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Issue 191 August 2020
â€˜With the Church in prayer at homeâ€™
Long wait over as churches reopen INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Kathryn Rudge making a difference with music
Lourdes A virtual pilgrimage
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Inspiring excellence personal and academic
Welcoming students from all areas of Liverpool & beyond Bellerive is a very popular choice for girls from across Liverpool. Contact us for a guided tour and ďŹ nd out why we are such a unique, ambitious school.
Bellerive FCJ Catholic College 1, Aigburth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 3AA Tel: 0151 727 2064 www.bellerivefcj.org Specialisms in Sciences, Applied Learning and Maths & Computing
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contents Welcome The wait is over, and our churches are once again open for the celebration of Mass. It is not a return to normal, there are restrictions which are necessary to protect us all and attending Mass is not the same as it was before lockdown. Not all churches are open, and it is right that we should have a cautious return to public worship. There has to be social distancing with benches taped off, restricted numbers and one way systems in place - face coverings have to be worn and hand gel used. The obligation to attend Mass on a Sunday remains suspended so that those who are able to do so may attend Mass on a weekday instead of a Sunday. Everything is different and yet the Mass is not. The celebration remains as it has done day after day through the centuries – a celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord – of our redemption. As we hear in the Prayer over the Offerings at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper: Grant us, O Lord, we pray, that we may participate worthily in these mysteries, for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is accomplished.
Canon Chris Fallon celebrates Mass at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, Croxteth.
From the Archbishop’s Desk
The coronavirus has dominated our lives for the last few months and its effects have been devastating for individuals, families, society and the church. Nobody has escaped it: even if they haven’t been infected, they have been affected by it. It has made me ask why God allows viruses to exist. Human understanding has provided some answers for other germs like bacteria which can also have good effects like helping to digest food as well bad ones, but viruses just seem to be harmful and do no good at all. I don’t have an answer to this question; it just makes me realise how much we don’t know about God’s creation. The awareness that we are vulnerable and often powerless in the face of a microbe so small that we cannot see it with the naked eye, makes me feel very humble and is a good antidote to the tendency to arrogance which can creep in to modern attitudes when we think we can solve all problems instantly. But we have not been abandoned by God. He is with us and we can look for and find signs of his presence. That’s not easy, I know, but I felt it when I stood on my doorstep to clap NHS and other key workers, or I read of scientists working night and day to find a vaccine. I also see his presence when I see the enormous voluntary effort that is being made to support families and individuals who have lost their income during this crisis. Our God who always gives us cause to hope is not hiding; he is sustaining us in everything we do.
Main Feature Long wait over as churches reopen
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Picture credits: Cover: Julian Hamilton Main Feature: Julian Hamilton, Peter Heneghan, Kinga GrayGrzeczynska
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12 Animate How our team harmony has helped us through 14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent We are Nugent Week 2020, remembering the legacy of Nugent’s founder 18 Profile Kathryn Rudge making a difference with music 25 Cathedral Record A choral lockdown in numbers 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC
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28 Pic Life Don’t procrastinate, but fill the blank canvas of each day 30 Justice and Peace A moment of optimism
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Long wait over as churches reopen Churches across Liverpool Archdiocese began reopening for Mass from 6 July following the COVID-19 shutdown By Simon Hart It was on 6 July that churches across the Archdiocese of Liverpool began to reopen for Mass. Fully 105 days had passed since the COVID-19 pandemic prompted their doors to close. In the intervening period, streamed Masses had become the norm – and a vital connection. Yet as one parish priest, Father John Gorman, puts it, there is nothing quite like celebrating Mass in the presence of a live congregation. ‘At Easter I was about to start the Vigil Mass on my own,’ he begins, by way of example. ‘I did say to somebody that the words of Eleanor Rigby sprang to mind: “Father McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear.” There was an element of the biggest celebration of the year and I’m doing this on my own, and it didn’t feel right.’ With churches allowed to reopen for private prayer from 15 June and the subsequent green light for public Mass, the gradual return of congregations is something to be welcomed according to 4
Fr John, who is parish priest at St Oswald’s and St Edmund Arrowsmith, and St Wilfrid’s in Ashton-in-Makerfield as well as Our Lady Immaculate in Bryn. ‘I thought it was very important,’ he says. ‘People were beginning to feel quite bereft in a way.’ Thanks to technology it had been possible to have access Masses online yet now people could start returning to their places of worship. ‘We had St Oswald’s open for private prayer and devotion for about a fortnight before we were given the go-ahead to say Mass publicly and I was very keen to get all three churches open,’ Fr John adds. ‘There was a great sense of homecoming for a lot of people. When I first let some of the ladies in to prepare the place you could see a great delight in their eyes. I’d certainly hope that what we’ve learned from this is how much the celebration of Mass actually means to us.’ That said, those attending Mass have encountered significant changes. It is attending church but not as any of us have known it. A video guide on the
‘We will all have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy. We are not going back to normal. It is not going back to what it was like before March. We have to think differently. If you can come during the week do so to make space for those who can only come during the weekend – think about others as you decide about what to do.’ – Archbishop Malcolm McMahon diocesan website highlights this as it spells out the guidelines laid down by the Archdiocese. It shows a woman wearing a face mask entering the church of Holy Rosary in Aintree. Once inside, she cleans her hands with sanitising gel and then is guided to a pew. Every second bench is sealed off. According to Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, speaking in the video, the aim is to create ‘a safe but reverent environment’. Noting there remains no Sunday obligation, the Archbishop adds: ‘We will all have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy. We are not going back to normal. It is not going back to what it was like before March. We have to think differently. If you can come during the week do so to make space for those who can only come during the weekend – think about others as you decide about what to do.’ It is a strong message – no return to the normality of old – though it will not surprise those who have already ventured back into their churches. When the Metropolitan Cathedral held its first Mass on 11 July, for instance, 10 days after its reopening for private prayers, there was an
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Cathedral Dean Canon Tony O’Brien celebrates Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral
‘unreal’ quality according to the dean, Canon Tony O’Brien. ‘It is wonderful to have public Mass once again and to be open for prayer but it does still feel rather unreal, though necessary, to celebrate together with face masks and distancing around the Cathedral,’ he says. Volunteer support It is worth noting the role of volunteers in ensuring the safe reopening of the churches – first to ensure they were fully cleaned, and then to uphold safety guidelines. Fr John Gorman explains the process undertaken at St Oswald’s: ‘Before we started, we had to get the whole place cleaned and that required a small army of people. Now we’re open, we have to have people who are prepared to steward the place. We have to have people welcoming people as they come in to make sure they’re wearing face masks and that they use the hand gel. Then we have other people who show them to their places as we’ve asked people to sit in certain areas of the church to make it easier to clean up afterwards.’
