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Issue 195 December 2020

‘With the Church in prayer at home’

Our Advent Journey INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Cathedral’s new processional cross

Father Joe’s return to LAMP


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Inspiring excellence personal and academic

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contents Welcome Over these last weeks I have heard the phrase ‘this Christmas will be like no other’ many times. It is a phrase which is open to different interpretations as we look back on a year in which the world has suffered in so many ways from the effects of the pandemic. Yes, our Christmas celebrations will be restricted this year, but in some respects ‘this Christmas will be like every other’. We will again celebrate the birth of the Christ child, the coming of our salvation. The one who gives hope to our world even in these most difficult of times. We will again recall his birth in Bethlehem, the shepherds summoned by angels and the wise men by the light of a star. We will again give thanks for his birth and for the message of peace which he brings. It will as always be a time for reflection and there is much to pray for as we look back on these last twelve months. We pray for all those who have suffered the consequences of coronavirus, those who have lost loved ones and those who have had their lives changed through illness. We also look forward with hope, the hope which comes to us in Bethlehem and every day. May we all have a blessed Christmas

From the Archbishop’s Desk I have to admit that I am a sucker for Christmas. There is so much that I like about the preparation for the celebrations: the shopping, the decorations and the warm atmosphere amongst people including strangers, but nothing can beat Midnight Mass and the wonderful liturgy. At the heart of all this is a child who is born in the most difficult of circumstances, yet he has come to save the world. That event shatters all of our expectations and brings us to a point where our understanding of God as mercy and love becomes real. Our man-made Christmas fades as it is outshone by the glory of God who is with us. This Christmas is not an easy one for many thousands of people because of Covid, and although there is some light in the distance the immediate prospect looks very bleak despite some hope that families will be reunited and that a vaccine will soon be widely available. But we are not just waiting, the light of Christmas is made present now by the numerous volunteers who are bringing food and comfort to those who are in material need or are simply lonely. Of course, that is what the mystery of the incarnation really is; you can now be Christ to others and bring some light into their lives. It will be a light that won’t be put out after the festivities are over but will shine through you for ever.

Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk Picture credits: Cover: Peter Heneghan Main feature: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 sales@cpmmmedia.com Copy deadlines February 2021 - Monday 11 January

Contents 4

Making art out of a precious metal Rauni Higson’s cross inspired by ‘uplifting’ Cathedral

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News From around the Archdiocese

13 The Bishops of England and Wales launch the Elliott Review 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 18 Nugent Give a gift of charity this Christmas 24 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 25 Animate Youth Ministry Animate take leap into virtual world 26 Cathedral Record December with a difference

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Editor Peter Heneghan

Pupils from St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School, Sutton Manor with the Advent Wreath in St Theresa of the Child Jesus church

Website: www.catholicpic.co.uk Twitter: @PicCatholic Youtube: CPMM Media Subscriptions To take out a subscription please email Kim O’Brien at kim.obrien@cpmmmedia.com or call 0151 709 7567 or contact Barbara on 0151 733 5492

29 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 30 Pope’ Worldwide Prayer Network Pray with Pope Francis

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New processional cross inspired by ‘uplifting’ Cathedral by Simon Hart If the Metropolitan Cathedral looks like no other cathedral in the country, the same can be said of its new processional cross which will be unveiled at this month’s Christmas services. The silver cross is a three-dimensional crucifix with a gilded Christ figure in the centre and this unique design is fitting given it was inspired by the Cathedral itself, according to the woman who created it, Rauni Higson. The north Wales-based silversmith said it was the cathedral that she went to when preparing to shape the seven-and-a-half foot cross whose crown purposely evokes the pinnacles which form the peak of the building’s tower. ‘It was a question of me going to the cathedral, wandering around and wondering what might actually work there,’ says Rauni. ‘I love the building, I love the way it makes me and most people feel – it’s an uplifting and inspiring space. I responded to a combination of the architecture, the feel of the place, the uplifting nature of what happens in that collective space and what it means to people.’ It was the Dean of the Cathedral, Canon Tony O’Brien, who commissioned the cross and its accompanying acolyte candles, with the support of the Friends of the Cathedral. It is the first bespoke set that the cathedral has had and combines the artist’s fluid silver forms with the natural wood used for the staff of the cross and the shaft of the candles. Canon Tony says, ‘The processional cross and acolyte candles are unique to our Cathedral and express something of the Cathedral with Christ at the centre. They form a wonderful piece of design and craftsmanship which will enhance our liturgical celebrations for many years to come.’ Elaborating on the eye-catching threedimensional design, Rauni adds that

‘It became bathed in light from the stained-glass windows and the silver came alive.’ 4

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‘because the cathedral has that circular space, I wanted it to appear as a cross from every direction. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it there’s no front and back. ‘The whole feel of the building is focused on the altar in the centre and up into the lantern lights in the centre of the ceiling – the whole place has that feeling of drawing you upwards which is pretty magic and I was trying to echo that in the form of the cross.’ She laughs when recalling how she took an early model – made of aluminium wire – to Canon Tony and Alan Whittaker, chair of the Cathedral art and heritage committee, only to realise there was a notable design flaw. ‘I showed it to them and they said, ‘Yes, we really love it, there’s just one thing missing’. It was the small matter of the figure of Christ! So I said we should put the figure of Christ in the centre, in the heart of it.’ The cross was initially due to be used for the first time in the Cathedral at Easter but the first lockdown made that impossible,

and the more recent lockdown put paid to a revised plan to unveil it on the Feast of Christ the King. Rauni is excited about the prospect of finally seeing it in use at the cathedral this Christmas. ‘It’s one of the joys of doing something which is genuinely for the public because everything I make takes so unbelievably long that it ends up being relatively expensive and is not the sort of thing anybody can have, but in this case everybody can enjoy it so that’s a real honour for me,’ she reflects. ‘And it’s super exciting – just delivering it to the cathedral absolutely blew my brain. We came up the ramp as the choir do and as we walked up, it became bathed in light from the stained-glass windows and the silver came alive. It was like the piece came alive. It was a moving moment for me and to my relief everyone who was there seemed to be quite moved also. There were tears I have to say, and not just from me! It was pretty magic.’ Pictures: © Stephen Heaton Photography


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‘I see what I want in my mind’s eye and it just comes out and I’m able to make it happen’

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profile

Rauni Higson

Making art out of a precious metal - by Simon Hart By Rauni Higson’s estimate, this country has some 200 professional silversmiths – a scarcity which makes her a source of intrigue. ‘Usually people find it incredibly romantic,’ she laughs. ‘But they also probably don’t understand it. The first thing when people think of silver is probably jewellery but silversmithing, strictly speaking, is objects not jewels. It might be tableware or sculpture so yes, it’s a niche. There aren’t that many of us.’ When Rauni, the artist responsible for the Metropolitan Cathedral’s new processional cross, adds that it is ‘not an easy way to carve out a living’, it calls to mind the lyrical description she gave BBC Radio 4 earlier this year of ‘hammering, filing, stoning, shaping, forming, soldering’ – in short, the physical challenge of working on one of the large, flat sheets of silver which arrive at her studio in a converted chapel in Snowdonia’s Nantlle Valley. ‘It’s more physical than people might think. Just because silver is a precious metal, people think of it in terms of being small but if you’re working on a big scale it is like blacksmithing in a way, albeit more refined and cold.’ 6

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It was in December 1997 that she started out as a full-time silversmith. Once a lab technician, Rauni had taken a different path after being made redundant, her four years of training including three at the Lahti Design Institute in Finland – her mother Pirkko’s home country and source of her own unusual first name. A limited understanding of Finnish was no impediment given it led to ‘a lot of observation and understanding the feeling of what was going on’ – vital skills when working with silver. She explains: ‘It’s a beautiful material and it bewitches you because it’s so malleable. There is nothing you can’t do with silver, you just have to take the time to bend it to your will, as it were. It’s extremely malleable and ductile, it has plasticity. ‘When you change the shape of silver, by hammering generally, you’re putting time and energy into moving it and it gets hard as you’re working it. You can soften it by annealing it, which is heating it with a blowtorch till it’s red-hot, and then it relaxes to where it was and you start again. Incrementally you change the shape and as long as you do that enough times, absolutely anything is possible.’ Including her seven-and-ahalf-foot cross for the Cathedral. ‘To be

trusted with that was quite a big deal for me because I’ve got some idea of how much people are invested in that type of object,’ adds Rauni, though that trust reflects the recognition she has earned for her sculptural work inspired by nature. One notable example was the rosewater dish she had commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company in London in a ‘watershed moment’. She explains: ‘It was massive, 50cm in diameter. At the time it was by far the biggest thing I’d done. Myself and a friend, Angela Cork, were the first two women to have been commissioned by the Goldsmiths’ Company to make something for their showpiece display. It was a commission for Lord Sutherland who, sadly, has now died but was a great lover of the wilds of Scotland and I was able to incorporate my love of mountains into the piece.’ The mountains of North Wales, to be precise, though for Rauni there is nowhere quite like her studio – at least not on those days ‘when everything flows and you just get lost in it, and I see what I want in my mind’s eye and it just comes out and I’m able to make it happen in three dimensions in the real world.’ Intriguing indeed.


