Catholic Pic January 2021

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Issue 196 January 2021

‘With the Church in prayer at home’

The Light that shines in the darkness INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Liverpool’s First Archbishop

Annual awards celebrate our schools

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Inspiring excellence personal and academic

Welcoming students from all areas of Liverpool & beyond Bellerive is a very popular choice for girls from across Liverpool. Contact us for a guided tour and ďŹ nd out why we are such a unique, ambitious school.

Bellerive FCJ Catholic College 1, Aigburth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 3AA Tel: 0151 727 2064 Specialisms in Sciences, Applied Learning and Maths & Computing

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contents Welcome At the beginning of every new year, we look forward with hope and 2021 is no different. In fact our hope may be even greater for the coming year after the events of 2020. Our front cover shows the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Saviour, the Light that shines in the darkness. As we move forward may we pray with hope for the coming year that the Light of Christ may shine in our world and in our hearts and may each of us have a happy and blessed 2021. This month marks the centenary of the death of Liverpool’s first Archbishop – Archbishop Thomas Whiteside. He became Archbishop on 28 October 1911 when Liverpool was established as a Metropolitan See; he had already been serving as Bishop of the then Diocese of Liverpool since 15 August 1894 and so served over 26 years - our longest serving Bishop. It was the Archbishop Whiteside Memorial Fund which first began raising funds for a Cathedral. As we remember him we give thanks for his life, his work among the people of the archdiocese and his vision.

From the Archbishop’s Desk I am writing this on the twentieth anniversary of my ordination as a bishop. Every bishop will tell you of the moment he received his call to be a bishop. Unlike most callings that we receive to serve God in his church this one comes out of the blue and isn’t the result of a process of discernment or preparation, at least by the new bishop. One of the many gifts I received from the Dominicans, whence I came, was to develop an inner freedom which didn’t tie me to a place or a particular work. There is no stability in Dominican life, and this is a literal fact. My call to be a bishop meant I had to move away from the Order and to live a life without the support of living in community. Thankfully, the priests, religious and people of the dioceses I have served have filled the gap through their friendship, prayers and good humour. I have learnt much from them since I have been a bishop, but one thing stands out and that is a deeper awareness of the vocation of the baptised. The universal call to holiness took on a new meaning for me when I saw it in action in the lives of people. One of the graces of a being a bishop is to have an overview of the church. No longer do I see things from my own narrow perspective but because of the many people I meet and get to know, the contact I have with them in their joys and sufferings, and the life which they live in the Spirit of God, my eyes have been opened.

Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: Picture credits: Cover: Mazur/ Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 Copy deadlines February 2021 Monday 11 January Website: Twitter: @PicCatholic Youtube: CPMM Media

Contents 4

Main Feature A Priest of the Old School Archbishop Thomas Whiteside and his memorial


News From around the Archdiocese

13 Nugent 140 years of care 14 Animate Youth Ministry What 2021 may bring (or perhaps not!) 16 Annual Archdiocesan School Awards Celebrating our schools 18 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 19 Profile Dominic Vernon Head teacher and driving force

Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

Editor Peter Heneghan

The Church of the Nativity – the Light that shines in the darkness

Subscriptions To take out a subscription please email Kim O’Brien at or call 0151 709 7567 or contact Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Publisher CPMM Ltd Suite 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ 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.

26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 27 Cathedral Record Who cares? Life after Covid-19 28 Pic Life Seek and you will find 30 Pope’ Worldwide Prayer Network Praying through 2021

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‘A Priest of the Old School’ Archbishop Thomas Whiteside and his memorial by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan Archivist January 2021 marks the centenary of the death of the first Archbishop of Liverpool. It might not be generally known that the Cathedral was originally intended as his memorial. Thomas Whiteside was born in Lancaster on 17 April 1857. He was one of eight children of Isabella (née Shaw) and her husband Robert Whiteside, a corn merchant. At the age of 11 he became a boarder at St Edward’s College in Liverpool, then the Junior Seminary for the Liverpool diocese as well as being the residence of the second Bishop of Liverpool, Dr Alexander Goss. A pious and conscientious boy, he moved on to Ushaw College as a clerical student in 1873. His ability as a mathematician meant that he ended up staying there, as pupil and professor, for eight years. The papers that survive among the Archdiocesan Archives show his abiding affection for Ushaw. He regularly attended annual reunions of former 4

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pupils, and on his subsequent consecration as Bishop his schoolfellows presented him with a richly decorated breviary. He spent four years at the Venerable English College in Rome, studying for the priesthood, and was ordained at the age of 28, on 30 May 1885, in the Basilica of St John Lateran. Returning to England, he was appointed to the staff of St Joseph’s College, the diocesan senior seminary then recently established at Upholland. Such were his talents that he became a Doctor of Divinity and rose to be head of the College, one of his staff members remembering him as a ‘successful ruler and a noteworthy promoter of the studies of the College’. Unusually, he had never served as a priest in a parish before being appointed as the fourth Bishop of Liverpool in 1894. At the very young age of 37, he was consecrated by Cardinal Vaughan in the Pro-Cathedral of St Nicholas on 15 August.

