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Issue 194 November 2020
â€˜With the Church in prayer at homeâ€™
A time of remembrance INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Monsignor Austin Hunt remembered
Our Synod Journey, a time for reflection
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contents Welcome We are now in the month of November a time when we remember, in the words of the Eucharistic Prayer, ‘those who have gone before us with the sign of faith, and rest in the sleep of peace’. Our remembrance, like so many other things, will be different this year and there will be added poignancy as we remember those who have lost their lives as a result of the pandemic. The restrictions, in place to save lives, have also meant that people have not been able to see their loved ones to say farewell and only a few of those who mourn have been able to attend funerals. Many of our November acts of remembrance will not take place and normally crowded cenotaphs will be empty on Remembrance Sunday. Yet one thing does not change as we pray for those who have died. Our prayer, as always, will come from the heart and it is in our hearts that we will remember those we love. It is through our prayer that we can be close to them at this time. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
From the Archbishop’s Desk
Some years ago, I was I was described as an ‘extravert’ by the person who conducted a Myers-Briggs personality test on me. My first reaction was to say that you have spelt it wrong; it should be ‘extrovert’ to be correct. Maybe I am an extrovert, that’s for others to judge, but it seems that I am also extravert which is a word with a technical meaning and not just an alternative spelling. An ‘extravert’ is someone who draws their energy from other people. This rings true with me. The way I used to put it was to say that I was not good on my own. In fact, a maximum of two days of my own company is as much as I can endure. Fortunately, I live with a priest who is my secretary, so the recent months have been bearable, but I feel for those who have to selfisolate and who don’t have the life support systems that are available to me. The tradition of hermits in the church has given meaning to isolation. A hermit lives on his or her own so that they can be alone with God. The beauty of this is that in our Christian tradition as the individual journeys deeper into their understanding of God, God reveals himself as a set of relationships between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As we are all called into this relationship, which is another name for holiness, it becomes apparent that God is sufficient for all our needs. The problem for me is that holiness is still a long way off and I depend on others to reveal God’s love to me present in his people. I imagine that this is the same for most of us, so even if we cannot meet up as we used to, at least let us connect by praying for each other.
Main Feature ‘Becoming the Church that God is calling us to be.’
News From around the Archdiocese
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
Editor Peter Heneghan Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: email@example.com Picture credits: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 firstname.lastname@example.org Copy deadlines December 2020 – Monday 9 November January 2021 – Tuesday 1 December
15 Nugent Light up a Life 2020 17 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 18 Animate Youth Ministry Back to Work 24 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 25 Cathedral Record Praying for those in the archdiocese and the world 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life Why I take a pro-woman stance
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‘Becoming the Church that God is calling us to be.’ By Father Philip Inch and Father Matthew Nunes, Synod Moderators. How do you capture 25,000 responses to an invitation to listen to the voice of God? How do you make sense of over 3,500 proposals that were sent in after reflections on four themes, plus a Covid-19 reflection? This has been the task of the Synod in the past months. On the web site www.synod2020.co.uk (and hopefully through your parish Synod members) you have been able to read the 120 summary proposals and the 45 affirmations that have been drawn up so that we can lose nothing of what was said – so that we can capture that ‘still small voice of calm’ that just might be the whispering of God to us. The task of the Synod now is to look at the summary proposals and the affirmations grouped under the four Synod Themes and to ask this question: ‘What am I most drawn to?’ We have phrased this question very deliberately because this is the language of 4
discernment – it is the language of the heart, it is the language of love. The Synod members have the task of listening to what you have to say, what you are drawn to and then at the beginning of December to submit this discernment to the Synod office. In January we will bring together all that has been entrusted to us and in March our final Synod proposals will be announced. (But that is jumping ahead.) We wanted to share with you in the Catholic Pic this month just a flavour of what has been said. Theme 1: All called and gifted by God There are 34 proposals and 13 affirmations under this theme. Among the areas they cover are: councils and synodality, governance, inclusivity, lay ministry, formation, the role of women, young people, the training of priests, safeguarding, collaboration, schools and buildings.
‘This is the language of discernment – it is the language of the heart, the language of love’
Theme 2: Sharing the mission of Jesus There are 28 proposals and 12 affirmations under this theme. The areas covered include: evangelisation, mission, Catholic social teaching, care of creation, love of neighbour, how we use our resources and our buildings, communication, children and young people, schools and groups and sodalities. Theme 3: How we pray together There are 32 proposals and 11 affirmations connected with this theme. These include the following topics: opportunities for prayer, the language of the liturgy, liturgical formation, spiritual formation, lay ministry, the role of the celebrant, collaboration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the sick and the housebound, schools and young people and communication. Theme 4: Building community, nurturing belonging There are 26 proposals and nine affirmations as part of this theme. Covered by this theme are: how we can be welcoming and inclusive, what it means to be a parish, our schools, children and young people, outreach, community-building, ecumenism, pastoral area organisation and communication. These four themes also include the
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reflections and proposals that were made during the time of lockdown. You may also notice just from this very brief description that there are some topics repeated more than once. Yes, that is true. Some things have been suggested under more than one theme. In his message for Synod Sunday, Archbishop Malcolm highlighted the task for the whole Archdiocese in the months leading up to the beginning of December when he said: ‘Our Synod journey brings together the “imperatives” of coresponsibility, collaboration and genuine listening between Church leaders and the lay faithful. Synodality is an essential aspect of Church life today. Pope Francis is firm on synodality as the way forward. I am reminded of something that Pope Benedict said of lay people in 2012: “They should not be regarded as ‘collaborators’ of the clergy, but, rather, as people who are really ‘co-responsible’ for the Church’s being and acting. It is therefore important that a mature and committed laity be consolidated, which can make its own specific contribution to the ecclesial mission with respect for the ministries and
tasks that each one has in the life of the Church.”
not be able to complete this task faithfully without you.’
‘This is very much your role in the next part of our Synod journey. Over 3,500 proposals were submitted – thank you. The Synod Working Party (and others) have worked with all these proposals and have faithfully kept all the proposals and ideas that you have highlighted.
Matters outside the remit of Synod 2020 Since the beginning of our Synod 2020 journey there has been a clear understanding that some of the issues raised could be about things that a diocesan bishop does not have the authority to decide on. Through the open meetings, throughout the listening stage, and in the proposals submitted, a number of such issues have come to light. As such, they do not find a place in the summary document. A Diocesan Synod is not the place where these can be considered.
‘I need each of you to play your part in discerning the next steps forward. At the beginning of December each Synod member will have to indicate which of the ideas and issues that they are most drawn to. They will need your input to do this faithfully. This will then enable us to present to you, in March, the Synod Proposals to be voted on in June. After June we will work on drawing up a Pastoral Plan in the light of the Synod Proposals which we will promulgate at the start of Advent 2021. ‘The next months are an exciting opportunity for us all to listen again to the voice of the Spirit of God guiding and directing us. Please play your part – we will
However, careful note has been made of these issues (none have been lost) and at the Synod gathering in March, when the final Synod Proposals are announced there will also be a report that will detail all these issues that lie outside the remit of the Synod with time to reflect on them and respond to them. (These ideas and reflections will not be rushed through; a substantial time will be given to them.)
