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Father Thomas Clarke Our new priest INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Archbishop Malcolm ordains four Deacons

KHS Investiture in Liverpool

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contents Welcome As many people prepare for holidays we look back this month on a very busy July in the archdiocese. Our front cover and main feature welcome Father Thomas Clarke to the priesthood. Father Thomas was ordained by Archbishop Malcolm at St Charles Borromeo church in Aigburth on Saturday 13 July, we keep him in our prayers and wish him many happy and fruitful years of ministry among us. 305 is a significant number for those of our priests who celebrate significant jubilees this year, for that is the number of years of service which, collectively, they have offered us. We thank them and keep them in our prayers. The beginning of July also brought together the priests of the archdiocese for a celebration of priesthood, an opportunity for them to celebrate together and give thanks for their ministry. On Sunday 7 July Archbishop Malcolm ordained four men to the permanent diaconate in the Metropolitan Cathedral. The celebration took place on the 40th anniversary of the first ordinations to the diaconate by Archbishop Derek Worlock in 1979. Over the years so many have offered themselves for and have given, invaluable service among us.


May we all have a peaceful August, and days of rest.


Main Feature Father Thomas Clarke Our new priest

From the Archbishop’s Desk


News From around the Archdiocese

As you read this edition of the Pic I will be on holiday with my old friends somewhere in Normandy. As you know the word holiday comes from the two words holy and day. On 15 August we celebrate the Assumption, and in France that is still an occasion for a day off work which in rural and coastal areas is accompanied by the blessing of the harvest and the fruits of the sea. Last year, after Mass, the parish priest set off on a very small fishing boat to bless the sea. His position on the bow of the boat looked precarious to say the least but he didn’t fall in and get wet. Instead, he and his parishioners retired to the parish hall where they wet their insides with the local cider and wine. Everyone had a good time and relaxed from the pressures of everyday life. Finding time to be with those you love and those who love you is what makes a day holy; giving thanks to God in holy Mass for the blessing of friendship makes it even more holy. It is easy to forget that making space for others also allows God into our lives. And we don’t have to go away for that to happen, although it can help. If we learn how to do this at home, then everyday can be holy – we could then say that we are always on holiday.

14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent News Remembering Father Nugent 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 18 Profile Thiago Mesquita A missionary in our midst 19 Animate ‘Faith in Action growth gives double cause for celebration 25 Cathedral Record A magnificent temporary altar 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

28 Pic Life God’s love is in the little details Editor Peter Heneghan

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30 Justice and Peace Remembering Romero and the Liverpool prophets he inspired

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Our newest and youngest priest The Archdiocese of Liverpool welcomed a new priest in July with the ordination of 25-yearold Father Thomas Clarke. By Simon Hart hen Father Thomas Clarke, the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s newest priest, stepped down from the altar at the end of his Mass of Ordination on Saturday 13 July, the final hymn which filled St Charles Borromeo Parish Church in Aigburth could not have been better chosen.


It was ‘Immaculate Mary’, the Lourdes hymn, and as Fr Thomas explains, it is a hymn which holds deep personal meaning. It was in Lourdes, after all, that he reached a critical point in understanding a calling that had been with him, he says, since he began serving Mass aged seven. He was 18 and fresh from leaving St Edward’s College and ‘was praying the Rosary in the Grotto late one night when I was filled with this great sense of peace and then affirmation. I met up with Archbishop Kelly the next day and said, “I’d like to go off to seminary now”, and we spoke for about an hour and it was decided I’d go to Valladolid that September which I did.’ That was in 2012. This summer, after 12 months in Valladolid and six years at St Mary’s College, Oscott, Fr Thomas returned to Lourdes the week after his Ordination to fill the role of chaplain to the hotel-assisted pilgrims on the Liverpool Archdiocesan pilgrimage. ‘Everything has come full circle,’ he observes of this inaugural assignment, which will be followed by a first posting within the archdiocese, to Holy Name, Fazakerley as assistant parish priest. 4

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He will start there September under the wing of parish priest Father John McLoughlin, and says: ‘I know I’ll have a very warm welcome and I know it’s a very busy parish as well, with a prison, a hospital and a couple of schools to get to know. At the moment, quite naturally, there’s a lot of attention on me because I’m the new priest but I’m looking forward to the anonymity, if you like, of being part of the presbyterate of the Archdiocese.’ Country’s youngest priest Fr Thomas, at 25, is ‘probably the youngest priest in the country’ by his own estimate. And he speaks with conviction of a calling which, he observes, ‘has never really left me’ since his days as an altar boy at St Charles under the late Father George Russell who ‘all the way through my childhood and teenage years was an incredible witness to the priesthood’. He continues: ‘The proximity to the Mass as an altar boy developed that love for the Mass and the priesthood and slowly I came to the realisation that not only did I want to be a priest but God wanted me to be priest as well. All through my teenage years at St Edward’s that never really left me. It built to a climax when I was 18 and going through my UCAS application.’ He applied for History and Italian courses but ‘knew deep down it wouldn’t come to anything as I wanted to go to seminary instead.’ There is a deep sense of gratitude to those who helped him during that period, including teachers at St Edward’s ‘who through their witness as Catholics really

Father Kieran Hamilton who studied with Father Thomas at Oscott, and was ordained for the Diocese of Motherwell on Monday 1 July, at the laying on of hands

spoke to me’. He goes on: ‘St Edwards helped me to grow in my prayer life to the point that I could actually make that decision at the age of 18 and say I think that is what God wants me to do instead.’ There have been other guiding lights from this Diocese, including Canon Stephen Maloney and Father James Preston, both vocation directors here, and both Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly and the current Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon. Additionally, he names Fr Grant Maddock, who played a prominent role at his Ordination Mass. ‘I was vested by Fr Grant. He has always been a very good friend to me and an inspiring priest and I could think of no one I’d prefer to vest me.’ Another prominent role at the Ordination Mass was filled by Fr Simon Baker, Master of Ceremonies, who ‘did an excellent job of keeping me calm throughout’. Fr Simon is a friend from Oscott, a place where Fr

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Thomas savoured ‘the fraternity among seminarians’. He elaborates: ‘We train as brothers and form each other as much as we form ourselves.’ Seminary had its challenges, or spiritual growing pains, as he calls them. ‘You have to really enter into a process of

maturation and growth and to be the priest that Christ wants you to be and not a priest in your own image and likeness. It is about not being self-reverential and not relying on your own resources but trusting in the Lord and that comes from time spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.’

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As for the experience of being the youngest seminarian, he says any sense of novelty soon passed. ‘I’d just turned 19 when I started at Oscott. I didn’t try to let it influence things too much, I recognised there were older men with a great deal more experience in the world of work but we were all embarking on the same

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feature “Slowly I came to the realisation that not only did I want to be a priest but God wanted me to be priest as well”

Father Thomas with his mother, Mary and sister, Rebecca

process and we all had areas of necessary growth to embark on and we all helped each other with that. Age becomes quite insignificant really – you are just brothers who are training together.’ That long process ended where it had begun, at St Charles Borromeo, his home parish . Fr Thomas describes how the nerves felt before his Ordination Mass dissipated with the first hymn, ‘Praise to the Holiest’, when ‘a great sense of peace came over me’. And he felt grateful for the presence close by of his mother Mary and sister Rebecca and for the fact his grandfather Edward was able to be there for the Ordination rites, despite ill health. He was grateful too for the homily given by Archbishop Malcolm. ‘It was a very challenging homily which spoke to the challenges and the responsibilities of the priesthood. With it being July, I asked for a votive Mass of the Precious Blood of Christ and the Archbishop brought in the imagery of the Lord shedding his blood. We are called to do the same in our priesthood.’


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As a priest, Fr Thomas is relishing the opportunity to dispense the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, yet acknowledges there will be obstacles ahead – or ‘times in my priesthood where I will let people down’. That said, the grace felt at his Ordination weekend held an inspirational force – and this included the experience of his first Mass at St Charles Borromeo on Sunday 14th, when Canon John Udris, his spiritual director at Oscott, gave another powerful homily. ‘He spoke from the heart about his experience as a priest, and married all of that to the Ordination rites from day before,’ he explains. ‘I was probably more nervous then, as at the Ordination, everything is happening to you but for the first Mass the responsibility is yours. But it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I was really moved by how many of my brother priests turned up and there were lots of young people there who I’ve known from school or Lourdes and that really touched me to see a very youthful and energetic Church.” Now to take his own youth and energy and faith, and put them to good use in his new life as a priest.