‘It seems that to clergy and laity alike he ‘presented a type of priestly perfection’ As Bishop, he was extremely hardworking, and apart from college reunions he is known to have taken only one holiday, to Linnane in the west of Ireland. One of his secretaries recalled that ‘He did the work of two men’, undertaking parish visitations and Confirmations, ordaining priests, among the other administrative work for a vast geographical area. His diocese extended as far as Barrow-inFurness, yet he was assiduous in visiting throughout his fiefdom, taking a particular interest in offering guidance to communities of Religious and children’s homes. Visitors were always given a sympathetic hearing, and letters were answered promptly. During his time in charge, more than 40 churches were added to the diocese, and the number of convents almost doubled. His courage, deep faith and sense of justice made him a leader and spokesman of the opposition to Education Bills proposed by the Liberal government in 1906-1907 that would have taken away control of Catholic schools from those who had built them and paid for them. When the Pope appointed Thomas Whiteside as its first Archbishop in 1911, the Northern Province based on Liverpool had by far the largest Catholic population of all the Provinces then created. Whiteside himself did not take his elevation for granted, but selfdeprecatingly believed that ‘the authorities in Rome thought that the fewest difficulties would be created by leaving well alone and promoting the bishop who happened to be on the spot’. Following a severe stroke, Archbishop Whiteside died on 28 January 1921. His popularity among his flock can be seen in the numbers of schoolchildren who lined the streets for his funeral, and the

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feature crowds of men and women who followed the cortège in its 5-mile journey from the Pro-Cathedral to Ford Cemetery. It seems that to clergy and laity alike he ‘presented a type of priestly perfection’. At meetings later that year and into 1922 there was much discussion about how to celebrate his time as Archbishop. ‘His memory’, it was stated, ‘must be perpetuated in a work as conspicuous and as ungrudging as his merit’. Arising from these meetings, the Archbishop Whiteside Memorial Fund was established, with the sole intention of gathering funds that would enable the construction of a Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool. Land was purchased and work on the new building was advanced enough by 1936 that the late Archbishop’s body was removed from Ford and reinterred in the Crypt, which was all that was built of the original Cathedral designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The ‘Relics Chapel’ in the Crypt also now holds the remains of two of Dr Whiteside’s successors as Archbishop, Richard Downey and George Andrew Beck. Archbishop Whiteside’s personality was said to be shy and retiring. Father Joseph Howard was ordained by him in 1907, and according to the biographical memoir he wrote in 1936, ‘he belonged to the old school’. His letters would be written down in handwriting that can be difficult to decipher: ‘The typewriter and indeed the telephone were strangers to him’, said Father Howard. I can’t help thinking he’d have struggled with Zoom.

Above: Archbishop Thomas Whiteside, c.1911. Below: Archbishop Whiteside’s tomb in the Cathedral Crypt

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Above: A richly-decorated Breviary presented to Thomas Whiteside on his consecration as Bishop of Liverpool in 1894. Right: Collecting box for Archbishop Whiteside Memorial Fund, c.1930

‘he was a successful ruler and a noteworthy promoter of the studies of the College’ 6

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The annual Good Shepherd appeal which still takes place today, was an initiative of Bishop Whiteside in 1902 and his obituary recalls its origins: ‘His next effort was to enlist for the homeless little ones of his diocese the sympathies not alone of the grown-up people but even of the little children, both those of the well-to-do and those of the poor, but selfsupporting, working people. Year by year, at the beginning of Lent, he wrote a special letter addressed to the children of his diocese pointing out the needs of the waifs and strays and asking them to sanctify their Lent by denying themselves little luxuries and to practise charity by devoting the money thus saved to the needs of those still poorer than themselves. To this appeal the children generously responded, the united offerings of the schools sometimes reaching a total of over £2,000.’

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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:

Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ concern regarding overseas aid reduction Following the spending review on 25 November Cardinal Vincent Nichols wrote to Members of Parliament to express his concern at the reduction in the overseas aid budget. I am writing to express my concern at plans to reduce UK spending on overseas aid from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%. In today’s figures that amounts to a cut of around £4 billion in spending on help to the world’s poorest people. A clear measure of a nation's greatness is the manner in which it responds to the needs of its poorest. The same is true for the response to poverty between nations. If we truly wish to be a great nation, then cutting the overseas aid budget is a retrograde step. The great tragedies of

forced mass migration and human trafficking must be tackled at their source. Carefully targeted and well managed overseas aid programmes are an essential part of this effort. In the face of these catastrophes, this is no time to reduce the UK's contribution or effort. As Pope Francis said recently, ‘Poverty, decadence and suffering in one part of the earth are a silent breeding ground for problems that will end up affecting the entire planet. If we are troubled by the extinction of certain species, we should be all the more troubled that in some parts of our world individuals or peoples are prevented from developing their potential and beauty by poverty or other structural limitations. In the end, this will impoverish

us all’. 1 1 Pope Francis Fratelli Tutti (2020, para 137) Promises were made by all parties on aid spending at the last election. In these extraordinarily difficult times, we should not now step back from our responsibilities to the world’s most vulnerable people, especially as combatting the spread of Covid-19 will necessarily mean richer countries supporting poorer ones in purchasing vaccines for their people and helping to roll out mass vaccination programmes. Combatting Covid-19 is an international endeavour, and we cannot neglect those countries that benefit from our aid. I hope that compassionate and wise counsel will prevail. I realise the pressures which those holding elected office face in these times. Thank you for what you do and you remain in my prayers.

Obituary of Judge John Morgan His Honour Judge John Morgan, retired Circuit Judge, former Chair of the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir Association, Cathedral reader, Old Edwardian and Chair of Governors at St Edward’s College from 1987-1995, died on Sunday 8 November aged 86. John Ambrose Morgan was born on 22 September 1934. He was educated at St Edward's College before studying at the University of Liverpool where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree. He served his National Service as a junior technician in the Royal Air Force from 1958 to 1960 during which time he spent twelve months in Hong Kong. He practiced as a solicitor until he was affiliated to Gray's Inn, London and was a Barrister at Law from 1970 to 1990 before becoming a Circuit Judge on the Northern Circuit. He retired from the Circuit Bench in 2003. He was a past President of Liverpool Athenaeum, Liverpool Rugby Club, Sefton


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Park Cricket Club, and a member of the Bentley Operatic Society. John captained the 1st XI cricket team at St Edward’s College and joined Sefton Cricket Club in 1951 making his 1st XI début in 1953. He retired in 1981. He also played cricket for the RAF and the Combined Services in 1960. He was also a member of the 1st XV rugby team and School Prefect at St Edwards. An enthusiastic golfer, John was a member of Woolton Golf Club. He was a great supporter of the Metropolitan Cathedral Choir and the Judge Morgan Cup for Head Chorister is presented each year in appreciation of his contribution. His love of music made him an enthusiastic member of the Bentley Operatic Society where he sang in their productions and his wit and wisdom made him a renowned after-dinner speaker. John married Rosalie Tyson in 1970 and they had two sons, Matthew and Ben.