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At the end of our Synod journey a report will be sent to the Bishops’ Conference and to Rome. This report will also include these issues. Synod members The task of the Synod members is a very important one at this time. They will look at the summary proposals and affirmations, they will consider the responses that they have received from parishioners and other groups and then, using the tools of discernment that they have been given, they will be asked to indicate, under each theme, which five proposals and which two affirmations they are most drawn to. But it is not just them – they are speaking for, they are discerning for, their community, for their parish. So please pray for our Synod members. Synod website and social media This article cannot reproduce all the summary proposals or the affirmations – it would take the whole of the Pic to do that! Please look at the Synod website. If you do not have access to the internet, ask your Synod member to let you have a set of the proposals – remember all our priests are Synod members too. • You will find information (and short films) about this stage of our Synod journey on the Synod website (synod2020.co.uk) and social media: @Synod2020 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 6
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feature â€˜The next months are an exciting opportunity for us all to listen again to the voice of the Spirit of God guiding and directing usâ€™
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Congratulates Scouts on Double Celebrations Covid-19 has had a big impact on the 8th Penwortham St Teresa’s Scout Group. 2020 was 8th Penwortham's 50th Anniversary and the Group had
planned a full year of activities to celebrate. In March, due to Covid, all the activities had to be put on hold, as did all Scouting activities, other than
virtual meetings. This was a tremendous disappointment for all the scouts and leaders. In September, Scouting was given permission for meetings to resume, providing they were held outside, in controlled bubbles with limited numbers and following strict safety guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone taking part. Penwortham Town Council Mayor and Mayoress Geoff and Helen Crewe wasted no time in visiting 8th Penwortham to congratulate the group on resuming face to face scouting activities They presented the Group with a commemorative plaque which celebrated their 50th anniversary and praised the wonderful work that Scouting does in preparing young people with Skills for Life. A key part of the Group’s 50th anniversary celebrations is raising money for a defibrillator to be located at St Teresa’s RC Church, Queensway, Penwortham, for the benefit of the people of Penwortham. Despite the disruption to fund raising the Group is determined to keep going and hope to reach their target by the end of the year. Donations can be made via the Scout Group’s Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/8t hpenworthamscoutgroupde-fibappeal Mayor and Mayoress Geoff and Helen Crewe are pictured presenting a commemorative plaque to John Topping Group Scout Leader 8th Penwortham St Teresa`s Scouts (socially distancing)
St Wilfrid’s parishioner walks for Cafod appeal A parishioner at St Wilfrid’s, Widnes has raised over £2,000 with a sponsored walk for Cafod’s Coronavirus Appeal. Christopher Roberts walked a 10-mile circuit during the summer which took in stops at four other local churches – St Bede’s, St Michael’s, St Basil’s and St John Fisher. In the process, he raised almost £2,400 for the appeal. Christopher, a key volunteer at the St Wilfrid’s Livesimply supper nights, usually does an annual sponsored walk for the parish Lourdes fund. With no Lourdes pilgrimage this year he looked to support Cafod and was joined on the walk by fellow parishioners Kesh and Clare. ‘We kept each other going,’ he said. ‘I can’t believe how many people have donated to support the appeal, it’s fantastic. Thanks to everybody for your help and support.’ Many St Wilfrid’s parishioners have joined #CanceltheDebt Campaign, meanwhile, to ensure everyone has a safe, sustainable recovery from Covid-19. For more details, visit: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Latest-campaigns/Time-to-cancelthe-debt
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Liverpool Seafarers Centre urges extra welfare funding Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) has called on the UK government and shipping lines to follow New Zealand’s lead and allocate greater funding for welfare centres in ports.
The government of New Zealand has pledged to pursue legislation to fund seafarers centres using government port fees. The Crosby-based ecumenical charity
believes this approach should be followed in this country with around 400,000 seafarers stranded at sea due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Another 400,000 are stuck at home unable to get to work to support their families. The charity’s chief executive, John Wilson, believes more provision should be in place at ports to offer support to seafarers when they leave their vessels. He has made continuous calls during the pandemic for governments to designate seafarers as key workers to allow them greater rights by removing restrictions on flights, travel and medical care, as well as implementing protocols to allow safe crew changes, echoing calls made by the International Maritime Organization. New Zealand was prompted to act after a study highlighted the challenges facing the country’s charity-operated seafarer facilities, with not all of its ports able to provide access to a warm and secure building with essential welfare facilities LSC receives funding from shipping lines via a voluntary levy paid by those operating in the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal to fund welfare support. Mr Wilson said: ‘We’re pleased to hear of the New Zealand government turning its attention to the plight of seafarers by offering greater support when they are in ports. It is clear that the coronavirus pandemic is not going away quickly so we need to make sure that those seafarers serving on ships are provided for when they do go ashore. ‘Seafarers work tirelessly to bring supplies to our shores and it’s only right that they have the time and space to spend some downtime outside of their duties on board. Seafarers centres like ours also offer support in the form of access to wi-fi, money exchange and emotional support, as well as acting as a mediator between seafarers and their employers.’
“It is clear that the coronavirus pandemic is not going away quickly ” Catholic Pictorial
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Taking the Common Good seriously By Justine Silcock, Co-chair of the Archdiocesan Justice & Peace Commission The Common Good was the focus of a live Zoom event with Christine Allen, Director of CAFOD, on 10 October. Arranged by the Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission, this presentation was a follow-up to discussions begun at the annual assembly in August which centred on the response to the Covid pandemic based on Revelation 21:5 ‘See, I am making all things new’. In her talk titled 'Prepare the Future: Taking the Common Good Seriously’, Christine developed on themes she had discussed as an invited speaker at the assembly as she reflected on the Common Good as a fundamental principle of Catholic Social Teaching rooted in scripture, which recent popes have reminded us is for the good of each and all. Pope Benedict, in ‘Caritas in veritate’ (#7, 2009), said: 'Beside the good of the individual, there is a good that is linked to living in society: the common good.' For his part, Pope Francis said in ‘Evangelii gaudium’ (#235, 2013): ‘The whole is greater than the part, but is also greater than the sum of its parts … We can work on a small scale, in our own neighbourhood, but with a larger perspective.' Christine went on to talk about ‘Fratelli tutti’, Pope Francis’ most recent encyclical, issued only a week before, noting that this was not just directed to us as individuals
but was also aimed at political systems, highlighting the opportunities for the creation of a fairer society that had come about because of the pandemic. The presentation also included ways in which we can do this on a personal/family, local, national, or global level. And with it coinciding with Cafod’s Harvest Fast Day weekend, Christine was also able to share with us what actions Cafod have been involved with throughout the world, in reaction to the suffering caused by the pandemic. Attendees then discussed and suggested actions, on individual and collective levels, before a final question and answer session with Christine. Her talk and Q&A session are available to view on the Liverpool Justice & Peace YouTube channel.
Interactive Advent Calendar to enable us all to think about what we can do during Advent and beyond. This will be on our website, jp.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk, from 1 December as well as on our Facebook page jpliverpooljp.
It was very encouraging to see how we can make differences, starting in small ways by thinking about our own responsibility and considering actions on a local scale such as twinning a bin or planting a community orchard, as well as reaching out further afield. Inspired by Christine’s infectious enthusiasm, these actions will form the basis for our J&P
We are very grateful to Christine for her time and her energy and we assure her of our continued support and prayers. Our next event will be a series of Four Reflections on ‘Fratelli tutti’ given by Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald during Advent. They will also be made available on YouTube. We hope to see you there.
Novena unites Upholland parishes By Joanne Wallace Parishioners from the Upholland pastoral area delivered and participated in an online daily novena in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham in the lead-up to her feast day on 24 September. St Teresa’s Parish in Upholland had already planned to pray the novena to Our Lady of Walsingham prior to the latest lockdown but amid the challenge of changing restrictions, a virtual novena was decided upon so that we could reach more of the sick and housebound, those shielding and even people in other parishes. As a consequence, the novena became an opportunity for a cross-parish venture. The novena was led on alternate days by the respective parish priests, Fr Philip Kehoe of St Teresa’s and Fr Joseph Simionato of St Maries’ and St Bernadette’s, in the three different church locations. Parishioners from all three churches read the scripture and reflections, and representatives from all three music ministries recorded music for the full nine
days. A further dimension was added with the involvement of the local Anglican curate from Upholland, Rev Chris Dunbar, and Peter Ross, a seminarian at Oscott. The project was a true collaboration and for some was a step outside of their comfort zone. Yet the feedback has been incredibly positive and is an example of what can be achieved when lay people, clergy and ecumenical groups work together generously and collaboratively. The novena was shared on the new pastoral area YouTube account, where it is hoped that many other cross-parish prayer resources and services can be uploaded in future. It is still available to access on the YouTube channel ‘SJR Pastoral Area – Liverpool Archdiocese’. Joanne Wallace is pastoral associate for Our Lady of the Annunciation (St Marie’s) and St Bernadette’s, and St Teresa’s. Joanne Wallace is pastoral associate for Our Lady of the Annunciation (St Marie’s) and St Bernadette’s, and St Teresa’s
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Hospice taking its annual Christmas events online St Joseph’s Hospice is planning its usual Christmas events this year – and hopes that you can join in from your homes. Both the Christmas Ladies Day and Light up a Life service will take place between now and 4 December, and the Thornton-based hospice is inviting Pic readers to participate. Ladies Day at Home has been created as part of the hospice’s 2gether Appeal, helping to sustain the future of St Joseph’s. Maxine Armstrong, the head of fundraising, has invited people to get involved by holding their own Ladies Day. She said: ‘We all need to let our hair down and this year is no exception. Plus, there’ll be no need for taxis and, for one year only, you can involve the men in your life too! Your event can take place whenever you want between now and Sunday 29 November and you can make it as elaborate as you’d like. Get your glad rags on, put the bubbles on ice and prepare some tasty
nibbles or even a full-on gourmet meal. Send us a photo of you and your friends or family enjoying Ladies Day at home and we'll enter you in to a special prize draw. But please only send photos that you’re happy for us to share online.’ On 29 November, when Christmas Ladies Day would have taken place, the hospice will stage activities on its Facebook page including a raffle, the prize draw and an online Christmas market.