In the case of Fr Chris Fallon, parish priest at St Teresa of the Child Jesus in Norris Green and Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs in Croxteth, it has not been easy finding a team of parishioners who are able to help in this way. He explains: ‘The biggest challenge is finding enough volunteers who are not in the vulnerable categories. At the moment in both churches we’re open for the Saturday night and Sunday morning Mass and a Wednesday Mass – that was as much as we could manage with the volunteers we have.’ With Masses still being livestreamed – as is the case across the diocese – he estimates that ‘the numbers who’ve been coming back is about a third of the people who usually come to Mass.’ The act of saying Mass, meanwhile, is suddenly less straightforward because of the new protocols in place – and tweaks to the traditional order. Fr Chris begins: ‘You have more on your mind and you’re thinking, “Where is the visor? Where is the hand gel? If we’re having a reader, have they got a singleuse sheet? Do people know what they
are doing?”. ‘The biggest challenge in all this,’ he adds, ‘is as a Church we want to be welcoming and warm and inviting, and the conditions that we have at the moment militate against that – we did what we had to do when it was needed but I’m looking at an alternative to the red and white tape so we can have our church looking less like a crime scene! ‘The first Saturday evening the church was opened for Mass at Queen of Martyrs, I was driving from St Teresa’s and on Classic FM they were playing the theme from Once Upon a Time in the West and I walked into the church and was looking at a church full of people with masks on – like Wild West bandits. It’s a time of adjustment and finding the right balance between keeping people safe and the liturgy being celebrated in a fitting way.’ Altered sequence On the alterations to the order of the Mass, the departure of the congregation immediately after receiving Holy Communion in order to facilitate social
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Canon Chris Fallon at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, Croxteth
distancing is a point raised by more than one priest. ‘Giving Holy Communion at the end of Mass seems very odd, with people going straight out so we’re looking at ways of safely giving Holy Communion at the proper time,’ Fr Chris says. It is a matter under discussion too at St Mary’s Chorley, where Fr Francis Marsden, the parish priest, has been adjusting to this new reality with the help of parish administrator and secretary Kinga Gray-Grzeczynska. Fr Francis adds that ‘a lot of people are still quite hesitant and not coming out to Mass’ as the government’s COVID19 restrictions are eased. The full capacity of St Mary’s in normal circumstances is 500 yet even with the reduced number allowed, he has seen ‘a low take-up rate’. He elaborates: ‘Our 10 o’clock Mass had about 60 people this Sunday. A lot of people have stayed in a long time and are rather uncertain about coming out again. All you can do is reassure them it is as
safe as we can make it.’ Fr John Gorman has seen the same at his parishes too. ‘There’s still a great deal of anxiety around for a lot of people,’ he says. ‘Some are still shielding anyway and others haven’t been yet because they’re still nervous about doing so.’ Pastoral support The question of shielding leads us to an additional challenge for clergy – namely that of serving their flock when aged over 70. Fr Tim Buckley, parish priest at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, and St Mary’s, Woolton, has found himself in this position and is thankful for the support of colleagues from the Woolton and Halewood pastoral area, as he explains. ‘It’s been very much part of the process and I’ve been very grateful because being over 70 I was nervous and the added problem of how vulnerable the community in Bishop Eton is.’ Prior to the reopening of churches, this
‘The biggest challenge in all this, is as a Church we want to be welcoming and warm and inviting’ 6
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feature meant ‘other priests in the pastoral area’ would go out and conduct funerals while Fr Tim said Masses for the repose of the soul of the deceased from inside Bishop Eton. Now, with church doors open again, he is co-ordinating Mass times with fellow priests at parishes in Belle Vale, Halewood and Speke to ensure an even spread of services throughout the day. ‘We have worked well together as a pastoral area and are trying to organise it now so we have Masses each day across the day. We’re working towards it, so that as far as possible [there’ll be] a Mass in the morning, a Mass at lunchtime and a Mass in evening so people can take their pick.’ Of course, with a sizeable question mark against what comes next for us all, our parishes are no exception. Fr Tim is cautiously optimistic about First Communions going ahead ‘probably in the early autumn’ but warns this will be in ‘small groups’. Moreover, he offers a concluding message very much in tune with Archbishop Malcolm’s words about the need to ‘think differently’ henceforth. He reflects: ‘I keep reiterating to try to be patient and understand what is happening and not imagine we’re going back to normal any time soon.’ Carry on streaming The online streaming of Masses will carry on, despite the reopening of churches in the Archdiocese. Even after the reopening of the Metropolitan Cathedral, more than 4,000 people watched Mass on each of the following two Sundays, 12 and 19 July.
Mass at St Mary’s, Chorley
Communion at Our Lady’s, Croxteth
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News diary If you’ve got any news from your parish that you’d like featured e-mail us with the details at: email@example.com
Something to look forward to Over the past year and a half Churches Together in the Merseyside Region (CTMR) brought together a gathering of young adults aged 18+ from across Merseyside.
Rebecca, one of the members of the group says: ‘The CTMR Group is filled with the most amazing and wonderful people. Since the beginning, it has grown and become more than just a
group of young adults but a family...This group is something I have been missing and it is so important…to find people of a similar age to grow and learn together. Cynthia said: ‘Being part of the CTMR group has been such a wonderful experience. I have the opportunity to meet, learn, and socialise with Christians from other denominations and it's been great knowing that there are other people with whom I can share my faith’. It is ‘a place for friendship, support and fellowship that is a blessing to be a part of’, Chloé observed and Peter experienced: ‘this is something to look forward to during COVID-19’. Taras, a young priest commented: ‘Having been raised in an atheistic society (Soviet Union), I am grateful to be part of this group, members of which eagerly profess their Christian faith. It is a great joy to see young people from different Christian backgrounds coming together, sharing their gifts and creating a community that transcends denominational borders’. The group would be delighted to welcome other young adults aged 18+ to come and join the zoom meetings. If you would like to know more, please contact Veronica email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Elisabeth at the CTMR office Tel: 07394 075951 (WhatsApp is fine).
Pope Francis appoints new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain Pope Francis has named Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain. Claudio Gugerotti was born in Verona, Italy, in 1955 and ordained a priest of the Diocese of Verona in 1982. He studied Eastern Languages and Sacred Liturgy and was a professor of Patristics, Eastern Liturgy at the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Verona from 1981 to 1985. In 1985, he was appointed as an official working at the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and he became its Undersecretary in 1997. He has also taught at the Pontifical Oriental Institute. On 7 December 2001, Pope St John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Georgia and to Armenia. He was also subsequently appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Azerbaijan on 13 December. He received his episcopal consecration by Pope St John Paul on 6 January 2002 appointing him to the Titular See of Ravello. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus in
2011 and Pope Francis appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine in 2015. The previous Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Edward Adams, retired last January. The Apostolic Nuncio is the representative of the Holy See at the Court of St James’s and has the rank of ambassador.
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Not built to last? 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
For the first time in its history the Metropolitan Cathedral was closed to the public for over three months from 23 March to 1 July this year. The Archdiocesan Archivist, Neil Sayer, looks back to a time when 40,000 people flocked to the Cathedral site for the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Lutyens Cathedral and a temporary altar was needed for the occasion.
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.
