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Issue 185 February 2020

Praying for peace in the Holy Land

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

In the steps of St Oscar Romero

Bishop Tom awarded Freedom of the city


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Inspiring excellence personal and academic

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contents Welcome Last month the annual Holy Land Coordination took place when Bishops from across Europe and North America met in the Holy Land to promote dialogue and peace. This year the meeting was based in Ramallah and included a visit to Gaza. The bishops also met with young people in both Jerusalem and Ramallah to listen to their hopes and experiences living in a divided land. The visit is organised by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales and Canon Mark Madden, Parish Priest of Our Lady and English Martyrs in Litherland, is Secretary to the gathering. It is because of his involvement with the Holy Land that Father Mark was created an Honorary Canon of the Holy Sepulchre last year. Our profile this month is Bishop Tom Williams, our Auxiliary Bishop. It was announced last month that Bishop Tom is to be given the freedom of the City of Liverpool in a ceremony later this year. Bishop Tom has always been the greatest of ambassadors for his home City where he has lived and ministered for all his priestly life. The honour is a just reward for his work for Church and City and our congratulations go to him.

Cover: Mass at Holy Family Church, Ramallah

Contents

From the Archbishop’s Desk During the break in my routine after Christmas I had time to watch some films I have been wanting to see. Top of my list was ‘The Two Popes’, with Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict. The film is largely composed of an imaginary yet engaging dialogue between the two men which comes about because the future Pope Francis wants to resign as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and goes to Rome to push his request. Bishops have to resign when they reach seventy-five years of age. Cardinals have to do the same but usually hang on a bit longer because they can still vote for the pope until they are eighty, so it wouldn’t look good if they were retired should a papal election occur. Jonathan Pryce is very convincing in his role not just because the words he says are often taken from Francis’ writings or recorded interviews, but he actually looks like Pope Francis. However, the filmmakers got it wrong about Cardinal Ratzinger. Anthony Hopkins looks nothing like Pope Benedict and he portrays him as discourteous and very political in the run up to the conclave in which he was elected. My experience of him is quite the opposite; he was unfailingly well mannered and courteous with a very good memory for faces and names. I remember an American journalist saying that he was elected because he was the brightest man in the room. I would like to add that he was also one of the holiest men in the conclave too. Why don’t you try to watch it? It will get you thinking about the Church – and will give you some hope for its future. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Editor Peter Heneghan

Copy deadline March 2020 Monday 3 February 2020

Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: catholicpictorial@rcaol.co.uk

Publisher CPMM Ltd Suite 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ

Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 Pictures: Cover and main feature: © Mazur/cbcew.org.uk Profile: Peter Heneghan

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Main Feature A plea for peace and justice

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News From around the Archdiocese

14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent Care in an ageing society 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 19 Profile Bishop Tom Williams A devoted son of Liverpool 20 Animate Why take a gap year at Animate? 25 Cathedral Record The life of a Cathedral Chorister 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life Time given to others is time given to God 30 Justice and Peace The Palestinian Paintings

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.

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A plea for peace and justice The Bishops from this year’s Holy Land Coordination have called on their governments to acknowledge the state of Palestine and to do more to ensure that international law is maintained. By Simon Hart ‘Our governments must do more to meet their responsibilities for upholding international law and protecting human dignity.’ So came the call from the group of bishops and archbishops from across Europe and North America – including England and Wales – who journeyed to the Holy Land in January for their annual visit to the Christian communities there. The 2020 Holy Land Co-ordination, organised by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, took place between 11 and 16 January. It included visits to Christians in Gaza, Ramallah and East Jerusalem, and took as its theme ‘Visions for the future: the prospects for equality, justice and peace in the Holy Land’. If the bishops’ aim is to promote peace and dialogue with their annual visit, the worsening situation in the Holy Land led them to end their trip with an urgent plea to their governments back at home – including a request that they follow the example of the Holy See and acknowledge the state of Palestine. In a statement published on 16 January, the bishops said: ‘We implore our governments to help build a new 4

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political solution rooted in human dignity for all. While this must ultimately be shaped by the peoples of the Holy Land in dialogue, there is an urgent need for our countries to play their part by: • Insisting upon the application of international law; • Following the Holy See’s lead in recognising the State of Palestine; • Addressing the security concerns of Israel and the right of all to live in safety; • Rejecting political or economic support for settlements; • And resolutely opposing acts of violence or abuses of human rights by any side. ‘In taking these steps the international community can meaningfully stand in solidarity with those Israelis and Palestinians who are refusing to give up their non-violent struggle for justice, peace and human rights.’ Bishops from 10 different countries formed this year’s Holy Land Coordination party. They recognised that some of their own governments had ‘become actively complicit in the evils of conflict and occupation’ and echoed the lament of the local bishops who had spoken recently of the ‘evaporation of hope for a durable solution’.

‘We were inspired by the Christian communities we met for their resilience in the face of difficulties. Their faith is strong and steadfast.’ Canon Mark Madden

The Co-ordination’s statement continued: ‘We have witnessed this reality first-hand, particularly how construction of settlements and the separation wall is destroying any prospect of two states existing in peace…local bishops have sounded the alarm about living conditions becoming “more and more unbearable”. This is painfully clear in the West Bank where our sisters and brothers are denied even basic rights including freedom of movement. ‘In Gaza the political decisions of all sides have resulted in the creation of an open air prison, human rights abuses and a profound humanitarian crisis.’ Support for Gaza It is 20 years since the Coordination was established at the invitation of the Holy See with the aim of visiting the Holy Land’s local Christian communities. This year, the bishops were based in Ramallah in the West Bank, with an overnight visit to Gaza where they celebrated Sunday Mass on 12 January with the local Christian community. This was a deliberate show of solidarity to Gaza’s 1,300 Christians – including 100 Catholics – who this Christmas were prevented by the Israeli government from visiting Bethlehem or families and relatives


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feature

The Bishops celebrate Mass in Holy Family, Ramallah

in the West Bank. Following the Mass, the bishops visited the House of Peace run by the Missionaries of Charity, and held meetings with young people and parishioners as well as making a visit to the sick in the community. Canon Mark Madden, parish priest of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Litherland, was part of the Co-ordination party in his role as general secretary. He said that ‘the Catholic community is tiny but strong’ in Gaza and underlined the valuable efforts of Church-run institutions there. This includes the Catholic Relief Service, whose housing projects help those displaced and left homeless by bombing; Caritas with its medical centres; the Daughters of Charity whose care for the most vulnerable includes babies, children and the elderly; and the Rosary Sisters who help support the education of young people. Meanwhile, the Latin Patriarchate, with funding from the English and Welsh

Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, has set up the St Thomas Aquinas Centre providing academic and professional services for young people. Yet all of this effort only goes so far, as Canon Mark explained: ‘Life is very difficult. Children and young people have only known war and conflict. Christian families stick together, and family support is important and necessary. Their faith is strong and they believe that, with the help of Our Lady, they will be protected. Many of the Christian families live more than an hour’s walk from church, but even with threats of missiles they still make that journey each week. ‘People only have eight hours electricity a day, but realistically only get four hours and often during the night. They simply don’t want people to forget them. The visit of bishops from different parts of the world gives them encouragement and

helps them persevere in their lives.’ The Co-ordination bishops have asked Catholics to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, not just to visit the Holy Sites but ‘to encounter the local communities’ – even if it means tasting the daily difficulties faced. Canon Mark elaborated: ‘It was very difficult getting into Gaza with the procedures slow and unnecessary. Getting out of Gaza and back into Israel was even worse. The feeling from the Israelis authorities was that they’ll allow you entry but will make it as difficult as possible so you don’t visit again.’ The three Ps The Co-ordination bases its efforts on the three Ps of prayer, pilgrimage and persuasion. Their encounters included a meeting with Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator to the Latin Patriarchate, and Nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli. There was also a trip to East Jerusalem where 76%

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feature

Mass in Holy Family Latin Parish, Gaza

of Palestinians live under the poverty line and Catholic aid organisations are feeling increasing strain.

‘We are moved by the sacrifice of religious sisters, lay people and priests who are reaching out with respect to every side, in order to build a better future for all.’ 6

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Additionally, for the first time since 2010, the Co-ordination visited the Comboni Sisters in Bethany, where in addition to their convent they run a guest house and kindergarten. Canon Mark explained the daily difficulties caused by the separation wall: ‘It was built within their land, metres away from the building and completely cutting off the convent from the community. In 2010 the Israeli authorities placed a window within the wall to allow children to be passed through. This window was opened by the soldiers for a few minutes every day to allow the children to be passed through. ‘Ten years later, the window has gone

and children and parents must now make a long journey to get to school. The Sisters are completely cut off from the community and feel isolated and vulnerable.’ This provides some context for the bishops’ words of gratitude, in their communique, to those religious working on the ground in the Holy Land. ‘Amid these circumstances,’ they said, ‘we are moved by the sacrifice of religious sisters, lay people and priests who are reaching out with respect to every side, in order to build a better future for all. They offer vital services, especially education, job opportunities and care for the most vulnerable people. We give thanks for their witness.’


