Catholic Pic March 2018

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Issue 162 March 2018


Lent and Holy Week in the Archdiocese INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Housing people building communities

Annual Civic Mass at the Cathedral

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Friends Frien nds of:

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contents Welcome This year we began our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday, 14 February, and will celebrate Easter Sunday on 1 April, which means that this month culminates in the great events of Holy Week. On the First Sunday of Lent the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion was celebrated with Archbishop Malcolm in the Cathedral for those on the journey to full membership of the Roman Catholic Church and who feel ready to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the great Vigil of Easter. In these remaining three weeks of Lent we pray with and for them. At the end of those three weeks there is the drama of Holy Week. We begin with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, emotions which quickly change to betrayal, suffering and death before the ultimate triumph of the Resurrection of the Lord. Holy Week has everything: moments of noise and drama and moments of silence and peace. If we faithfully follow the path laid down for us we can truly celebrate the greatest Christian Feast: Easter.

Contents 4

Main Feature Housing People Building Communities


News From around the Archdiocese

From the Archbishop’s Desk I find it very hard to keep up with politics and to know what to believe in these days of fast and instant media. To help me refocus and get a clear view of what’s going on in the world I have been reading ‘Prisoners of Geography” by Tim Marshall. He shows how geographical features such as mountains, rivers, coastlines, deserts and forests often define the political situation in a particular area or continent. Of course, these natural features predate the present occupants of the territories considered and will be there long after population changes have taken place, but they often dictate the present situation. It is a fascinating study and probably not the sort of book that would normally be recommended for Lent. However, it has made me think more deeply about Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, ‘Laudato Sí’, and how we all individually and collectively impact on the environment. Tim Marshall shows how particular environments affect our security and relationships with our neighbours. Only if we understand the root causes of these conflicts, such as access to water, will peaceful solutions be found. From a Christian point of view, it is our responsibility to care for our planet and its resources so that all may peacefully enjoy the riches of creation. At times that may seem impossible, but Lent is a good time to think about the earth and what we can do to make it a better place for all peoples to live and flourish.

Editor Peter Heneghan

Copy deadline April 2018 9 March 2018

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

Publisher CPMM 36 Henry Street, Liverpool L1 5BS

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15 Nugent News Poetry as therapy 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 19 Profile John Farnworth Football freestyler takes on Everestsized challenge 21 Animate ‘Our team strives to practise what we preach’ 25 Cathedral Record Holy Week at the Cathedral 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Pictures Front cover: Tom Murphy News pages: ©, Sean Murphy

14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life

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.

28 Pic Life Ashes to ashes 30 Justice and Peace The miracle of Romero 30 Letter from Rome Seminary Life

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Gift of St Bernard’s can bring ‘new life’ to Toxteth community

earlier and let everybody else get on the same page and build more affordable housing and create cohesive communities.’ The St Bernard’s project is the continuation of a valuable communitybuilding programme undertaken by HPBC in the Toxteth district of the city. The church sits adjacent to Alt Street where the organisation has already built 32 lowcost homes on a 2.2-acre site that it received from Liverpool Archdiocese in 2002.

By Simon Hart hen building work begins next month on the conversion of a former Catholic Church in Toxteth into affordable housing, Liverpool Archdiocese will be blazing a trail that other church bodies would be wise to follow.


These are the words of Rev Shannon Ledbetter, chair and founder of Housing People, Building Communities (HPBC), the Liverpool-based housing charity which between now and the end of 2019 will be turning the long-disused St Bernard’s Catholic Church and adjacent land on Kingsley Road into 16 new homes.

HPBC was given the site as a gift from the Archdiocese and received planning permission in November for the project, which will involve creating 11 affordable three-storey townhouses as well as a detached house within the grounds and four two-bedroom apartments.

‘When the Archdiocese gifted the land originally, that was the first development in L8 since the riots,’ Rev Ledbetter explained. ‘Developers were hesitant to come into the area but our communitybuilding model was perfect because it began to bring people together.

‘It really hinges on the generosity of the Catholic Church, which is breaking new ground nationally,’ said Rev Ledbetter, praising the Archdiocese for its support and forward-thinking attitude.

‘The model engaged people from backgrounds from all over the world – literally thousands of people who came together and we’ve created a large community of thirty-two houses.’

‘I know there’s a movement to try to get churches doing what Liverpool Archdiocese has done already. It’s like “Blue Peter” – here’s one we prepared

She is not exaggerating about the scale of the community effort involved. These are homes created through a combination of self-build, volunteering and corporate philanthropy. And, literally, it might be said, with the sweat of those who will live in them. Thanks to the concept of ‘sweat equity’ the future owners can contribute 500 hours’ work in exchange for a cash deposit of £10,000 on the cost of their homes. ‘There’ll be 250 hours put in by the family or individuals who will move in and 250 can be claimed by family and friends,’ Rev Ledbetter elaborated. ‘For example, we’ve had people whose church groups have come in and volunteered, or young couples whose parents have come and helped. It also means everybody is working and getting to know each other before they move in.’

Fr Peter Morgan celebrates the last Mass at St Bernard’s Catholic Church in 2012 4

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Indeed, help comes from far and wide. HPBC estimates that 12,000 volunteers from all walks of life played their part in the Alt Street project. This included help

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n Father Peter Morgan and HPBC chair Shannon Ledbetter review the plans


from local businesses, students from Liverpool Community College, Hugh Baird College and Liverpool University, and even members of the armed forces via the Military Aid to the Civilian Community initiative. On the proposals for St Bernard’s Church, the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, said: ‘Having seen what an excellent job HPBC has made of redeveloping the old school site next door, the charity was the natural choice to take on this much-loved church. ‘The building has been falling into disrepair and we can think of nothing better than to see it permanently preserved and brought back into vibrant use as part of a community-led, low-cost housing development.’

surviving Victorian buildings on the street and both the charity and its chosen architect, Ainsley Gommon, have worked closely with planning and conservation officers from Liverpool City Council. It is hoped that features such as stained glass windows will be retained, as well as the archways that formed the arcade of the nave. A stone turret in the front of the building will create a spiral staircase in one of the planned townhouses. Ainsley Gommon has also worked hard to ensure that wherever possible, large feature windows are not split by internal floors. ‘We will retain all the integrity and the features of the church itself,’ said Rev Ledbetter.

Liza Parry, HPBC’s chief executive, added: ‘Our charity has always prioritised making homes truly affordable for families on lower incomes.’

The first step in the development will be the planned demolition this month of the church hall. A later addition to the church building, it is now structurally unsound and will make way for a new detached house, though the neighbouring presbytery will remain.

Designed by Pugin & Pugin, St Bernard’s Church was built in 1901 and is Gothic in style. While not listed, it is one of the few

The presbytery is home to Father Peter Morgan, who was priest at St Bernard’s until the church closed in 2012, when the

parish was combined with St Anne’s in Edge Hill. Father Peter said of the plans: ‘What an extraordinary and imaginative design. This church building teemed with life for over 100 years. Now there will be new life, new energy – a new community.’ Community is a key word for Rev Ledbetter, now canon at Blackburn Cathedral and who was previously a lecturer at Liverpool Hope University. She launched the organisation, originally called Liverpool Habitat for Humanity on 11 September 2001 during a special ceremony of ‘harmony and conciliation’ on the balcony of the Liver Buildings.