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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: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk

University in Lockdown It has been a very different term for university students, staff and chaplains. The Catholic Chaplaincy at Liverpool Hope University has been agile and responsive to the changes during the past months and was able to welcome two new people into the Catholic Church. Elisha Fowler who was baptised recently commented, ‘having converted to the Catholic faith the Mass at Hope University has been a real blessing. Through attending the university Mass as well as the university Catholic Society events has

enabled me to get to know like-minded students living out their Catholic faith, something which I have really enjoyed doing since my conversion’. At the same celebration fellow third year student Che Heard was confirmed and received into the Church, he spoke about the months of searching to find that the ‘fullness of Christ through His Church has allowed me to experience the spiritual intimacy of the Mass and believe what I was told that it was the "medicine for the soul"’. Chaplain to Hope University, Father Stephen Pritchard was delighted to begin

Above: Elisha Fowler, Fr Stephen Pritchard and Che Heard the academic year with students wanting to become Catholics, ‘although this has been the strangest time as a chaplain it is the support of students that really matters, supporting them in challenging circumstances and on their personal faith journeys.’ The Chaplaincy up until recently was having a weekly Sunday Mass and continues on-line each week with events spread through the week that include a CathSoc night, a rosary time and Bible study.

Cathedral Music Staff to run Marathon for Micah Music staff from the two Cathedrals in Liverpool are coming together to raise £2,000 for MICAH, the social justice charity set up by Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King and St Bride’s Church to relieve Liverpool residents from social injustice and poverty. Christopher McElroy is Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Stephen Mannings is the Director of Music Outreach at Liverpool Cathedral. They will be running a marathon on New Year's Eve 2020 in a self-devised route which starts on Hope Street - taking in both cathedrals, passes our two famous football grounds, and finishes in front of the Grade I listed Liver Building at the Pier Head. Liverpool has long been known for the warmth of its ecumenical relationships, perhaps best exemplified by Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock who worked tirelessly to stand up for the city of Liverpool in the 1970's and 1980's. The annual Two Cathedral’s Service with its popular procession down Hope Street, the joint Cathedral Choirs’ Messiah performances and joint junior choir concerts serve as evidence of the close working relationship between our two Cathedrals and their music departments in more recent years. Speaking about their preparations for the marathon, Chris said ‘Since taking over as Director of Music here at the Metropolitan Cathedral nine years ago I have worked with our colleagues at the Anglican Cathedral on a wide variety of ventures. This time we have swapped our cassocks and music copies for our running vests and trainers. Running a marathon is as much about the preparation as the run itself. Over the last few months, we have been out running in the sun, rain and wind preparing for New Year’s Eve. Knowing that we are raising money for MICAH, has provided a real focus to our training, and given us the determination to keep going.’ Both Stephen and Chris are experienced runners, having both taken part in a number of races and events of varying distances.

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Stephen commented that ‘having a running goal is important to me, as is my work for the Anglican Cathedral. An opportunity to combine these and raise funds and awareness for MICAH seems like an ideal way to end what has been a difficult year for so many.’ The pair have launched a JustGiving page to help them reach their target of £2,000 for MICAH: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/micahmarathon . If you would feel able to make a donation and sponsor Chris and Stephen this would be greatly appreciated. The runners will begin their epic 26.2 mile run from the Anglican Cathedral at 7.00 am on New Year’s Eve and plan to arrive onto the Prom in Aigburth after 9.30 am, and to finish in front of the Liver Buildings at the Pier Head around 10.30 am. Supporters on the route are very much welcomed: please pray for good weather (or at least not high winds and gales) The full route will be posted on the just giving page, as well as regular updates as the date draws closer.

Christopher McElroy and Stephen Mannings


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Obituary of Rev Desmond Power Father Desmond Power, who has died aged 91, was well known both as a teacher and a priest. He spent nearly thirty years teaching as a Brother of Christian Instruction (De La Mennais Brother) at schools in Shropshire, Southampton and Liverpool, before taking holy orders. As a teacher he specialised in French and English. His former pupils speak very highly of him as an excellent teacher with a great sense of humour and always ready with an anecdote or two, characteristics that he would maintain in his later ministry as a parish priest. He was very active, too, in promoting exchange visits between France and England for both pupils and Brothers. In his native Liverpool he is chiefly associated with St Francis Xavier’s College, Woolton. He arrived at the college in 1972 to teach French and his arrival coincided with a period of significant change for the school. The Jesuits, who had run the school since its foundation, withdrew in 1974 and Brother Power was appointed headmaster. By this time, of course, he was an experienced teacher and had the requisite administrative capabilities for the headship, yet he became increasingly dissatisfied with these tasks. Rather wistfully he observed the more pastoral life of the school chaplain and thoughts of the priesthood surfaced. In 1979 he was accepted by Archbishop Worlock as a student for the priesthood and he resigned the headship. Though he left the De La Mennais Brothers at that time, he retained a deep affection for SFX College and the Brothers. Following his ordination he regularly celebrated Mass in the college and was a frequent visitor to the Brothers’ community house. Indeed, the community at Woolton provided a tremendous support to him throughout his priestly ministry, not least in the years of his retirement and increasing infirmity. Desmond Peter Power was born in Liverpool on 8 March 1929, the youngest of nine children born to Lawrence and Rose Power (née Graham). He was baptised at St Michael’s Church, West Derby Road, on 31 March 1929 and received his early

education at St Michael’s School. Aged eleven he proceeded to St Joseph’s College at Pell Wall Hall near Market Drayton, where his brother Cyril was already a pupil, and entered the novitiate in September 1944, taking the religious name of Brother Robert. He made his final profession as a brother in 1951 and from then until 1960 he taught Religious Instruction and French, firstly at Market Drayton and then at St Mary’s College, Southampton. In 1960 he went up to Oxford to read Modern Languages and graduated four years later with a Master of Arts degree. After a year’s tertianship in Jersey, he resumed teaching at Southampton, before transferring in 1972 to St Francis Xavier’s College, Woolton. He was appointed headmaster at the college in 1974 and remained in post until 1979, when he began training for the priesthood. His priestly formation lasted three years; one year at the Beda College, Rome (1979-1980) and two years at All Hallows, Dublin (1980-1982). He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Derek Worlock at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, on 26 June 1982. Following ordination he was appointed as assistant priest at St Joseph’s, Leigh, and remained there for five years until his first appointment as parish priest at St Aidan’s, Huyton, in August 1987. He resigned as parish priest in 1991 and was in residence at English Martyrs, Litherland, until September 1992, when he was appointed as parish priest at Twelve Apostles, Leigh. His final appointment came in September 1995, when he was appointed parish priest at St Paschal Baylon, Liverpool. There he spent ten happy years until his retirement in September 2005. In retirement he lived firstly at Our Lady of the Assumption, Gateacre, and then for several years in a flat close to Christ the King, Queens Drive, Liverpool. Towards the end of his life, as he became increasingly frail, he moved to Nazareth House, Crosby. He died on Friday 30 October. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at Christ the King, Queens Drive, Liverpool on Thursday 12 November prior to burial at Yewtree Cemetery.

Help the hospice sparkle this Christmas

Patients will able to see sparkling Christmas trees from their rooms at St Joseph’s Hospice during the coming festive season. The Sparkle for St Joseph’s project will give local businesses and organisations the opportunity to give the gift of Christmas to hospice patients receiving end of life care by filling its gardens with Christmas trees covered in glittering lights. The lights will all be switched on Friday 4th December and will be left on until Tuesday 5th January 2021. Depending on Covid restrictions, members of the public will be invited to visit the hospice gardens and see them sparkle. Time slots will be available for pre-booking, and there will be refreshments including mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies on sale. Please see www.jospice.org.uk and social media for the latest information. Maxine Armstrong, head of fundraising at St Joseph’s Hospice, said: ‘We are really excited to launch our Sparkle for St Joseph’s project as it is a lovely way for local businesses to help brighten up a dark winter and show our patients how much they are loved and cared for by their communities. ‘To sponsor a Christmas tree, we are asking businesses to donate £200 per tree. We will provide the trees and will include the name of the donor or a business logo by the tree. We’d like to say a big thank you to Holy Family School, C & D Properties and Shenanigans Bar, who have already sponsored Christmas trees as part of our Sparkle project. ‘Please help us to give the gift of Christmas to our patients this year and help our gardens to sparkle.’ To sponsor a Christmas tree, please contact the hospice on 0151 932 6044 or email fundraising@jospice.org.uk.