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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

New members of the Guild of St Stephen Just after Christmas St Wilfrid’s parish in Widnes welcomed four new altar servers to the Guild of St Stephen. The new members were enrolled at Mass and are pictured with Father Mike Fitzsimons and Father Joe Bibby from the parish.

Cafod fun runners bring hope to overseas communities The Cafod Liverpool fun run is this year celebrating raising over half a million pounds for the international development charity since it was first run 36 years ago. The race which took place on 27 December at Wavertree Athletics Centre welcomed hundreds

Cafod volunteer Tim Walsh and his family

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of runners who completed the 2.5 km or 5 km. Cafod volunteer, Tim Walsh, who took part in his first Liverpool fun run this year, said, ‘I’ve been meaning to take part in the run for years and never got around to it until now. There’s fifteen of my family who all braved the chill to take part. We chose to come because we always get together at Christmas for a family walk but this year, we’re doing the Cafod fun run instead. I’m sure it will become a family tradition’. Cafod’s new Director Christine Allen, originally from Waterloo, took part in the race with husband Andrew and daughter Grace. She said: ‘Well done to all the runners and the amazing team of volunteers who make it happen.’ Beginning in 1983, the race has taken place annually, only ever being cancelled once due to hazardous conditions. It has raised over £500,000 to help some of the most vulnerable communities around the world, including those recovering after the Haiti Earthquake, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Ethiopian drought, and Syrian refugees. Colette Byrne, Cafod’s representative in Liverpool, said, ‘The run shows what can be achieved when great volunteers come together. I would like to invite the Catholic community to come forward and volunteer with Cafod, either as an individual or within your parish. We always need more volunteers to get involved throughout the year and have a range of opportunities, we’d love to talk to you. If you are interested please contact us Tel: 0151 228 4028 or liverpool@Cafod.org.uk


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news diary

‘We welcome you among us in his name’ - all change at St Anthony of Padua Change can be a time of renewal and celebration which was certainly the feeling in a packed church on Sunday 8 December 2019 when Archbishop Malcolm formerly inducted Father Kevin Hanley OFM Conv (Greyfriars) as the Parish Priest of St Anthony of Padua, Mossley Hill. Father Kevin’s previous posting was in the Vatican as a Confessor at St Peter’s where he heard confessions for 24 hours each week for 6 ½ years as well as continuing doctoral studies in Canon Law and being Adjunct Spiritual Director to the Pontifical Scots College and Spiritual Director to religious within Rome. Prior to this, whilst finishing his Licentiate in Canon Law, he undertook ministry at Ss XII Apostoli in Rome. The move to parish ministry in the rather humbler environs of Mossley Hill has already provided many different opportunities and challenges in nurturing active community, lay

empowerment and belonging. For many parishioners it was the first time experiencing the Rite of Induction. The pledge for both parishioners and Father Kevin to work collaboratively, to share responsibility in the service of Christ and to participate in his Mission is very much in keeping with Synod 2020. The number of parishioners present, the special participation of the 40 strong members of St Anthony of Padua’s School choir, representatives from parish groups and the wider community bore witness that Father Kevin’s pledge to build on strengthening and increasing lay involvement and empowerment at St Anthony’s has already begun. As the parish continues their journey of encountering Christ in Mossley Hill, served so faithfully by the Greyfriars since 1923, the future is bright with the young people of Mossley Hill playing a central part in energising the heartbeat of faith, hope and love.

Obituary of John Cowdall KSG

John Cowdall, who was one of the first lay trustees of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, and who served as a trustee for over fifteen years died aged 79 on Friday 10 January in Chorley Hospital. A resident of Chorley John was married to Eileen, and father of Janet (deceased) and Alison, and grandfather of Phoebe. John was appointed a Trustee of the Archdiocese in 2004 and also served as the Secretary of the Historic Churches Committee for the Dioceses of Lancaster, Liverpool, Salford and Shrewsbury and as a member of the Patrimony Committee for the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. He was a former Chairman of Stonyhurst College, the Jesuit boarding and day school in the Ribble Valley, and a member of the Board of Regents of Liverpool Hope University, the only ecumenical Christian University in Europe. John served as Chief Executive of West Lancashire District Council from 1973 to 1990 having previously been Town Clerk and Chief Executive of Clitheroe Borough Council for four years. He was also appointed by the Secretary of State as a Governor of Edge Hill College of Higher Education (now Edge Hill University) in 1989 serving until 1992 and was nonexecutive chairman of the Chorley Partnership between 1994 and 1997. Pope Francis honoured him with a Papal Knighthood for his service to the Church and the wider community in 2016 and he received the award of Papal Knight of the Order of St Gregory from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon at a Service of Evening Prayer in September that year. His Requiem Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm at St Mary’s, Chorley on Friday 24 January.

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Cafod Pilgrimage to El Salvador by Colette Byrne Community Participation Coordinator – Cafod (Wrexham and Liverpool) I was privileged to be asked to represent Cafod, on the Romero Trust Pilgrimage to El Salvador in November. I joined 26 other pilgrims, as we learned about the history of the civil war, the loss of many innocent lives and how people were, and still are, fighting against injustice. In the mid 1970s, violence in El Salvador was increasing. The Government killed poor people who stood up for their rights. Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador, would speak out against the Government during his sermon, which was broadcast on the radio. The whole country listened. Although his life was often threatened, he continued to speak out. Romero was a Cafod partner and when his radio station was bombed, Cafod provided the funds to help rebuild it. In his sermon on 23rd March 1980, Romero ordered the army to stop killing people: ‘In the name of God, and in the name of these suffering people, whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I beg you, I implore you, I order you, in the name of God, stop the repression’. The next day, a shot killed Romero as he celebrated Mass in the chapel at the Hospital of the Divine Providence. Cafod are hugely proud that our friend and partner was declared a Saint in 2018, and he continues to inspire our work today. I was delighted to visit a Cafod project which focuses on promoting a culture of peace and justice in society, where a team of psychologists, funded by Cafod, work with people to learn how to resolve difficult family situations and disputes, in a non-violent way. I was truly inspired to meet a group of women who, with support from Cafod, set

Bishop John Rawsthorne and Colette Byrne in the Chapel where Archbishop Romero was murdered

up their own community banking system, enabling them to form friendships and a strong community built on trust. They worked and saved money together, and received training in leadership programmes and farming, empowering the women to take a leading role in their community, outside of their homes. A personal highlight was a visit to a school, where we were treated to a fantastic performance of music and dance by the young people and children. They were such talented and happy people, who expressed incredible amounts of gratitude to Cafod, for our continued prayers and support. These young people all have difficult home lives, with limited job opportunities, and many are led to a life of gangs. One young man, aged 15, danced for us with the most amazing smile on his face. He used to

be a member of a gang and has never looked back since joining their Cafod supported project. The introduction to a safe environment, alongside people who wish to live in peace, means that life as a gang member is a thing of the past for this young man. I was so lucky to see Cafod’s work first hand, and I can say with my hand on my heart that every kind donation, no matter how small or large, is making a life changing difference to so many people living in the world’s poorest communities. Cafod has a fantastic network of wonderful parishioners, just like you, who volunteer with us, to enable us to continue our vital work. To find out what opportunities you could get involved with, please contact me Tel: 07779 804242 Email: cbyrne@cafod.org.uk

Metropolitan Cathedral Stewards We are currently looking for volunteers to join our team of Cathedral Stewards. The main purpose of the Cathedral Steward is to welcome regular members of our congregation and visitors to our services and Mass at the Cathedral. They assist also by taking the collection, with communion arrangements and giving out service sheets and answering all manner of questions and queries. On bigger occasions they are invaluable showing people to their seats and looking after our VIP guests. No experience is needed as full training would be given. All 10

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you need is to be able to give the time: mostly on Sundays but there will be some Sunday afternoon services and weekday services when a presence will be required, as well as all the major Feasts such as Easter and Christmas. It would help if you are warm and welcoming with a big smile; patient and enthusiastic and have a sense of humour. If you think you could give a few hours to this valuable work and become a member of the Cathedral family, please contact Claire Hanlon for further details: email: c.hanlon@metcathedral.org.uk or Tel: 0151 709 9222, extension 201. A very warm welcome awaits.


