the lake, the College has owned the villa for a hundred years now as a place for us to escape the Roman heat. This hidden gem is open for bookings all year and offers an unforgettable kind of break. The entire community continues its life here, albeit at a more relaxed pace. After pastoral classes and a safeguarding update, we enter into a little relaxation. The Ministries of Lector/Reader, Acolyte and Admission to Candidacy are bestowed by visiting bishops and, to top it off, we finish with the highlight of our year: the Ordination to the Diaconate. This year we have a bumper crop of nine from across the nation, and also from Norway, due to be ordained. As for me, Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool, Patrick Kelly, was drafted in to confer both Candidacy and Acolyte. I received Acolyte from him, which was a friendly and familiar occasion. As the picture illustrates, he remains as joyfully active and lifegiving as ever in retirement. I look forward to meeting and serving many of you in the future. Please pray for us all in formation, for vocations and for the work of the entire diocese. Thank you, too, for your patience in reading.

Obituary of Rev Matthew O’Callaghan Former parish priest of Holy Trinity, Garston and St Peter and St Paul, St Helens, Father Matthew O’Callaghan died on Monday 9 July aged 89 and in the 49th year of his priesthood. Mortimer Matthew O’Callaghan was born in Liverpool on 18 October 1928 the son of Michael and Sarah O’Callaghan. He attended St Alban’s School, Liverpool, Our Lady Star of the Sea School, Litherland, and Bishop Eton School, Liverpool. Before he entered the seminary he trained to be a teacher of physical education. No mean footballer himself, his claim to fame was that one of his fellow students was Johnny Giles, a player with Manchester United and Leeds United in the 1950s and 1960s. In his late twenties he offered himself as a candidate for the priesthood and he began his seminary training at the English College, Lisbon, in 1964. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop George Andrew Beck in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, on 23 May 1970. He served in a number of parishes as assistant priest: Holy Angels, Kirkby from September 1970; Sacred Heart, Liverpool from January 1971; St Joseph, Leigh from April 1973; St Stephen, Warrington from February 1977 and Holy Rosary, Old Roan from July 1977. In September 1985 he became parish priest for the first time on his appointment to Holy Trinity, Garston. After more than five years in Garston he moved in March 1991 to his second and final parish appointment at St Peter and St Paul, Haresfinch, St Helens, where he remained until his retirement in 2002. A quietly-spoken and gentle man, he was utterly dedicated to his priestly ministry. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at, St John Stone, Ainsdale on Thursday 19 July prior to burial in the cemetery at Sacred Heart, Ainsdale.

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news diary

‘Scripture and Song’ Schools from across the Archdiocese of Liverpool Secondary School Improvement Trust are celebrating after taking part in the very first Student Media Competition at Liverpool Hope University. Over 250 students came together to produce a variety of performances reflecting on the theme of ‘Scripture and Song’ through dance, drama, song and art. 1st place in the Dance category went to St Bede’s Catholic High School in Ormskirk. Performed by Hetty Moss Year 10, Sofia De Sousa Year 9, Evie Jackson Year 8, and Lucy Deakin Year 8. These four pupils choreographed the dance by themselves based on the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin (Luke 15:1-10). 1st place in the Drama category went to students from years 7 to 10 from St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan. Students explained that their performance ‘The Verses of Life’ plays on the conflict which exists in today's society and throughout history. Initial ideas were inspired by scripture, most relevant to everyday lives. This included: Matthew 5:38 ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth...’ Corinthians 13:4 ‘Love is patient, love is kind’. The stylised drama performance incorporated extracts from Pastor Niemoller’s ‘First They Came’ and Shylocks’ Speech’. Mia Davies, a Year 8 student at Christ the King Catholic High School in Southport, secured 1st place in the Art category with her painting. Mia explained that her entry had taken the theme ‘Song and Scripture’ and linked it to tomorrow and what God can do for us in the future. She said ‘I’ve used wings to show that God will lift us up and give us hope. I’ve also used a quote from Revelation 21:4 to link with my painting. I believe that Song and Scripture go hand in hand, and therefore it is important to celebrate a modern take on

Above: St John Fisher Catholic High School

the faith’. The overall winner was Isobel Housley from St Bede’s Catholic High School, who performed and wrote her song: ‘Tell of His Wonderful Acts’. Isobel said ‘The inspiration for this song was Psalm 105 “Sing praises to Him and tell of His wonderful acts”. The words of my song tell the story of a concert from the perspective of the lead singer of a religious band. The singer feels like he has a calling to God through music, and to preach God's word through song is what he was created to do’. Congratulations go to our winners and all those who entered including High Schools: All Hallows, Penwortham, Holy Cross, Chorley, St Edmund Arrowsmith, Wigan, Maricourt, Liverpool, Holy Family, Thornton, St Augustine of Canterbury, St Helens, St Mary’s, Leyland St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic Centre for Learning, Knowsley and St John Bosco Arts College, Liverpool, Partnership Director, Paul Greenall, praised the students stating that ‘the quality of performances and artwork was amazing, and the students were all super. It was an inspiring morning and the judges

Above: St Bede’s dancers

praised our students for their creativity, the variety of performance and the effort that they put into their compositions’.

Obituary of Rev Brian Lawlor OSA Fr Brian Lawlor OSA died on Monday 16 July, aged 80, and in the 55th year of his priesthood, at St Mary’s parish, Harborne, Birmingham. He served as parish priest of St John Stone, Woodvale, from 1989 to 2013, with Sacred Heart, Ainsdale, from 2001. Previously he ran the Irish Welfare Bureau which he had established adjacent to the Augustinian foundation, St Augustine's Parish Church, in Hammersmith for 24 years. He was appointed to St Mary's, 10

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Harborne, Birmingham after he left the archdiocese, and served there until his death When he left Southport he wrote: ‘I’ll be very sad because after 50 years in the priesthood I’ve spent 24 years with this parish, and in that time I’ve met such fantastic people who will be my friends for ever, they are very generous, kind and supportive. I can’t speak more highly of them. ‘When I arrived, there was just a parish

centre and Mass was celebrated there, so we wanted to build a new church. The parish helped to fundraise to get the money that was needed, and we were able to pay the £400,000 over four years. That was a big challenge and there was a brilliant community effort.’ Fr Lawlor also spoke of his pride in his parish raising £85,000 for a twin church in Africa. Fr Brian’s Funeral Mass was celebrated at St Mary’s, Harborne.