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Obituary of Professor John Tarn Emeritus Professor John Nelson Tarn OBE died aged 85 on Sunday 8 November following a recent illness. In 1973 he became Roscoe Professor of Architecture at the University of Liverpool and began his association with the Archdiocese shortly afterwards when he accepted an invitation to volunteer his expertise with the Art and Architecture Department of the Liturgy Commission. He went on to produce the first set of guidelines for Church reordering in the Archdiocese in the 1970s. His help and support to people and priests was invaluable and he set in place procedures, policy and good practice in the way church buildings are reordered and cared for. He also helped to implement many of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council relating to church buildings. His work with the Historic Churches Committee was a sign of his dedication for church architecture and for Catholic heritage. This was in addition to his Chairmanship of the Anglican Cathedral Fabric Committee. In 2016 Pope Francis honoured him with the award of Papal Knight of the Order of St Gregory, in recognition of his work. John Nelson Tarn was born on 23 November 1934 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree with first class honours from Durham University in 1957 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in architectural history from the University of Cambridge in 1961. He lectured at the University of Sheffield in 1963, before joining the University of Liverpool ten years later as Roscoe Professor of Architecture, a post he held until his retirement in 1999, during which time he also served as Pro-ViceChancellor and Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University. Upon his retirement Professor Tarn was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University and became an Emeritus Professor. He later served as Chairman of the Friends of the University of Liverpool from 2001 to 2013 and supported fundraising for many student groups at the University. Professor Tarn served in the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1968 to 1992, 10

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Archbishop Malcolm presents Professor Tarn with the award of Papal Knight of the Order of St Gregory in 2016. took up chairmanship of the Committee taking up various important memberships from 1992 to 2002. He was awarded an of committees under the Institute. He honorary degree in recognition of his also served as Chairman and Vicecontributions. Chairman of the Architects’ Registration Council of the United Kingdom, President Professor Tarn had a great fondness for and Vice-President of the Liverpool the Peak District, devoting 20 years to Architectural Society and Chairman of chairing the national park’s planning Riverside Housing Group. In 1992, committee, as well as serving as ViceProfessor Tarn received an OBE for President of the Friends of the Peak services to architecture. District. His home was in Stanton in Peak, but he also had a home in Caldy Internationally, Professor Tarn served as a whilst working at the University. He member of the Chinese University of retired to Darley Dale not long before his Hong Kong’s Architecture Academic death. Advisory Committee when the School of Architecture was established in 1988 and


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St Edmund’s Choir – bringing Christmas Music Frank Cottrell-Boyce reads an extract from ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ by Dylan Thomas

St Edmund’s Choir under the direction of Charlie Corkin accompanied by Ann Dickinson MBE

For more than twenty years, St Edmund's Choir, based in Waterloo, have performed their Christmas concert in some of the most prestigious venues across Liverpool City Region; from the splendour of St George's Hall to the vast settings of the Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. This year, for the first time ever, they're bringing Christmas to your home by streaming Songs, Stories, Lessons and Carols to Facebook and YouTube on Sunday 13 December at 7.00 pm. With a twist on the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols service from King's

College, the Christmas season starts with a pre-recorded Christmas concert filled with festive favourites. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and Frank Cottrell-Boyce join in to lead readings and poems and there's even a visit from Santa. Director, Charlie Corkin, says ‘it's been a really difficult year for everyone, but we felt that it was important to maintain our Christmas tradition of performing for our friends, family and each other. More than ever, we need a bit of Christmas magic to brighten up the end of several months of hard times. ‘I've recently seen the first edit of the

full concert and I can't put into words how proud I am that the Choir have come together and battled against strict Covid restrictions to create an evening that, albeit a change from what we usually do, is something memorable that matches the high-standard that we are used to.’ Frank Cottrell-Boyce said ‘I am really looking forward to joining with my friends St Edmund's Choir this Christmas. It's going to be a great occasion’. The pre-recorded concert is the latest in a line of online activities produced by SEMusic which include a six-part online series, featuring performances from past concerts and virtual choir performances, also music education resources produced for parents home-schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic. The stream is free to watch, but donations are requested to help support the work of SEMusic. For more information and a preview, visit semusic.org.uk/online or search Songs, Stories, Lessons and Carols on Facebook.

Father Joe’s return to LAMP Father Joe Bibby is to leave St Wilfrid’s parish in Widnes and make a return to serving with LAMP – the Liverpool Archdiocesan Missionary Project – in Peru. It will be the third time Father Joe has been a LAMP priest, the previous ones being 1994 to 2000, and 2000 to 2011 in Bolivia. This time he will be in Peru, in a parish in the Diocese of Sicuani in the mountains, about six hours’ drive from Cusco. Archbishop Malcolm celebrated a Missioning Mass for Father Joe at St Michael’s church, Ditton, Widnes on Tuesday 3 November, the Feast of St Martin de Porres, Patron of LAMP. During Mass Father Joe was presented with his Mission Cross by the Archbishop. After the Mass Father Joe said, ‘I am very excited about being able to return to the missions and am very grateful for the support I have received from Archbishop Malcolm, my family, friends, and parishioners in St Wilfrid’s Parish, Widnes’.

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The Lockdown Nativity Local author Frank Cottrell-Boyce and his wife Denise have gifted a creative lockdown Nativity kit for primary schools to the school feeding charity Mary’s Meals. The virtual Nativity kit, which comes complete with instructions and handy hints on filming, costumes and editing, is the ideal festive resource for primary schools in a year when many teachers have had to consider cancelling their annual Christmas play due to the pandemic. The husband-and-wife team, who are long-time supporters of Mary’s Meals: a charity that reaches more than 1.6 million hungry children in some of the world’s poorest countries with a daily school meal, have developed two easy to memorise rhyming scripts for infant and junior school children. These can be filmed on smartphones and assembled into a single play. This means that if children are socially isolated at home, they can still take part, united with their school friends in the final short film shared on social media or school websites. Frank explains: ‘Our parish choir has been supporting Mary’s Meals with an annual concert, so we knew and admired the simple justice of their mission – connecting food and education. They seemed the obvious place to take the idea of the Lockdown Nativity. ‘Everyone remembers who they were in their school Nativity play. The idea that some schools or parishes might not have one this year seemed heart-breaking, so we came up with this simple way to tell the tale anew.’ Emma Hutton, head of grassroots engagement at Mary’s Meals

Bonnie, six, playing a shepherd in The Lockdown Nativity

says: ‘We’re so grateful to Frank and Denise, this comes at a perfect time as teachers are planning their Christmas activities and we’re sure the plays will bring delight to children, teachers and parents alike. We are hoping schools will spread the joy by sharing their finished films on social media and donating to Mary’s Meals if they can.’ To download the lockdown Nativity kit marysmeals.org.uk/nativity.

The Coming of the Light by Helen Jones, Pastoral Associate for Liverpool South Pastoral Area and Joanne Wallace, Pastoral Associate for the Parish of St Marie's Our Lady of the Annunciation and Saint Bernadette and St Teresa’s, Upholland This is something good, a gift from God’ reiterates Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti (205) about the internet (first quoted in 2014 on World Communications Day). Harnessing its connective and positive energy in a creative and participatory way has been a challenge for us all and especially for our ministry as Pastoral Associates. Working away from our parishes it has sometimes been the only way to connect and support our communities. This Advent, two of us are embarking on creating online Advent Services. Our collaboration meant that we were able to share approaches, music and ideas: compiling clips of candles being passed from parish to parish, asking for artwork, getting schools involved, recording advent music. But what has been truly inspiring is that we have both been able to reflect Advent in such different ways. St John Rigby (Upholland)

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Pastoral Area is following the story leading to Christmas in the form of scripture readings, music and reflections including the very youngest from across the parishes and parish schools, and parishioners and priests passing candle flames from hand to hand – the light of Advent in our homes and churches. St John Almond (Liverpool South) Pastoral Area has used the four Sundays traditionally represented by Hope, Peace, Joy and Love to incorporate readings, reflections and the voices of those in the communities sharing their experiences of hope, love, joy or peace along with images and music joined by the candle flames being shared in home and in parish. The Coming of the Light joins all of us in prayer during these challenging times, crossing boundaries as we are able to reach further than our physical location. These sparks of light that in both services encapsulate the glow of hope-filled love, illuminate our darkness. As Pastoral

Associates, we very much hope that our endeavours will reflect that Advent spirit that lives in our parishes, especially this year, and that the possibilities of creating a virtual community, joined together in our shared encounter will indeed be a gift from God this Christmas. The Advent Services will be available from Thursday 17 December at 7.00 pm on the ‘SJR Pastoral Area’ YouTube Channel for Upholland and on Sunday 20 December at 4.00 pm on ‘St Wilfrid’s, Garston’ YouTube Channel for Liverpool South (links on www.liverpoolsouthpastoralarea.org.uk)


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‘We express our sorrow and contrition before God.’ The Bishops of England and Wales launch the Elliott Review By Simon Hart ‘I hope that we have managed to express to you that we as a Catholic Church in England and Wales have a very strong desire to prove and change the ways in which we protect children and vulnerable adults in our church.’ With these words Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, in his role as vice-president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, began his summing up at the conclusion of a press conference on 20 November which outlined the Church’s response to two reports of deep significance – The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and an independent review of the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding Structures and Arrangements in England and Wales. The latter report, chaired by Ian Elliott, and its recommendations were the focus

of the plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales from 1619 November, and its impact will prove far-reaching, prompting the creation of a new safeguarding agency at the heart of the Church’s renewed commitment to ensuring safety. This Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) will be accompanied by a separate safeguarding resource especially for clergy and religious – or ICLSAL to use the review’s acronym for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life – and, moreover, a National Tribunal Service to adjudicate on cases. In a statement, the Bishops said that the IICSA report had been ‘shocking and overwhelming.’ It had considered almost 50 years of evidence, including case studies on Ampleforth and Downside Abbeys and their respective schools; Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School; and the Archdiocese of Birmingham. It outlined that there had been over 900 complaints against more than 900

