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Issue 159 December 2017

Advent a time of preparation Inside this issue:

Vatican conference on Church and disability

Catholic success at Educate Awards


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contents Issue 159 December 2017

Welcome Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of our time of preparation for the Feast of Christmas. In contrast to the often chaotic preparations in the world around us it is meant to be a quiet time of reflection for us. A time to reflect on the future coming of Christ; on his coming to us each day in the Eucharist and, at Christmastime, on the wonder of the Incarnation. Just as Advent is a time of hope and expectation, so too our main feature reflects the joy of the people of Peru as they prepare for the visit of Pope Francis next month. Father Simon Cadwallader who serves with the Liverpool Archdiocesan Missionary Project (LAMP) in Peru, offers us an insight into the preparations for the visit which has ‘United for Hope’ as its official motto. Our Midnight Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral will reach out to a wider congregation this year as it is being broadcast live by BBC Radio 4. If you wish to attend you must be seated in the Cathedral by 11.00 pm and Mass will start at 11.30 pm. May you have a joyful time of preparation and a very happy and blessed Christmas.

From the Archbishop’s Desk At the time of writing news is coming through of political change in Zimbabwe. The media commentators are very hopeful for the future of this beautiful country not least because of the high standard of education of its people. Literacy levels are very high despite the material privations and economic collapse over the last decades. When Cecil Rhodes, the now discredited colonialist and mining magnate, sent settlers north from Cape Colony in the 1890’s they were accompanied by Jesuit priests and Dominican sisters who laid the foundations of the education system. Both these groups of religious are still present in Zimbabwe faithfully carrying on their mission. Many other religious orders have joined them in the last 130 years. This small aspect of the history of Zimbabwe shows how important it is to value and invest in people. Cecil Rhodes intentions were to explore for diamonds and gold, but the unintended consequence was to create something greater than those things – an educated people. As we prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas we are reminded that the gift of the Son of God is far greater than the material things we use to celebrate this feast. His belief in each of us, no matter who we are or where we come from gives us great hope. This hope based on the incarnation of God strengthens us through the troubles of life because God is truly with us. This hope has sustained the people of Zimbabwe through the last decades. Let us thank them for their faith and pray that the new year will bring them, and us, many blessings. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

    

        



         

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Main Feature ‘United for Hope’ Pope Francis to visit Peru

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News From around the Archdiocese

14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent News Vatican conference is a 'beautiful experience' 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 21 Animate A deeper meaning 25 Cathedral Record December at the Cathedral 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life God gives us room to grow 29 Join In Family Fun and More Mullarkey

Editor Peter Heneghan

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CPMM Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced copied or transmitted in any form or by any means or stored in any information storage or retrieval system without the publishers written permission. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published, Catholic Pictorial Ltd. can accept no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by advertisers.

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LAMP priest Fr Simon relishing papal visit to Peru Last month we celebrated LAMP Sunday in the Archdiocese. Father Simon Cadwallader serves with the Liverpool Archdiocesan Missionary Project in Peru and sends this report from a country looking forward with hope to the New Year – when it will receive a very special visitor. The year 2018 promises to be one of celebration in my parish in Peru for two reasons: the first is the apostolic visit of Pope Francis in January and the second the national football team's participation in a first World Cup since 1982. I would like to say the former will be more important to the spirit of the country but, as in Europe, football has a religious following in South America and I know that when evening Mass attendances dip unexpectedly, the likelihood is that the Lord has lost out to the theatre of Peru fighting for international footballing pride. Nevertheless, the journey of the first Latin American Pontiff to Peru is a historic occasion which will generate great excitement. From 18–21 January the streets will be lined with thousands of people welcoming the former Argentinian cardinal. He will go to Puerto Maldonado, Trujillo and the capital city Lima where I anticipate many of our parishioners queuing for hours just to glimpse the man whose surprise election brought such joy and hope to this continent.

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Indeed, ‘United for Hope’ (Unidos por la esperanza) is the official motto of the visit. Two outstretched hands under the motto evoke the colours of the Peruvian and Vatican flags: red and yellow, respectively. They form the shape of wings as a sign of prayer, praise and joy for the arrival of the leader of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis becomes the second pope to come to Peru, following Pope St John Paul II’s visits in 1985 and 1988. Thirty years on from the last papal visit, what are the underlying aspirations of this trip for the Peruvian Church? Well, the Pope has been asked to come and strengthen the bond between God and his people and to aid in ‘a new missionary awakening’ in the country. Statistics say Peru is still a predominantly Catholic country but the rapid spread of evangelical churches in poor urban areas is undoubtedly having a significant impact. Their growing numbers and often virulently anti-Catholic rhetoric make it essential that Catholic households grow in their understanding of scripture and can not only defend their allegiance but actively promote

the Catholic faith. Many of our parish community have not completed a formal education and struggle with reading so our catechetical programmes must be as imaginative and stimulating as possible to give people the confidence to dialogue on matters of faith. Ahead of the visit, Pope Francis met the President of the Republic of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard, in Rome. President Kuczynsi and his wife are devout Catholics. For the Peruvian leader, the

visit will be a welcome distraction from the constant barrage of attacks from the opposition in Congress and he is understandably optimistic about it. If Pope Francis can have a fraction of the galvanising effect of John Paul II’s visit in early 1985, both he and the Peruvian clergy will be satisfied. The Polish saint came at a time when the country was not only undergoing a serious economic crisis but was into

‘the Pope has been asked to come and strengthen the bond between God and his people ’


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feature

Above: Mass in St Rose of Lima, Villa el Salvador the fifth year of increasing violence from Shining Path guerrilla rebels. The large cross on the Morro Solar, at the far end of Lima bay in Chorrillos, was commissioned by President Alan García as a gift of welcome to the Pope on his second brief visit to attend a Latin American Eucharistic Congress in 1988. The 45metre structure, which is lit at night, was made with the remains of twisted metal from hydroelectric transmission pylons that had been

dynamited by the Shining Path. It remains a beacon of hope. In February 1985, Pope John Paul had celebrated an openair Mass in the virgin sand of a shanty town called Villa El Salvador, on a strip of desert a mile from my own parish. Created in 1971, Villa El Salvador became a dwelling place for the poorest of the poor. Thousands of people, divided into sectors of 384 families each, moved to this desert south of Lima, built simple shacks, received water

once a week and started up schools in empty huts. John Paul's visit was providential in raising awareness of the plight of thousands of young families who were fighting for survival, many jobless and on the edge of starvation. On seeing this vast expanse of desert from the air, the Pope exclaimed: ‘How do all these people live?’ More than two million people swarmed to hear the Pontiff. Moved by the occasion, he departed from his written address, looked them in the eye and spoke from the heart.

Their silence burst into emotional applause as the Pope forcefully affirmed: ‘Hunger for God, yes; hunger for bread, no. That is unacceptable.’ The solidarity that the Pope encouraged in the fight against poverty found expression in the growth of communal soupkitchens, places of meeting and affirmation for people seeking identity and security. With tenacity and dignity Villa El Salvador forged ahead and in 1992, with the economy gradually recovering, the food

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Above: Parishioners from St Rose of Lima emergency diminished. Nevertheless, poverty is still endemic. In my parish of 40,000, with little infrastructure and stability of employment, hunger and malnutrition continue to afflict families and credit debt is all too common with loan sharks ever ready to take advantage. While Pope Francis will address economic questions, he will doubtless target other areas of concern too. Having told the bishops of Latin

America recently not to be content ‘with the palaver and the proposals found in pastoral plans that never get put into practice’, we can expect the Pontiff will not mince his words. As always, he will present the Gospel as being concrete, an invitation to a permanent exodus from selfabsorption and towards true fellowship with God and neighbour. He will meet young people and encourage them, amid the complexities of busy lives, to find room for

‘hope must always look at the world with the eyes of the poor and from the situation of the poor’ 6

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recollection and to use their gifts to discover the joy born of living life to the full – and not superficially. So while the advent of 2018 will focus the attention of many Peruvian souls on their nation’s prospects of surprising the seeds at the World Cup in Russia, the Church is praying that the ‘papal event of 2018’ will have a far more profound and lasting effect on the national consciousness. Passion for football is one thing; passion for Christ is the life-blood of a country that faces many challenges in overcoming poverty, disunity, and hopelessness among young people lost in a culture of drugs, violence and family disintegration. Pope Francis has consistently

preached that ‘hope must always look at the world with the eyes of the poor and from the situation of the poor’. His messages to the Peruvian people will be scrutinised not just by eager students of the faith, but by the government, the press and most certainly the evangelical churches. Judging by his visits to other countries, one thing about this trip is certain: he will rattle a few cages and challenge sleepy Catholics to wake up. Father Denis Parry and I thank the parish communities 'back home' for your kindness, prayers and the donation of funds towards much-needed welfare projects in our parishes through the LAMP collection. May the Lord bless all our parishes as we seek to be faithful to his call to mission.