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news diary Clergy Appointments The following clergy appointments in the Archdiocese of Liverpool have been announced: Parish Priest Rev Gordon Abbs

From: To:

Rev Michael Barrett


Rev Roy Cooper

To: From: To:

Rev Philip Inch


Rev John Paul Ilunga

To: From: To:

Rev Gerard Callacher St Francis de Sales, Liverpool and St Monica and St Richard, Bootle

Additional Responsibility:

Assistant Priest: Rev Simon Cadwallader Rev Philip Carr Rev Anthony Kelly Rev Carl Mugan Rev Dominic Risley Rev Pat Sexton

Sabbatical St Catherine and All Saints (Golborne and Lowton) and St Lewis, Croft St Teresa and St Mary Magdalen, Penwortham, and St Oswald, Longton (Assistant) St Oswald, Longton St John the Evangelist, Kirkdale St Teresa and St Mary Magdalen, Penwortham, St Teresa and St Mary Magdalen, Penwortham, and St Oswald, Longton Holy Rosary, Old Roan St Julie and St Teresa, St Helens (Assistant) St Anne and Blessed Dominic, St Helens

From: To: From: To: From: To: From: To: From: To: From: To:

LAMP St Peter and St Paul, Crosby Ordination Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Ordination St Julie and St Teresa, St Helens Ordination St Wilfrid, Widnes Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King St Matthew and St Cecilia, Liverpool St Monica and St Richard, Bootle (Parish Priest) St Monica and St Richard, Bootle (Assistant)

Priest-in-Charge: Rev George Joseph (Diocese of Palai)

From: To:

Holy Rosary, Old Roan St Bede, Clayton-le-Woods and administrator St Chad’s, South Hill

Retirement: Rev Peter Hannah


St Anne and Blessed Dominic, St Helens

To: From: To: From:

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King St Wilfrid, Widnes Further studies: Rome St Catherine and All Saints (Golborne and Lowton) and St Lewis, Croft Sabbatical Leave St John the Evangelist, Kirkdale and Chaplaincy HMP Liverpool St Vincent de Paul, Liverpool

Other Appointments: Rev Silviu Climent Rev Matthew Jolley Rev Ron Johnson

To: To: Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) To: Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) English Martyrs, Haydock, will be administered from the St Helens Pastoral Area.

Award for Father John Johnson Father John Johnson, parish priest of St Mary’s, Wigan, has been recognised as an outstanding benefactor of the Congregation of the Passion. The illuminated scroll, signed by Father Joachim Rego CP, the Superior General of the Passionists, was presented to Father John by Father John Kearns CP, the Passionist Provincial.

Obituary of Deacon Alan Hill Deacon Alan Hill, who served in St William of York parish, Thornton, died on Sunday 8 July. Thomas Alan Hill was born in Liverpool in 1943 and baptised into the Church of England. One of six children, he attended Sefton County Primary School and then Waterloo Grammar School. After several years working in a travel agency he began a long period of employment with the Girobank in Bootle. In 1982 Alan became the first person received into the Catholic Church by Father Vin Fedigan at St William of York, Thornton, where he was then actively involved in the life of the parish as a Reader and Eucharistic Minister and assisted with fund raising and administration. Alan began his formation for the diaconate in 1990 and was ordained in 1992. He served as a deacon in St William's parish and was greatly respected for his spiritual example and his practical help until he retired through ill health in 1996. In recent years, Alan had been attending English Martyrs' parish in Litherland. Alan received a diagnosis of cancer and died in Aintree University Hospital just a few weeks later. He is survived by his brother David and sister Barbara.

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news diary A Celebration of Priesthood

Priests from throughout the archdiocese gathered together at the Centre for Evangelisation to celebrate their priesthood. The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most

Reverend Bernard Longley, joined Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop Tom Williams and Bishop Vincent Malone at Mass and preached the homily.

Liverpool volunteers take deserved accolades A spotlight shone brightly on the inspirational efforts of Merseyside volunteers at a recent awards night in Liverpool.


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The 800 Group Volunteer Awards, presented by the High Sheriff of Merseyside, Peter Woods, highlighted the work of 21 volunteers from different

charities. One of the volunteers nominated by St Joseph’s Hospice was John O’Neil (pictured). He was born with cerebral palsy but has been volunteering at the Thorntonbased hospice for over 15 years, working in the grounds to keep the gardens looking clean and tidy as well as taking part in fundraising activities – including sitting in a bath full of cold beans. The award for Volunteer of the Year, presented by main sponsor Towergate Insurance, went to Nugent’s John McCormick in recognition of his 37 years’ service to the charity. He has spent over three decades running the Bootle Group social club for adults with learning disabilities, which meets every Thursday evening. The club offers activities such as games, crafts and music and members describe John as ‘truly passionate about making sure people with learning disabilities are included and involved with their local community’. The awards evening took place at the Shankly Hotel on 7 June and highlighted the work of the charities involved in the 800 Group – including Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton, Bradbury Fields, Henshaws, Imagine, Merseyside Society for Deaf People, Nugent and St Joseph’s Hospice. Dil Daly, the group’s chairman, said: ‘From this annual event we hope this will inspire other people to volunteer for local charities.’