FHL provide water tanks for Bethlehem A lack of water is a daily problem for people living in the West Bank. Families in Bethlehem can get access to fresh water just once every 25 days, which highlights the importance of a new initiative by the Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) charity. FHL launched a project to fund water tanks for Christian families in Bethlehem and, working in tandem with the Milanbased Association pro Terra Sancta, they have successfully put the tanks in place. The water shortages are caused by the inefficiency of the distribution system and the management of the water network. As
a result, families may receive water supplies for only two or three days in a fortnight – and this has dwindled to barely once a month during the coronavirus crisis. Existing back-up water tanks on many roofs are old and rusted, particularly in older towns such as Bethlehem, and transported water is often contaminated. Over 40 per cent of children suffer from chronic diarrhoea and other diseases related to a lack of water and hygiene. Working in partnership with Pro Terra Sancta and using local Christian tradesmen, FHL have installed 20 water
tanks in homes in the Bethlehem area. FHL said on their website: ‘We all know that access to clean water is a vital lifeline for everyone and particularly during these challenging times of Coronavirus when handwashing and hygiene are more important than ever these water tanks are a vital way that we can make sure Christian families have regular access to clean water.’ To donate to FHL, click here: https://www.friendsoftheholyland.org.uk/ge t-involved/donate-money
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Liverpool and Australia by Father Philip Inch – Synod Moderator Last month we announced the revised dates for our Synod. One of the great advantages of the new timetable is that in the period between October and December 2020 we will be able to share with everyone what we are calling the long list of proposals. At the time of writing there have been almost 2500 proposals made to the Synod on the 4 themes. We have spent a great deal of time to ensure that everything that has been sent in has been considered. There has been some repetition. There have been some proposals made that are really for the local parish and not for a Synod and there have been some proposals that the Synod has heard but are not within the remit of a Diocesan Synod. (All of this will be reported to you.) Having taken a great deal of time reading, praying, discerning we are preparing the ‘long –list’. This list will be shared with the Synod members who will be invited to share them in their parishes and communities. This will enable everyone who wants to have a voice in what will become the final list of proposals, which will be announced in March 2021. Time would not have permitted us to do this in the original Synod timetable. We are also going to be able to add to the proposals the reflections (and proposals) that have emerged during the time of lockdown. We are still listening to God to find the answer to the question – what kind of Church does God want us to be. The opportunity for you to contribute to this will be open until 1 September. Please go to the Synod web site and make your lockdown proposals. www.synod2020.co.uk Across the other side of the world there is a national Synod throughout the Catholic Church in Australia. They too have had to revise their timetable in the light of the Coronavirus. It has been interesting to watch the development of the Australian Synod. They have called a Plenary Council – with the tag-line: ‘Listen to what the Spirit is saying.’ Just as with our Synod they began with a period of listening. They spent ten months in the listening and dialogue phase. They estimated that 222,000 people took part (we estimated that over 25,000 people took part in our listening exercises). From their listening they discerned 6 themes: The Church in Australia asks how God is calling us to be a Christ-centred Church that is: • • • • • •
All called and gifted by God Sharing the Mission of Jesus How we pray together Building community, nurturing belonging
So the question is did they copy us? In Australia papers have been prepared on each of the themes. Each paper provides a reflection on some elements of the relevant pastoral reality, articulates a theological vision, outlines a number of challenges to be overcome, suggests prioritised questions to be answered and develops some proposals for change. Archbishop Costelloe SDB, Archbishop of Perth, who is chairing the process, said the papers are an important contribution to the Church in Australia’s ongoing discernment towards the Plenary Council. ‘While not the final word on the six thematic areas which emerged from the Listening and Dialogue process, I encourage everyone to receive them in the spirit of faith and discernment with which they have been written…They both invite and challenge us to continue to “listen to what the Spirit is saying”.’ If you want to follow the work that is taking place in Australia please look up Plenary Council 2020 and you will find lots of information. They have revised the timetable for their Synod (Plenary Council). The final gathering will be in July 2022. I wonder would there be space for a Synod Moderator (or two) from Liverpool to join them.
What people talked about
missionary and evangelising inclusive, participatory and synodal prayerful and Eucharistic humble, healing and merciful a joyful, hope-filled and servant community open to conversion, renewal and reform.
These themes emerged after we had discerned our own 4 themes: 10
• • • •
Plenary Council 2020
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news diary Cafod joins DEC coronavirus appeal Cafod has joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help millions of vulnerable people whose lives are at risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict. Families who have been forced to flee their homes in places including Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, now face another deadly threat as coronavirus takes hold in new areas. Cafod Director, Christine Allen, said: ‘In the UK our struggle against coronavirus has entered the next phase, but in many of the world’s poorest communities, the fight has only just begun. Families who have fled conflict, and are living in crowded camps or makeshift shelters, are especially vulnerable. ‘We need your support to reach these communities and help people to cope as best they can when an outbreak of the virus strikes. In many places around the world, there are not enough hospital beds or supplies to treat everyone who falls ill. But promoting handwashing and providing personal protective equipment, health advice and food parcels can make a huge difference. ‘The first coronavirus case has been confirmed in north-west Syria, causing alarm for a region where camps are overcrowded, and hospitals in ruins, after nearly ten years of war. It is critical that we act now to reach millions of vulnerable people who have lost everything and no longer have ways of coping. Working with the Disasters Emergency Committee will allow us to scale up our response and reach more people in need.’ Donations to the DEC’s Coronavirus Appeal will support vulnerable families by: providing handwashing facilities, clean water, soap, and hand sanitiser; promoting public information
messages on ways people can stay safe and protect others and by supporting health systems and aid workers by providing training, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies for frontline responders.’ Cafod is already responding to the coronavirus crisis in some of the poorest countries in the world. Since launching its emergency appeal on 30 April, it has scaled up its support to local aid workers who are providing food and improving handwashing and sanitation facilities in countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. It is also supporting the training of faith leaders in hygiene promotion and working with churches to use their networks to share clear and accurate information on how communities can protect themselves from coronavirus. This includes messages on Catholic radio stations and producing posters in local dialects.
Bishop Tom celebrates Mass for the sick, their families, healthcare workers and carers Bishop Tom Williams celebrated the final Mass of a series for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on those caring for and helping the sick and vulnerable in society. Each Thursday evening since 23 April a Bishop has celebrated a livestreamed Mass for the sick, their families, healthcare workers and carers. Bishop Tom, who worked as a hospital chaplain for many years, used his homily, preached in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Thursday 9 July, to herald the tireless efforts of front-line carers. He likened carers to stonemasons carving the presence of Christ for the sick and vulnerable and said, ‘As people of faith, we believe that Jesus Christ, our Saviour, our seat of wisdom and understanding is our cornerstone. And we are His great design – His cathedral’.
He went on to pay tribute to those working with the Caritas network saying, ‘A special thank you tonight to each and every one of you that form the Caritas network of England and Wales. This Mass is especially for you. It’s a network made up of 48 Catholic, diocesan and
specialist Christian charities serving the poor and the vulnerable. Thanks to all of you. Each of you is working on that same workbench of our cathedral. Each of you have been stonemasons, carving the presence of Christ to those you meet – whether you know it or not’.
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How our team harmony has helped us through The 2019-20 year ended prematurely for the Animate team yet their sense of together endured, writes Father Simon Gore. I guess an unexpected, and probably unwanted, side-effect of the disruption to our normal way of life has been that the Animate page has had to come from me rather than one of our team members. This month Pic readers must again endure my slightly florid writing style but it does seem appropriate to write this latest article as the summer term winds to a close and the Animate chapter for 2019-20 reaches an official end. As you might remember, the year unofficially ended in late March when the team all made their way home. It is sad that the year could have no real conclusion but, nevertheless, it would be a mistake to write it off simply because it did not go as planned and missed that final full stop at the end of our last chapter as a group. In many ways, the lockdown highlighted that Animate exists beyond a functionary role of offering retreats. I have always said to the
team when they arrive in September that they should not lose sight of the fact the work we do has to flow from the community of which they are a part. If the community functions effectively and we can live in some form of harmony, learning from each other and sharing our lives with each other, then the work we offer will flow naturally from that and be an authentic Christian witness. If the community collapses then no matter how good the resources, the work will, sadly, simply be inauthentic. With our work with schools drying, the community aspect of Animate came to prominence. We could still meet up virtually on the now ubiquitous Zoom (and endure the awkward silences as we all wait for each other to speak, then all speak at once). We would probably all agree that the year has not been as we foresaw back in September but the time we did spend together certainly affected how we lived those
months of lockdown. To know there was a group of people you could meet for a regular Zoom chat was a way to overcome any feeling of isolation. And our WhatsApp group was never busier as messages and photos flew through the ether. Of course, I hope this theory of Animate existing beyond retreat work does not extend too far into the new academic year as we are all looking forward to working with young people again. As schools return, I hope the opportunity of a retreat programme for pupils will be taken up. They have missed so much education that there will, obviously, be a need for catching up. But there is also the personal and spiritual growth that they may have missed out on. We will be thinking over the summer about how our retreats can take the joys and sorrows of the last few months and put them into context. Fortunately, the community will not be changing too much. As the year was so disturbed our two gap year team members, Ellie and Jonno, are returning for another year. Tom is staying as team co-ordinator and Lauren endured a Zoom interview over lockdown to be promoted to the new team leader. She has acquired her new role as, after many years of loyal service and hard work, Sarah has decided to move on to pastures new. Sarah was actually part of the team before I arrived and it will be odd, to say the least, to come back in September and not find her sitting having her cups of tea and regular snacks through the day! Sarah has quietly gone about her various roles with no expectation of public thanks or acknowledgment, and she would not want it any other way. But her time here, living with 43 different team members over the years and working with tens of thousands of young people across the diocese and beyond, will have had a profound impact on the Church and the Body of Christ of which we are all a part. Sometimes even public thanks fade into insignificance when you think about all those individual encounters that have affected lives all around us in schools and parishes, in Lourdes and at World Youth Days. And so, my thanks for this year go to Sarah, Lauren, Tom, Jonno and Ellie. I look forward to seeing you in September when we will welcome Kelsea to our little group and her first job will be to write the Pic article so you can have a break from me! Have a good summer and God bless.