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Pope’s message for World Day of the Sick By Simon Hart Pope Francis has marked the XXVIII World Day of the Sick this month with a call for warmth, dignity and love in our treatment of sick people. In his message, the Pontiff called on healthcare professionals to ‘always remember that diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic treatments, research, care and rehabilitation are always in the service of the sick person; indeed the noun “person” takes priority over the adjective “sick”.’ He added: ‘In your work, may you always strive to promote the dignity and life of each person, and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness.’ The World Day of the Sick falls on 11 February and quoting from Matthew’s Gospel – ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Mt 11:28) – Pope Francis acknowledged that there were ‘many kinds of grave suffering’ and bemoaned that ‘at times human warmth is lacking in our approach to these’. He continued: ‘What is needed is a personalised approach to the sick, not just of curing but also of caring, in view of an integral human healing. In experiencing illness, individuals not only feel threatened in their physical integrity, but also in the relational, intellectual, affective and spiritual dimensions of their lives. For this reason, in addition to therapy and support, they expect care and attention. In a word, love.’ The Pontiff offered a reminder that ‘life is sacred and belongs to God’ and warned that for healthcare professionals ’in some cases, conscientious objection becomes a necessary decision if you are to be consistent with your “yes” to life and to the human person’. He also urged ‘healthcare institutions and government leaders throughout the world not to neglect social justice out of a preoccupation for financial concerns’. Finally, there was a word of gratitude for people who give their time freely to help the sick, such as volunteers at Lourdes: ‘I offer heartfelt thanks to all those volunteers who serve the sick, often compensating for structural shortcomings, while reflecting the image of Christ, the Good Samaritan, by their acts of tender love and closeness.’ Lourdes 2020 This year’s Liverpool Archdiocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage will leave on Friday 24 July and return on Friday 31 July, with flight details to be confirmed in due course. Application forms for assisted and hotel-assisted pilgrims are available from this month (February). For further details email lourdespilgrimage@rcaolp.co.uk or call 07484 911623. Pilgrims not requiring assistance should contact Joe Walsh on 0151 909 2871. www.joewalshtours.ie/holidays/pilgrimages-lourdes-liverpool

Obituary of Rev Philip Barrett Father Philip Barrett, who served as parish priest of Holy Family, Platt Bridge for twenty-two years, died on Tuesday 17 December aged 94 and in the 70th year of his priesthood. Philip Charles Barrett was born in Donoughmore, Co Cork, on 26 May 1925, the son of Philip and Margaret Barrett. He received his early education at Stuake Primary School, Donoughmore, and St Colman’s College, Fermoy. Later he began his seminary formation at St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, during which time he was accepted as a candidate for the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1946. He was ordained priest at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, on 4th June 1950. Following his ordination he was appointed briefly to Our Lady Immaculate, Everton, before taking up a more stable appointment at St Oswald’s, Ashton-in-Makerfield in September 1950. In 1958 he was appointed to St Benet’s, Netherton, before beginning a ten-year period as assistant at St Ambrose, Speke, from February 1959. In August 1969 he was asked to assume the temporary administration of St Mary Magdalen, Penwortham, before moving to St Jude’s, Wigan, for his final appointment as assistant priest in November 1969. He was appointed parish priest in February 1977, when he took up the pastoral care of St Winefride’s, Bootle. In April 1981 he was asked to assume responsibility for Holy Family, Platt Bridge. This was to be his final and longest appointment in the archdiocese, being parish priest at Holy Family for twenty-two years until his retirement in April 2003. Throughout his priestly life he maintained an interest in learning. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree through the Open University and in 1980 he obtained a Master of Philosophy degree from Liverpool Polytechnic with a thesis entitled ‘Crime and Punishment in a Lancashire Industrial Town: Law and Social Change in the Borough of Wigan 1800 – 1850’. His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday 3 January at Holy Family, Platt Bridge, prior to burial in Ireland.

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Equipes Notre-Dame Teams Great Britain 60th Anniversary by Pat and Tony Banks TEAMS Warrington 3 In November several hundred members of Equipes Notre-Dame – Teams, gathered at Westminster Cathedral to celebrate sixty years since the first meeting of Teams in Britain. Teams, which began in Paris 80 years ago, is a movement in support of Marriage and was established in Cheltenham by Harry and Clotilde Meigh after experiencing Teams in Paris. It soon spread throughout England and Scotland.

The Celebrant was Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton and Chair of the Committee for Marriage and Family Life along with Bishop Richard Moth, Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Bishop Paul Mason, Bishop of the Forces, and Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster. Bishops Paul and Nicholas are both sons of Teams couples. Ten Priest Spiritual counsellors also concelebrated the Mass. The homily, given by Canon John Udris, Spiritual Director of Oscott College, spoke movingly of the effect on his life and vocation as Spiritual counsellor to a Team and the intention of its founder,

Father Henri Caffarel, that Teams was there to help couples to strive after holiness in their married vocation. (The full text can be found under ‘Literature – Newsletter’, latest issue at www.teamsgb.org.uk ) At the Offertory, a patchwork altar frontal containing squares from 70 of the British Teams, was carried forward. The squares revealed both the towns of Teams members and links to industry, wildlife (swans and sheep), events (Wimbledon’s tennis balls) and iconic buildings (Warrington 3’s Town Hall Gates underneath Christ the King Cathedral). There was also a display of many National Flags representing the nationalities of the Team’s couples. Wirral’s Team included the British, Trinadian and Dominican Flags. Very poignantly, squares, such as the square from the Formby Team, had embroidered words that expressed the gifts they had received by their membership of Teams. One highlight of the day was the Commitment Ceremony for two new Teams from the Central Region. As the young couples, with their children and babies, came forward to the Altar, another new generation was beginning its journey in Teams. The day concluded with a buffet in Westminster Hall, where we heard a message from the International Leading Couple and from the daughter of Harry and Clotilde, on growing up in a Teams Family.

Obituary of Deacon John Woodruff Deacon Jack Woodruff died on Friday 27 December. He was 87 years of age and was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 1996. John Woodruff, always known as Jack, was born in 1932 and baptised in St Francis de Sales Church in Walton. He went to school in St Monica's, Bootle, where he was confirmed and continued his education at Bootle Technical College and the College of Commerce in Liverpool, pursuing a career in sales. He married Margaret Kearns in St Aloysius, Huyton in 1959 and they brought up their four daughters, Lesley, Gillian, Carolyn and Therese. Both Jack and Margaret were committed to the Lay Apostolate in Whiston, Prescot and Rainhill, through the Legion of Mary, the

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Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Knights of St Columba, Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter and Christian Life Communities. Jack read widely and studied hard to equip himself for this range of ministries. He began formation for the diaconate in 1985 but withdrew from the programme the following year because of family responsibilities. In 1993 he was able to resume his studies and he was ordained in 1996, serving at Our Lady’s, Prescot and then at St Luke's parish, Whiston with the same cheerful energy that he had brought to his lay ministry. As required on reaching the age of 75 in 2007 Jack offered his resignation but was given permission to continue because he and Margaret were excited

about the way in which the local Church was moving through the Leaving Safe Harbours process and he felt they could give two or three more years of service, which they did with great enthusiasm. Jack eventually retired in 2010 but kept very much in touch with everything that was going on. Both he and Margaret experienced failing health in recent years, but Jack remained alert and active throughout his final illness. He was in Whiston hospital for a few weeks before Christmas and died on Friday 27 December. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St Luke the Evangelist, Whiston, on Wednesday 15 January by Bishop John Rawsthorne.


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sunday reflections On a liturgical note February here at the Beda College is marked by examination time and also a period of retreat for all the students. Having a retreat at this point of the year seems to work well as it is between the semesters and, therefore, a natural time of looking back to the period from October and looking forward to the months of spring and summer, to the end of the college year and the Ordination of priests and deacons which will take place in the summer. This year we will have eight students ordained as deacons and two leaving the college after their four years who will be ordained priest – one in the Diocese of Meath in Ireland, the other in the Diocese of Brentwood in England. The end of February this year also heralds the season of Lent when we return to the purple vestments of expectation, but this time accompanied by an intensified sense of repentance – the ‘turning of the heart’ ever more towards God and The Kingdom. We are mindful also of the accompaniment which we give to those seeking to enter the Church through Baptism at Easter; we walk with them in these 40 days and we seek, as they do, a purification and a

Sunday thoughts Jesus was no stranger to controversy. He made enemies. He was used to being attacked, especially by the Pharisees. It’s not surprising. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel is a direct challenge to the religious establishment. A benign interpretation of this passage could be that Jesus is merely suggesting that the pursuit of perfection requires us to go further than the letter of the law. But in fact, it’s a full-frontal assault. They say it’s good to get your defence in first: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets’. Then Jesus does precisely that. Having insisted that ‘not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law’, he exposes the malicious contradictions inherent in the legalistic mindset. He works his way through a list of laws and demonstrates how they aren’t fit for purpose.