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note John the Baptist, whose martyrdom we commemorate on 29 August, is the character who pointed away from himself and towards Jesus – he was, and still is, the voice that cries ‘prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight’. In the daily liturgy of the Church we use the words of Zechariah, John’s father, in his great prayer of thanksgiving for the birth of his child: ‘As for you little child you shall be called a prophet of the Most High, you shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him.’ This is John’s vocation, his particular and unique calling in the plan of God, and he finds his sanctity precisely in this – being faithful, in all he said and did, to what God asked of him. He was to bring all his skills and abilities to the service of this call, in precisely the place and at the time that he was called to live. In this way, although John is unique and lived and ministered in a unique place and at a unique time, he can be a model and exemplar for you and for me, calling us to live the present moment always in light of the vocation given to us. It might appear to others that when we keep the memory of the killing of someone – and in this case a particularly bloody killing – we are in

Sunday thoughts Religious language is often dismissed as non-scientific, subjective or a fairy tale. In fact, it is metaphor, an attempt to describe the indescribable. Theologian Karl Rahner described God as the mystery in human experience. Even the most convinced atheist experiences mystery. Rahner says that God is the ‘depth dimension’ in experiences such as solitude, friendship, community, beauty, suffering, loss, death and hope etc. We all experience these moments – believers and non-believers alike. Scripture, creeds, the Eucharist itself and even lighting a candle at Our Lady’s altar are the language and actions we believers use in the attempt to understand reality. Or, as Father Ronald Rolheiser puts it, ‘to put us in touch with something that we can know but struggle to explain.’ We become tongue-tied when confronted by a cynical non-believer. But we needn’t be ashamed of that. Our religious language is meant to be ‘studied, contemplated, knelt before and prayed with rather than taken

Canon Philip Gillespie

some way ‘lionising’ imprisonment and death, yet nothing could be further from the truth. While we are pained and hurt by the inhumanity exhibited and the all-too-human emotions which lead to valuing the life of another individual as disposable and secondary – remember Herod didn’t want to lose face in front of his guests – we are constantly inspired by the steadfastness and integrity of the martyr who will, in his or her time, remain constant in living and proclaiming what they hold to be the most fundamental truth by which they live their lives. Today, as you read these words, the call is being made to me and to you to also act as witness to what we believe; the Gospel gives us a vision of human dignity and worth and whether it is in our workplace or in the home, in the world of politics or in the world of science and development, we are asked to stay faithful to our vocation. The voice may appear to cry ‘in the wilderness’ but if the message is truly life-giving, if it is important to be heard, then it should be cried aloud. To make known to his people their salvation… the loving kindness of the heart of our God.

Mgr John Devine OBE

literally’. It’s sacred ground. In John’s Gospel, Jesus often finds himself in conversation with those who ‘don’t get it’. The Samaritan woman at the well thinks Jesus is talking about real water when in fact he is attempting to explain something of a different order. Hence the sceptical comments like ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ (John 6:53) and ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ (John 6:60). When we talk of the death and resurrection of Jesus we are attempting to explain the greatest mystery of all: that rejection, loss, suffering and death can open us up to the transcendent and enable us to live life more fully. Once encountered, this fullness of life makes ordinary human existence (which we hang on to because it’s all we’ve got) seem two-dimensional, even though the seeds of indescribable fulfilment lie within it but only if we are prepared to let it go. We believers call this apparent contradiction ‘grace’.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at 14

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God of surprises My grandmother lived in a street of terraced houses not far from Liverpool city centre. It was the place where my brother and I were born. Living at the bottom of the street in the 1930s and ’40s was a neighbour named Mrs Jackson who had several children, all of them by different fathers. This was a so-called respectable area and Mrs Jackson was frowned upon by most of her ‘good living’ neighbours. In 1943 my nana’s eldest child, May, died of TB. She was 23 and my grandparents and my mum and uncle were devastated. For a couple of days no-one knocked on their door. I guess no-one knew what to say but eventually the knocker went and my mum went to the door. There stood Mrs Jackson and just for a moment Mum didn’t know what to do until Mrs Jackson put down the bag she was carrying and threw her arms around my mum who dissolved into tears. Mrs Jackson then picked her bag up and marched into the house and for the next week took over the kitchen and the cleaning. Mum often said that from that day onward my nana would always use the old phrase ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’. Mum said that she learned then the lesson never to prejudge but to do what Richard Rohr calls ‘holding the mystery’. I was reading somewhere that in the 14th-century mystical work The Cloud of Unknowing, it says that first you have to enter into ‘the cloud of forgetting’. Forget all your certitudes, all your labels, all your explanations and simply reflect and pray about what you see around you. It is so easy to become over-familiar with God and to presume, therefore, that you know how God works, how God acts and where God can be found. My mum discovered God at work in a woman who was far from a paid-up member of the Church. The truth is that God is more, and the life of faith can never be reduced to what we think we know. It is a way of uncertainty and calls for an open heart and mind. The challenge it gives us is to open our hearts and to allow God to break through our pathetic attempts to be respectable and comfortable and reveal Godself. Faith is never about the certainty of dogmatic truth but about journeying through life, trusting that God has chosen us and will be there for us and will bring good about even in the most difficult and awkward circumstances. Our God is a God of surprises who works in extraordinary ways and through extraordinary people. Never presume you know but live in the uncertainty of faithfulness Fr Chris Thomas

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In our Liverpool Home Caritas in Nugent are organising two parallel events that are part of Adoremus: the national Eucharistic pilgrimage and congress that takes place in Liverpool next month. The first event is a concert that will celebrate the diversity of the people we serve in the Archdiocese. ‘In our Liverpool Home’ will showcase local choirs and groups, Irish Band, Gospel Choir, Bagpipes, Liverpool singalong including Beatles’ hits and more. The acts will be interspersed with information about Nugent and how we continue to be a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for those in poverty. This takes place on Friday 7 September at 7.30 pm in St Anne’s church Overbury Street L7 3HJ. The second parallel event will continue the ‘Living Fully’ initiative, taking further the call from the Holy Father when we visited Rome at the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Kairos Forum last autumn. We are organising a workshop that will identify the unique role and powerful witness of the Church in making ‘Living Fully’ possible for everyone. Gospel drama, music and the chance to learn a prayer in British Sign Language will be available for all. The day is geared at anyone who wants to be part of a

welcome community, particularly people with learning disabilities, come and join the fun and activities. It takes place on Saturday 8 September from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm at St Anne’s

church Overbury Street, L7 3HJ. Places are limited, to book your place please contact Donna Williamson. Tel: 0151 207 1804 (office) 0746 911 9083 (mobile) Email:

Pic columnist picks up Churches Together award Monsignor John Devine, our longstanding columnist, was one of two recent recipients of a newly inaugurated award for special contributions to Merseyside life. Mgr Devine OBE picked up his award at a civic reception organised by the Churches Together group, collecting his Sheppard/Worlock plaque alongside his fellow award-recipient, Dr Hilary Russell, formerly Professor of Urban Policy at Liverpool John Moores University. The plaques, named after Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock, who achieved such impressive ecumenical co-operation in the city, were presented by Paul Bayes, the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, and made by local university students. Churches Together hope that other figures from across the denominations will be put forward for this award in the years to come. The Churches Together event, is an

annual informal networking event to which all mayors and leaders of the council within the Merseyside region are invited.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and Bishop Tom Williams were among those in attendance at this year’s gathering.

