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Issue 171 December 2018
Holy Landâ€™s youth offer beacon of light INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
150th anniversary at St Thomas of Canterbury
Cathedral Girl Choristers 10 year celebration
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contents Welcome This weekend we begin our Advent journey, it is a time of preparation for the Feast of the Nativity, the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus. The weeks of Advent are the darkest of any season, nights are long and days are short but we look forward to greeting the one who brings light to our lives. The beautiful words of the Benedictus, the prayer of Zechariah - the father of John the Baptist, which is said every day at Morning Prayer, set the tone for our reflections: ‘As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High. You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him, ‘To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving-kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. ‘He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace.’
May our preparations be truly blessed and our Christmas celebrations happy and holy.
From the Archbishop’s Desk
Main Feature Holy Land’s youth offer beacon of light
News From around the Archdiocese
The recent wildfires in California have filled me with horror. How can it be that a town called Paradise has been razed to the ground by uncontrollable fire and so many people have died or are missing. Paradise turned so quickly into a raging inferno that nothing could be done to prevent the tragedy which soon overtook the town and its inhabitants. To them it must have seemed that the end of the world had come. Yet for most of us living in safety this is hard to understand; we have come to believe that we are in control of our environment and that all problems are solvable, and disaster can be averted. But despite this assumption we are often the victims of natural forces greater than we can control. The season of Advent can help us come to terms with the paradox that we can do so much to transform our world and yet at the same time natural forces: disease, floods, earthquakes, storms and fire, continue to show up our weakness and vulnerability. During Advent we celebrate the coming of Jesus who is already present in our lives as we prepare for fulfilment of our redemption in Him. At the same time, we prepare for that time at the end of time when all will be revealed. Living in these inbetween times encourages us to grow in Christ as we keep an eye out for His coming. May we remember in our prayers the souls of those who have died in the forest fires that they may see the face of God, and that their families be consoled and grow strong in hope. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
Copy deadline January 2019 Monday 3 December
Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Pictures © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk © www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com Educate Awards
19 Profile Martin Miller Planning the route ahead for our archdiocese 21 Animate Why I’m embracing this Christmas 22 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 23 Nugent News Help us help people avoid homelessness Nugent Christmas Appeal 2018 25 Cathedral Record Christmas at the Cathedral 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC
Editor Peter Heneghan
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16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese
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 ‘Feed my lambs’ – the call too often ignored 30 Justice and Peace Christmas Cards to the Holy Land
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Holy Land’s youth offer beacon of light
‘Our Catholic schools must always be on the side of peace because that’s who we are – people of peace’ – Father Iyad Twal
In the face of political leaders’ failings, it is young people and education that offer hope of peace and justice in the Holy Land. By Father Mark Madden General Secretary of the Holy Land Coordination his has been a year dedicated to the role of young people in the Church and in the world, culminating in October’s Synod of Bishops in Rome. During the Synod, there was much talk of accompanying young people, of being close to them and of supporting them as they discern their futures. We have been reminded that young people have a vital role to play within the Church and society and during 2018 I have seen this clearly with young people from different communities living in the Holy Land.
The current situation in the Holy Land is tense because political leaders are not working together to bring peace and stability. Political leaders have clearly failed in their task through their inability to promote dialogue in the search for a solution to the conflict and by presiding over an economy that is not offering job opportunities. Instead, it is young people who are taking up the challenge to be peacemakers in their communities while desperately wanting to stretch a hand of peace across the separation wall; they continue to wish for a better future. Young Palestinians and Israelis living on the two sides of the separation wall grow up cultivating the dream of meeting each other which they see as the first step towards a future peace in their land. They are frustrated that they cannot meet people of their own age, who share the same dreams, hopes and fears. Fifty 4
years of continued conflict has had devastating effects on young lives but they still dream of a brighter future which they believe will be realised through good education. Importance of education Education plays a crucial part in the lives of all young people and the role of Catholic education is seen within the Holy Land as a means to peace and justice. Catholic schools there are committed to the integral development of all students. Father Iyad Twal, director of Catholic Schools, told me: ‘Our Catholic schools must always be on the side of peace because that’s who we are – people of peace. In our Catholic schools not only do we prepare our students to enter the job market, we give them an education so they may become bearers of hope, love and justice.’ The role of education is to form the students as good citizens, loving God and neighbour, enriching society with the leaven of the Gospel and so bringing about peace and justice in their communities. The schools recognise that tolerance and acceptance of the different communities within the Holy Land strengthen democracy, facilitate the full enjoyment of all human rights and so give the young people a firm foundation for social harmony and peace. This is highlighted by the fact Catholic schools teach young people of different faiths, Christians, Muslims and Druze, to live in peace and mutual respect. It is always a huge privilege to visit schools and hear students share their thoughts on the difficulties of living in the
Holy Land and their hopes of a peaceful existence. Palestinian young people desperately want to meet and get to know people from Israel but they have no real way of doing so. They desperately want to live like people of their age in other parts of the world; in peace, in justice and with human dignity – a basic right for everyone. Earlier this year I spent time in Jewish high schools and Israeli universities and the message I heard was the same as that of their Palestinian peers. Many Israeli young people spoke of the Christian calling to be ‘bridge-builders’, and of the vital role that the Christian community holds in bringing peace to the Holy Land. Each Christian has that unique position, founded on the principles of the Gospel message of love, forgiveness and peace, of being a beacon of light which the Holy Land and the world is crying out for. This was their message which they wanted to share with all people of their age but especially those living in Palestine. The current situation in the Holy Land seems bleak. There is a desperate need for light. Young people living there wish to provide that light; this is a heartening but also very frustrating message. As one Israeli young person said: ‘How can we work together for peace when we aren’t allowed to meet? I know there are people my age across the dividing wall but I have no means to even say “hello” to them. Social networking
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Holy Land Coordination visit to a school in Beit Jala
does not even help. There are times when it’s important to meet face-to-face, to listen to each other without typing keyboards or facing a computer screen. If we can meet, even a supposed “enemy” can become a friend because we realise that we’re just the same.’ Appetite for peace During this year I have discovered that
many young people have an appetite for peace. With a good education they want to make their lives and their country a better, safer and peaceful place in which to live for the sake of everyone. Palestinian and Israeli young people wish no harm on each other but because of the political situation they have little means to reach out in friendship. As the Church, we must play our role as bridge-builders, helping to
s n o i t p O PILGRIMAGE
support those wanting peace and justice and so helping young people to become beacons of light. The young people of the Holy Land have been consistently failed by their own leaders and the international community. Their frustration is justified because it is also a sign that they retain the conviction to strive for change. Throughout the Holy
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Above: Holy Land Coordination visit to the Mor Jewish High School Makabim-Reut
Land young people are keeping hope alive through their resilience and courage. The local Christian community, though small in number, is an integral part of this, not only through the contribution of its own youth, but also through its service to all young people. It is young people who are daring to pursue justice and challenge the divisions that have been forced upon them. It is schools and youth projects that are breaking down barriers and equipping people to build tolerance. It is young volunteers who are demonstrating humanity in this wounded society. We must share the hope of young people in the Holy Land and recognise their essential role in promoting peace. They help us to see hard realities through their eyes and so we must act in solidarity with them, through supporting organisations which help to create jobs, provide housing, and facilitate dialogue; through prayer and
making pilgrimages which encounter and support local people; and through standing resolutely against all those who seek to create further division, especially among our own political leadership. In this season of peace when our minds turn to a stable in Bethlehem, we must hold these young people in our prayers, and inspired by Pope Francis, commit ourselves, with the help of Godâ€™s grace, to play our part in making the land we call holy more human and more worthy for the youth of today and the future.