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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

Come and See 2017 The latest edition of Come and See, the biennial conference organised by Liverpool Archdiocese’s Irenaeus Project, inspired delegates from across the country to live the radical Christianity demanded of the Gospel during an uplifting weekend in Southport.

The conference took place at Christ the King High School, Southport, where participants came from as far afield as Ireland to be challenged and nourished in their faith. The 2017 gathering, at its simplest level, was an opportunity to think and pray. However, the programme contained

The Come and See audience

Father Timothy Radcliffe addresses the conference

numerous highlights including a keynote speaker in Father Timothy Radcliffe, the Dominican preacher; music and prayer from worship leader Jo Boyce; and workshops led by expert voices such as Father Dermot Donnelly, from Catholic Youth Ministry Federation. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon celebrated Mass on the Sunday, the culmination of a conference that sought to help people make connections between faith and life. One delegate called it a ‘profoundly thought-provoking, rich experience full of hope’ while Father Timothy Radcliffe’s contribution earned high praise: ‘amazing, challenging, exciting, exceptional and brilliant’. According to another participant, Come and See left them ‘ready to face whatever the world has to throw at me, knowing God is on my side’.

Young and ‘young at heart’ join forces for Cafod fun run A 12-year-old boy and an 81-year-old woman who meet each year for a charity fun run will once again be returning to Wavertree Athletics Centre to raise money for Catholic overseas development charity Cafod. Mary Coghlan, 81, and Benjamin Moore, 12, would not normally cross paths, but both take part in the annual Christmas run with the shared goal of raising funds for some of the world's poorest communities. This year’s Cafod Liverpool fun run, taking place on Wednesday 27 December, will be the 34th edition, and as ever will be led by a team of committed volunteers. Mary cannot wait to renew acquaintances with familiar faces: ‘The best part is the people you meet. You might not see them at any other point but to see them without fail at the fun run is truly inspiring. The fun run is great for all – you just do what you can ... I enjoy the walk!’ Ben, who has participated with mum Fiona for four years, added: ‘It’s a family tradition to take part. I’ve raised almost £3,000 for Cafod.’ Last year’s run yielded over £11,000 for Cafod, the aid agency that stands beside people living in poverty, whatever their religion or culture. Registration opens at midday on 27 December, with the run starting at 1pm. The entry fee is £7 or £15 for families – plus a bargain £70 for teams of 10+. This year there will be three distances: 2km, 4km and 8km. For further details, contact liverpool@cafod.org.uk or call 0151 228 4028.

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news diary Adoremus: Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress - Liverpool 2018 by Eleanor Lalley The Bishops of England and Wales have called a Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress 7-9 September 2018 to take place in Liverpool. ‘Adoremus’ (let us adore), will involve delegates from every diocese of England and Wales. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon has stressed that events in and around the city will focus on Christ in the Eucharist, the bread of life. Through adoration, talks, workshops, keynote speakers, Masses and other activities we will be given the chance to reflect on how the Eucharist nourishes our lives as disciples. In addition, Cardinal Nichols has written that ‘We seek to rejuvenate Eucharistic adoration in our parishes as the source of strength for our lives and for our mission, that of making present the love and compassion of Jesus in our society’. Delegates from the Archdiocese of Liverpool will be invited by the Dean of their area to take part in this historic event. Eucharistic Congresses are gatherings of clergy, religious and laity which promote an awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church. The last Eucharistic Congress was in London in 1908, when permission for a public procession of the Blessed Sacrament was refused. 10,000 pilgrims are expected to attend. On Friday, the first day of the Congress, there will be a Theological Symposium, with workshops for parish catechists, (especially for those involved in First Holy Communion programmes), RE teachers, Hospital and Prison Chaplains, Seminary Communities and Extraordinary Ministers. Sessions will focus on: Scripture, Ecclesiology, Eucharistic Language and Catechesis, and Rites and Music for Eucharistic Adoration The Echo Arena in Liverpool will be the home to a six-hour stage programme on the Saturday of the Congress, which will include keynote speakers, music, drama and conclude with Adoration. On Sunday, the final day of the Pilgrimage and Congress, there will be pilgrimage Masses and a street procession open to all. The Archdiocese of Liverpool will offer free events open to delegates and the public that support the Eucharistic Congress on Friday and Saturday. These ‘fringe’ events are under development and will be hosted by city centre parishes. After ‘Adoremus’ delegates will return to their parishes with practical resources to develop prayer, contemplation and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Roman celebration for Monsignor Ryan

Monsignor Peter Ryan returned to the Pontifical Beda College in Rome to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. He studied at the College from 1963 to 1967 before being ordained by Pope Paul VI on 25 January 1967. Monsignor Ryan is pictured with Canon Philip Gillespie, Rector of the Beda College, next to the statue of Saint Bede (known as the ‘Beda Bede’) which was carved in Chestnut wood in 2001 by Fenwick Lawson, a sculptor from the North East of England.

Schools’ act of remembrance Liverpool’s historic St George’s Hall was the setting for a remembrance service led by Father Dominic Risley which involved city-centre primary schools St Nicholas and Pleasant Street. The service took place at the war memorial outside St George’s Hall on 10 November, with Father Dominic Risley, who is based at the Metropolitan Cathedral, leading prayers with the children who then delivered readings themselves. Father Dominic is a regular visitor to St Nicholas Catholic Primary,

where he acts as a school governor. The children listened to the prayers, took part in a respectful two-minute silence and heard the Last Post played twice. Martin Davies, headteacher of St Nicholas, said: ‘The children laid poppy wreaths at the war memorial that classes had made in school in the days leading up to the war memorial visit. Assemblies and lessons in both schools that week reflected on the importance of remembrance and what it means for us all today.’

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Top of the class! Catholic schools scoop Educate Awards Catholic schools from across the north west were honoured at the prestigious Educate Awards at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Wigan’s St John Rigby College, The Academy of St Nicholas, St Sebastian’s Catholic Primary School and The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool, and Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows all took plaudits at the sixth edition of the awards, which are the biggest celebration of education in the north-west. In front of nearly 600 guests, broadcaster Simon ‘Rossie’ Ross helped hand out 21 awards to schools and staff

from the Liverpool area, Lancashire and Cheshire. Two Catholic schools were among the main winners at the evening ceremony on Friday 17 November. St John Rigby College took the prize for most inspirational 16–18 education provider. The college, in the Orrell district of Wigan, is one of just three sixth-forms recognised as outstanding under Ofsted's new inspection format. St John Rigby’s inspirational work transcends inspections, however, with its innovative elective programme giving students work-experience opportunities and skills for the future. Working in tandem with

Guests from St John Rigby College enjoyed the evening

employers, the college equips students with the skills to go on to employment, apprenticeships or university. Its pupils also provided music at the glamorous awards event. The college’s principal Peter McGhee said: ‘It is a privilege to collect the award on behalf of our students. They inspire us to be the best we can be every day, and we have a remarkable group of staff at the college and for their work to be recognised through this award is a joy. To be able to celebrate all that has gone on in the college over a number of years is wonderful – it is a very, very special college. ‘I have never had the privilege of working anywhere where the whole staff have pulled together so much to do everything they can to improve the life choices of our young people.’ Meanwhile, Ruth Partington, director of maths at The Academy of St Nicholas in south Liverpool, was named teacher of the year following numerous nominations from staff members. Ruth had been described by colleagues as ‘one of the most dedicated

St John Rigby College winners of the Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider 10

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teachers and leaders you will meet’, with assistant head of school Andrea St John adding: ‘Gems like Ruth are rare and should be polished.’ The winner herself paid tribute to her school, saying: ‘The Academy of St Nicholas is very much a family unit. We are all here to help the students and to support each other. This is the type of school where you can really mould and develop students into being the best they can be; to encourage them to be the first one in their family to go to university or to go on to further education and apprenticeships.’ In total, 14 Catholic schools were recognised for their excellence in education and were either shortlisted or named as a runner-up across a variety of categories. Among these were St Sebastian’s in Fairfield, Liverpool, which finished second in the field of outstanding arts in primary school; The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Kensington, Liverpool, which placed second in the career aspiration award; and Michelle Goodwin from Newton-le-Willows’ Hope Academy who came runner-up for school support star of the year.