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what’s on Thursday 2 August Classical guitar Concert by John O’Connell 1.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Admission free. Saturday 4 August Summer Saturday Organ Recital 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Organist: Andrew Wyatt (Assistant Director of Music at Chester Cathedral). Admission free; retiring collection to defray expenses. Saturday 11 August Summer Saturday Organ Recital 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, with Peter Kwater and Carol Wareing, who both work for Wigan Music Service, as well as directing and accompanying a number of choral societies and ensembles in the North West. Admission free; retiring collection to defray expenses. Wednesday 15 August Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Holyday of Obligation. Prayer Vigil for those about to receive exam results and their families 7.00 pm at St Mary's, Woolton, L25 5JF. Saturday 18 August Summer Saturday Organ Recital 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Organist: Mélanie Barney (Concert organist and titular organist at Saint-Jérôme Cathedral Québec, Canada). Admission free; retiring collection to defray expenses. Monday 20 August to Sunday 26 August Preached Retreat led by Bishop John Crowley St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Email: theprayercentre.stj@gmail.com0

august Archdiocese of Liverpool Marriage and Family Life Department Recovery from Divorce and Separation The next series of meetings begins on Wednesday 19 September 2018. Meetings are in small groups and are free, confidential, informative and affirming. The course if for any person who is going through, or who has gone through, a relationship breakdown. Topics will cover: facing the effects of what has happened; communication and conflict resolution; letting go; managing other relationships; legal matters and being single and moving forward. Details of times and venue Contact: Maureen O’Brien Tel: 07967 753371 or Jacqui Selleck Tel: 07793 825815. Saturday 25 August Summer Saturday Organ Recital 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Organist: Daniel Mansfield (Organ Scholar at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.) Admission free; retiring collection to defray expenses.

Monday 27 August Annual Pilgrimage in honour of Blessed Dominic Barberi, CP Mass at 12.00 noon in St Anne and Blessed Dominic church, Sutton, St Helens, WA9 3ZD. Celebrant: The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool. Refreshments afterwards in the parish centre.

Looking ahead: September 2018 Saturday 1 September Safeguarding Conference 10.00 am to 3.00 pm at the Centre for Evangelisation. There will be workshops, which will focus on various aspects of Safeguarding and will be facilitated by The Archdiocese Safeguarding Commission. They are: ‘Grief to Grace’ with Father Dominic Allain International Pastoral Director who will outline the work undertaken by the Grief to Grace Programme. ‘Catch 22’ Criminal and Sexual exploitation of Young People with Emma Murphy Child Exploitation Case Worker. Papyrus which exists to reduce the number of young people who take their own lives by shattering the stigma around. ‘I Will be Heard’ – part of the work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which was set up in 2015 to investigate organisations and institutions that have failed to protect children from sexual abuse. Safe Recruitment with a member of the Safeguarding Team. Bookings: Safeguarding Department Tel: 0151 522 1043 / 0151 522 1103 or Email: by Friday 17 August. Refreshments and Lunch will be provided Day of reflection for peacemakers with Pax Christi Liverpool Led by Fr Gerry McFlynn, Chaplain to Irish prisoners and a member of the Pax Christi nonviolence working group, at the Cenacle Retreat House, Tithebarn Grove, off Lance Lane, Wavertree L15 6TW. Booking. Janette Harper Tel: 07746 919915 Email: Cost: £10 (Subsidies available.) Charity Fundraising Tea Party for Bipolar UK 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm at St Matthew's church, Townsend Avenue, Clubmoor, L13 9DL. Home made cakes, hot and cold refreshments, Tombola, raffle, handmade goods and nearly new books for sale.

website at 16

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Fifty years ago this month Liverpool Archdiocese mourned the loss of 13 of our own, killed in a plane crash in Germany

‘They were a group of lovely young people’ By Simon Hart he date at the top of the Catholic Pictorial reads 18 August 1968. Beneath it, the headline ‘Crash victims come home’. It was 50 years ago this month that the Pic reported on the shattering repercussions of an air crash in West Germany, where a British Eagle Viscount flight came down on a Bavarian autobahn claiming the lives of all 44 passengers and four crew on board. Among the victims were 13 Merseysiders – seven of them members of Liverpool’s Catholic Ramblers. The Pic’s poignant front page shows the smiling faces of six of these young women who perished en route to a walking holiday in Austria. Half a century has passed but the memories remain, as Des and Peter McLindon will testify. Their younger sister, Maureen, a 20-year-old student nurse at Broadgreen Hospital and parishioner of Our Lady of Good Help in Wavertree, was in the Ramblers party. So too their cousin, Mary Fletcher, a police secretary from Essex, who had joined the Liverpool contingent at Heathrow airport. Peter McLindon remembers returning from work to the family home on the day of the crash, Friday 9 August. “I was getting home at half past five. This had happened at twoish. I didn’t know why there were lots of people about. My dad opened the door and said to me, “Any news?” I said, “News of what?” We never had a phone in our house and that evening I went into the house next door with an emergency phone number to ring. I rang and asked, “Was Maureen McLindon on the flight?” and their reply was, “No, but there is a Mr M McLindon”. You just knew it was an error.’ ‘Our Maureen had been to Lourdes on the


train but I don’t think she’d been on a plane,’ adds his brother, Des. The other members of the Ramblers who died were: Jean Baxter, a 24-year-old school teacher from Our Lady of the Assumption,