‘We can think of nothing better than to see it permanently preserved and brought back into vibrant use ’ Catholic Pictorial


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3D digital image of how the new development could look

‘This church building teemed with life for over 100 years. Now there will be new life, new energy – a new community’ 6

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The completion of the 32 homes on Alt Street led to HPBC receiving the Judges’ Special Award at the 2017 NWPAs – the awards for excellence in the northwest property industry – at the Lutyens Crypt in the Metropolitan Cathedral last October. Reflecting on that award, Rev Ledbetter cited the importance of the support of Liverpool City Council and the city’s Catholic community, especially Lord David Alton, the charity’s patron. She continued: ‘I felt like there was a great need for affordable housing in Liverpool and I thought the nature of Liverpudlians was well suited to embracing the model of community self-build. ‘We’ve completed 32 homes and there have been eight babies born since our families moved in so we’re creating a community that’s expanding.’ And it is a diverse community too. ‘It’s

not just a case study. It shows what thousands of people can do when they are working towards a common goal and with the additional sixteen houses, we’ll have created forty-eight homes for people from all kinds of different backgrounds – different faiths, cultures, socio-economic groups, ages. It creates a healthy environment.’ On the forthcoming challenge she added: ‘Once again, our home partners will be involved in helping to shape the very homes they will live in and those of their neighbours. As well as opportunities to work on construction, home partners, volunteers and trainees can help us with marketing, administration and other tasks. We are so grateful to the Archdiocese and believe this project will be a lasting legacy to the common good for the people of Liverpool.’ For more information about the charity, visit

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Inspiring excellence personal and academic

Welcoming students from all areas of Liverpool & beyond Bellerive is a very popular choice for girls from across Liverpool. Contact us for a guided tour and ďŹ nd out why we are such a unique, ambitious school.

Bellerive FCJ Catholic College 1, Aigburth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 3AA Tel: 0151 727 2064 Specialisms in Sciences, Applied Learning and Maths & Computing

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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:

St Joseph’s Hospice opens doors to new patients The CQC (Care Quality Commission) has re-inspected St Joseph’s Hospice and found that improvements have been made across the board, since its previous inspection, and that it is now able to admit new patients.

Following an inspection in July 2017, which took place in the middle of a major clinical change management programme, the CQC rated the hospice as inadequate and placed it in special measures, putting a restriction on patient

admissions. Now, six months on, the hospice has been praised by the CQC for the work of its senior management team and the improvements it has made in a number of areas. During its most recent inspection, in December 2017, the CQC found that staff at the hospice were ‘kind and caring’ and that patients were ‘treated with respect by staff’. The inspector also commented on the ‘good standards of privacy and dignity for people receiving in-patient care’. The environment and equipment were found to be ‘well maintained’ and all areas were found to be ‘clean and hygienic’. Staff were also found to have a ‘good knowledge of safeguarding procedures’. The families of patients at the hospice told inspectors that they felt the staffing levels helped them to ‘feel safe and supported’. The inspector recognised that the hospice’s new clinical management team were ‘working closely with external health professionals to improve the medicines arrangements in the hospice’ and that patients ‘received their medicines safely’. Mike Parr, Chief Executive of St Joseph’s Hospice, said: ‘We are delighted that the hospice has finally been recognised by the CQC. There is no doubt that we have been through a very difficult time, and have had to make some very significant changes. We have received an immense amount of love and support from our patients and their families, as well as from our staff and members of our community, and for that we are extremely grateful.’

A first for Our Lady’s Prescot Children from Our Lady’s Catholic Primary Prescot’s Eco Council visited the new Prescot Fire and Police Station just before its handover from the construction company Wates. At the start of the academic year Josh Steiner from Wates spoke to all the children in school about job opportunities in the construction business. He then met with the Eco Council to discuss how the construction industry are making steps to be more Eco Friendly. Due to Our Lady’s links with Wates the Eco Council were invited to have a special tour of the new building prior to its handover to the Fire and Community Police services. ‘I especially enjoyed seeing where the fire engines will race out from,’ said one boy whilst a younger girl asked how the firefighters would get back up the pole. When the children visited the Faith Room they asked if they could be the first to say a prayer there. The


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children prayed for the brave men and women who will serve there as firefighters and Community Police Officers. One of the children won the design competition for the mosaic which will be placed on the ground at the main

entrance of the station. She is pictured holding it whilst praying in the Prayer Room. The children were given an invitation to return to the station when it is operational and the mosaic is in place.

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news diary Rite of Election and Call Obituary of to Continuing Conversion Deacon Tony Green

Deacon Tony Green who served the parish of St Luke the Evangelist, Whiston, for fifteen years died following a long illness on Saturday 27 January. Harold Anthony Green (known as Tony), was a lifelong parishioner of St Luke’s, Whiston. He was born in 1941, baptised and confirmed at St Luke’s and attended the parish primary school and West Park Grammar School before training as a teacher at De La Salle, Hopwood Hall in Manchester. by Veronica Murphy This year the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, which always takes place in the Metropolitan Cathedral on the First Sunday in Lent, was supported by staff and students of Broughton Hall. Led by Chaplain Kasia Boydell beautiful pieces of art work illustrating the readings: Ephesians 1:15–23 and the call of the first disciples as told in Mark’s gospel (Mark 2:14-17) were produced. The girls who painted the boards were: Aminat Abiola, Moyo Odubanjo and Safiya Jamadar. Members of staff who helped create the boards and banner were: Frances Howard (banner) and Clare Adamson (banner), Samantha Haigh, Alex Ryder, Sinead Dowdall, Mark Anderton and the Art Department, The Head Girl and Head Prefect joined the Entrance Procession with the banner. This annual celebration is an important step on the journey to full membership of the Roman Catholic Church for those, from across the Archdiocese, who have been learning about what it means to be a Catholic and feel ready to receive the Sacraments of Initiation during Eastertide. For those who have not been baptised, there was the declaration, by the Archbishop, of their election: recognition that they have indeed been chosen and called by God to be baptised, confirmed and share fully in the Eucharist as members of the Body of Christ, the Church. Once they have been presented to the Archbishop, they sign their name in the Book of the Elect, which remains on display throughout Lent. For those already baptised the Archbishop called them to continuing conversion during the Lenten season in preparation for their full sharing in the Easter Mysteries. During the service Godparents and Sponsors testified to the readiness of those they are accompanying and all present promised to support them in prayer. Archbishop McMahon gave everyone who attended a prayer card to use throughout Lent in support of all who are preparing for the Easter celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. If you would like to know more about RCIA or how to form a parish/pastoral area team for welcoming enquirers into the Catholic faith please contact the Pastoral Formation Department Tel: 0151 522 1040 or email

After qualification, Tony taught at St Edmund Campion School in St Helens from 1964 until its closure in 1987 and then at De La Salle College in St Helens until his retirement in 1997. He married his wife Veronica in St Thomas of Canterbury church in 1974 and continued to live in Whiston, where, as a lay person, he was deeply involved in the life of the parish as a reader, Eucharistic Minister, covenant organiser and school governor and helped with the parish finance committee and the church newsletter. After retiring from his teaching career Tony was invited by the priests at St Luke’s, Father John Heneghan and Father Simon Cadwallader, to consider a vocation to the diaconate. He wrote later that he was initially taken aback and thought of many reasons to decline the invitation but after prayer, reflection and conversations with others, he accepted the call because he wished to serve the priests and the Church in any way he could and saw it as part of his own journey in faith. He began his formation in 2000 and was ordained deacon in the Metropolitan Cathedral in 2003. Tony served the parish of St Luke’s faithfully for fifteen years, especially ministering to the sick, and he faced his own terminal illness with gentle courage. His funeral Mass was celebrated at St Luke’s Wednesday 21 February, prior to burial in St Nicholas’ Churchyard, Whiston.