‘Everyone in the Church will be required to work to clear, published standards of behaviour and action’

individuals connected to the Church, including priests, monks and volunteers, and also detailed that the Church had received 100 allegations each year since 2016. ‘At our meeting this week, we Bishops have stood together in profound shame,’ the Bishops said in their statement. ‘We express our sorrow and contrition before God.’ They added: ‘We have carefully considered the recommendations of the IICSA Report and formally accepted them. We have already begun work towards their implementation.’ The same applies to the Elliott Report which, as the Bishops observed, will deliver a ‘standardsbased approach to safeguarding together with a specially commissioned national body with powers of effective audit and oversight of safeguarding in both Dioceses and Religious Orders.’ The Bishops’ statement continued: ‘Everyone in the Church will be required to work to clear, published standards of behaviour and action. Most significantly, the Elliott Report has been fashioned with the participation of survivors of abuse. Their insight and wisdom has been crucial. We thank them for their great courage and generosity in working with us and we look forward to continuing this growing collaboration.’ The 15 recommendations by Ian Elliott were presented along with the report to the Bishops Conference and accepted. Among them is a set of standards with the first stating ‘that safeguarding is embedded in the Church’s leadership, governance, ministry, and culture’. According to the Elliott Review, ‘this underpins all

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of the other recommendations that we have argued for.’ He added: ‘I believe this is a positive step forward for the Church and it sets out a path for it to follow. It will be dependent now very much on the implementation phase But I commend them for one commissioning the review in the first place and secondly for accepting the recommendations that we have put to them.’ The key structural change is the establishing of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA), which takes the place of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC). According to the Ellliot Review, the existing advisory relationships within the Church were not sufficiently effective. This new structure, the review promised, would be ‘empowered to set safeguarding standards, to provide a robust audit and review service, and to take responsibility for intervening where it believes inadequate or poor practice has taken place it can direct change. In other words it will have powers that currently the CSAS does not have. ‘The new Tribunal Service will provide quicker, easier and more transparent

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answers to canonical issues and questions that arise as consequence of safeguarding concerns and will be more easily accessible.’ A criticism from both survivors of abuse and the IICSA report concerned the slow speed of change and action within the governance structures of the Church but Archbishop Malcolm affirmed: ‘We get consistency and speed if we have the National Tribunal Service.’ Other steps have already been taken in response to the reports with the CSAS developing a framework of training for safeguarding roles to address the Elliott Report’s recommendation for mandatory training, aligned with a standards-based approach. Training provision is now in place online and face to face for volunteers. Working with survivors In their response to the two reports, the Bishops expressed their gratitude to the survivors of abuse who had come forward to contribute and underlined their wish for an ongoing dialogue. ‘We have reflected on our need to reach out afresh to those who bear the wounds of permanent damage caused by this abuse, they said. ‘We commit ourselves to listen more intently to those who have been abused so as to learn from them and benefit from their wisdom. It is through learning from

their testimony that hearts are changed. ‘We are grateful to those survivors who have come forward, not only to lay before us their experience of abuse, but to help us understand the depth of their pain. We invite anyone who has experienced abuse to come forward, no matter how long ago the abuse took place. We undertake to listen carefully to them with open heart and mind and support them on a journey of healing.’ To achieve this, Ian Elliott said it would be necessary to encourage ‘one to one conversations with a trusted individual’ rather than as part of a group or panel. He added: ‘There is a real desire of many of them to make a contribution, to share their knowledge, to exert what influence they can on bringing about change and I personally want to thank them very greatly for their willingness to do that.’ The role of survivors was also touched on by Bishop Marcus Stock, vice-chair of the implementation committee. The involvement in survivors in the recommendations for change marks this process as different from previous reviews undertaken by the Church and Bishop Stock said: ‘We are going to extend the range and opportunity for survivors’ voices to take part in the Church in the future.’


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Bishop Paul Mason, a member of the review committee, added: ‘I think the voice of survivors can be absolutely material to the change of the culture. If we simply see safeguarding issues as problems to be solved, we’re a stage removed from the reality of what’s happened in people’s lives, and the more we engage with survivors then that change of culture can come about. We’ve done a lot of work in this area, we are continuing to do it, and in terms of safety, with the vital input of survivors we are making our churches safer and safer and I am confident about safety of our churches now.’ Cardinal’s commitment renewed In a personal statement, Cardinal Nichols said: ‘I have spent many hours listening to survivors. I have sat and talked with them, shared meals with them and wept with them. Nothing removes from my soul the horror of what has happened to them. I will continue to listen to survivors. ‘Hearing them is a humbling and learning experience for me. So, I say again, I am very sorry. I say this for many bishops who have gone before me over these 50 years. Many hearing this will feel that we let you down. Yes, we did let you down, in many ways in different times in different places for different reasons. I apologise again. I am so sorry for all that has happened over all these years.’

The Cardinal went on: ‘I have no wish whatsoever to turn my back on this challenge, no wish to walk away at all. I want to be there I want to do everything I can to take these important recommendations forward. You see I am very, very grateful to Mr Elliott and I gave him my full support in this that he has done for us exactly what is needed he has given us a searching analysis of how we work as a Church. And I think that is exactly what I can fully support and enable. I won’t be doing the work myself, it is the work given to professional people designated to do it but they can be sure they will have my full support and enabling ability to bring this to a proper end.’ It is a conviction shared by his confreres. As Archbishop Malcolm said when addressing the media at the end of the conference: ‘We feel that we have done a lot of work over the last 25-30 years but there is so much more to be done and we are very open to that. We are also as a group of bishops, a group of leaders in the church, we have all been profoundly changed in our hearts by the experiences of others that we have engaged with over those years and we want to use that change as the votive power to make a difference to our structures so that we can really be a Church that responds to the needs of vulnerable people and also to protect them into the future.’

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger. It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased. You will be heard, be supported, and have your concerns taken seriously. It is your choice who you share your experience, or your concerns, with. You can contact Alexandra Griffiths, Archdiocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator, on 0151 522 1043 or a.griffiths@rcaol.org.uk; Safe Spaces run by Victim Support on 0300 303 1056 or safespaces@victimsupport.org.uk or see the Archdiocesan Safeguarding pages for a list of victim support services.

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what’s on Advent and Christmas at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King The Advent Sequence service of readings and choral music and the other Advent Choral Services and a series of short Advent Reflections by Father Chris McCoy are all available online on the Cathedral Website. Tickets (available from ‘Eventbrite’ or via the link on the Cathedral website) are required for ALL the public services and Masses below as there is a limit of 300 people per service. Saturday 19 December and Sunday 20 December 6.00 pm (each evening) ‘Carols from the Met’ Christmas Eve – Thursday 24 December 6.00 pm

Vigil Mass of Christmas

Christmas Day – Friday 25 December 12.00 midnight

8.00 am 9.00 am 11.00 am

Midnight Mass of Christmas Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP Christmas Morning Mass Christmas Morning Mass Christmas Morning Mass

Prepare the Future: Advent Reflections in the light of Fratelli Tutti – given by Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald MAfr Following on from our Prepare the Future series given by Christine Allen - Director of Cafod, Father Diarmuid

O’Murchu and Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald, we are delighted that once again Cardinal Michael will join us and give four reflections as part of an opportunity for Advent prayer and contemplation. Cardinal Michael will be looking at four aspects of Advent in the light of Fratelli Tutti: Stay awake; Prepare a way for the Lord; Bearing Witness; ‘Get on with it, lass”’; and inspiring us to encounter the Advent Christ in this time of uncertainty whilst heeding the call of Pope Francis to ‘Prepare the Future’. You are invited to join us for one or more ‘live’ on Zoom on Mondays at 7.00 pm to 7:30pm on 30 November, 7 December, 14 December, 21 December for a time of reflective prayer. The prayer and reflections will also be available on YouTube LiverpoolJ&P and Facebook. To receive the Zoom link please register via the Facebook Page jpliverpooljp or online at the J&P website www.jp.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk . Compass in Advent …preparing for Christmas Our lives are being turned upside down at the moment due to Covid-19. Join us to reflect on some of the characters in the Christmas story whose lives were also radically changed. How is God speaking to us through these stories today? Each Friday we will focus on one set of characters. The meeting will also include a sharing of a contemporary story of vocation/call. There will be time for sharing, questions and discussion. Who? – Young adults 18-35 When? Fridays - 4, 11, 18 December Time? 7.00 pm for one hour Zoom link: email us on CompassInAdvent@gmail.com for the link and for any other information. Facebook event: https://bit.ly/CompassInAdvent Compass is a project of CVP (Catholic Vocations Project). CVP is supported by a group of religious women and men in the UK who are interested in promoting a culture of vocation in our Church. Cafod Virtual Fun Run On the 27 December, 37 years ago, the first Cafod Fun Run was held in Liverpool. Over the years, everyone has had the opportunity to run, walk or toddle off their Christmas dinners at these Cafod Fun Runs. However, this year due to Coronavirus, we are taking our run online, and inviting

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people around the country to join us on Sunday 27 December. It will be a 'Fun Run like no other'. We're asking you to take to the streets in your local area to run, walk or toddle 5k, or whatever distance you wish (it's the taking part that counts), to help raise vital funds for Cafod. There is no entry fee, we're asking you to participate and kindly raise sponsorship or make a donation for you and your family. And please don't forget to add gift aid if possible. Please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cafods-christmas-fun-runtickets-129021764571 to sign up. £12 can pay for an emergency food package for a family in isolation and £135 can install one community handwashing point and train 25 villagers in safe handwashing? Donations and sponsorship are so vital at the moment as we help our sisters and brothers around the world to rebuild their lives. make a donation to the Cafod just giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/funrunlikenoother You can simply click the orange 'Start Fundraising' button, to set up a page linked to this event. Please share this page with people who would usually sponsor you and ask them to make donations too. As this is a virtual event, anyone can take part anywhere in the world, so please do spread the word. If you get to £100 of sponsorship, then we will send you a Cafod running vest.