Gateacre; Mary Bryon, 25, from Blessed Edmund Arrowsmith, Whiston; Monica Hanna, 25, a short-hand typist from St Monica’s, Bootle; Barbara O’Keefe, 25, a PE teacher from Blessed Ambrose Barlow secondary school, West Derby; Valerie Humphreys, 22, a teacher from St Hugh’s primary school, Wavertree; and Irene Rawlinson, 23, a civil servant, also from St Hugh’s parish. For Valerie Humphrey’s brother Mike, who had waited four hours at Innsbruck airport, the pain was doubly fierce. His fiancée was Barbara O’Keefe, a first-time flyer

who, according to the Liverpool Echo, was said by her mother to have ‘complained of dreams in which she had a premonition of the crash’. Peter McLindon, himself a member of the Ramblers who had tried in vain to book a seat on the flight, recalls an effervescent young woman with a love of netball and Everton FC. ‘She was an absolute hoot – she had a husky voice and was a sparkling personality,’ he says. ‘They were a really great group of lovely young people.’ The other six Liverpudlian victims were members of the same family and regulars at St Mary’s, Woolton: Eileen Staunton, her son Peter and daughter Eileen Hall, and grandchildren Barbara, Veronica and Brendan. To mark the 40th anniversary in 2008, the McLindons visited Langenbruck, the nearest village to the crash site, and attended a memorial Mass at St Katharina’s Catholic church where they met the local mayor and even a fireman who had been present at the scene of the crash. In the graveyard they found a small shrine featuring a flower bed and wooden cross: etched into the wood is the date of the tragedy. Des will be back in Langenbruck on Sunday 12 August, remembering the sister and cousin he lost. ‘Since it’s happened, every five years at the appropriate Sunday Mass they’ve had a procession up to the graveyard. There’ll be the Mass and procession and they’ll put a wreath on the grave. We didn’t know those lovely people out in Germany had for all those years shown such respect.’ A small shred of comfort, so many years on. The Liverpool Catholic Ramblers will remember the victims of the air tragedy at their Annual Mass at the Cathedral Crypt on Sunday 23 September (11.30am).

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news diary Celebrations at Blessed Sacrament Parishioners from Blessed Sacrament, Aintree, held a procession with the Blessed Sacrament along local streets to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the consecration of their church. On 24 June, they processied along Cedar Road and Walton Vale to the church prior to the 10.00 am Sunday Mass, which was followed by a street party with refreshments. First Holy Communion children, the various ministers of the Church and parishioners proudly expressed their Catholic faith and walked and sang hymns as they processed along the streets to give glory and thanks to God for the 140 years since the consecration of their parish. During the homily Parish Priest, Father Sergio Haro, thanked the Community and said, ‘We celebrate a long and faithful past. We are living an exciting and challenging present. We launch our parish community to a wonderful and promising future. We feel God at work at Blessed Sacrament, and that’s why we commit ourselves to greater endeavour in the work of a new evangelization in our

area, while reaching out courageously to those for whom Jesus is not the centre and reason of their lives yet’.

The celebrations were also in preparation for the Adoremus National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress.

Holy Name pupils show power of a smile Year 6 children from Holy Name primary school in Fazakerley turned smiles into pounds for Marie Curie when they took part in the Windmills Foundation’s £10 smile challenge.

The scheme offers £10 to children to make someone smile and the pupils decided to use the money to raise further funds in support of children’s services at the Marie Curie Hospice in

Year six pupils with Marie Curie staff members (l-r) Rachel Morris, Diane Barker, Shirley Williams & Karen Allen

Liverpool. Neil Morris, a teacher at Holy Name whose wife Rachel works at the hospice, explained: ‘The pupils used their money from the Windmills Foundation to buy cakes and sell them at a charity cake sale. They also decided to have a car wash for staff, with staff donating £5 to have their car washed or a forfeit of £10 to not have their car washed. Altogether they raised £420 for Marie Curie.’ Rachel Morris, children’s counsellor at Marie Curie, said: ‘The amazing amount of money raised will go towards the setting up of a much-needed preadolescent bereavement group. Here the children will be able to support each other through what would otherwise be a very difficult time. We can’t thank the year six children enough for their hard work and generous donation.’ Marie Curie fundraiser Antony Jones praised the efforts of the Holy Name pupils, and added: ‘The enthusiasm and joy they put into their fundraising for Marie Curie is so inspirational. We would love to hear from schools interested in working with Marie Curie next term.’ For more information, call 0151 801 1412 or email:

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Much Woolton Catholic Primary School

With Jesus we love, learn and grow

Open Day Thursday 18 October 2018 1.30-3pm & 4.30-6pm All children and parents interested in joining our thriving school community in September 2019, or before, are warmly welcome to view our school. A short presentation will be held at the start of both sessions in the school hall. Mr M White Headteacher Watergate Lane, Liverpool, L25 8QH 0151 428 6114

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youth ministry

A year of growth and discovery Ciara Hanley recounts her first 12 months as an Animate gap-year team member. My earliest experience with the Animate team came during my first month of high school. The St John Fisher tradition (still ongoing today) is to bring the Year 7s to Lowe House as part of their induction into secondary school. To this day, it still amazes me that the diffident 11-year-old version of myself that visited Lowe House that day is now the outgoing Animate team member that the last 12 months has produced. This huge boost in confidence, enthusiasm and selfbelief has to be accredited to all of the opportunities that have opened up to me over the duration of this gap year with Animate. My familiarity with the work of Animate Youth Ministries came about through experiencing day retreats, a mission week, Youth Alive Masses and my summers as a volunteer on the annual Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. It meant I thought I knew what to expect when it came to joining the Animate team. However, after the first few days here, I realised that it involved so much more than spreading the word of the Gospels to

young people. It was a community. A family. Work didn’t end when the young people went home but instead spread into everything that I did – whether that was cleaning the house and cooking tea or simply watching a film with the rest of the team in the lounge. The togetherness of living in a community was something I had given little thought to but it has grown to become one of my favourite things about the past 12 months. It’s amazing to be surrounded by other young adults who share the same beliefs as you and who can educate you with stories and experiences from their own lives. Being able to discuss faith openly and without judgement was something that I hadn’t really experienced before and something that now I would find difficult to live without. But it’s not serious all the time at Lowe House. In fact the community is always full of laughter and a fair few adventures too. Together, we’ve travelled to places near and far –

from Blackpool to Krakow … and even IKEA! Of course, living in community is only part of the Animate experience. Needless to say, the real reason that this gap year has been so amazing is because of the school pupils I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with. Each school that we’ve worked with – whether they came to us or we went to them, whether they were primary or secondary, easy or challenging – has a special place in my heart. It’s amazing to see traits that I possess myself in the youngsters with whom we work; to be able to relate to them over common interests always impresses me. But the best thing of all is to be able to watch them open up and develop over the short time that they spend with us. I firmly believe that I have learned just as much (if not more) from these young people as they have learned from me. Due to them, my confidence has come on leaps and bounds, my people skills have upgraded and, most importantly, my faith has deepened each and every day. This has been a really eyeopening year – one of the best of my life – and I thoroughly look forward to what the 2018/19 Animate experience has to offer me. If it’s more of the same, then I can genuinely say that I cannot wait!

