Catholic Pic February 2019

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Issue 173 February 2019


‘Blessed are the poor…and those who serve them.’ Lourdes 2019 INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

The genius of Bernard Atherton – A tribute

Synod 2020 – An invitation

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contents Welcome Monday 11 February is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and it is also marked worldwide as a Day of Prayer for the Sick and those who care for them. Each year the authorities at the Shrine in Lourdes offer a pilgrimage theme, our main feature this month reflects on the theme for 2019: ‘Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of God is theirs’ (Luke 6:20) and ties it in with the theme Pope Francis has for his Day of Prayer message: ‘You received without payment; give without payment’ (Matthew 10:8). We remember in prayer the sick and all who care for them both at home and while they are on pilgrimage. Just before Christmas our cartoonist and longest serving contributor to the ‘Catholic Pictorial’, Bernard Atherton, died at the age of 91. We pay tribute to his artistry, his humour and his love of family life. He was a true gentleman and a genius in his work; we give thanks for his 55 years of faithful service to the ‘Pic’. On Sunday 3 February Archbishop Malcolm will inaugurate Synod 2020 in a Service at 3.00 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral to which all are invited. As we continue our journey prayer must remain the centre of our preparation.

From the Archbishop’s Desk During a recent visit to Rome I was struck by the youthfulness of the Church. I don’t think this is simply because I am getting older, there just seemed to be young people everywhere I looked. The young servers in the sacristy at St Peter’s greeted me with a smile and the Vatican officials looked very young to me as did the Swiss Guards. The columns of children weaving their way around the exhibition of one hundred cribs, the young men preparing for the priesthood at the English College, and the not-so-young men at the Beda College, indicated a new spirit at the heart of the Church which filled me with hope for the year ahead. This caused me to reflect on the Church in our own archdiocese, and I quickly came to a realisation that our local Church is youthful too. Our splendid Catholic schools are full of young people engaged with the Church in new ways, especially the Faith in Action project. The Animate team does what its name suggests and enlivens the spirit within our young Catholics. In so many of our parishes young people’s liturgies and ‘little church’ are common. Yes, even though February is a gloomy month I feel uplifted by this spirit of youthfulness which is prevalent in the Church. In one sense the Church though ancient is always new because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Pope Francis has this spirit of youthfulness and it emanates from him to us. Despite his years and some health problems he remains young at heart. His example could be something to help us during these difficult days for our country. Let us be inspired by our young people to keep our spirits high. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool Editor Peter Heneghan

Copy deadline March 2019 Monday 4 February 2019

Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email:

Publisher CPMM Suites 3 & 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ

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CPMM Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced copied or transmitted in any form or by any means or stored in any information storage or retrieval system without the publishers written permission. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published, Catholic Pictorial Ltd. can accept no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by advertisers.

Contents 4

Main Feature Blessed are the poor … and those that serve them - Lourdes 2019


News From around the Archdiocese

14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 19 Profile Kenny Lawler Parish associate focused on new goals 21 Nugent News Celebrating Margaret Roper milestone 22 Animate My Animate learning curve 25 Cathedral Record A ‘Lent free’ February 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life ‘Yes, I really do hear you’ 30 Justice and Peace What does it mean to be a Justice and Peace person?

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Blessed are the poor … and those that serve them Pope Francis’s message on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes this month is that our volunteers ‘embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan’. by Simon Hart This summer will bring the 96th anniversary of the first official Liverpool Archdiocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. Factoring in the seven years missed owing to the Second World War, the July 2019 pilgrimage will be the 89th to depart from this diocese. Our pilgrims will set out on Friday 19 July and return on Friday 26 July, and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11 February provides an early opportunity to pause and consider the significance of this much-anticipated annual undertaking, whereby as many as 1,000 people from Liverpool Archdiocese descend upon a small town in the French Pyrenees. This year’s official Lourdes theme is drawn from the Gospel of Saint Luke (6:20): ‘Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of God is theirs.’ Pope Francis, for his part, has chosen a different quote 4

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to preface his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, which coincides with Our Lady of Lourdes’ feast day – namely, ‘You received without payment; give without payment’ (Matthew 10:8). This notion of giving is perfectly in synch with the spirit of Lourdes, where around 500 of our diocese’s young people join members of the Liverpool Hospitalité each July in offering time and help to the assisted pilgrims who journey down to southwestern France. It is the kind of generosity that the Pope speaks of in his World Day of Prayer message, when he observes that ‘generous gestures like that of the Good Samaritan are the most credible means of evangelisation. Caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved.’ The Pontiff goes on to highlight the value

‘From the beginning, Lourdes has triggered this revolution of hearts’

of the volunteering that is so fundamental to the success of each Lourdes pilgrimage, saying: ‘Generosity inspires and sustains the work of the many volunteers who are so important in health care and who eloquently embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan.’ For Pope Francis, the act of giving – of offering a ‘gift’ – holds greater significance than ever in the face of the ‘waste and indifference’ of much of the world around us. He tells us: ‘Amid today’s culture of waste and indifference, I would point out that “gift” is the category best suited to challenging today’s individualism and social fragmentation, while at the same time promoting new relationships and means of cooperation between peoples and cultures. Dialogue – the premise of gift – creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through

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established ways of exercising power in society. ‘“Gift” means more than simply giving presents: it involves the giving of oneself, and not simply a transfer of property or objects. “Gift” differs from gift-giving because it entails the free gift of self and the desire to build a relationship. It is the acknowledgement of others, which is the basis of society. “Gift” is a reflection of God’s love, which culminates in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.’ This year began with a similar message from the Sanctuary of Lourdes itself, which celebrated the 175th anniversary of St Bernadette’s birth on 7 January and her baptism on the 9th. This message highlights the impact of pilgrimage and the spiritual richness born out of humility. ‘Heureux vous les pauvres’ is the official theme for 2019 – ‘Blessed are the poor’ – and the message includes the following: ‘A pilgrim does not return home in the same state as he or she was before

setting out; this presupposes that one gradually lets oneself be stripped, decluttered, impoverished, in order to open oneself to the riches of God’s gift. Bernadette was not giving her family a lesson in morality when she appealed: “As long as they do not get rich!” She opened up to them the perspective she gained from contemplating the other world at the Grotto. ‘Personal poverty is humiliating and dehumanising yet wealth which is not shared, degrades and corrupts us. The Gospel does not promote social revolution, but revolutionises hearts leading the master to become a servant and wash the feet of the poorest. This is not a simple reversal of roles, for the two discover that they are brothers, loved by the same Father, stirred by the same heart. ‘From the beginning, Lourdes has triggered this revolution of hearts. The “rich” are willing to strain to carry the stretchers of the infirm, whom they call “our VIPs, the sick”. But even in a

charitable organisation, we are tempted to claim, our rights and privileges. Let us die to the old self with its rights and privileges in order to welcome the happiness of the promised Kingdom, already given to us in the joy of an outstretched hand. In Lourdes, we aim to show true solidarity with concrete gestures, that lead us to continue doing it in our day to day life back home.’ This is a message that echoes Pope Francis’s words about the poor in his homily on the World Day of Prayer for the Poor in November 2017 when he said: ‘Here, in the poor, we find the presence of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor (see 2 Cor 8:9). For this reason, in them, in their weakness, a “saving power” is present.’ When it comes to the sick, the Pope does not ignore the here-and-now benefits of care. In his World Day of Prayer for the Sick address, he observes the goodness that flows from the actions of volunteers of the kind we find in Lourdes. ‘A volunteer,’ he says, ‘is a good friend with whom one can share personal thoughts and

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emotions; by their patient listening, volunteers make it possible for the sick to pass from being passive recipients of care to being active participants in a relationship that can restore hope and inspire openness to further treatment. Volunteer work passes on values, behaviours and ways of living born of a deep desire to be generous. It is also a means of making health care more humane.’