Maxine Armstrong added: ‘Please remember to make sure you hold your Ladies Day at Home in accordance with current Government guidelines. Or, why not join together with friends and family online by having a virtual party? Please support the hospice at this incredibly challenging time. Your donations are particularly important to our patients and their families this year.’ She also highlighted the launch of the annual Light up a Life appeal, which will conclude on 4 December with a Christmas service, when the hospice’s tree lights will be switched on. This will be pre-recorded in order to allow families to join in online. This year, to reflect the fact so many families have been kept apart due to Covid-19, the hospice has extended Light up a Life so that even more people can make a special dedication to loved ones. ‘Most of us have missed someone during the crisis, a cherished family member or friend,’ she said. ‘Some of us have missed contact with our loved ones, others have lost someone during the year or in previous years that they still miss very much. By choosing to make a dedication to Light up a Life, you’re not only remembering your loved ones but helping to support and fund all the vital work the hospice does for our community. The lights on our Christmas tree will recognise every dedication made and everyone who makes a dedication will also receive a card.’ To find out more about Light up a Life, or to make a dedication, visit www.jospice.org.uk, call 0151 932 6044 or email email@example.com.
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Mark speaks in our time By Eleanor Lalley, pastoral associate at HeartStone, Sacred Heart and St John Stone, Ainsdale The Bishops Conference and Bible Society have launched the Year of Mark’s Gospel, which begins on Sunday 29 November. Mark’s is the oldest written gospel, dated sometime between AD 60-70. Through the Gospel of Mark, God speaks to us today. What does it have to say to us in our current Covid reality? How can we unlock the Gospel of Mark? On offer from the Bible Society are a variety of resources to celebrate the Year of Mark and to open up the Gospel for children and adults. The Bible Society has produced special edition copies of the Gospel of Mark for study and reflection. There are also free Gospel of Mark posters for schools and parishes, available at www.godwhospeaks.uk. A ‘Fish with Mark and discover your faith’ poster can be downloaded for schools and parishes, depicting the key highlights of this Gospel in a colourful and creative way. It offers a chance to follow the main narrative of the Gospel while diving in to fish out some of the key stories of Jesus interacting with the people He meets. Also available for download is the free ‘Whistlestop Tour’ poster to assist your reading of the Gospel. It explains when the Gospel was written and for whom, the literary techniques, style and vocabulary, key themes and characters. Are you looking for a way to engage with scripture this year in the parish? These wonderful resources can be used, for example, on a parish notice board or in the newsletter, and with small groups or online groups within the parish. In the Archdiocese of Liverpool, the pastoral associates will engage with parishioners to study the passages highlighted by the ‘Fish with Mark’ poster on our diocesan website www.thegodwhospeaks2020.org.uk. Some people think the Bible is difficult to understand and best left to scripture professors yet the year of Mark is a good time to prove that anyone, from young children to adults, can engage with scripture meaningfully. During this Year of Mark, the pastoral associates working throughout the diocese will ask local people to reflect on particular passages in Mark and then to record personal responses. These responses can either be short audio or
video clips to get a conversation started in local churches and show Lectio Divina from real people in everyday life. The local resources will be posted ahead of the readings in the lectionary throughout the year. If you would like to be involved in this initiative personally or if your parish scripture group would like to join in, please contact either Kenny Lawler, pastoral associate for St Edmund of Canterbury and Our Lady Star of the Sea (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jessy Noe, pastoral associate for Widnes (email@example.com). This is a perfect opportunity to engage those who read at Mass in reflection on the gospels. We are looking for audio and
video clips of no longer than two minutes. Mark is the shortest and earliest Gospel and has its own personality, style, energy and themes. Mark presents a unique picture of Jesus: For Mark, Jesus is mysterious, and that’s very important to his way of telling the story. (From A Whistlestop Tour of Mark) Throughout the Archdiocese, scripturesharing groups continue their weekly studying of the Sunday readings together, often now online. New resources from the Bible Society and from our local www.thegodwhospeaks.org.uk website invite us all to grapple prayerfully with God communicating through the Gospel of Mark and speaking to us today.
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Coronavirus has destroyed our life by Fionn Shiner The coronavirus pandemic has left Bethlehem’s tourism-reliant economy in tatters, according to a shop owner, who has appealed to pilgrims, saying he longs for the day when they can safely return. Rony Tabash, owner of the Nativity Store in Bethlehem, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that Covid-19 is the biggest crisis he has faced in his life. He said: ‘My grandfather opened a store near the Nativity Church in 1927. My father took over in 1955 and I came in 2003. I am the third generation. During all this time, we had many difficulties with our store, particularly political problems. ‘We always said “we have to continue; we have to keep smiling”. We always hoped for tourists. Yet, when the coronavirus came, we lost all hope. Coronavirus has destroyed our life.’ Describing how the number of foreign visitors to Bethlehem – normally two million a year – has collapsed, he said: ‘We are almost finished. Nine months without work – 80 percent of Bethlehem depends on tourism. We need pilgrims and tourists because we don’t have anything else.’ He added: ‘We have almost 100 cases of coronavirus every day in our tiny city. You don’t see anyone entering the Nativity Church. Usually, you would get a minimum of 6,000 people a day and a maximum of 12,000 people. ‘In the hotels, the highest point will see
Picture: © Aid to the Church in Need
7,700 guests staying throughout the city, the lowest would still see 3,500 people. Everyone here is dependent on tourists.’ According to Bethlehem mayor Vera Baboun, in 1950 the population of Bethlehem and the surrounding villages was 86% Christian but by 2016 it was just 12%. Reports say up to 90% of workers in Bethlehem’s tourism industry are Christian. Mr Tabash said: ‘This problem is affecting
all the population in Bethlehem and the Holy Land. Christians are the minority and you can see the strain on them clearly…we’ve had many political problems but we say we never give up hope...Tell the pilgrims, we are waiting for you to come back again. The Church is all of us. We are united. The spirit of the pilgrims is the Church. Without the pilgrims, something is missing in the Holy Land.’
Contribute to Radio Merseyside’s poppy mosaic Readers of the Pic have been invited to help mark this year’s Remembrance Day by contributing to a giant virtual poppy mosaic. BBC Radio Merseyside is putting together the mosaic of photographs of listeners showing the name of the person they wish to remember – be it a relative from years gone by, or a friend or family member currently serving in the Armed Forces. Another suggestion for those wishing to take part is a visit to a local war memorial to research a person who
served in your local area. Participants should write the name of the person they are remembering on a piece of card in capital letters (so it can be clearly read), take a photo of themselves with the card and upload it via the website bbc.co.uk/radiomerseyside. And please note that landscape photos, rather than portrait, will fit the format better. The deadline to send in photos is midnight on Sunday 8 November and the poppy mosaic will be revealed on Wednesday 11 November.