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Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, said: ‘The awards are an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the teaching profession and say thank you to the remarkable individuals who improve the life chances of our children. We are proud to host this event which champions the creativity, diversity and dedication of teachers, school support stars, schools and colleges in the Liverpool city region, Cheshire and Lancashire. Congratulations to all the winners, runners-up and shortlisted schools.’ Hundreds of entries had been sent in across the 21 categories of the awards, which are organised in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh. The difficult task of shortlisting fell

upon an esteemed judging panel which featured Michelle Dow, managing director of All About STEM; James Tartt, Merseyside track athlete and architect; Radio City breakfast host Leanne Campbell; councillor Gary Millar, assistant mayor and mayoral lead for business and international trade; Chris Walker, regional managing editor of Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales; Lesley Martin-Wright, chief executive of Knowsley Chamber; Fiona Barnet, director of The Foundry Agency; Andrew Pimbley of Wirral's Claremont Farm; Sue Cronin, head of teacher education at Liverpool Hope University; and the education team at the respected Everyman and Playhouse Theatres.

Anne Pontifex (centre) Executive Head of the All Saints Multi Academy Trust with staff

Teacher of the Year Ruth Partington from The Academy of St Nicholas

Staff from St Damian’s RC Science College

St John Rigby College wow awards audience St John Rigby College in Wigan provided two beautiful solo performances during the reception of the Educate Awards. Offering a range of Alevel and BTEC music and performing arts courses, the college was delighted to showcase their talent. The evenings performances were devised by head of music and performing arts, David Wall.

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news diary Nugent aims to offer homeless people New Beginnings

Christmas in the archives? Oh yes it is!

During Advent and Christmas most of us are faced with the hustle and bustle of busy shopping centres ensuring we have everything we need for the big day. However, as the months turn colder, life on the streets becomes much harder and less bearable for people who are vulnerable and homeless. Nugent's New Beginnings project aims to provide support and accommodation to help those who are single, homeless, over the age of 18 and who have support needs; these could include issues related to mental health, recovery from addiction, being granted asylum or experiencing domestic abuse. The scheme has achieved very positive outcomes, in addition to helping some people move on to secure tenancies. As an example, the service assisted one individual in purchasing work equipment which subsequently enabled them to gain employment as a truck driver. The impact of recent and continued changes to the benefits system has put greater pressure on our funds and on our ability to support people, while leaving vulnerable clients in extreme hardship or in crisis. As the pressure on our services increases, Nugent asks for your support for those who are vulnerable and living in poverty. With your aid we will be able to help more people to access funds for a new tenancy, including removal and furniture – giving an essential and secure start to a new life and ensuring that people are treated with dignity and respect. To donate to Nugent’s Christmas Appeal in aid of our housing support work, which will help to give needy local people a second chance, contact Nugent's fundraising team on 0151 261 2000 or visit: https://localgiving.org/nugentchristmasho meless. Every donation will benefit homeless people or people at risk of homelessness this Christmas.

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By Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan Archivist A festive theatre trip may be the only experience of the theatre some people get. Certainly the income from the pantomime season keeps many theatres solvent for the rest of the year. Even now, with television and other distractions so readily available, traditional pantomimes by professional or amateur dramatic companies remain hugely popular. Their emphasis on spectacle, with outlandish costumes, celebrity turns, broad comedy and audience participation, appeals to young and old alike. Nobody seems sure why pantomime became so associated with Christmas. One theory is that after an early theatrical run started on Boxing Day, the tradition became ingrained. However, there are no theories about why pantomime became part of the curriculum at St Joseph's, Upholland but it is definitely a historical quirk. St Joseph's was established at Upholland in 1883 and for over a century provided an education for boys and trained young men for the priesthood. The college archives include scripts, programmes and photographs from pantos produced from the 1930s to the 1980s. Just as schools proudly showcase their student talents in dramatic productions from Shakespeare to Stoppard, so St Joseph's seminary not only staged serious plays but had students (and staff) letting their hair down for the annual

panto. The surviving programmes show how the college's creative talents (like all pantomime scriptwriters) chose traditional folk tales from England (Robin Hood), the Arabian Nights (Aladdin and Ali Baba) and the European tradition (Cinderella) and then wrote scripts to reflect topical concerns and deliver local gags. Soon after Sputnik went around the world, the plot of Upholland's 1958 panto centred on Jack using the beanstalk to get to the moon before the pesky Russians could. Scripts and programmes illustrate another traditional aspect of the college panto, allowing students to be, irreverent … and schoolboyish! The cast for one Shakespeare pastiche includes characters ‘Tubby’ and ‘Ornot Tubby’. Even if none of the listed cast members achieved acting fame, there are familiar names nonetheless. In fact, a young John Devine, who appears elsewhere in the Pic, regularly trod the boards in the 1960s. To see the pantomime records for yourself, contact n.sayer@metcathedral.org.uk.


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St John Rigby College We are Outstanding! We are also the highest performing Catholic sixth form college in the country for A Level Progress (DfE Performance Tables – January 2017)

Experience a slice of college life at our Student Taster Day and Parents’ Conference Saturday 10th February From 10:00am - 1:00pm These events are only available to applicants for September 2018 entry. Apply online via the college website www.sjr.ac.uk St John Rigby College, Gathurst Rd, Orrell, Wigan, WN5 0LJ


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sunday reflections On a liturgical note The Season of Advent can all too easily be swallowed up in our preparation for Christmas Day itself – while the season is really much richer than merely a lengthy run-up to a one-day wonder (as wonderful as that one day is!) Advent first of all concentrates the mind and heart on the future coming of the Lord (the Parousia) not to fill us with a fear and trembling which will take all the joy and peacefulness from our living, but to put all things into their true perspective and to invite us to reflect upon the graciousness of God, the promises of God and the fulfilment of those promises in the person of Jesus. Having taken the time to reflect on that ‘graciousness fulfilled’ we are all the better prepared to celebrate the Word made flesh over the Feasts of Christmas: Nativity, Epiphany and Baptism. At Saint Cuthbert’s Seminary we often used this reflection at our Advent Carol Service, it may be of

Sunday thoughts Advent is a time of waiting. Yet modern society does not wait for anything. ‘I want it now; I want Christmas today, not in four weeks’ time.’ In Advent, though, we identify with the longing of the people of Israel. We long for the coming of the Saviour who will set us free. And we wait. There is a tendency to reduce the spiritual life to a self-improvement programme. The argument goes something like this: if I use Advent constructively then I may persuade God to take notice of me. I pray for the Lord to come and fix my broken life. God is reluctant to reveal himself to me. The purpose of my prayer is to cajole God into noticing, to answer my needs. It’s as if I have to change God's mind about me. Yet God is so much nicer than the God I was taught about as a child. Where does that negative caricature of God come from? I do not find it in the Bible. The God who reveals himself to me through his Son Jesus is the opposite of who I imagine God

Canon Philip Gillespie

use to you in your prayer in this season: ‘The voices of Advent speak to us of light and hope, of witness and of commitment. They call us to repentance, to ‘prepare a way’ for the coming of the Lord. ‘The tenor of this season demands that we draw aside for reflection and contemplation, at a time when the world clamours for our attention. We become trapped on the express train to Christmas Day from which there seems to be no escape. ‘But the strength of this time of preparation lies in the ability to provide a respite, a quiet corridor, a moment of peace amid the noise and rush of the day. ‘Advent, a season as brief as the winter days it encompasses, gives us an opportunity to develop the neglected art of holy waiting.’ Happy Advent and Christmas-tide.