Any Catholic Pic readers wishing to volunteer in Lourdes this summer, or to take part in the pilgrimage in any other capacity, should contact the Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage Office on 0151 727 4000, or alternately Joe Walsh Tours on 0151 909 2871 or at

1923 The first Liverpool Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes took place in 1923 – a time when Frederick Keating was Archbishop of Liverpool, Pius XI was Pope and Stanley Baldwin began the first of his three spells as British Prime Minister. It was also the year of the opening of the original Wembley Stadium, and of the establishment of Interpol and the modern Turkish republic.

2019 in Lourdes This year in Lourdes is one of anniversaries: it is 175 years since Bernadette’s birth on 7 January 1844 and her baptism two days later, while 16 April brings the 140th anniversary of her death in 1879. The Liverpool Archdiocesan pilgrimage departs on Friday 19 July, and Father Des Seddon, director of the Lourdes Pilgrimage, says: ‘This year is one of special celebration in Lourdes as we commemorate the three anniversaries of St Bernadette. It was to Bernadette, who lived in poverty, that Mary appeared, reflecting our theme, “Blessed are the poor for the Kingdom of God is theirs”.’ 6

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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:

Sacred Heart Concert for Isabel

Just before Christmas Archbishop Malcolm attended a concert in the Metropolitan Cathedral for Isabel Morison, a music teacher at Sacred Heart College, Crosby. Isabel has been diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer and her friends, colleagues and the wider community have pulled out all the stops to raise money for her to receive potentially life-saving treatment. Staff, pupils, family and friends joined together for the concert along with former student, Danielle Thomas, organist, Daniel Mansfield and choirs from St Nicholas’ singers, St Edmund Church choir, partner primary schools: Great Crosby, Ursuline and St Anne’s, the Sacred Heart staff choir and the Sacred Heart past pupil and staff choir. Friend and colleague Miss Clarke, said, ‘The aim of the concert was to raise money for Isabel, a much valued teacher, colleague, mentor, friend and inspiration. The support and atmosphere that was evident in abundance showed the strength of Isabel’s positivity, impact and influence’. Isabel is crowd funding through el-treatment-fund Left: Sacred Heart Head of Music Mike Foy, Archbishop Malcolm, Isabel Morison, Headteacher Ian Walker

Obituary of Rev Alexander Fleming Father Alexander Fleming, former Parish Priest of St Francis of Assisi, Garston and St Chad, South Hill, Chorley, died on 3 January aged 91 and in the 57th year of his priesthood. Alexander Francis Fleming was born in Bootle on 15 May 1927, the second of four children born to Alexander and Elizabeth Fleming. He attended St Joan’s School, Bootle and St Mary’s College, Crosby. He was conscripted just after VE Day and served for two years with the Royal Navy. After his national service he attended St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill, where he trained as a geography teacher. However, within a few years he discerned that he was being called to the priesthood and he was sent by Archbishop Godfrey to the English College, Lisbon. He was ordained priest at Lisbon on 16 June 1962.


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Following ordination, he served for three years as assistant priest at St Edward’s, Newtown, Wigan. Early in 1965 Archbishop Beck received a request from Monsignor Sullivan, then Rector of the English College, Lisbon, for Father Fleming to join the College staff as a teacher of catechetics. To that end he was sent to Corpus Christi College, London, to prepare himself. By the time he took up his appointment at Lisbon in September 1966, he was also required to act as spiritual director. He spent five happy years at Lisbon until the decision was taken to close the College, whereupon he returned to the archdiocese to teach Religious Education to the Sixth Form at Cardinal Allen School in Liverpool. He remained at the school for twelve years and during that time acted as chaplain to the Army

Cadet Force. He had been ordained for more than twenty years when he returned to parish life in September 1983. He served as parish priest at St Francis of Assisi, Garston until 1990 and then at St Chad’s, South Hill, Chorley, from 1990 to 2003. Upon his retirement to Formby in June 2003 he continued to supply in various parishes around the archdiocese. In addition to his diocesan appointments, Father Fleming was for a number of years chaplain to the Simmarians, the association of alumni of St Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill. He was also a member of the Marian Movement of Priests. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St Peter and St Paul, Crosby, on Saturday 12 January prior to burial in the cemetery there.

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Synod 2020 – An Invitation by Father Philip Inch, Synod Moderator On Sunday 3 February Archbishop Malcolm will officially and liturgically inaugurate Synod 2020. This will happen in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King at 3.00 pm. You are invited. The Service, not a Mass, will include a reflection led by pupils from St Bede’s Catholic High School in Ormskirk on the Prophet Elijah hearing the voice of God. The Archbishop will preach about the Presentation in the Temple and the prophetic words of Simeon calling us all to be a light to the Gentiles. The Service will end with the first singing of a hymn composed especially for the Synod by Mike Anderson. All the 500 members of the Synod will be present to make their profession of faith and to hear the Archbishop send them out to undertake their tasks of listening, discerning, learning and so helping us to become the Church that God is calling us to be. The members will need the prayers, support and encouragement of all in the Archdiocese. That is why this invitation is for everyone. There will be room in the Cathedral. In Douglas, on the Isle of Man, Bishop Tom Williams will at 3.00 pm on the same afternoon be leading a similar service for the members from the Island and for the people of the Isle of Man. At both Services the Archbishop (or Bishop Tom) will announce formally the inauguration of the Synod. Included in this Solemn Proclamation will be these words: ‘In convoking the Synod I am calling us to be bold and creative in the task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation in our Archdiocesan community with its various parish and ecclesial, religious and social communities. ‘As we set out towards the Synod, we entrust our journey to Mary the Patron

of the Archdiocese. She is the mother and first disciple of Jesus, and her journey of faith is a model for all Christians. She reminds us to be attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. She knows better than any of us where, in God’s grace and mercy, our journey is ultimately heading.’ Please accept this article as your invitation to join us in prayer at the Cathedral on Sunday 3 February. If you cannot come set aside some time between 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm at home to pray and if you visit any of our sick and housebound parishioners, please invite them to do the same. The first year of our three year Synod journey was a Year of Prayer, this led us to Adoremus, the Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage but prayer must still be at the heart and centre of all our Synod preparation, listening and meeting as we journey towards October 2020 and to the future beyond that gathering.

Obituary of Deacon Anthony Arrowsmith Deacon Tony Arrowsmith, who has died at the age of 71, served in the parish of St Edmund Arrowsmith in Leigh. He was born on 2 April 1947, the only son of parents Maggie and George. He attended St Richard’s school in Atherton, and then Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton and had a long and successful career working in the Microbiology Department of the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust. Tony and his wife Teresa spent their married life in Leigh with their only son Neil. His hard work, determination and strong faith made him a loving father and husband. His interests included family holidays, playing with gadgets and flying: he qualified as a glider pilot at Bowland Forest Gliding Club. Tony was ordained deacon in 2004 and dedicated his life to work within the Church, helping and supporting people with patience and understanding, especially those joining the Church, getting married and seeking baptism for their children. Tony became ill in the summer of 2018 and his condition deteriorated rapidly. He bore his illness without complaint and died peacefully on the morning of Wednesday 5 December in the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, Leigh, prior to committal at Howe Bridge Crematorium.

There is also one other invitation:

Racial Justice Sunday

Can you encourage people to use the Synod on-line questionnaire. This will allow us to listen to as many voices as possible, all those who want to have a say and especially those who might not be able to attend one of the parish gatherings that will take place between May and July. The questionnaire can be accessed via the Synod website, just click the link on the homepage – please invite friends and family to complete it too.