â€˜We must share the hope of young people in the Holy Land and recognise their essential role in promoting peaceâ€™
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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 www.bellerivefcj.org 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: email@example.com
Northern Scripture Festival By Veronica Murphy The second Northern Scripture Festival on the theme ‘Joy – the Surprise of the Gospel’ took place at Salford Cathedral and Cathedral Centre on Saturday 6 October. The two keynote speakers were: Father Kieran O’Mahony OSA, co-ordinator of Biblical Studies for the Archdiocese of Dublin. He spoke on ‘Joy in Believing’, looking at the many expressions of joy and happiness in the New Testament and particularly in St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. The text of his talk and the slides that accompanied it can be viewed
and downloaded on the festival website www.scripturefestival.org Dr Dominika Kurek-Chomycz is Senior Lecturer is New Testament Studies at Liverpool Hope University. Her talk centred on the role of women and couples in the New Testament, particularly in the Acts of the Apostles. The keynote talks were interspersed with workshop periods on a wide range of topics connected with Scripture. Participants could choose three workshops over the course of the day. The workshops were led by Bishop John Arnold, Steve Atherton, Christine Dodd, David Ford, Timothy Swinglehurst, Chris Thomas and
Michael Winstanley. Twenty prayer stations on biblical themes were set up in the Cathedral and were available for quiet time for participants and for other users of the Cathedral. The day concluded with a closing liturgy in the cathedral led by Bishop John. It included a song and refrain specially composed for the day and the reading of the winning entry in a poetry competition on the festival theme, ‘Joy – the Surprise of the Gospel.’ The Scripture Festival was much appreciated by those who took part. People said that they enjoyed the day and learned a lot. Many asked when and where it would happen again. The venue worked very well. The Cathedral Centre, with its varied facilities, provided rooms for talks to larger groups and for smaller workshop sessions. The foyer and café areas were good public spaces for chatting and meeting. There were several displays and resources available in the foyer and the Cathedral Bookshop was open throughout the day. Being able to move to the Cathedral for the closing liturgy made the ending both celebratory and special.
Good News from the Archdiocese of Liverpool Pastoral Associate Pilot Project Following the recent recruitment process five people have now been appointed to work as Pastoral Associates: Eleanor Lalley to Sacred Heart and St John Stone Ainsdale Joanne Wallace to Our Lady of the Assumption and St Bernadette, Standish and St Teresa Upholland Jessy Noe to St Wilfrid Widnes Helen Jones to Liverpool South Pastoral Area Kenny Lawler to Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Thomas of Canterbury, and St Edmund of Canterbury These new roles, founded on our baptismal calling to holiness and to shared responsibility for the Church’s mission, provide an exciting opportunity as we look to the future development of the Church in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Interviews, which were held across two days, were in themselves 8
an innovative experience, not only for the candidates but for all concerned. A gathering of the pilot project team, parishioners and clergy line managers from across the parishes and pastoral areas concerned, all played their part in what was a truly collaborative discernment process. One parishioner commented, ‘Being part of the two days gave a real sense of working together for the common good as we were all called upon to consider how best each area might be served, we were not there simply for our “own area” but for each other.’ Another said ‘… we were pleased to have been able to contribute, even in a small way, to appointments which will have an impact on the life of our archdiocese.’ The Pastoral Associates will begin their contracts on 7 January 2019.
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Long service award
150th anniversary at St Thomas of Canterbury Parishioner, Margaret Kerby, reflects on the celebrations at St Thomas of Canterbury, Waterloo. As Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, three deacons and ten other priests who all had associations with the parish of St Thomas of Canterbury, stood on the sanctuary, Father Dominic Curran, parish priest, received from our school’s RE Ambassadors, a key, a shell and a dustpan. These were in addition to the more obvious artefacts relating to the varied roles of parish workers in the life of our church. These included a Lectionary, a pyx, a collecting bag, a hymn book and a cup and saucer. These symbols illustrated the commitment of parishioners over the 150 years since the founding of the parish. The music for the service was provided by Ben, our regular organist, and also the Footsteps Folk group, who began at St Thomas’s in the 1970s, and took this opportunity for a reunion, as they no longer play together regularly at any of the local churches. On display at the side altar was the parish relic of St Thomas of Canterbury, suitably decorated with floral arrangements. At the rear of the church was a display, researched and prepared by parishioners, telling the story of the church, from the first mission chapel in 1868, through the first ambitious design, subsequent donations and funding from groups and individuals, adaptation of the design, and the construction of the present church. The re-ordering of the
church in 1982 is illustrated, as is the further renovation carried out in 2007. The displays also included articles about the parish priests who have been entrusted with the stewardship of the church and the pastoral care of the people of Waterloo during the last 150 years. Overall, this was a most enjoyable and uplifting evening, re-affirming and strengthening the bonds of friendship and commitment which bind us together as ‘a worshipping community’, giving everyone present a true sense of belonging to a ‘living church’.
Grace Mellor received her silver guild of St Stephen medal for ten years of service as altar server at St Stephen’s, Orford, Warrington on 28 October during the parish Sunday Mass which was offered in memory of her father to mark the anniversary of his death. Father John McLoughlin is pictured, along with other servers, presenting Grace with her certificate.
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news diary Cathedrals Girl Choristers celebrate 10th anniversary
The Metropolitan Cathedral’s girl choristers celebrated their 10th anniversary on Sunday 17 November. Former choristers joined with the current girl choristers in singing the Communion Motet, ‘Panis Angelicus’ by Cesar Franck at the Solemn Mass and Choral Evening Prayer in the afternoon. The tradition of boy choristers singing in English Cathedrals stretches back to the middle ages. The advent of girl choristers is a much more recent development, and in 2008 the Cathedral Choir School, St Edward’s College, was keen to offer the girls the same opportunities as the boys regarding choral places at the College in line with developments at many other choir schools throughout the country. During the last ten years, nearly 100 girls have sung in the choir, and the choir has travelled to Germany and Italy, broadcast on BBC Radio and appeared on several CD’s. All of this is in addition to the regular weekly routine of rehearsals and liturgies in the Cathedral. Several former girl choristers have gone onto study music at university, building on the foundations they gained from being a chorister. Director of Music, Dr Christopher McElroy, said, ‘today Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral offers the only chance in the United Kingdom for girl choristers to have the opportunity to
Archbishop blesses St Oscar Romero statue
Archbishop Malcolm was the celebrant at a Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral to celebrate the canonisation of St Oscar Romero, during which he blessed the specially commissioned bust of the Saint. The bust was created by Rory Young and was installed in the Metropolitan Cathedral last year. 10
rehearse and sing on a daily basis in a Catholic Cathedral. Our special Choral Evening Prayer gave us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this and all the achievements of the last ten years.’