Advent Zoom events at Irenaeus ‘The people who walked in darkness.’ Advent Reflections on the Prophet Isaiah. Thursday 3 December and Thursday 10 December from 10.30 am to 12.00 noon. (Link will open at 10.00 am). Bookings email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk No charge but donations gratefully received. Carol Service by Zoom. Monday 21 December from 7.00 pm. (Link will open at 6.30 pm.) Bookings email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk No charge but donations gratefully received. Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst series of online talks, ‘Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters’, exploring some of the great figures of Western spirituality with wellknown experts continues this December. The series is free. ‘The Saviour of Europe: St Benedict and Benedictine spirituality’ with Father Cassian Folsom OSB. Thursday 3 December at 7.30 pm. ‘God and the Crib: Francis and Greccio’ with Father Gabriel Kyte CFR. Thursday 10 December at 7.30 pm. Register to receive a link, online at https://christianheritagecentre.com/event/saints-scholarsspiritual-masters/ or email events@christianheritagecentre.com.

We'd love to see photos of you joining in the fun, and don't forget snaps of your pets as well as those in prams and fancy dress, it is a fun run after all! Please do take photos and share them on social media tagging @CAFODLiverpool or #CAFODFunRun. Join us at our virtual start line to kick off the day at 10.00 am. Simply find us on social media. As it’s a virtual event, you can do your run, walk or toddle at any point in the day. The Facebook event can be found here https://www.facebook.com/events/724924291700948 Thank you so much for your kind support for Cafod, we hope you enjoy this year’s virtual Fun Run and look forward to seeing you altogether hopefully next year.

Website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk Catholic Pictorial

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Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent

We must do what we can to help and support the most isolated and those in need To say it’s been a tumultuous month would be an understatement, from the worrying rise in Covid-19 cases across the UK and the instigation of a second national lockdown, to fresh concerns about post-Brexit trade talks, we continue to live with uncertainty and many of us are becoming increasingly anxious about what our shared future holds. In November, thanks to our wonderful 800 Group partners at Imagine Independence, I participated as a panel member in an eseminar under the banner of Merseyside Mental Health Awareness Week, on the

topic of building up stronger Mental Health in Merseyside. We explored the role of the charity, community and voluntary sector in leading a response to what we see as a looming mental health crisis. At Nugent we face some stark challenges during this pandemic and my colleagues, and I remain particularly concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on our children and young people. I am honoured therefore to have been invited to join the LCR’s Poverty and Life Chances Standing Action Group, joining politicians, practitioners, academics, trade

unionists and faith leaders from across the six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region working to improve the life chances of children and young people, and developing an LCR early years strategy. Children and young people across Merseyside have been hard hit by the pandemic, they are suffering enormous upheaval on a scale that we have not seen in this lifetime. Now, more than ever, it’s important to prioritise our mental health and beyond this we must do what we can to help and support the most isolated and in need within our communities

Give a gift of charity this Christmas ‘Love and charity, are service, helping others, serving others. There are many people who spend their lives in this way, in the service of others…When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love.’ (Pope Francis - Jubilee Audience, 12 March 2016) This Christmas we are celebrating love and charity and looking to our supporters to help us help everyone experience the joy of Christmas. As we move towards the end of what has been a truly unique and challenging year for everyone, many of us will be looking forward to being part of a special (if different) festive season this year. Whilst we all enjoy a relaxing Christmas with the usual seasonal celebrations and gifts, there are more people than ever who will struggle at this time of year through either poverty or loneliness, and we need your support to help make the season special for everyone. You can help in various ways: Donate some Christmas goodies to help us fill 200 hampers to give families who use our food markets a special Christmas. Donate your commute, if you are working from home; donate the

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money you are saving on travelling to work. Donate your Last hours pay, as you break up for Christmas, you could make the difference with a small donation. Buy your Christmas Cards from Nugent and spread best wishes and happiness to your friends and family. Consider making a regular donation to

Nugent and in doing so help to guarantee the vital community services we hope to deliver throughout 2021 and beyond. You can find out how to support Nugent through our website: wearenugent.org Give a gift of charity this Christmas and help us continue to support those in need across Merseyside when they need it most.


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God calls to us constantly, longing to guide those who yearn for life and desire to see good days into the way of peace. The Rule of Saint Benedict helps us to hear God’s voice, in the Holy Scriptures, in the sacred liturgy and in our brothers in community. If you are a single man longing to live your Catholic faith in a way which brings great joy as it demands the best of you, consider whether God is calling you to be a Benedictine monk at Buckfast Abbey. Please reach out to us, and we will do all we can to help you.

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education news

Catholic schools shortlisted in this year’s Educate Awards 10 Liverpool Archdiocesan schools have been named in the Educate Awards 2020 shortlist. • Hope Academy in Newton-le-Willows has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Secondary School category • Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Primary School in Sefton has been shortlisted for the Mental Health & Wellbeing Award • Rachael Chadwick from St Benedict's Catholic Primary School in Sefton has been shortlisted for the Teacher of the Year Award • St Cuthbert's Catholic High School in St Helens has been shortlisted for The Communication Award and the Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award • St Elizabeth's Catholic Primary School in Sefton has been shortlisted in Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Primary School category • St John Fisher Catholic Primary School in Knowsley has been shortlisted in the Leadership Team of the Year category • St John Rigby College in Wigan has been shortlisted for the Careers & Enterprise Award and the WOW Recognition Award • St Vincent's School in Liverpool has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Commitment to the Environment Award • The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in Liverpool has been shortlisted for The Communication Award and RE teacher, Suaad Hussain has been shortlisted for Teacher of the Year award • The De La Salle Academy in Liverpool has been shortlisted for the Community Partnership Award The awards, in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh, is in its ninth year and is the largest education awards in the North West. Due to pandemic, the ceremony has been postponed until further notice but the team behind the event are keen to continue and raise spirts within in the education sector. Despite the difficult times, a record amount of schools and colleges from around the region entered one or more of the 21 categories.

From inspiring teachers, dedicated support staff to innovative projects across the curriculum, the awards recognises the work of schools and colleges which are delivering outstanding education and helping students achieve their full potential, even during these unprecedented times. Since launching in Liverpool in 2012, the awards has grown rapidly, recognising schools and colleges right across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, said: “A huge well done to all the Liverpool Archdiocesan schools shortlisted in the Educate Awards 2020! “It has been a really tough year for everyone and so we felt it was more important than ever to shine a spotlight on the heroes of the education sector and all the hard work that goes on in schools and colleges around the North West. Kim added: “The calibre of entries we received were incredibly strong - our judges will really have their work cut out when deciding on the winners!” Associate sponsors of the awards include: All About STEM, Angel Solutions, CareersInc, CER, CPMM Media Group, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool

Student to share faith around the world Upper Sixth Carmel College student, Daniel Canning has secured a place to become a missionary in Australia next October! Daniel who studies maths, physics and 3D design at Carmel attends the Gateway Church in Speke and is part of the young adults group there. He found out about the amazing opportunity to become a missionary abroad through his friends at church. After doing some research, Daniel decided to apply for the Discipleship Training School, which is part of the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) organisation. And now Daniel has heard the news that he has successfully gained a 20

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place! The five month course will begin with three months in Queensland. Daniel will have the opportunity to share his beliefs and grow closer to God. This will include a range of enterprises including back packing trails and fun outreach activities within the community. The following two months, Daniel will move to another country in South East Asia which will be confirmed nearer the time. Daniel said: ‘I was delighted when I found out I’ve gained a place on the course. I can’t wait to share my faith across the world. I’m excited to live out my calling and bring other people to know Jesus like I do.’