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school news St Edward’s raises over £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust Pupils at St Edward’s College in West Derby have donated over £10,000 to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Prefects from the school presented a cheque for £10,647 to Vanessa Simmonds, a fundraising manager for the charity, who delivered a talk to pupils about the outstanding work the Teenage Cancer Trust performs. The donation marks the conclusion of an impressive fundraising campaign which followed the loss of St Edward’s pupil Michael Bedson to cancer in 2013. Michael’s courage and determination served as an inspiration to many at the school and the St Edward’s community plans to continue raising funds for the charity in the future. For more information about the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust, visit

St Cuthbert’s celebrate glittering prom

The Prom-goers of St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, St Helens made a stylish red-carpet entrance to the Premier Suite at Haydock for their much awaited Prom Night. The pupils enjoyed the breath-taking views over the racecourse in what turned out to be an unforgettable evening for the young people. Students joined staff at the stunning location to let their hair down and dance the night away as they marked the end of statutory education with the glamorous get-together.

Former student receives DofE Award at Buckingham Palace Former Carmel College student, Frankie Lennon, recently attended a celebration in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to receive his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Achieving the Gold Award is a fantastic achievement and shows you have the skills, determination and mentality to succeed. Frankie, along with hundreds of young people who have also achieved the award, met many inspiring people during the day. HRH Princess Beatrice spoke to their group and Frankie also got to meet many famous faces, such as actor, David Bradley, who played Mr Filch in Harry Potter.


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7000 school children celebrate STEM at the Big Bang North West 2018 The Big Bang North West hit the Exhibition Centre Liverpool on July 10 and thousands of young people from across the region enjoyed exciting exhibits, sensational shows and ingenious innovation while celebrating STEM. The Big Bang North West is sponsored by AstraZeneca and part of a programme led by EngineeringUK which brings Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to life. Big Bang events enable young people to discover the exhilarating and rewarding STEM based careers available in their local area via fun, hands-on activities. Visitors to the event held fire in their hands, performed with celebrities, fished for viruses, rode a mechanical horse, immersed themselves in virtual reality and enjoyed explosive science shows, gadgets, slime, robots, coding and more – there was even a balloon that flew into space! Adding to the excitement, the event hosted the semi-final of The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition. Students also learned about careers in production, visual effects, makeup and green screen technology with Lime Pictures, ITV and dock10. Simon Willocks, director Engineering, Facilities & SHE at AstraZeneca said: “What a fantastic day! The AstraZeneca STEM Team of over 40 Scientists, Engineers and Technical Subject Matter Experts from across the North West, provided an insight to our industry. An inspiring event for all who attended and supported…congratulations to all involved!” In a first for The Big Bang North West, event organisers All About

STEM showcased a stand ran solely by young students – All About SLIME! The girls are part of All About STEM’s team of ‘mini-STEMers’ and with support from St Thomas CofE Primary School, Silverberg Opticians and Unilever, they created glorious, glittery goop throughout the day! All About STEM managing director, Michelle Dow said: “Real companies, with real opportunities, face-to-face with thousands of young people from right across the North West! “The Big Bang North West makes a huge impact on the future economic success of our local region by providing a direct link between schools and businesses year after year. “We aim to inspire young people on the day but it’s vitally important that we continue the conversation, encouraging our future workforce to consider the STEM careers of tomorrow” “We can’t wait to bring Big Bang back in 2019 – get in touch if you can play a part.”

‘The Big Bang North West makes a huge impact on the future economic success of our local region’

Photography Gareth Jones Images © Big Bang North West

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The great Cathedral bake-off Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean This year the build up to the National Eucharistic Congress has meant that a normally quiet few weeks in August will be taken up with planning meetings and visits from the various groups who are staging exhibitions and events over the Adoremus weekend from 7 -9 September.

by Neil Sayer Archdiocesan Archivist With the approach of the Adoremus celebrations we look this month at the Metropolitan Cathedral’s connection to a previous Eucharistic Congress – and also a link with Liverpool’s maritime past. When Archbishop Richard Downey finally set the Archdiocese on course for a new cathedral in the 1930s, it was with huge fanfare and a maximum effort for publicity. But even his appetite could not have foreseen the creation of a cathedral in cake form. The story begins on board the SS Britannia where there was great excitement when it was announced that the passenger liner would be used to ferry the Archbishop to Dublin for the Eucharistic Congress in 1932. The ship’s chef was Liverpool-born Henry Farrar and its crew included some 90 Italian Catholics, and they came up with the idea of creating a model of the proposed cathedral in sugar and presenting it to the Archbishop during the voyage. As the ship made its way across several oceans on its routine passage to Bombay, Mr Farrar got to work. The sugar model that he created in his

spare time eventually measured 35 inches long and weighed 25 pounds. Mary Berry would surely approve: the sugar was coloured to look like Portland stone and marble, and the tiny sugar doors had handles made of goldcoloured gramophone needles. Admittedly the sugar was mixed with an adhesive and erected onto a wooden framework, but nevertheless the ingenuity and artistry is fantastic. The great cathedral dome was apparently covered in silver paper salvaged from cigarette packets, and the model was electrically wired inside so that light would shine out of the tiny stained glass windows. The final model looks very much like the postcard illustration on which it was based, sold in its thousands to provide finance for the cathedral originally envisaged by the architect Edwin Lutyens. Unfortunately, it never made it to Dublin, as the plan to use the Britannia did not come to fruition. Instead the crew took it round the Mediterranean on their next cruise, before eventually presenting it to Archbishop Downey. It is not clear what became of the elaborate confection: it was sent around the country on another PR exercise, and does not seem to have made it back to Liverpool.