Lighting up lives with St Joseph’s Hospice
St Joseph’s Hospice’s ‘Light up a Life’ appeal is now under way and will run right up to this year’s ‘Light up a Life’ service and Christmas light switch-on at 4pm on Sunday 9 December. The hospice’s ‘Light up a Life’ service is a festive occasion with remembrance and celebration at its heart – dedications can be made to loved ones by sponsoring a light on the 25ft Christmas tree or by leaving a memory heart on a special ornamental tree. Julie McAdam, senior fundraiser for the hospice, said: ‘“Light up a Life” is a wonderful way to think about our family and friends at Christmastime, whether they’re no longer with us or are just a long way away. If you or your family would like to dedicate a light to someone special on our Christmas tree, dedications can be made now by contacting our fundraising team or downloading a form from our website. We will also enter all dedications into our special “Light up a Life” dedication book as a permanent tribute.’ Dedications can be made now by downloading a form from www.jospice.org.uk. Forms are also available from St Joseph’s Hospice shops. For anybody unable to attend but wishing to make a donation, please text JOSP05 plus the amount to donate to 70070 (eg ‘JOSP05 £10’ to donate £10). • To find out more about ‘Light up a Life’, or how you can support St Joseph’s Hospice, please call 0151 932 6044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School Cedar Road, Aintree, Liverpool L9 9AF T: 0151 525 9600 F: 0151 525 2998 Places available for Reception start date September 2019
We offer: • 2 year old provision • 30 hour offer • Extended Services including Holiday Club • Fantastic EYFS provision If you wish to visit the school or have any further enquiries please contact the school ofﬁce on 0151 525 9600 From our RE Inspection: “The extent to which the Religious Education Curriculum meets pupils’ needs is outstanding.”
‘Aim High - Live Life to the full’ (John 10:10)
LAGPritchard Chartered Architects
Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School and Nursery “Where everyone is a friend.” OFSTED 2014. ‘This is a good school.’ ‘The curriculum is rich in opportunities for pupils to widen their experience, practise key skills and develop their talents.’ Visits to the school are welcome please phone or email the school for an appointment:
0151 487 9301 Ourladypemail@example.com www.ourladyoftheassumption.co.uk or you can follow our school on twitter @OLA_LIVERPOOL “Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School is a community based on the teachings of Jesus, where everyone is valued and encouraged to achieve their full potential.”
Architects and Developers Architectural Drawings Architectural Design Architectural Services Dum Spior Spero
16-17 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1 5BE t: 0151 707 8082 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Catholic Pictorial
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Catholic schools shine at Educate Awards 2018! atholic schools and colleges from across the region have been honoured at the prestigious Educate Awards ceremony on Friday 16 November. The awards, in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh, is now in its seventh year and is the largest education awards in the North West. Over 600 guests gathered for the Educate Awards ceremony held at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, hosted by broadcaster, Simon ‘Rossie’ Ross. On the night, 21 awards were handed out to schools in the Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester. Welcoming guests outside the venue was the incredible The Orquestra De Ritmo - a talented group of drummers from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) and All Saints Sixth Form College. ASFA’s ten piece band – MODE – kicked off proceedings with a mash up of RnB hits from the likes of Beyoncé, Jay Z and Jackson 5. All Saints Sixth Form College in Garston received the Career Aspiration Award for its unique ‘futures gateway programme’ which helps to inspire students allowing them to access Russell Group universities, employment and apprenticeships. The Academy of St Francis of Assisi won both the SEND Provision Award and Outstanding Arts in Secondary School Award. ASFA’s vision of ‘Success for All’ is evident throughout the school. Initiatives include targeted intervention for reading and writing, a Small Learning Community where students receive support in English and Maths and individual sessions for social, emotional and mental health. Whilst the school’s music department includes every child from Year 7 to 11 and is the catalyst for social change, cultural
‘It’s been an exceptional year of entries, so many congratulations to all the winners, runners-up and finalists for 2018’
The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA)
All Saints Sixth Form College and racial acceptance. Past projects include the sold out gig, ‘Live at the Cavern’ and various initiatives beyond the classroom. Chair of governors, Elizabeth Jones from St Damian’s R.C Science College received the Support Star of the Year Award. Elizabeth has been a stalwart for the St Damian’s community for over 40 years and has made an outstanding contribution. She took to the red carpet at Liverpool Cathedral to collect her award in front of over 600 guests. St John Bosco Arts College’s Judith Bowden came runner up for School
Support Star of the Year. As cleaning supervisor, Judith has been committed at the school for over 27 years and has a wonderful relationship with staff and students. St Aloysius Catholic Primary School placed runner up in the Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Primary School category. Over the past three years, there has been a transformation of attitude towards the importance of sport at the school. It has established stronger • Continued on Page 14
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education news • Continued from Page 13 partnerships with the likes of Everton in the Community and became a Primary League Primary Stars school. Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, says: “It’s been an exceptional year of entries, so many congratulations to all the winners, runnersup and finalists for 2018. “We are so proud to host an event which champions the creativity, diversity and dedication of teachers, school support stars, schools and colleges in the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.” Associate sponsors include Winstanley College, All About STEM, Liverpool John Moores University, CER, Progress Schools, Liverpool Learning Partnership, School Improvement Liverpool, The Foundry Agency, LSSP, The Bishop of Liverpool, The Rt. Revd. Paul Bayes and David M Robinson Jewellery & Watches.