His Funeral took place at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton in line with Covid restrictions.

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news diary

Obituary of Rev Michael Youell Father Michael Youell, who served as a missionary priest in Peru and also as Parish Priest of St Marie’s and St Patrick’s and later St Raphael’s, Widnes died on Monday 30 November 2020 aged 77. Michael Youell was born in Liverpool on 29th November 1943, the third of seven children born to Francis and Margaret Youell. He was educated at The Canon Kennedy Memorial School, Edge Lane, Liverpool, a school that was run by the Sisters of Mercy in the eastern part of Sacred Heart parish. At the age of 11 entered Upholland College. Whilst at Upholland he developed a great love for the stage, both acting and directing, and this was to remain a lifelong passion. Throughout his life he spent many hours with his sister, Mary, reading plays and visiting theatres. He often attended master classes at Liverpool Playhouse. He was ordained priest at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool, on 8th June 1968. Following ordination he was appointed as assistant priest at St Ambrose, Speke, but this was to be brief appointment of just a few months. In November 1968 he was appointed to Holy Name, Fazakerley, where he was to remain for nearly eight years. However, it was in 1972 that he first wrote to Archbishop Beck to request release from the archdiocese to serve in missionary work abroad, something that he had been considering for some time and indeed since before ordination. Archbishop Beck did not feel able to release him at that time and it was only on the eve of his retirement, in the early months of 1976, that the Archbishop finally gave Father Michael leave to work with the Society of St James in Latin America for five years. After completing the intensive language course at Boston, he was assigned to the Peru mission. After overcoming the initial language difficulties and some problems with altitude sickness, he settled in quickly and soon came to feel that he had found his true vocation. During these years he worked in various Peruvian parishes, including Santa Rosa, in Talara and Cristo Rey in

Chimbote. He loved the people and he worked tirelessly to raise money here in the UK to fund improvements to their lives. His main concern was to provide books and equipment to educate the children and to give them some treats. To this end he published journals of his time in South America and spent much of his holidays travelling round parishes here persuading people to donate. He returned to the archdiocese after seven years on the missions, but he would happily have stayed much longer, as these had been perhaps the happiest and most fruitful years of his priestly ministry. He was appointed parish priest at St Marie’s, Widnes, in September 1983 and later took on responsibility for St Patrick’s as well. In early 1990 he became unwell and had a period of sick leave until June that year. He was then appointed as assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Birkdale, where he remained for about eighteen months. In November 1991 he was appointed parish priest at St Edmund of Canterbury, Waterloo. He was not to remain there very long, because in 1993 he returned to Latin America for a second stint on the missions. His second period in Peru saw him working with another priest from the UK in establishing a new parish, building a church and somewhere for them to live. The project took several years to complete, but by this stage Michael had returned home. Unfortunately, he had been attacked on a visit to Lima and had a heart attack as a result. Ensuing heart surgery in the UK was not very successful, so his health from then on was impaired and he suffered periods of depression. He did manage a short period of active ministry in parishes here before ill health forced his retirement. He took up a temporary appointment in January 1998 at St Oswald, Old Swan, before returning to Widnes, this time as parish priest at St Raphael’s, in August that year. He remained at St Raphael’s until his retirement in 2000. He died in the early hours of Monday 30th November 2020, the day after his 77th birthday. He had been a priest for 52 years.

Mary Colwell to give Justice and Peace Annual Memorial Lecture This year’s Annual Lecture will be delivered by the naturalist and broadcaster, Mary Colwell, on the subject of Biodiversity. Mary Colwell is author of Curlew Moon, and co-author of John Muir and a feature writer for The Tablet, who, amongst many other noteworthy achievements has piloted a new GCSE subject, Natural History which will be taught in schools from September 2022. The lecture takes place at 2.00 pm on Sunday 17 January, and will be delivered via Zoom. Registration details will be available on the Facebook Page jpliverpooljp and at the Justice and Peace website,

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst Christian Leadership Formation Programme for those in Lower Sixth who want to make a difference. Three residential modules – 26-30 July 2021; 23-25 October 2021; 9-12 April 2022. Workshops on statesmanship, public policy making and public debate within a framework of prayer, social time and team building activities. Information and application pack: Email: A Journey of Salvation Six talks, six moments in Salvation history. 7.30 pm online on Thursdays: 14 January ‘In the beginning’ - Stefan Kaminski 28 January ‘The Naked Truth’ - Dr David Torevell 11 February ‘A Great Love Song’ Father John Hemer 26 February ‘The Greatest Gift’ - Dr Caroline Fairey 11 March ‘Signs of Passion - Pam Moon 25 March ‘The Life to come’ - Sister Emanuela Edwards Details and registration: Email:

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news diary

Pastoral Letter The following Pastoral Letter was read at all Masses in the Archdiocese of Liverpool on the Third Sunday of Advent, 13 December 2020. Dear Friends, Today is often called Gaudete (Latin for rejoice) Sunday because the entrance antiphon of the Mass begins with the words, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always…’ from St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. We are halfway through the season of Advent and we celebrate a moment of Christmas anticipation. Indeed, we have much to be happy about. After a very tough time things are beginning to change for the better. A vaccine is becoming available to combat the virus which has devastated our way of life bringing death to and suffering to many people, unemployment to others and has restricted the movements of us all. We are also looking forward to seeing our loved ones and families at Christmas, and for some who are in residential care this will be a first meeting for several months. So, let us rejoice, and give thanks for the joy that awaits us. Nevertheless, Advent is always a very challenging time for Christians who take their faith seriously. This is because it is a time of waiting and waiting can be very unnerving. I don't know anyone who likes waiting; whether it is waiting in a queue at the supermarket checkout or waiting for a train or even waiting for Christmas. Today you are probably waiting to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and that brings its own anxieties. Waiting means acceptance of things which are outside our control. No matter how worked up we may get, the train is not going to arrive any sooner because of our anxiety. We may put up our Christmas tree today, but Christmas comes on 25 December and not a moment sooner. Part of the frustration we all feel about waiting is that when the waiting is over, we may be faced with disappointment. The holiday for which we saved all year ends up being ruined by bad weather and delayed flights. But sometimes we are pleasantly surprised. The future would be much less troublesome for us if we could control it, and then waiting would be easier on our nerves. A Christian approach to waiting is to understand the future as God’s future that is not as coming events which have been totally planned and prepared by us, so that there are no surprises, but as a time which comes to us full of the 10