Mgr John Devine OBE

to be. It is easier to glibly say ‘God loves me’ than to say ‘God respects me’. Yet he does. He honours my choices and adjusts his own plans to accommodate them. When I make mistakes God turns them to my advantage. In God's economy what is destructive becomes life-giving. That is at the heart of the Christian mystery. God is not interested in my sins; God is only interested in me. It is I who am obsessed by my sins and it is I who allow them to become a barrier of shame between God and me. God is actually appreciative of the infinitesimally small steps I take to further his kingdom. God is able to pick out the positives of what I manage to accomplish from so many cul-de-sacs and failures. I may believe I am waiting for the coming of the Lord in Advent. In truth it is God waiting for me.

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

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Advent – the eternal season A few years ago when I was speaking in Formby, the young man who introduced me said that he had fallen in love with God many years earlier and that his desire for God actually increased every day. He described how he woke up each day thirsting for God with such depth that at times it took his breath away and reduced him to tears. The challenge for me was to ask myself the question: 'Do I desire God that much?' It's a huge challenge to those of us who are religious people. Are we looking to the unexpected and the inexplicable to find God? Are our eyes open or half shut? Is our search for God all consuming? More than that, is the God we desire and search for and wait for a God that we have created for ourselves. Maybe it's a God with whom we're comfortable – or is our image of God changing daily as we open ourselves to the unexpected encounter and the wildness of God who can't be contained within the walls of a church, the pages of a book or the images we have in our minds? You see, Advent is a time to reflect on our desire for God and how real or otherwise it is. It's not just a preparation for Christmas but an opening up to a God who is other than we are and who writes straight with crooked lines. Advent is an eternal season as we look and search and desire God with everything we are. The Israelites were longing and waiting for this wild, free God to break into history and to transform Israel's fortunes. All of the characters in the Advent liturgy – Isaiah, John the Baptist, even Anna and Simeon – were waiting for God to come. Their desire for God was almost at fever pitch. Of course God came, unexpectedly in a little child. Those whose eyes and hearts were open, who were in touch with their desire for God, recognised God. So how about you? This Advent will you get in touch with your deepest desire for God and will you open your heart and let this wild, free God in as you journey towards Christmas? Will you let your desire for God increase and live from now on in an eternal advent – watching, waiting, longing and desiring more of the Lord? Will you celebrate his birth in your heart however he comes and wherever he leads? Father Chris Thomas


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nugent news Vatican conference on Church and disability is ‘beautiful experience’ A global conference in Rome looked at best practices for helping people with disabilities to fully engage in the life of the Church – and demonstrated that those with disabilities are as much a part of the Church as those without.

the French order of contemplative nuns that consists of religious sisters both with and without Down's syndrome.

The event, titled 'Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church', was a thorough attempt to provide an opportunity for people from around the world to really listen and learn from people with a disability and to know what their needs in the Church are.

Deaf and disabled people were prominent throughout, leading the conference in prayer, in different languages and with dance, music and colourful visuals. This had the effect of reiterating Professor Miguel Romero's statement about his disabled brother: 'There is no them and us.'

The conference gathered over 420 experts in the magnificent setting of the Vatican – and, in the words of Monsignor Geno Sylva from the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, proved 'a beautiful experience'. There was so much hope for the future of the Church's mission to fully support the catechetical formation of people with a disability – in other words, to be totally inclusive. The abundance of senior clergy, eminent speakers and invaluable insights underlined the seriousness of the conference's intention to respect, with dignity, all people with a disability.

Colourful resources were also exhibited for sharing with catechists responsible for parish sacramental programmes.

Considering that the conference was being held in response to Pope Francis's Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2015–16, it was a blessing that the Pope met every single delegate, with the Pontiff confirming his love and approval for everyone's work in this area. Nugent has worked alongside children and adults with disabilities for more than 40 years. This work includes helping children with learning disabilities to receive the Sacraments and, on the first Sunday of each month, supporting the Mass for deaf people at Christ the King, Childwall. For more information, contact Mary Beatham, Sister Eleanor or Denise Armstrong Hart at Nugent.

Christmas time comes around far too quickly. We have had such a flurry of activity at Nugent and the time is flying past. We are striving in an exciting time of change with hope and optimism for the future. Every day I am encouraged by the prospect of working with our great staff, volunteers and community in being able to humbly help those in need. We have recently partnered with Tesco and FareShare to help bring food to vulnerable people in Sefton and in Kirkdale. This is a mindful relationship with a corporate organisation that is working with local charities for the benefit of our community. Many thanks to all of our staff and service users who were involved in launching this. A bright initiative that demonstrates ‘Love not in word, but in deed’ (World Day of the Poor). I would like to wish all of the parishes, our staff, volunteers and service users a happy Christmas and a very hopeful New Year. Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent Care

Sponsored by the Pontifical Council and partnered by The Kairos Forum, the conference challenged everyone to think about how best to enable people with disabilities to receive catechetical formation in a way that can transform lives and deepen relationships with God. Held at the Pontifical Urban University between 20 and 22 October, it was particularly timely for representatives from Nugent Care, following on from the Living Fully Day at LACE in September which Nugent had helped the Archdiocese to organise. The talks, covering the academic, the practical and the personal, were inspirational – notably the example of

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what’s on gathers the nations into prayer.’ Presider: Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly. 7.00 pm at St John the Evangelist, Fountains Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool L4 1QL. Thursday 7 December ‘The Lord is my Saviour.’ A journey through the Book of Exodus. 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 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury church, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Tel 0151 949 1199 or email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk

Cathedral Carol Service especially for people living with dementia Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December ‘Women who wrestle with God.’ A weekend of prayer for women led by Sister Moira Meeghan at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Suggested donations: residential £85; non-residential with meals £60; nonresidential self catering £20. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Sunday 3 December Day of Prayer for Migrants. Rosary for vocations to the priesthood and for our seminarians 8.30 am at Sacred Heart, Hindley Green, Wigan, WN2 4HD led by the Legion of Mary, our Lady, Queen of All Angels, Presiduum. Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 115: ‘Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit.’ (‘Make yourself ready, my spirit.’) 6.30 pm at St Clare’s, Arundel Avenue, Liverpool, L17 2AU. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. Wednesday 6 December Annual Novena in Honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary offered for Peace ‘The Lady of the Miraculous Medal who

Legion of Mary Ashton Curia December reunion Sacred Heart church, Hindley Green, Wigan, WN2 4HD. 7.00 pm Rosary. 7.30 pm Mass followed by refreshments (£3.50) in the Parish Centre. Saturday 9 December Car Boot Sale 8.00 am onwards in the Cathedral Car Park. Pitches £10 booked in advance Tel: 0151 709 9222 Email: enquiries@metcatherdal.org.uk Sunday 10 December Bible Sunday. St Joseph’s Hospice (Jospice) ‘Light up a Life’ remembrance and carol service 4.00 pm at St Joseph’s Hospice, Ince Road, Thornton, Liverpool, L23 4UE. Details Tel: 0151 932 6044 Email: events@jospice.org.uk Tuesday 12 December Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. Open to all who are involved in any form of ministry or service to others, giving time for silence and personal reflection. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: winniecenacle@mail.com

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Wednesday 13 December ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Thursday 14 December ‘The Lord is my Saviour.’ A journey through the Book of Exodus. 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 Cafod Carol Concert 7.30 pm at St Theresa’s Church, College Road, Upholland, WN8 0PY, followed by mince pies and wine. All welcome, proceeds to support Cafod’s work overseas. Sunday 17 December Joint Carol Service for Our Lady’s and St Mary’s Parish Church, Prescot 6.30 pm in St Mary’s Parish Church, Church Street, Prescot, L34 3LA. Thursday 21 December Bethlehem Peace Light Service 6.30 pm at St. Mary's Lowe House, St Helens, WA10 2BE. The Bethlehem Peace Light ecumenical service was started by scouts and involves carrying a light taken from the light at Bethlehem around the world into churches and homes to promote peace. Lamps can be bought on the evening or bring your own. Details Tel: 07592 061699. Wednesday 27 December Cafod Fun Run 12.00 noon registration. 1.00 pm start at Wavertree Athletics Centre, Wellington Road, Liverpool, L15 4LE. There is a choice of three distances this year: 2km, 4km or 8km for you to run, walk or toddle, and feel free to bring the dog. £7 to register as an individual or £15 for a family. Details: Cafod Liverpool Office Tel: 0151 228 4028.