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education news ASFA reflects in Assisi Peace Garden The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) observed Remembrance Day with the greatest respect and sincerity. Led by the Year 11 Student Leadership Team, reflections were created in the Assisi Peace Garden where students modelled pledge making for the rest of the school community. Pledges were made to remember a special person, a special piece of advice or an important memory. The day was filmed so that the students and staff can reflect on this time in years to come. A recording of a student performing In Flanders Fields by John McCrae was used alongside the video. It can be watched at: https://vimeo.com/477575502/de7998866f ASFA’s chaplain, Phil Johnson, said “It was really encouraging to see the sincerity of our students and how they engaged in the pledges to remember. It was also moving to see one of our student cadets lay a wreath next to our memorial display.”

Pupils create a virtual assembly for Remembrance Day Year 1 pupils from St Paul & St Timothy’s Catholic Infant School in West Derby, produced a virtual assembly for Remembrance Day. The video was shared with all the children in the school as they led them in prayer and helped pupils think about all those who have lost their lives or suffered in wars and conflict. Year 2 pupils worked with Sarah, a local artist, at the start of remembrance week to create willow poppies for their remembrance garden. On Remembrance Day all children went outside separately in their class bubbles to place poppies, wreaths and decorated pebbles next to their willow soldier who the children have named Captain Tom. At 11 o’clock everyone stopped for a minute’s silence while The Last Post was played throughout the school and outside in the memorial garden. Headteacher Joanne Starkey, said: “I would just like to say a big thank you to all of the children and staff who helped to create each part of our Remembrance Day activities and reflections”.

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education news

The Power of the Portrait

The reception children at Our Lady of Lourdes RC Nursery and Primary school in Birkdale always enjoy their creative learning in school. They have become very proficient in the art of observational drawings and paintings despite their age. Assistant Head and Early Years Lead Helen McMullan felt sure that their skills and passion for painting would benefit the local community. She contacted a couple of local residential homes for the elderly and suggested that they may like to receive a portrait of their residents. Home Chase House and Lockerwoods Care Home in Birkdale agreed and swiftly emailed photographs of their residents for the children to paint. The results were heart-warming as they brought a huge smile to the residents and staff. Catherine McDermott Headteacher said: ‘Such a simple gesture goes a long way during a challenging time for many who are unable to see their loved ones during the current Covid restrictions. I am extremely proud of our children and the impact they have had on our local community.’ Last January the children invited the residents of Home Chase into school for a special reception wedding as part of their Come and See Curriculum when they were learning about different celebrations that take place in a church. The residents came dressed in their wedding outfits and everyone enjoyed a very memorable afternoon together. The key worker children also sent beautiful rainbow pictures to the residents of Locharwoords Care Home during the long lockdown last summer. Despite the restrictions, the reception staff are working hard to continue to create further links with the wider community in more creative ways in the coming months. Note: Pictures were taken before Covid restrictions.

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education news #RedWednesday at Faith Primary School At Faith Primary School in Liverpool, the local churches arranged for each class to reflect on what the Aid to the Church in Need #RedWednesday means. A day to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and all who suffer for their peacefully held beliefs. Red is the Christian colour of martyrdom. Christians are the most persecuted faith group in today’s world and #RedWednesday honours all Christians who suffer and die for their faithfulness to Christ’s message of peace and love. On a day which highlights people being persecuted for their faith Red balloons were attached to the greeting cards

given to each class to write their message of hope, and which will be sent out by post to the contact list given by the Archdiocese of Liverpool Justice and Peace Greeting Card Campaign. This is a way in which the children and staff have put into action their understanding of The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been explored and shared across the school. The day remembered in prayer all those not allowed to celebrate or share their faith in public and highlighted the injustices taking place against all faith groups across the world.

Double success as two St Mary’s teams reach national football finals Students and staff at St Mary’s College in Crosby are celebrating after football teams in two age groups reached the final of a prestigious national competition. The college had never previously made it through to the last two of a national tournament, but this season both the under 12 and under 15 sides beat off the challenge of hundreds of rival schools to reach finals day of the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) Small Schools’ Cup. More than 6,000 teams entered the national cup competition which began in September last year, but the latter stages of the event - which should have been played in the spring - were delayed because of the national lockdown. The finals were eventually played this week at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire. Spectators were not permitted because of Covid-19 restrictions, but the matches were broadcast live with professional commentary on YouTube. The St Mary’s under 12 side captained by Dylan Travis were crowned national champions following a 2-1 victory against St Michael’s Middle School from Poole in Dorset. Two first-half goals - from Scott Johnson and ‘Player of the Match’ winner Hayden Allmark - gave St Mary’s a 2-0 lead at the interval and despite their opponents scoring a goal in the second half, the Crosby school defended their lead to complete a famous victory. Hopes were high for a dream double but sadly it was not to be. Despite putting in a spirited performance, the under 15s skippered by Anthony Parker lost 3-1 in their final to Buckswood School from East Sussex. The St Mary’s goal was scored in the second half by Ben Jones and the ‘Player of the Match’ award went to his fellow St Mary’s forward Daniel Molloy. St Mary’s College Principal, Mike Kennedy, commented: “The school has never reached a national football final before so it’s

remarkable that we had two teams in the finals of this year’s prestigious ESFA event. “It’s an incredible achievement and I’d like to pay tribute to the skills and hard work of all the players and staff members involved. “Obviously for the under 12s to win their final was the icing on the cake, but what’s really important is that the two teams have helped St. Mary’s to make its mark on football at national level for the first time,” said Mr Kennedy. ESFA Chairman, Phil Harding, added: “Schools football is where young people develop knowledge alongside skills and values, and where players can be competitive, considerate and truly enjoy their football. “Our national finals showcase these characteristics, but they are only possible with the hard work and dedication of a huge number of people who give freely of their time and expertise.”

The St Mary’s under 12 side celebrate their 2-1 cup final victory over St Michaels Middle School from Dorset

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note ‘The Hopes and Fears of all the Years are met in Thee tonight’ – O little town of Bethlehem (lyrics by Phillips Brooks, 1868) Hopeful, fearful, or a mixture of the two – where is your heart at the moment? As with Lent earlier this year, so now our living of this 2020 Advent season will be a little ‘particular’ – particular and unusual because of the uncertainties and fears of a still-spreading and powerful coronavirus, yet tinged with the hope of the effectiveness of lockdown provisions and then the possibility of a vaccine which may well mean that the early months of 2021 will be marked by a gradual return to regularity. Sometimes this is referred to as a return to normality, back to the way things were – yet quite possibly things will never be ‘the way they were’ … and that is not necessarily a bad thing. We have learned much over these past months, not only about the valiant work of generous people in caring for others but also the fact that science and expertise can take us only part of the way. It is compassion and care and basic common humanity which complete the journey. Advent first of all concentrates the mind and heart on the future coming of the Lord, the Parousia. It is not a time for filling us with a fear and trembling which will take all the joy and peacefulness from our hearts, but for putting all things into their true perspective; an invitation

Sunday thoughts When I was a child, I thought that Christmas would never come. And when it came it was over too quickly. When bedtime came on Christmas Day, I was already mourning its loss because it would be another year until the next Christmas. The decorations came down on Twelfth Night, 6 January, and were put away; a final confirmation that it was all over. In our house, the Christmas decorations lived in a large suitcase, consigned to the top shelf of a dark cupboard. It was like a burial. For a child, and indeed any young person, life is linear – a straight line into an unknown future. Tomorrow can’t come quickly enough. But as we grow older, time speeds up. Days, weeks and months come round again with increasing frequency – spring, summer, autumn, winter. They come around so fast that we’re not ready for them. What we longed for when young now comes too quickly. We want to slow things

Canon Philip Gillespie

to reflect upon the graciousness of God, the promises of God, and the fulfilment of those promises in the person of Jesus. Having taken the time to reflect on that ‘graciousness fulfilled’, we are all the better prepared to celebrate the Word made flesh over the Feasts of Christmas: Nativity, Epiphany and Baptism. At Saint Cuthbert’s Seminary we often used the following reflection at our Advent carol service – it may be of use to you in your prayer in this most unusual and challenging season: ‘The voices of Advent speak to us of light and hope, of witness and of commitment. They call us to repentance, to “prepare a way” for the coming of the Lord. The tenor of this season demands that we draw aside for reflection and contemplation, at a time when the world clamours for our attention. ‘We become trapped on the express train to Christmas Day from which there seems to be no escape. But the strength of this time of preparation lies in the ability to provide a respite, a quiet corridor, a moment of peace amid the noise and rush of the day. Advent, a season as brief as the winter days it encompasses, gives us an opportunity to develop the neglected art of holy waiting.’