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unexpected and brimming over with God’s grace. That is not very easy for us to grasp because we all work to plans and ‘to do’ lists. If we are not careful, we can plan God out of our lives, or what is just as bad, we may give just enough space to God to make our life pleasant for the time being. The pandemic we are enduring may have cured us of that attitude to life this year but every year we are given the season of Advent to remind us that God cannot be planned for. The future is not of our making but is a gift from God. God comes to us in unexpected ways: a baby in a manger, in the Eucharist under the signs of bread and wine, in the Scriptures and often the acts of love we show to each other. Just look at the wonderful explosion of love that has showed itself in the way that we have supported each other through these dark months. Every act of kindness to a lonely or hungry person has been an example of Christ working through each of us. We did not plan any of this and in a similar way we cannot plan for God intervening in our lives, except to be open to him at all times, and to fully use God’s gift of himself. We must wait patiently in the assurance that God will guide us and

lead us to a new stage in the life of our diocese. Yet we must also prepare and plan for the future using all the gifts of our people. The work of Synod 2020 has continued through the internet and social media and we are well on course for our meeting in June next year when we open our hearts to God. Adopting this ‘Advent’ attitude will ensure that our future will be vibrant and full of the life of the Holy Spirit, because the future that awaits us is God’s will for us, and not our plans for him! Over the next two weeks you will be preparing for the Christ-child to come into your lives once more. Make a welcome for him by turning once again to the Lord who is ever-loving, as well as getting ready for family celebrations. Always show concern for those who cannot take part in such festivities because they are unemployed or homeless, or because they are far from home. May God bless you in this holy season, and bring you much peace at Christmas, Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool

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news diary

Crosby charity brings festive cheer to seafarers

An ecumenical charity took the Christmas spirit to hundreds of seafarers who passed through the port of Liverpool in December. In the lead-up to Christmas, Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) launched an appeal for donations from the public with the aim of providing individual presents, such as confectionery, socks

and toiletries, to as many as 500 crew members as well as cards handwritten by volunteers. Ships leaving Liverpool and destined to be at sea on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day received gifts, along with those in port on those days. LSC presented each vessel in the port with a ‘ship present’ such as a box of

chocolates, given to the ship’s cook for safekeeping until Christmas Eve, along with the individual gifts. John Wilson, the charity’s chief executive, said he was grateful to the public for their response: ‘The people of Merseyside are very generous when you ask. People will think, “Oh yeah, I can afford to buy a box of chocolates and drop them into the centre”.’ Mr Wilson added that the charity sought to make it a ‘green Christmas’ by not using wrapping paper for the gifts but rather recyclable bags (presented with a woolly hat on top). LSC did not just provide gifts for ships in the port of Liverpool. Mr Wilson explained that it sought to cater too for vessels at Garston Docks and on the other side of the Mersey at Birkenhead, Tranmere, Bromborough, Eastham and Stanlow. ‘On average we have contact with 50,000 seafarers throughout year so in December, about two and a half thousand we’d see,’ he said. According to LSC, care for seafarers this Christmas was particularly important owing to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which had left many stuck at sea in 2020. ‘We already know the effects the pandemic is having on seafarers mentally, with many describing feeling isolated and forgotten,’ said Mr Wilson. Outreach work with seafarers in Liverpool dates back to the 19th century through the Anglican Mersey Mission to Seafarers, founded in 1856. Today’s charity, which officially formed in 2008, is the result of a successful partnership between the Anglican Mersey Mission to Seafarers and the Catholic Apostleship of the Sea (Liverpool). The LSC headquarters are in Crosby but it also has a support centre at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal, run from a converted shipping container, as well as a hub at Queen Elizabeth II Dock at Eastham on the Wirral. • For more information, visit:

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What it means to be a synodal Church by Mrs Maureen Knight and Father Philip Inch On a dark Thursday evening recently ‘The Tablet’ organised an hour long discussion with Sister Nathalie Becquart, who was chosen by Pope Francis last year as one of the first women consultants to the Synod of Bishops’ office in Rome and Christopher Lamb, The Tablet’s Rome Correspondent. We were both delighted to be part of this event. Sister Nathalie offered insights into, journeying together, a pilgrim Church. It made us proud to be part of the international church and very much affirmed the Synod journey we are embarked upon here in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Sister Nathalie spoke of synodality as the way to be Church in the third millennium, saying this is the Pope’s imperative if we are to be a missionary church. The world needs the church to be synodal. She told us that the new norms that the Pope has established for the Synod of Bishops (the next one is in 2022 on synodality) will ensure that Synods are not just events but processes. Any Bishop wanting to come must have been involved in a local synod. Synodality must begin in the parish, it must be part of everyday life, and structures are needed to allow this to happen (eg parish councils). She said that you do not govern alone. If we train people in discernment then we will catch the idea of synodality and we will become a more missionary church, gathering and listening and as a parish answering the needs of today. There followed some questions to which Sister Nathalie responded: Should every country have a national Synod? It will be different in every country. There are many different cultures. No one way of Synod will suit all. There are different ways to do Synod. For example, in France for the first time recently the bishops invited lay people to their bi-annual meeting in Lourdes. Australia has called a country wide Synod and in Germany they are interpreting synodality in their own way. Is there a special role for women in a synodal Church? The Holy Spirit is breathing everywhere and synodality gives reality to an understanding of co-responsibility. We must walk together: on your own you might walk faster, but with the other you may not walk as quickly but you may get to a different place, you will go deeper. Sister Nathalie reminded us that we are all called, that we need