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Obituary of Monsignor Austin Hunt The name of Monsignor Austin Hunt, who has died aged 88, is synonymous with the permanent diaconate, since for the forty years that he was Director for the Permanent Diaconate he moulded the reality of diaconal ministry in the Archdiocese of Liverpool and firmly established it as an integral feature of many parishes. Pope Paul VI issued norms for the restoration of the permanent diaconate in 1967, but by the mid-1970s there were only a handful of permanent deacons across England and Wales. Archbishop Derek Worlock was determined, upon his arrival in Liverpool in early 1976, that the permanent diaconate should be established in the archdiocese. His choice as the first Director for the Permanent Diaconate was Father Austin Hunt, at that time assistant to Canon Gerard Walsh at Sacred Heart, Wigan. In February 1977 Father Austin joined the staff at the Metropolitan Cathedral and from that base began the process of co-ordinating the programme of formation for the first group of candidates. The ground-breaking nature of the task he faced was alluded to by Deacon Leo McNicholas when he said, ‘As one of the first group of five men to be prepared for ordination, in what was then a journey into almost unknown territory, I am grateful to Monsignor Austin for his meticulous attention to detail, particularly in regard to liturgy’, Undaunted, Father Austin visited many dioceses across Europe and the United States to learn from their experience in the selection, formation and deployment of deacons. With help from a dedicated team of tutors and helpers, including three future bishops (Vincent Nichols, John Rawsthorne and Vincent Malone), he developed a programme of formation within the archdiocese. Father Austin threw himself tirelessly into his work as Director. He would visit diaconal candidates, their wives and families at home, and these visits would continue after ordination. He arranged retreats and social events for the diaconal family. Deacon John Traynor recalls that, ‘Despite his often stern manner, Austin was very personable… He loved nothing better than the social evenings after retreats at Upholland, when we were all encouraged to give a spot as
singers, raconteurs, musicians, story tellers, comedians…He looked forward to a few whiskies nattering at the bar’. In recognition of his untiring dedication to the establishment of the permanent diaconate in the archdiocese he was appointed a Prelate of Honour by Pope John Paul II on 26 October 1992. Over the years he acquired a great deal of
experience that was shared enthusiastically with others. Thus, he served as a member of the International Diaconate Committee and he addressed several international conferences about the diaconate. He also chaired the National Conference of Diaconate Directors and Deacon Delegates for England and Wales. On 12 June 2016 he presented his final two candidates for ordination, meaning that in
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the forty years of his directorship, he was responsible for the formation of more than 100 permanent deacons. At the reception which followed in the Pontifical Hall at the Cathedral, the Archbishop read out a personal message from Cardinal Vincent Nichols. ‘It gives me great pleasure to write this personal message of congratulations to you as you begin your well-earned retirement, or should I say, prepare to gracefully fade into the background! I thank God for all the gifts that he has given you and I thank you for your generosity in sharing those gifts so readily with others. You have done a remarkable job in directing the Diaconate programme, in the Archiocese of Liverpool, over these past forty years’. Archbishop Malcolm echoed those sentiments and added that, ‘Behind every good man is a good woman,’ in recognition of the tireless support that Austin had received from his sister Barbara in his role as Director. Austin William Hunt was born on 9 June 1932 at Appleton, Widnes, the son of Robert Hunt and Evelyn (née Farrington). Together with his older brother Joseph and younger sister Barbara, he grew up in St Bede’s parish, Widnes, where he was baptised. He attended St Bede’s School from the age of four until the outbreak of war in September 1939, when the family moved firstly to Rhyl and then, in December 1939, to St Teresa’s parish, Birkdale. He attended St Teresa’s School and became an altar server. Travelling back and forth to Widnes, and other war duties, took its toll on his father’s health, so the family returned to Widnes in 1942. In 1943 Austin had the choice of three secondary-school scholarships. St Edward’s College, Sandfield Park, Liverpool, was chosen, as the family was already intent on returning to Southport, which they did in February 1945. The family spent time in various parishes before finally settling in St Teresa’s, Birkdale, in 1949. Each of these parishes contributed to Austin’s religious formation, but it was Father Brian Foley at St Teresa’s who encouraged Austin’s growing awareness of things liturgical and musical. In 1950 Austin began his training as a teacher at St Mary’s, Strawberry Hill, specialising in Latin and Spanish, and he qualified in 1952. He taught briefly at St Mary’s, Warrington, and then at two schools in Southport - St Marie’s and Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1960 he began his training for the priesthood at the Beda College in Rome. Whilst at the college he became involved in looking after pilgrims, making good use of his skills in Italian and Spanish. He was ordained priest in Rome on 14 March 1964 at the Basilica of St Paul without the Walls.
“Father Austin threw himself tirelessly into his work as Director”
was often enriched by the celebrations connected with candidacy and the ministries received by aspiring candidates to the diaconate, as well as the many other varied gatherings of the diaconal family. He retired from parish ministry in 2008, though he continued in his role as Director for the Permanent Diaconate for a further eight years. After retirement Austin lived with his sister Barbara in Birkdale, enjoying a gentler pace of life, and appreciating the continued support of friends and colleagues.
Following ordination he served in several parishes as assistant priest: St Francis of Assisi, Garston from September 1964; St John, Kirkdale from December 1964; St William, Ince from September 1970; Sacred Heart, Wigan from November 1971; the Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool from February 1977 and St Thomas of Canterbury, Waterloo from September 1979. From 1976 he combined parochial duties with his role as Director for the Permanent Diaconate.
In 2014 he celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. He said afterwards, ‘I really enjoyed every moment and I am very grateful to all those who helped to organise it and were able to join me on the day to give thanks for fifty years of priesthood’. Thus, with joyful enthusiasm and thanksgiving, and recognising the contribution of others, he described this personal milestone. He could probably have spoken in similar vein about the permanent diaconate and the ministry of deacons in the Archdiocese of Liverpool.
He had two appointments as parish priest: St Thomas More, Aigburth from 1984 to 1992 and All Saints, Anfield from 1992 to 2008. He was a dedicated parish priest and served his parishioners well, though inevitably his work as Director made great demands on his time. Equally parish life
He died in the early hours of Tuesday 6 October. His Funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon on Thursday 15 October at All Saints, Anfield, followed by burial at Ainsdale Cemetery.
What’s On - November Thursdays 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th November ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit’ Zoom reflections on St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians led by Father Chris Thomas. Bookings email: email@example.com No charge but donations appreciated. Thursday 19 November ‘Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters’ ‘The Spanish Mystics: life and love in Jesus Christ’ An online talk at 7.30 pm by Father Matthew Blake OCD Series organised by The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst. Bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org Details: www.christianheritagecentre.com/events Fridays at 1.05 pm The Friday lunchtime Catholic Masses at Liverpool Parish Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas have now resumed in line with current restrictions. Prayer and other resources can be accessed/downloaded at https://www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com/ or through http://www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/ by clicking on ‘Prayer and Other Resources’. They are updated each week.
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Safe Spaces service launched for abuse survivors A new service providing support for survivors of Church-related abuse is now up and running. Commissioned by the Catholic and Anglican Churches in England and Wales, Safe Spaces is operated by Victim Support, a national charity, and it was launched on 29 September. The service, funded by the Churches, is run independently by Victim Support, one of the leading charities providing specialist support to survivors of abuse in England and Wales. It is a free and independent support service, offering a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church in England and Wales. In a statement, Victim Support said: ‘We work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and respect they deserve. Safe Spaces comprises a team of support advocates who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the Churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and Church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the Church.’ Victim Support are based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and they provide a national service giving people remote support through a helpline, live chat service and website. Their Safe Spaces team can be contacted on the helpline and live chat service between Monday and Saturday from 10am-6pm. On Thursdays, the service is available from 12-8pm. Explaining the nature of this support, Victim Support added: ‘Remote support is provided for as long as the survivor needs. This can be advocating for the survivor, giving them support, providing information (including information on Church and Police procedures), understanding individual needs and jointly working on individual support plans. If face-to-face support is also required, contact and referrals will be made with appropriate local organisations
depending on need.’ The Safe Spaces service is available to anybody who feels they have experienced Church-related abuse of any form in England or Wales. By ‘Churchrelated’, this may include: • Abuse by a church officer. A church officer is any person, ordained or lay, paid or voluntary, who holds a role in the Church. • Abuse that is linked to participating in a Church-led activity or group. If someone lives outside of England and Wales, but suffered abuse by a church officer from the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Safe Space will endeavour to provide support. However, this may be limited owing to the support available outside of England and Wales. Eligibility and referrals The service is for people aged 18 or over, but the abuse can have happened at any time in the past. If support is required for someone younger, the support team will try to find appropriate local support. Survivors do not have to have reported the incident to the Church authorities or the Police in order to access support. It not necessary to be a current active member of the Church in order to access support. This service is for people who have experienced any kind of abuse, which includes (but is not limited to) sexual violence, inappropriate sexual behaviour, physical abuse, financial abuse or exploitation, psychological abuse (including spiritual abuse), domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour. On the referrals process, the Safe Spaces team aim to reduce re-traumatisation at every stage of support and, as such, they will ask for details of the survivor, their personal circumstances, any related support needs, and the nature of the abuse. The purpose of requesting these
extensive details is to reduce the requirement for the survivor to repeat their experience, and to ensure that they make safe and appropriate contact, matching each individual’s situation with the specific skill-sets of advocates whenever possible. Anybody wishing to use the service will be asked to give their personal and contact details, including safe contact arrangements and language requirements. They will be asked also for details of the offence, including any current or anticipated Police or Church reporting, and for details of the offender, where known. In addition, any significant factors in the case which will affect support – for example, children in the household, concerns with regards to mental wellbeing, domestic abuse – should be made known to the support advocate. Safe Spaces can receive referrals via the telephone, or by completing a pro-forma referral document. The security of the personal and sensitive data of survivors is vital and to this end, the team will only accept referrals shared via secure email. To make a referral using the pro-forma document please email email@example.com and you will be sent a link to create a secure Egress account. This allows you to communicate with Safe Spaces securely, in accordance with GDPR requirements. Safe Spaces will then forward a copy of the pro-forma, to be returned via Egress. The team will make contact within 48 hours of reviewing a referral (72 hours at weekends).