Mgr John Devine OBE

down. I get the year wrong when writing cheques. I’m scarcely used to being 71 when my 72nd birthday comes along. And then I say, ‘I can’t believe it’s Christmas already’. Life takes on the pattern of a recurring cycle and the Church’s year, the Liturgical Cycle, becomes a continuous loop. But is the Liturgical year a circle? Perhaps it’s more of a spiral. To describe it as a circle suggests the same recurring annual events replicate themselves. But each year is different. I’m different. On Christmas Day I look back on previous Christmases. Those we love may have died. New members of the family may have been born. I may have moved house. This year, Covid-19 has altered all our plans. But the message of Christmas never changes. Emmanuel, God is with us.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com 24

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Love is all we need Ronnie was a fantastic man whom I knew all of my life until his untimely death at a relatively young age. He was born and bred in Liverpool and became a Catholic in his twenties when he married the love of his life, Joan. He, Joan and Joan’s parents, Teresa and John, were a real support to our family in tough times. He was a man who was concerned with people and with the Gospel. He would help anyone, particularly those who were poor or widowed. He was part of the St Vincent de Paul society in his parish and would often find himself in trouble with others in the group as he refused to check out anyone’s credentials before giving help. He simply responded to a cry for help. It has often struck me that all our theological arguments, all our religious ritual, all the questions that we ask, matter little to God. All that matters is love. We can be good Catholics, at Mass each week and praying all the prayers we have been taught, and not have an ounce of love in our hearts for the stranger, the orphan, the asylum-seeker and those who live on the fringes. I wonder what God thinks when looking at what really goes on inside us and not at the religious things we do. In the latest encyclical by Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli tutti’, he reminds us that we are to respond to our sister or brother in need, whoever they are, wherever they may come from. We are challenged to turn outwards, to act as neighbours, and to reach out to all those who are in need. I often think the world is tired of our ideas, theologies and religious practices but it will believe love. It will believe life that is given and received. This Advent is like every other Advent and yet, because of the pandemic, like no other Advent we have ever experienced. Maybe we could use this Advent to free our hearts to welcome the Christ who comes to us in the person in need, in those who are desperate for love, in the asylum-seeker and refugee. Christ came in time and history. Christ will come again at the end of time. Don’t miss Christ who walks into our lives every day and offers us the invitation to love and bring life to others. Father Chris Thomas


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youth ministry

Animate take leap into virtual world By Father Simon Gore As I write this, it is lockdown once again. And that means you have to endure my witterings again. It does not seem that long ago that I was writing about the antics of a priest in lockdown in Lowe House and my hours spent gardening and cleaning woodwork with cotton buds. And here we are, back again. The team have gone home and I am alone in the house once more. Fortunately, I do not scare all that easily and can ignore the squeaks and scratchings that come from living in an old house like this. Even though I am back on my own, this time does feel different. While out shopping (for essential items, you understand) the other day and seeing all the cars in the car park and the queues to get into Tesco, I caught myself saying, ‘This is like no lockdown I’ve known before’ – as if this were a regular occurrence in my life! Funny how we become acclimatised. It does feel different, though. The last time I was at a bit of a loose end. This time, though, I had more of a plan for me and the team. And so we have all spent this time working remotely and trying to be as productive as we can. I must hold my hands up and say that I misjudged how popular the virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes would be in the summer. For that I have to

give my thanks to the coach leaders and staff of the Youth Pilgrimage who worked hard in the lead-up and then during the week itself to offer as vibrant and engaging an experience as was possible under the restrictions we had. It made me realise that we, as Animate, were behind the curve when it came to the virtual world and needed to embark on a big catch-up. I reassured myself that we were probably not the only ones making this discovery. Nevertheless, it was a sobering thought to realise how much we were missing, and what we could and should have been doing for years. In my head there was a balancing act, though. As a team we do have a lot of commitments through the year. The team rarely have time simply sat in the office. They are either working with young people or preparing for that work. On top of that is additional work like the Faith in Action scheme, Lourdes and confirmations. There was simply no room to expand into new areas without something having to give in return. Additionally, I did not like the idea that expanding into the virtual world would come at the expense of face-

to-face work with young people. The blessing of Animate for the diocese is to be a peer ministry team – that is to say, young people ministering to other young people. It is not me as priest saying, ‘God is good’ and ‘Faith is brilliant’, it is young people saying that to other young people (and, I hope, in a slightly more fluent fashion!). We should not give that up to retreat into the virtual world. Yet, is the virtual world not the modern Areopagus that we must preach in? As the year started, we looked at what we could be doing while trying to juggle the retreats we had booked in. It was proving the point – how can you commit to something online when you are working in the ‘real world’? And then Lockdown 2 happened! I would never say this second lockdown has been a blessing in disguise – that would be both stupid and horribly misjudged when we see the damage lockdown does to mental health and to the economy. But this time has given us a chance to try some new work in the virtual world. We had recorded quite a bit of footage while still in the house together, in the hope that we had enough to create some videos that we could upload on to YouTube. And, fortunately, we just about managed it. With the help of some friends who came to our aid with testimonies and readings we have produced some videos that you can watch on YouTube. As the dark nights come in, you might like to look at our attempt at prayer in the style of the Taize community (please be generous in reviewing the singing – we are a youth ministry team, not singers!). We also have a celebration of young people in the diocese for Youth Sunday and an Advent Youth Alive Mass. All of these can be accessed from the Animate Youth YouTube channel. We have also started to upload Faith in Action reflection points as well. The first is online now. Young people can then continue with the award even if they cannot complete the reflection points in school or in the parish. The Lourdes liturgies are still online as well, so feel free to relive that special week too. On 17 December we are hosting a live quiz, on YouTube and Instagram, so join us for that if you can. Then in the new year, we have a Praise and Worship event planned for January and a Lent retreat for February. We are not there yet but I do feel we are making progress in catching up with the curve!

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cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

December with a difference Cathedral Advent and Christmas 2020 will be quite unlike any other year here at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Instead of the daily round of carol services, rehearsals, concerts and general preparations, the Cathedral is quiet. For once, Advent will genuinely be a time of preparation and stillness, allowing us to reflect on both Jesus coming to earth as Man, and his second coming at the end of time.

The season of Advent started with the Solemn Mass for the First Sunday of Advent and the Advent Sequence both being streamed online to large numbers of people. Even though, due to the lockdown at the time, we were not able to welcome people into the Cathedral, we were able to bring the Cathedral into many homes throughout the Archdiocese, and with people joining us from across the UK and as far afield as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa! On the Second and Third Sundays of Advent, in place of our usual streamed Evening Prayer we will be offering a recital of organ music for advent (Dec 6th, 7.00 pm) and a series of musical and spoken meditations based on the ‘O Antiphons’ (Dec 13th, 7.00 pm) Both of these programmes will be available on the Cathedral’s social media channels, alongside the Advent Sequence that was streamed on the First Sunday of Advent. Please do take

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the opportunity to use these resources to assist you in your Advent journey.

Moving closer to Christmas, we are very much looking forward to welcoming our boy and girl choristers back to the Cathedral. During the months of lockdown they have been rehearsing, almost daily, both on-line and, since September, in school. Whilst many Cathedral choirs around the country have been singing regularly during the Autumn term, we have taken a more cautious approach and just had adults singing at the principal choral services each week up to this point. We feel the time is now right for the choristers to return (with all the relevant control measures and social distancing in place), and they are very excitedly preparing music for the Cathedral’s carol services (this year titled ‘Carols at the Cathedral’) and for the First Vespers of Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass. All of these services will be streamed on-line, and will feature many of your favourite Christmas carols, such as: O Holy Night, O Come all ye faithful, Silent Night, Ding Dong Merrily on High, For unto us a child is born and many more. If you are not able to make it to the Cathedral, do tune in via the Cathedral’s social media channels to take part from home: https://www.facebook.com/liverpoolmetr ocathedral

Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean The season of Advent has begun, and it marks the beginning of a new Church Year and a renewed sense of hope and expectation. Thankfully we are able to return to the celebration of public Masses for the month of December and with a vaccine looming large in the distant horizon and some level of family Christmas achievable, the sombre mood of the last few weeks has been lifted. But we are not letting our guard down in any way and all the services that I will highlight for the coming month will still continue with the same careful restrictions in place as before. From 3rd December our interim schedule of Masses restart. Namely a daily public Mass at 12.00 Midday, Saturday at 10.00 am then a later Vigil Mass at 4.00 pm and the two Sunday Masses at 9.00 am and 11.00 am. The Advent Sequence service of readings and choral music and the other Advent Choral Services and a series of short Advent Reflections by Father Chris McCoy are all available online on the Cathedral Website. Looking ahead to the end of Advent we will be having two public services of ‘Carols from the Met’ on 19th and 20th December at 6.00 pm. For these two services along with Masses at some of the most popular times over Christmas you will need to apply for tickets. These can be obtained directly from ‘Eventbrite’ or through the link on our Cathedral Website. These tickets are free but because of social distancing there will only be a limited number of 300 per service so you will need to book early. The Christmas Services begin with the First Vespers of Christmas at 3.00 pm on Christmas Eve. The Vigil Mass of Christmas is at 6.00 pm and later Archbishop Malcolm will preside at Midnight Mass at 12.00 midnight. Tickets are needed for all these. On Christmas Day there will be Masses at 8,9 and 11.00 am with tickets needed for the 11.00 am Mass. Please check our website for more details. On behalf of all at the Cathedral I wish you all a Joyful and Blessed Christmas.


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Pic extras

Mums the Word How different Christmas will be this year. We have had an extraordinary year like we have never known before. The pandemic has cast a very dark shadow over us, and worry and fear have become the order of the day for many of us.