Elizabeth Jones from St Damian’s R.C Science College
St Aloysius Catholic Primary School
Olivia Williams from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi 14
St John Bosco Arts College
MODE - The Academy of St Francis of Assisi’s ten piece band
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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: email@example.com • 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 – a consistently high performing Catholic school. 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 2018 had another successful year for St Damian’s in terms of GCSE outcomes with our 2018 results amongst the best in Tameside. Our English and Maths outcomes were again really high with 87% of pupils achieving Grade 4 or higher in English and 83% achieving Grade 4 in Maths. For Grade 5 and above, which is the strong pass, 68% achieved this in English and 68% in Maths. The basic measures are the foundations of future progress and success allowed many of our pupils to successfully get on the College courses they have applied for. 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. So very proud to say that Mrs Elizabeth Jones was the winner of ‘Support Star of the Year’ and delighted to be runners up in two categories in this year’s Educate Awards; ‘Careers Aspirations Award’ and ‘Teacher of the Year’. Mrs Elizabeth Jones - The Support Star of the Year St Damian’s RC Science College’s chair of governors, Elizabeth Jones winner Support Star of the Year. She has been a stalwart for the St Damian’s community for over 40 years and has made an outstanding contribution initially as the Bursar and part of the Senior Leadership Team, and more recently going the extra mile in a voluntary capacity as chair of governors. St Damian’s Runner Up in ‘Careers Aspirations Award’ St Damian’s RC Science College in Ashton-Under-Lyne is Runner Up due to its dedicated mission to inspire all students, regardless of their academic ability and background. The programmes ensures individuals are well informed and develop self-knowledge and skills to take charge of their personal and career development. Mrs Margaret Banks Runner Up in the ‘Teacher of the Year Award’ St Damian’s RC Science College’s assistant headteacher, Mrs Margaret Banks is Runner Up for Teacher of the Year. After 27 years of service at the Ashton-Under-Lyne college, she has now decided to retire but is unlikely to be forgotten due to her incredible work during her time with the college. In particular, Margaret worked closely with students who had special emotional and social needs and those with disabilities, helping them overcome whatever challenges they faced. 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. Our success at St Damian’s is simple. We believe in the potential of every child. We genuinely care for all the children. And we have a school community where relationships, based on core values such as respect and tolerance, are vital. Indeed, our unofficial motto is ‘Believe to Achieve’. This is instilled in all the children from day one. 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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what’s on Monday 3 December Day of Prayer for Migrants. Time out for Advent: Waiting in Hope An opportunity to open our hearts for Christmas. led by members of Christian Life Community. 7.15 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool, L15 6TW, followed by refreshments. Details: Sister Winifred Tel: 0151 722 2271. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org No charge, donations welcome Wednesday 5 December Carols by Candlelight in aid of NSPCC 7.00 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Tickets: £8 adults, £5 Concessions. Children under 16, accompanied by an adult, free. Bookings Tel: 0113 8871120 Email: email@example.com Thursday 6 December to Saturday 8 December Crib Exhibition at Christ the King church, Queens Drive, Childwall, L15 6YQ. Exhibition open: Thursday and Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, and 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm; Saturday 10.00 am to 3.00 pm. All money raised will go to the Bethlehem Creche. Saturday 8 December Day of Retreat for Advent on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception led by Sister Annie Lunney SMG 10.00 am (Mass) at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Donation: £20 (including lunch). Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday 9 December Bible Sunday.
Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 36: ‘Schwingt freudig euch empor.’ (‘Sing joyfully aloft, ye voices.’) 6.30 pm at St Joseph’s Church, Warren Road, Blundellsands L23 6UE. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. www.liverpoolbach.com Email: email@example.com Monday 10 December Time out for Advent: Waiting in Hope An opportunity to open our hearts for Christmas. led by members of Christian Life Community. 7.15 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool, L15 6TW, followed by refreshments. Details: Sister Winifred Tel: 0151 722 2271. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org No charge, donations welcome. Tuesday 11 December 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: email@example.com Life and Soul: An Evening of Praise and Worship before the Blessed Sacrament led by Animate Youth Ministries 7.00 pm to 8.00 pm at St Joseph and St Laurence, Bewley Drive, Kirkby, L32 7PZ. 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. Wednesday 12 December Schools Advent Service 1.30 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The annual Advent Service for pupils and teachers from archdiocesan schools. ‘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 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Thursday 13 December Schools Advent Service 1.30 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The annual Advent Service for pupils and teachers from archdiocesan schools. SAMM Merseyside Annual Remembrance Service (Support after Murder and Manslaughter) 7.30 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Friday 14 December Dementia Friendly Carol Service led by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP 2.00 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Featuring the students from St Benedict, Netherton and Holy Family, Liverpool Catholic Primary Schools plus the ‘Songs we Remember’ Choir. Further details: Pastoral Formation Department Tel: 0151 522 1046 Email: email@example.com Sunday 16 December Animate Youth Ministries Youth Alive Mass 6:30 pm at St Oswald’s, Padgate Lane, Warrington, WA1 3LB. ‘O Night Divine: An Evening of Christmas Music.’ 7.00 pm at St Edmund of Canterbury church, Oxford Road, Waterloo, L22 8QF. Classic songs, carols and new arrangements of Christmas favourites including ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Do you hear what I hear?’, also celebrating 200 years since ‘Silent Night’ was first performed. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served. Tickets: £10 available from the Parish office in person or www.stedmundschoir.com/concerts
website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk
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december Monday 17 December Time out for Advent: Waiting in Hope An opportunity to open our hearts for Christmas. led by members of Christian Life Community. 7.15 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, off Lance Lane, Liverpool, L15 6TW, followed by refreshments. Details: Sister Winifred Tel: 0151 722 2271. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org No charge, donations welcome. Tuesday 18 December Nugent ‘Light up a Life Service’ with Bishop Tom Williams 12.30 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Dedicate a light to celebrate the life of a loved one. Details Tel: 0151 261 2000 www.wearenugent.org Wednesday 19 December Christmas Carol Concert presented by Sacred Heart Catholic College, Crosby 7.00 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Sacred Heart Catholic College Choir, Chamber Choir, Staff Choir, Former Pupils Choir, Ursuline, Great Crosby, St Anne’s Primary School. Choirs, St Edmund’s Church Choir and the St Nicholas Singers. Guest Soloist: Danielle Thomas. Crosby Schools and the local community come together to show their support and raise funds for treatment for a much-loved local teacher. Tickets £5 from school reception. Tel: 0151 931 2971 Email: sacredheart.sefton.sch.uk
Christmas at the Cathedral Advent Sundays with the Cathedral Choir Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday
2 December, 5.00 pm 9 December, 3.00 pm 16 December, 3.00 pm 23 December, 5.00 pm
Advent Sequence Bach Cantata 140 ‘Wachet auf’ Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’ Festival Carol Service
A Celebration of Christmas Saturday 15 December at 7.00 pm A night of Christmas Carols and seasonal favourites for all the family. Featuring the BBC’s Roger Phillips, the Cressington Orchestras and the Choirs of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Tickets: £5 each/£10 Family ticket. Tel: 0151 709 9222 www.ticketsource.co.uk/metcathedral
First Vespers of Christmas and Blessing of the Crib Monday 24 December at 3.00 pm
Midnight Mass of Christmas Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
Solemn Mass of Christmas Day Tuesday 25 December at 11.00 am
Sunday 23 December Ecumenical 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 27 December Cafod’s 35th Annual Fun Run at Wavertree Sports Centre, Liverpool L15 4LE Registration from 12.00 noon and the 6k/3k run and 2k walk will begin at 1.00 pm. Entry: £5 children, £10 adults or £20 family. Sponsorship forms and details: Email: email@example.com Tel: Cafod Liverpool 0151 228 4028.
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SURVIVE-MIVA (Missionary Vehicle Association) The only UK-based Catholic charity founded to provide essential transport for those engaged in the Churchâ€™s health outreach programmes in the developing world. Thanks to the generosity of Massgoers across the land, we have provided over 5,600 pickups, motorbikes, outboard motors and bicycles in our 44 year history. From Brazil to Bangladesh, and from Tanzania to Tamil Nadu, your support is vital to the pastoral and medical work of our missionaries worldwide.