Sunday 17 February marks Racial Justice Sunday, which focuses on the experiences of ethnic communities in England and Wales. It is a day on which we all called to earnestly pray for an end to racism and racial inequality in our country. The theme for 2019 is ‘Dignity of Work’, looking at how all people must not be exploited or face discrimination and hatred in their work. Resources are available at:

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The genius of Bernard Atherton by Peter Heneghan The longest serving contributor to the ‘Catholic Pictorial’, artist and cartoonist, Bernard Atherton died on Saturday 15 December 2018 at the age of 91. He submitted sample drawings for the ‘Pic’ shortly after it was first published in 1962 and his first cartoon appeared on 24 February 1963. It was purely visual, without a caption, and showed a parish priest being swept off his feet by two brother priests holding a cope, but already in the drawing were the signs of his own inimitable style. His work immediately became a regular feature and just a few months later his regular slot had become ‘Laugh Lines by Atherton’. Even in those early days his characters displayed features which were to remain for over fifty years as his ‘parish family’ grew. The central character was the harassed, or more frequently bemused, Parish Priest, together with impish altar servers, ladies with large hats, ladies without large hats and male parishioners praying for rain so that they wouldn’t have to mow the lawn! There were also the unseen characters, notably the Little Church group, their presence noted by contributions of pieces of Lego to the collection. Bernard was a family man and a gentleman in every respect. In the foreword to his book, ‘I was only joking’ he said, ‘one of the most pleasing compliments I received came from the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral. Interviewed in 1967, Dean Edward Patey remarked, “His (Atherton’s) comments on clerical life are both accurate and affectionate. I don’t like malicious humour that denigrates our faith. My feeling is


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that his humour is humour within the family.”’ Bernard went on to sum up his humour saying, ‘I am sure it would have been relatively easy to have gone for cheap laughs at the expense of people’s beliefs but that has never been my intent. Instead, I have invited my fellow Christians to laugh at themselves; at the foibles and eccentricities which they share with their priests and bishops, their altar servers and those who kneel alongside them in church’. His final cartoon appeared in the ‘Catholic Pic’ just a year ago in February 2018, his unique style unchanged 55 years after his first cartoon was published. Born on 16 December 1926 Bernard’s humour and artistic talent showed at an early age, as he reminisced, ‘In my schooldays I drew cartoons of my teachers and in that way achieved a certain status, not to say notoriety, among my classmates’. Bernard was far more than a cartoonist though, he was an accomplished artist, with his water-colours exhibited at galleries throughout the northwest, at the Royal Institute of Painters, the Royal Institute of Marine Artists and an invitation to exhibit in London’s Royal Academy of Art. He illustrated many books and worked as a graphic designer in the studio at Littlewoods where he taught John Moores to paint in watercolour. A family man he married Doreen, they had five children and he leaves 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St Gregory the Great, Lydiate, on Wednesday 2 January. In his homily his younger brother, Monsignor Richard Atherton, recalled their childhood, ‘At heart, he was always the out-door boy, who never lost

his love of nature. When we were young, being townies, we enjoyed escaping into the countryside, but for Bern it wasn’t escaping, it was entering into wonderland; by a sort of sixth sense, he saw and appreciated things that we scarcely noticed’. He went on to speak of Bernard’s love of family saying, ‘It’s difficult to speak of love without thinking of Bern as supremely the family man. His children, his grand and great grandchildren, and above all his beloved wife Doreen were the heart of his life and his concerns. But being authentic, his love stretched beyond the family, to serving at Mass as a Reader, to working with the SVP Society, to taking Communion to the sick and housebound as a Eucharistic minister, to leading groups of partially-sighted children on country walks and especially into his beloved mountains’. Bernard Atherton’s genius lay not just in his cartoons and his humour, but also in his art, his love of music and above all his love of family. Thank you, Bernard, for sharing so much with us all.

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news diary Cardinal Alencherry visits Litherland Saturday 8 December was a memorable day for the parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Peace SyroMalabar Catholic Church in Litherland. Father Jino Arikkatt of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and his Community welcomed the head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, His Beatitude George Cardinal Alencherry. The Cardinal, who heads the 4.5 million strong Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church; the second biggest among the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome, came to Litherland as a part of his twoweek Canonical visit to the Catholic Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain. Among the guests were Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop Vincent Malone and Bishop Joseph Srampickal, Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain. They were joined by priests from the Syro-Malabar diocese, and from the archdiocese, together with Religious and laity who joined the Cardinal for a meal in the newly refurbished parish hall where Cardinal Alencherry discussed the role of the Syro-Malabar community in the archdiocese. His Beatitude made a presentation to Archbishop Malcolm McMahon to mark the 18th anniversary of his episcopal ordination. Later the Cardinal celebrated Mass with the parishioners in Our Lady’s church.

Cardinal Alencherry makes a presentation to Archbishop Malcolm

The Syro-Malabar community with Cardinal Alencherry

Parish Centres collect for KIND Each year managers and staff from the parish centres in the archdiocese hold a raffle at their Christmas party to raise money for a local charity with funds being put aside until a target of £1,000 has been reached. The nominated charity for the last few years has been KIND (Kids in Need and Distress) who help underprivileged children and provide a great service to the community. With the target reached a cheque for £1,000 was presented to KIND. Parish centres in the archdiocese reach from Preston to Hindsford with the majority based in Liverpool, Wigan, Widnes and Warrington.

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news diary Merseyside campaigners attend Katowice climate conference A group of campaigners from across Merseyside joined the call for action against global warming when they attended the UN climate conference, COP24, in Katowice, Poland in December. The cohort travelled with fellow campaigners from the international development charity Cafod to call on world leaders to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 Celsius. Father Carl Mugan from St Wilfrid’s parish, Widnes and Cafod community participation co-ordinator Colette Byrne represented the Archdiocese along with sisters Anna and Katie Fraine from the Wirral. They met campaigners from across Europe, sharing ideas for bringing about action back home to encourage others to live more simply and sustainably. Colette Byrne said: ‘It was a great experience to travel with Cafod campaigners from across the country and represent Merseyside in Poland for the UN climate conference. It’s so

important that we highlight to world leaders that we care for our planet and all living on it. Coming together in solidarity, we gave that message and it’s vital that we continue before it’s too late.’ Neil Thorns, head of advocacy at Cafod, said: ‘It was great that Liverpool could be so strongly represented at the COP [Conference of the Parties] and the four were able to stand in solidarity with poor communities around the world who are already facing the harshest effects of

climate change. ‘It’s disappointing that once again, leaders are going to ignore the science and the urgent cries of the poorest communities who are on the frontline. In the end, we didn’t get the strong foundational rules to drive up ambition in a transparent and urgent way. As we’ve heard often in the last two weeks, tomorrow is today - we cannot wait.’ To find out more about Cafod’s work, visit:

Friendship and goodwill among men by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan archivist The three splendidly-moustached chaps illustrated here are officers of a Catholic Young Men’s Society in 1908. J O’Hare, C Boon and J Conboy are pictured with their parish clergy in a brochure celebrating their society’s Golden Jubilee at St Joseph’s on Grosvenor Street, Liverpool. This may well represent the heyday of such organisations, though even into the 1960s most of our churches still had a Young Men’s Society affiliated to them. They offered a safe meeting place for those too old for a youth club and too averse to the temptations of a public bar. It’s possible that they also encouraged school friendships to survive, and they certainly added to the religious and social life of a parish. The Young Men’s Societies had their origins in Victorian Britain, and Liverpool – together with Glasgow – was busiest in creating them. By the 1880s they were holding national conferences, and delegates from Liverpool were numerous. Conference reports in the Archdiocesan archives show the activities of quite a number of societies allied to churches in the city and its suburbs, as well as others from Wigan and Ormskirk. All were proud to be able to offer meeting rooms


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where games such as billiards, cards, draughts and chess could be played. (Some even stretched to skittles, gymnastics and quoits.) Of great importance too was the chance to catch up on Catholic newspapers, which were absent certainly from most workingclass homes, and there was often also a small library available. Talks were given on a variety of literary, religious and historical subjects, and picnics and other excursions were also offered. Many of the societies formed football or cricket teams to take part in local leagues, and those with a taste for amateur dramatics were also catered for. As a representative from one of the Bootle churches said: ‘These little reunions tended greatly towards establishing friendship and goodwill among the Catholic young men of our district.’ By the 1970s many societies were struggling to maintain their membership. There were other distractions and alternative social activities. A lot of parish-based societies ceased to function, and even the national association’s days were numbered. Administered in its later years from our curial offices on Brownlow Hill, the Catholic Men’s Society of Great Britain celebrated its centenary in 1977, with an address by Archbishop Derek Worlock. Regrettably, it seems to have folded around ten years later.