You can contact the Safe Spaces team using a variety of methods, according to the needs and preferences of survivors: Telephone 0300 303 1056 (a voicemail facility is available outside of opening times) Email firstname.lastname@example.org LiveChat with the team, or access service information, at www.SafeSpacesEnglandandWales.org.uk
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Back to work Animate Youth Ministries team member Jonno reflects on the first half-term of the new academic year. It is great to be back working with young people! After such a long absence due to the national lockdown, this half-term we have spent time with pupils from four schools. First, we had St Mary’s Crosby here at Lowe House for a fantastic day getting back in the swing of things. Before we welcomed them into the house, we spent a hectic week getting the house Covid-secure for retreats. We created a lot of break-out spaces to allow for social distancing and undertook a deep clean of all the spaces we would be using. Father Simon went to Costco and brought back a minibus-load of sanitising equipment and we duly got to work! After that first day, we then went to St John Fisher High School in Wigan for our next set of retreats. The Year 7s were exploring the theme of being a new community and we worked with each form group over seven days in all. As it was impossible to have the whole year group together for a Welcome Mass, as is normal, each day ended with Fr Simon saying Mass for a particular form group and trying to explain what happens and why during certain parts of the Mass. Next we had a day with the Year 6 pupils from St Jude’s Primary School. They came here to Lowe House and we asked them to think about how they could ‘let their light shine’
during this new academic year. With the Covid-19 restrictions, we have not been able to work with as many schools as we would ordinarily. We would usually have two groups a day at this time of year but we made a decision to have fewer groups to allow for more cleaning and more distancing in the house for groups that are on retreat. We have to be more careful with the activities we do too – and we are certainly using a lot of hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes! Within our community too, things have changed. There are things we cannot do but we try to make our own fun in the house. The other week we used the house to create a Crystal Maze game, complete with Medieval, Aztec and Future zones. And at the moment we are in the middle of a Marvel films marathon. As I write this, we have just come to the end of six days working with the Year 7s from All Hallows in Penwortham. They came over to us and we explored the theme of ‘Let your light shine’. I feel it is an important theme to understand as they start their new chapter at All Hallows. Every single form we worked with were such a credit to their school – they have been one of the best year groups I have worked with. I particularly liked seeing them get
involved in an activity called ‘Stay in your lane’ whereby we have them working in smaller groups and remind them they should be focussing on themselves and not worrying what another group might be doing. This can be a lesson for all of us at this time: rather than focus on what is happening in other parts of the world, or even of our own country, we should focus on making sure we are doing the best we can for ourselves and our local communities. Dates for the diary The following events are planned for the Animate Youth YouTube channel over the next six months. For the evening events, young people are invited to take part in advance through recording readings and reflections, and likewise for the Youth Alive Masses with readings and intercessions. 1 November – Evening of Taize music and reflections, Lowe House 22 November – Feast of Christ the King/Youth Sunday A liturgy to celebrate young people in the Diocese with testimonies, music, scripture and reflections. 6 December – Advent Youth Alive Mass, Lowe House chapel 1 January – Praise and Worship Music Evening, Lowe House 14 February – Lenten Retreat Day With Lent beginning on the 17th we will lead a pre-Lent retreat day (approx. 6090 mins) for young people. This will include activities that can be done at home, including testimonies, dramas, different inputs on the messages we can take Lent, as well as a time of prayer and reflection. 7 March – Lent Youth Alive Mass, Lowe House chapel
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Wellbeing of staff is key at ASFA The wellbeing of staff at the Academy of St Francis Assisi (ASFA) remains to be a key factor this term. Since returning to school, the senior leadership team have reworked systems to ensure that the wider team have felt safe and well looked after during the COVID-19 pandemic. The academy also decided to dedicate their recent inset day to the wellbeing of all ASFA staff. The day began with COVID-19 antibody testing for all staff which gave everyone an enormous boost and feeling of relief. The COVID-19 antibody testing was carried out by AKEA Life. Ben Paglia, CEO of AKEA Life, said: “Providing this kind of service to schools, colleges and universities is key to our core strategy of supporting the public sector through providing specialist health services. “It was wonderful to see the positive impact that this had on staff morale. It has been a difficult term in schools across the UK so it was a privilege to have such a positive impact on the Academy of St Francis of Assisi. They have a great staff culture at the school.” Throughout the day, there was further training in Microsoft Teams, which prepared staff for continued blended learning across the year groups. The senior leadership team have also introduced later start times for teachers that do not have a class first period, due to staggered start times for Year 11 students. This allows teachers to catch
up on family life, for example, taking their own children to school, which many don’t get the chance to do. Krista Walsh, head of maths said: “It is so nice to be able to drop my two boys off at school on a Monday. It sets me up for the week.” Other team members have also carried out their own acts of kindness including the introduction of the ‘Chocolate Fairy’ who has secretly been delivering tasty chocolate treats into staff pigeon holes.
Well-read pupils launch 100 books scheme Reading has always been a priority at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School in Netherton, but since March the school has become more mindful as many of their pupils were not able to access books and regularly reading. The school is in the middle of constructing a new library, which is well underway, and has been described as perfectly timed to help pupils. Headteacher, Claire McKinnon said: “As part of the library construction, we are launching a scheme entitled ‘100 books’ which incorporates 100 books that pupils should read before they leave primary school. “Pupils will also receive a very special library card which can keep record of the books they have read. “We have been scouring book shops across the country for these books, which were put into a list by the TES in 2015. “Our PTA has also helped us source a vending machine which dispenses books with a very special gold coin!”
Kevin Maddocks, headteacher at ASFA, said: “The wellbeing of our staff is so important and I firmly believe that happy staff means happy students. The antibody testing was a simple but effective way of giving the team peace of mind and many were delighted to find out they didn’t have antibodies.” “As we progress through this difficult time, we will continue to introduce new ways to support the mental health and wellbeing of our school community.”
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education news Two big pass marks for Skelmersdale school
The new academic year has begun brightly at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College in Skelmersdale with the receipt of two notable awards. OLQP has gained recognition for its excellence in providing an inclusive curriculum as well as for the quality of its music teaching. It earned reaccreditation as a Flagship School for Inclusion following a visit from an Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) assessor, and achieved the status of a Music Mark School thanks to its commitment to the Performing Arts. As a flagship school for inclusion since 2016, the Skelmersdale college successfully addresses all of the IQM’s key elements. Moreover, as a flagship school, it takes a leading role in sharing its work with other schools. For the reassessment this September, the focus was on the extensive work carried out by the school on further developing a fully inclusive curriculum, through which all children are able to succeed, thrive and follow their high aspirations. The IQM’s assessor recognised the ‘inclusive curriculum, where a great deal of progress has been made in a relatively short time’. As part of the recent curricular developments, work was shared on the whole school curriculum structure,
including new courses well suited to pupils of all abilities; new accreditations; flexible ways of approaching alternative provision; and pupil, staff, parental and governor involvement in creating innovative and flexible curricular opportunities. In particular, the school has developed its own programme, called ‘Curriculum for Life’ and evaluated as ‘a fantastic programme’ by the assessor. This innovative programme, devised by Our Lady’s staff and pupils, covers citizenship and statutory aspects of PSHE, RSE, healthy lifestyles and careers education, with the goal of developing the whole child and preparing them for life beyond school. Extracts from the report celebrate the inclusive approach of the whole community and its positive impact: • ‘Everyone at the school is fully committed to maximising the achievement of every student, whatever it takes.’ • ‘OLQP is a place that provides a happy, stimulating and extremely vibrant learning environment.’ • ‘The staff at OLQP are extremely invested in what they do and view what they do as a vocation and this has an enormously positive effect on their peers and their students.’ • ‘Superbly inclusive approach that while
sensitive to the needs of staff and students will allow students to move forward with their education in a highly focused and supportive manner.’ • ‘Everyone in the school should be extremely proud of what they achieve on a daily basis.’ • ‘This is a school constantly looking at ways to develop and evolve for the benefit of its learning community with a mutual respect and care that is evident across the staff body and it was clear that there is a fantastic rapport between staff and students.’ • ‘The school prides itself on superb pastoral care, actively promoting equality and diversity and is therefore an extremely welcoming, highly inclusive and caring school.’ • ‘The school continues to move from strength to strength in terms of its inclusive practice.’ ‘High-quality music education’ September also brought a second accolade as Our Lady’s became a Music Mark School – an award made ‘in recognition of a commitment to providing a high-quality music education for all children and young people’. The school’s Head of Performing Arts, Andy Longden, said: ‘This is a wonderful testimony to our fantastic students as they continue to fully embrace all aspects of music in Our Lady’s. We are so proud of them all.’ Headteacher Alison Knight offered praise and congratulation to her pupils and staff, saying: ‘Students at Our Lady’s are extremely talented and our commitment to an outstanding Arts education is at the heart of the innovative, broad and balanced curriculum offered to all young people in our school. As well as an outstanding programme of concerts and shows, we are fully committed to ensuring that Arts subjects continue to be delivered as part of our full curriculum offer. ‘Students have excellent facilities and opportunities to develop their creative skills within the classroom, delivered by our own outstanding practitioners in Music, Drama, Dance and Art. In addition to positive experiences for their general good health and wellbeing, young people need enjoyment and confidence in developing a creative response to many issues in the world which they will lead.’ For further details, visit the school website: olqp.org.uk
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Top author virtually visits ASFA
Year 8 students from the Academy of St Francis of Assisi virtually welcomed well-known author, Alex Wheatle, into the school recently. As traditional author visits in schools have been postponed until further noticed, the academy embraced the ‘new normal’ and connected with Alex via video call. Students eagerly awaited the live call in the main hall and had the opportunity to find out more about Alex’s life and his new book, Cane Warriors, which the year group had read prior to the virtual meeting. The book is based on the true story of an eighteenth-century slave uprising. It centres around a teenage boy called Moa and the challenging decisions he must make as a ‘cane warrior’
fighting for freedom from the Jamaican plantations. The year group also had the chance to ask the author questions about his new book and the rest of his titles. One student said: “This author visit was a little different than usual but it was really informative and fun. I enjoyed asking Alex a question about his new book.” Mrs Wade, librarian at ASFA, said: “Although we can’t welcome authors into our school like previous years, it is great that we can still give our students the opportunity to meet them and host a Q&A with them. “We are always keen to find new ways to get the academy reading and this format always works well as students can learn about the author too.”