Canon Philip Gillespie

repentance which will enable us all the better to renew our dedication during the Liturgy of the First Mass of Easter Day. At the night prayer of the Church we are invited to look over the day which is drawing to its close, to give thanks for the grace of Christ which has guided us, and to ask forgiveness for the ways in which we have failed to be open and co-operative to that grace – in whichever way it has come to us, in whatever circumstances and through whichever person God has desired to lead and instruct us for our increase in holiness. If the new year resolutions are looking a bit jaded, then perhaps we can refresh them with a Lenten resolution to take time each evening, before we end our day, to give thanks for the hours that are past and to consciously entrust our future hours to the guidance and care of the grace of Christ. Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, understanding, my entire will. All is yours now – dispose of it wholly according to your Will. Give me only your love and your grace, that’s enough for me. St Ignatius of Loyola

Mgr John Devine OBE

Jesus has a larger and more expansive vision than the be-grudgers can ever grasp. He dismantles their credibility item by item. His vision of the Kingdom is totally at odds with theirs. Being the salt of the earth and the light of the world is not for small minds. The crowning insult to the Pharisees comes in the phrase ‘even the tax collectors do as much do they not?’ For rigorously observant Pharisees, the tax collectors are as disgraceful and despised as you can get. Yet Jesus brackets them together – he tells them they are as bad as each other. No wonder they hated him. He then lays it on even thicker for his audience: if your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/reflection 14

Catholic Pictorial

Be the Body of Christ Just recently I had lunch with a friend of mine whom I don’t see as often I would like. Angela is a retired teacher. When she was at work, she had little time for God. She went to Mass on Sunday and read each month at the liturgy because that is ‘what people did!’ Then her sister died very suddenly from leukaemia and Angela’s neat, tidy world was shattered. They had no other relatives, so when her sister died, Angela fell apart, took early retirement and shrank into herself. She still went along to Mass on a Sunday. One day on her way to church she met a homeless drunk. She offered her some money. The woman looked at Angela and said, I’ don’t want your money, tell me your story’. As she looked at the woman, Angela felt something break inside her. All the pain locked inside burst out and she began to sob. Soon she found herself in the arms of this woman who held her. When the tears subsided, she felt different. She began to realise that in the love of that woman, she had encountered the love of Jesus. Over the next years she was completely taken over by love. She searched for the woman but never found her again. Her search led her to soup kitchens and night shelters, and they became the focus of her life; now her whole identity is caught up in working for those in need. I often think to myself, if you and I, who are the body of Christ, don’t respond to the needs of those who need the light of Christ, with compassion and understanding, then who will? We are called to be the healing, loving, transforming presence of Christ in the world. I remember many years ago reading a poem about a man who had only 24 hours to live. In it, the author wrote: ‘Nothing will come in time to change this man’s life except the one surprise of being loved.’ It’s only loving acceptance that will transform people’s lives. The Gospel invites us to get our hands dirty and be in those places that Jesus would have been. Maybe some of the proposals of the Synod later this year will help us to focus on the needs of those around us. We are called to proclaim the Gospel, in season and out of season. That is demanding and it is challenging but it is our call and not to do it is to sell short our Baptismal calling so let’s pray for courage – for the courage to be fearless proclaimers of the Gospel. Fr Chris Thomas


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Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent

Care in an ageing society On 4 December 2019, I attended a launch of two major new resources on care in our ageing society at a gathering in London, co-ordinated by Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN). Many directors and diocesan representatives, including myself and other representatives from Nugent, in the Caritas network also contributed evidence to the report. In this report, we highlight the challenges with funding and that non statutory providers are offering making up the difference for the true cost of care. The following information has been provided by CSAN: First, the ‘Care in Time’ report explores how senior leaders of Catholic organisations can address the increasing concerns of charities and carers about the prospects for the care of older people in England and Wales. Longer lives are a great sign of progress, creating new opportunities in our society. But challenges remain, from developing positive attitudes to ageing and public awareness of care, to the impacts of regulation and markets on care provided by Catholic organisations among others. In the report, Peter Kevern, Professor of Values in Social Care at Staffordshire University, has extended Catholic social thought on ageing in our national context.

Dr Kathryn Hodges, an independent consultant and researcher, completed field research with residents in care homes, religious sisters and working age adults in Catholic parishes, in three areas of England. Secondly, ‘Reaching Out’ offers parishes and groups some guidance on discerning and organising local group-based social activities that older people feel right for them. This resource is a fruit of a threeyear collaboration: the Embrace Project, between Caritas Salford, Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds), Father Hudson’s Care and the national team in CSAN, with over 20 activities established by Catholic parishes involving over 1,000 people of all ages within and beyond the Catholic community. The new resources are available to download (www.csan.org.uk/policy/care/ ): For Care in Time and accompanying reports, please see CSAN’s publications page (under Older People). Reaching Out: Older people and Catholic parishes making memories together. Further pointers for practical action in local churches are offered on the CSAN site as ‘Resources for parishes and groups’. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales welcomed the conclusions of ‘Care

in Time’ at their plenary meeting in November 2019, and in a joint resolution: • Noted the need for increased national co-ordination to counter negative portrayals of ageing, frailty and care. In addition, the Bishops’ Conference recognised the need to develop Catholic care provision that attends to longevity, changing patterns in household formation, parish attendance and pastoral ministry; • Supported the creation of a plan to maintain, and where possible enhance, provision for care of older people, and encouraged the joint discernment of the Conference of Religious, Diocesan Financial Secretaries, the Catholic Trust for England and Wales, and Caritas Social Action Network in this work. I hope that you find this information useful.

Community Sponsorship Scheme ‘May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family.’ Pope Francis. Following Pope Francis’s call to action asking parishioners to welcome and help resettle refugees, Nugent has been working to put local communities at the heart of a family’s journey to a new life in the UK through the Home Office Community Sponsorship scheme. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the global scale of the refugee crisis, but through Community Sponsorship, people come together to welcome families into their local areas and support them to find housing, jobs, schools and doctors, and empower them to become self-sufficient. (https://resetuk.org/) Community Sponsorship harnesses the generosity of local people. It breaks down barriers and offers critical support to refugees, who have experienced immense

hardship and heartache. Nugent is the lead sponsor for Community Sponsorship in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, we have been blessed with over 100 parish volunteers coming forward to welcome and sponsor a family in their local community. Five parishes are currently involved with CSS, and to date we have welcomed 17 refugees in 4 families, our first family arrived in December 2018. Each family is supported by a team of over 20 parish volunteers, enabling each family member to settle, integrate into the local community and build a new life here in the Archdiocese. Parish volunteers typically describe the experience as ‘the best thing I have ever done in my life’ and speak of the profound joy and blessing of befriending families of such immense courage, resilience and determination. The Home Office and Local Authorities

Welcoming our first family at the airport

have been impressed with the patience, professionalism and dedication of Catholic projects. With training and support from Nugent, these projects are increasingly seen as exemplars of best practice in this important work. ‘The community sponsorship scheme personalises a huge, human drama, by enabling local communities to welcome and support refugees in a real and tangible way.’ Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

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what’s on Sunday 2 February Feast of the presentation of the Lord

of Lourdes World Day of prayer for sick people and those who care for them.

Deaf Mass 4.30 pm at Christ the King, 78 Queens Drive, Childwall, L15 6YO. Deaf Mass is celebrated in British Sign Language and spoken English, both deaf and hearing people are welcome. Details: Denise Armstrong-Hart: Mobile (text only) 07917 460791 email: DArmstrong-Hart@wearenugent.org

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: winniecenacle@mail.com

Wednesday 5 February Diaconate Information Evening 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm at St Joseph's Parish Centre, Crow Orchard Lane, Wrightington, WN6 9PA. Refreshments available from 7.00 pm.

Friday 14 February Mersey Wave St Valentine’s Day Concert With performances from the Fron ‘Voices of the Valley’ Male Voice Choir, Mersey Wave Choir and MezzoSoprano Kathryn Rudge. 7.30pm at St Ambrose Church, Speke, L24 7RS. Tickets £10 Tel: 0151 558 1255. Website: www.merseywavemusic.com

Saturday 8 February Day of Prayer for Victims of Trafficking. ‘For Beethoven’s Benefit’ Concert Music by Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn, with the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra, Conductor: Stephen Pratt. 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Tickets and details Tel: 0151 707 3525 or www.cathedralconcerts.org.uk Sunday 9 February Racial Justice Sunday Annual Mass for Marriage and Family Life 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. Tuesday 11 February Feast of Our Lady

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Sunday 16 February Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 73: ‘Herr, wie du willt, so schick’s mit mir.’ (‘Lord, do with me as you will.’) 6.30 pm at Christ Church, Crosby Road South, Waterloo, L22 1RQ. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. www.liverpoolbach.com Email: liverpoolbach@icloud.com Thursday 20 February Newman Circle Talk: ‘An introduction to Canon Law.’ Speaker: Father John Poland. 7.30 pm at St Helen's Parish Centre, Alexandra Road, Crosby, L23 7TQ. Details: John Potts Tel: 07889 841096 Saturday 22 February Feast of the See of St Peter the Apostle. 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: winniecenacle@mail.com UCM Business Meeting 1.00 pm in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral. Sunday 23 February Day of Prayer for the Unemployed Annual Civic Mass 11.00 am at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Celebrant: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. Barn Dance and Ceili starring Michael Coyne To raise funds for the Banneux Pilgrimage. 2.00 pm at Liverpool Irish Centre. Tickets: adults £6, children £3. Details: Sister Catherine Tel: 07486 131930. Tuesday 25 February Alpha 6.00 pm at Animate Youth Ministries, Lowe House, St. Helens, WA10 2BE. Year 9+. Wednesday 26 February Ash Wednesday (Day of fasting and abstinence.) Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Masses at 8.30 am (Blessed Sacrament Chapel), 12.15 pm (Crypt),