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news diary

Positive start to term for St John Bosco St John Bosco Arts College has started the new term with a staff wellbeing day, bringing together around 120 staff members. Staff wellbeing is a strong priority for the Salesian college, it has a dedicated group who meet every half term to discuss ways to promote wellbeing and host numerous initiatives such as yoga sessions. The team building and wellbeing day was an opportunity for all corners of the college, from teachers to catering staff, to join together and look forward to the school year ahead. Staff enjoyed a walk on Crosby beach, taking in the views of the sea, the Wirral and North Wales – not to mention the famed sculpture ‘Another Place’ by Antony Gormley. The day also included a team building quiz, shared lunch and staff mass at St Edmund of Canterbury church. A session on the college’s Salesian ethos was also held, where teachers and staff got the opportunity to ask questions and explore why it’s an important aspect of school life.

Inspired by its namesake St John Bosco, the school community seeks to nurture the gifts, dreams and talents of all. The College’s aim is to work towards the total development of each student, educating them to act as responsible Christian members of the community and this is an essential element of the Salesian ethos of the college. This Salesian ethos, based on the teaching of St John Bosco, is a very strong feature of the college and something they try to instil in every student and staff member. Headteacher Darren Gidman, says: “Days like this are so important to promote team building, staff wellbeing and build collaborative, high performing teams that increase staff morale but also student performance. “To fully support the students in our care, we need to make sure our own staff are cared for too. All the staff felt refreshed and energised and ready to start the new term!” The school is hosting a Sixth Form open evening on Thursday 24 January for prospective parents and students.

Bishops visit the Holy Land

Annual Mass for Marriage and Family Life Archbishop Malcolm will celebrate the annual Mass for Marriage and Family Life in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King at 11.00 am on Sunday 17 February. The mass will include an opportunity for the renewal of marriage vows and also a special blessing for those celebrating significant anniversaries. All are welcome to attend.

Last month 17 Bishops of the Holy Land Coordination made their annual visit in support of Christians in Israel and Palestine. This year, the theme was: ‘Christians in Israel; challenges and opportunities.’ The Holy Land Coordination is made up of Bishops from across Europe, North America and South Africa, who have made an annual pastoral visit to Israel and Palestine for the past 20 years. The meeting was held in the City of Haifa, including visits to Christian hospitals, schools and villages. The bishops also took part in Inter-faith encounters during their visit. On the Sunday they travelled to the Palestinian town of Zababdeh to celebrate Mass with the local community. Zababdeh, where three quarters of the population is Christian, is located in the poor, under-developed and often overlooked Northern Region of the West Bank. While the Holy Land Coordination is not a fund-raising or project-based body, considerable development investment and growth in pilgrimages have developed directly as a result of the bishops’ visits. Prayer is the framework of the annual meeting, with daily celebration of the Eucharist, often in different rites.

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note One of the notable ‘weekday’ feasts kept by the Liturgy in the month of February is that of the Chair of Saint Peter on the 22nd. While celebrated with particular pomp here in Rome, it is a feast which affects all of us who are in communion with Francis our Pope because the day recalls the teaching and pastoral role which the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, has inherited through the centuries from Peter – ‘you must strengthen your brethren’ (Luke 22;32). The cathedra or chair of Peter stands for that position of teaching and unifying which the Bishop of Rome has – it is not just a call to continuity with years past but a challenge and appeal in the present for a unity which can be so threatened in our fragmented world and society but which is the unity of all God’s children within the one flock under one shepherd, Christ Jesus himself. Not only in our civic society but also sadly even within our own communities of faith, there can be sown a dis-unity which strikes at the very heart of the witness which the disciples of Christ are called to present to the world – to be strong

Sunday thoughts I recall two bits of advice from being prepared in the seminary for a future preaching role: ‘preach what you pray’ and ‘you are always preaching to yourself’. Both comments undermine the notion that preaching is about telling people what to think or what to do. The gospel for Sunday 3 February gives an account of Jesus’s first sermon in his local synagogue. Known only to them as ‘Joseph’s lad’, he pre-empts criticism of his preaching by quoting the phrase ‘Physician heal thyself’. There is an assumption by those who don’t often get around to opening the Bible that Jesus spends his time moralising – telling people where they are going wrong. But his preaching method is storytelling; telling people how things are rather than telling them what to do. And his stories lead them to conclusions which are the opposite of what they might expect. In parables such as the Mustard Seed, the Dishonest Steward or the Labourers in the Vineyard, Jesus turns

Canon Philip Gillespie

and steadfast in Christ. So that our unity, our one-ness, is not merely a nice ideal but something ‘real and active’ we need to actively maintain our unity of faith and of action; sometimes the phrase used is ‘sentire cum ecclesia’, to feel with the Church, to have the love of the Church’s mission and ministry so deeply planted within us that all we say and do seeks naturally, almost as our second nature, to maintain and promote unity – be it within a family, a parish, a Diocese or indeed the worldwide Church. In the Mass there is a profound prayer for unity which sometimes can be a little overlooked or underappreciated and it links the gift of peace with the gift of unity: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: I leave you peace, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever. May we be ministers of that peace and unity wherever we find ourselves.

Mgr John Devine OBE

people’s expectations on their head. When people don’t ‘understand’ what Jesus means, he doesn’t apologise. His preaching leads people to make connections: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is like…’ But they have to do it for themselves; when they are ready. There’s an irony in that. The devout religious leaders don’t ‘get it’ whereas the failures and the inadequate connect with his preaching straight away. Whenever the self-sufficient and successful see themselves reflected unfavourably in his stories they are defensive and enraged. But by the time the penny has dropped, Jesus has already slipped away. It is a pattern that is to repeat itself. Jesus predicts his own arrest and execution but he doesn’t need miraculous powers to see it is inevitable. The alternative for him would have been not to preach at all.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at 14

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Brokenness and healing I was in London recently for a meeting. Afterwards I headed down to Piccadilly Circus to one of the large bookshops there before I was to get the train home. As I walked along, I was distracted by a man who was begging. He looked cold, hungry and had obviously hit rock bottom. I crouched on the pavement next to him and began a conversation. He’d been in the army. When he came out, he couldn’t connect with society, became violent, went to prison and then on to the streets. He told me that he drank to keep warm. I got him a sandwich and some coffee and left him feeling really disheartened. I then went to Euston Station. I was sitting on a bench outside with a coffee when a man called Eddie sat down opposite me. He was anxious, jumpy and from the colour of his skin and the light sheen of sweat on his face, it was obvious that he was on the edge. He had some money but wanted more to get a place in a night shelter. I went with him to the shelter and, with the money he had, found him a place there for the night. Eventually I got on the train and sat opposite a man who was full of his own importance. He began to tell me what he did for a living. Yet behind all the bluff and the bluster I could see a lonely man whose only value as far as he was concerned lay in what he had done with his life and what he possessed. I realised again that poverty of spirit is as bad as physical poverty. What’s the answer to all that brokenness in the world, to the pain that we all experience in life? For those of us who are Christian, it’s Jesus. I love John’s Gospel and some of the scholars have come to the conclusion that, for John, there is only one sin and that is not to believe that you are a son or a daughter of God. All the things that we call sins are simply a symptom of not knowing who we are in the sight of God. All that brokenness is dealt with by Jesus. The revelation of the heart of God that we see in the crucified one is not Jesus paying blood money to a God who has to be appeased for sin. No, Jesus is revealing to us the face of God which is, always has been, and always will be pure unconditional love, and it is in this love that our brokenness is healed. Let us trust this love as we journey this year. Father Chris Thomas