5 Park Vale Road, Aintree, Liverpool L9 2DG Tel: 0151 523 3878
www.survive-miva.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Registered Charity No. 268745)
Homecare Service Helping you to maintain your independence The Homecare Service offers high quality personalised care as well as practical domestic support such as cleaning, shopping and help with escorted outings
To find out more, call 0151 330 5678 or visit our website www.ageconcernliverpoolandsefton.org.uk
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Planning the route ahead for our Archdiocese By Simon Hart ‘It wasn’t a pathway I anticipated 20 years ago,’ says Martin Miller, the recently arrived Chief Operating Officer of Liverpool Archdiocese, as he reflects on a route travelled from studying Biochemistry at the University of Glasgow to spending 17 years working for the Anglican Diocese of Manchester via serving as a Labour councillor in Stockport. If unanticipated, it has certainly been a fascinating pathway – ‘Amazing,’ he affirms – and the latest turning has brought the 53-year-old to Liverpool, to the newly created role he stepped into in September. ‘It’s an exciting role,’ he says. ‘I was conscious of the fact people have been anticipating change for some time and mine wasn’t just a new face but a new role for them to relate to so I’d have understood if people had been hesitant about me but absolutely not. They’ve been amazingly welcoming.’ In Manchester he worked for ten years in social responsibility before becoming Diocesan Secretary. How does he view his task here? ‘The task just now is to think how we further develop what we’re doing and better connect it into our parishes and schools so we’re seen to be the servants of where our Church really is, which is out there in those
parishes and schools,’ he says. ‘That’s not just about the functions we currently deliver at LACE but about the whole life of the Archdiocese – what is it the Archdiocese wants from us so whatever we’re doing is relevant to the real needs out there.’ With the 2020 Synod on the horizon, he considers this a moment of opportunity; while the Anglican Church has ‘very developed synodal structures, structures of governance with a very definite lay participation’, for the Catholic Church in Liverpool this is a chance to create a new model. ‘There’s real excitement about this journey of rediscovering the synodal way of working and the possibilities that holds out for the reenergising of the Church.’ Yet, he continues, a two-fold strategy is required. ‘The Synod process will bring high-level clarity and an overarching vision, but we still need to be talking to people about how that is translated into reality for them on the ground.’ And he sees similarities with ‘change processes’ undertaken in Manchester which ‘were difficult for people who’d come through the traditional culture of the Church’. That is for the weeks and months and years ahead. First things first, though: a proper introduction to this Celtic-
supporting father of five daughters (aged from nine to 21) and parishioner at St Ann’s in Cheadle Hume. As a schoolboy he spent five years at the junior seminary of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers in Coatbridge. In his twenties, he embarked on postgraduate studies in Biochemistry before deciding ‘I had to move out of science’. A more enduring thread was his interest in politics: he has stood as a parliamentary candidate for Labour more than once and is ‘still heavily involved’ in the party. His political background, as a councillor in Stockport, led him to apply for a position in the Diocese of Manchester in 2001 when they were ‘looking for somebody who could do public policy analysis and get them involved in regeneration schemes. I got the job and gradually moved up.’ First to Director of Church and Society, then to Diocesan Secretary, and now to Liverpool and a whole new challenge. ‘The synodal journey and the chance to re-energise the local Church by engaging people in this exercise is absolutely phenomenal,’ he says, ‘and if you look at the five open meetings, almost 900 people have already come out on some cold, dark evenings to participate.’ A new pathway has begun.
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Why I’m embracing this Christmas By Izzy Varey, Animate Youth Ministries team member For the past two years Christmas has essentially passed me by. I’ve opened no presents, spent no time with family, and completely neglected my faith. And I must admit, words cannot express how excited I am for this to change. The reason this annual celebration held very little importance in recent years was the fact I was working and living in the French Alps. Employed as a Snow Ranger (childcare representative is the more formal title, but far less exciting), my job was to entertain and look after children, whose parents were out skiing. I therefore spent November through to May in a blissful winter wonderland, but time was very rarely my own, and any time not spent working was spent on the slopes. Although I adored being in the mountains, with the best weather, the best people,
and the best job, it is only with hindsight that I realise how much I sacrificed when exchanging Preston’s pitiful streets for Belle Plagne’s beautiful slopes around Christmastime. Christmas in my house is always the same; my sister, brother and I meet in my parents’ bedroom as early as allowed. My dad will go downstairs to check Father Christmas has been, light a fire and then call us downstairs. The anticipation of waiting for my dad’s call always evokes a magical atmosphere regardless of how old we are. When the call finally comes, we rush downstairs and open the presents left in our stocking, before getting ready for Mass.
Christmas Day Mass is something I always took for granted. This year I know I’ll really appreciate looking around the often empty pews and seeing the whole church bursting with familial love and joy, bringing a refreshed sense to what my faith really means, not only to me, but also the community I belong to. This year has been a difficult year for my family; unfortunately bereavement and illness have frequented. However, I have taken from this a new understanding of what’s really important and Christmas is the perfect time to be reminded of this, regardless of what the year has thrown your way. For me, I know that to be thanking God for his continual guidance and protection on Christmas Day, while sitting alongside my wonderful family is something I will never again take for granted. For Christians, Christmastime is a celebration of the incarnation, and for this reason it is easy to feel God’s presence in a strong way. All over the UK you will hear that Christmas is not about the tree, tinsel or turkey, but I’m not sure how much I agree. I believe that the physical symbols of Christmas can remind us of the incarnation. And so with every Christmas cracker that is pulled; God is with me. Every robin I see; God is with me. The smell of turkey wafting through the house; God is with me. The baubles on the tree; God is with me. In the present-giving, the beaming smiles, the inevitable arguments, the snow that falls, the twinkle of lights and the final notes of Hark the Herald, God is with me. Christmas is the time we remember Jesus’ birth, a gift from God sent to save us, and whose name literally means ‘God is with us’. During this very special day we are lucky enough not only to believe his presence is with us, but also to really feel it.
Picture: Mark McNulty
Dates for the diary • Life and Soul 11 December, 7-8pm at St Joseph and St Laurence, Bewley Drive, Kirkby, L32 7PZ • Youth Alive Mass 16 December, 6.30pm at St Oswald’s, Padgate Lane, Warrington, WA1 3LB
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note Because we won’t be together as a college for Christmas itself, the season of Advent takes upon a greater significance here at the Beda in that we make a point of celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas (the original Santa Claus) on 6 December, and take the opportunity to ‘be reconciled to God’ through a communal celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and also have an extended Advent reflection and special meal together before we go our separate ways. Advent is, of course, far more than simply a four-week preparation for a one-day celebration. It embraces all these themes of the giving of gifts, the sharing of reconciling love and the sitting at table sharing the stories and sharing the foods of the season in order that we be more open and receptive to the gift, the love, the food which is the very essence and purpose of the particular liturgical celebration on the 25th day of December – the Word made flesh, dwelling among us, allowing us to see His glory. This message of ‘seeing His glory’ is
Sunday thoughts Survivors of the Great War believed that it would be ‘the war to end all wars’. It wasn’t. And what about the low-level conflicts in our personal lives? Conflicts at work, with neighbours, in our families and between spouses? These serial conflicts are a reminder of our inability to change ourselves. We aren’t on a trajectory towards perfection and peace after all. The phrase ‘the peace the world cannot give’ says it all. What is it in our nature that leads us to seek our own interests not only over enemies but over those we claim to love? It is the same drive that causes us to pursue selfdestructive individual behaviour in spite of good resolutions. Good intentions won’t do it. Addictions destroy us and make the lives of those who live with us hell. Advent provides an opportunity to own our appetite for the destructive streak within. We call this tendency
Canon Philip Gillespie
one which is very important for us – to be people who have perception, who are attentive and always ready to see and to recognise and to rejoice in the glory of the Lord which is revealed to us through the gifts, the reconciling love, the sharing of family time and the rich and special experiences of this season. In the celebration of the liturgy in our parishes – be it in daily Mass, the celebration of morning and evening prayer, the Baptisms and Confirmations, Marriages, Anointings of the Sick, and the commending of our dead to a place of light, happiness and peace – we are invited to have eyes that see and recognise His glory. This glory of the Lord is revealed in and through the ordinary events of daily life; just as in the Sacraments that which is truly glorious, the love of the Blessed Trinity, is communicated to us in and through the simplest of means – words and gestures, water and wine, bread and oil transformed through the working of the Holy Spirit.