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Celebrating 50 years of the Volunteer Missionary Movement It all began in 1964 when a young, inspired schoolteacher set off on her own initiative to volunteer in Uganda. After an initial placement in an established mission in Uganda, Edwina Gateley asked the Bishop to relocate her to an isolated, rural community, which would be in greatest need of her commitment and limited skills. Here she experienced great joy living amongst and learning from her new community and making a real, visible contribution to improving and empowering the lives of marginalised people. When Edwina Gateley returned to England she was convinced that the laity with training and preparation, could, just as the Missionaries, if properly motivated and trained, volunteer their skills and commitment overseas. She started to organise and after 18 months of considerable effort, disappointment and determination, she was granted the financial support that she needed from the Catholic Church to move into 1 Victoria Road, Mill Hill, London and establish the Volunteer Missionary Movement on 17th April 1969. Here she busily set about designing her training and recruiting volunteers and after some further months of preparation, in October 1969, 21 volunteers of VMM Volunteer Group 1 were sent to Burundi, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This was

then soon followed by Group 2, which sent VMM’s first volunteers to Cameroon, Ghana and Rodriguez Island in Mauritius. VMM has progressed immensely since its early beginnings. Since 1969, VMM has worked in over 40 countries and has placed almost 3,000 VMs to share their life, faith and skills and build the capacity of local partner organisations and dioceses who work with the most marginalised and vulnerable in society. VMM’s overall purpose remains to enable and support lay participation in our Mission of promoting justice and integral human development. We are a membership-based movement. We send young, mid-career and (increasingly) retired professional volunteers with skills and experience in, for example, education, medicine, health, construction, engineering, construction, social work, project management, accountancy, farm management, environmental protection and information technology to work for periods on between six months and two years in areas of greatest need. Our VMs are currently on mission in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Malawi. Recently we have introduced a short term volunteering programme for placements, usually with mission partners, for between two weeks and six

months. This is for people wishing to gain first-hand experience of volunteering on ethically based projects in parts of Africa. This programme attracts young school leavers, students, apprentices, mid- life workers and, increasingly, large numbers of retired women and men. As a result of their short term experiences some decide to return later on to long term volunteering projects. However all return to Europe with a better understanding of the life and challenges faced by our fellow human beings in Africa and use this understanding and commitment to influence their friends, colleagues, pupils and politicians and encourage the adoption of the need for love and justice and fairness across the world. We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year at Liverpool Hope University on Monday 9th September. You can attend our celebrations or get involved in other ways by contacting our Liverpool office on 0151 291 3438 or by emailing Donations are welcomed by visiting our website

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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:

Transformational Lives – St Peter and St Paul by Helen Jones, Archdiocesan Pastoral Assistant ‘Ss Peter and Paul, “Chosen and Sent”’ was the theme for the 2019 NW

Scripture Festival at Thornleigh Salesian College, Bolton, which attracted people from across the northern dioceses on the eve of the Feast of St Peter and St Paul (29 June).

Father Chris Thomas at the Scripture Conference

After our warm welcome we learned an uplifting chant that punctuated the day and had been composed specially by Jo Wallace, one of the Archdiocese Pastoral Associates. Our first session together concentrated on Peter and led to a deeper understanding of the transformative power of God’s love. Enriched by our insights we were divided into smaller groups and participated in workshops where we explored scripture passages relating to Peter sharing our reflections and thoughts. The morning ended as we came together again and in pairs talked about our workshop insights. We concluded with an invitation to write our responses to St Peter in light of our morning sessions, on post-its, creating a ‘word picture’. After lunch, after having enjoyed fellowship in the grounds and sunshine, we began with an overview of the life and work of St Paul and again split into scripture discussion groups. We focussed especially on unity and equality. Our final coming together enabled us to share our thoughts on St Paul once more before again adding to our word wall. Having had a personal encounter with these two great pillars of the Church through scripture we ended with the words of St Paul to the Church in Corinth: ‘You are a letter of Christ, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of the human heart’. What are your unique gifts?’

Jubilarians celebrate 305 years of ministry Jubilarians from the Archdiocese of Liverpool joined with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon to celebrate 305 years of ministry. Parishioners, family and friends came together for Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Father Terence Dooley, Father Peter Fox and Father James Moore celebrate their Golden Jubilee this year; Father Ed Cain and Canon Tony O’Brien their Ruby Jubilee and Father Mark Beattie and Canon Aidan Prescott their Silver Jubilee. Father Denis Parry, who also celebrates his Silver Jubilee, was not present at the Mass as he is serving with the Liverpool Archdiocesan Missionary Project (LAMP) in Peru. Pictured with Archbishop Malcolm are (l to 8

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r) Father Mark Beattie, Canon Tony O’Brien, Father Terence Dooley, Father

Peter Fox, Father James Moore, Father Ed Cain and Canon Aidan Prescott.

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news diary

SYNOD 2020: The next steps by Father Philip Inch On June 30th the on-line Synod Survey closed. Up to that date 1300 people had filled in the Synod questions on line. On July 16th the parish listening sheets all had to be sent to the Synod Office. It is difficult to say how many people the response represented, a cautious estimate is that over 20,000 people have taken part. As well as this the specific youth survey has added another 570 responses. What happens with all this listening? Hope University (under the guidance of Father Peter McGrail, the Director of the Hope Institute of Pastoral Theology) have been analysing all the data so that it can be taken to the Synod Working Party to discern the next steps on our Synod Journey. Who is the Synod Working Party? The Synod Moderators (Father Philip Inch, Father Matthew Nunes), Mrs Maureen Knight, (Pastoral Formation) Mrs Debbie Reynolds (SFX pastoral worker), Sr Rachel Duffy FCJ, Miss Kate Wilkinson (school chaplain at All Hallows), Father Mark Beattie, Father Stephen Pritchard and Father Dominic Curran. What will they do? From August 15th to 17th the Synod Working Party will gather under the guidance of Father Eamonn Fitzgibbon and Dr Jessie Rogers (from Limerick Diocese.) They will lead a three-day process of discernment and prayer. Father Peter McGrail will present all the data from the listening that has taken place and after a time of discernment we hope that a number of themes may emerge which indicate the way forward for us on our Synod journey. Then what? The themes will be presented to the

Synod Members at the September 2020 Synod Gatherings in Wigan (Sept 21st or 25th). These will be presented to the Archdiocese on Synod Sunday (October 2019) and then each theme will be explored, discussed, examined and prayed about. Synod Members will then be invited to listen to the people of the

Archdiocese and then with them discern what proposals should be put forward based on each theme. What can I do? Pope Francis continually reminds us that the work of Synodality is the work of the Holy Spirit and if we listen and discern then the voice of God will be heard. At the opening of Synod 2020 in February 2019 Archbishop Malcolm said: ‘In October 2018 we celebrated the first Synod Sunday. In my Letter for that day I focused on the need to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the life and experience of all the priests, deacons, religious and people of our Archdiocese. It is our duty to discern carefully together what the Spirit is saying to the Church in the Archdiocese and agree on common directions and actions for the future.’ So prayer is vitally important at this time in our Synod journey, especially on August 15th,16th and 17th. The words of Archbishop Malcolm in February 2019 can be at the heart of our praying: ‘In convoking the Synod I am calling us to be bold and creative in the task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation in our Archdiocesan community with its various parish and ecclesial, religious and social communities.’ Thank you for all that has taken place and please pray as we move to the next steps of Synod 2020.

Listening in the rain

(l to r) Ultan Russell, Paul Larkin, Chris Ablewhite, Father Philip Carr, Claire Hanlon, Deacon Paul Mannings and Canon Tony O’Brien). In preparation for Synod 2020 the Cathedral Synod group organised a pop-up listening event on the Metropolitan Cathedral piazza at the end of June. Visitors and passers-by were asked for their views on the Church and in return were offered tea or coffee. The morning was a great success, apart from the weather. However, the heavy rain didn’t dampen the spirits of everyone taking part.