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note Here in Italy, 15 August is not only a day of particular honour given to Mary, as the Solemnity of the Assumption, but being a holy day it is also a holiday – or indeed several days’ holiday because with the increase of heat over the month, it is a good opportunity for people to take a break, go to the seaside and have a different pace of life for a few days. In our current circumstances, it will all be different – churches will not be as full as normal because of the requirements of physical distancing, people might be a little hesitant to go to the beach or to travel too far. We are all having to strike that right balance between prudence and the need to embrace a ‘new normal’, to be out and about, but in a cautious and sensible way. Just as in England, so here in Italy (and in the Vatican) the requirements of good sense dictate that we adhere to all the requirements of these unprecedented times. As the lockdowns in our respective countries have had full hold on our lives, the cycle of the liturgical year has kept turning – a reminder that it is
Sunday thoughts Mother Teresa was asked to support the building of a massive new hospital that would be named after her. When it was suggested she might think of the extra lives the hospital might save and how all who entered would see her name, her response was quick and simple: ‘God did not call me to minister to the millions, but to minister to the one in front of me.’ The person in front of her was what her life was about. I recall this as I read the gospel for the first Sunday in August. It’s the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The crowds are hungry and the reaction of the disciples is predictable: ‘Send the people away and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’ It was taken for granted that the welfare of so many people was too big a problem for them to solve. Mother Teresa was criticised for failing
Canon Philip Gillespie
not centered upon us. We might of necessity have had to press a pause button on what we presume as our ‘normal’ life or ‘regular’ pattern and style of prayer, but the ever-turning circle of the liturgical year celebrates and realises that Paschal Mystery which is all about the constant working of the Trinity: no pause, no lockdown, no distancing. The Father so loves the world that he gave his only Son and the power of the Holy Spirit is the dynamic principle of the life of the Church, yesterday, today and all days. Mary’s great prayer of thanksgiving and praise , the Magnificat, is prayed each day in the Evening Prayer of the Church. It speaks of the overturning of the ‘normal’ or accepted way of things and the establishment of the Kingdom where God’s mercy will be the touchstone of the ‘new normal’: ‘He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly; He has filled the starving with good things, and sent the rich away empty.’ In the circumstances, not a bad theme upon which to reflect and act.
Mgr John Devine OBE
to consider large-scale projects to eradicate global poverty and disease. When faced with worldwide hunger and inequality we imagine the solution lies in an industrial, logistical exercise, way beyond our capability. Aren’t we more likely to say: ‘What difference can I make?’ And so we do nothing. This miracle challenges that assumption. Jesus tells his disciples: ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ Five loaves and two fish are nothing at all. John’s Gospel adds the telling detail that it’s a little boy’s lunch. Yet it’s a little boy’s lunch that saves the day. If we start with what we’ve got we can achieve great things. The miracle of that day is not the magical multiplication of loaves. The miracle is the change of heart that led everyone to share.
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com 14
Trusting faithfulness Aunty Nan was a sister of Our Lady of Africa who lived in the Belgian Congo for many years. One of her actual blood sisters, Molly, spent a year with Nan’s community where the order taught and ran an infirmary. Molly worked in the school office. The sisters were often in conflict with the authorities over corruption, which was rife. This led to a local government official paying a group of guerrillas to attack the convent. Aunty Molly was terrified when the attack happened, but Aunty Nan was amazing. She herded some of the sisters to the chapel and locked them in; then she and Molly went to face the attackers. Molly was shaking as they passed the bodies of several dead sisters. When they drew near to the fighting, Molly collapsed by a doorway from which she was able to witness what happened. Nan walked into the courtyard and the guerrilla leader, bore down upon her. Molly was sure that she would be killed but before the man got to Nan, one of the workers stuck a knife in his back. Nan got down on the floor next to him and cradled him until she was covered in his blood. The last thing he saw was a look of pure love. Molly said it was the greatest example of trust in God she had ever seen. I love the book of Ruth which tells a story of trusting faithfulness. Having experienced tragedy, Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem from Moab. It is Naomi’s home town but Ruth is a foreigner and a widow and has to learn to trust in God’s care. It teaches us, as Job does, that there are some things that we have no control over, and which have to be left in the hands of God. Sheila Cassidy once wrote a book called 'Sharing the darkness' in which she said: ‘Faith is the willingness to outstare the darkness.’ Amazing words and yet often I meet people who have the most incredible burdens to deal with and yet who are willing to trust in the goodness of God despite the difficulties they face. One of the challenges of faith is always, will we trust God and believe that God will be present and that therefore all will be well? That is what Jesus had to do on the cross. He had to trust God in his darkest moment, and it was that trust in God that led Him through death and into life. That is the invitation each of us is given: to open our hearts and minds to the risen Lord, to learn how to trust in God, and to find life in all its fullness. Fr Chris Thomas
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We are Nugent Week 2020, remembering the legacy of Nugent’s founder Across his life our founder, Father Nugent, saw the deprivation suffered by the people of the city and did something to help by highlighting the issues facing them and encouraging those with power, money and influence to help. His work is continued today through our charitable work at Nugent - his lasting legacy to the people of Liverpool. In June, we celebrated our second We are Nugent Week, a series of fundraising events to mark that legacy aimed at raising funds to support our services, particularly where they support people living with financial and food poverty during this pandemic. Last year we held some really fun events across our communities, and had a fantastic response, this year we had to think slightly differently so we held a series of fundraising events online, due to the social distancing restrictions, with
something for everyone to help while away the hours, have some fun, meet new friends and raise funds for our services. The events included a quiz night with individuals and families challenging each other and a FIFA football tournament which brought together some of the world’s leading FIFA players to compete for the Nugent Goals trophy. We had a great evening tasting wine and cheese
on zoom, with a beautiful selection from Delifonseca, hosted by Gemma McLoughlin, a football chat at our monthly coffee morning with our patron Phil Thompson and a wonderful live acoustic gig with the band Genevieve, led by Mike Bennett, Deputy Head of De La Salle Academy. Overall these events raised almost £1200, this is such a great amount given that it was all done online. This money went to support our Food Market at Epsom Street Community Centre in Kirkdale, which, across the last 4 months has provided vital supplies to over 1700 people with the delivery of 911 hampers across the Liverpool City Region. Thank you to all those who came along to an event and donated and to our sponsors and suppliers who helped make it happen, we couldn’t do it without you. We have more online events coming up in August, go to wearenugent.org or follow us on social media, @wearenugent, to find out more.