to be an inclusive church. She went on to say that more leadership should be given to women and that leadership teams should be diverse. The goal of a Synod is to try to find consensus, especially where there are divisions. Synodality is not about Parliament, about getting the most votes. A Synod must be open and there could be many surprises. How are decisions made after a synodal process? There is no synodality without primacy. Just because we have a Synod doesn’t mean we throw out the hierarchical understanding of the Church – but as Saint John Henry Newman said ‘decisions should evolve from common discernment.’ Sister Nathalie told us about a word he used – ‘conspiratio’ – a consensus evolving, emerging, everyone being heard. In Liverpool we are having a Synod: what one idea should we try to help people grasp? The experience of doing a Synod will help in the understanding of synodality. You learn what synodality is by doing it, practice it as it is an art. A key ingredient of any synodal journey is silence. Our synodal prayer must be rooted in the model of the Trinity. Without a spirit of real discernment you cannot have synodality – experiment, practice and learn. Will synodality outlive Pope Francis? It takes time to receive the fruits of major church events. We are still receiving the fruits of Vatican II after over 50 years and so it will take time for the fruits of the Pope’s understanding to take hold. The topic for the 2022 Synod of Bishops will help in this process. Many countries need synodality. The way political dialogue has evolved needs the church to model synodality. The recent encyclical of Pope Francis (‘Fratelli Tutti’) speaks of the ways people meet and dialogue together. He says people need to meet and to talk and to listen and in this encounter the common good will emerge. Pope Francis sees this as a real gift that the church must offer to the world. We came away from the session feeling that as a diocese, we are moving in the right direction.

Covid-19 testing at the LACE Conference Centre Early in lockdown Archbishop Malcolm offered the facilities at the LACE Conference Centre for use as a testing centre. The Army and the Department of Health accepted the offer and last November used the facilities for Covid-19 testing as part of the mass testing programme in Liverpool. The Centre was open from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm each day and people with no Covid-19 symptoms were able to drop in for a test without an appointment. Upwards of 100 people arrived for testing each day the centre was open. Archbishop Malcolm said, ‘I am delighted that our offer of facilities for testing was accepted, to have a test is one of the most generous things that you can do for all those you come into contact with including your family, friends and neighbours. 12

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Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent

140 years of care ‘The Church’s desire is that the poor should rise above poverty and wretchedness, and should better their condition in life, and for this, it strives.’ Pope Leo XIII 1880 ‘To feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless and to suffer little children to come unto Jesus, are precepts binding upon all men. God, who one day will judge us all, has said that what we do for the least one of these little ones for His sake is done unto Him.’ Father James Nugent 1880. This year Nugent celebrates 140 years since our founder, Father James Nugent set up the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society, a charitable organisation that campaigned for child welfare, relief from poverty and social reform. Father, and later, Monsignor Nugent, was a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He was a passionate social reformer, appalled by the state of the homeless living in the squalor of Victorian England; he dedicated his life to the education and rescue of destitute children and adults. Nugent continues his work to this day, offering support and care for the most vulnerable and at-risk children, young people and adults in our community: • Nugent’s homes provide secure, caring and supported living environments • Nugent’s school provides adaptable education and care for children and young children with complex needs • Nugent’s Community Services are at the forefront of personalised, outcomefocused support for individuals in need, community groups, deaf people, people who are hard of hearing and people who have learning disabilities • Nugent’s Epsom Street Community Centre is committed to bringing about change through education, raising aspirations, raising hope and bringing about community unification • Nugent’s ‘New Beginnings’ programmes provide help to individuals who are homeless or at risk • Nugent is part of the Community Sponsorship of Refugees programme, with over 100 volunteers from our parishes supporting families to resettle in the area.

Nugent’s CEO Normandie Wragg says, ‘It is with great humbleness that I look back at our founder’s incredible work helping those in need, and I am proud to be a member of alumni of CEO’s of Nugent; following in the footsteps of my nine predecessors is an honour, as it is to take the legacy of Father Nugent into our 140th year. ‘As we look at our history I am mindful that life is still difficult for many in our region with more than two in three children living in poverty in parts of Merseyside; in Toxteth for example, 69% of children are living in poverty and 37% of Liverpool City Region neighbourhoods fall in the top 10% of the most employment deprived neighbourhoods nationally. ‘I am inspired by our founder to aspire for Nugent to continue to be leaders in the sector and to be the experts in the delivery of profound and life changing care, support and education to those who come to us for help. We strive to play a key role in development and implementation of partnerships that aim to eradicate poverty and improve the health and wellbeing of those in our communities.’ Nugent relies on the support and generosity of a growing community of donors and supporters, enabling us to help and support individuals in crisis or simply looking for a home and stability, such as: Oliver, who left Northern Ireland at short notice with his mum due to fears for their safety. They arrived in Liverpool with only

the clothes they were wearing. Nugent was on-hand to support Oliver with his autism and to help his mum apply for the right benefits. Nugent housed Oliver and his mum for eight weeks and, once settled, helped Oliver to apply to study Physics at University. Jack, a single dad with an 8-year-old daughter visited our community base and asked if he could use our washing machine. Due to financial difficulties, Jack did not have a washing machine of his own and was struggling to keep his daughter in clean clothes. We discovered that Jack was struggling to cook hot meals due his cooker always breaking down. We were able to supply Jack with a new washing machine and cooker. Molly fled her home with her children due to domestic violence. The local authority were quick to rehome Molly but her and her children found themselves without beds. We were able to provide new beds and duvets for all the family’ Help us to continue Father Nugent’s legacy and create positive futures for those in need by donating, supporting, volunteering or advocating for us, visit our website at and follow us on social media, search @wearenugent to find out more. We have some exciting plans for our 140th anniversary year, to celebrate our legacy and invigorate our future, and we want to thank all those who have been part of our family and look forward to welcoming new supporters.’