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news diary Double celebration for Wigan parishes The end of June saw the high point of celebrations to mark the anniversaries of the opening of two churches in Wigan in 1819; St Mary’s and St John’s are both on Standishgate within two hundred yards of each other. They opened separately within months in 1819, St Mary’s was a new parish administered by secular clergy while St John’s was built as a Jesuit church. The Jesuits served in the town from the 18th century and kept a presence in the parish until the early 1930s. The Metropolitan Cathedral Choir gave a choral concert in St John’s on Friday 21 June and the following Sunday morning Archbishop Malcolm celebrated the 9.00 am Mass in St Mary’s and the 11.00 am Mass in St John’s. Invited clergy who attended included Father Damian Howard SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits and local priests who had served in either parish or who had close family ties. In his homily the Archbishop paid tribute to the clergy and parishioners of the past who had developed and maintained a strong and faithful Catholic presence in the town; following the Masses two hundred parishioners and friends enjoyed a celebration in St Mary’s parish centre. There will be a sung Requiem Mass in November for all deceased clergy, parishioners and family members and the year-long celebrations will end on the feast of St John in December.

A Celebration of Priesthood

Priests from throughout the archdiocese gathered together at the Centre for Evangelisation to celebrate their priesthood at the beginning of July. The Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Reverend George Stack, joined Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop Tom Williams and Bishop Vincent Malone at the Mass and preached the homily. Priests celebrating significant jubilees this year were congratulated at the Mass and lunch which followed. 10

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news diary

KHS Investiture held in Liverpool by Father Mark Madden The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has its origins dating back to the first crusade and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099. It was reconstituted in 1847 to provide regular support of prayer and works for the Christian communities in the Holy Land. The Order in England and Wales now numbers 600 knights, dames and clergy members, and was established in 1954. It meets twice a year, usually in St George’s Catholic Cathedral in Southwark. On Saturday 22 June the Order ventured out of London and met in Liverpool when 14 new members were invested. The occasion was special due to the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Cardinal Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, to have the presence of the Cardinal Grand Master is special and this is the second time Liverpool has hosted such a visit. The Investiture weekend began on the Friday evening when knights and dames held a vigil in the Cathedral Crypt praying for those to be invested. This ancient practice began when new knights spent a whole night guarding the empty tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem. These days they are not required to travel to Jerusalem but are still expected to spend at least one hour in

Father Godric Timney is invested by Cardinal Edwin O’Brien. Picture: © Mazur/

prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. On Saturday morning hundreds of knights and dames from across the country, and from around the world, gathered in the Metropolitan Cathedral to witness Cardinal O’Brien invest the new members. The congregation called down the Holy Spirit on the investees before they made solemn promises to be good witnesses to the ‘Kingdom of Christ and to further the mission of the Church, working for charity with the same profound spirit of faith and love.’ One by one they knelt in front of the

Cardinal to be invested with their insignia and robes of the Order which bear the Jerusalem Cross above their hearts as a reminder of the promises they have just made. Among those invested was Father Godric Timney OSB, Parish Priest of St Anne’s, Ormskirk. Following the majestic ceremony, the guests left Liverpool with wonderful memories. Cardinal O’Brien returned to Rome grateful that he had finally got to visit as he said, ‘the great and beautiful city of Liverpool.’

Knights of the Holy Sepulchre outside the Cathedral after the Investiture. Picture: © Mazur/

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news diary Archbishop Malcolm ordains four deacons

L to r: Elisabeth Juhasz, Gergeley Juhasz, Paul Rooney, Jane Rooney, Archbishop Malcolm, Canon Chris Fallon, Janet Moffatt, Michael Moffatt, Susan Mawtus, Peter Mawtus Parishes in Wigan, Ormskirk, St Helens, and Woolton were well represented among the large congregation who gathered in the Metropolitan Cathedral on Sunday 7 July for the ordination of four new permanent deacons. Archbishop Malcolm was joined by deacons and priests from around the diocese for this joyous celebration, which also marked the 40th anniversary of the first ordinations of permanent deacons in the Archdiocese on 8 July 1979. Gergely Juhasz, a lecturer in Theology at Liverpool Hope University, will serve in the parishes of Our Lady of the Annunciation (Bishop Eton) and St Mary, the Woolton

and Halewood Pastoral Area and Liverpool Hope University. Gergely was born in Hungary and studied theology there and in Belgium. He is married to Elisabeth and they have one daughter. Michael Moffatt, formerly a teacher and now a Health and Safety consultant in the construction industry, will serve the parish of St Edward and the Wigan Pastoral Area. He and his wife Janet have two grown up sons and enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. Peter Mawtus and his wife Susan have three adult children and several grandchildren. Peter is a retired marketing consultant and will serve the parish of St Anne and the Ormskirk and Maghull

8th Penwortham St Teresa’s Summer Camp 8th Penwortham St Teresa’s Cubs had their annual summer camp from Friday 28 June to Sunday 30 June with the Beavers joining them on Saturday. Father Roy Cooper joined them at Waddecar to celebrate St Peter and St Paul’s day, with an openair Mass, against a backdrop of the stunning Bowland hills. Afterwards, the cubs and beavers took part in a family walk and then returned to camp for a barbeque and a traditional camp fire. 12

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Pastoral Area. Paul Rooney leads the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at Liverpool Hope University. Paul and his wife Jane have a daughter and a son and live in St Helens. Paul will serve the parishes of St Bartholomew and St Teresa of the Child Jesus, the St Helens Pastoral Area and Liverpool Hope University. The four wives took their part in the ceremony, vesting their husbands, with the help of their parish priests, in the same stoles and dalmatics used in the first ordinations in 1979, while Archbishop Malcolm wore the matching chasuble made for that occasion.

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note Slightly quieter weeks now in the lives of our parishes and indeed here at the Beda College – our students have left to go to their various counties and Dioceses for a period of rest and also an experience of parish ministry before they come back to begin a new year. Eleven of the students, however, will not be returning as they have finished their four years with us and during these weeks have been or will be ordained as priests to serve in counties as varied as England, Australia, Scotland, Malaysia and India, so please remember them in your prayers as they begin their Ordained Ministry, that they may be, as the Liturgy puts it, ‘ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel’. That said, sacramentally all is still busy. There are marriages to be celebrated, funerals if called upon, and perhaps baptisms. Visits to the sick and to the hospital continue, and Sunday and weekday Masses … the round of parish requirements may reduce over these next weeks, but it never comes to a complete standstill so a word of thanks to all who will ensure that in our parishes the telephones will still be answered and those seeking the Sacraments will still be catechised, prayed with and welcomed. In the middle of the month we keep the Solemnity of the Assumption (Thursday 15 August) and on this Holy

Sunday thoughts My mother often said, ‘Life is short’. I wondered what she was talking about. At the time I thought she’d had a long life. Now I see things differently. She died not much older than I am now. It’s said that youth is wasted on the young. When I was young, I assumed there to be an endless progression of years ahead of me. I was impatient for the best years I imagined lay ahead to arrive quickly. Rarely did I savour the moment. The future couldn’t come quickly enough. In the psalm for the 19th Sunday of the Year, we read: ‘You sweep men away like a dream, like grass which springs up in the morning. In the morning it springs up and flowers; by evening it withers and fades. Make us know the shortness of life that we may gain wisdom of heart.’ (Ps89) Death concentrates the mind. It not

Canon Philip Gillespie

Day our thoughts are centred not only upon the singular privilege given to Our Blessed Lady of being Mother of the Word made Flesh (the Theotokos or Bearer of God) but also upon the call to each and every one of us to live out Mary’s song of praise, her Magnificat, in our daily lives: The Almighty has done great things for us and Holy is His Name. The Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer on this feast speaks clearly of the important position of Mary in our own spiritual journey, our living-out of the Christian vocation we have all received in Baptism: For today the virgin Mother of God was assumed into heaven as the beginning and image of your Church’s coming to perfection, and a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people. We are all members of that ‘pilgrim people’ and in our journeying and learning each day we ask that the prayer and example of Mary, Mother of the Lord, may assist us, that we may always serve the Lord with gladness: Beneath your compassion, We take refuge, O Mother of God: do not despise our petitions in time of trouble: but rescue us from dangers, only pure, only blessed one.