Safeguarding Seeking help when you are struggling or thinki of abuse, can often raise all kinds of emotions. have not spoken out before. It can feel overwh be the first step towards support, healing and r happened to you. You will be heard, be supported, and have you choice who you share your experience with. Yo Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Tel: 0151 522 1043 confidential conversation, or you can contact o Archdiocese of Liverpool Safeguarding page un and survivors’ If you are worried about the safety or welfare of someone. If a child or adult is in immediate da the police without delay on 999. If the child or serious harm but you know or suspect they are contact Alexandra Griffiths, Archdiocesan Safeg 1043; or the Police or your local Children Socia


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february 5.15 pm (Blessed Sacrament Chapel). Service of the Word 7.00 pm (Blessed Sacrament Chapel). Liverpool Pax Christi will lead a public witness in Liverpool city expressing repentance for the possession of the nuclear weapon Ashes, reflection, song with the words of Pope Francis on his recent visit to japan calling for the rejection of the ethics of fear. Special focus on the nuclear ban treaty. Details: Jan Tel: 07746 919915 email janharper1@yahoo.co.uk Saturday 29 February ‘A star shall come out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.’ A look at the Book of Numbers. Scripture Retreat Day at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Confirmation For those in year 8 in a nonCatholic school who want to be Confirmed this year, there will be a preparation day at Lowe House in St. Helens. Details: http://www.animateyouth.org/calledby-name/called-to-serve/

Looking ahead March 2020 Sunday 1 March Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion 3.00 pm at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Deaf Mass 4.30 pm at Christ the King, 78 Queens Drive, Childwall, L15 6YO. Deaf Mass is celebrated in British Sign Language and spoken English, both deaf and hearing people are welcome. Details: Denise Armstrong-Hart: Mobile (text only) 07917 460791 email: DArmstrongHart@wearenugent.org Thursday 5 March ‘God reveals deep and hidden things.’ Discovering the prophet Daniel. Scripture Morning at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Tuesday 10 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: winniecenacle@mail.com

hinking about speaking out about any kind tions. There may be many reasons why you verwhelming and frightening, but it can also and recovery. You are not to blame for what

Wednesday 11 March UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at St Aidan’s, Holmes House Avenue, Winstanley, Wigan, WN3 6EE.

e your concerns taken seriously. It is your h. You can contact Alexandra Griffiths, 1043 or email a.griffiths@rcaol.org.uk for a act one of the organisations listed on the ge under ‘Help and Support/links for victims

Thursday 12 March ‘God reveals deep and hidden things.’ Discovering the prophet Daniel. Scripture Morning at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk

are of a child or adult, you should always tell ate danger of serious harm, please contact ild or adult is not in immediate danger of ey are being abused or neglected please Safeguarding Co-ordinator, Tel: 0151 522 Social Care for advice.

Thursday 19 March ‘God reveals deep and hidden things.’ Discovering the prophet Daniel. Scripture Morning at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk

Newman Circle Talk: ‘The Pastoral associates Role.’ Speaker: Father Matthew Nunes. 7.30 pm at St Helen's Parish Centre, Alexandra Road, Crosby, L23 7TQ. Details: John Potts Tel: 07889 841096 Thursday 26 March ‘God reveals deep and hidden things.’ Discovering the prophet Daniel. Scripture Morning at lrenaeus, 32 Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: jenny@irenaeus.co.uk Website: www.irenaeus.co.uk Sandymount On 25 March the country of England will be consecrated to Our Lady at Walsingham, we have been asked to join in prayer in the 33 days leading up to the consecration with St Louis Marie de Montfort (Sandymount is the home of the Montfort fathers). We intend to start the 33 days of prayer on the 20 February and finish on 25 March. There will be Masses and talks on each Saturday in the lead up to the consecration. Details from Sandymount. Tel: 0151 924 4850.

Website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk Catholic Pictorial

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profile

Bishop Tom Williams A devoted son of Liverpool By Simon Hart ‘I was more than surprised, I was shocked,’ says Bishop Tom Williams, summing up his response to the news of his nomination for Liverpool’s highest civic honour – the freedom of the city. For the 71-year-old, who grew up in St Sylvester’s parish in Vauxhall, it is reward for a lifelong commitment to the place that formed him. ‘I was brought up on Scotland Road and have never lived more than four miles as a priest from where I was born,’ he reflects. ‘I suppose I’ve been involved at the nitty-gritty end of the city since I’ve been ordained.’ For nitty gritty, read a long list of roles and responsibilities. He has served at St Francis of Assisi in Garston; Sacred Heart on Hall Lane; Our Lady of Walsingham in Netherton; Our Lady Immaculate on St Domingo Road; and St Anthony’s on Scotland Road. There have been significant contributions elsewhere too: since his early chaplaincy of Bellerive Grammar School he has acted as a governor and chair of governors in various archdiocesan primary and secondary schools. During nine years bridging the late 70s and early 80s, meanwhile, he was chaplain at both the

‘old’ Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the ‘new’ Royal Liverpool Hospital – hence his delight at seeing Aintree, Broadgreen and Royal Liverpool Hospitals and the Liverpool University Dental Hospital similarly honoured with their nomination for admission to the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions. For a man who worked on building sites during his summers as a student – he even, he reveals, ‘worked on the Jacey cinema in Liverpool when it became the Blessed Sacrament Shrine’ – it seems fitting that he later became a member of the Archdiocesan Building Projects Committee and, in 1997, chair of Project Jennifer, the scheme set up by parishioners and others in the Scotland Road area to work with the city council and businesses to regenerate the city’s north end. ‘Scotland Road has always been a conduit, a main artery in the city. I thought if that comes to life it will give a boost to everything else, and hopefully it will.’ Another noteworthy intervention was his work with John Hargreaves, the Matalan founder, and the city council to establish the NSPCC Liverpool Service Centre on the site of the former Great Homer Street

market. And yet his efforts in taking groups of young Liverpudlians to Lourdes are ‘the one thing I think I’ve been most proud of’. As parish priest at St Anthony’s, he was a member of FLAME, an organisation which for four decades would fund trips to Lourdes for young people to work with children with disabilities. ‘We also had SALT – the St Anthony’s Lourdes Trust,’ he adds, ‘taking teenagers from local schools and getting them involved. It was giving them an opportunity to see things, a wider world.’ Alongside his own appreciation of a wider world is a deep understanding of his home city and its history. Indeed he contributed to the late Professor Frank Neal’s research into Liverpool’s sectarian past, having completed an Irish Studies course at Liverpool University. ‘My grandfather was Orange Lodge and my grandmother was Catholic,’ he says, remembering a very different city from today. ‘It’s always going to be a city of change and challenge. The thing is, it’s changing continually, it’s evolving. It is essentially a port. It’s very easy to be nostalgic but it has been a city of coming and going. It has a lot to be proud of.’ Including, we might add, a certain Bishop Tom Williams himself.

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education news

Celebrating hard work Staff and pupils at Blessed Sacrament Primary School in Aintree are celebrating after its recent Ofsted report. The school has recieved a positive report which the school believed that the inspection team really did capture what their ‘good’ school is all about – including all of the hard work that went into turning the school around to be a real success. Headteacher Mr Davey, said: “Ofsted said that we are a happy school and that we all have the highest of ambitions for every child and we are determined to give all children the best possible education (including high ambition and good support in Early Years). “They saw how keen, enthusiastic and safe our pupils are and they witnessed the excellent relationships adults in school have with them, including staff dealing with any concerns quickly and effectively. “Our curriculum is very exciting for the children, they love to learn. We have amazing outdoor play areas from early Years – Year 6, an edible playground, a forest school and den making area and even an outdoor gym for the infant children – not to mention our giant school

field. All this, alongside the huge variety of day trips and holiday’s away with school give our children a great school offer. “We are very positive about what the future holds for Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School, as were the inspection team, who commented that “they would be fascinated to see where

we will be in four years as they had a really good feeling about our school. “Achieving this good judgement has been a whole team effort from the children, to their parents, to my staff team and the governors and I cannot thank them enough. All we want to do now is to continue to make our school even better.”

St Mary’s College salutes pupils’ achievements St Mary’s College in Crosby looked back on the achievements of pupils during its centenary year at its annual prize giving ceremony recently. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral was the spectacular setting for the event, which saw the school welcoming former head girl Jane Barrett as the VIP guest speaker. Jane - one of the first girls to join St Mary’s when it went fully co-educational in 1989 - is one of the founding directors of award-winning, London-based management consultancy, Cadence Innova. In her passionate and well-received speech, Jane said that the values she acquired at St Mary’s have gone on to shape the values of her company, and she stressed the importance of equality and diversity, positivity, resilience and team work in achieving success in any area of business. Meanwhile, in his speech Principal Mike Kennedy looked back at the highlights of St Mary’s 100th birthday celebrations. These included a centenary dinner at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral at which the special guest was former pupil Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of 20

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St Mary’s principal Mike Kennedy with guest speaker Jane Barrett, head girl Georgina Duncan and head boy Charlie Allen.