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news diary

Mandela family to visit Bellerive Bellerive FCJ Catholic College is delighted to be part of the visit of the family of revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela who have announced they will be heading to Liverpool this month when work is set to start on a tribute to the Freeman of the City. Bellerive will host Dr Makaziwe Mandela, the eldest daughter of the late president of South Africa, and his granddaughter Tukwini Mandela, who will help lead a special assembly in school. The Mandela family will visit Princes Park on Monday 11 February 2019 – giving their seal of approval and allowing work to officially start on the permanent memorial to the revered freedom fighter. The installation will reflect Mandela’s life, his love of gardens and horticulture, his teaching and passion for equality and humanity. The three day visit, which has been organised by the Mandela8 group in partnership with the city council, will also see the family members visit a number of community projects as well as taking part in a special civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Christine Banks, and a fundraising event hosted by the TUC, which will see proceeds go towards the development of the memorial. Dr Makaziwe Mandela said: “I am delighted to be invited to the city of Liverpool, a city which honoured my Father with the Freedom of the City in 1994, a city whose links with South Africa are longstanding and whose communities have stood alongside South Africa, fighting injustice and Anti-Apartheid. “Most importantly the visit will mark the 29 year anniversary of my father’s release from prison. It is significant to the family that we are marking that occasion in Liverpool, alongside the start of works on site for the Mandela8 memorial. “We look forward to meeting those involved in supporting South Africa’s struggle against Apartheid, and continuing our dialogue about educational opportunity.” Lynn Collins, Mandela8 Chair, said: “Our city has such a strong connection and history with the campaign to free Mandela, a campaign which brought community activists and trades unionists together with one voice. “This visit is a chance for us to show Madiba’s family the solidarity and support of our city, to ensure the legacy, values and ideals of their loved one are formally marked here, and to begin the work to build our ongoing educational programme with their support and guidance. At a time

when our city has been regularly called on to show its opposition to racism, fascism and xenophobia in all its forms, the visit and chance to celebrate the life of Mandela couldn’t be more appropriate in uniting us all.” Sonia Bassey, Director and one of the founding members of Mandela8 said: “This visit represents so much to our community, Mandela8 and me personally as one of the founding members along with Stephen Nze. Our political education and passion for equality was founded on the struggles of Liverpool 8 and South Africa, in particular the suffering Nelson Mandela endured in his fight for equality, and the tenacity and deep rooted passion he showed for people and his country. “It is a special honour for us that Dr Maki and Tukwini will be visiting our community and hearing about our struggles from activists in our community who supported Anti-Apartheid.” Liverpool’s deputy mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We’re delighted Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela will be coming to the city next year and we look forward

to giving them a warm Liverpool welcome. “The city council and Mandela8 have been working closely with Dr Maki for some time on the memorial project, and we know how touched they are that this tribute will be taking centre stage in one of our beautiful green spaces. To have them here in person to kick-start the beginning of the work on the installation means a huge amount, and will be an opportunity for us to once again reflect on Mandela’s unforgettable humanitarian achievements.” The Mandela8 group also aims to reinstate a bridge link in the Grade II* park which would link the mainland to the lake island. The area around the memorial will also provide space for learning, events and reflection. Plans are in place to integrate some of Nelson Mandela’s iconic words into the artwork, in a way which communicates his messages and relevance to Toxteth, Liverpool and wider community today. The visit in February is sponsored by MSB Solicitors.

Get those knees up! A festive fun run in Liverpool did more than blow away the Christmas cobwebs – it also raised money to help an international development charity in its efforts to support refugees in 2019. Catholics from across Merseyside took part in the annual Cafod fun run around The Mystery in Wavertree on 27 December. The family event, which is in its 35th year, was organised by a group of Cafod volunteers, some of whom are keen runners themselves. Sponsorship money raised from the run will be donated to the Cafod Advent appeal, which was focused on supporting refugees. Event secretary Phil Elliott said: ‘This is the first time that we, as a group of volunteers, have organised this event and we were delighted with the turnout on the day. Everyone enjoyed themselves which is great to see and, most importantly, the money they have raised and kindly donated, will be used to support Cafod’s vital work in developing countries.’

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what’s on Saturday 2 February Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Sunday 3 February Service to Inaugurate Synod 2020 3.00 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Archbishop Malcolm will officially and liturgically inaugurate the Synod and commission the 500 members. All welcome. Redemptorist Youth Ministry 18-40 young adult group 6.00 pm Mass at Bishop Eton (arrive 5:50 pm), followed by food and drinks. Details: Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 82: ‘Ich habe Genung.’ (‘It is enough.’) 6.30 pm at Birkenhead School Chapel, Beresford Road, Birkenhead CH43 2JD (The entrance to the chapel is on foot via the gate almost opposite no 121 Beresford Road.) Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. Email: Tuesday 5 February Redemptorist Youth Ministry 18-40 young adult group Talk on Our Lady by John Hesketh. 7.30 pm in the Fisher More Hall, Bishop Eton, Woolton Road, L16 8NQ. Spiritual discussion and activities followed by drinks. Wednesday 6 February ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St

‘Spring into Easter 2019’ Workshops with Muir Simpson Week Week Week Week Week Week

1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6:

‘Welcome to Spring’ ‘A Spring Posy’ ‘Hare’ Today ‘Twigs and Spring Flowers’ ‘Jewellery’ ‘The Great Easter Egg Hunt’

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday

5 March 12 March 19 March 26 March 2 April 9 April

Following on from the success of the ‘Creative at Christmas’ Workshops the Metropolitan Cathedral are delighted to announce that they are running a course for Easter. The workshops begin on Tuesday 5 March 2019 from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Mount Pleasant. The cost for the six workshops is £60 per person (no refunds are available for any missed sessions) and includes parking and refreshments. Advance booking for the full course is essential and no places area available on the day. After booking participants will be sent a list of ‘ingredients’ needed for Week 1, and then each week will be given a list for the following week. Muir Simpson is the President of the North West Area of NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) and has over 25 years’ experience of working with flowers and foliage. The workshops will enable you to make unique and beautiful arrangements. Bookings: Email Tel: 0151 709 9222, Ext: 201. Cheques payable to ‘Friends of the Metropolitan Cathedral’.

Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Friday 8 February Day of Prayer for Victims of Trafficking (Feast of St Josephine Bakhita) Saturday 9 February Jupiter Concert Music by Haydn and Mozart, with the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra and Cantata Choir. 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Tickets and details Tel: 0151 707 3525 or Monday 11 February World Day of Prayer for the Sick and those who care for them (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes). Tuesday 12 February Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For

further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: Friday 15 February to Sunday 17 February Follow Your Heart - Discernment and Vocation A weekend retreat for young women, reflecting on the vocation to religious life with the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) Liverpool Community. Details: Sister Lynne FCJ. Email: Website: Sunday 17 February Racial Justice Day Resources available at: Annual Marriage and Family Life Mass 11.00 am in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. The Mass will include a special blessing for those celebrating significant anniversaries. Barn Dance/Ceili In aid of the pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Virgin of the Poor, Banneux Notre

website at


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february Dame, Belgium 2.00 pm at St Michaels Irish Centre, 6 Boundary Lane, L6 5JG. Bar and refreshments available. Admission £6 Children £3. Coach available from Crosby but must be booked and paid in advance. Details and Bookings: Sister Catherine Tel: 07486 131930 or 07703 769903 (Phone or text) Wednesday 20 February ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Thursday 21 February Scripture Morning 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Saturday 23 February Quiet Day 10.30 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. Time to be quiet, reflect and pray. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). No booking required. For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: UCM Business Meeting 1.00 pm in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Tuesday 26 February ‘The Spirituality of Pope Francis’ led by the Right Reverend John Arnold, Bishop of Salford 10.00 am - 3.30 pm at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre, Blundell Avenue, Freshfield, Formby, L37 1PH. £22 including lunch. Bookings: Tel: 01704 875850. Email: Website:

Redemptorist Youth Ministry 18-40 Young Adult Group homeless mission Meet at the bottom of the Metropolitan Cathedral steps at 7:30 pm, dress warm, no need to bring anything. Details: Email Wednesday 27 February Taizé 18–35 A time of prayer, Scripture reading, singing, silence and discussion for young people 18 -35. 7.30 pm at St

Margaret Mary’s Parish House, Pilch Lane, Liverpool, L14 0JG. Details: Father Ian: (the 15 bus stops outside the church/house.) Thursday 28 February Scripture Morning 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website:

Looking ahead: March 2019 Friday 1 March to Sunday 3 March Scripture Weekend at lrenaeus 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Sunday 3 March Day of Prayer for the Unemployed. Annual Civic Mass 11.00 am in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. Wednesday 6 March Ash Wednesday Liverpool Pax Christi walk of repentance for possession of trident nuclear weapons 12.00 noon at St Luke’s church, Berry Street, Liverpool City Centre. Prayer, procession and liturgy with ashes. Details: Jan Harper Tel: 07746 919915 Email: Thursday 7 March Scripture Morning 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Tuesday 12 March Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: Thursday 14 March Scripture Morning 10.30 am at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: Website: Saturday 30 March Quiet Day 10.30 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. Time to be quiet, reflect and pray. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). No booking required. For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email:

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Kenny Lawler

Parish associate focused on new goals By Simon Hart Kenny Lawler credits two people for leading him down the path to his new role as one of the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s new pastoral associates. One is his wife, Carolyn, who saw the post advertised and suggested that he apply. The other, poignantly, is Julie, a former colleague and close friend whose death in a road accident last summer prompted a period of deep soul-searching on the part of the 41-year-old. ‘I lost a very good friend of mine through tragic circumstances and it felt like it was time for a change,’ he explains. ‘She was like an angel – she was a mentor to me in my early days of doing support work. She was naturally amazing with people and improved many lives. ‘This post came up at the right time,’ adds Kenny, who had been working as a housing support worker in Liverpool city centre. ‘I felt I was called to it.’ One of the five pastoral associates who embarked on full-time roles across the diocese in a pilot project begun in January, he is based at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Seaforth with responsibility for that parish as well as St Thomas of

Canterbury and St Edmund of Canterbury, both in Waterloo. His task, he elaborates, is to ‘link up the good work that’s already being done in the pastoral area such as faith formation and education and community, so the parishes can reach out to the community’ as well as ‘looking at new ways of how the Church can help the community’. And the first step, he continues, is ‘listening to people and then discerning what issues people are concerned about, what’s working well and what isn’t working well in the community. It’s in alignment with what’s happening with the Synod as well. I want to meet as many people as possible and invite people to talk to me.’ As well as presentations at Masses across the three parishes, he has been introduced via their newsletters and can be reached through each parish office. A social-media presence will follow. He adds: ‘I had a nice little conversation with someone yesterday who said, ‘Faith’s not taught, it’s caught’. It’s about reaching out and connecting people together and improving people’s lives. They are the fundamental goals.’

His employment history should help. ‘I worked for many years as a support worker with people with mental health and drug and alcohol issues. My last job was working for the Whitechapel Centre, a homeless charity, and my role was to prevent people ending up homeless so I’ve quite a lot of experience of being out in the community and linking people up with services and groups that might be of benefit to them.’ As a pastoral associate, Kenny will also start studying for an Archdiocesan diploma in Pastoral Ministry and Leadership – a course offered by Loyola University Chicago and Liverpool Hope University. For the father of four daughters aged between two and 14, a busy time beckons – though he will still have time for his fortnightly engagement at his beloved Anfield. After all, it’s in the blood. ‘My dad’s uncle used to play for Liverpool under Bill Shankly – Chris Lawler. There’s the story of my dad going around to his house and all they were ever eating was steak under instruction from Shankly!’ • To contact Kenny, email

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Smith Brothers back at Archbishop Beck The ‘Smith Brothers’ visited their former school, Archbishop Beck Catholic College, to speak to the students. Paul, Stephen, Liam and Callum did a training session with year 7 students and a question and answer session with students from across the year groups before photographs with hundreds of students and signing autographs. Headteacher, Paul Dickinson, said: ‘The Smith Brothers are truly inspirational individuals and fine ambassadors for the College. Whenever they come in they share their experiences freely and motivate the students to act maturely and strive to follow their dreams. Congratulations to all the lads on their achievements and hopefully there will be many more to come.’

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Poem celebrates Margaret Roper milestone

Annual report from 1988-89 as well as the front cover

There are many different ways of celebrating an anniversary – and in the case of Nugent’s Margaret Roper House, a poem written by a resident captures 30 years of care for people with enduring mental health problems. Clive Anderson, a poet and former music critic of the Ormskirk Advertiser, wrote the piece, titled ‘This Cradle of Humankind – Celebrating 30 Years’, to mark three decades since the opening of the Birkdale home, which welcomed its first residents in December 1988. The official opening followed in April 1989, carried out by the then Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Maureen Fearn, with a blessing by Archbishop Derek Worlock. Margaret Roper House provides nursing care for adults, helping them to move out of a hospital setting into more homely individualised surroundings. Anderson has lived there since 1996 and uses poetry as a therapeutic tool to help express his emotions. This Cradle of Humankind – Celebrating 30 Years The 30th anniversary of Margaret Roper House! The home where time ticks away as quiet as a mouse, But full of memories, on December 5th, 2018, The years have been evocative, as we have seen. There have been some unforgettable characters, Like Dolly Atherton, Ronnie Coe and Pat Pinder, Who were thrust into our happy psychiatric care, And the staff have always been full of flair.

Article about the opening of Margaret Roper House in Nugent’s, (then called Catholic Social Services Liverpool

The managers have been Cyril, Doreen, Fred and Liz, Who have worn well the cloak of their responsibilities, And the happiness I have had (nobody knows!), Sitting in the garden where the water blows.

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youth ministry

My Animate learning curve By Luke Barton, Animate Youth Ministries team member After a full term at Animate, I have learned and accomplished many things. Before joining the team, I had been a sixth-form student in Liverpool and had many things to keep me occupied in my spare time. On a Sunday morning, I would help to lead the altar servers in my local parish with their duties. Throughout the week I was a volunteer at our parish youth club. I balanced this with playing in a rock band that I had formed with my friends. I joined Animate after being reminded of my gap-year opportunities by a friend. I had initially wished to join the team in 2016 after taking part in the

Archdiocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes (thanks to a lady called Moira, who generously used part of an inheritance to fully fund my trip). When I looked into it, though, I was too young to apply at the time. It was later, when a close friend from my Lourdes coach who was already on the team, suggested that I join that I remembered how much I’d wanted to do so after my first pilgrimage; I practically jumped at the chance, therefore, and on getting my place on the team deferred my university admission to take this amazing opportunity.