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news diary

Healing In preparation for Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage, Father Joe Kendall is offering a series of reflections on Eucharistic themes. The culmination of the Liverpool Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes each year is the celebration of Mass with the Anointing of the Sick which takes place on the morning of the final day. This, as we explain to our assisted pilgrims, is what we’ve been working our way towards throughout the week at Our Lady’s shrine. Many a seasoned Liverpool pilgrim, assisted and helper alike, will tell you it’s the highlight of their week. It’s easy for me to see why. The sense of God’s presence and power at that celebration is palpable. I can remember the first time I celebrated that Mass a priest. In fact, I could never forget it. That’s not to say, however, that miracles, as the world expects them, accompanied by flashes of lightning or suchlike, are seen regularly at those celebrations. What we remind ourselves as pilgrims each year holds true, though. We go on pilgrimage so that we can return home. We have to

Obituary of Rev Michael Moss FDP Father Michael Moss FDP, a former assistant priest at St Teresa’s, Upholland, died on Sunday 7 January. Michael Anthony Moss was born in Heathfield, East Sussex. He had been a professed member of The Sons of Divine Providence for 32 years and a priest for 27 years. His heart was always for the people of Ireland and especially Sarsfield House and Father Bidone Court, Ballyfermot, Dublin where he spent almost 30 years of his student life and priesthood. Father Michael was very hands on and never happier than when clearing blocked drains, visiting people for a mug of tea and a biscuit or praying the breviary and rosary. He was very active with the Legion of Mary and the Marian Movement of Priests. Following 18 months as assistant priest at St Teresa’s he had been resident in Cardinal Heenan House, Upholland, for a year suffering from mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer. His Funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP on Friday 26 January. 10

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return home having been changed so as to see that we can find that sense of God’s presence and love, what made the pilgrimage so special, even at home. We journey to a holy place so that we can discover that home is a holy place. The culmination of a pilgrimage may be a Mass, often called one of ‘healing’ because of the other sacrament we celebrate then, but the source and summit of any week as a Catholic Christian is the Eucharist. We don’t have to journey with passport and suitcase to find the healing that we need, the healing of forgiveness and inclusion in God’s family. We just have to journey to church for Mass. Going to Mass on Sunday may not feel like such a big deal but again a very real and important change is effected in us by the Eucharist. If we can offer all at the celebration, all that daily toil plants in our heart’s poor soil, all we start and spoil, each hopeful dream, chances missed and graces resisted, then each Mass that we

celebrate will be one of healing. If we really can ask the Lord to take all of this and redeem, then again the presence and power of God will be palpable. It’s with this healing of souls that we can humbly ask the Lord to enter under our roofs, but only so that we can take our place at his table.

Ashton’s Musical Showcase

St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School, Ashton-in- Makerfield held a tuneful evening entitled 'A Musical Showcase'. Pupils from Years 7-11 sang and played a number of contemporary songs and their own compositions for a delighted audience of parents, friends and grandparents. Particular highlights included the songs 'Skyfall' and 'California Dreamin'. Headteacher, Mark Dumican, said, 'We are so proud of all our pupils and their musical talents. This is particularly so for me as I have no singing voice whatsoever.’ All proceeds for the event went to the PTA and the music department.

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An outstanding contribution to Catholic life A lifelong parishioner at St Clare’s, Liverpool, was recently honoured by Pope Francis. Clare Whittington-Egan received the insignia of a Dame of St Gregory the Great from Archbishop Malcolm during Mass on Sunday 4 February. She was joined by many friends and fellow parishioners for this momentous occasion. Concelebrating the Mass were the parish priest, Canon Aidan Prescott, former assistant priest, Father Richard Sloan and former parishioner, Father Sean Riley. The Archbishop, reflecting on the Gospel reading of the cure of Simon Peter’s motherin-law, highlighted the essential contribution of the service of women in the life of the Church. That is certainly true of Clare, who has dedicated her life to the service of her parish and the wider Church. She has been involved in many aspects of parish life, being the first lay woman to read at Mass at St Clare’s and being one of the first extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Her musical talent shines through in her capacity as organist and director of the choir; her artistic talent in flower arranging and the displays she puts up at the various festivals during the year. Whenever the parish has needed a lay

Clare Whittington-Egan with Archbishop Malcolm and Parish Priest Canon Aidan Prescott. Picture: Vincent Ng

voice to represent it, Clare has usually been the person to contribute to the various consultations and discussions. All in all, she has been a key member of the parish for decades. Education has also figured largely in Clare’s life. She spent her working life as a teacher of art and religious

education in several Liverpool schools and has continued to show a commitment to education even in retirement. She still serves as a governor of Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, Liverpool, and was for a time on the council of Liverpool Hope University.

Zimbabwean aid worker thanks Cafod Liverpool A Zimbabwean aid worker has expressed his thanks to communities from Liverpool for the support they have shown to Cafod on Family Fast Day. Livison Chipatiso, Cafod’s project officer in Harare, spoke to volunteers in Croxteth

last month. He spoke about the impact that Cafod’s Fast Days, which this year focus on Zimbabwe, can have and gave first-hand accounts of how projects, such as community gardens and training for parents and health visitors funded by Cafod, are helping to combat hunger and

malnutrition in the country. This Lent, in an added boost, all donations made to Cafod’s Lent Appeal, up to £5 million, are being doubled by the UK government until 12 May, meaning that parishioners in the archdiocese have made double the difference. Cafod’s local representative in Liverpool, Colette Byrne, added: ‘It has been brilliant to see the wide variety of fundraising events going on for Fast Day. Hearing Livison’s stories from Zimbabwe made the impact that the work volunteers are doing here in England and Wales even clearer. We’d like to send a huge thank you from everyone at Cafod’. It is expected that an estimated 245,000 people in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Eritrea will be reached by the funds raised. This money will enable communities to grow a better future by providing safe water, supporting communities to plant vegetable gardens and teaching them about good nutrition and hygiene.

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news diary Julian’s 50 years at the Cathedral 50 years ago, to the day, since he first served at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 10 February 1968 Julian Daley received the Bene Merenti from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon in recognition of his service. St Francis Xavier, where Julian was a pupil, were asked to provide servers for a Mass for secondary schools. Julian takes up the story, ‘rather to my surprise, I was chosen, even more to my surprise, the Cathedral invited me back two weeks later, to serve on Ash Wednesday, and I've been here ever since. I've also been a reader, Eucharistic minister, Pastoral Congress delegate in 1980 and catechist for Confirmation groups’. Julian is also a Foundation Governor, appointed by Liverpool Anglican Diocese, at St Hilda's which was his daughter Rosemary's secondary school. He now serves as Vice-Chair and St Hilda's presented him with a booklet to mark the Bene Merenti, full of messages of congratulations, support and thanks from every form in the school. Julian says, ‘I intend to carry on serving as

long as I enjoy serving, and I'm enjoying it more than ever. I'm stunned by the award, and even more by the reaction of family and friends, at the Cathedral and St Hilda's. Being Jesuit educated, I've always tried to discern what God is calling me to do; I hope I've made myself useful’.

Cathedral servers, Ashlyn Chiong, Isabella McKenna and Luke McLoughlin received their Guild medals from the Archbishop at the same Mass and on 27 January Gia Birch received her Guild medal from Monsignor Peter Cookson at St Vincent de Paul.

Pic columnist bristling with fund-raising purpose Father John Devine’s decision to grow a beard for charity has paid off in style after he raised almost £10,000 – a total ‘far, far more than I ever dreamt of’, as he admits. Father John, one of our monthly columnists, received sponsorship from his three parishes on the Isle of Man – St Mary of the Isle, Douglas; St Joseph’s, Willaston; and St Anthony’s, Onchan – after he pledged to grow a beard in time for Christmas, with the money to be divided equally between the Manx Salvation Army Christmas Appeal and the relief effort for the Rohingya Refugees in Myanmar (formerly Burma). Cafod in collaboration with other aid agencies such as Oxfam and Christian Aid will ensure that these funds reach 12

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the refugee camps where they are most needed. Father John – pictured presenting cheques to Captain Simon Clampton of the Salvation Army and Damian Peter, the Isle of Man’s representative for Cafod – explained why these two causes had been chosen as the recipients of Catholic charity. ‘Good ecumenical relations between the Christian churches have developed to the point where we can support each other in what we do best,’ he said. ‘The Salvation Army do a fantastic job serving the vulnerable and most needy in our community, not just at Christmas but all the year round. They reach the people many of us cannot reach and do so on behalf of us all. The Catholic community is happy to

Picture: Manx Independent

support them. ‘The Rohingya people are a persecuted Moslem minority in a Buddhist majority country. Six hundred thousand have fled an officially orchestrated campaign of murder, terror and rape and are now living in terrible conditions in camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. As Catholics we express our solidarity with the oppressed, whatever their faith background.