Westminster and leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. Other celebrations included a concert at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall which

featured more than 100 former students playing alongside current pupils, and a special centenary production of the school’s Proms in the Park event.


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education news School becomes Music Mark School Member St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School were celebrating after being selected by the St Helens Council Music Service to become a Music Mark School Member for 2019-2020. The school has been selected in recognition for the fantastic music provision in the school and their continued commitment to ensuring students are offered and given access to a high quality music education. St Cuthbert’s music department offers all students opportunities to learn musical instruments and be involved in a wide range of different musical experiences throughout their time in school. From a curriculum point of view, music is taught in a practical, no-nonsense, performance-led style. Theory, composition and performance skills are all developed through playing instruments – brass instruments (cornet and trombone), piano/keyboard, ukulele, singing and music technology are all implemented into the curriculum so by Year 9, students have already gained indepth experience with these instruments. This year so far the school have played in supermarkets for christmas, and went to Parr Mount Court residential home to play a fantastic little concert for the residents there.

Mr Conlan, teacher of music said: “This is a very exciting time for the music department at St Cuthbert’s. By becoming a member of the Music Mark, our music education will continue to strengthen and will provide us with the opportunity to access additional resources and support from regional and national news and events as well as training courses and CPD activities for our staff which in turn will benefit our students”. Speaking after receiving the award

headteacher, Catherine Twist said: “We are absolutely delighted that the value we place on music as a school has been recognised by being nominated by our local music hub to join what is becoming a growing number of Music Mark School Members. “We are dedicated to continuing to offer and deliver a broad and balanced curriculum ensuring our students access and engage in a high-quality music education”.

Students celebrate their Music Mark School Member status

Bee-day at All Saints An environmental group the ‘Eco Emeralds’ at All Saints Primary School, Ainfield, showed their passion about promoting environmental awareness and nature conservation with a ‘BeeDay’ awareness event. Teacher and event organiser, Lesley Donohue, said: “The children have showed concern for many different and important issues both locally and globally. “During this 2019 the children were made aware of the serious plight of bees and during the summer term the whole school planted flowers to help them to find food and shelter. “The ‘Eco Emeralds’ were then delighted when the Iceland charity foundation group invited them to help solve this problem on a much bigger scale. “The group worked along side the foundation to develop a national campaign that would promote awareness of the plight of our bees and inspire people to plant more flowers that would give bees much needed habitats and source of food. “The Eco Emeralds also worked locally by holding a school bee-day with all staff and children dressing in black and yellow. The day was dedicated to the celebration of the importance of bees and full of fun bee-themed activities”. At the end of the day the school hosted a ‘community eco event’ filled with activities that would inform and inspire children, their families and members of the local community to think about making changes in their everyday lives that may help to protect our environment.

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education news

St Aidan’s links with Fur Clemt Each year St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School in Wigan support a range of charities and made a very special link with Fur Clemt, a local organisation that is fastidiously dedicated to reducing edible food reaching landfill or animal feed by intercepting from wholesalers, producers, manufacturers and retails, and making it available to the public through 'Pay As You Feel' cafes and 'Food Outlets' across the Wigan Borough. Children, their families and friends donated items to support the homeless in Wigan. The response was incredible with a range of items from warm clothing, hot-water bottles, toiletries and even food and treats for dogs being sent into the school. Senior prefects were able to take an

incredible amount of items to Fur Clemt and they began to split them up into individual bags with a range of items to be given to the homeless. These personalised bags were distributed via the police station and hospital where there is a true and desperate need. Whilst the children were there, they were fascinated by the amount of food and other items that were being sold that

would otherwise end up in landfill. They were shown around the café and shop and were astonished by the range of items that were perfect beyond an outdated ‘sell-by date’ or because shops would have sent them to landfill to make room on their shelves. They returned to school with many ideas to get the message out to more people and support an incredibly worthwhile cause.

ASFA commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day

Students at the Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) have created a bespoke video in order to reflect on Holocaust Memorial Day 2020. The theme for the Memorial Day this year was ‘We Stand Together’ and students and staff came together to stand in respect of the six million Jews who were killed during the holocaust, under Nazi persecution, and the genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

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The academy also recognised those who are persecuted and denied freedom today. Students made paper flames and wrote their own messages of hope and peace for the future. Over 700 flames were placed, creating a large display in the academy. This presentation was filmed and shown during form-time so that students and staff could reflect on the atrocities that took place during that time. A special lesson on the holocaust and later genocides also took place.

A presentation reading was also given by ASFA’s chaplain, Phil Johnson, from the book of Hebrews, chapter 10, verse 23: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest of peace, if we do not give up.” Miss Katie Allen, head of humanities, said: “I was fortunate enough to visit Auschwitz with Arek Hersh, a Holocaust survivor. He is passionate about educating

pupils about the Holocaust to ensure that it should never be allowed to happen again. Unfortunately, it has in Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur places that some of our students have fled from. “By commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day and showing our students that this was not inevitable and grew from prejudice, discrimination and dehumanisation, we can help them to understand the consequences of exclusion and take action to create a safer future.”


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education news

A fresh look at conflict resolution for Primary Schools The Trinity Catholic Primary School is located in the heart of North Liverpool, one of the city’s most deprived areas. Similar to many other schools across the country that find themselves in a similar position, Head Teacher, Rebecca Flynn, recognised that effective partnerships was essential to building a thriving school and vibrant society. The key to achieve this was forging positive relationships between pupils, parents and the community. She reached out to The Peace Foundation in 2019 with a priority of developing effective conflict resolution and emotional intelligence within the whole school community. The Trinity Primary School and The Peace Foundation forged a strong relationship to educate staff, parents/carers and most importantly the young people in conflict resolution via the pioneering ‘Peace Initiatives’. This unique project creates a culture for optimised learning by embedding a whole school approach to improving behaviour in the classroom, across the whole school and in the community by using a blend of storytelling, activity and reflection. ‘Peace Initiatives’ combines a mix of different programmes aimed at Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and also encompasses learning for teachers and parents/carers. ‘Tiny Steps for Peace’ take KS1 pupils on an interactive adventure and is designed to encourage students to be active, engaging and learn through investigation, play and focused discussions. ‘Small Steps for Peace’ is a renowned OFSTED approved Key Stage 2 programme that teaches young people the importance of resolving conflict in a peaceful manner through communication and dialogue, whilst enhancing emotional intelligence. Parents/carers play a vital role in shaping a young person’s life. This programme recognises their influence, impact and involves them in the project by offering a conflict resolution course that mirrors the work being undertaken in schools, resulting in the message being part of every aspect of the pupil’s life. Rebecca Flynn, headteacher of The Trinity Catholic Primary School: ‘This has been a great project, which fits with the long term strategic vision that we have for school. We are impressed with the way the project has engaged our pupils and got

our parents on board- so much so, that 45 parents have asked to attend the graduation. ‘As a result, we have financed a bus to support our families with this, which is an illustration of the commitment and value we place on the whole project, as is the three year funding of the project. Our Peace Ambassadors will support their peers gain a better understanding of more effective ways to deal with conflict in their own lives in school and in their future lives.’ The team behind ‘Peace Initiatives’ has seen a number of schools base their

founding principles around the project to underpin their policies, which has consequently seen a rise in attainment, attendance and engagement and a reduction in behavioural challenges. OFSTED has also recognised the programme as an integral part to engaging and re-engaging learners whilst supporting the improvement of attainment and learning. To learn more about ‘Peace Initiatives’, ‘Small Steps for Peace’ or any of the Peace Foundation’s other programmes please visit https://www.peace-foundation.org.uk/

School opens new Wooden Spoon sensory room St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Infant School in Huyton recently welcomed former Liverpool and England player, Sammy Lee, as well as members of the Merseyside branch of Wooden Spoon, the children’s rugby charity, to their school to open a brand new Sensory Room. The sensory room was a long held dream by the school which was fulfilled through funding from Wooden Spoon. Sammy Lee was very interested to learn about the different uses and benefits a sensory room can offer a diverse school like St Margaret Mary’s. Headteacher Mrs Louise Byrne, said: “The sensory room is full of high tech gadgets and gizmos, which use touch, sight and hearing to provide a calm oasis in the midst of a busy school. “Many different children benefit from the sensory room including children with a wide variety of additional needs. “For some children, it is a place to go at difficult times, a place to take their mind off their troubles and worries and escape from the world for a short time. A special place. Away from the world. A place to talk. A place to play”.