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Living Lourdes from ho By Simon Hart Instead of a mass Liverpool exodus to Lourdes this summer, the ‘Lourdes at Home’ initiative brought the spirit of the annual pilgrimage to our Archdiocese. For the first time since 1946, there was no Liverpool Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage this year. The postponement of the 90th pilgrimage to Lourdes from Liverpool had long been confirmed – a decision taken in early April owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant a week without some of the joys and blessings of being in Lourdes yet the spirit of the pilgrimage remained present for many in the diocese thanks to the ‘Lourdes at Home’ initiative – a virtual pilgrimage running from 24 July to 1 August which included a daily Mass, streamed on Facebook and parish websites, and the familiar spread of services. Despite the distance from the French Pyrenees, there was even a small torchlight procession, staged by Father Grant Maddock in the garden at his parish of Our Lady’s, Lydiate. This virtual pilgrimage began with a Youth Opening Mass at 6pm on Friday 24th, which was pre-recorded at Lowe House and available to view on Animate Youth’s YouTube channel. It included a video
message from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, who said the following to the diocesan youth: ‘I’m sorry that we’re not together but we are actually together in spirit this week as we have so many events going on both for the young people, for yourselves, and for the diocese as a whole that we will really be together in the Lord and ultimately that is what matters aIso. ‘I hope you have a very happy pilgrimage at home and that you will have an enjoyable summer and that when you get back to normal life eventually perhaps at the end of the year we can then all start working towards and looking forward to our pilgrimage next year.’ In a poignant touch, there was also a postCommunion tribute to Aileen Jones, who was head of Coach 2 and leader of the Youth Pilgrimage Music Group in Lourdes for many years prior to her death on 26 March at the age of 52. The Opening Mass of the pilgrimage followed the next day, Saturday 25th, celebrated by Father Des Seddon at St Mary’s, Aughton. This was open to the public and also streamed live on the ‘Liverpool Lourdes at Home, 2020’ Facebook page. The Reconciliation Service later that day was also open to the public.
Fr Des, who is the pilgrimage director, said: ‘We just want to give people an understanding of the importance of Lourdes to the life of the Archdiocese. I know the Archbishop says he can see more people in a week in Lourdes than in a whole year going around the parishes.’ As well as daily Mass, other activities included exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, evening rosary and stations of the cross. On Thursday 30th the traditional Mass of Healing – always a highlight of the pilgrimage – was followed by a rosary service and the aforementioned torchlight procession. For the 500 youth pilgrims, there were separate activities organised for each of the nine coach groups, including morning and night prayer each day – some prerecorded, others live via Zoom. And, to reflect the social side of the pilgrimage, there were quizzes and fancy dress nights as well as a ‘Songs from the Lourdes bars’ event, a socially distanced singalong from Lowe House, the base of Animate Youth Ministries, which went out on YouTube on Wednesday 29th. For the Liverpool Youth, their pilgrimage ended on Saturday 1 August with a Closing Liturgy service, followed by the last of several challenges put to them during the week. There may have been no final-
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home night descent to the Grotto to savour that lovely hush and say a prayer amid the flicker of candlelight but instead the young people were asked to light “virtual candles for our loved ones” – to find a picture of a candle and send it to people to “tell them you are praying for them”. A Lourdes sentiment, sent from home. It was in 1923 that the first official Archdiocesan pilgrimage took place and aside from a hiatus owing to the Second World War, it has been a much-loved week of the year for so many Catholics across the diocese. The full Mass programme for Lourdes from Home was as follows: Friday 25 July: Youth Opening Mass at Lowe House – Fr Simon Gore (YouTube/Animate) Saturday 25 July: Opening Mass at St Mary’s, Aughton – Fr Des Seddon (Facebook) Sunday 26 July: Sunday Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral – Bishop Tom Williams (Facebook & YouTube/Metropolitan Cathedral) Monday 27 July: Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes at Holy Rosary, Aintree – Monsignor John Butchard (mcnmedia.tv) Tuesday 28 July: Mass of St Bernadette at Our Lady’s, Lydiate – Archbishop Malcolm McMahon (Facebook) Wednesday 29 July: Mass of the Year “I am the Immaculate Conception” at Our Lady’s Portico – Fr Joe Kendal (mcnmedia.tv) Thursday 30 July: Mass of Healing at Our Lady’s, Lydiate – Fr Grant Maddock (Facebook) Friday 31 July: Mass of Thanksgiving at St Chad’s, Chorley – Fr Mark Beattie (Facebook) • To revisit the Facebook Masses, visit: https://www.facebook.com/LiverpoolLourdes-at-Home-2020. • For the Masses streamed by MCN Media, visit mcnmedia.tv and type Liverpool to search for the relevant parish from our Archdiocese.
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Kathryn Rudge Making a difference with music - by Simon Hart For Kathryn Rudge, the day-to-day has been markedly different since the onset of COVID-19. With a career built around performing, the mezzo soprano from south Liverpool now finds a big blank space where her itinerary used to be. ‘For performing arts and the arts in general it’s brought everything to a standstill,’ she affirms. ‘A lot of the work I had booked in has had to be either cancelled or postponed. For me it’s a massive change as I’m normally on the road quite a lot. I don’t think I’ve been at home this long for a long time so in many ways I’ve really appreciated the time to have a base and be settled for a good few months as normally I’m preparing for something else.’ If the comforts of home have been a blessing for this parishioner of St Ambrose’s, Speke, the biggest downside of this period is the loss of that connection with audiences which is the essence of any performer’s existence. “With music the point is sharing it for
me,’ says the 33-year-old. ‘It’s the connection with the audiences and the people you’re working with and nothing recreates that. We try over the internet to do little bits and pieces but that connection is the closest thing I find to prayer – I consider it a real privilege to be able to communicate something that brings through emotions and connection with people, and I really miss that.’ The impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the arts sector has even left a question mark against the future of the Royal Albert Hall, a venue where Kathryn has sung several times – most recently when performing Mozart’s Requiem with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Singers during the 2019 Proms season. ‘When I was younger, I saw it on the television and thought, “It must be amazing to perform there” and it seemed very quickly to happen and actually when I got in there, it’s such an intimate atmosphere. It looks huge on the telly but it’s a really special place.’ That was just one milestone for a singer named by The Times as a ‘rising star of
classical music’ during her final year at the Royal Northern College of Music and who was one of Radio 3’s chosen New Generation artists from 2015-17. For all the fine venues she has graced, though, there really is no place like home. ‘I honestly feel the concerts I do at home are my favourite,’ she explains. ‘Probably rather than the venue, I relate most closely to the people who are there. If I perform at the Philharmonic Hall and I look out, I can almost see friends in the audience and it means so much. So I’d say on a personal level it is in Liverpool because that’s coming home for me and I really love that.’ The same goes for singing at St Ambrose’s parish church. ‘The people there have all been like a family – they’ve seen me grow up and it’s a pleasure to come back and share what you’re doing with them and to be able to be a part of the community,’ she says. As a child who ‘enjoyed getting up in front of people’ – initially to make her family laugh with her impressions – the
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‘That was probably a point at which I felt I really understood the privilege of having a voice’ church choir played an important part in her formation. ‘Father Ed Cain is a really musical priest and encourages all the young people to take up an instrument or get up and read. I was doing bidding prayers first which got my confidence up to stand up in front of people. From there I’d be singing and the space is so big that it’s such a good preparation. I felt more confident about getting up at school as there was never anywhere as big as St Ambrose’s until you got to the cathedral.’