Parishioners have responded so generously. Money raised has been divided between these two worthwhile causes. Donations are still coming in. When people are confronted with genuine need their response is amazing.’ As for the future of his beard, he added that it would continue to adorn his face ‘for the time being, yes … unless I get fed up with it!’

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note Listen carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. (Prov. 4:20) This is how the great Monastic Rule written by St Benedict over 1,500 years ago begins and it seems to sum up well the attitude of the Christian to this Season of Lent – we are to listen ‘with the ears of the heart’. To what should we listen? To the world around us which clamours for our attention about the next ‘must have, must do, must be’? To the wars and rumours of wars and the increasingly alarming tales of our inhumanity to brothers and sisters, near and far? To the catalogue of failed promises, abuses of position and authority, and the scant regard for the precious yet fragile gift of human life? Solely to do this is to run the risk of being so overwhelmed by the darkness of sin as to be unable to muster the confidence to light the one candle which can dispel that darkness. In this Season of Lent we

Sunday thoughts I’ve grown up believing that my primary responsibility as a Catholic is to save my soul. I am in the driving seat; I am in charge of my own salvation. It’s up to me to better myself. Once convinced of my goodness, God will respond by granting me eternal life. When I’m dead any shortfall in the process can be fixed by a spell in purgatory. That is providing I don’t turn my back on God altogether, in which case hell beckons. My confidence in this process has been eroded over the years by two things: I’m not very successful at being good (I seem to be getting worse rather than better), and this model of the Christian life doesn’t seem to be backed up by the Scriptures. This has led to the realisation that the spiritual life is God-centred, not me-centred. I don’t have to find God. God finds me. And I don’t have to change God’s mind about me. God’s already on my side. All my effort and anxiety is misplaced

Canon Philip Gillespie

are to listen rather to some ‘Good News’, the fundamental and perennial proclamation of the desire of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to draw us into greater and deeper relationship and communion. It is the proclamation of a dignity founded not on what we can do or earn or own, but on the once-and-forall offering made by Jesus, a selfgiving love which is renewed for us each and every day in and through the celebration of the sacraments. The Lord’s own invitation to us is that we play our own unique part in this ‘Good News’ for the world – ‘Do this in Memory of Me.’ And that one candle which can set about dispelling the darkness? You will hear of it when you gather in your parish for the Easter Vigil. As the Paschal Candle is lit, we proclaim the Risen Christ as ‘the Light, rising in glory, which dispels the darkness of our hearts and minds.’

Mgr John Devine OBE

and redundant. That realisation is called conversion. And I have a sneaky feeling that I’ve been set up to fail all along; that God himself has been sabotaging my selfimprovement programme for quite some time. I’m just a slow learner. The Carmelite Sister Ruth Burrows describes this very same process: ‘What God is asking is that they should accept to be loved utterly, not because they are good but because God is good. They want to earn his love. They hate to feel that they do nothing for him and must receive love as a free gift.’ (Before the Living God, 1999) Jesus puts it even better in St John’s Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Lent: ‘God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.’ (John 3:17) It begs the question, is it too good to be true?

What else might we want? For many years I was chaplain to a high school in St Helens. Every Monday we had Mass in the chapel and each Thursday lunchtime I would meet with anyone who wanted to plan the following week’s liturgy. One of the boys who came to the group was Jamie. He was sensitive, artistic and creative. The chapel group was a place where he felt accepted. One particular week we met as usual and the Gospel passage we were reflecting on was the one where the Pharisees demand a sign from heaven to test Jesus. Jamie sat with a pad doodling away. Eventually I asked him what he thought and he showed us his pad. He had drawn a caricature of a Pharisee in his robes and Jesus standing before him. Underneath the drawing were the words: ‘What else did they want?’ Lent is a time when we are invited to reflect on the ‘what else we might want’ that gets in the way of following Jesus and finding real life within. It is a willingness to open ourselves to God and to say that we are ready to let that which is dead within, the dross that so often fills us, be healed and transformed so that we might experience a deep inner freedom and follow him more fully. Lent is a season for each of us to remember that God is at work silently inside us, to not just wear ashes for one day and then wash their meaning off, but in many senses – as Ronald Rolheiser says – ‘to sit in the ashes’, refusing to live as we usually do with our ego needs at the fore of our lives. It is a season for waiting while some silent growth takes place within us, for simply being still and trusting that God can work in us so that we experience some sort of resurrection at the end of the 40 days. Father Chris Thomas

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at


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Pilgrimage, First Class by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan Archivist As we prepare to welcome thousands of visitors to the National Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage in September, the archives have turned up a memento of a similar congress long ago and far away. In June 1926 Archbishop Keating (1921-1928) led a party of pilgrims to the International Eucharistic Congress. This was the first such congress to be held in the United States and took place in Chicago. The Archbishop kept a diary of this visit, and it survives among his papers in the Archdiocesan Archives. It’s a reminder of a time when travel was often luxurious, and when the technology we now take for granted was in its infancy. The Archbishop records the events of the Congress, such as the attendance of a million Catholics at one of the open-air Masses, and he is in awe of the means of broadcasting events to such huge crowds. He stays with a local family, the McCormicks, and is amazed by their ability to follow proceedings on their ‘radio’ in the drawing-room. ‘It is a self-contained machine’, he notes, ‘and can be carried easily from room to room.’ In a very American touch, the Chicago newspapers reported that the hundreds of thousands of worshippers at Soldier Field ate their

way through ten tons of hot dogs. The Liverpool party was at the Congress for less than a week, and the diary is as much concerned with the journey there and back, which took even longer. They sailed from Liverpool to Quebec, took a train overland, and came back via New York. Their White Star liner on the outbound journey, the SS Doric, included 500 emigrants as steerage passengers, and the Archbishop and his accompanying priests tried to minister to the spiritual welfare of the Catholics among them. Entertainments were also arranged, at least for those in the tourist quarters, and the souvenirs of the voyage that survive with the diary include menus and programmes for these events, together with postcards and photographs. The Archbishop even celebrated his 67th birthday in mid-Atlantic, and though we don’t have the ‘briar pipe and ashtray’ presented to him, we do have the loyal address signed by all the pilgrims. The diary is available for research with all the Archbishop’s papers at the Archdiocesan Archives, and anyone is welcome to visit by appointment.

Poetry as therapy Nugent’s Margaret Roper House in Birkdale near Southport provides care for people living with enduring mental health problems. The staff provide care through a holistic approach, which includes meeting physical, emotional and spiritual needs and helping people achieve personal goals. 76 year old Clive has lived at Margaret Roper since 1996, and his main passions

in life are poetry and classical music. Prior to moving to Margaret Roper House Clive worked as a music critic for the Ormskirk Advertiser, and has written poetry throughout his life. He uses poetry as a therapeutic tool to express his emotion, and if things get too much for him he will turn to listening to his vast library of Classical music to soothe his soul.

Clive has had his poetry published in the past, one of his pieces ‘Ode to Father Nugent’ currently adorns a tapestry banner which until recently took pride of place on the stairwell of Margaret Roper.