Mgr John Devine OBE

just about a biblical day of judgement. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this wisdom. The realisation that our life is temporary, not permanent, offers a fresh perspective on what’s important and what isn’t. ‘There’s no tow bar on a hearse.’ That’s a pithy variant I recently heard on ‘No pockets in a shroud’. Even the wealthiest come to realise in the end that they are temporary custodians of the fortune they have amassed. They think their wealth is theirs, but they have to leave it behind. As a priest celebrating funerals I can usually tell how much the dead person was loved. Their wealth, or more modest circumstances, are irrelevant. Their legacy lives in the hearts of those they loved.

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The games people play Just recently I was working in Nottingham and a woman came up to me for a chat. I don’t know what I said to her but I guess I must have given her the space to say what she wanted to say. She told me that she was gay and that she lived with her mother who was sick, nursing her. She said that nobody knew she was gay and that she had spent most of her life hiding it from others. It was sad to see in her eyes the fear of rejection and the pain of hiding behind the masks that she’d created to survive. I guess we all wear masks. We play games with ourselves and with other people. We pretend that we’re something we’re not, to cover up our insecurities, anxieties and fears. Sadly, our wearing of masks does mean that very few people know us and that we don’t really know ourselves. The process of getting to know ourselves is a very long and painful one in which we have to let down our guard and let who we are be seen. It’s not a journey that most of us relish and we only really undertake it if we have to and yet to truly discover ourselves is the most incredible gift of God and it leads to immense freedom. That gift of freedom isn’t freedom to do what you want, which is really just self-indulgence, but freedom to be who you really are and do what you are called to do for the sake of the world. It’s the freedom to know that ‘your life is not your own’, as Richard Rohr puts it. I love the story of the paralytic who is lowered through the roof of the room where Jesus was. Everyone in the story – the man, the scribes and Pharisees, the friends – are all being invited to drop their masks and be real. The man has to decide what he really wants: inner freedom or physical freedom. In the end he gets both. He also has to face what he believes about himself. Is he the sinner that Judaism would have believe or is he loved by God? The scribes and Pharisees are challenged to stop hiding behind religiosity and ask themselves whether God is at work in this situation and in this man, Jesus. And if God is at work, then what does that say about their image of God and who is in and who is out, and who is unclean and who is worthy? The friends have to face their image of who God is and the people around have to look again at their beliefs and their authority structure. We are all like them and are being invited to lower our masks and face ourselves and move into the bigger picture of who God is and who we are. If we allow the Lord to touch us, then the freedom to be ourselves and all that means is ours. It’s then that we become usable by God and our very sense of God, self, the world, will touch the hearts and lives of those around us. Fr Chris Thomas

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Lasallian celebrations Lasallian communities throughout the world are holding celebrations on the 300th anniversary of the death of their founder, St John Baptiste de la Salle, patron saint of teachers, in 1719. Bishop Tom Williams celebrated Mass for the Lasallian communities in the north west of England in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Co-ordinated by De La Salle, St Helens the celebration was attended by staff and students from De La Salle Liverpool, Cardinal Langley Manchester, St Margaret Ward Stoke, De La Salle Basildon, the primary schools of St Julie’s and St Bartholomew as well as staff from Kintbury retreat centre. The congregation were welcomed by Andy Rannard, Headteacher in St Helens, who spoke of the current dangers and division within modern day society and how refreshing it was to see so many young people with different accents, uniforms and backgrounds coming together to celebrate what unites them rather than what divides them. This theme was picked up by Bishop Tom in his homily, as he spoke of John Baptiste de la Salle’s passion to find the

wonder in each individual and his ability to ignite and inspire, as have the Lasallian Brothers over the generations. The service concluded with a powerful piece of drama which explored the importance and meaning of the five core Lasallian values: faith in the presence of God, respect for all persons, inclusive community, quality education and concern

for the poor and social justice. St Helens Year 11 student, Ines Bonati, spoke very movingly about the impact her Lasallian education has made on her and her life. Art work from staff, students and brothers across the district of Great Britain, Ireland and Malta was on display including a very well observed landscape from the Provincial, Brother Laurence.

Remembering Father Nugent Nugent works at the heart of the community, providing that vital safety net for vulnerable children and adults, continuing the kind and essential work started by Father James Nugent in 1881 working to relieve poverty and create social reform. Since our beginnings, the support of our parishes, community groups and supporters has been vital to our ability to provide help and care for people living in difficult circumstances. Here in 2019 things are no different. We continue to provide support and care where local government funding and austerity is impacting most, and this means that we rely on the support of our fantastic fundraising volunteers and supporter groups more than ever. At the end of June we celebrated ‘We are Nugent’ Day with a host of events across our services to not only raise funds, but also to mark Father Nugent’s death on 27 June 1905. The levels of participation from staff, volunteers, service users and the wider community was second to none; from car washes, bake sales, to tombolas, raffles and fancy dress, the whole organisation really got into the spirit of Nugent. Our Charity of the Year partner, Liverpool

Marriot Hotel also joined in the fun by encouraging staff to wear purple for the day. We had a lot of fun across the week, ending with our 7K9 dog walk and show in Formby, and have raised over

£3,500 so far. The event was a fabulous example of people coming together to serve the greater good and our teams wholeheartedly embraced the ethos of our Founder, Father James Nugent.

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what’s on Thursday 1 August Classical Guitar Concert by John O’Connell 1.00-2.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Admission free. Friday 9 August ‘Manor Disco’ Aplace where people with various learning and physical needs and their carers can come together. 7.30 pm at Our Lady of Walsingham Club, Stand Park Avenue, Netherton, L30 3SA. Entrance: £1.50. Wednesday 14 August Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help ‘Undoer of Knots’ led by Father John Cullen 7.15 pm at St Edmund of Canterbury, 62 Oxford Road, Waterloo, L22 8QF.

Father Paul Mooney MHM 7.15 pm at St Edmund of Canterbury, 62 Oxford Road, Waterloo, L22 8QF. Monday 26 August Mass for the Feast of Blessed Dominic Barberi CP 12.00 noon at St Anne and Blessed Dominic, Monastery Road, Sutton, St Helens, WA9 3ZD. Celebrant: The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham. Wednesday 28 August Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help ‘Undoer of Knots’ led by Father Anthony Kelly 7.15 pm at St Edmund of Canterbury, 62 Oxford Road, Waterloo, L22 8QF.

Friday 31 August Book Launch. ‘Margaret Clitherow’ by John and Wendy Rayne-Davis 7.30 pm for 7.45 pm at Theodore House, Stonyhurst, College, Clitheroe, BB7 9PT. The presentation will give an overview of the various themes covered in the book which give fresh context to Margaret’s life. Questions and refreshments included. Overnight stay at reduced cost available with Mass and a talk at Stydd chapel on Saturday morning. Details: Bookings: Tel: 01254 827329.

Looking ahead

Thursday 15 August Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Holyday of Obligation

Sunday 1 September World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Monday 18 August to Friday 23 August ‘Bidden or not Bidden, God is present.’ A preached retreat led by Bishop John Crowley at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. Bookings (including nonresidents): Tel: 01704 875850 or 07712 178670. Email: Website:

Tuesday 10 September Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email:

Wednesday 21 August Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help ‘Undoer of Knots’ led by

Sunday 8 September Education Sunday. Details:

Wednesday 11 September UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at St Gregory’s, Liverpool Road, Lydiate, L31 2NA. Friday 13 September ‘Manor Disco’ a place where people with various learning and physical needs and their carers can come together 7.30 pm at Our Lady of Walsingham Club, Stand Park Avenue, Netherton, L30 3SA. Entrance: £1.50. Sunday 15 September Home Mission Day Friday 20 September to Sunday 22 September ‘Imagining Reality’: A weekend exploring the role of the imagination in developing important Christian themes in English literature: our place in the world and the formation of our character. Presentations and readings will focus on a range of well-loved classic, as well as giving a particular insight into JRR Tolkien. To be held at at Theodore House, Stonyhurst, College, Clitheroe, BB7 9PT. Details: Bookings: Tel: 01254 827329.