One of the unique contributions from the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton is the installation of a carpet of flowers. They have had a tradition of designing and laying a carpet of flowers within their Cathedral at Arundel for a considerable number of years and it attracts widespread interest. The Bishops Conference accepted their offer to create a similar carpet of flowers on a Eucharistic theme in the main aisle of our Cathedral for the weekend celebrations with the Blessed Sacrament being carried over it in procession at the end of the final Mass. It will be spectacular, but it will also create a significant challenge for us coping without a main aisle for processions and movement around the Cathedral over those few days. Behind the scenes there has been a tremendous amount of work both locally and nationally by coordinators and others in developing the main Adoremus events, the Parallel Programme and the Youth Conference and it offers an opportunity for all to be involved and feel part of the weekend Eucharistic Congress. One of the complicated organisational elements has been dealing with all the various agencies regarding road closures and management of the final procession and also the liturgical requirements for such a procession. Thankfully the National Coordinators are taking responsibility for everything external to the Cathedral on the day –so once the procession leaves the Cathedral I will be able to enjoy the final events without worrying if everything is going to plan. We look forward to being part of a very special and unique event in the life of the Church in this country.

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Pic extras

Mums the Word

News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

A Century of Service – Cathedral stages national memorial Mass

The Union of Catholic Mothers has volunteered the help of all of our members at the National Eucharistic Council, which will take place in Liverpool from 7-9 September. We have been asked to help at exhibitions taking place in the Echo Arena and the Metropolitan Cathedral and Crypt. Please contact your foundation president, who will liaise with diocesan president Maria Bruns over times and venues. At the beginning of summer, the UCM archdiocesan committee received an invitation from Father David Potter, our spiritual adviser, to attend the consecration of his church, St Albert the Great in Stockbridge Village. Most of us had never been to a church consecration before but the service, celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon on 9 June, was fascinating to see. After the prayer of dedication, the altar table and the walls of the church were anointed with chrism; the church was then incensed and the altar covered; and finally, candles were lit on the altar and all around the church. As the church glowed with candlelight, the choir of St Bartholomew’s, Rainhill provided us with fine music to complete a lovely evening. Sixty members from Liverpool Archdiocese travelled to Walsingham for our annual pilgrimage in July. As usual, Our Lady favoured us with wonderful weather. We had beautiful Masses and an uplifting and humorous address by our new national president, Margaret McDonald. On our way home, we were welcomed at the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. This church contains a replica of the Holy House of Nazareth, built in 1897 to revive public devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham, and there the ladies of the parish cooked for us a lovely meal, served in the church garden. Thank you to all for the wonderful companionship, the reverence displayed, and the joy of the pilgrimage; and for the support of Father Potter, Canon Prescott and Monsignor Butchard. Madelaine McDonald Media Officer


Catholic Pictorial

The KSC’s National Memorial Mass for deceased members took place on 16 June at the Metropolitan Cathedral, with brothers, their families and friends from all parts of the country gathering together to remember dearly departed loved ones. The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, who is the Order’s national spiritual adviser, and was attended by members of the supreme council who played a prominent part in the pre-Mass procession. One noteworthy, and particularly solemn, feature of this Mass is when the Books of Remembrance are taken from their permanent display cabinet in the Columba Chapel and placed on the altar. The Mass was preceded by a procession to the altar led by the supreme director for spirituality and welfare, Brother Michael Malone, as indicated in the photograph. We wish to thank the Cathedral’s Dean, Canon Anthony O’Brien, and his staff for all their assistance in the planning of the Mass and for allowing us the use of the Gibberd

Room to provide refreshments afterwards. Our appreciation and thanks go also to Brother John Hamilton who together with Charlie Newport and Kevin Jones arranged the catering for the large number in attendance. • The Northern Catholic Conference was held this year at Liverpool Hope University from 22-24 June and KSC members were privileged to be able to help once again with stewarding the event and assisting visitors across the various locations on the conference site. We also had our own publicity stand which generated a great deal of interest in the work of the Order. • Wirral KSC Council 51 held a pulpit appeal for new members at Masses at St Joseph’s, Upton on Sunday 1 July. Further information can be obtained from our websites or by emailing the address given below. Websites: and Email:

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Issue 163 April 2018




Peter Woods appointed High Sheriff

Celebrating marriage and family life

Homecare Service Helping you to maintain your independence The Homecare Service offers high quality personalised care as well as practical domestic support such as cleaning, shopping and help with escorted outings

To find out more, call 0151 330 5678 or visit our website

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join in

PIC Life

Greeting Cards from Carmel

The enduring impact of a First Communion Day By Moira Billinge A child’s First Holy Communion is a special, shared event that follows a long period of instruction and guidance from family, priests, teachers, and catechists. It is a defining moment to be cherished and remembered forever. When parents present their child for Baptism they make a vow that they will be ‘the first and best teachers of their child in the ways of faith’. By bringing their children to receive their First Holy Communion, parents are fulfilling that promise. Each year, as a new set of children register for the First Communion and First Reconciliation programme, there is a minimal expectation that their families are practising their faith and that they regularly attend Mass. Even so, it is hoped that seeds of an enduring spirituality are sown and that during this time a happy by-product of the course will be the strengthening or re-kindling of the faith of the accompanying adults. When the big day finally dawns, the excitement and happiness of everyone passing through the church doors is palpable as the many months of preparation are brought to fruition. All too often, however, and all too quickly, once the instruction and celebrations have ended, the numbers attending Mass dwindle. It is a lamentable fact which saddens the clergy that, regardless of their best efforts, the 21st century congregations are depleted and diminishing. Yet, happily, the message has been spread and will remain with many of the Communicants who will carry the love of God in their lives and in their ‘stored memories’. 28