Clive wrote the poem ‘The Bluebell Wood’ for his nurse at Margaret Roper House. When I look at this Lovely Spring Even the tiny Bluebells seem to ring In the woodland down in the wood So much rushes into my blood

These lovely, tiny flowers are also Wild ‘witches thimbles’ or ‘fairy bells’ You can scent them all around In the air – they’re like little wishing wells

Wood magic – so elusive and delicate Music that I have heard of late And the birds and the rare butterflies Fly up to deep azure skies

Oh nurse – thank you for your patience And your love upon all of us smiled, Fragile as a bluebell, yet you come To heal this world’s ‘were-wolf wild’

This wood once belonged to Edward Elgar A famous composer at ‘Brinkwells’ In Sussex, where he often walked Where the story of his music tells

Epilogue: The bluebell wood was like a heaven The thoughts I suffer a kind of hell But in your talks pleasant contours I can sense the shape of a bluebell

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what’s on Thursday 1 March ‘As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine.’ Reflections on the Book of Jeremiah. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Friday 2 March Women’s World Day of Prayer. Saturday 3 March Responding to the Call Vocation Discernment Group. A monthly day of recollection to support those exploring Vocations to the Priesthood by helping men who feel called to ordained ministry to discover more about diocesan priesthood and meet others discerning a call to priesthood. An opportunity to talk with, and hear from, priests who minister in the diocese, and also a time for prayer and discussion at St Charles' Presbytery, 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17 9PG. Details: Father James Preston, Vocations Director Tel: 0151 727 2493 Email: ‘Into the wilderness with Jesus’ Led by Donna Worthington. 10.30 am - 3.30 pm at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Lunch included, donations welcome. Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Mobile: 07712 178670. Email: Sunday 4 March Choral Evening Prayer with Bach Cantata BWV 94 ‘Was frag ich nach der Welt’ Sung by the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir. 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Monday 5 March ‘Ashes to Glory’ Led by Father Chris Thomas. 7.30 pm at St Kentigern, Waddicar Lane, Melling, L31 1BS. Wednesday 7 March ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Lenten Talks ‘How living the mystery of Christ’s Passion and Death changes our lives and our faith.’ 7:00 pm at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Church Road, Seaforth, L21 4LJ. UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at St Aidan, Holmes House Avenue, Winstanley, Wigan, WN3 6EE. Thursday 8 March ‘As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine.’ Reflections on the Book of Jeremiah. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website:

‘Carmel for lay people’ Led by Gillian Coxhead 7.30 pm at St Teresa, Queensway, Penwortham, PR1 0DS. Friday 9 March Reflection on the Passion 1.00 pm at St Patrick, Marshside Road, Southport, PR9 9TJ. Lenten Night Prayer 8.45 pm at St Mary’s, Church Road, Woolton, L25 5JF. Saturday 10 March Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach ‘St John Passion.’ 7.00 pm at the Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas (Liverpool Parish Church), Old Churchyard, Liverpool L2 8TZ. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. Admission will be by ticket only (for which there is no charge). Tickets are available at Any unallocated tickets will be available at the door. Sunday 11 March Annual Marriage and Family Life Mass 11.00 am in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. The Mass will include a special blessing for those celebrating significant anniversaries. Choral Evening Prayer with ‘Stabat Mater’ by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Sung by the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir. 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Monday 12 March ‘Ashes to Glory’ led by Father Chris Thomas 7.30 pm at St Kentigern, Waddicar Lane, Melling, L31 1BS. Tuesday 13 March Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: Wednesday 14 March ‘Spirituality for the Autumn of Life.’ An inspiring DVD Course for the over sixties. 10.30 am - 3.30 pm at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Lunch included, donations welcome. Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Mobile: 07712 178670. Email: Lenten Reflection hosted by the Friends of the Metropolitan Cathedral 6.30 pm in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Speaker: James Timpson OBE, Chief Executive of Timpson will speak on ‘Encouragement, Kindness and Support’, particularly when recruiting a colleague from prison or someone who's had a difficult start or time in life. Lenten Talks ‘How living the mystery of Christ’s Passion and Death changes our lives and our faith.’ 7:00 pm at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Church Road, Seaforth, L21 4LJ.

website at 16

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Thursday 15 March ‘As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine.’ Reflections on the Book of Jeremiah. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: ‘The Camino’ led by Patricia Wilson 7.30 pm at St Teresa, Queensway, Penwortham, PR1 0DS. Friday 16 March Lenten Night Prayer 8.45 pm at St Mary’s, Church Road, Woolton, L25 5JF. Saturday 17 March RCIA day with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP 10.30 am - 3.30 pm at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Lunch included, donations welcome. Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Mobile: 07712 178670. Email: Faure Requiem Concert with the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra Conductor: Stephen Pratt and the Cathedral Cantata Choir, Director: James Luxton. 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Tickets and details Tel: 0151 707 3525 or Email: Sunday 18 March 38th Annual Romero Mass 11.00 am at St Charles and St Thomas More, 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17 9PG. ‘Prophets…of a future not our own.’ Speakers: Steve and Anne Atherton (recently returned from a Romero Pilgrimage to El Salvador). Details: Steve Atherton Tel: 0151 522 1080 Email: Choral Evening Prayer with ‘The Seven Last Words of Christ’ by Heinrich Schutz Sung by the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir. 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Monday 19 March ‘Peace: the Product of Justice and Love.’ The ongoing struggle for peace in Romero’s beloved El Salvador. Speaker: Rubén Zamora, Diplomat and Politician. An opportunity to mark the 38th anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. 7.00 pm at EDEN130 Eden Building, Hope Park Campus, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD. ‘Ashes to Glory’ led by Father Chris Thomas 7.30 pm at St Kentigern, Waddicar Lane, Melling, L31 1BS. Tuesday 20 March ‘A revolution of tenderness and Love.’ A Lenten Day of prayer, reflection and discussion presented by Father Eamonn Mulcahy CSSp. 10.30 am - 3.30 pm at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Suggested donation: £20 (including lunch). Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Mobile: 07712 178670. Email:

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march Animate Youth Ministries ‘Life and Soul’ An evening of praise and worship before the Blessed Sacrament with opportunity for the sacrament of Reconciliation. 7.00 pm at St Anne’s, 23 Prescot Road, Ormskirk, L39 4TG. Wednesday 21 March ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Lenten Reflection hosted by the Friends of the Metropolitan Cathedral 6.30 pm in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Speaker: Dr Paula Powell FRCP, Consultant in Palliative Medicine/Clinical Lead at Willowbrook Hospice. The reflection will consider issues relating to dignity in end-of-life care and will offer an opportunity for discussion and debate. Lenten Talks ‘How living the mystery of Christ’s Passion and Death changes our lives and our faith.’ 7:00 pm at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Church Road, Seaforth, L21 4LJ. Lenten Penance Service (with the opportunity for individual Confessions) 7.00 pm at St Anthony of Padua, 1 Elmsley Road, Mossley Hill, Liverpoo, L18 8AY. Thursday 22 March ‘As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in mine.’ Reflections on the Book of Jeremiah. Scripture Morning led by Father Chris Thomas. 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: ‘Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart.’ A reflection on Jerusalem and the Death of Jesus by Bishop John Rawsthorne. 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm at St Wilfrid’s Pastoral Centre, Mayfield Avenue, Hough Green, Widnes, WA8 8PR. Newman Circle Discussion: ‘Isaiah in Holy Week.’ Use of the texts in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Speakers: Rabbi Ariel Abel and Deacon Ryan Cook. 7.30 pm at St Helen's Parish Centre, Alexandra Road, Crosby, L23 7TQ. Details: John Potts Tel: 07889 841096 Friday 23 March Reflection on the Passion 1.00 pm at St Patrick, Marshside Road, Southport, PR9 9TJ. Service of Reconciliation 7.30 pm at St Mary, Prescot Road, Aughton, L39 6TA. Lenten Night Prayer 8.45 pm at St Mary’s, Church Road, Woolton, L25 5JF. Saturday 24 March ‘Introduction to the Divine Will’ led by Tony Hickey 10.00 am (Mass) at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Suggested donation: £18 (refreshments provided bring packed lunch). Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Mobile: 07712 178670. Email: Quiet Day 10.30 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. Time to be quiet, reflect and pray. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). No booking required. For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email:

Holy Week and Easter at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord 25 March 8.30 am Mass (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 10.00 am Family Mass (Crypt) 11.00 am Procession of Palms and Solemn Mass Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP 7.00 pm Mass (Crypt) 7.30 pm Tenebrae (Cathedral) Monday of Holy Week 26 March 7.45 am Morning Prayer (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 8.00 am Mass (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 12.15 pm Mass (Crypt) followed by Sacrament of Reconciliation 5.15 pm Sung Mass (Cantor– Blessed Sacrament Chapel) Tuesday of Holy Week 27 March 7.45 am Morning Prayer (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 8.00 am Mass (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 12.15 pm Mass (Crypt) followed by Sacrament of Reconciliation 5.15 pm Sung Mass (Girls’ Choir – Blessed Sacrament Chapel) Wednesday of Holy Week 28 March 7.45 am Morning Prayer (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 8.00 am Mass (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 12.15 pm Mass (Crypt) 7.30 pm Mass of Chrism Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP THE EASTER TRIDUUM Maundy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper 29 March 10.00 am Sung Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Girls’ Choir) (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 7.30 pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP followed by Watching concluding with Night Prayer at 10.00 pm Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion 30 March 10.00 am Sung Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Boys Choir and Lay Clerks) (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 11.30 am Stations of the Cross led by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP (Cathedral) 3.00 pm Celebration of the Lord’s Passion Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP presides Holy Saturday 31 March 10.00 am Sung Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Youth Choir) (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 9.00 pm The Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection 1 April 8.30 am Mass (Blessed Sacrament Chapel) 10.00 am Family Mass (Crypt) 11.00 am Solemn Mass of Easter Day 3.00 pm Solemn Baptismal Choral Evening Prayer 7.00 pm Mass (Crypt) St Teresa of Calcutta Missionaries of Charity Carrying of the cross 2.00 pm from the junction of Church Street, Lord Street, Whitechapel through Liverpool City Centre, finishing at St Luke’s (bombed out church). Details: Jim Ross Tel: 07766 706766. Palm Sunday 25 March Service of Reconciliation 3.00 pm at St Gregory’s, Weldbank Lane, Chorley, PR7 3NW. Monday 26 March Service of Reconciliation 7.00 pm at Sacred Heart, Brooke Street, Chorley, PR6 0NG.

Service of Reconciliation 7.30 pm at St Kentigern, Waddicar Lane, Melling, L31 1BS. Service of Reconciliation 7.00 pm at St Bernadette, Wigan Road, Shevington, WN6 8AP. Tuesday 27 March Penitential service 7.00 pm at St Anne, Prescot Road, Ormskirk, L39 4TG. Service of Reconciliation 7.00 pm at St Mary, Mount Pleasant, Chorley, PR7 2SR. Service of Reconciliation 7.00 pm at St Marie-on-the-Sands, Seabank Road, Southport, PR9 0EJ.

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John Farnworth Football freestyler’s Everest-sized challenge By Simon Hart For most of us, an ascent of Snowdon would be challenging enough without attempting it while keeping a football off the ground. It is little surprise then that John Farnworth got a few funny looks recently when climbing Wales’s highest mountain with a ball at his feet. ‘Some people were saying, “You can’t be doing that all the way up” and my friends were like, “Yeah that is what he does”,’ he says with a grin. As one of Europe’s leading football freestylers, that really is what he does and the 32-year-old from Longridge near Preston will be doing it on an unprecedented scale as February becomes March by attempting a trek from the town of Lukla in north-eastern Nepal up to Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5,380m (17,650ft) – while performing keepie-ups all the way. ‘The aim is to keep the ball in the air the whole way and the route we're taking is around 55 kilometres in total,’ John explains. ‘Our first trekking day will be 24 February. If all goes to plan, we’ll fly back on 10 March.’ John from Lancaster Diocese has executed football skills while perched on the top of a radio mast and he once completed the London Marathon with a

ball at his feet. ‘That was 12 hours straight doing kick-ups,’ he recalls. Last December he set his eighth Guinness world record when trapping a football dropped from the height of 137 feet, from a crane in Widnes. ’It was really tough because of the speed of it, he says. ‘(Luis) Suárez, (Lionel) Messi and Theo Walcott have had the record, which shows how difficult it is.’ And now for Everest and a challenge undertaken to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. His target total is £50,000 and his motivation is the memory of his late grandfather, John Embley, former head teacher of St Patrick’s Catholic primary school in Preston, who suffered from vascular dementia before his death. ‘It was my granddad who got me into football and he was my inspiration and still is,’ says John, whose football skills have earned him work as a presenter and choreographer for CBBC. ‘Just seeing him going through so many battles made me ask myself what I could do which is the most ridiculous thing ever – and I will do it.’ As a teenager John honed his football skills in the Brazilian Soccer School in Manchester set up by Simon Clifford, until recently a parishioner of Our Lady

of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton. His own home parish is Our Lady and St Michael’s in the Lancaster diocese, though he prepared for the Himalayas on mountains and fells across the northwest and north Wales. ‘I’ve done training with a weight vest on to prepare myself for that amount of endurance,’ he says. ‘We have ten days to get to base camp.’ And, as he explains, it will be a journey taken with a friend, two sherpas and more than one spare football. After all, a ball will only roll one way on a mountain – and it could be a long way back down if he were to miscontrol it. ‘I have thought about that,’ he laughs. ‘You don’t want that to happen but we do understand some of the drops are ridiculous. Another issue is the altitude and what the temperature will do to the ball. So we will be taking spares!’ To donate, go to: estfootball

‘I’ve done training with a weight vest on to prepare myself for that amount of endurance’ Catholic Pictorial


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youth ministry

‘Our team strives to practise what we preach’ By Tom Carty, Animate Youth Ministries member The post-Christmas period is usually a quieter time of the year at Animate. However, this past couple of months we have been busy working with several schools from across the Archdiocese, focusing our days on various different aspects of Christian life. During Lent, it is important for us to remember to practise what we preach. While instructing people on how Christians should live their lives, we must also ensure that we are following Christ’s example ourselves. At the beginning of January, we welcomed Year 10 pupils from St Mary’s College in Crosby to Lowe House for a day centred on the theme of ‘Reconciliation’. First we focused on reconciliation between ourselves as human beings, using real life examples from inspirational people such as Malala Yousafzai. We also watched clips from the 2013 film ‘The Railway Man’, based on the true story of British officer Eric Lomax and his relationship with Takashi Nagase, a Japanese officer in the POW camp in which he was imprisoned during the Second World War. We discussed how forgiveness had a

cathartic power over both the body and soul. Later in the day we focused more on how we could come to reconcile with God, and the pupils then had the chance to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. More recently, Year 7 pupils from St Gregory’s in Warrington visited Lowe House for a week of day retreats about the theme ‘We are One Body of Christ’, based on the Pauline epistles. We discussed what it meant to be part of a Catholic school, acting as One Body, and how we must come together as a community to lift each other up using our respective gifts and talents, and be accepting of each other, whether ‘Gentile or Jew, slave or free’. The pupils took part in a variety of teamwork activities which allowed them to showcase their different gifts and put the words of St Paul into action. Year 6 pupils from St Vincent de Paul primary school have also been to Lowe House for a day focused on the theme of ‘Love Your Neighbour’ from Mark 12:31. We used games and activities to help convey the message of how we should care for those around us and treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated.