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

Knights mourn loss of musician Charlie Newport

Christmas is a time for reflecting on the blessings of the past year – even this one – and so I would like to express my gratitude for the generosity of our NHS workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, helping us and keeping us safe. Many people have given their time and energy to help neighbours, relatives and the vulnerable who were unable to go out. Others have given their time fundraising for the NHS and those many charities in desperate need. God reminds us in our pandemic prayer that He is with us, and that He can give us peace, a peace the world cannot provide. ‘Do not be afraid’ is often repeated in the Bible. As I was looking through my Christmas songs and carols an old favourite came to mind, the 1984 Band Aid record which opens with the lyrics ‘It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid. At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade.’ Many of us will not be with our families this Christmas. This calls to mind the words of another seasonal song, by Michael Bublé: ‘I’ll be home for Christmas. If only in my dreams.’ Wherever you are, let me wish you and your families a happy and holy Christmas and every blessing in 2021. My Christmas prayer for you is as follows: ‘May God grant you the light of Christmas which is faith The warmth of Christmas which is love The radiance of Christmas which is purity The righteousness of Christmas which is justice The belief in Christmas which is truth The all of Christmas which is Jesus Christ’. Maureen Finnegan, Archdiocesan President

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It is with great sadness that we report the death of not only an esteemed member of the KSC but a well-known and muchadmired and respected musician and entertainer on Merseyside. Charlie Newport passed away peacefully on 6 October after a short illness. Many tributes have been paid to Brother Charlie by his fellow knights, not only locally but nationwide. Members of the musical fraternity on Merseyside have added their own fond recollections about his talents though, most of all, people have remembered Charlie as a man who gave endless help and support to others, not least with his fundraising for charitable causes – in particular to send people to Lourdes each year with the Archdiocesan pilgrimage. He always attended the pilgrimage with his brother knights and is seen here (first from left) in a photo taken in Lourdes. Bro Charlie’s Requiem Mass was held at St Luke’s Catholic Church, Frodsham, followed by his committal at Chester Crematorium on 22

October. We extend our deepest sympathy to his beloved wife Kate and all of his family at this time of extreme sorrow. Sadly, we have lost several other esteemed members recently. Retired deacon Eric Moore from the Isle of Man council died on 7 October. He joined the KSC in 2001 and was later ordained as a deacon serving at St Patrick’s, Peel. Brother Jim McAllister, a council member from the Wirral, died on 12 October and his Requiem Mass was held at St Anne’s, Rock Ferry, on 26 October. Brother Frank Chapman, another Wirral council member, died on 15 October and his Requiem Mass took place at St Werburgh’s, Birkenhead, on 27 October. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of all these brothers. May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: dpokeane@aol.com


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A Christmas Record by Neil Sayer - Archdiocesan Archivist In among all the paper, the plans, photographs, letters and newsprint in the Archdiocesan Archives, there are also some actual records. This is one of Christmas carols recorded by the Cathedral Choir. The recording took place in September 1981, and it must have been quite odd to sing ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ soon after returning from summer holidays. The recorded programme also includes ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, which the sleeve notes (remember them?) describe as ‘the most frequently sung carol of all’. Whilst there is no ‘Silent Night’, the vinyl record does include ‘Away in a Manger’, which certainly agrees with my memory of being ‘traditionally the first carol a child learns to sing’. If you bought the LP back in 1981, you were supporting the endowment fund for budding choristers. The Cathedral Choir had been founded in 1960 and initially performed at services and events in the Crypt. By their recordings, by radio and television broadcasts, and through tours abroad, the choir became well-known and respected both nationally and internationally. In 1981, when the record was made, the choir was still all-male.

The boy choristers were all pupils at St Edward’s School, and the other voices in the choir, the tenors, altos and basses, were often former choirboys. The chorister pictured on the sleeve of the record lighting a candle is now a consultant surgeon. Carol concerts have been held in the Cathedral since it opened in 1967. This year there will be no Advent Carol Service, and we’ll certainly miss our schools services for the season, when 2000 children would sing carols old and new and listen to the traditional

Christmas story. But you can still hear the Cathedral Choir, even if you no longer have a record-player on which to play your copy of the album. They will be presenting ‘Carols at the Cathedral’ on 19th and 20th December. These events, which are ticket-only with limited numbers able to attend, start at 6.00 pm. Even though you won’t be able to join in with the singing, you may be able to get a little of the joy of the season by listening to your favourite carols performed in a festive atmosphere. Tickets can be booked online through the Cathedral website.

Worth a visit - Eyam The village of Eyam lies in a picturesque location in the Derbyshire Dales and became famous after the Black Death of 1665 and 1666, writes Lucy Oliver. Nestled in Hope Valley, it offers a story of sacrifice, loss and indeed hope. The Eyam Museum recounts how the village tailor, when receiving a package of materials from London, unwittingly triggered a chain of events which led to more than 270 deaths from the bubonic plague. The villagers decided to contain the outbreak by isolating themselves from surrounding communities to prevent spreading the infection. While many died, others were genetically unique and proved immune to the disease – and there are descendants still living in Eyam, or the ‘Plague Village’, today. The museum is open to visitors at weekends, with hours varying according to the volunteers, while the 12th-century village church is open from noon until 3pm (Monday to Friday) and has a record of the 273 plague victims. This Advent, you may even wish to plan a ‘Peak Pilgrimage’, walking between the villages of Ilam and Eyam

and visiting the churches along the way. Full details of a suggested route and information on which churches are open can be found at www.peakpilgrimage.org.uk.

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Pope Francis – Worldwide Prayer Network The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network promotes the monthly prayer intentions of Pope Francis. People from around the world suggest papal prayer intentions in each country to their national office, which selects some of them and sends them to the international office of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network at the Vatican. After the Pope’s prayer and discernment, the official set of monthly prayer intentions, are then translated into the major world languages and published in print and digital formats.

December’s Universal Intention of Pope Francis – Pray with the Pope for a life of prayer: to pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer. quickly a special moment that you’ll look forward to.

by Father David Stewart SJ ‘Today, I announce great news to you’ proclaims the Christmas Scripture, words that we wait to hear over the four weeks of Advent. This December, we know that we need more than ever to hear those words; we long to hear them. If we pray with the Pope this month in the words he suggests to us, we will be asking to be given a life of prayer. If we ask, we will receive, as we have heard from Scripture. And what we will receive is the gift of prayer, the grace of a life of prayer. We will begin to remember, or perhaps realise for the first time, the deep truth of St Paul’s insight, that it is the Spirit of God who prays within us (Romans 8:26-27). That will not excuse us from making a certain effort. We each need to be intent upon prayer, doing our best to make time and space available for prayer, disposing ourselves for it and developing helpful habits. If we remember that we’re preparing ourselves to receive a gift, and to respond to it, we will find that the Spirit is indeed praying in us, in our hearts. The Pope’s suggestion this month tells us that the life of prayer, for which we ask, will ‘nourish’ our relationship with Jesus; for such a personal connection is our ultimate aim. Scripture, the Word of God, also nourishes. It calls our attention to the many people in those gospel times who wanted to see Jesus. Those rather scruffy Bethlehem shepherds were among the first, then soon afterwards those mysterious and fabulous travellers from a faraway land – and not forgetting Herod, whose motives were so much darker. All were, in their own ways, in relationship with the God who was calling them and 30

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2. Intensify your prayer about the middle of the month by turning to the ancient ‘O Antiphons’, chants sung or recited at the beginning and end of Mary’s Magnificat during Evening Prayer on each of the days leading up to Christmas Day, from 17-23 December. You do not need to have a breviary to do this as they are easily found online. If you don’t already, consider trying Evening Prayer each of these days. It is, of course, very easy and fruitful to pray with others.

were responding to the Spirit who was moving within them. Without realising it, they were sensitive to the voice of God calling them and the Spirit’s desire to pray within their hearts.

3. As we reach Christmas, follow the guidance of St Ignatius as he suggests a nativity contemplation. This would probably take a bit longer so give yourself a little more time for this, as a Christmas present to yourself and to the world. A Nativity Contemplation:

In your prayer this Advent try something else - little bit extra, or new to you? The daily readings for Mass all speak in various ways in hope and belief that the mysterious infinite God once again will approach us in solidarity and compassion. Three prayer proposals for the month ahead: 1. Make an Advent mini retreat. Resolve to make time and space gently available, each day, to read and absorb the Mass readings of that day. Allow your heart to be lifted by those inspiring passages from Isaiah, or of Mary and Joseph as we get near to the Nativity. It might not be possible to do this at the same time each day but, if you can, do so and it will be

St Ignatius suggests that we imagine ourselves with the Holy Family, really present at the Nativity scene as described in St Luke’ Gospel. Place yourself there, in the imagination; see the people, the surroundings, sense the cold, even the smell of the farmyard animals. Let Our Lady beckon you to come close to the newborn child. Then, let her say what all proud Mums might say to their friends; she asks you if you would like to hold this little one in your own arms for a moment. Accept her offer. As you imagine yourself holding, with great tenderness, the infant saviour in your arms, what do you notice? What words might you want to say to him, and to Our Lady? Give thanks for what you receive in these moments.


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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.

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Gardens of Gethsamane, Jerusalem

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Catholic Pic December 2020  

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