Website at 16

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august Synod 2020 Talks Monday 7 October 2019 The Quiet Revolution of Pope Francis: A Synodal Catholic Church. Father Gerry O'Hanlon SJ Monday 11 November 2019 Faith and Theology in Later Life Dr Ros Stuart-Buttle Monday 9 December 2019 Complex Catholicism: Discovering the Reality of Young Catholics in England and Wales Stephen Davies Monday 13 January 2020 Faith in the Family Dr Dominika Kurek-Chomycz and Prof John Sullivan Monday 17 February 2020 The Church in an Individualistic Society: Today's Economic Inequality Where is the Church? Rt Rev Dr Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth Monday 9 March 2020 The Church as Fragmented Mirror Dr David McLoughlin Monday 20 April 2020 Participating in Christ's Ministry in the 2020s Kate Wilkinson and Rev Dr Peter McGrail All talks begin at 7.30 pm in Hope Chapel at Liverpool Hope University (entrance by Chapel or Gateway Building). Tea and coffee available from 7.00 pm and optional Night prayer follows each talk at 9.00 pm.

Pauline Books and Media, 82 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HR Please note that Pauline Books and Media will be closed for holidays from Monday 5 August to Wednesday 14 August.

Come and See Conference 2019 Saturday 12 October to Sunday 13 October Keynote Speaker: Peter McVerry SJ. Workshops led by Steve Atherton, John Bell, Amy Cameron, Maureen Roche, Louise Swanson, Jean Washbourne and Michael Winstanley SDB. Saturday evening with Anthony Gielty, author of ‘Out of the Darkness’. Music and Prayer led by Jo Boyce and friends with Steve Murray. Christ the King High school, Stamford Road, Southport, PR8 4EX. Suggested donation £40 (concessions available on request) Details and booking form: Tel: 0151 949 1199 or send a stamped addressed envelope to: Irenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Liverpol, L22 1 RD.

St Margaret Mary’s Holy Land Pilgrimage Parishioners from St Margaret Mary’s parish spent eight days in the Holy Land on a pilgrimage led by their Parish Priest, Father Ian McParland, and by Father Joe Bibby of St Wilfrid’s, Widnes. During a prayerful and spiritually fulfilling time the pilgrims visited Magdala.

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Thiago Mesquita A missionary in our midst By Simon Hart ‘We do not live better when we flee, hide, refuse to share, stop giving and lock ourselves up in our own comforts.’ These are the words of Pope Francis in ‘Evangeli Gaudium’ and they are words that Thiago Mesquita de Sousa summons as he sets about explaining the motivating forces in his life as a missionary. It was two years ago that the 28-year-old left behind a comfortable life as a lawyer in the city of Fortaleza in the northeast of Brazil. Today he is some 4,500 miles away in Wigan – a place where, as he puts it, ‘it is summer but I feel cold’. He has come here as guest of the ‘very welcoming’ Father John Gorman, staying at Our Lady Immaculate parish in Ashton-in-Makerfield since early May as he works on improving the English language skills which will help in his missionary work. The variable climate of England’s northwest is just one of the challenges he has faced since taking the decision to leave Brazil and relocate to Chile to live with the Shalom Catholic Community there. He had first encountered Shalom at a residential summer camp in his late teens. ‘I’d say that this camp was a


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watershed in my life,’ he recalls. ‘I came out with something different. There were about 1,500 people. At the time I didn't have much faith, I was just thinking about having success in my life. But when I went to the camp I had a strong experience and started attending the youth groups of the Shalom Community. Soon, I began to co-ordinate groups.’ The Shalom Catholic Community is officially titled an ‘international private association of the faithful’. It has communities across the world, including one in London. Explaining his life within the Chilean community, Thiago says: ‘We have men, women, priests, celibate and couples – all different ages. Wherever our community is, we work with evangelising, organising events and retreats, especially for young people. We are in more than 35 countries. ‘I was very happy as a lawyer. I had money, a car, it was all good but I felt a thirst in my heart. I’ve seen people’s hearts are the same everywhere. I work with young people and I believe they have this same thirst I had. That’s the reason why I felt very happy in missionary work. It’s a challenging life, but the challenge is not too much compared with the grace. I discovered

that the secret of life is to give oneself to others.’ His daily life with Shalom in Chile combines evangelisation with contemplation, with two hours’ silence each morning. ‘In my life everything changed. I wake up early, I go to Mass first thing every day. I have breakfast then pray for two hours in silence. For me, silence allows you to hear the one person that is all the time with you.’ As for impressions gained since his arrival here in the northwest, he speaks positively of the depth of faith he has witnessed in Liverpool Archdiocese. ‘I know people who do not abandon the faith, even when they’re the only ones in the family who actively participate in going to Mass or other Catholic activities,’ he says. He would like the Shalom Community to develop stronger ties with the Diocese, and describes young people here as ‘a renewing force’. He was grateful for the opportunity to attend the Lourdes Departure Mass at Lowe House and later this summer will attend the Walsingham Festival. With conviction, he adds: ‘I really believe young people can make a difference to the Church here.’

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youth ministry Faith in Action growth gives double cause for celebration By Fr Simon Gore The end of the month of June marked the end of the third full year of the national Catholic Faith in Action award scheme. It is a scheme which seems to have captured the essence of what it means to be a Catholic in our Archdiocese, and, moreover, what it means to be a young Catholic in the world today. As many readers will already be aware, the scheme rewards young people for putting their faith into action in society. They are responding to the call of the Holy Father to go the peripheries and take the good news and joy of the Lord to those they encounter. In the first year of the award we had over 400 young people put

themselves forward, while in the second year we had over 700. This year, we were delighted to see 1,040 young people from across the Diocese receive their awards at two different ceremonies. The numbers involved were so large that we had to arrange ceremonies in both the north and the south of the Diocese: one in Leyland, the other at Liverpool Hope University. The Archbishop was able to attend both events and meet all the young award recipients, presenting them with their certificates and badges. Both evenings were a fantastic

celebration of a lived faith, and to see so many young people putting their faith into action is something that we, as a Diocese, should be proud of. I would like to thank all the parish and school coordinators who led the awards throughout the year, as well as all those who volunteered to moderate this year’s work. A particular word of thanks must go to the young people who gave of themselves and acted in service to others through this scheme. Many of these young people will have done their awards at primary school this year so I hope you will keep them in your prayers as they move to secondary school in September. And for those already in the seniors, please remember them that they might use the award as a further stepping stone on their journeys of faith. If you are interested in knowing more about the award, please go to (see the ‘Faith in Action’ tab at the top of the page) or to We are hosting a training evening for anyone that might like to run the award in their parish or school on 24 September from 5,30-7pm here at Lowe House. You are very welcome to come along to find out more about the scheme.

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Oracy ambassadors do it again!

CELEBRATING SUCCESS Don’t miss our exam results special in the September issue of the Catholic Pic If you wish to showcase your school’s success please contact us at

Staff and pupils from Archbishop Beck Catholic College, Liverpool were celebrating the success of Eugene O’Donnell and Jake Cliff from the colleges public speaking society who took part in the Annual Catholic Schools Public Speaking Contest. The event was held at the college on Friday July 5th. Both students did a remarkable job on their presentations, greatly impressing the three members of the judging panel. Mr Michael Shankland head of the judging panel commented on the very high level of public speaking from all schools, but in the end the winner was Jake Cliff from Archbishop Beck Catholic College. The college’s public speaking society also took part in a special training day at Hope University – called ‘Discover Your Voice’. The day saw schools from across the region take part in an intensive day of training. This was a joint collaboration between Archbishop Beck Catholic, The English Speaking Union, Liverpool and Merseyside ESU Branch and Hope University.