Jouriya’s brave journey from Syria to the UK Brave Carmel College lower sixth student, Jouriya Hajjeh has been sharing her story of the journey from her home town in Syria to the UK. Jouriya quickly settled into her new home and was excited to start studying at her new high school, Saint Peter and Paul’s and after working extremely hard, she received top grades in her GCSE’s. Speaking recently gave an insight into what life was like in her home town and how many of her family still remain there. She said her biggest hope is for her family to be reunited. She also wants to turn her experience of witnessing war into something positive by becoming a doctor and helping other people. Jouriya has always loved science and is currently studying, chemistry, biology and maths at Carmel. Seeing the devastating effects war has had on people in her
country has made her more determined than ever to work hard to achieve her dream job. “My time at Carmel has been great so far. I came here with my best friend and I have already made new friends” Jouriya
said. “Studying at Carmel is great as I have been able to choose the subjects that I wanted to study. Being at college is going to be an unforgettable experience with my friends and I am excited for the future.”
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Light up a Life 2020 Nugent’s annual Light up a Life initiative encourages us all to share our stories from the past and remember special people we have loved and lost, especially as Christmas draws near. During Advent, and in the run up to Christmas, we know this can be a very difficult time if you have lost a loved one, or if you cannot be with someone, you love. Our Light up a Life initiative gives you the opportunity to remember and celebrate the life a loved one. ‘Advent increases our hope, and hope which does not disappoint. The Lord never lets us down.’ (Pope Francis) This year is a particularly poignant one, as many of us have had to say goodbye to a loved one without joining others to remember them. The Book of Remembrance offers you the opportunity to make a personal dedication to your loved ones. This year, the Book of Remembrance will be digital only and details of how to access this will be available in due course. The name of your loved one will also be listed in the Order of Service for the Light up a Life service. You will receive an invitation to the online service, a dedication card with the name of the person you have dedicated a light to, as
well as a tree hanging and your own copy of the Order of Service to keep in the post. Although we cannot meet at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool or St Teresa’s Church, Upholland this year, we know how important remembrance and reflection are and recognise that the service provides a great deal of comfort to you all. You, your family and friends are invited to join us virtually this December for this very
special occasion, a chance to take some time out and remember the special people in your lives, share memories and celebrate their lives whilst enjoying readings, prayers, poems, reflections and music. We hope that you can join us to remember and celebrate those that we love. For more information, please contact our Fundraising Team on 0151 261 4498 or by email: email@example.com
Government grant enables Cathedral and church repairs The Metropolitan Cathedral along with two Liverpool churches were among the beneficiaries of a £3m government grant awarded last month to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for repair work on 29 Grade I and Grade II-listed churches and cathedrals. The work will include the restoration of the stained glass in the Cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel while vital work can now begin also on St Patrick’s Church, Toxteth and St Philip Neri Church. The government’s Culture Recovery Fund provided the funding for the patrimony committee of the Bishops’ Conference, having reviewed applications from churches and cathedrals across England, with the input of national heritage specialists and Historic England. The grants programme is part of the government’s Heritage Stimulus Fund, aimed at supporting major repair projects which have stalled owing to the pandemic. The announcement came on 22 October that the Metropolitan Cathedral would receive two separate grants, with £20,896
provided for the replacement of the leaking rotunda roof to the Crypt entrance and £10,480 for the aforementioned repairs to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel windows. St Patrick’s Church, built in 1821 and the city’s oldest Catholic church, will receive £78,524 for urgent external and internal repairs following an outbreak of dry rot. The problem had become worse while the church was closed during lockdown but the funding will ensure the roof and gutters are repaired and the rot eradicated in this Georgian building. St Philip Neri Church will receive £30,448 for a side-aisle roof covering replacement and Crypt waterproofing works. Archbishop George Stack, chair of the patrimony committee, said: “We are deeply grateful to the Government and Historic England for awarding the funds to make this happen. It is enormously reassuring to those charged with the privilege and responsibility of caring for these outstanding buildings which are so much part of our heritage, that the urgent
work of repairing leaking roofs and failing gutters may begin.”
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note
Canon Philip Gillespie
In the current circumstances, the month of November and the particular remembrance which we make of our deceased will have added poignancy this year as we recall those who have died and continue to die during this pandemic. Certainly here in Italy, and also in the UK and throughout the world, the death of loved ones and the need for families to celebrate funeral liturgies in only the most basic and sometimes rushed manner, has added pain upon pain. Parishes will rightly take the opportunity of holding memorial services during this month, though the arrival of a second peak means that while our churches are still open and we are thankfully still able to celebrate public Masses, we are not in the position of welcoming all-comers in ways in which we would normally desire to do. It is important to remember, however, that November opens with a celebration not of darkness and despair but of light and expectation – the Solemnity of All Saints is a rich and beautiful proclamation of the light which shines in the darkness, or perhaps more properly the lights that
shine in the darkness. The position of the saints both in our liturgical remembrance and our personal devotion is not to be understated. They inspire and teach and encourage us on the path of holiness, a call extended to each and every one of us, regardless of age and gender, background or vocation. We are all called to what the Preface of All Saints describes thus: ‘the festival of the heavenly Jerusalem our Mother, where the great array of our brothers and sisters already gives you eternal praise. Towards her we eagerly hasten as pilgrims advancing by faith, rejoicing in the glory bestowed upon those exalted members of the Church through whom you give us, in our frailty, both strength and good example.’ We mourn with those who mourn, we weep with those who weep – but we experience and express these most human of emotions always sustained and with the Christian vision which underpins all our longing, our hoping and our loving Why look among the dead for one who is alive. He is no longer here, he is Risen! (Luke 24:5)
Mgr John Devine OBE
How do I do justice to Advent when wider society is already celebrating Christmas throughout December? How do I square Christmas parties with the austerity of an authentic celebration of Advent? How do I prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas when, as far as the world around me is concerned, Christmas is here already? When I go to Mass, it is Advent. When I walk out at the end of Mass, it is Christmas. Conversely, while I attempt to celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, wider society has already binned its Christmas decorations and is planning its summer holidays. Over the years I have developed some coping strategies. I don’t play carols or Christmas music in the house or in my car until the final days before Christmas. I avoid eating turkey and Christmas pudding at any preChristmas meals to which I am invited. I leave the crib in place as long as possible after Christmas – sometimes
until 2 February. This year I plan a new strategy. Although the First Sunday of Advent is officially the start of the Church’s liturgical year, November glides seamlessly into Advent. The feasts of All Saints and All Souls at the beginning of November focus our minds on the ‘Last days’. Many of the readings at Mass during November are apocalyptic in tone. They deal with death, the Day of the Lord and final Judgement. Readings for the first weeks of Advent reinforce the same message. The feast of Christ the Universal King sees him sitting on His throne in glory while Advent calls us to stay awake for the Second Coming of Christ who will come like a thief in the night. Why not make November my personal Advent? Maybe I will then be ready to embrace Christmas celebrations throughout December.