she takes lightly. Kathryn is a patron of the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and has performed more than once at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, owing to a connection forged when her late parents, George and Susan, each underwent cancer treatment there. ‘I’ve been singing at their Christmas dos and my mum and dad wouldn’t have wanted me to stop doing that,’ says Kathryn who has also performed for the Music in Hospitals and Care UK charity. Another cause close to her heart is the community singing project she established in 2012 in Hale Village, where she lives. This comprises two separate groups – the Mersey Wave Young Singers and the mixed-voice Mersey Wave Choir – and they perform three times a year in St Ambrose’s parish church. ‘It really bridges the community and opens up the church
to people who don’t necessarily often come into it – it’s such a beautiful church, it seats 700 and our ambition is to fill it one day.’ Not surprisingly, it is something that has been much missed during the lockdown. ‘It’s really hard because the music is such a focus for the community and the friendship that has come out of that and I can sense everybody is missing that,’ she says. ‘We’ve tried Zoom and it’s kept us going but there’s nothing quite like having that mutual appreciation both for the music and coming together to do something good in the community.’ The power of music once more. To learn more about Mersey Wave Music, visit: https://merseywavemusic.com/
The next significant step came at Liverpool College. ‘I found when I was about 15 that I couldn’t sing pop songs – my voice was becoming heavier – and so I was really lucky I met a teacher, Polly Beck, who put me on the road to classical singing.’ From there she moved on to the Royal Northern College of Music for an eight-year period, starting in 2003. She laughs as she recalls her first opera there as a third-year student. It was a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – and began with something of a false start. ‘We had an evening with all of the governors in and I must have felt so enthusiastic about running out there that on my first entrance I tripped on my dress and I just hit the deck. I heard the whole theatre gasp. I just bounced up and carried on and I think after that nothing was ever as difficult!’ Her singing has since taken her far and wide though one of the most resonant nights came at Liverpool Cathedral when she was soloist for Michael Nyman’s Symphony No. 11: Hillsborough Memorial, performing alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The role involved singing the names of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster. ‘That was probably a point at which I felt I really understood the privilege of having a voice,’ says the lifelong Liverpool supporter. ‘My dad and my mum were massive Liverpool fans and I grew up having that knowledge of the tragedy and the fight and the inspiration of the families, and so to get that opportunity to sing those names and for it to be set to music in that way, it’s almost like a prayer.’ In a broader sense, her voice provides a platform too – and this is not something
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Kate Griffin – an inspirational leader The school community of Christ the King Catholic Primary School, Liverpool, were shocked at the sudden death of Head Teacher Kate Griffin. Year 3 teacher, Liam Fay pays tribute: A daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, an educator, a leader, an inspiration, a friend. Kate Griffin wore all of these titles with great pride and with great humility. The power to be humble, admired and yet achieve so much in such a short space of time is a combination of a rarest form. The embodiment of a pure heart and endeavour pure in its intention. Kate Griffin was the head teacher at Christ the King Catholic Primary School having been appointed in 2014 after serving as Deputy Head in 2011. She passed away after a short illness at the age of 40. Kate forged a career based on hard work, faith and fun. She was an agent of change moving forwards and bringing others along with her. She put trust in them to enact a shared vision and continued to nurture a strong team, adding to it as the school grew. This team became a family in its own right. At Christ the King Catholic Primary School, where she became the youngest head teacher in Liverpool, she saw the power of a holistic education in developing young children into happy and fulfilled ones with the power and the make up to deal with an ever changing world. The breadth and variety of education on offer at Christ the King was a point of pride. Finding the time to allow children to be children was important to her. Helping to develop Forest School into the curriculum. Kate understood the vital role that family plays in the community of Christ the King fostering and building strong bonds. She gave herself to them. Schools were not to be exam factories filling a child’s day with ways of mastering a test, Kate saw every day as a blank slate for learning, fun and development, whether that be physical, mental or spiritual. Her faith shone
through in everything she did and was especially apt in the school that she led and community that she served for the Kingship means service in all of its forms. This was Kate. In every day there was love evident for all who wore the maroon and gold and entered under her roof, an almost infinite amount of love that bordered on unconditional. Her smile showed this. Kate didn’t just smile with her mouth, nor her eyes, but instead her entire being. This was an infectious smile affecting all it shone upon. Kate was also fierce and was not afraid to stand up for what she believed to be right. If we do the right things for the right reasons then the end will be worth the means. She was truly selfless and supported many heads across the city, chaired many committees and developed many links with other schools across the country. She took the time to get to know those she led
and genuinely cared about them as people not just employees always finding time to have meaningful conversations amidst the chaotic, intricate workings of a school day. Kate possessed a power to know when something wasn’t right. These chats were often accompanied by her bear hugs which had the power to calm, comfort and reinvigorate. She believed that going the extra-mile to help someone was the right thing to do, in many ways it was just another step for her. Kate has left an indelible mark on education, a community and all who reside in it. Her legacy will be renewed each time a child begins their first day in reception at Christ the King and in every day by the family that she built from the foundations of her predecessors. Kate is survived by her husband Steven and her three young children Amelia, Ben and Pippa.
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Archdiocesan stalwart and Liverpool’s longest serving headteacher retires Dennis Hardiman MBE, executive headteacher of two Liverpool primary schools, is retiring after 37 years. Dennis has served St Sebastian's Catholic Primary School in Fairfield for 37 years and for the last 14 years, he has also been the headteacher of St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School in Stoneycroft. He was born in New York, USA, in 1951. His mother was born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, and married a US Naval Officer during WWII and settled in the USA after the war. Dennis has 11 brothers and sisters, including a twin sister. His family eventually moved to Penarth, South Wales in 1960, so that the family were close to his mother’s family. Dennis started his teaching career at St Pascal Baylon Catholic Primary School in Childwall, where the head, Colin Semple, mentored him and he soon became deputy head. The late Fr Patrick Kelly, who was parish priest of St Sebastian’s and chair of the school governors at the time, appointed Dennis as headteacher in September 1983, making him the city’s youngest headteacher. They both had a burning ambition for the success of the children and the school. St Sebastian’s was soon named a ‘beacon school’ to share good practice with other schools. Located in an area of severe deprivation, Kensington was declared a ‘regeneration area’ under the EU Objective One Programme in the 1990s. All schools in the Kensington and Fairfield area worked hard to raise standards. Part of the regeneration plan was to start with the youngest of the area to allow their parents to work or gain qualifications. There was no nursery in the area so Dennis and the school governors of St Sebastian’s were asked to establish a nursery to serve the community. In 2004 ‘The Field of Dreams Nursery’ opened as part of St Sebastian’s school. St Sebastian's and St Cuthbert's federated under one governing body with Dennis as executive headteacher in 2006. Throughout his tenure, he has ensured that the children achieve the best they can, which is reflected in SATs results
and OFSTED inspections. In 2017, Dennis received a well-deserved MBE for his services to education, although he is still an American citizen. On receiving his MBE Dennis commented that this was a ‘humbling’ personal accolade, he said: “I consider this an award that belongs to others also – my patient, supportive, loving family, and wonderful and generous colleagues, past and present, whom it has been my privilege to work with and learn from, and also the many supportive parents and fantastic children I’ve been privileged to work with”. Such was his standing in the community over 700 people attended a Mass at St Sebastian’s Parish Church to celebrate Dennis’s 25th anniversary in charge in 2008. Pat Moloney, chair of school governors, said: “Mr Hardiman is much loved and respected by the children, staff, parents
and local communities who have seen what he has done for the children and the schools.” Clare Bellis-Knox, who will be taking over from Dennis as head of St Cuthbert’s said: “Dennis’ determination that only the best is good enough for our children inspires everyone in school to strive to achieve their best.” Jacqui Mulligan, who is taking over from Dennis as head of St Sebastian’s said: “Dennis has steered our schools to many successes over so many years for which everyone is truly grateful.”
‘Dennis has steered our schools to many successes over so many years for which everyone is truly grateful’
Dennis Hardiman MBE, executive headteacher of two Liverpool primary schools, is retiring after 37 years
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19 years of service As the final few weeks of term drew to a close Mrs Maureen Hillsdon, Headteacher of Our Lady of Lourdes, Birkdale reflected on her 19 years of service at the school: first as Deputy Head and then as Head. She has been involved in a number of school improvement initiatives and nine
inspections but the time since 23 March has probably presented the most challenging circumstances in her entire career. The School aims to celebrate in the Christmas term when perhaps life is more normal. Before Mrs Hillsdon left she had one final achievement to celebrate - Our
Mrs Catherine McDermott, Acting Headteacher, Mrs Maureen Hillsdon, Retiring Headteacher, Mrs Jo Hodge, (Lead for Learning and Technology)
Lady of Lourdes is the first primary school this year to have gained Digital Schoolhouse status. This means that they will be able to offer fun, free computing workshops for primary schools in the local area. Digital Schoolhouse together with Nintendo UK, uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils in order to ensure they are equipped for the future digital economy. All of the workshops engage pupils through the use of creative resources, whilst upskilling and inspiring visiting teachers to deliver the new computing curriculum. ‘We were thrilled that we were successful with our Digital Schoolhouse application. I cannot wait to begin delivering exciting workshops which I know the children in the local area will love’, said Mrs Jo Hodge, Digital Schoolhouse Lead Teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School. The application process was extremely rigorous and challenging so to achieve Digital Schoolhouse status in Mrs Hillsdon’s final term is a fitting accolade.