Four months later, I have settled into Animate and found a sense of comfort with those around me. As a community, everybody has helped me to grow in my faith and overcome some of the things I struggled with. Admittedly, on my first few day retreats, it was pretty obvious that I was nervous. Yet by taking on board tips from the rest of the team and getting used to a new environment, I have managed to overcome my lack of confidence when presenting. If Animate has helped me in that respect, my time here has also helped me learn a lot about my faith. When first joining the team, I wasn’t too sure how to go about things such as personal prayer or how to help other people to understand a faith environment, but aspects of both work and community living have helped me to figure these things out. Praying as a team has helped me to understand how to write prayers or reflections, both for my own use and for our collective worship. I have also had the opportunity to write a catechetical – a type of homily delivered by someone other than the priest, and something that I didn’t think I’d ever have the chance to do … or, for that matter, didn’t even know was possible! From events such as Adoremus to living with an amazing group of people, Animate has presented me with so many brilliant things, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store: hopefully allowing me to learn even more about my faith and help spread that learning to the young people that we work with. Date for the diary: Flame 2019 takes place at Wembley Arena on Saturday 2 March. To book your ticket and travel (£25), contact or 01744 740460.


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A time of reflection by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral February is possibly the quietest month of the year here at the Metropolitan Cathedral. The busyness and excitement of Advent and Christmas give way to the calm of Ordinary Time. With Easter being quite late this year Ash Wednesday doesn’t fall until March 6th. A quieter time such as this gives us an opportunity to reflect on why we do what we do. The cathedral musicians and choristers gather on a daily basis to make music here in the Cathedral. The Church teaches that we gather to pray and sing for two reasons. Firstly, to give glory to God. Secondly, for our own sanctification. When we give praise to God we are doing so because we are thankful for all that God has given us, particularly the gift of his Son who died that we might be saved If you have ever been to the Sistine Chapel in Rome you may have seen the famous creation scene which Michelangelo completed in 1513. The famous (and recently deceased) Jesuit liturgist Father Robert Taft made the astute observation that we see in the

scene God’s outstretched finger almost, but not quite, touching the outstretched finger of Adam. As Father Taft puts it, liturgy (and its music) fills the gap between these two fingers. God created us, gave us life, saved us and redeemed us. We respond by giving unceasing thanks and praise. We gather together in the liturgy as a Church because God has called us to do so. God is constantly phoning or texting us to ask us to answer his call. But we must answer. We must pick up the phone or respond to the text message. Only then can we accept the call. Our response is that of giving glory to God. Through this giving back to God what is his, we sanctify ourselves and seek to live as his disciples here on earth. Music has historically been one of the most expressive ways to respond to God’s call. The famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach used to conclude his compositions by writing ‘Soli Deo Gloria’. To the Glory of God alone. The music that we use in liturgies at the Cathedral allow us to express the praise of God in ways that words simply don’t allow us. Music allows us to draw nearer to God, and to experience his presence in our midst. This is why we sing and make music each day here at the Cathedral!

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean This year we have a Lent free February with the consequence that Easter and the subsequent feasts will be quite late in the spring and early summer of 2019. We begin the month with the Feast of Candlemas on the first Saturday which will mean that it will rather get neglected in favour of the weekend celebrations of the 4th Sunday – it is a shame that it wasn’t transferred to the Sunday celebrations for this year. On the afternoon of Sunday 3 February there is a Service of the Word as the formal opening ceremony for the Diocesan Synod to mark the start of the journey of preparation and discussion leading up to the final assembly in October 2020. The members of the Synod will be commissioned at this ceremony to which you are all invited. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at the Annual Mass to celebrate Marriage and Family Life on 17 February at 11.00 am. As part of this Mass any couples who are celebrating significant anniversaries this year are invited forward for a special blessing by the Archbishop at the end of Mass. The rest of the month of February is taken up with exams and social events in the Crypt and apart from services, choral and singing events in the Cathedral. Looking ahead there is the Annual Civic Mass at 11.00 am in the Cathedral on Sunday 3 March followed by Ash Wednesday on 6 March.

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Pic extras

Mums the Word In November 2018, Val Ward, the deputy national president of the Union of Catholic Mothers, and Margaret Kerbey, national treasurer, flew to Dakar in Senegal to represent us at the General Assembly of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations. The theme of the assembly was ‘WUCWO, carriers of living water to a world which thirsts for peace’. One hundred Catholic women's organisations from 66 countries are WUCWO members and a broad range of topics were covered by people from places as varied as Peru and Australia, and Mali and the Holy See. Val and Margaret have produced a comprehensive report of the proceedings which has been circulated to all foundations, and we pass on our congratulations to Val who was elected as a WUCWO board member for 2018-22. She will now be able to present the views of UCM members on an international stage. Now for something that we all could get into – namely, the Women's World Day of Prayer, which will be celebrated on Friday 1 March across the globe. This year's official theme, titled ‘Come, Everything is Ready’, has been produced by women from Slovenia, one of the smallest and youngest countries in Europe. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to join together with other Christian groups in our area in a very positive way and if you would like to find a local group, and have access to a computer, the web address is: Finally, Cath Rutherford, one of the UCM's national vice-presidents, has been representing us at the annual conference of the National Council of Women of Great Britain. She writes that ‘their aim is to make women more interested in local, regional and national affairs and to get them more involved in decision-making.’ Hear, hear! See you at the Business Meeting at 1.00 pm on Saturday 23 February at the Metropolitan Cathedral. God bless, Madelaine McDonald, media officer


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

KSC and SPUC launch national rosary campaign

We are now well into our centenary year and one particularly special activity we have embarked upon is a yearlong ‘Rosary for the Unborn’ campaign in co-operation with the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC). The initiative will encourage members of our organisations, and others attracted to this endeavour, to make special efforts to pray for the unborn throughout the 12 months from December 2018. The Knights of St Columba’s supreme knight, Bertie Grogan, together with SPUC’s chief executive, John Smeaton, and his deputy, John Deighan KSG, launched the campaign on 12 December. The launch took place at the Church of the Holy Child and St Joseph in Bedford – the National Shrine of the Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe – at a Mass celebrated by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Edward Adams, together with the Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, and the parish priest, Canon Seamus Keenan. We will be distributing prayer cards to parishes across Britain through SPUC and KSC networks and asking parish priests to permit us to say rosaries in their churches, either with existing rosary groups or at specially arranged services, and to allow the display of

posters and the distribution of prayer cards which will also include a special intention each month. We hope that parishioners will join us in this campaign. • As reported in previous editions, the 2018 sponsored walk for charity took place last September, with the Whitechapel Centre for the Homeless chosen as the beneficiary. Our photo shows Hetty Miles from the Whitechapel Centre receiving a cheque at Liverpool Cricket Club in December from council grand knight Pat McCole and Mrs Barbara Dooley, widow of Steve Dooley, who had the original idea of an annual charity walk – and in whose honour the walk was named. Also present in the photo is Mrs Sue Mc Cole from Barclays Bank. The final amount raised was £8,450, comprising £5,900 from sponsorship envelopes, £2,000 match funding from Barclays and £550 from Gift Aid. We wish to thank all who contributed so generously to this worthy cause. • Our annual provincial dinner will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Pier Head on Friday 15 February and this year will be an extra special occasion given our centenary celebrations. We will have a report and photo in the next edition Websites: and Email:

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Issue 163 April 2018




Peter Woods appointed High Sheriff

Celebrating marriage and family life

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PIC Life ‘Yes, I really do hear you’ By Moira Billinge im had reached the point where he was tired of leaving the house for work at five o’clock each morning and not getting home until late in the evening. He begrudged it in the summer, when he had to leave his beautiful garden behind. He would much rather be out in the warmth and the birdsong, tending his flowers and plants.