Wednesday 27 December


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december Advent and Christmas at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Sunday 3 December 5.00pm Advent Sequence Seasonal music sung by the Cathedral Choir to mark the beginning of Advent, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Wednesday 6 December 1.30 pm Schools Advent Service Thursday 7 December 1.30 pm Schools Advent Service Friday 8 December 7.30 pm BBC Radio Merseyside Christmas Carol Service Tickets from the BBC Radio Merseyside, Hanover Street, Liverpool. The Carol Service will be recorded for broadcast on Christmas Eve. Saturday 9 December 7.30pm Concert Society Christmas Celebration Concert Traditional Carols for choirs and audience. Taking part are the Cathedral Cantata Choir, Carleton House School Choir, English Martyrs RC Primary School Choir and the Cathedral Orchestra. A concert of festive seasonal music and old favourites. Tickets available from the Cathedral Gift Shop 0151 707 3525. Sunday 10 December 3.00 pm Choral Evening Prayer with Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’ 3.00 pm North-West Cancer Research ‘Concert for a Cure’. (Crypt Concert Room) 5.00 pm Marie Curie ‘Lights to Remember’ Service. Details Tel: 0151 801 1412 Tuesday 12 December 7.00 pm ‘Carols by Candlelight’ in aid of the NSPCC. Details Tel: 0113 887 1120. Email: northappeals@nspcc.org.uk Wednesday 13 December 12.30pm Nugent ‘Light up a Life Service’ with Bishop Tom Williams Dedicate a light to celebrate the life of a loved one, past or present. Details Tel: 0151 261 2000 www.wearenugent.org Thursday 14 December 7.30 pm SAMM Annual Remembrance Service (Support after Murder and Manslaughter) Saturday 16 December 7.00 pm A Dickensian Christmas Carol Concert presented by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips An evening of readings, familiar carols and seasonal music. Tickets are £5 or £10 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children). Tickets from www.lpoolmetmusic.ticketsource.co.uk or the Cathedral Gift Shop. Tel: 0151 707 3525. Sunday 17 December 5.00 pm Festival of Carols A mix of seasonal music and readings and congregational carols. Refreshments will be served after the Service. Tuesday 19 December 5.30 pm St Edward’s College Carol Service 7.00 pm Liverpool Cursillo Christmas Ultreya Mass followed by a Christmas Celebration in the Gibberd Room. Details: www.liverpool-cursillo.co.uk Wednesday 20 December 2.00 pm Dementia Friendly Christmas Carol Service with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. Featuring the Children from All Saints’ Primary school, Bootle; St Margaret Mary’s Junior School, Huyton plus the ‘Songs we Remember’ Choir. Refreshments afterwards in the Gibberd Room. Details: Pastoral Formation Department Tel: 0151 522 1046. Email m.knight@rcaol.co.uk Christmas Eve: Sunday 24 December Masses for the Fourth Sunday of Advent at 8.30 am (Blessed Sacrament Chapel); 10.00 am (Family Mass - Crypt) and 11.00 am (Solemn Mass - Cathedral) 3.00 pm First Vespers of Christmas and Blessing of the Crib 11.30 pm Midnight Mass of Christmas broadcast live by BBC Radio 4 Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP Please be seated by 11.00 pm. Mass will begin at 11.30 pm. Christmas Day: Monday 25 December 8.30 am Mass (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 10.00 am Family Mass (Crypt) 11.00 am Solemn Mass (Cathedral)

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A Pilgrims Tale

Cath Pic Pilgrimage to the land of Northern Saints

Minsteracres House

A group of like-minded people set off from Liverpool Archdiocese in late September to spend a four day retreat break visiting the Northern Saints. Our first stop was York where we had lunch after which some of the group visited the house of Saint Margaret Clitherow, others went to York Minster or did some shopping in The Shambles before returning to the coach to make are way to Minsteracres where we would spend the next three nights.

Part of the drive at Minsteracres

Father Ron Johnson with Joe Prendergast

Our very warm welcome at Minsteracres, two beautiful old houses now owned by the Passionists and run as a retreat centre was led by Margot Mooney, the administrator, the community and staff, who couldn’t do enough to make us feel welcome during our time with them. We cannot praise the accommodation and the meals at Minsteracres highly enough. The beach at Holy Island

We had a lovely day at the Beamish Museum on the Tuesday and on Wednesday we visited Lindisfarne Holy Island established by St Aidan. The island is wild, rugged and beautiful. It tugs at your heart strings and weaves the feeling you must return to this holy peaceful place. Sadly leaving Holy Island we visited the lovely harbour at Seahouses before driving back to Minsteracres.

The lovely harbour at Seahouses

On our last day we said a sad goodbye to Minsteracres then visited Durham Cathedral which is truly beautiful, but it was impossible to take it all in on one visit so we will need to return here too, hopefully next year. There are so many Northern Saints - the ones we heard of on this visit: Margaret Clitherow, Aidan, Cuthbert, Bede, Edwin and Ethelberga. Good bye for now - we will be back!

Our coach ready for us to board, Aaron Withe was our lovely driver for our journey


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Catholic Pictorial

Christian Brothers Hale Barns Salary c£30,000 We are looking to fill this exciting and challenging role of Facility Manager for a small resident religious community in Hale Barns. The role involves managing a small team delivering cleaning and food services to the residents of Woodeaves, ensuring that the external maintenance subcontractors deliver services as contracted and liaising with the company that provides care to the elderly members of the house. The candidate should have leadership and people management skills with proven organisational ability. We are looking for a dedicated professional with enthusiasm to develop the role for the benefit of the community. The role is a full-time job. Closing date for applications: 31st December 2017

Please apply by sending CV to: Br. Eamonn Malachy Gillen “Woodeaves”, Wicker Lane, Hale Barns, Altrincham WA15 0HF Tel: 0161 904 0786 Email: eamonngillen7@gmail.com


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youth ministry

Christmas cheer can be spread by singing By Tom, Animate team coordinator Entering December, we can be certain of one thing: that Christmas movie Elf will soon be back on our screens. This 2003 fantasy comedy stars Will Ferrell as a human raised in the North Pole among Santa’s elves who returns to New York to find his family and his place in the world. For some (of a younger vintage, no doubt), it is a film synonymous with the Christmas season – a latter-day Miracle on 34th Street, if you like. I, for one, have seen Elf countless times so am fully conversant with such catchphrases as ‘Buddy the Elf, what’s your favourite colour?’, ‘I just like to smile – smiling’s my favourite’ and ‘the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear’. That last one is something of a personal favourite because for me, as a bandsman in the Salvation Army, music is an important part of any religious season. But what truth is there in Buddy the Elf’s statement that Christmas cheer can be spread by singing, or even playing music? Well, I know that for me, as for many others, music is central to the festive season – writing

World of Atherton

as a native Sandgrounder, I can tell you that the band playing in Southport town centre during December is a perennial highlight for lots of people. From families with young children coming and requesting Jingle Bells or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, to older members of the community asking for favourite Christmas carols or hymns such as Once in Royal David’s City, In the Bleak Midwinter or The Calypso Carol. All of this undeniably spreads Christmas cheer, but there’s a deeper meaning in what we do. On one level, we bandsmen and women

play as an act of worship, offering up our gifts for the Lord; on another, people donate money in response, money which is used for the community, to provide food and gifts for families who would otherwise go without over Christmas. Yet even this is still not the crux of ‘spreading festive cheer’. Returning to the film Elf, a stranger – and a pretty eccentric one at that – travels from the North Pole to New York to find his place, to find his home. We Christians, who have experienced the love of Christ, can offer similar love, warmth and sense of belonging to those around us at Christmastime.