ASFA students set to learn with Eton College Thirty students from the Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) have secured a chance to learn virtually at Eton College this summer. The EtonX programme allows students globally to benefit from Eton’s acclaimed expertise in developing well-rounded, high-achieving students. An Eton education develops real-world skills alongside academic learning. The broad range of courses draw on centuries of expertise from Eton College, preparing students with the skills they need to be leaders and be successful in the world’s top universities. All students will be mentored by their Eton college tutor, receiving certification at the end of the summer. Jen Avery, English teacher at the academy, came across the opportunity during lockdown and managed to secure 30 places for the academy. These places were then offered to students of all abilities in Years 10 and 11, giving them the chance to continue their learning during the summer holidays. Choosing from a range of courses, Jen and ASFA students decided the most beneficial would be ‘research skills’, ‘resilience’ and ‘creative problem solving’. Jen said: “All of the courses sound great but we want students to get the most out of this opportunity and so, together, we chose the ones we thought would help
them ahead of sixth form or college, university and the world of work.” The research skills course will see students develop their ability to conduct independent research that goes far beyond textbooks or basic internet searches. They will learn new research techniques to help plan and organise their research for essays and other projects. The resilience course will help them feel more capable and in control. They will analyse a range of scenarios which will help them learn how to bounce back from failure and use key techniques, such as growth mindset, mindfulness and gratitude. Finally, the creative problem-solving course will allow students to come up with many innovative ideas, to craft those ideas and apply them in life. They will also develop skills in creative expression, both
verbally and visually and learn how to see problems from different perspectives. The two-week courses are packed full of engaging learning materials, with a personal action plan and a knowledge test for each learner. Students learn from each other as well as from their Eton College tutor, participating in a range of role-play and discussion tasks in the virtual classroom and collaborating on peer learning tasks between classes. Jen added: “The programme will not only support their academic learning but it’s also a brilliant way of meeting other students from around the world, which will help build their confidence when speaking with people from other walks of life. One Year 10 student said: “I am really happy to get a chance to take part in this opportunity.” Andrea St John, senior assistant headteacher, said: “Our Year 10 and 11 cohort at ASFA are incredibly motivated and are always so keen to get involved in extra-curricular learning. The fact that they are eager to continue their studies during the summer holidays is testament to this. It is an invaluable opportunity to further develop communication skills, readiness for sixth form, university and the world of work. “We wish them luck and can’t wait to hear about what they have learnt from this experience”.
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cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
A choral lockdown in numbers Our choir year has now ended. We had a lovely (online) celebration where we sang together, welcomed our new choristers and bid farewell to those choristers who were moving on to our Youth Choir. Music for the foreseeable future at the Cathedral will be limited to organ and cantor at the 9.00 am and 11.00 am Mass each Sunday. It is unknown when it will be once again safe for our choirs to begin singing again, although there are multiple scientific studies currently ongoing which we hope will give guidance on how singing can safely return. The figures below demonstrate the virtual interaction we have maintained during lockdown, all on Zoom: • 459 chorister individual theory tutorials • 423 individual singing lessons
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
120 chorister group rehearsals 110 probationer group rehearsals 64 staff meetings 13 keyboard skills classes for trainee organists 12 Junior Choir rehearsals 11 girl chorister voice trials 7 boy chorister voice trials 7 Hope University Choir rehearsals 6 Friday Big Sings 5 Youth Choir rehearsals 4 Pentecost Big Sing! rehearsals 4 End-of-term Big Sing! rehearsals 1 Pentecost Big Sing! 1 End-of-term Big Sing!
We very much look forward to resuming in September and hope it will not be too long before our choirs can once again sing the praises of God in our wonderful Cathedral.
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean Along with many of our diocesan churches we have made our first tentative steps, reopening to the public over the last few weeks. It is wonderful to have public Mass once again and to be open for prayer, but it does still feel rather unreal, though necessary, to celebrate together with face masks and distancing around the Cathedral. Thankfully those attending weekend Masses have been very attentive to the procedures and everyone feels very safe with room to spare within the Cathedral. It has been more challenging for funerals with gatherings of people congregating together regardless of the limitations on numbers within the building. The outlook at present is that these protocols will have to remain in place until well into late autumn or winter. It will also take a long time before other activities within the Cathedral and Crypt will be able to take place once again. One of the great learning experiences during this time of lockdown has been the ability to stream services online. We were streaming live for the last three months from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel but since the return of congregations we have had to cope with the challenge of streaming from the High Altar. This brought a whole new set of problems to be resolved. We needed a camera powerful enough and positioned appropriately to cover the width of the Cathedral sanctuary and also have a view of the wider internal space of the Cathedral. We also had to find a way to link in with the main Cathedral audio system, which was not without its difficulties. Thankfully this is now all in place and we have the facilities going forward to live stream any important services within the building for the long-term future.
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Mums the Word I hope that by the time you read this, words like lockdown, shielding and masks will be receding into the background and instead activities like churchgoing, hairdressing and shopping trips, and perhaps even UCM meetings will be – if not actually happening – then at least well into the planning stage. Just imagine praying our UCM prayer together again, celebrating those BiMonthly Masses, booking speakers and demonstrations, planning fund-raising events. I've missed those strawberry teas … seeing who has put weight on, and who has gone grey! Seriously, the thanks and prayers of all members are due to all our clergy who have done such sterling work during the lockdown, giving us the opportunity to be present at streamed Masses and other times of prayer. We think of those priests who have reached special anniversaries of their ordination, but have not been able to celebrate fully with family and friends – hopefully, they will be able to have some kind of festivity when we emerge from this pandemic. Of course, newly ordained priests hold a special place in our hearts so we welcome Father Peter Murphy. Although the congregation was reduced at his ordination, nothing could dim the pride of his family; congratulations to all. Today being Tuesday 7 July I have just watched the live-streamed Mass from Walsingham on what should have been our pilgrimage day. The celebrant mentioned that it should have been our day and he lit a candle for us. I was remembering all those lovely outdoor Masses followed by picnics in the meadow, then processing to the Abbey Grounds for Benediction. I am sure it never rained (well it might have done, but why let truth spoil a good story?). I am looking forward to next year already. Keep your eye on the UCM Matters newsletter for information about the September Bi-Monthly Mass at St George’s, Maghull. At the moment it is not looking too hopeful, but we shall see. Till we meet again, stay safe and well everyone. May God bless us all. Madelaine McDonald, media officer 26
A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
Southport knights support soup kitchen and foodbanks
The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic continue to have an impact on the activities of the KSC, with no actual meetings held for months now and virtual gatherings taking place instead. Yet, at a time like this, it is important for the order to try to help where it can and we can report that Southport council 146 has been very supportive of charities in its area, providing substantial donations to the Southport Soup Kitchen and two local foodbanks, Lakeside and Shoreline. Prior to the lockdown, the soup kitchen received £750 and the foodbanks £500 each from the KSC. Since then, the soup kitchen has received a further £1,000 which is being used to buy supermarket vouchers for the homeless and needy, and the same amount has gone to each of the foodbanks to provide food for the increasing
number of people requiring support. We also report a further, very worthy, solo effort by Bro Aiden Carney of Council 9 who has undertaken a fundraising campaign in support of the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen Hospital Heroes Emergency Appeal. Aiden volunteered to undergo a complete head shave (see photos above) to draw attention to the appeal and, at the time of writing, had already raised nearly £1,200. As we are all aware, NHS staff are on the front line of the fight against the Coronavirus and need all the support they can get. If you would like to contribute to Aiden’s campaign, visit his page on the Just Giving website: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraisi ng/aidancarney Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Keep up to date with all the news from around the Archdiocese online at: www.catholicpic.co.uk You can now follow us on twitter at:
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PIC Life Don’t procrastinate, but fill the blank canvas of each day By Moira Billinge Cyril Northcote Parkinson, the 20th century British historian and author, coined a proverb subsequently known as Parkinson’s Law which tells us that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’. For instance, if there are two hours available in which to do a task that would normally be finished in one, it might just stretch to the full two hours. There are drawbacks: the extra time complicates matters with ‘additional extras’ that would otherwise have been avoided. The COVID-19 lockdown has constantly helped procrastinators to maximise their delaying tactics. Abundant and hitherto unforeseen extra time has supported their ability to contemplate – rather than to complete – any backlog of work and to find excuses for not doing the tasks immediately. As a student nurse, my late submission of an assignment generated a rapid
response from my Sister tutor, a lovely SMG nun, despite my having given what I thought a perfectly plausible explanation. ‘If excuses could get us into heaven, nurse, you’d be there in a flash!’ she said. My self-justification had obviously failed to impress. Excuses can become so much part of our lives that they block us from reaching our full potential. Blinded by our self-created explanations, we can fail to look beyond such habitual, unproductive, lazy and spirit-draining thinking. It is easy to blame others or blame the mistakes or events of our past for this psychological traffic jam which stops us from moving forward. The ‘tried and tested’ is so much simpler and safer than risk-taking and making changes, providing a good excuse to avoid doing things differently. An old Chinese proverb declares: ‘The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.’ A new venture, or the prompt completion of a task, can be a journey of joy, fulfilment and sense of achievement.