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youth ministry

What 2021 may bring (or perhaps not!) Father Simon Gore peers into his crystal ball to see how 2021 could unfold for the Animate team. Let me allow you into a secret – a look behind the wizard’s curtain, as it were. As I write this, it is nowhere near Christmas. It is barely Advent. To get the Pic ready for January, we have to write our articles a bit earlier. In ‘normal’ times I could write something about hope and what we can look forward to, but that would make me a hostage to fortune this year. So rather than even try to second-guess what it would be appropriate to be reading a month from now, I hope you might indulge me if I offer a light-hearted view of what the world might be like as 2021 breaks open. Who knows, some of this may even turn out to be true – I would never have guessed that this time last year my house-leaving ritual would expand from ‘Keys, wallet, phone’ to also include ‘mask’! January The Animate team return after the Christmas break. One team member seems to have gone grey. I take them aside and carefully broach the subject. Has the Christmas period been bad for their mental health? Have they been worried? Is there anxiety? It turns out they wanted to jump the queue for a vaccine and got dressed up as an older person and dyed their hair. The rest of the team wonder if the plan worked. A team shopping trip to Asda is later organised and I hear muted conversations about the relative merits of Platinum Pixie as opposed to Silver Bombshell. A team member announces proudly that they are doing ‘Dry January’. They are seen shortly after sipping a chilled Sauvignon Blanc. When questioned, they respond that this is one of the driest whites there is. It is pointed out that is not really what ‘Dry


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the bishop. I calm their fears by saying most are from family as it is my birthday! 15 February: I wake up annoyed. Despite what I told them, the team had ignored my birthday. Completely unrelated to my annoyance, the heating system breaks down and icicles begin to form on the noses of the team. A birthday cake is presented to me after tea. By sheer coincidence, the heating system magically repairs itself. The team are sceptical. March The Government announces a ‘Lenten Lockdown’. I appreciate the rhetorical flourish of the alliteration and note that it will help us keep to the Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving more easily. I offer these silver-lined musings at the Community Mass and am greeted by non-plussed silence. After Mass the team go to the pub before the shutdown. I am not invited. ‘We are doing it for your immortal soul – you can start your fasting and almsgiving early’, I am told. Fair enough, I had that coming.

January’ is about. The day comes when it is time to take down the Christmas decorations. It is not a day the team look forward to. There is an argument put forth that we should leave them up until Candlemas. I approve of their attempt at liturgical correctness but wonder if this has more to do with the proposed new lockdown and their chance to head home and leave me with all the decorations. February February starts cold and wet. I notice the team wearing additional layers around the house. I wonder if this is some passive-aggressive way of requesting that the heating be put on, but decide it is probably more likely a new youth fashion to wear scarves indoors. I offer pastoral affirmation of this new fashion. The team stare blankly at me and go back to huddling round a candle. 14 February: A scandal almost rocks Lowe House! I announce that I have received 10 cards that day. The team are outraged and are going to write to

April The country is rocked by the great question of the day: ‘Are Easter eggs essential food items?’ Questions are raised in the House of Commons. Letters are written to MPs. Boris is on TV with Chris Whitty and the new Egg Tsar. Boris promises to follow the nutritional science. Eggs are still freely available north of the border and clandestine operations are held to sneak into Scotland to avail oneself of a Family-Sized Yorkie egg. Rumours abound of illicitly smuggled eggs flowing into the country hidden inside rugby balls. A compromise is reached whereby Easter eggs are considered essential for Easter, but chocolate is not essential at any other time as we are fighting an obesity pandemic as well. The nation collectively sighs and opens another one. That’s probably enough. If any of the above happens, call me Mystic Simon! But whatever does happen in this new year, I hope you and all your loved ones stay as safe as possible. It is hard to think how much the world has changed in only 12 months. But the Church has always been at its best when there to support and encourage as the world around it spins out of control. Let’s pray that we can continue to be that stabilising force, no matter what 2021 might throw at us.

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Annual awards celebrate ou By Simon Hart ‘It is a celebration of many of the different facets of Catholic education that take place in our schools on a daily basis, but often the light is not shone on them.’ So says Chris Williams, Deputy Director of Education of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, when summing up the significance of the annual Archdiocesan School Awards. With a broad range of 12 categories covered, the awards shine a light not only on teaching excellence but activities such as contributions to the local community, sporting feats and even entrepreneurship. This year’s winners were announced in November, later than usual owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they included a School of the Year award for Carmel College, St Helens. Tim Alderman of St Julie’s Catholic High School in Liverpool earned the prize for Secondary Headteacher of the Year, while the Primary Headteacher award went to Dominic Vernon of St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Warrington. The full lists of winners, along with the other nominees on the three-strong shortlist per category, is as follows: • Spirituality: Carmel College, St Helens Faith Primary School, Liverpool Saints Peter and Paul Primary School, St Helens • Contribution to the Community: Holy Family Primary School, Halewood, Knowsley Blessed Sacrament Primary School,

Liverpool Our Lady Queen of Peace Engineering College, Lancashire

Lancashire Martin Malone, College Chaplain – St John Rigby College, Wigan

• Creative Team Project: Andy Longden, Subject Leader of Performing Arts – Our Lady Queen of Peace Engineering College, Lancashire Andrew Byers – St Mary’s College, Crosby, Sefton Kevin Kelly – Hope Academy, St Helens

• Inspirational Teacher: Lee Peachey, Deputy Headteacher – St Mary’s High School, Wigan Deb Harris – St Bede’s High School, Lancashire Hannah Austin – St Francis of Assisi Primary School, Skelmersdale, Lancashire