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youth ministry

Why take a gap year at Animate? By Sarah Beatty, Team leader This year marks my 10th anniversary at Animate Youth Ministries, a milestone I didn't expect to reach all those years ago. Back in September 2009, I began my final year of university expecting to apply for a PGCE course and go into teaching like my mum and sister. But the closer it got to the PGCE deadline date, the more unsure I was about applying. Could I plan a lesson? Could I deliver that lesson to a classroom of teenagers? Could I keep control of a class and engage them in the subject? I remember having a 'God-incidence' in one of my moments of doubt as the then Animate team leader, Woody, called me to talk about the youth group I was helping out with that week. Clearly he could tell something was wrong and wasn't going to let me hang up until I told him everything that was bothering me. And that's when he came up with the obvious solution – take a gap year at Animate! Why obvious? Well, here at Animate we work with over 10,000 young people a year in lots of different ways. One way is in small classsized groups on day retreat. Throughout the day we deliver a range of activities to explore a

particular theme that the school wants us to focus on, thus giving me the opportunity to lead young people in various tasks, keeping their attention focused. Mission weeks, where we work with entire year groups at a time, offer a different challenge of standing on stage in front of over 150 young people leading them in song and prayer. It's safe to say I took Woody up on the chance of a gap year and that gap year led to the opportunity to join the leadership team, which allows me to plan and work with the team to deliver day retreats and mission days for young people to explore their faith. It also allows me to work with the gap year team, helping ensure that they get the most out of their year here. A year at Animate isn't just about the work. Community is important too. As part of our community life, we go out together, whether it's bowling, bingo or just to the pub. We take it in turns to cook for each other as well as spending time together in prayer and leading one another in prayer.

Each community is different with each member bringing something different to the team; a rendition of Lord of the Dance or Penny Arcade on the karaoke, a great pub quiz team, or a not-so-great pub quiz team (it's the taking part that counts!). Each year has its fond memories and experiences which have shaped me into who I am today. So what can a year at Animate offer you? An opportunity to share your faith with other young people. A chance to develop your skills working with young people. An opportunity to network with primary schools, high schools and universities in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. A chance to live in community, deepen your own faith, and much more. If you're 18-25 and would like to know more about joining Animate, take a look at our website at http://www.animateyouth.org/joinour-team/. Dates for the diary 25 February: Alpha – Join us at Lowe House in St Helen’s for Alpha from 6-8pm. Year 9+. 29 February: Confirmation preparation day at Lowe House for Year 8 pupils in non-Catholic schools who want to be confirmed this year. Find out more at: http://www.animateyouth.org/called -by-name/called-to-serve/ 1 March: Youth Alive Mass, starting at 6.30pm (venue to be confirmed).

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

The life of a Cathedral Chorister Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is unique in the UK, and perhaps in the world, in the opportunities that it gives to Catholic school children in participating in the musical life of the Cathedral. Each week around 70 children, boys and girls between 7-18 years of age participate in the daily round of choral services. The experience for these children is formative, in that they learn to live, breathe, hear and sing the Church's story - participating from the inside so to speak. The time commitment given by these families (and having a chorister child affects your whole family) is considerable, but the benefits great. Each morning, Tuesday to Friday the boy and girl choristers rehearse from 7.55 am until their first lesson in school. We are very fortunate that all our choristers attend one of our choir schools: Runnymede, St Edward’s School (Boys, 7-11) and St Edward’s College (Boys and Girls, 11-18.) The morning rehearsals take place in school, with the boys rehearsing in Runnymede and the girls in St Edward’s College. This morning rehearsal is incredibly important as it is where most of the learning takes place, practicing the music for the choral service later that day and for the coming days. During the day there are various rehearsals and theory sessions that take place in school. Theory is all about learning the ‘nuts and bolts’ of music so that the choristers can put this into practice when singing. Each chorister also has an individual singing lesson each week where they are given guidance on how best to use their God given vocal instrument. After school a coach transports the choristers down West Derby Road to the Cathedral. Many of the Anglican Cathedral choir schools in this country are literally in the shadows of their respective cathedrals - this is not the case for us. This does mean that the choristers need to be very careful to have the correct music with them in school for rehearsal and at the Cathedral for singing at Mass. Upon arrival at the Cathedral the choristers will rehearse in preparation for the

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean

evening’s choral liturgy. Additionally, any soloists will take some time to prepare upcoming solos (eg, the cantor for the psalm.) At 5.00 pm there will usually be a short rehearsal with the choristers and Lay Clerks combined. The Lay Clerks are adult singers who sing the lower voice parts in the Cathedral choir. They are usually professional people who come from a wide variety of backgrounds who give their time and talent to enhance the musical life of the Cathedral. After this rehearsal the choristers have a short break in their games room, which is equipped with seats, table tennis, desks for homework etc. They then put on their cassocks and surplices and line up ready for that evening's choral liturgy in the Cathedral. After the service they tidy up and head home at around 6.30 pm. Having started before 8.00 am in the morning this makes for a long and demanding day, however, the skills that the choristers learn on a daily basis prove invaluable to them in later life. On a Sunday the routine is a little different in that there is no school commitment. Choristers will generally be in the Cathedral from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm on a Sunday. During that time they will have rehearsals, sing at the Solemn Mass and Choral Evening Prayer, have lunch and play football outside. They usually leave at the end of the day tired, but with a big smile on their face. A chorister’s life is a busy one, and includes being at the Cathedral during Holy Week and Christmas when their peers will be relaxing. The contribution they make to the musical life of the Cathedral is considerable, but equally the skills, knowledge and experience gained from their time as a chorister are things that benefit them throughout their life.

On Christmas Day Archbishop Malcolm celebrated the 10.00 am Mass in the Crypt Chapel and each year some of the Children who regularly attend that Family Mass dress up as shepherds and angels etc and lead a procession to the Crypt Crib for the blessing and the placing of the baby Jesus in the manger. This is normally done on Christmas Eve in the main Cathedral. I found out on Boxing Day that they were not able to find the Child Jesus and had to borrow a doll for the blessing with one parent offering to place their new-born child with their cot in the crib. From what I hear it certainly kept the congregation awake and gave the Archbishop extra material for his homily. As it turns out the real crib figure was waiting silently under the crib for his special moment which didn’t happen at the appointed time so we had to celebrate a local variable feast of the ‘finding of the baby Jesus under the crib’ a couple of days after Christmas. It’s not often that the Feast of the Presentation falls on a Sunday so we will be making the most of this on 2 February with a procession and blessing of candles as we honour Christ ‘the light to enlighten all nations’. The references in the Gospel to Simeon and Anna offer an opportunity to give thanks and pray for the elderly members of our congregations. The following Sunday at 11.00 am, Archbishop Malcolm will celebrate the Annual Diocesan Mass in Support of Marriage and Family Life. The final Sunday before the start of Lent, 23 February, is the occasion for our Annual Civic Mass to which all the local mayors, civic dignitaries and those holding public office are invited to join us as we pray for our North West region and the needs of our communities. Ash Wednesday falls on 26 February and March begins with the First Sunday of Lent Masses and the Rite of Election, of those to be received into communion with the church at Easter, at an afternoon service at 3.00 pm.

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Pic extras

Mums the Word I know that, as UCM members, most of us are now unlikely to be having a baby ourselves, but we all have daughters, granddaughters, nieces or friends who may – and who may, in turn, be struck by the devastating effects of post-natal depression.

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

Annual Sponsored Walk Cheque Presentations

Recently at our UCM meeting we had a talk by a very articulate young mother who had been stuck by this terrible condition after the birth of her baby girl. She spoke very movingly about how she and her husband had been so looking forward to the birth. They had lots of support from a loving family. Yet this awful thing happened. She could not bear to touch her baby. She could not get out of bed. She genuinely thought that she was going out of her mind. After much searching, she finally found an organisation which gave her and her family enormous help. This was the Pre- and Postnatal Depression Awareness Society, PANDAS, which can be located at www.pandasfoundation.org.uk. I know that many mothers suffer from ‘baby blues’ after a birth but this condition goes far beyond that; it is on the increase and being recognised more. As we are a loving and caring group, I ask you ladies to be aware of this condition – perhaps in your families or among work colleagues or neighbours or those who may not have families close by. Please pass on this practical and worthwhile information that PANDAS can help. Many parishes produce lists of useful agencies so please ask your own parish to include PANDAS. This condition does not only strike firsttime mothers, but can happen after the birth of any child. Concern over it fits in beautifully with the UCM’s fourth object, which is ‘to offer love, sympathy and practical help to the family in difficulties’. I hope to see many of you at our Business Meeting on Saturday 22 February in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral at 1pm. God Bless, Madelaine McDonald, media officer 26