It need not be a cul-de-sac. Worrying over imagined obstacles allows yet more precious and unrecoverable time to slip through our fingers. To use past mistakes and hurtful events as excuses for current difficulties is a trap which blinds us to the wonderful blessings, opportunities and blank canvas of each new day. The past should not define the present. We do not live in the world of ‘Once upon a time’. Picasso famously declared: ‘Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.’ True freedom exists in an attitude of ‘Let go and let God’. Let me end with the following prayer by St Josemaria Escriva, priest and founder of Opus Dei, who was canonised by Pope St John Paul II in Rome on 6 October 2002: Come, O Holy Spirit: Enlighten my understanding to know your commands; strengthen my heart against the wiles of the enemy; inflame my will. I have heard your voice, and I don’t want to harden my heart to resisting, by saying ‘later … tomorrow.’ Nunc coepi! Now! Lest there be no tomorrow for me! O, Spirit of truth and wisdom, Spirit of understanding and counsel, Spirit of joy and peace! I want what you want, I want it because you want it, I want it as you want it, I want it when you want it.
Worth a visit - Hever Castle As we take tentative steps into a ‘new normal’, a visit to the past can illuminate the fragility of the human hold on power, writes Lucy Oliver. Hever Castle in Kent was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII who enjoyed her queenship for just 1,000 days before her execution. It was this marriage which set into motion Henry’s break with Rome and decades of religious turmoil, yet the Tudor dwelling in the medieval castle, with gatehouse and walled bailey, has been beautifully restored in its interiors and boasts beautiful gardens and a 38-acre lake. Among the highlights is a miniature model houses exhibit, with architecture and furniture reflecting each period from Tudor to Victorian times. In the gardens you may marvel at the century-old maze, carefully planned with yew trees reaching eight feet in height. There is an impressive Chess Garden – with chess pieces cut from golden yew – and an evocative Tudor Herb Garden while boaters will enjoy the tranquil lake presided over by both the Italian Loggia and the
Japanese Tea House folly. Booking is essential to visit the castle and comply with government guidelines. Telephone 01732 865224.
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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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Letter from Oscott by Peter Ross The last month has brought much cause for celebration. On 7 July, Martin Fyles, James Finnegan and myself received the lay ministry of Reader. In addition, Michael Harwood from the Beda College received the lay ministry of Acolyte. We were instituted into these ministries during a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon at St Charles parish church in Aigburth. Originally, I had been due to receive this lay ministry at Oscott with the other students in my year group on 24 March, but the lockdown prevented this. While it is a requirement to receive these two lay ministries in order to be ordained, they are still quite separate from the priesthood. As already mentioned, these are indeed ‘lay’ ministries – roles for lay people, rooted in baptism. It was a great afternoon, shared with my fellow seminarians. On an equally celebratory note, we were recently able to reopen our parish church for the celebration of public Mass. After four months of having just Father Ian and myself in church, it was a cause of great joy to see other people sat in the pews. I could clearly see that people were smiling under their masks as they walked into church. Yet while the church is back open, we are still planning on streaming the Sunday Mass for those who are shielding. When I applied for seminary, I never thought that part of my formation would entail coming to grips with broadcasting software, but God does have a sense of humour! Speaking of streaming, over the past few weeks we’ve been able to include contributions from our parish schools: on two consecutive Sundays we had some of the children leading us in our bidding prayers, and they did it so well. As this is my last letter, I would like to thank you for reading this column over the past year. I hope you have got something from it, as I have certainly gained a lot from writing these articles each month. Please remember to pray for vocations in our diocese, that the Lord will send many workers into his great harvest.
justice & peace A moment of optimism By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker I hope you were able to attend the J&P online assembly and hear Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald (pictured right) speak about ‘inspiration’. He referred to the Council of Jerusalem where the disciples could say ‘It seems good to the Spirit and to us’ and crucially, by the end of our week of shared reflections, many of us (I can’t speak for all but the feedback is wholly positive) were daring to believe that the Spirit does indeed speak through us. The plural pronoun is key: not to me but to us. This is theologically startling for those of us who have been trained to expect and accept a lowly role within the Church. Isn’t one of the functions of theology to make the formerly obscure blindingly obvious? It seems obvious that the Spirit is shouting loudly that we need to be involved in preparing the future, with the ‘we’ in question being the people in parishes. It’s when we get involved that the Spirit speaks and our Church comes alive. Another theme that emerged strongly was the need to be prophetic. Prophets are disturbing but they are voices of hope, pointing to where we can find greater life. As we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown we cannot stay where we are any longer, nor can we return to the ‘old normal’. We’re called to make changes to the way we live as individuals, renewing the old mantra of Livesimply. Again, this is plural – communal. We must change. It’s not just that they must change. And the change we want is a cause for joy. Crucially, prophets must work for systemic changes to the way society is organised, staying together because it’s much easier to feel inspired in the company of prophets than as a lone, isolated voice. There is grace in this moment, which calls us to welcome a rebirth in hope. And so, as in Jerusalem early in the Christian story, it seems good to the Spirit and to us that we should be active as a Church community to ‘prepare the future’. We can expect stubborn opposition to calls for any change that affects the pockets of the super-rich. At the point
of resistance we will need courage to practise what we preach. We ‘get involved’ when we cultivate the practice of ‘See – Judge – Act’: when we look outwards from Church, with the doors wide open to the world, and we notice what is happening to our brothers and sisters, especially to the poorest and most marginalised, and seek to invite them into the kingdom of God. The Liverpool J&P Commission has had some influence on diocesan policy but never before have we dared to believe what now seems obvious. It was the work of the Spirit to gather a group of people who are lay-led and well-integrated into the Archdiocese, a community of people encouraged and enabled to become active in the life of the diocese by knowingly using the practice of ‘See – Judge – Act’ to pray, reflect and act. My hope is that this way of being Catholic can become even more important in the life of the diocese so that we end up not with a Justice and Peace Commission but a Justice and Peace Archdiocese, committed to the vision and practice of our Lord Jesus who came to bring sight to the blind, to set captives free, to make the lame walk, and to protect widows and orphans. Then we would know that the Spirit is moving among us. This is my last column as J&P fieldworker as I retire at the end of the month. It has been a privilege. ‘Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.’ – Charles Peguy
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