• Sports: First XV Rugby squad – St Mary's College, Crosby, Sefton Scarlett McMahon – Our Lady Queen of Peace Engineering College, Lancashire Connall Pilling, Adam Swift and Joseph Winstanley – St Wilfrid's Primary School, Wigan

• Governing Body: St Cuthbert’s and St Sebastian's Primary Schools, Liverpool St Francis of Assisi Primary School – Skelmersdale, Lancashire St Teresa's Catholic Primary School – Upholland, Lancashire

• Young Entrepreneur: Eco Committee Students – De La Salle High School, St Helens Olivia Eren – Saints Peter and Paul High School, Widnes Isla Graham – Saints Peter and Paul Primary School, St Helens • Inclusion: St Peter's Primary School, Warrington St Gabriel’s Primary School, Wigan The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Liverpool • Inspirational School Support: Diane Moss, Primary Transition Co-ordinator for Sport – Holy Cross High School, Lancashire Laura Fee, Family Support Worker – Sacred Heart Primary School, Chorley,

Carmel College School of the Year and Spirituality Award 16

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• Primary Headteacher: Dominic Vernon – St Vincent’s Primary School, Warrington Phil Bates – St Anne’s Primary School, Ormskirk Sarah-Jane Carroll – St Laurence’s Primary School, Knowsley • Secondary Headteacher: Tim Alderman – St Julie's High School, Liverpool Andrew Dawson – St Mary’s High School, Wigan Matt Symes – Holy Family High School, Sefton • School of the Year: Carmel College, St Helens Blessed Sacrament Primary School, Liverpool Faith Primary School, Liverpool The public health restrictions meant there was no opportunity for the annual awards dinner, usually staged each May, but as Mr Vernon, the Primary Headteacher of the Year from St Vincent’s in Warrington, stressed, the recognition earned was no less gratefully received by him and his ‘passionate and committed’ team. ‘I see this very much as recognition of what we have achieved as a school, so it is received on behalf of my whole school – staff and governors, with huge thanks to them for all that they do for the children and community of St Vincent’s,’ he said. The task of choosing the winners fell on judging panels comprising representatives from schools, different departments of the Archdiocese, partner organisations and also past winners. According to Chris

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ur schools

Celebrations at Holy Family, Halewood Williams, the year-on-year rise in the number of nominations made it harder than ever to select the winners in what was the fourth edition of the awards. He explains: ‘We struggled at first to get schools to nominate themselves such is the modesty we had out there but we encourage them to stand back and reflect on everything they do. ‘We get a greater breadth now and it’s very difficult to identify a short list of three in each of the 12 categories and equally to identify the winning entry in each category. I always say to head teachers when we receive the submissions that it’s both a challenge and an honour in equal measure. For those of us tasked with leading the decision panels, we get to learn and to read so much that we didn’t know about what happens in our schools. That is the joyful thing. ‘It’s a reminder to us all that the work that goes on in our schools is far beyond simply “being there for Ofsted”, and I know that’s a bit of a cliché but it’s a reminder of the distinctive and broad provision in our schools that reflect the

Christian values of working for the common good, working collegiately, and working across schools, parishes and

communities.’ • See P19 for a profile of winning primary headteacher Dominic Vernon.

Diane Moss from Holy Cross High School, Lancashire

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note 20 * C + M + B * 21 May Christ bless the Household! The Epiphany tradition of chalking on the doorway of your house the letters CMB (Christus mansionem benedicat) with the current year is one which is certainly maintained at the Cathedral and perhaps in your local church and in your home. This blessing is both a prayer for the coming calendar year and also a reminder that the Lord’s blessing is found in every place and every aspect of our lives – and what better feast to do it on than the Feast of the Manifestation of Christ to all peoples, and the bringing of the three gifts (some say that the letters CMB stand for Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the traditional names gives to the Magi, the ‘Wise men from the East’). There is a little phrase at the beginning of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayers which says: ‘Always and everywhere to give you thanks.’ It can often get a little overlooked but is at the very heart of our understanding of the Christian life.

Canon Philip Gillespie

In all places, at all times and in many different and varied ways, we make our ‘eucharist’ – our thanksgiving for the goodness and blessings of God. Priest, policeman, schoolteacher, parent … whatever our station and calling in life, we are called to make of our lives a hymn of thanksgiving for the graces of God. This may sound a little ‘high blown’ or unrealistic but surely it is exactly what Pope Saint Leo wrote in his Christmas homily all those years ago: ‘O Christian, be aware of your nobility.’ A few days ago we heard the line ‘What can I give him [Christ], poor as I am ?’ and the answer, of course, is everything we have and everything we will become over these next weeks and months – all the joys and hopes, the fears and the sorrows which lie before us. All of these are given into the care of Christ so that He may transform and strengthen us each according to our own needs and circumstances. May God bless us, every one!

Sunday thoughts I’ve never been one for making New Year’s resolutions. I now find myself going to bed before midnight on New Year’s Eve. I do, however, pause to reflect on what the closing year has brought. The year 2020 presents perhaps a greater challenge to my faith than previous years. On the Isle of Man I’ve had it easy. Some have suffered terribly. The Bible tells the story of successive generations of the Lord’s people attempting to recognise the hand of God in the events of their lives. We call it Salvation History. The people of God struggle to see God at work in both the ugly and the edifying episodes of their existence. They thank God for the good times and blame him for the bad. Some psalms suggest that God has gone AWOL. ‘Where is he?’ Occasionally they glimpse the mysterious working of the Spirit of God who brings good out of evil; evil they sometimes bring on themselves as well that inflicted by their enemies.