We have a responsibility as Christians to look out for everyone in the world, no matter who they are or where they are from. With the St Vincent de Paul group we discussed how the pupils could continue to follow the commandment both inside and outside of school, such as fundraising for charities such as Cafod and Nugent Care. Let us pray that during this Lenten season, we will be called to practise what we preach – to carry out the message of the Gospel in our everyday lives, and to spread the joy of Christ to all whom we meet. Upcoming events Life and Soul: An evening of praise and worship before the Blessed Sacrament with the opportunity for the sacrament of Reconciliation • Tuesday 20 March at St Anne’s Church, 23 Prescot Road, Ormskirk, L39 4TG • Tuesday 24 April at St Julie’s Church, Howards Lane, St Helens, WA10 5HJ • Tuesday 15 May at St Bede’s Church, Appleton Village, Widnes, WA8 6EL • Tuesday 12 June at St Margaret Mary’s Church, Pilch Lane, Liverpool, L14 0JG

‘We have a responsibility as Christians to look out for everyone in the world’ Catholic Pictorial


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Catholic Pictorial

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cathedral Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean From St David’s Day in the Second week of Lent to Holy Saturday we journey through the month of March in celebration of the life-giving events of the Lord’s life to the joyful celebration of Easter. The key focus for us here at the Cathedral is to ensure that Holy Week will be celebrated with due dignity and meaning so that through the liturgies we enter fully into the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. All that takes place here over the month leads and builds up to these final important festivals of the year. The last two of our series of Lenten talks on issues of social concern within our society take place on 14 and 21 March from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm in the Gibberd Room. The first given by James Timpson (chief executive of the Timpson businesses) is on helping people into employment: especially those who have had a difficult start in life, reflecting on his companies’ policies and experience of employing ex-offenders. The last talk is by Doctor Paula Powell from Willowbrook Hospice reflecting on dignity in end of life

care. As well as the regular schedule of weekday masses in Lent there are Stations of the Cross and a later period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every Friday afternoon. There are also regular times and opportunities when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available in the Cathedral throughout the season. Holy Week begins with the Blessing of Palms and the Solemn reading or singing of the Passion according to St Mark at the various Sunday Masses that day. In the evening at 7.30 pm there is a special Holy Week Tenebrae Service. On Wednesday evening we gather as an archdiocesan family to take part in the Mass of Chrism at 7.30 pm. At this service the priests renew their commitment and the oils that are used in parishes across the archdiocese for the celebration of the Sacraments are blessed. The three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday all begin with a Choral Office of Readings and Morning prayer at 10.00 am. They help to define a

structure of prayer throughout these days focussing on the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord. The evening celebration of the Lord’s Supper at 7.30 pm is both a thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist and a renewal of dedication to follow Christ through lives of service and this concludes with watching until 10.00 pm. On Good Friday Archbishop Malcolm will lead a service of Stations of the Cross after the sung office and also preside in the afternoon at the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion at 3.00 pm. All are welcome to join us in an ecumenical walk of witness through Liverpool City Centre on Holy Saturday at 2.00 pm from the Cathedral to the Parish Church of St Nicholas. Later that evening at 9.00 pm our Easter Vigil begins outside the main entrance of the Cathedral with the blessing of the Easter Fire and procession to celebrate in Vigil and Eucharist the Resurrection of the Lord. Our Easter Sunday Mass times are as on a normal Sunday and we have a special Easter Choral Evening Prayer at 3.00 pm. The annual mass in celebration of Marriage and Family Life is on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, 11 March, at 11.00 am. Holy Week begins with the liturgies of Palm Sunday on 25 March. Palm Sunday celebrations conclude with an evening service of Tenebrae at 7.30 pm.

Annual Civic Mass Archbishop Malcolm welcomed civic leaders from across the region to the Metropolitan Cathedral for the annual civic Mass on Sunday 11 February. In addition to the civic guests there were representatives from public and voluntary organisations and from Catholic societies and organisations in the archdiocese, together with ecumenical guests from the Churches on Merseyside. Each year the Mass offers an opportunity to ask God’s blessing and to pray for local communities and for all who hold important office in the region.

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Pic extras Mums the Word Have you seen a beautiful, colourful prayer card designed as a triptych and containing a lovely prayer for family life (and potentially available in your parish)?

News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

Centenary year begins with pulpit appeal

This is the official prayer of the World Meeting of Families, which takes place once every three years. This year Pope Francis has chosen Ireland as the host country for the meeting on 21-26 August in Dublin. The 2018 theme is based on the Pope’s ‘Amoris Laetitia’ (The Joy of Love), his apostolic exhortation on the family which the Union of Catholic Mothers has used as its study topic. People from around the world will gather ‘to reflect on the central importance of marriage and the family as the cornerstone of our lives, of society and of the Church’ – which chimes beautifully with our own aims. The last line of the prayer is ‘Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us’. I, for one, had not heard of these two saints so I hastened to find out about them. They were a husband and wife who lived in France in the 1800s and did great work in their church and their community, devoting themselves to the glory of God. Five of their daughters became nuns, one of them being St Thérèse of Lisieux. In 2015 they were canonised, becoming the first married couple in the Church's history to be declared saints – hurrah for marriage and family life. • On Wednesday 7 February Bernard Dillon from Mary’s Meals came to my own parish of St Margaret Mary to show a video of the progress of the programme to provide children's backpacks. The film featured the entire process – from the assembly of a backpack in a parish to its distribution at a school in Africa. Congratulations to the UCM foundations who have provided so many of these packs. See you all at St Aidan’s, Winstanley on 7 March for our bi-monthly Mass. Madelaine McDonald, media officer


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The KSC in south Liverpool has already staged its first recruitment drive for new members this year by making a pulpit appeal on 3 and 4 February. With the kind permission of Father Ed Cain, parish priest of St Ambrose and St Christopher churches in Speke, appeals were made at all Masses on that weekend. We were very encouraged by the response and wish to thank Fr Ed not only for letting us make the appeals but also for his kind words about the work of the Order and his friendly welcome. For more information, please visit our websites or contact us by email or by telephone: or 0151 427 7126 (to speak to Aiden Carney). • Council 584 from St Benet’s, Netherton ran a Nativity Drawing Competition before Christmas. We congratulate the winning school, Our

Lady and St Philomena’s, Fazakerley, whose successful entry appeared subsequently on Christmas posters. Our photo shows children from the school with Bro Wilson Wajero (action & youth officer) and Bro John Church (membership officer) following the presentation of the winner’s certificate. • As mentioned last month, the Order is entering its centenary year and we will be keeping you informed of the events we are planning to celebrate our achievements over the last 100 years and to look forward with confidence to the future with our continued efforts to assist the work of the Church locally and nationally. Our theme for the year is ‘A Century of Service’ and these words have been added to our logo. Websites: and

Holy Saturday Walk of Witness Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP will be joining Merseyside’s other church leaders on Holy Saturday for a Walk of Witness through Liverpool City Centre. The Walk begins on the Piazza at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King at 2.00 pm on Saturday 31 March concluding at Liverpool Parish Church. Stewards are needed for the walk, anyone interested can register at or Tel: 0151 236 5287.

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join in

PIC Life

Greeting Cards from Carmel

Ashes to ashes By Moira Billinge The parish priest knew that some of his parishioners had been living the ‘high life’ and Mass attendance and the weekly collections had gone down. While he knew he would be burning the midnight oil to prepare a suitable homily for the weekend, he believed he had a responsibility to address the issue. He decided to talk to his parish about the sensitive subject of death and dying. Though he did not want to frighten them unduly, he did want to impress upon them that as human beings we will not live forever and so ‘... you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him’ (Matthew 24:44). The important day dawned and he asked if, on this occasion, all the children could go into Little Church; his message was, after all, designed specifically for the more adult members of the congregation. Unused to seeing this sterner side of their priest, the parishioners sat nervously as they waited for him to start. Once the coast was clear, he braced himself, took a big, deep breath, and launched into the homily. ‘Everyone in this parish will one day die,’ he began. He paused, for greater effect, and looked around to see their reactions. To his astonishment, a man at the back of the church started laughing – loudly. Thinking that he must have misheard, the priest decided to repeat his statement, but more slowly, just in case there was a problem with the loudspeakers. ‘Everyone in this parish will – one day – die!’ he declared, but the man laughed even louder as parishioners turned round to look at him. The priest was, by now, feeling his blood pressure rise. He had put a lot of hard work into his sermon yet had not