Mgr John Devine OBE
sin. Our celebration of Mass begins with ‘calling to mind our sins’. Sin isn’t a popular word. The key words in the Confiteor are ‘Through my own fault’. For all my dissatisfaction with the new translation of the Mass the repetition of that phrase three times is a valuable revision. Contemporary society encourages me to project responsibility for my failures on to others. ‘Through my own grievous fault’ is a counter-cultural admission. Why not see Advent as an opportunity to opt out of the blame game and own up? The Orthodox Church has practised the Jesus Prayer for centuries: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ It’s a good prayer for Advent. It can prepare us to make room for the one who came to save us from ourselves.
Change my heart Dom Helder Camara was the Archbishop of Recife in Brazil and a tireless campaigner for social justice. He was best known in this country for the statement he made which was put on Cafod posters everywhere: ‘When I feed the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.’ I was very lucky to meet Dom Helder and I remember him saying how his challenging question of ‘why’ was too much for a lot of people and for many years a hate campaign was launched against him and he was treated with a lot of suspicion for simply asking ‘Why?’. The truth is none of us like change and we will do almost anything to resist it. We are all people of tradition but tradition, to most people means what they have grown used to in their lives. We all presume that what we have done, and what we have been taught, in our lifetime is right. I guess that is why we don't like people like Dom Helder who turn our world upside down. The truth is that change is essential to life. It gives us the ability to grow and develop. How do we enter into relationships if we are not changing and growing all the time? Relationships have to grow and develop or they become stale and eventually break down. If we can’t change, then how can we get closer to God? This call to change is central to the Gospel. Change is essential in our relationship with God and in so far as we are prepared to be open to change within ourselves and within the community that we are part of, then we are open to God. It is to let go of our own understandings and meanings and begin to open ourselves to the ways of God. Advent invites us into the whole process of change, of opening ourselves up to meet the ever-coming God. It is not just another year. Through the Scriptures we read and reflect on, we are reminded that God is coming in a way that we least expect. Unless we change within and are ready then we might not be ready for God breaking into our lives. Don’t waste this wonderful time of watching and waiting and looking and searching. Let it touch your heart and in letting it touch your heart, let it change you deeply within. Fr Chris Thomas
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/reflection
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Help us help people avoid homelessness Donate to Nugent’s Christmas Appeal 2018 Jesus says in St. Matthew’s Gospel: ‘Insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me’. Our Christian obligation is to help those in need and during Advent, Nugent will continue to offer help and support to individuals and families who are living in poverty. During winter and Christmas, whilst we celebrate the birth of Christ and enjoy the warmth of family we need to be conscious of individuals huddled in doorways, sleeping rough on our streets and families who’s Christmas will be spent in cramped temporary accommodation or a hostel room with their children. The facts speak for themselves: over 307,000 people in Britain are homeless today, an increase of 13,000 in the last year alone. More than the population of Newcastle. Over 4,700 people are estimated to be
Your support matters as the impact of recent and continued changes to the benefits system has put greater pressure on our funds and our ability to support people and left some of our most vulnerable clients in extreme hardship and in crisis. Donations to our Christmas Appeal this year will help provide the basic needs of someone facing homelessness:
sleeping rough on any one night across the United Kingdom, a 15% increase on last year. A 169% increase since 2010. 150 families are made homeless in Britain every day. There are over 125,000 homeless children living in Britain today. In the last five years, the number of homeless families living in temporary accommodation has increased by 48%
£100 will pay for a full starter pack for someone entering our accommodation, or the purchase of white goods such a fridge or washing machine
At Nugent, as the pressure on our services increase, we need more support for those who are vulnerable and living in crisis. Our Housing Support Unit (HSU) works with partners across the city to help homeless people and those in crisis through our New Beginnings Project. People often come to us with nothing, so our HSU team provide starter packs of essential equipment to help them transition into temporary accommodation and permanent residence.
£5 will pay for a set of cutlery
£40 will pay for a full set of bedding (duvet pillows and sheets) £20 will pay for a full set of pans £10 will pay for a toaster and kettle
The work of Nugent is inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, by supporting our work, we are putting the Gospel into action, reaching out and helping people in need. Support our Christmas appeal and help be part of making a difference for people in danger of becoming homeless. Donate online at: https://www.wearenugent.org/fundraising/and homeless/
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A blast from Christmas past: the Nativity play by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan archivist I remember the Nativity. Not, of course, the stable in Bethlehem, but the one on the stage in the school hall, cobbled together by creative teachers. Those were days of frenzied activity by children manufacturing donkeys’ heads and fashioning timeless Middle Eastern costumes – in my case, from the contents of the ottoman in my parents’ bedroom. I remember the rivalries as Mary was selected, less feisty than some I’ve seen recently – and usually chosen for her ability to sit still for long periods. My own mother, I’m sure, would have wangled a morning off work to see my star comic turn as the innkeeper. At six, though, I don’t think I was aware that the venerable tradition of the Nativity play stretches back centuries. It probably has its origins in the medieval mystery plays held from time to time in cities such as Chester and York. These were ways of explaining Bible stories to the local folk who were largely unable to read the original text themselves. Many stories were dramatised and produced by craft guilds and other associations, often hammering home the moral and religious purpose.