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As we have been reporting our Annual Steve Dooley and Pat McGann Memorial Sponsored Walk raised over £7,000 for Zoe’s Place and for the Sisters Of Mercy Mukuru Project in Kenya. The presentations were made at our Christmas Party at the Liverpool Cricket Club on 13th December. Our picture shows Tess McGrath Zoe’s Place Community Fund Raiser with Barbara Dooley and Jennie McGann and Grand Knight Pat McCole. We also made a presentation to Brenda Williams from the Mukuru Project. In a letter of thanks since received from the Chair of the Mukuru Project Colette Foulkes says that the donation was an answer to the Sisters prayers as 2019 has been a particularly tough year for the Project. The World Food Programme has stopped supplying food and they are struggling to feed 6,500 children daily. This money will help so much and on behalf of the

children they send thanks to all who walked and those who made the donation possible. Tess McGrath, Community Fund Raiser from Zoe’s Place has also followed up the presentation with a message of thanks and setting out how the donation will help as well as being a further contribution to their £1.6 billion yearly funding target. This donation can provide respite care for over 55 families across the North West and North Wales as well as palliative care. The amount raised can help fund 24 physiotherapy sessions for a three month period in the hydrotherapy pool providing exercise and pain relief for babies or two weekly art therapy sessions for 46 weeks. All at Zoe’s Place appreciate the efforts the Knights have made in support of the work of the hospice. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk and www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: dpokeane@aol.com


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PIC Life Time given to others is time given to God By Moira Billinge Recently, in Detroit, Michigan, there was a man standing on a ledge on top of a high bridge, threatening to take his own life. Police officers calmly tried to talk to him while their colleagues on the highway stopped truck drivers and instructed them to position their vehicles in a straight line, directly beneath the entire length of the bridge. The trucks thus became like a safety net so that wherever the man might attempt to jump, his fall would be broken by a parked lorry. The man explained to the police that family issues had driven him to desperation. Thankfully, after four long hours of sensitive listening and talking, with the parked truckers waiting below, the police eventually persuaded him from his precarious perch, thereby saving his life. Thirteen truckers had willingly stayed

under the bridge for a complete stranger, doing everything in their power to help him. People power had truly helped to save the life of someone in his hour of greatest need. Those truckers gave up a huge block of time despite recognising the inevitable impact on the rest of their day – or possibly several days – as they dealt with the ensuing backlog of work. It was time that could never be clawed back. Recently, a delivery driver coping with Liverpool’s frantically busy Christmas season came across someone who had fallen off his bike. The cyclist was cut and dazed. It was dark and raining very heavily and the young man had many more deliveries to make but instead of concentrating on his own needs – which would have been understandable given all the packages still to deliver – he gave both the cyclist and the damaged bike a lift home to safety. Time is so precious and we all

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

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experience satisfaction when we are allowed to use it positively. Who wouldn’t feel frustrated when, through no fault of our own, time is wasted, for instance, in motorway traffic jams? In such situations, resentment can build up rapidly as we reflect on all the things we should be doing rather than sitting trapped in our cars. We can kill time, be on time, save time, lose time, but we can never reclaim it. However, if we think only of ourselves, our selfishness drives away others. We must shift the focus away from ‘me’ and respond to ‘you’. Pope Francis, when meeting with German altar servers in August 2014, told them: ‘Our life is made of time and time is God’s gift, and it is therefore important to make use of it by performing good and fruitful actions.’ Often, one person’s good deed has a ripple effect among the community. Donating time and good will to help others does not just make the world a better place – it also makes us, as individuals, better people. Time that is given freely in the service of others can have no greater use. The lorry drivers who prevented a man from committing suicide and the van driver who cared for the cyclist will never regret the time they forfeited. In Matthew 20:28 we read: ‘Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ Jesus came to serve and to give and these two things define what it means to follow Jesus: in serving others we serve our wonderful God who will never be outdone in generosity.


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Catholic PIC retreats and away days 2020 Catholic Pic Away Days 2020 During 2020 we are planning to visit: • Stoneyhurst College Chapel and Museum • Arley Hall • Chorley Shopping Village • Chatsworth House • Llandudno • Grasmere We apologies for the delay but we will have confirmation of dates for our retreats and away days for you in our March issue of the Catholic Pic. Meanwhile if you would like any information regarding the above please call 0151 733 5492 or mobile 07714 814662.

Worth a visit If you enjoyed the BBC series ‘Dracula’, you may find your appetite whetted for a trip to Whitby, writes Lucy Oliver. Immortalised in Bram Stoker’s classic gothic horror, this historic Yorkshire harbour town offers atmospheric locations, stunning scenery and an impressive nautical history. Whitby Abbey strikes an imposing silhouette which captured Stoker’s imagination when writing his chilling tale and visitors will find themselves similarly inspired by a stroll through the monastery’s ruins, dating from 657 AD. A visit at this time of year amid swirling sea mists admirably sets the scene for the town’s connections with seafaring. The story of James Cook’s apprenticeship in 1746 and subsequent voyages is told at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum on Grape Lane. In the former home of Cook’s master, Quaker ship owner Captain John Walker, visitors can see where Cook lodged in the attic and explore the collection of paintings, maps, manuscripts and ship models as well as artefacts brought back from his Pacific voyages. To visit in

winter, call beforehand on 01947 601900. Take a stroll too across Whitby Bridge to see the abbey from a different vantage point, and stop off for fish and chips, afternoon tea or my personal favourite – a Whitby kipper.

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Letter from Oscott by Peter Ross On the arch above the altar in our chapel can be found words from the Book of Isaiah: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’ AWN Pugin placed those words there as a reminder to us that each church building serves as a house of prayer for everyone. This notion was brought home to all of us at Oscott during our most recent set of ‘Pastoral Study Days’. These days take place at the end of each term and serve to give us a glimpse into a particular area of ministry. Previously, they have included profound insights from the Jesuit Refugee Service, Jesus Caritas and those who work within prison chaplaincies. This time, however, the focus was all around Catholic patrimony. The various speakers drove home just how much of our time as priests will be taken up by the maintenance and renovation of our buildings. One speaker gave us solid, practical advice on things to look out for such as subsidence and damp. During another talk I recalled a conversation I had with a priest some time ago, who said to me: ‘As a priest you will end up doing the work of Joseph along with the work of Jesus.’ Funny but true, I suppose. I think that our churches ought to be warm, inspiring and deeply prayerful places, but nevertheless this vision requires a lot of work behind the scenes. Aside from all of that, it was great to see the beauty of some of the churches in our country – and a number of those shown to us were from Liverpool Archdiocese. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful houses of prayer. I have been back in Liverpool this past month with early January bringing the annual gathering for seminarians for our Archdiocese with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and Father Ron Johnson, our vocations director. It was a great afternoon, during which we were all able to catch up with each other and share a meal. Additionally, Oscott seminarians spend a threeweek placement back in their respective dioceses at this time of year and so I joined Fr John Gorman at his parish communities of Byrn and Ashton-in-Makerfield. These lively parishes made me feel so welcome and I’m very grateful to have been a worker with them in the Lord’s vineyard, even if it was just for a few weeks. 30

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justice & peace The Palestinian Paintings By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker In January we celebrated the Epiphany – the revelation, through the coming of wise men from the East, that the child in the manger at Bethlehem is the One the world has been waiting for, the One who will announce the coming of God’s Kingdom, as prophesied in the psalm: ‘In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails. […] He shall save the poor when they cry and the needy who are helpless. He will have pity on the weak and save the lives of the poor.’ We believe that the coming of Jesus into our world has made a decisive difference. We see signs of good things happening in our world: our growing awareness of our responsibility to care for the planet; the generosity of so many who give to charities committed to enabling partners in the Global South to grow in dignity and prosperity; small gestures of solidarity like the Christmas cards sent from across our diocese to parishioners in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. But we also see signs of contradiction: situations in our world where justice is denied, peace is destroyed and the poor and weak are abused. Currently travelling around parishes and venues in the diocese is an exhibition called ‘The Palestinian Paintings’ which gives an opportunity to gain a unique insight into one of the many situations of conflict and injustice in our world. It contains 12 original paintings of everyday scenes in the land where Jesus was born. The artist, Israel Zohar, born in Kazakhstan in 1945, was taken to the newly formed state of Israel as a small child. He is a Hebrewspeaking Israeli citizen who

witnessed the 1967 Six-Day War, the occupation of territories and the chaos and brutality that has followed. He dissociated himself from Israel and moved to England where he enjoys a successful career as a portrait painter of society notables and international elite figures, including Princess Diana. His growing anger and frustration led him to look for a way of challenging the everyday injustice he read about and heard of from his friends who had not moved away. Eventually, it dawned on him that he could use his artistic talents to create powerful scenes of the reality of life in the country we call the Holy Land. They are shocking images but they are not devoid of hope. In the simple dignity of the people oppressed by military occupation, we can discern the patient desire for the justice and peace which will one day surely come. If your parish could host this exhibition, contact the J&P office and we can arrange it. Please take time to ponder these images, to pray for a just solution to the complex and worsening conflict in the Middle East and to consider what small steps you can take in your own life to build what Pope Francis calls ‘a civilisation of love’.


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Catholic Pic February 2020  

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