To continue to help support over 6,000 vulnerable children and adults across the North West, Nugent’s charity shop is in urgent need of donations. You can donate any items at our shop at:

73 Allerton Road, Liverpool, L18 2DH (Monday - Saturday, 9am - 5pm) 73 Allerton Road, Liverpool, L18 2DH Registered Charity: 222930



0151 737 2951

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education news

Student winners for sustainability

Schools from the Archdiocese of Liverpool Secondary School Improvement Trust are celebrating after taking part in a Student Media Competition at Liverpool Hope University. Over 200 students produced a variety of performances reflecting on the theme of ‘Sustainability’ and Pope Francis’ message that ‘We must care for the earth so that it may continue as God willed’. The Judges commendation in the Poetry category went to Year 7 students Ellie O’Callaghan, Rachel Lunt and Philip Sharpe from Savio Salesian College in Liverpool. Judges commendations also went to Lucy Fairhurst, Year 13 student at St John Rigby Sixth Form College in Wigan in the ‘Photography’ category; All Saints Catholic High School, Liverpool, in the 'Dance' Category, and Year 8 and 9 students Rebecca Cowan, Bethany Molyneux, Zoe Shearn, Maxwell Richards-Clarke, Chantelle Hibbert and Faith Richardson in the ‘Song’ Category with an original score. The winner was Yuli Ting, a year 8 student from Christ the King Catholic High School, Southport, who produced a wonderful hour glass image entitled ‘Countdown’. Yuli’s winning entry showed reality on our planet and that, if this carries on, we cannot

sustain the Earth for future generations. Yuli explained that her piece conveys the idea that because of human activities, animals are becoming extinct, the ice on the poles is melting and the temperature rises each year. Yuli’s artwork was inspired by the need to stop people turning away and hiding from the facts, or just give the responsibility to someone else, when God gives us all the responsibility. Congratulations go to the winner and all those who entered including Maricourt Catholic High School, Liverpool, Broughton Hall Catholic High School, Liverpool, Holy Family Catholic High School, Thornton, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College, Widnes and St Mary’s Catholic High School, Leyland. Partnership Director, Paul Greenall, praised the students saying, ‘The quality of performances and artwork was amazing, and the students were all super. It was an inspiring morning, with the students’ powerful message to us all for the future care of our planet expressed through art, song, poetry, dance and photography. The judges praised our students for their creativity, the variety of performance and the effort that they put into their compositions’.

Award for Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School was named ‘Primary School of the Year’ at the Sefton Sports Awards. The award is given to a Primary School which has demonstrated extra commitment to sport within the last 12 months through the development of new initiatives or programmes which go above and beyond the usual activity. The children at Our Lady of Lourdes love PE and school sport. The staff believe that Physical Education should give every child, whatever their ability, an equal opportunity to develop their physical competence to enable them to enjoy physical activity. Through dedicated staff, an engaging curriculum and a plethora of extra-curricular activities, children not only make good progress during lessons, they develop a love for PE. The children are offered the platform to make informed choices about physical activity throughout their lives and PE provides the potential for personal development by making particular demands, which are not easily replicated in other subjects. Sam Gallagher, PE Subject Leader, said, ‘It is an amazing honour to receive this prestigious award. It is fantastic to receive the recognition that the school deserves for going above and beyond for the pupils. It would not have been possible to receive the reward without two things: the dedication and hard work put in by all staff to create a holistic approach to school sport and the children’s enthusiastic approach’. Headteacher, Maureen Hillsdon, added, ‘I am so proud of all the staff and pupils for this wonderful achievement’.

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education news

St Anne’s Bake Off

Pupils from St Anne’s RC Primary School, Huyton, put down their pencils and put on their aprons to take part in their first ever ‘Bake Off’ event. All children from ages 4 to 11 took part and produced some fantastic bakes learning lots of new skills while teachers managed to spot several budding bakers. There was a real buzz about the school and the staff and children were very excited to meet their special guest and Head Judge, Flo Atkins (Great British Bake Off 2017).

The judges tasted all the bakes and commented on how delicious they were. When it came down to making their final decision, the judges found it very hard to choose, however they decided that Year 4’s ‘Rainbow Surprise’ cake was their overall winner. Mrs Atkins commented that she was thrilled to be a part of such a special event and we hopefully she will return next year for St Anne’s Bake Off 2020.

Liverpool Blue Coat Choir at the Metropolitan Cathedral Liverpool Blue Coat School Choir sang Evening Prayer for the first time in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, at the invitation of Director of Music, Dr Chris McElroy, a former student of the School. The 38-member was accompanied by the School’s top organist, 17-year-old Daniel Greenway, playing the Cathedral’s Walker organ. This was the first time that Daniel, who has Grade 8 Organ with Distinction, has played this instrument. The music included ‘Locus Iste’, Stanford’s ‘Magnificat’ and Britten’s ‘A Hymn to the Virgin’. The invcitation was part of the ‘Blue Coat for all’ project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to not only restore the School’s historic Father Willis organ, but also to engage in community outreach projects to promote interest in organ and choral music, especially for young people. This includes the new Blue Coat Organ Scholarship with tuition on the Cathedral’s Walker organ. Dr McElroy said: ‘It was a real pleasure to welcome the Blue Coat Choir under Simon Emery’s direction to the Metropolitan Cathedral. As expected they performed superbly and I do hope we can repeat the event’. Simon Emery, Blue Coat School Director of Music, said: ‘It was a wonderful occasion to take part in and sing the service. This was our first time singing at the Metropolitan Cathedral and we’d love to do it again.’


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education news ASFA hosts Refugee Week The Academy of St Francis of Assisi recently held a number of in-school events and activities to mark Refugee Week (17 – 23 June). Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. In particular, there was some challenging and emotional moments at the Kensington Academy on Refugee Day (Thursday 20 June) which evoked respect and dignity from students. Every class in the Academy spent Period 1 in a specially designed lesson that highlighted the plight of refugees around the world and in the local community with several of the Academy’s own students sharing their stories. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Peter Brennan, was a special guest on the day, along with parents and Governors, who attended a special lunch cooked by students. After lunch, a moving assembly took place which was led by Jean Blanchard Azip. Jean is a Congolese refugee whose parents were killed by militia when he was 15 years old. He was briefly captured and trained as a child soldier but escaped with the help of the UN and was brought to Britain alone. He now works in Manchester as an accountant and musician but shared his story with pupils in order to show how mental strength, resilience and positive thinking helped him to overcome extreme hurdles in life. Jean introduced refugee students, who, with incredible bravery, stood up in front of their peers and told their stories of coming to Liverpool. Whilst they told stories of war, family loss and separation, unimaginable journeys through deserts, across borders and life in

refugee camps, students in the audience listened with admiration. For some, it was the first time they had spoken about this in public. From the feeling of great emotion and sadness, the school’s drumming group began to play alongside, singing which turned the feeling in the assembly hall to one of rapture and joy. The event culminated in students and staff leaving the hall dancing and singing. One student, as he left the school, said: “That was the best day ever”. The day was organised by Miss Allen, Head of History, who said: “Teaching at The Academy of St. Francis of Assisi is an absolute privilege. Listening to our students and seeing the respect shown to others telling their stories has moved and inspired me. What an emotional and encouraging day.” Headteacher Mrs Greenough added: "This event shows what our Academy community is made of. Every student has lived out our values and we truly are a vibrant multi-cultural school." Inspired by sharing their stories, the pupils now have plans to work on a book of their experiences and to form a group to support other refugee students who arrive in the school.

Celebrating outstanding attendance Three Netherton primary schools have been working together to celebrate outstanding attendance – St Benedicts Catholic Primary School, The Grange and Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School. The three schools teachers have been meeting to discuss education which ended the year with a ‘100% Attendees Celebration Event’. Clare Johanson, event organiser and parent support ddvisor from this year’s hosts, Our Lady of Walsingham, said:

“This event, we hope, will be an annual event hosted in turn in each of our schools. We had an incredible 49 pupils with 100% attendance from across the three schools.” Clare had organised for a whole range of events – football skills from local girls’ football coaches, The Fillies; an inflatable obstacle course and a dance class from Jenetic. Perhaps the most important part was the making of dream catchers where pupils had the opportunity to discuss why they

think it is important to be in school. Parents were invited to celebrate and teachers thank them too for raising the profile of education in their homes. Gloria, Our Lady’s cook, provided a lovely, huge picnic for everyone including ice cream! Clare said: “Congratulations to all of our pupils, and thank you for a fantastic day! It was so lovely to see pupils from across the three schools having fun and encouraging each other!” .