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com
God within When I was a university chaplain many years ago, we had a very small prayer group that used to meet in the chapel of our building on a Thursday night at 5pm. After a few months of meetings, we felt it was right to run the ‘Life in the Spirit’ seminars. The posters went up around the campus and we waited. I can still remember the first night. There were about 10 of us that used to meet on a Thursday and we sat and waited for people to turn up. By the time ten past five came, there were about 50 people there, most of whom had come out of curiosity. There were people of faith and no faith. There was even an atheistic Jew. The discussions on each evening were lively and interesting as together we explored the Gospel message. When it came to the evening for prayer for the release of the spirit, I really wondered who would turn up. There had been some scepticism the week before. I was really surprised when everybody arrived, and the prayer took place. The week after one girl said to me that she felt as though she had a party going on within her. I met her years later and she said to me, ‘The party’s still going on.’ We don’t all have to have that experience, but I wonder how many of us really believe the truth that God lives within us. Yes, God can live in other people but in us? Yet we celebrate Eucharist, we receive the body and blood of the Lord. We read and listen to the Scriptures and somehow we don't quite see that God is within us and often because of that we have no sense of our own worth, our own dignity, the wonder of humanity. St Bonaventure said that he saw the ‘traces’ or ‘footprints’ of God in all things. He said the whole world was the ‘incarnation’ of the mystery of God, and indeed the very ‘Body of God’. The ‘journey of the mind to God’ was to learn how to see the unity of all being, how to listen for the partially hidden God, and how to honour the footprints that were everywhere once you could see. I am becoming more and more aware that the Gospel implies an alternative way of living in which we live with eyes and hearts that are open and in which we see the presence of God everywhere. We are invited to live with a sense of wonder and gratitude at the gift of this world and of life itself. It means that we know judging, blaming and separating are enemies of the Kingdom and that justice, love, mercy and compassion are at the core of our being and the antidote that brings life. Father Chris Thomas
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cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
Praying for those in the archdiocese and the world During this time of pandemic, things are not as normal here at the Cathedral. However, the Cathedral Choir is once again up and running, albeit in a different format to before. Our choristers are back rehearsing on a daily basis in our two choir schools: Runnymede St Edward’s and St Edward’s College. In order to remain within guidelines, the boy and girl choristers have to rehearse in small groups for a shorter than normal rehearsal length. At this time it is not possible to have all of our choristers sing together in the Cathedral as they would usually do, so we are focussing on continuing their musical education and keeping their voices in regular use so that when they are able to return, they can hit the ground running. Since September, music at the 11.00 am Solemn Mass in the Cathedral each week (live streamed on Facebook and YouTube) has been led by an octet (8 singers) from amongst our adult singers. We have been overwhelmed by the many positive comments received about the reintroduction of choral music to our liturgical celebrations post lockdown. The liturgical constitution of the Second Vatican Council, ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’, mentions Cathedrals three times. The first is in article 41, which talks about the importance of the ‘liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church.’ This is a phrase which certainly seems to have guided the building of our Cathedral, in which the congregation really does gather centered around our Archbishop. Article 114 talks about the importance of choirs singing from the Treasury of Sacred Music, ‘especially in cathedral churches’ something which plays an important part in the musical ministry of our Cathedral liturgies. The third mention of a Cathedral in ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ is in connection with the regular praying of the Divine Office. In normal times, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer are often offered communally here at the Cathedral, with Evening Prayer usually being sung chorally four times a week. The Cathedral
takes on a special role in these services, offering prayer for the whole archdiocese, and indeed the whole world. We are delighted that due to the generosity of the Cathedral Music Trust (formerly known as the Friends of Cathedral Music) we have been able to resume singing Evening Prayer on Sundays over the last few weeks. In order to remain within the Covid secure guidelines, the service is pre-recorded early on a Sunday afternoon, and then broadcast on Facebook and YouTube each Sunday evening at 7.00 pm. The first three weeks of these broadcasts show that we have reached over 30,000 people across our social media channels. It is wonderful that the Cathedral is not only able to pray for those in the archdiocese and the world at Evening Prayer each Sunday, but now to invite so many people across the world to join us ‘virtually’ via the internet. In addition to our weekly streamed offerings of Solemn Mass and Evening Prayer on Sundays, we have also begun offering a monthly devotional music video. The first one of these in October was on the theme of Mary, in the month of Our Lady of the Rosary. This programme featured music sung by a small number of voices from the Cathedral Choir, alongside narration showing how Mary is celebrated in our Cathedral in its liturgical, musical and artistic offerings. So far, this video has reached over 14,000 people worldwide, with comments posted such as ‘Wonderful presentation of words and music to aid prayer and meditation’ and ‘Beautiful, outstanding harmonies, and dedication to Our Lady, in this Month of the Holy Rosary. So peaceful at the end of the day, in the midst of the turmoil we're going through. Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Pray for us.’ During the month of November the devotional music video will reflect on remembering and praying for the dead, during the month of the Holy Souls. Watch this space for details of the Cathedral’s Advent and Christmas virtual offerings.
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean We are facing the prospect of a few months with Tier Three restrictions which will probably result in a more subdued liturgical journey through November and Advent towards the Feast of Christmas. To add to this we are in the process of the Cathedral organ being dismantled to be taken away for repair. This has been more than five years in the planning and between now and Christmas the first part of the process is the cataloguing and locating of every pipe and element of the instrument ready for it to be stripped down and taken away in January. The rebuilding of such an instrument of this size is no simple job and this necessary work comes with a hefty price tag which is the last thing that we needed at a time of considerably reduced income. But thankfully there are occasions to look forward to and as we approach Advent; there will be opportunities for a renewed hope and trust that all will be well if we place those things that are beyond our control in the Lord’s hands. One celebration I am looking forward to is our patronal Feast Day of Christ the King on 22 November. When we celebrated the 50th Jubilee of the Cathedral in 2017 the Friends of the Cathedral decided to commission a matching set of Processional Cross and Acolytes for the Cathedral. Other than the historical Metropolitan Cross, which is only used in procession when the Archbishop is present, we have never had a matching Processional set for the regular Sunday celebrations. After almost three years in the design and creation process we have now received the unique finished pieces. They will be used for the first time and blessed on the Feast of Christ the King. They are contemporary pieces combining the work of a very fine craftswoman and thoughtful, symbolic design. I hope that they will be a treasured addition to our Cathedral liturgical life for many years to come.
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Mums the Word Just when we thought things were getting better, it has all started again. When we first went into lockdown my family decided it wasn’t safe for me and my husband to stay at home as we had three family members working on the front line and coming home each evening. We were evacuated to Meols. This was very upsetting for me as I get homesick if I am away more than 10 days but they said it would only be for two weeks. It reminded me of war time when the children were evacuated and instead of a gas mask we had our face masks. We didn’t go to stay with strangers, though, but with my sister Barbara and her husband Phil. The two weeks turned out to be six and I can’t believe I lasted that long. Each day we would walk along the beach from Meols to West Kirkby which took about two hours there and back. We entertained ourselves with jigsaws and quizzes and made videos to send home. Every day my sister and I would pray the rosary followed by a livestreamed Mass at Our Lady’s, Lydiate. This prayerful time really helped us to stay strong and get through lockdown. I recorded everything we did each day in a diary so that one day I can look back and say, ‘That’s what I did during the 2020 lockdown’. • Our next bi-monthly Mass is on 18 November at St Margaret Mary’s. This will be live-streamed so anyone not able to attend can watch virtually. The last one had 950 views, so we need to try and top this. We will be praying for our deceased members and for Liverpool Archdiocese especially as we enter into more restrictions. Take care everyone and stay safe, Maureen Finnegan, Archdiocesan president
A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
Veteran Knight completes Alzheimer’s sponsored walk
It is with great pleasure that we report the outstanding efforts of Brother Frank Redmond, our former supreme knight and council 9 member, in raising more than £3,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. Frank, who celebrated his 90th birthday on 29 October, completed a five-mile walk in September to help raise funds for dementia care and, more specifically, for the care home in which his dear wife Ann has been a long-time resident. Frank undertook his walk along Otterspool Promenade, accompanied by his daughter Sue. He succeeded in raising this impressive total thanks to support from family, friends and fellow KSC members. The fund-raising venture has been enabled by the Just Giving website and if any readers wish to make a contribution, they should visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/re dmond-care-home.