That’s the real reason I play in the band during December. Sometimes I grumble about the cold but when I take into account the bigger picture, it is the least I can do to spread the joy and love of Christmas. So the question I would like to ask is what can we do this year to give back to God in our giving to others – how can we spread that joy? If you’re not sure then I'll leave you with the final verse of what is fast becoming my favourite Christmas song: In the Bleak Midwinter. What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what can I give him: give my heart.

‘I just like to smile – smiling's my favourite ’ Catholic Pictorial

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St Damian’s RC Science College In omnibus Fidelis - in all things faithful Lees Road, Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire OL6 8BH Telephone: 0161 330 5974 • Fax: 0161 331 4744 Email: admin@stdamians.co.uk • Website: www.stdamians.co.uk Twitter: @StDamiansRCSC • You can also find us on Facebook

Another successful year for St Damian’s, and another reason to celebrate – we are the top performing school in Tameside in many measures! Over the past few years St Damian’s GCSE outcomes have been some of the best in Tameside. This year is no exception, our Class of 2017 are record breakers! St Damian’s was the highest performing school in a range of areas showing that our academic standards are high. The percentage of pupils achieving Grade 4 or above, at 86% was the highest in Tameside and the percentage of pupils achieving Grade 5 or above, at 63% was also the highest. These basic measures are the foundations of future progress and success. Here at St Damian’s, we have removed many barriers to learning through our exceptional pastoral care, our focused leadership and clear vision to become an outstanding Catholic school in all we do. Over recent years’ pupil outcomes have improved substantially, and we are now heavily over-subscribed reflecting the high levels of confidence in the local community. We were delighted to be runners up in two categories in this year’s Educate Awards… Runners up in the Innovative and Creative Literacy Award Our staff are dedicated and share their experience within St Damian’s, and make an exceptional contribution to other secondary schools in the local authority. In 2016, our English department were recognised as ‘English Team of the Year’ at the national TES Schools Awards. The department has worked tirelessly to improve standards within her school. This has been rewarded with successive increases in pupil results with peaks in the last three years. Judges’ comments: “As is evidenced by other recent awards, St Damian’s is setting the pace in terms of their approach to literacy. Children are improving across the board, they have outstanding results and progression rates. The English team has collaborated with other secondary schools to ensure raised attainment of the local authority.” Runners up in the Spirit of Enterprise Award At St Damian’s we pride ourselves on the various amounts of opportunities we provide for our students to build skills for life and prepare them for the workplace. We have developed strong partnerships with business to ensure that our pupils are given every skill to develop a ‘Spirit of Enterprise’. We have a successful business partnership with National Grid through the BiTC (Business in the Community) and host regular ASPIRE days which involve over 480 pupils across Year 8, 9 and 10. A highlight of the school calendar is the annual ‘Enterprise Challenge’ – where every form group is given £10 to raise as much funds as they can for a chosen charity. Pupils raised a staggering total of £5,550! Judges’ comments: “St Damian’s have some great enterprise days designed to develop enterprise skills and talents. A thorough, well thought out programme of initiatives. A good all-round mix!” Mrs E Jones, Chair of Governors, was delighted with the recognition St Damian’s received at the Educate Awards and said “This is a true recognition of what our school is all about. We aim to be inspirational for all our pupils and all connected to our school, including governors, staff, parents and of course our great pupils”. Mr Logue, was equally proud stating “this is a culmination of a true community working together to ensure we fulfil our motto, ‘Believe to Achieve’. My staff are truly great, and this is a tribute to their perseverance, commitment and dedication. I am privileged to work with such ‘inspirational’ staff”. At St Damian’s we will celebrate all our achievements and use this recognition as a springboard to re-energise our determination to our Mission, which is to ensure we provide an excellent all-round education to our pupils. We are very grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a glorious event and an exceptional venue with so many likeminded people wishing each other success. This has been a massive boost for everyone in school and is testament to everyone working together in a caring and safe environment. So, on behalf of St Damian’s, we would like to thank Educate Awards for recognising the effort and pride our pupils and staff have in St Damian’s. Special thanks go to our wonderfully supportive parents; with their trust and continued belief in us, the whole community of St Damian's have achieved such a prestigious award.

‘Believe to Achieve’

St Damian’s RC Science College The Catholic College of Ashton Catholic Pictorial

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cathedral A busy time at the Cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

The Cathedral Choir’s routine is never quiet. However, December is a busier month than most each year. The usual routine of choral services is augmented by concerts, carol services and other special occasions. This year is actually the shortest possible Advent as Christmas Eve falls on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. We begin Advent with the Advent Sequence on Sunday 3 December at 5.00 pm. This is a beautiful service where we reflect on the coming of our saviour, Jesus Christ, in words and music. We make full use of the extraordinary architectural space here in the Cathedral, giving life to the words of the Advent responsory ‘High and low, rich and poor, one with another.’ The choir will sing music by Byrd, Palestrina, Tallis, Wood and Mathias before concluding with the orthodox composer John Tavener’s ethereal double choir ‘A Hymn to the Mother of God’ which he wrote in eternal memory of his mother. The week of 4 December sees the girl choristers leading the music at the Cathedral Schools Advent Carol services, at which over 3,000 young people come from across the Archdiocese to share in the Christmas story. The same week our Youth Choir are singing carols at Moore’s House (a retirement home), our Junior choir are singing at the Action for Children concert at the Anglican Cathedral, the girl choristers are singing

at the BBC Radio Merseyside carol concert (subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside on Christmas Eve at 4.00 pm), the boy and girl choristers are singing carols in John Lewis in Liverpool One and the boy choristers are singing Benjamin Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’ with harp on Sunday 10 December at 3.00 pm in the Cathedral. Quite a busy week, and we have only arrived at the end of the first week of Advent. The week of the 11 December is in fact a little quieter, with the Youth Choir singing at the NSPCC carol concert, and the girl choristers performing at a carol concert in aid of the Whitechapel Centre at St Teresa's Church in Norris Green. Saturday 16 December at 7.00 pm sees our annual Dickensian Christmas Concert. This audience for this concert has grown dramatically over the last few years, with people coming to enjoy an evening of music, speech and drama with a Dickensian theme. BBC Radio Merseyside host Roger Phillips will once again compere, and the Cathedral choirs will be joined by musicians from the Cressington Orchestras and drama students from St Edward’s College. Tickets are very reasonably priced at £5 (£10 for a family ticket) and available from ticketsource.co.uk/lpoolmetmusic or from the Cathedral gift shop (0151 707 3525.) Unusually (due to Christmas Eve being a Sunday) we have our Festival Carol Service on the Third Sunday of Advent, Sunday 17 December at 5.00 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to come and sing your favourite Christmas carols with the Cathedral Choir and enjoy mince pies and mulled wine afterwards. The climax of December falls over the weekend of 23-25 December. Midnight Mass will be broadcast live to the nation on BBC Radio 4 this year, meaning that the cathedral musicians will have a rather busy few days, with a BBC rehearsal on Saturday 23 December, Solemn Mass and First Vespers of Christmas on Sunday 24 December, back again at 9.30 pm on Christmas Eve to rehearse and sound check prior to broadcasting Midnight Mass. After a few hours sleep it will be back for the Solemn Mass of Christmas morning. I wonder how many of our singers and musicians will have a snooze after Christmas dinner?

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean December in the Cathedral is a very special time of the year, but it does bring with it the tension of balancing the anticipation of Christmas alongside remaining true to the season of Advent. We mark the beginning of Advent with the rite of sprinkling with newly blest water at the start of all our Sunday masses and later in the afternoon a service of readings and Advent music at 5.00 pm entitled ‘The Advent Sequence’. The schools Advent services are on 6th and 7th of December and it is the Cathedrals turn to organise these - the script hasn’t been finalised yet but the producer has informed the clergy that they have been demoted and won’t be playing the part of the three kings this year. BBC Radio Merseyside have their annual Carol Service on 8th December at 7.30pm On the Second Sunday of Advent the choir will sing Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols after Evening Prayer at 3.00 pm. Later that day at 5.00 pm there is the Marie Curie ‘Light up a Life’ Service in memory of all who have been connected with the hospice and its services. The following weekend we have our own Dickensian Carol Concert at 7.00 pm on 16th December compered by Roger Philips and involving our Cathedral Choirs and a variety of other musicians and singers. The following evening at 5.00 pm there is the Festival of Carols Service incorporating readings, verse and Christmas Carols. Our Celebration of the Feast of Christmas begins with First Vespers of Christmas and Blessing of the Crib at 3.00 pm on Christmas Eve. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at Midnight Mass which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 4. Please note that this will begin at 11.30 pm. There are a number of Masses on Christmas morning finishing with Solemn Mass incorporating the Christmas daytime readings and full choir at 11.00 am.