Quite how the Nativity morphed into a school play is not clear, but it seems likely to have been connected with the increase in the number of schools during the late 19th Century. Perhaps Victorian school teachers were using their pupils to provide religious education to illiterate working class parents? The earliest reference to a Nativity play so far found in the Archdiocesan archives dates only from the 1930s. But by the time the Catholic Pictorial was launched in 1962, the Nativity seems to have become a well-established event in the school calendar. That allowed our photographers to record costumed casts up and down Lancashire and throughout Liverpool, and the editions published in December and January might well feature a younger version of you. This photograph shows the children of St James’s Infant School at Orrell, near Wigan, as featured in our issue from 23 December 1979. The school’s head at that time was Mr Doherty. Back copies of the Catholic Pictorial may be seen by appointment in the reading room of the Archdiocesan Archives at the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean Throughout the month of December many thousands of people young and old will attend one of the many carol or memorial services at the Cathedral hosted by various charities or organisations in the lead up to Christmas. For some it may be the only time that they will attend church over the Advent/Christmas period and each year one of our principal aims in December is to try to offer as warm a welcome to visitors as we can and encouragement to join us for services over Christmas itself. Along with the celebrations of Mass for the First Sunday of Advent we mark the change of season with a special Advent Sequence service of readings and music at 5.00 pm on the first Sunday in December. The ‘Celebration of Christmas’, is a night of carols and Christmas favourites for all the family featuring BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips and the choirs of the Cathedral and is on Saturday 15 December at 7.00 pm. We also have our Traditional Festival Carol Service at 5.00 pm on the evening of the final Sunday of Advent, 23 December- the next best thing to Carols at Kings College, with room for all and free. First Vespers of Christmas and Blessing of the Crib is at 3.00 pm on Christmas Eve marking the beginning of the celebrations for the Feast of Christmas. Archbishop Malcolm will celebrate the First Mass of Christmas at Midnight. Thankfully this will not be broadcast this year so I’m looking forward to a calmer stress-free celebration. We have a number of Masses on Christmas morning, my own favourite celebration of the Feast is the Christmas Day Mass at 11.00 am with lots of families in attendance, the beautiful Prologue from St John as the Gospel Reading and the choir in full voice before their Christmas break. I hope you all have a happy and blessed Christmas.
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Mums the Word The weekend of 20-21 October was celebrated as Synod Sunday in our parishes. We listened to a Pastoral letter from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon in which he said that the only way to live out his calling to service was by listening: ‘I need to hear the hopes and fears of our people, the challenges facing our priests and deacons, our schools, and the reality our families have to deal with each day.’
A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
Southport Knights raise £4,000 for charities
The Synod will take place in October 2020. The word Synod means ‘together on the road’ and Archbishop Malcolm invites each and every one of us to play our part. Members will be chosen from parishes and pastoral areas, with 500 delegates required. In February 2019 Archbishop Malcolm will hold a special service in the Cathedral to convene the Synod where these delegates will be sent out to do their work of listening and discerning together with those whom they represent, to determine our needs and concerns at this time. Most importantly, all of this work takes place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I therefore urge you to say the Synod prayer at your meetings from now until October 2020.
Our Southport Council celebrated a very successful year of fundraising when they held their annual presentation evening, making donations totalling £4,000 to eight local charities.
You may also wish to hold discussions at your meetings about the Church that God is calling us to be today, to express your hopes and fears, and speak to your Synod delegate. Please keep Archbishop Malcolm and all those involved in making the right decisions for our Diocese in your prayers.
The event at the St John Stone parish centre in Ainsdale took place on Saturday 13 October – which, significantly, marked the start of the centenary year of the Order’s foundation in Glasgow in 1919.
• Our pilgrimage to Belmont Abbey will take place from 5-7 April 2019. There are still places available so please contact me or our treasurer, Sue Bickerstaffe, if you wish to join us.
The Grand Knight, John McCarthy, presented £500 to each of the charities the KSC are supporting in Southport – funds which will help them continue their activities. He thanked everyone who had helped the Knights raise money this year and our picture shows him flanked by representatives from the eight charities, holding publicity versions of their £500 cheques.
• Our first Bi-monthly Mass of 2019 takes place on Wednesday 9 January at 7.30 pm at St Margaret Mary's. Before that, 8 December is a general Communion day, remembering our UCM intentions. May I wish you and your families a very happy and holy Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy new year. Maria Bruns, Archdiocesan president 26
The charities which benefited are: The Northern Cleft Foundation; Southport Street Pastors; Ainsdale Community Centre; Southport
Talking Newspaper; Sefton Women & Children’s Aid (SWACA); Elim Refugee Support; St Vincent De Paul Society (SVP); and Southport Soup Kitchen. The Knights raised funds with a sponsored walk, several family bingo evenings, a LiverpoolChester sponsored bike ride, a tombola stall at the Ainsdale Show, and singing on Lord Street. Over 120 invited guests attended the presentation evening and enjoyed entertainment from Charlie Newport, along with a buffet and grand raffle. • Donations are still coming in following the recent sponsored walk by Council 9 in South Liverpool to raise funds for the Whitechapel Centre. We will let you know the final amount raised –due to be presented to the Whitechapel Centre on 14 December – in the next issue. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk and www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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PIC Life ‘Feed my lambs’ – the call too often ignored By Moira Billinge I am not a hoarder. I can detect items to be thrown away or recycled from 20 paces. There is no hiding place for them in my house. Rarely do I allow sentimental feelings to get a look-in when I’m on a de-clutter mission to the local tip. In late November last year, my frequent visits prompted one of the attendants to ask me, with typical Scouse humour, if I was trying to get an invite to their Christmas party. He reasoned that I was at the site more often than some of his staff! Recently, with a carload of assorted bin bags, I sat in a long line of traffic waiting to get into the recycling centre. I watched people empty their vehicles and observed the motley selection of items being hurled into the labelled skips: furniture that, in my opinion, didn’t look too dilapidated; decent-sized pieces of wood, obviously the remnants of someone’s DIY attempts; plastic paraphernalia, along with all the usual detritus of everyday life. Seasonal bits of old tinsel and scrawny fake Christmas trees were dotted haphazardly around the perimeter of the site and an array of smiley-faced ornaments sat happily along the length of the sidewalls, together with teddies, toys, plants, banners, scarfs and pictures, all of which, I presume, had been rescued over time by the attendants after the items had been unceremoniously dumped, to add a touch of colour. It was good to see them being reused to lift the mood. That evening, I saw a film about hordes of barefoot, unsupervised children, their small bodies ravaged from hunger and deprivation, scavenging at a refuse site in the Philippines. The stark irony of my earlier tip excursion hit me hard. My visit had been to make space in my home, but these children were foraging for survival; sifting through other people’s 28
waste as their only source of income. With no access to decent nutrition, medicine or education, the chances of their improving their situation – without help – are virtually zero. The perils that they face from diseases contracted from filthy waste and injuries from dodging bulldozers amid the 30m mountains of fetid rubbish represent a daily fight for survival. These are children without a childhood. The horror of this situation is replicated throughout the world in one way or another. Wars, corporate greed, natural disasters and environmental factors are some of the causes of poverty, but children seem to rate extremely low on the list of global priorities. There is hardship on our own doorsteps, but, especially at Christmas, we can feel swamped by the many calls on our finances. It is understandable to be cautious about giving money to charities when we are unsure if our money will reach the people for whom it is intended. We can, however, be confident that charities such as Mary’s Meals, Cafod, Missio, LAMP and other, often parish-based, groups are trustworthy custodians of our donations. Very few of us will ever meet the suffering people of other countries in person but organisations such as these reach out to them on our behalf. Throughout the Bible Jesus identifies Himself in the poor, sick and marginalised, and offers us great blessings for caring for them – and consequences for not. In Matthew 25:40-45 he tells us: ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ God created each of us as a beautiful gift to Himself, so when we reach out to His people wherever they are – with love and support – we are very clearly loving, honouring and serving Him too. What a privilege!