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even progressed past the first sentence. He decided to give it another go. ‘Everyone in this parish will one day die!’ he proclaimed, carefully pronouncing each word. The man at the back was, by this time, clutching at his sides and rolling in the aisle with laughter. Some members of the congregation were so unnerved they began to move to other benches. The priest approached the man. ‘Sir!’ he said. ‘This is a serious subject, why do you find it so funny?’ ‘Because,’ gasped the man, ‘I’m not from this parish!’ The above was told to me by a priest who visited my family when I was a teenager and it made a lasting impression on me, not only for of its humour but also the stark reality that none of us will escape death, no matter how hard we try to postpone it – not even the man at the back of the church in the story. If we owe it to ourselves, and to God, to keep as well as we can, no amount of exercise, healthy eating, or everything-in-moderation lifestyles will enable us to evade that final call. On Ash Wednesday, when ashes were applied to our foreheads and the words ‘Remember, you are dust and into dust you shall return’ were uttered, the Church was reminding us that, as wonderful as the human body is, we are so much more than just flesh and blood. The ashes, which symbolise our mortality and our need for continued repentance and loving service, reinforce that we are created by God and for God. Our mortal lives are the stepping stones to our redemption which will be complete only when we are raised from the dead, in resurrected bodies that will be like His own. ‘We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.’ Pope St John Paul II

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

This Lent, take some time for reflection with a visit to the beautiful Alpine countryside on the French-Swiss border, writes Lucy Oliver. Not far from Morzine, a popular mountain town just two hours from Geneva, is the village of Saint-Jean-d’Aulps. Here, the former Cistercian monastery of Aulps Abbey lies. Its 13th century façade has survived the turmoil of centuries, notably its suppression in the 18th century, while its ruins are a reminder of the inexorability of time – a call to repent, and start anew, with what is left to us. Today, an exhibition of the monks’ daily life offers the chance to explore the restored monastic farm, including the secrets of medicinal plants, and don’t leave without a visit to the tea room, where you can try medieval herbal tea or abbey beer. From St Jean d’Aulps, a walk to the Roc d’Enfer is also worthwhile; it takes a full day to reach the summit, though even a leisurely stroll way beneath the summit provides some beautiful views. A short distance away by public transport are the other scenic towns of Morzine and Les Gets, both popular for skiers and walkers. To reach Saint-Jean-d’Aulps or Morzine, fly to Geneva from Liverpool.

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Minsteracres, courtesy of Maureen Shalklady

Catholic Pic Retreat/Break Father Peter Morgan Parish Priest of Saint Anne & Saint Bernards Church, Overbury Street, Liverpool 7 will lead us on a spiritually uplifting experience at the beautiful retreat centre of Minsteracres. Visiting Lindisfarne – Holy Island – Durham Cathedral and York Tuesday 24th – Friday 27th April 2018

Cost £325 Please call 0151 733 5492 for details and intinerary

Holy Island, courtesy of Kathleen Doyle

Durham Cathedral, courtesy of Ken Morris

Something new from Catholic Pic

A Retreat Day at


The Shrine of Our Lady of Ladyewell

Carnforth 6th June Clitheroe 26th June Grasmere 10th July Ness Gardens 17th July ALL PLACES


Please call 0151 733 5492 to book

with Father Peter Morgan leading us Tuesday 22nd May

£15 Please call 0151 733 5492 to book Catholic Pictorial


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justice & peace Letter from Rome By Joshua Dixon ‘She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her’ (Proverbs 3) This quotation speaks to us of Wisdom. All of us, no matter our age or position, can think of people who have given us sound advice in moments of decision in our lives. Those people who seem to know the way we should go, or who, at the very least, provide us with a reliable sounding-board upon which to bounce our ideas, check our perceptions and even voice our dreams. To be considered wise is a pleasing accolade, something to be admired in a person and an attribute in which we take comfort. But what is wisdom? There is the sort of wisdom that comes from experience and from making mistakes, reflecting over them and learning both what to do and what to avoid in similar future circumstances. Experience is always the fruit of humble reflection, sometimes joyful when things have gone right but often it is something painful, as in those times when we learn from what has gone wrong. A humble disposition in our soul is the necessary soil in which Wisdom plants herself and without which she cannot grow. A basic definition of wisdom, then, includes experience, which is always the fruit of reflection. As the philosopher Socrates puts it, ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. Yet, there is another kind of wisdom, a higher wisdom, which includes experience while going beyond it. This wisdom is a gift of the Lord, the fruit of prayer, the contemplation of beauty, the reading of scripture and of loving one’s neighbour. It is the kind of intuitive knowing which emerges in those who humbly allow the Lord to work graciously on and through their hearts and minds. It is something we, as believers in Jesus, receive as a grace and from which we gain both peaceful and striking moments of insight. Solomon the wise, as he was known, prayed for this gift and was given by the Lord ‘a wise and discerning heart’ (1 Kings 3), something much more valuable than the passing and often burdensome treasures of this world. The business of a seminarian is to discern prayerfully whether the Lord is calling him to priesthood. The business of every Christian is to discern that to which the Lord is calling him or her both to be and to do in this life. We need to open our hearts and minds to the Lord in prayer each day, allowing Him to surprise us, speak to us and to sift through the diverse daily emotions and thoughts we experience. By doing this, perhaps by spending 10-15 minutes a day in silent prayer, we can let the Holy Spirit, who is identified with Wisdom in the scriptures, inspire us and reveal the direction the Lord wishes us to take. Why not try it and see what the Lord is asking of you?


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The miracle of Romero By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker During the Romero Trust’s pilgrimage to El Salvador in November, we met Father Rafael Umitia, chancellor to the Archdiocese of San Salvador and the postulator for the cause of Blessed Óscar Romero. He told us that we could expect an announcement about his canonisation any day soon because the wait for a miracle was over (even if these days the Vatican speaks of ‘an extraordinary external event’ rather than ‘a miracle’). Fr Rafael told us that after several disappointments, when proposed ‘miracles’ were rejected on the scientific ground of other possible explanations, the case had arisen of a woman who was expected to die in childbirth yet had a normal delivery of a healthy baby and regained full wellbeing after her husband had prayed to Romero. With the medical team dumbfounded by this case and willing to testify that there was no medical explanation for this ‘extraordinary external event’, this allowed the diocese to send the documents (boxes full of them) to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome, who declared themselves satisfied in turn and passed them on to the Pope who has signed the necessary papers. All we do now is wait for an official announcement. From Fr Rafael, I learned also that a martyr does not need a ‘miracle’ for the beatification to happen. Martyrdom itself is the miracle, the inexplicable event. Being willing to die for the faith is recognised as being a supreme sign of faith and the love of God. Óscar Romero’s life was a testimony to his love of God. Always a devout person – his favourite game as a child was to play at being a priest – he grew to the point where his personal holiness made him more concerned about others than himself, especially the poor. His ministry was a wonderful mixture of inward and

outward, of prayer and of action, of private and public. He was desperate for peace and risked the anger of some by agreeing to work with a compromise government that promised reform. Unfortunately, this attempt at reform failed, the government collapsed, the military moved back in and Romero was left facing the reality of increasing injustice and violence that quickly spiralled into bloody civil war. Rubén Zamora, one of the senior members of that thwarted attempt at peaceful government, is coming to Liverpool this month as part of his national tour to mark the 38th anniversary of Romero’s martyrdom. Zamora has been involved in politics ever since his work with Romero, serving as Salvadoran ambassador to India, then the USA, and later as permanent representative to the United Nations. He will speak at an open event on 19 March at Liverpool Hope University titled ‘Peace: the Product of Justice and Love’. This will take place in the lecture theatre in the Eden building from 7-9pm. Entrance is free, there will be refreshments available and all are welcome. There is no need to book but I would be grateful if you would let me know if you plan to attend.

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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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