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Pic extras Mums the Word By Maria Bruns, Archdiocesan UCM president The UCM’s 2017 National President’s Pilgrimage, as chosen by the incumbent Mrs Val Ward, was made to Greece: ‘In the footsteps of St Paul’. Starting in Athens, we travelled to Corinth and Ancient Corinth, and then onwards to Kalambaka and the nearby Monasteries of Meteora, which are perched on the edge of rocky peaks. Here we visited the Monastery of St Stephen, which dates back to the late 12th century. Inside, beautiful frescoes adorn the walls and ceiling of the church, some from as early as the mid-1500s. After an overnight stay, we were back at the Meteora to visit the Roussanou Monastery, home to an active community of nuns since the end of the last century, it also features the recent addition of an interior chapel dedicated to St Barbara and the Nativity of the Mother of God. St Barbara hailed from the city of Heliopolis in Phoenicia (now Lebanon), having been born in the mid-third century. Her rich father Dioscorus was a pagan idolater who, after the death of his wife, devoted himself to his only daughter. He kept Barbara in a tower where she was taught to worship pagan gods, but the beautiful intelligent girl became convinced that soulless idols could not have created the splendour of the universe. Eventually afforded more freedom by her father, Barbara – who was refusing offers of marriage having consecrated herself to the Lord – was confirmed in her belief when she encountered other Christians in the town. Taught more fully about the Christian faith, she was promptly baptised. However, when Barbara told Dioscorus she had become a Christian and that worshipping false gods was futile, he drew his sword – but Barbara fled to a hillside where a crevice opened to facilitate her escape. Eventually her father and the local prefect, Martianus, found, imprisoned and tortured her. On one occasion Barbara prayed and the Lord healed her wounds. Finally, though, she was beheaded. Soon afterwards, Dioscorus and Martianus were struck by lightning and killed. Honoured as a virgin and martyr, Barbara’s feast day is 4 December. • Wishing you all a happy holy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. See you at our next bi-monthly Mass on 10 January at Blessed Sacrament, Aintree.

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News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

Knights raise £9,000 for Nugent Crisis Fund

The Nugent Crisis Fund was the main beneficiary when members of KSC Council 9, accompanied by family and friends, took part in the annual Steve Dooley Memorial Sponsored Walk. This year’s walk was in aid of Nugent’s Crisis Fund which provides one-off grants to assist families and individuals living within the Archdiocese of Liverpool, for whom a relatively small amount of funding can make a big difference. Backed by parishioners in south Liverpool as well as match funding from Barclays Bank, the KSC members who walked from Albert Dock to Aigburth on Sunday 24 September raised more than £9,000 – funds which (as our photo shows) were presented to Nugent representative Marie Reynolds during a KSC social at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Club in November. (Also in the picture: Sue McCole from Barclays and David Linford from Council 9.) We thank everybody who contributed so generously and also the parish priests who allowed us to appeal.

• Congratulations go to Tony Manning on achieving 25 years’ membership of the order. He received his silver jubilee medal and certificate at the annual Council 9 dinner at Liverpool Cricket Club on 20 October. The presentation was made by Provincial Grand Knight Pat Foley. • At national level, the Knights are running a Christmas campaign in support of foodbanks, with promotional posters and labels distributed to all KSC Councils. The campaign dovetails with the season of Advent by inverting the concept of the traditional Advent calendar: there is a daily target to fill a box with items of food, toiletries or cleaning materials and to take these to a local foodbank. The main message on the poster is: ‘Let’s reverse the Advent calendar and give to the needy this Christmas. Donate a gift each day this Advent and fill the box.’ Websites: www.ksc.org.uk and www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: dpokeane@aol.com


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51 Horrocks Avenue Liverpool Merseyside L19 2NP 0151 230 2570 www.allsaintssixthformcollege.org.uk

Official launch for All Saints Sixth Form College Liverpool’s newest Sixth Form College is officially open after a special ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Tuesday 7 November. All Saints Sixth Form College in South Liverpool is an innovative hub for post-16 education, offering young people high quality careers advice, UCAS guidance and pastoral support. The Rt. Revd. Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool and Most Revd. Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool were in attendance to officially open the joint Catholic and Church of England College and bless the new facilities. Bishop Paul and Archbishop Malcolm were taken on a tour of the new college, alongside staff, governors and special guests. A student choir performed a beautiful arrangement during the ceremony, while the college’s Samba band ended the celebrations on a high with a colourful, energetic drum performance. The college is part of the All Saints Multi Academy Trust and is a collaboration between The Academy of St Nicholas and The Academy of St Francis of Assisi. This September marked All Saints’ first intake of students, with 2018 applications now open. The Executive Head of the Trust, Mrs Anne Pontifex, says: “We are extremely excited to officially launch All Saints Sixth Form College. Thank you to Bishop Paul and Archbishop Malcolm for attending and celebrating the launch of this fantastic new college for the region’s young people. “All Saints provides young people with the freedom and flexibility to develop important skills and choose a path which is right for them. Our first cohort in September are

already reaping the rewards thanks to our strong business links, placement opportunities and varied enrichment programme.” All Saints Sixth Form College offers a rich, innovative curriculum and state of the art facilities to students from across Liverpool, Merseyside and beyond. Students have the opportunity to take part in the prestigious Scholar's Programme (USP) with Trust bursaries available to the highest attaining students to support them as they start university. The dedicated Scholar's initiative also supports applications to Oxford and Cambridge, Russell Group Universities and higher level apprenticeship programmes. Subjects on offer include computer science; a range of creative media and ICT courses; A Level English; humanities; business and law; mathematics and further maths, as well as all sciences, sports, health and fitness. A full range of social sciences will be offered including psychology, sociology and health and social care, childcare and theology. Technologies on offer will include hospitality, product design and engineering. Excellence in the arts will include A Level and vocational courses in art, fashion, photography and music. Leisure facilities include a fully equipped gymnasium and Astroturf. A full size auditorium, 3D theatre and Apple Mac computer suites will aid students’ post-16 learning experience. Mrs Pontifex said: “If anyone is unsure of their next steps after school, I would urge them to come and visit All Saints Sixth Form College, tour our facilities, meet staff and find out how we can help you reach your aspirations.”


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PIC Life The wonderful virtues of charity, patience and generosity By Moira Billinge Some people seem to sail through life without any problems while others never appear free of them – wading through a mire of difficulties, constantly ‘knitting with fog’. In fact, just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for them, they usually do. Contrary to appearances, though, life is never problem-free for anyone. Challenges typically occur, but the lessons learned help us to grow and develop as we face and rise up to them. It is easy to be a nice person when things are going well, when we are happy and ‘the wood is green’ (Luke 23:31). At such times, energised by the oxygen of contentment, life is much less complicated. It is when confronted by ill health – ours or that of others – a crisis, loss or misfortune that we tend to find out just how resilient, courageous and faith-full we really are – or aren’t. Practising the wonderful virtues of charity, patience and generosity when, in the midst of hardship, we feel anything but virtuous, requires tremendous effort and resolve. It certainly doesn’t help to discover in times of trial that our energy-sapped behaviour has become less than perfect and we are behaving below the ideals of the person we thought we were or would like to be. Consequently, we can become disheartened or suffer a sense of disappointment and failure. 28

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Quote from Pope Francis “Do we turn to God only to ask him for things, to thank him or do we also turn to him to worship him? What does it mean to worship God? It means learning to be with him, it means that we stop trying to dialogue with him and it means sensing that his presence is the most true, the most good, the most important thing of all”

Worth a visit

Nobody is perfect, however. God only expects us to do our best and to meet the challenges of life step by step, in manageable chunks, even if we make a complete hash of things in the process. He knows the extent of our strength, even before we have tested it ourselves. He doesn’t have to test us. Nor is he waiting in the wings ready to deepen our woes. Quite the opposite. God is there encouraging, healing, helping and loving us – and asking us to come to him, ‘all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). This same gentle God invites us to be gentle to ourselves, to lean on him and rest in him. God wants to shoulder our anxieties, pain, exhaustion and weariness. It can be hard to pray when we are experiencing trials. Cardinal Hume used to say that on those occasions when we want to pray but are too tired, ill, distressed or bereaved to do so, then the very desire to pray is in itself perfect prayer. It is also a great consolation during those times to be able to rely on the prayers of others. To pray for people is a privilege; to be prayed for is the greatest gift. As we look to the celebration of Christmas, we acknowledge that Almighty God chose to reveal himself to humanity in a stable in Bethlehem as a weak and helpless infant, totally dependent on others. Surely that shows that it is OK to be vulnerable; and that weakness does not mean failure but rather that there is room to grow and become all that God has created us to be.