In winter, he begrudged getting out of his bed at all. He loathed the heavy, oppressive, all-consuming darkness of each new day, and the knowledge he would be greeted by more of the same in the evening. Nothing ever seemed to go well for him and he knew that something drastic was needed to make his existence a little more palatable. He concluded that the only way to escape his lacklustre life was money – and lots of it. It was a realisation quickly reinforced the next day when he encountered Hurricane Henry on his way to work and had to navigate his way over fallen trees and battle against howling winds and torrential rain. It was then that he decided that enough was enough. During his lunch break he walked into a nearby church, and prayed, ‘Please God, let me win the Lottery.’ For the next few weeks, Tim repeated this request, and when there was no sign of his prayer being answered, he embarked on a nineday novena to St Jude, the patron saint of hopeless cases. It didn’t work. In desperation, he knelt down and shrieked, ‘Hello, God, are you listening to me? You said, “Ask and you shall receive.” Well, I’m still waiting! What more can I say to you, to persuade you to help me win the Lottery? I need the money now! Why the delay?’ Exasperated by this further request, when there were so many more urgent things 28

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to attend to, God decided to offer an explanation and get Tim off his back. He stopped what he was doing and said, with as much authority as he could muster, ‘Please, Tim, will you meet me halfway on this issue and at least buy a lottery ticket?’ Joking aside, it is naive to assume that every prayer we offer will be answered immediately, and sometimes we do expect Almighty God to answer our prayers without any real effort on our part. Even Aesop, the ancient Greek writer, noted that, ‘It is vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.’ When we pray, we can do so with confidence because we know that God loves and wants to help us and desires

only what is best for us. He will sometimes answer our prayer in a different way to that which we had expected. We often recognise, with the benefit of hindsight, that the answer is far better than we could have imagined. God knows our every prayer, word and action; our every thought and desire. And yet, if truth be told, how often is our prayer a case less of ‘Thy will be done’ than ‘My will be done’? Our mindset is often one of ‘Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking’, instead of ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3: 7–10). Happily, ‘I’m sorry’ is the one prayer that God will hear and immediately answer – as the Good Thief, dying on the cross next to Jesus on Calvary, discovered for himself.

Worth a visit Take a trip to Edinburgh to explore the medieval old town and enjoy spectacular views from the castle, writes Lucy Oliver. At one end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the Queen’s official residence in Scotland – welcomes visitors to learn of the troubled history of its monarchs and discover their treasures. The palace’s great gallery became the court of Bonnie Prince Charlie for a period of six weeks before his troops marched south of the border, prior to their eventual defeat at the 1746 Battle of Culloden – and his own flight into exile. The north-west tower is the oldest section, at over 500 years old, and was home to Mary, Queen of Scots. The visitor today can climb the winding staircase to her outer chamber and see the oak-panelled oratory where she prayed daily. The palace has witnessed intrigue and tragedy, and it was in the supper room that Mary’s private secretary, Davide Rizzio, was murdered; indeed some claim the marks of Rizzio’s blood still remain. Short talks are held daily at the neighbouring Holyrood Abbey, where visitors can wander through its ruins, overlooked by the Salisbury Crags. Before you leave, visit the café to try the haggis, or tea and cakes.

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join in Catholic Pic Away Days 2019 Not too many weeks now until we start our Away Days again. One of the places we will be visiting is Lancaster where the canal runs through the town. There are lovely shops and eating places: • The Ashton Memorial • Williamson Park • Lancaster University These are just a few of Lancasters many attractions! We will also visit Conwy in North Wales and Deganwy to see the wonderful Conwy Castle, the smallest house and you can enjoy the wonderful sea views and maybe have a fish supper at Enochs, Llandudno Junction before we make our way back to Liverpool. We’ve given two places to visit so watch out for our next issue of the Catholic Pic of details of further away days and trips for this summer.

Lancaster canals

Williamson Park

Quote from Pope Francis

Greeting Cards from Carmel

“I desire a church that knows how to insert itself into the conversations of people that know how to dialogue. “It is the church of Emmaus, in which the Lord ‘interviews’ the disciples who are walking discouraged”.

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

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Letter from Wonersh By Peter Murphy The seminary here in Wonersh is dedicated to St John the Evangelist. As I mentioned briefly in my letter last September, I am very pleased to be being formed for the priesthood under St John’s patronage. As many of you will be aware, the Church celebrates St John the Evangelist during the Christmas Octave, on 27 December. In years gone by, the seminary community would stay at Wonersh until this day had been celebrated. More recently it has been the practice to have another ‘St John’s Day’ celebration in the weeks between Christmas and Lent. This year our celebration of St John’s Day will be on Tuesday 5 February when the community will welcome many bishops – including this year, for the first time, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon – as well as those former seminarians who are celebrating particular jubilees of ordination to the priesthood. The centrepiece of the day will be the celebration of Mass. Like at other large Masses, such as an ordination or the Chrism Mass, there is something wonderfully inspiring – especially for me, as a seminarian – in witnessing the procession of bishops, priests and deacons who have committed their lives to Jesus Christ in this particular way for the service of the Church. After Mass there will be a festal lunch but while the Mass is rightly the highlight of the day and the lunch will be extraordinarily delicious, my favourite moment of this feast day has always been the celebration of Morning Prayer. As this takes place before the arrival of the majority of the guests, it is a much more intimate affair and this liturgy has some of the richest words in the antiphons accompanying the psalms, my particular favourite being: ‘John, the apostle and evangelist, was chosen by the Lord because of his virginal purity. He was the disciple whom the Lord especially loved.’ There is much that this antiphon gives us to ponder when we consider the relationship that John has with Jesus, and there is also much that we can reflect upon when considering our own relationship with the Lord. For many people from across the Archdiocese, including myself, this month sees the beginning of our formal involvement with Synod 2020. As we begin together on the road, I will be asking St John the Evangelist to be a patron to me again. Inspired by the Beloved Disciple I hope to: know Christ as John did at the Transfiguration; love Christ as John did whilst he rested on the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper; be faithful and obedient to Christ as John was at the foot of the Cross; and rejoice in Christ as John did on Easter morning. I trust that the Beloved Disciple who was ‘chosen by the Lord’ will support us with his heavenly prayers in becoming the Church we are called to be. 30

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justice & peace

What does it mean to be a J&P person? By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker We’re already into February and my new year’s resolutions are beginning to look a bit tattered. At the start of the year, when I was wondering what I should do to be better as a J&P field worker, I made a list of the situations and issues where I think that change is urgently needed. My list included lots of issues and causes where people and planet are being treated unjustly: climate change, extinction of species, persecution of minorities, political oppression, the asylum process, access to education, work opportunities for young people, the benefits system, housing availability, family breakdowns, weapons, wars, migration, etc, etc. It’s a long, miserable and seemingly growing list. I got myself into a state of mind where the sheer size of the task and the impossibility of making a positive difference became depressing and demotivating. I wonder how many of you who read this article have had similar experiences. Do you think of yourselves as J&P people? The interesting and encouraging thing is to realise that we are all different. To be a J&P person doesn’t mean that you have to wear a hair shirt, have a long face and go around telling everybody what to do while berating them for not joining you in sorting out all the problems of the world. I guess that’s one option and there are such people, but I find them scary and rather unattractive. First and foremost, being a J&P person means that we have an attitude of compassion for people and planet. We feel involved in the uncomfortable realities of our world and want to get involved in the best way that we can. In religious language this is called ‘putting on the mind of Christ’ – noticing what’s happening, being touched by what we see, and being specially concerned for the outsiders, the weak and the vulnerable. The Gospels are ‘good news for the poor’ not ‘good news for the rich’: we are the holders of a revolutionary way of looking at the world. We can show this in lots of ways: we may be fiery prophets or quiet listeners; we may be organisers or encouragers; we may be letter-writers or tea-makers; we don’t have to be on the barricades. Here are some guiding questions to reflect on your own journey: • What role(s) do I feel comfortable playing? What role(s) did I try out in 2018 and what lessons did I learn? • How can I stretch myself in 2019, and why? What are the injustices that keep me up at night, outrage me, and push me to act? • What do I need to learn more about before I step in? Who can teach me how to do that? • Who else shares my concerns? Where will I find allies and support? • Where can I take bolder risks? What support systems do I need to be able to take those risks?

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