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education news St Mary’s centenary celebrations continue with special proms in the park event St Mary’s College in Crosby continued its 100th birthday celebrations with a special centenary production of its annual Proms in the Park event. More than 2,000 people attended the music-and-fireworks extravaganza at the school’s Blundell Park playing field which was held in glorious sunshine this year. As promised by the organisers, the centenary event included a number of amends and additions to the traditional programme, including an all-new pyrotechnic finale. This featured items as varied as Mussorgsky’s epic Great Gates of Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition and a crowd-pleasing version of the Can Can! The concert - sponsored by National Tyres and Autocare - showcased the musical skills of around 250 students from the college and its preparatory school, and was conducted by director of music Andrew Byers. There were special guest appearances by acclaimed soprano Rachael Russell, a former pupil of the college, and the choir from Great Crosby Catholic Primary School. The compere for the concert was popular BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Roger Phillips, an old friend of the school. Roger introduced many of the traditional favourites from the famous Last Night of the Proms Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, including Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory. Audience members were also treated to music as varied as a Blues Brothers review, selections from the James Bond film soundtracks, the Bill Withers classic Lean On Me and medleys of songs from the hit musicals Matilda and Wicked. In another unusual feature, the College Junior Choir were conducted by talented sixth former Matteo Ressa, and accompanied on piano by Head Girl Georgina Duncan. Earlier in the evening many audience members had taken advantage of the ideal weather to enjoy an open air picnic before settling down to the musical entertainment and some frenetic flag waving. And this year, they were also able to visit a special centenary pop-up shop, where items for sale ranged from the recently published new history of the school, to delicious cupcakes arranged in the shape of the milestone ‘100’ number.


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St Mary’s College principal, Mike Kennedy, said: “Proms in the Park is widely regarded as one of the most ambitious events staged by any North West school, and our aim was to make it even bigger and better for our centenary year. “As usual, the evening was a wonderful showcase for the wealth of musical talent that exists at the school, and the

standard of performances at the concert was incredibly high throughout. “I would like to thank all those who took part, and the audience members who came along in such large numbers to support the event. “It was a rousing way to mark the college’s centenary year, and definitely an evening to remember”.

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cathedral Not built to last? by Neil Sayer Archdiocesan Archivist When the foundation stone for the Cathedral was laid in 1933 the city surveyor’s department allowed a temporary altar to be erected. The attendance for the ceremony was expected to be large and the former workhouse was by this stage a demolition site. The Cathedral authorities were granted permission for the altar to stand ‘for a period of four years’. Some readers may remember it still presiding over the Crypt building site well into the 1950s. The picture shows the altar just before its first use: some curious nuns are in the foreground, and a workman up a stepladder is adding some finishing touches. The altar, like the great Cathedral itself, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. You can see from the photograph that it is clearly the work of the architect behind the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme battlefields, unveiled in 1932, and the slightly earlier Arch of Remembrance in Leicester. Lutyens was also involved in the creation of the new imperial capital of New Delhi, a project recently completed when he was engaged to

work on the Cathedral, and some of the design features of the altar could be influenced by Moghul art. It was certainly impressive at almost 100 feet tall, made of painted wood and plaster on a steel frame. There was a hanging rood and statues of the evangelists around the top of the columns. The canopy, made of glass and aluminium, was surmounted by a golden figure of Christ the King, to whom the Cathedral was to be dedicated at the suggestion of Pope Pius XI. The foundation stone was laid with due ceremony before 40,000 people on a Whit Monday of blazing sunshine, 5 June 1933. The altar was subsequently used for services and rallies on the Cathedral site until the outbreak of the war. The last major ceremony in which the altar played a part seems to have been Archbishop Downey’s funeral in 1953, though it continued in use for open air services and meetings until 1958. The following year the structure was reported to be in such a dilapidated state that it shouldn’t be used for any public events. It was finally dismantled and sold for scrap in the winter of 19611962, when work towards the new Cathedral designed by Frederick Gibberd was getting under way.

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean There is a marked change in the life of the Cathedral from the last week of July to the beginning of September. Many staff are away on holiday, choirs and the many voluntary groups that are here throughout the year all disappear for a few weeks and for a short space of time the diary is virtually free of meetings. This doesn’t mean that nothing happens just that there is a slight change in the pace of life and we become busier with weddings, cruise liner tourists, visiting choirs and contractors carrying out repairs. At present there are seven different cruise ships booked to berth at Liverpool for a day during the month of August. There has been a marked increase in recent years not just with the popularity of a cruise as a holiday choice but also in Liverpool being chosen as a major cruise destination. What this means for us here is that many coachloads of tourists arrive all within a short space of time to each other with a 30 minute in and out visit and then off to the next destination for which they pay a considerable trip fee to the cruise liner. It’s probably not the best way to visit any attraction let alone a Cathedral but it has the benefit of being organised and at the end of the day the major attractions are ticked off on the what to see list. As you can probably tell cruising wouldn’t be my holiday of choice. We have further work scheduled on the Cathedral Lantern during August as well as work on the sanctuary of the Cathedral to enable us to remove the temporary gothic Bishops Chair replacing it with the chair that is original to the building incorporating certain modifications that need to be made.

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Mums the Word Hundreds of UCM members gathered in Walsingham at the beginning of July for our 74th annual national pilgrimage. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny outdoor Mass celebrated by Bishop Alan Williams, our national chaplain, and we prayed for all members and their intentions and for all the clergy who serve us as UCM chaplains.

A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba

Knights’ Fraternal Cross comes to Liverpool

One of these chaplains is Canon Aidan Prescott of St Clare's, Liverpool, who – for the first time for many years – was unable to join us at Walsingham because he was celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Along with his own UCM members, Canon Aidan invited our Diocesan Committee who were delighted to be present at a wonderful celebration in his parish, which was also attended by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and many priests from the Archdiocese, together with his parents. It was a marvellous celebration and we give thanks to Canon Aidan for the unfailing support that he has given to UCM over the years. The month of August brings the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady on the 15th which reminds me of the excellent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, organised by Northern Star Travel, for my parish of St Margaret Mary in June this year. There were many amazing experiences, such as visiting the Church of the Nativity built over the site of the birthplace of Jesus; a wonderfully peaceful service we had in the middle of the Sea of Galilee; visiting the House of the High Priest Caiaphas; the Stations of the Cross on the busy, narrow Via Dolorosa; and the very moving Church of the Dormition of Our Blessed Mother, which celebrates the place where Our Lady was taken up to heaven. If you ever have the opportunity to go to the Holy Land, I would say take it with both hands for our visit was so rewarding and spiritually refreshing. God bless, Madelaine McDonald, media officer


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The Fraternal Cross of the Knights of St Columba is a cross mounted on a wooden, circular plaque. It is a reminder for members of our order of the sacrifice that Our Lord made on the cross for all of us, and it is a significant focal point which brings us together. The concept of the cross started in Wolverhampton some years ago. Powerful links were established with fellow brothers in Scunthorpe in the east, London in the south and Swansea in the west, thus mimicking the shape of the cross across the country. It is an idea that has since been taken up across the world by other orders. In this country, it has completed a number of pilgrimages and it has been on the road once again this summer. The Fraternal Cross arrived in Liverpool province on Sunday 7 July from our neighbouring province in North Wales, and the following day it went on display at a special Mass in honour of St Columba at St Francis of Assisi, Garston, preceded by Benediction.

We thank Father Joe Kendall, parish priest, for arranging and celebrating the Mass and for his kind words of encouragement in praise of the work of the KSC. The cross was subsequently taken to the Blessed Sacrament Shrine, for a Mass on 10 July, and to the Columba Chapel at the Metropolitan Cathedral on the 18th. Our photo shows a group of Knights with the cross following the Mass at St Francis of Assisi. • The Knights of Wirral Council 51 are celebrating the award of £7,280 from the National Lottery Community Fund. This is in recognition of their Wirral Tuesday Club, a social outlet for the less able which has been operating since 1971, following a simple formula of music, bingo and a raffle with the opportunity to socialise. It is open to all, and four or five KSC members volunteer each week to ensure it runs smoothly. The award will ensure the long-term future of the Tuesday Club, covering the cost of room hire and the provision of special transport. Websites: and Email:

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PIC Life God’s love is in the little details By Moira Billinge It was a blisteringly hot day and Meg, Clare and Alice (names changed) decided to go for an ice cream. Thus they drove in the direction of the supermarket freezer – or at least that was the plan. By virtue of habit, Meg accidentally drove into the station car park opposite that of the supermarket and so had to backtrack. On reaching their destination, they spotted a man lying on the ground. Meg and Clare had been nurses and – once a nurse, always a nurse – they raced across to him only to find that a young lady had arrived on the scene seconds earlier. A highly skilled dental nurse, she was already dealing with the evidently unconscious man. An ambulance had been called and while awaiting its arrival, the little group were surprised to receive the further assistance of a medical student, quickly followed by two surgeons who came to offer their services to the growing band of helpers. A supermarket customer walking to his

car crossed over to the group to give them his bottle of water. Two staff members from the supermarket then arrived, pushing two tall trolleys to where the man lay unprotected from the hot sun. They tore open a brand new barbeque cover to make a sunshade and also supplied a large bag of ice to cool him down. As the gentleman began to recover, the dental nurse took such a complete medical history that, when the ambulance crew appeared, all they had to do was to get the stretcher and take him to hospital. It was a thought-provoking series of events. If Meg hadn’t driven into the train station by mistake, they would have been inside the supermarket sooner, and would not have seen or have been able to assist the man. Instead of Meg’s mistake being just an inconvenience, God had used it to help someone. All of the helpers – the three nurses, two surgeons, medical student, two supermarket staff and the man offering

Greeting Cards from Carmel If you haven’t already visited Maryton Carmel in Allerton - do put it on your ‘to do’ list. There are beautiful greeting cards for all occasions, prayer cards and medals on sale in the shop, excellent quality and inexpensive. Contact the Sisters at Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at


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the bottle of water – could easily have been somewhere else that Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t a coincidence, it was without a doubt our good God rallying his troops to look after the gentleman. It was a God-incidence. God is so perfectly involved in the minutiae of our lives, and cares for us with a love that we can hardly begin to imagine, and which we are often too busy to even notice. My late parish priest, Canon James B Mullan, used to say: ‘God didn’t have to create us, as creating us could not add to His greatness for He was great already. He created each one of us as a special gift for himself.’ It stands to reason that, having created us for Himself, God is not going to abandon us but is deeply concerned about us as individuals, and not simply as a ‘job lot’. In the greater scheme of things, the above account isn’t massively newsworthy. It won’t make Sky News, local radio or feature in the tabloids; it is simply a story about the help afforded to just one sick man, and about the people involved who were there for him. How very different the story is when seen through the eyes of our faith. It becomes instead a beautiful testimony to the love, kindness and concern that Our Father in heaven has for his beloved children. As St Augustine observed: ‘God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.’

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Catholic PIC retreats and away days 2019 Catholic Pic Away Days 2019 • Lytham St Anne’s Wednesday 31 July • Arnside/Grange over Sands Wednesday 7 August We have a few places available on our Away Days to Lytham St Anne’s and Grangeover-Sands. £16 per place. Please call 0151 733 5492 If you would like to join us on one or more of our away days please ring 0151 733 5492 for your booking forms

Worth a visit - La Paz, Bolivia Those of you seeking an adventure further afield should consider a trip to the highest administrative capital in the world, writes Lucy Oliver. At 3,500m above sea level, La Paz in Bolivia is a city like no other. And its Teleferico cable car – which services the entire city – is a way to travel like no other either. As you ascend, admire the views over the hilltop Mirador Killi Killi, and reach the Plaza Murillo with its presidential palace and cathedral. Take a stroll through this square to see Bolivian ladies in traditional dress and bowler hats enjoying the gardens. Elsewhere, the landmark 18th

century Church of San Francisco boasts panoramic rooftop views over the incredible Valley of the Moon below. This natural and ever-changing ‘rock formation’ is a must, to be visited by bus and explored on foot. With each rainfall, the clay shifts and alter and locals have chosen apt names for some of the formations, identifying the ‘lady’s hat’, for instance. Keen Star Wars fans, meanwhile, have positioned iconic memorabilia – the AT-AT walker – to greet you at the entrance. In La Paz, beauty is found in the surprising harmony between cultures in this veritable ‘city in the clouds’.

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Letter from Wonersh By Peter Murphy remember attending an ordination a few years before I began the seminary and being very captivated by all that was happening. The richness of the signs and symbols used in the ordination rite left me feeling rather excited that one day, in the distant future, I might also find myself kneeling before a bishop to be ordained a priest. This sense of excitement has stuck with me whilst attending many ordinations since. However, the experience of witnessing the recent ordination of Father Thomas Clarke was quite different for me. The distant future is no longer so distant; actually, given the fact that I might be a priest by this time next year leaves the once distant future feeling rather soon.


This has meant that over the last few days and weeks, the reality of my own sense of a call to the priesthood has become much more vivid. As well as the excitement of the prospect of ordination becoming more vivid, so too is the realisation of the magnitude of the responsibilities of the priest. Thankfully I have a very supportive year group at the seminary who are very open in talking about the excitements, as well as the concerns, associated with offering yourself for priestly ordination. Recently one of my year group mentioned a homily that we were given in our early days at the seminary, and which we had all to some extent remembered. We hadn’t even been at the seminary for 25 days when a priest came back in order to mark his 25th anniversary of ordination. In the homily that he preached that morning he shared with us some advice, through a Latin tag, which he had been given as a seminarian himself. ‘Respice Finem.’ ‘Remember the end.’ The priest was trying to encourage us to remember that all of what we were to do at the seminary was geared towards firstly, the Priesthood, a life of selfsacrifice and service; and finally, Heaven, a life of awesome love in the unveiled presence of God. In this, my final Letter from Wonersh, may I, inspired by Our Lady’s Assumption, offer you the same phrase as has supported me and my brother seminarians over the past five years: ‘Respice Finem’. Let us all strive for holiness; let us strive for our eternal home in heaven. Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you over the past 12 months. Please continue pray for us, your seminarians, and also for an increase in vocations. Be assured of my prayers for you, and for our Archdiocese of Liverpool: especially as we approach Synod 2020. 30

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justice & peace Remembering Romero and the Liverpool prophets he inspired By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker I’m glad to be back and would like to thank everyone who has been praying for me. I’m especially grateful to all those who have kept our important work going while I’ve been in the care of the NHS, especially Stephen Cooke and the J&P Commission. As for the NHS, the care was so good that I feel as though I’ve had an experience of the Kingdom of God. While I was out of action the Commission ran a series of events to help parishes welcome asylum seekers and refugees, as well as taking part in the Synod and organising the Annual Assembly on the subject of the environment. The Assembly used the ‘SeeJudge-Act’ method whereby first you establish facts, then you apply faith to ask yourself what needs to be done, and finally you work out what it is possible to do. The day was excellent. It was filmed and you can watch clips on the J&P YouTube channel at: Our next event is on Wednesday 25 September, starting at 6.30 for 6.45pm at the Cornerstone Theatre, Hope University (Everton campus), and is titled ‘Prophetic Trajectories of Hope from San Salvador to Liverpool: A celebration of the ministries of Oscar Romero, Austin Smith, Kevin Kelly & Tom Cullinan’. The presentation will be given by David McLoughlin from Newman University, Birmingham. David is a great speaker and, if you can, I recommend that you join us as he is erudite, entertaining and inspirational. Part of his brief is to point out the links between St Oscar Romero and three of our recently deceased local priests whom we recognise as prophetic voices with a lot to say to us in our current situation during the synodal process of discerning what sort of Church we are called to be. The personal conversion of all four of

these ‘prophets’ didn’t stop at the personal. It led them to effect changes in society. Fr Austin Smith CP initiated the Inner-City Mission which put the Church at the service of the local community, especially the poorest and most marginalised. Fr Kevin Kelly, whose first anniversary it is on the 25th, was a national authority on moral theology who placed the person at the centre of decision-making. Fr Tom Cullinan demonstrated simple living, the interconnectedness of all creation and the importance of a daily routine of prayer. He was the mentor of many, including David McLoughlin. St Oscar Romero and our three Liverpool prophets each took the Gospel seriously and lived it out in their lives. They are inspirations to us and this event will help us to learn from them how to be more faithful as followers of Jesus. The event will be preceded by a Memorial Mass at nearby SFX Church at 5.45pm celebrated by Bishop John Rawsthorne. Afterwards there will be drinks to toast the Merseyside Prophets! This is a free event but donations will be welcomed towards costs. To confirm attendance, contact the J&P office on 0151 522 1080/81 or SFX Church on 0151 298 1911. The address of Hope University’s Creative Campus is Shaw Street, Liverpool, L6 1HP.

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Catholic Pic August 2019  

Official magazine for the Archdiocese of Liverpool

Catholic Pic August 2019  

Official magazine for the Archdiocese of Liverpool