This Advent, prepare for the coming of Christmas by visiting the Georgian city of Bath, writes Lucy Oliver. Until 10 December, visitors to Bath’s Christmas markets can find their seasonal shopping spiced up by a traditional lantern procession or Christmas carol singing. And if you’re around on 16 December, don’t forget to commemorate the birthday of one of the south-western city’s most celebrated former residents, Jane Austen. On Gay Street, not far from the iconic Royal Crescent, the Jane Austen Centre houses a museum of the author’s life and times, from her inspirations to the style of dress popular in the Regency period, including a detailed guide to the ‘language’ of the Regency lady’s fan. Austen set some of her most famous novels in and around Bath, so readers will enjoy exploring in the footsteps of heroines such as the self-sacrificing and steadfast Anne Elliott from Persuasion, who broke off her engagement to placate her family’s pride. On the second floor, above the Austens’ parlour and reception rooms, the Regency Tea Room serves a delicious afternoon tea, with gluten-free options. As with the gift shop, claim a 10% discount using your admission ticket. Don't leave Bath either without taking in Bath Abbey and the splendid Roman Baths. If travelling to this corner of Somerset by car – M6 South; M5 to A46 in South Gloucestershire; and Exit 18 from M4 – use the Lansdown or Odd Down Park & Rides to access the city.


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join in Eating Out

Children’s word search The beautiful Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is on 8 December. Find out more in our clues

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More Mullarkey From Johnny Kennedy Father Mullarkey was having a cup of tea in Mrs Donnelly’s snug little kitchen and she was telling him about her trip to town with her daughter Maureen. ‘I really enjoyed it, Father. It was so busy and there seem to be more shops than ever. We went up London Road which was my favourite road for shopping when the kids were young. I used to take them to get their photos taken in Jerome’s. Our Maureen took me to T J Hughes for my dinner. We had fish and chips and mushy peas.’ ‘Sounds lovely,’ said Fr Mullarkey. ‘Oh it was, Father. The fish was beautiful. And when we came out there was a fella preaching in the street and giving out leaflets.’ ‘Well, God bless him,’ said Fr Mullarkey. ‘At least he was having a go.’ ‘But the people weren’t taking any notice, Father.’ ‘Well, that’s because you’d all had fish in the café.’ ‘How do you mean, Father?’ ‘Well, they obviously didn’t believe in cod.’

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

Over the next few weeks maybe meet up with family and friends at one or more of our listed venues. The Stables Allerton Road, Liverpool 18 0151 428 7490 Moor Hall Prescot Road, Aughton 01695 572511 Deli-Fonseca Brunswick Dock, Liverpool 0151 255 0808 Cheshire Cat Whitchurch Road, Christleton, Chester 01244 332200 Chez Jules Northgate Street, Chester 01244 400014 Red Fox Liverpool Road, Thornton Hough 0151 353 2920

Christmas Cards from Carmel

Not to long now until Christmas - still time to choose soem lovely Christmas cards from Carmel - to send to your friends. There are also cards for all occasions on sale in the shop. Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at marytoncards@outlook.com

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justice & peace Letter from Rome By Joshua Dixon As I write these words, a terrific storm is breaking over Rome. Lightning and torrential rain are infrequent but strangely welcome visitors to this ancient city. Not only do storms grant a reprieve from the heat and dust, they also invite us to contemplate the power and grandeur of the universe. Rome does something similar. It is historical yet vibrantly alive. Here the divine and the secular worlds touch; the Pope resides in the Vatican in view of the Quirinale, home of the Italian president. The tradition of our faith has mingled organically with the ancient Roman world, for example in those churches converted from temples. Indeed, one of the Pope's titles, Pontifex Maximus – which literally means 'chief bridge-builder' – was taken from the ancient high priest of Rome. This past month, two events have occurred which show the past flowing into a hope-filled future. Firstly, a memorial Mass was held here at the Venerable English College for the late Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, former rector of the seminary (1971–77), bishop of Arundel and Brighton (1977–2000) and, subsequently, Archbishop of Westminster (2000–09). The Cardinal, popularly known as 'Cormac', was well-liked among the students as a kindly and sociable figure, gentle and humorous. Archbishop Paul Gallagher, a priest of our Archdiocese and currently Secretary for Relations with States at the Vatican, presided at Mass while Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, preached. Amid the appreciation of the late Cardinal, mention was made of his love for Rome, which he had described as needing to be enjoyed over time like a fine wine. It also sticks in my mind how he was known to everyone as simply 'Cormac'. He will be fondly missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him, including us here at the English College. The second event of note took place at the titular church which had been assigned to Cardinal Cormac in Rome: Santa Maria sopra Minerva. One of the blessings of formation in Rome is the opportunity to make friends from across the globe, and my time so far has proved no exception to the rule. In my first year I became good friends with two Italian Dominicans based at Sopra Minerva, studying together at university and supporting each other in our vocations. Two weeks ago, in a joyful occasion, Manuel Rosso OP and Fabrizio Cambi OP were solemnly professed as Dominican friars in the stunning setting of Rome's only Gothic church. Their witness, humour and love have been a real help. So while we bid farewell to Cardinal Cormac, we can also thank God for the hope-filled future to which he continually invites us through so many witnesses. 30

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Christmas: A time for giving? Well, here's a small action that would make a big difference By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker We can easily take Christmas cards for granted but there are people in other parts of the world who would love to know that someone cares enough to remember them at this time of year. If you would like to bring hope to the heart of someone who feels abandoned or forgotten by sending a card, here are four suggestions: Fr David Neuhaus SJ Our Lady Woman of Valor Pastoral Centre Shivat Tsiyon St 33 Tel Aviv-Yafo Israel • This parish is home to over a thousand migrant workers and provides schooling for hundreds of children. Father David Neuhaus, the parish priest, called the Christmas cards ‘a beautiful act of solidarity’. If you would like to send a card to a school in the Holy Land instead, then write to: Latin Patriarchate School POB 76 16955500 Jaffa-Nazareth Israel If you would prefer to write to a prisoner of conscience, then send a non-religious card to: Lahpai Gam c/o The governor of Myitkyina Prison Myitkyina Prison Myitkyina Town Kachin State Myanmar • Lahpai Gam is a Kachin farmer who was arrested in June 2012 by the military-backed government in

Burma. He is serving a 21-year prison sentence in Myitkyina Prison. He was brutally tortured and forced to make a false confession. Remember that this must be a nonreligious card. If you would rather send a card to an organisation that supports people, then write to: Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) Secretaria Nacional Rua 19, nº 35, 1º andar Edifício Dom Abel Centro - Goiânia Goiás CEP 74030-090, Brazil • CPT (The Pastoral Land Commission) was founded in 1975 by bishops and prelates of the Amazon to respond to the needs of indigenous rural workers in Brazil who were exploited as slave labour and expelled from the lands they occupied. Now ecumenically orientated, it helps with land disputes and works with those released from slavery on cattle ranches and in charcoal and logging businesses. Include a simple message, sign your name and give your address. To learn more, or just to have more choice, you can find the full lists on the front page of the diocesan website http://www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk. If you would like your own printed copy of the addresses contact the J&P office on 0151 522 1080/1081 or email s.atherton@rcaol.co.uk.


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Catholic pic december 2017  
Catholic pic december 2017  

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