Here in Liverpool we are very proud of Frank's achievement and we feel certain that all fellow members of the order will feel the same way when they hear of it. Brother Ray Pealing, the provincial grand knight, has sent him an email congratulating him on behalf of all brothers in the province. Ray also indicated that we all share Frank's pain at not being able to see Ann in the nursing home. Frank and his family were unable to visit her for six months due to the restrictions imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. When these curbs were briefly lifted, they could make one visit before further restrictions were imposed. In his email, Ray sent prayers for the day when this dreaded virus leaves us and allows Frank to be together with Ann once more. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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PIC Life Why I take a pro-woman stance By Moira Billinge During my early nursing career I became friends with another student, a lovely girl, and we both lived in the same nurses’ home. There came a time when she started to bemoan her burgeoning weight and duly decided to start exercising. I joined in with her to keep her company but, as the weeks went by, my weight plummeted while hers continued to rise. One day she told me that she was going home for a couple of days for a dental appointment. She returned by taxi the following evening and went straight to bed. I called in to her room to see how she was and I was worried by how pale she looked. She complained that she was having severe period pains. When I noticed that she had needle marks in the veins of her arm, she said that she had been given a general anaesthetic for the extraction of a wisdom tooth. Later, when I told the ward sister in our
hospital that my friend was unwell, she replied: ‘Watch her very carefully. Do you know that she’s had an abortion?’ Although deeply shocked, my immediate concern was for my friend; for the torment that she must have experienced prior to her abortion and for the distress that I imagined she was now suffering in its aftermath. I didn’t reveal to my friend that I knew about her abortion, but tried to make her as comfortable as possible. Later, she told me the truth and even today I can vividly recall her distress. She had been 20 weeks pregnant and had not wanted an abortion but, because of serious problems within her family, she felt there was no other option. Although she had wanted to tell me about her pregnancy, she had been afraid of what I would think of her. She had always been aware of my pro-life views and said that she knew I would have tried to dissuade her. She had neither the physical nor emotional energy to cope
with such a discussion. What she had really wanted more than anything was for me to just listen to her. She was both grateful and surprised that I wanted to look after her, despite her abortion. I was greatly saddened that the thought I might have done otherwise had even entered her head. Our friendship remained strong but I questioned, endlessly, the ‘signals’ I had given out about my pro-life views given that my dear friend had been unable to confide in me when she most needed to. Had I appeared so dictatorial, and so preoccupied in my campaigning against abortion, that I had, in the erroneous perception of others, eliminated any consideration for the mother’s welfare from the equation? My friend’s tragic experience suggested to me that I had. Perhaps if my views had been more tempered, a dialogue might have begun and maybe she would have let me support her in keeping her baby. In recent times I have even wondered if, while she exercised with me, she was hoping I would realise she was pregnant, rather than, as she later confided, trying to cause a miscarriage. Though her physical wounds healed, emotionally she was deeply scarred as she grieved for her child. Thankfully, the awareness of past mistakes and lessons learned can build a template for the present. The greatest lesson of all was that to be truly and effectively pro-life, I have to be, truly, pro-woman. Both lives matter.
Worth a visit - Buxton Enjoy an autumn walk in the Peak District before a visit to the spa town of Buxton, writes Lucy Oliver. The Goyt Valley is rich in social and natural history; the woodlands and moorlands attract wildlife from stoats and weasels to lapwings, sandpipers and swallows, to name but a few. The mile-long walk from Errwood Hall car park to the site of these evocative ruins is fairly gentle, leading past the remains of two stone cottages and ending at a hillside cemetery. Once a magnificent country house and later a youth hostel, Errwood Hall was demolished in the 1930s to make room for the nearby reservoirs. After a circular route, take a 20-minute drive into the centre of Buxton. With its Grade I-listed Georgian crescent designed by John Carr, the spa town rivals Bath in its detailed decoration. Opposite the magnificent terrace is the ancient St Ann’s Well where warm spring water flows from a bronze lion spout, harking to a pagan past. Indeed, Roman settlers enjoyed the bathing facilities here and Buxton Museum boasts a hoard of coins spanning the
300-year Roman occupation of Britain. Visit www.goyt-valley.org.uk for more information on walks in the area. For Buxton tourist information, call 01298 214577.
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Pope Francis – Worldwide Prayer Network The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network promotes the monthly prayer intentions of Pope Francis. People from around the world suggest papal prayer intentions in each country to their national office, which selects some of them and sends them to the international office of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network at the Vatican. After the Pope’s prayer and discernment, the official set of monthly prayer intentions, are then translated into the major world languages and published in print and digital formats.
November’s Universal Intention of Pope Francis – Pray with the Pope that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind by Father David Stewart SJ
Our prayer and our hope
This month, so many of us continue our fervent prayer for all of humanity, as the whole world continues to suffer from the pandemic, yet we keep in our prayer another concern that will affect us all, now and in the generations that follow us. Pope Francis asks us to pray with him ‘that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind’.
Above all, our prayer is our own statement, personally and communally, that there is hope, that nothing is so bleak that it will not be illuminated by the human spirit of God. We would all do well in these times to remind ourselves, and each other, of certain truths on which our hope is built. These truths and this hope are at the heart of why we pray; certainly for those matters that the Pope invites us to consider each month, but also in all of our prayer.
When we respond to the Pope’s monthly pleas to pray with him about a specific intention, we commit ourselves to praying with him for the Church’s mission as well as for the challenges that face humanity. There are many such challenges; in recent months, in the Pope’s own prayer-group, we have been invited to pray about just sharing of the planet’s resources, also an immediate threat to future generations. In the Worldwide Prayer Network, we are always praying that we will develop clarity about our own mission in whatever state of life we find ourselves. This was a key reason for praying, in October, about accepting our responsibilities in the Church (and facing the fact that women are often prevented from doing so, for no good reason). Now in November, without ignoring the awful pandemic, we prayerfully ponder the implications for humanity of the technological and digital revolution.
this month to ponder a few instances of where innovation in robotics and digital technology could be harmful to human dignity. Have you noticed instances of this? Are there examples in your own living and experience where this could become a challenge? 2. In most parishes and worshipping communities, physical meetings and gatherings can’t take place at this time. Think of ways in which technical solutions can and do help; are there ways in which you could make more use of such facilities to touch, virtually, someone who is really suffering? Perhaps first, think simply about the telephone or mobile; is there one more person who’d be helped by a phone call from you? Then consider other resources that you could use – videolinks, online conferencing, instant messaging. Could you make greater use of any of these for the good of another sister or brother?
Amid all these technological wonders of our time, prayer is a counter-cultural declaration that humanity is wonderful made by our creator God who knew us in the womb. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that not all prayer must be intercessory, praying ‘for things’. That does matter and must not be dismissed as long as we remember that, at times, we might be praying for this or that which would not actually be good for us or for humanity. At other times, our intercessory prayer could occasionally risk becoming too selfcentred; we must always remember the common good, the good of all people and all of creation. Those truths on which our hope is founded eventually come back to love: love of each other and for all of creation, which the infinite Trinity beholds timelessly and constantly gazes upon, in creative and sustaining love. We contemplate this love every time we turn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our prayer is intimately linked to that reality, that inner truth.
Three proposals for the month ahead 1. While we must continue to pray for progress in the struggle against the virus pandemic, and keep in our prayer those suffering as a result, medically and economically, we could take some time 30
3. Pray, at least once in the month, for the scientists, engineers and experts whose amazing skills and talents are constantly coming up with new technologies; that they may be always guided by human solidarity and dignity.
And our hope, far from being just a matter of optimism, still less of random chance, becomes the life-pulse of our faith; in other words, our response to that infinite creative and redemptive love.
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Catholic Pic Tours The Catholic Pic announces two special pilgrimages for readers for 2021, in association with Northern Star Travel No deposit required to reserve your place!
Poland in the Footsteps of St Pope John Paul II & St Faustina 9 days £949 departing from Liverpool May 2021: dates to be confirmed 2 night’s dinner, bed & breakfast Warsaw 1 night dinner, bed & breakfast Czestochowa 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast Krakow Warsaw • Niepokalanow • Swinice Warckie • Czestochowa • Wadowice • Krakow Zakopane • Auschwitz • Lagiewniki (Divine Mercy) • Wieliczka On this journey, we will follow in the footsteps of three great Polish saints - St John Paul, St Maximilian Kolbe and St Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy - as we embrace the culture of the Polish people.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 8 days £1350.00 departing from Manchester Departure: October 4th 2021 4 nights half board 4* Hotel Bethlehem 3 nights half board 4* Hotel Tiberias. Tel Aviv • Caesarea • Stella Maris • Nazareth • Cana • Tiberias • Sea of Galilee • Jordan River Mt Tabor • Jerusalem • Ein Karem • Bethlehem • Qumran • Jericho • Dead Sea • Mt of Olives Mt Zion • Holy Sepulchre • Capernaum Guiding in the Holy Land with a licensed Christian Guide.
Sea of Galilee
Gardens of Gethsamane, Jerusalem
For more information about what the trips include and the full itinerary please either email: email@example.com or telephone Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Catholic Pictorial
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