Catholic Pictorial

Some years ago I was privileged to join a group of people taking refreshments to the homeless, to those who had fallen on hard times, on the streets of Liverpool. The sandwiches distributed by the team were a real labour of love; they took hours to prepare, and they were also given with love. Only after the food had been presented to the individuals – of all faiths and none – were they asked if they would like the group to pray with them. Sometimes they declined, and that response was always totally respected, but most accepted the offer joyfully. It was poignant to observe the number of people who were stirred by the experience and responded with tears in their eyes that they had been ‘reminded of my First Communion Day’. The look of recognition on their faces as they heard and joined in with the traditional prayers, and their sheer delight at being able to remember and recite the words, was always particularly moving. To witness the comfort, pride, solace and the sense of belonging that the prayers evoked in their hearts and souls, and the way their faces lit up as they prayed, is something that I never want to forget. It is a deeply moving tribute to that special time that, amid the many trials involved in trying to survive the squalor of street life, the memories of a First Holy Communion Day can evoke such a reaction. Many years may have passed since a First Communion, and there may not even have been a second, but the memories of the unconditional love, kindness, support and attention received then can strengthen and sustain a soul even now – or maybe I should say especially now, just when they need it most.

There is a lovely sellection of greeting cards for all occasions on sale at Maryton Carmel, call to the shop or contact the Sisters at Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at

Worth a visit

Visitors to Barcelona can find a wonderful shrine to Our Lady just an hour’s train ride away, writes Lucy Oliver. Our Lady of Montserrat is the patron of Catalonia and her statue is the central attraction of the spectacularly located Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat. At Montserrat station, visitors can take the cable car and be filled with awe at the views of the surrounding landscape. Founded in 1930, the funicular takes five minutes to transport pilgrims to the summit where they can visit the beautiful basilica, admiring the frescoes, before venerating the statue of Our Lady, known as ‘La Moreneta’ for her dark skin. Lighting a candle in the outdoor shrine offers a wonderful opportunity for reflection and visitors will also find an art museum as well as opportunities to hike up the mountain. Alternately, a journey on the St Joan trolley, clinging to the mountainside, and subsequent 15-minute walk leads to the 15th century hermitage of Saint Onofre, nestled in between rocks which formed around 30 million years ago. To get to Montserrat, purchase your tickets at Plaça de España train station, requesting the aerial route by train and cable car.

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catholic pic retreat

Pilgrims enjoy Retreat Day A large group of people joined us for a wonderful Retreat Day to Our Lady’s Shrine at Fernyhalgh. Father Peter Morgan led us on a very happy and thought provoking day which left us feeling truly up-lifted. For many of us this feeling has remained within us and we feel different people - so much more prayerful, peaceful and relaxed. Sue, the administrator at Ladyewell Shrine and all the helpers were so welcoming (even driving up to the church car park where our coach had to wait - to drive us down to the shrine because the lane is too narrow for the coach) and helpful. The grounds at Ladyewell are beautiful and the shop is very well stocked with small gifts for friends. A visit is a must.

Above: Holy Well or Sacred Spring, Fernyhalgh - picture courtesy of Maureen Jones (Liverpool) Left: A picture of Christ in the glen at Ladyewell - note St Paul has fallen back at the sight of the risen Christ picture courtesy of Maureen Jones (Liverpool)

Something new from Catholic Pic

PIC AWAY DAYS 2018 We haven’t booked any Catholic Pic away days for August so watch out for details of future Retreat Days and Catholic Pic Away Days in September, in the next issue of the Catholic Pic

Please call 0151 733 5492 to book

A stunning rainbow over Lindisfarne Holy Island courtesy of Peter Delaney

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justice & peace

September Congress will have something for everyone • ‘Welcoming the Stranger’ at St Anthony of Egypt church. Here the J&P Commission, with help from the Historic Churches group, will show how the northwest has welcomed people fleeing persecution and how we continue to do so through our care for asylum seekers and refugees. The final section will be an introduction to developing diocesan involvement with the Community Sponsorship Scheme for displaced Syrian families.

By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker owever the summer unfolds for us all, one thing we can know for certain is that an amazing Catholic day out lies in store in September when the Eucharistic Congress takes place in Liverpool on Saturday 8 September.


Every parish in England and Wales has been invited to send two delegates to the main event at the Echo Arena where there will be talks and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament as well as a youth event taking place at the same time.


• ‘Feeding the Hungry.’ This takes place at two venues: first at St Vincent de Paul’s, where the Liverpool order of deacons will introduce groups who are actively responding to increasing food poverty, both by campaigning and distributing food; second at the Nugent kitchen in Epsom Way where bread will be made and an invited group of decision-makers, volunteers and local people will sit down and eat together.


For those who cannot get tickets for the Arena, there is a parallel programme of events running in churches across the city. If the focus in the Arena will be on adoration (the proper title of the Congress is Adoremus), the parallel programme is concentrating on how we respond to the Eucharist in the way we live our lives. Fliers about the programme have been distributed to parishes and the whole programme is available on the diocesan website: Below are a few events that I wish to highlight:


• ‘On the Altar of the World’ at St Philip Neri church. Here we can be inspired by a meditation on the Icon of Reconciliation led by Pat Gaffney from Pax Christi; join in a conversation with Jenny Sinclair from Together For the Common Good; learn how to make ecobricks and bird-and-bat boxes with the northern dioceses’ environmental group; share the experience of Cafod volunteers on how their parishes gained the Livesimply award; hear Father Eamonn Mulcahy explain the encyclical Laudato si’; share in a conversation on reconciliation with an all-women panel; listen to Fr Tom Cullinan’s understanding of Eucharist. • ‘Broken’ at SFX church. This is a rare opportunity to watch an episode of the TV programme in the company of the writer, Jimmy McGovern, and hear his inside account of how the programme was made.

• ‘Eucharist: the bread of life’. This ecumenical conversation between Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop Paul Bayes and Rev Dr Cheryl Anderson takes place at Our Lady and St Nicholas on the waterfront and is the only event in the parallel programme that is ticketed, via Eventbrite, with details on the diocesan website. Everything is free and we look forward to seeing you in Liverpool next month.

“Every parish in England and Wales has been invited to send two delegates to the main event”

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Stt J S John ohn Bosco ARTS COLLEGE




Telephone: T elephone: 0151 0 235 1620 www .stjohnbo Storrington Sto rrington A Avenue, venue, e Li Liverpool verpool L11 9DQ

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