Christmas Cards from Carmel
You may not have bought all your Christmas cards yet - so a great place to buy what you need is Maryton Grange. There is a great selection of Christmas Cards as well as cards for all occasions. Contact the Sisters at Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at email@example.com
Worth a visit
This Advent, visit the Victorian Fayre in Keswick, writes Lucy Oliver. On Sunday 2 December, the Market Square will host stalls from national and local charities, with homemade goods and cakes on sale from workers in traditional Victorian dress. Visiting reindeer and Father Christmas are also scheduled to make an appearance. Keswick will host a range of other Christmas activities throughout December, including ‘Live Advent’, whereby an Advent calendar ‘window’ opens somewhere different across the town each day. Other attractions for visitors to Keswick include the Cumberland Pencil Museum and the Castlerigg Stone Circle. If the weather is fine, a stroll through Dodd Wood leads to the oldest church in the area, St Bega’s. This Norman-inspired church is said to have inspired Lord Tennyson’s Morte d’Arthur when he was staying at the Mirehouse estate. A short drive away is Cockermouth which is home of the father of the Romantic poets, William Wordsworth, who lived here with his parents and sister. Wordsworth House stages regular exhibitions and has a working 18thcentury kitchen as well as beautiful gardens and warrants a return trip when it reopens for the spring. For information about festive events in Keswick, visit the Tourist Information Centre or check online at www.keswick.org.
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catholic pic retreat and away days We had a lovely Catholic Pic Away Day to Harrogate in October – the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed ourselves visiting the beautiful Church of St Robert, the Spa, Valley Park and many of the group lunched at “Bettys” and bought lots of small Christmas gifts from the shop. Harrogate is a really beautiful town to visit with many unusual privately owned shops. We hope to revisit some time in the future. On November 14th we had a wonderful retreat day visiting St Winifride’s Shrine at Holywell where Mass was celebrated before moving on to Pantasaph to visit the Franciscan Friary where we received a very warm welcome from Brother Michael (Guardian) and the Franciscans. Brother John talked to us in the beautiful church after which Father Peter Morgan who led the retreat spoke to us. Brother Michael looked after us in the very well stocked shop which had plenty of gifts to choose from. Pantasaph is so very beautiful, peaceful and welcoming, the brothers kind and helpful and Father Peter Morgan’s input made this another wonderfully spiritually uplifting day where everyone returned to Liverpool feeling so much happier. We will return next summer, please God.
Pantasaph Franciscan Friary
Grotto at Pantasph Photo courtesy of Peter Delaney
St Pio’s Cafe at Pantasaph Franciscan Friary
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Letter from Wonersh By Peter Murphy Happy Advent from Wonersh. As this letter arrives at your parishes, here at the seminary we will be welcoming a few hundred guests for our Advent open day which will culminate in Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent. I have always found Advent to be an especially beautiful time in the Church’s liturgical calendar. The wreath, the O antiphons and Nativity plays help to heighten the excitement of the coming of the Christ child at Christmas. For me as a seminarian, this season has come to hold an additional significance over the last few years. There is something in this season, I feel, that makes a seminarian feel at home. Each year the Church affords us these four and a bit weeks in which we look eagerly forward to encountering Jesus, our Emmanuel. In these weeks we are also afforded the opportunity to consider what it is that might make us more ready to make the most out of this Christmas encounter. We could consider this maybe by asking ourselves whether we have made room ‘in the inn’ of our lives to be able to welcome Jesus and the Holy Family. If we haven’t, then we can spend this Advent season making this room – both spiritually and practically – for the encounter with the Christ child. In many of our parishes, our schools and pastoral areas there will be additional opportunities for us to come together in prayer, and also to come to be reconciled with God in the Sacrament of Confession. This opportunity, which the Church gives to all her children during these Advent days, is similar to the opportunity which the Church affords to her seminarians over the course of, generally, six to eight years. Our formation is orientated to the Sacramental priesthood: the living out of a graced moment of encounter with the Lord when we are conformed to Him through the Sacrament of Holy Orders – something that we can look forward to (God willing) in the future. Up until this point – and beyond through ‘ongoing formation’ as my Rector would be keen for me to note – we have the opportunity to consider who we are, and how we are (and are not) open to receiving the grace of the Lord. We are able through prayer, study, the Sacraments (especially of Eucharist and Confession), pastoral experiences, and self-reflection to seek the Lord and His Will for our lives. As you come closer to the Lord during this wonderful season of anticipation and preparation, please remember me and my brother seminarians in your prayers. And be assured that we will continue to pray for you, whom we look forward to ministering with and to in the coming years. 30
justice & peace Christmas cards to the Holy Land By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker For the last 10 years we have been sending Christmas cards from our diocese to Catholic parishes in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which is the name of the Catholic organisation that looks after parishes in Israel/Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus. This year we are encouraging cards to the most marginalised people, those in the West Bank and Gaza – the Occupied Territories. If you are only going to send cards to one parish, I recommend that you choose Holy Family in Gaza. Last month, their parish priest, Fr Mario da Silva IVE, sent an email thanking me for a Christmas card he had just received that had been posted the previous December from somewhere in our diocese. He said: ‘Thank you for your concern about the situation here. Believe me, it is a really difficult situation. About the Christmas card I must to confess to you that it is a personal joy for me and for my parish to receive every year your cards. It is a joy to know that many people are concerned about our situation. So I advise, if it is possible, to continue to send these cards.’ Postal deliveries to the Occupied Territories are, at best, haphazard and we recommend posting to the Patriarch’s office rather than directly to the parishes. If the cards are put into parcels, this is not very expensive. Cards should be addressed to your
chosen church/churches and then sent as a package to the Latin Patriarchate’s office from where they will be delivered to the parishes. For each of the last eight years, the thousands of cards sent using this method have reached the parishes in Palestine. If cards for Gaza arrive in Jerusalem by early December, the Patriarch himself will take them to Gaza. Do not post a card directly to a parish but send it to: Mr Sami El-Yousef Chief Executive, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Jaffa Gate – Old City, P.O.B. 14152 9114101 Jerusalem The J&P office would be delighted to send you the full list of parishes and schools in Israel/Palestine and parishes in Jordan, though those on the J&P mailing list will have already received this information. The list is also accessible from the front page of the diocesan website (see ‘Christmas cards to the Holy Land appeal’). Do not forget to include your contact details on the cards, and for parishes wishing to act together, I would suggest the following course of action: • Explain the system to your parishioners • Distribute names of parishes • Collect cards and sort into churches • Write a note to each church for the parish priest to read out to his congregation. This will help them to understand where the cards have come from and why they have been sent. • Post all the cards together to the Latin Patriarchate’s office in Jerusalem.
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