Mgr John Devine OBE

We, too, struggle to find God within the story of our lives. None of us predicted the severity of the pandemic and how it would change things. Trust in God does not give us a free pass when it comes to suffering. We ‘baby boomers’ who have lived through decades of stability have had it easy. Young people today face greater challenges. Hopefully the pandemic will pass but it has masked the growing threat of climate change. That catastrophe is still to come. For Christians, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus is the cosmic historical event that gives meaning to every breath we take and every year that we survive. We’ve just celebrated Christmas, the feast of Emmanuel, God-with-Us. New Year is a good time to remind ourselves of his fidelity to the human race.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at


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All will be well As we enter the new year, I can’t help but be filled with hope for the future. While 2020 was dreadful for everyone, now with the hope of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, it looks as though things will return to normal in time. However I hope that ‘normal’ does not mean a return to the way things were before. I do not believe we can go back to our narrow, selfish world where we put the barriers up against those in need and try to separate ourselves from poorer nations. We can’t go back to the inhumane way in which we – a rich, developed nation – treat asylum-seekers and refugees and the poorest in our own society. I hope our preoccupation with celebrity status finally comes to an end as we realise what it is, and who it is, that makes society function. At the heart of Fratelli Tutti, the Pope’s latest encyclical, is the parable of the Good Samaritan. I have always loved that story because it offers a wonderfully provocative account of who is the true neighbour. Who is it that reaches out to the man robbed and beaten by the side of the road? It is the foreigner, the one who doesn’t fit in. Pope Francis says this story offers the ‘criterion for judging every economic, political, social and religious project’. It is a reminder that the Gospel invites us to respond to our sisters and our brothers who are in need without judging whether or not they deserve that response by superficial criteria as so many of us do. We are challenged to turn outwards, to act as neighbours, and to reach out to all those who are in need. Also central to this encyclical is the conviction that we are called to love, and that call is not something that is only felt or lived out with our friends and families. Love is not just about personal relationships but should also be at the heart of everything we do, socially, politically and economically. There are many people who have been wounded and broken because of what has happened in 2020 and we must never forget the pain that has dogged the lives of so many. However that should spur us on to try and create what Paul VI called ‘a society of sharing solidarity and love.’ If we take to heart the Gospel message then we can indeed face the future with hope and work to create a new type of society where the poorest are the most valuable, where economic wealth is shared and we can live in peace with one another. Pray every day that the new ‘normal’ will be one in which all people are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve as Children of God for when that happens, as Julian of Norwich wrote, ‘all will be well and all manner of things will be well’. Father Chris Thomas

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Dominic Vernon

Head teacher and driving force - by Simon Hart How do you revive the fortunes of a struggling school? According to Dominic Vernon, head teacher of St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School in Warrington, ‘a bit of energy and enthusiasm’ is one key ingredient. So too ‘a belief that children and staff have huge potential’. He should know for, since arriving at the school in September 2017, his work in supporting both its 155 pupils and his fellow colleagues in fulfilling that potential has had a noteworthy impact, earning him in the process the 2020 Primary Headteacher prize at the annual Archdiocese of Liverpool School awards. On his arrival three years ago, St Vincent’s had just received an Ofsted rating of ‘Requires improvement’. In September 2019 – little more than 18 months after his permanent appointment as head – Ofsted returned and judged the school as ‘Good’. He recounts: ‘I joined the school as interim head teacher and very quickly fell in love with the place and realised we’d started on a journey that I wanted to see through. ‘Our main focus initially was to bring the school together and build a clear vision,’ he adds, noting the work done to ‘build that culture and common purpose within

the school’. That culture included a greater ‘openness with the wider community’ which meant inviting parents in for events such as assemblies and open days. ‘It’s about bringing everybody with us,’ he explains. ‘Parents weren’t really involved in the day-to-day life of the school so one of the earlier things I did in terms of engagement was to open our doors and live that open-doors policy.’ Dominic, a former pupil at St Gregory’s Catholic High School and current parishioner of St Peter’s parish in Warrington, was well equipped to understand what St Vincent’s required given the depth of knowledge that comes from having spent his entire teaching career within the local Catholic sector – his CV includes posts at St Benedict’s, St Bridget’s and St Peter’s primary schools, where he was deputy head, before his first headship at St Paul of the Cross. ‘I’m Warrington, born and bred,’ he observes and this extends to a passion for rugby league, which he has passed on to his daughters, Evie and Elise, who are pupils at St Vincent’s and, in normal times, accompany their dad to Warrington Wolves matches. As for his passion for education, he

points to the examples presented by his mother, Terry, and wife, Rebecca, both of whom teach. ‘I was inspired by members of my family who are in the teaching profession and teachers who I had as a child and who, through my education, made a difference to me and the person I’ve become,’ he reflects. ‘I wanted to be that person for other children moving forward.’ Satisfaction, he continues, comes from ‘seeing the difference that you can make not only for the children but for the staff. We talk about our school as our school family and in the same way that I want the best for my two girls I want the best for the children and staff within the school as well. It is that which drives it. They’re like my second family. ‘We’re in a lovely position now to see change as an exciting opportunity rather than something that is imposed and a bit of an inconvenience which can happen from time to time so we really are continuing to drive the school forward on back of a huge amount of work that’s gone in to building up that culture and getting the school into a good position but with the backing of a fantastic team and a brilliant governing body.’ That, and their award-winning head.

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education news

‘Star of Hope’ shines bright Staff and students at St John Bosco Arts college came together to make this Christmas a little bit special. They helped to raise money for their local food bank by displaying stars of intention around their building, they also asked for a donation for each star with all the money they raised going to their local food bank. They were delighted to send over £440 as well as lots of treats and essentials that the students and staff had collected. Students also enjoyed an advent service with their form class where all of the intentions were made and students shared a very peaceful and prayerful time helping them to prepare for Christmas and spend some time thinking about those they were praying for and reflecting on the message of Christmas. The whole school community embraced their charity focus for advent and the school were delighted to be able to make the donation to the food bank.

College that never stops teaching St Mary’s College never stop learning. The college kept connected during lockdown and their teachers and pupils worked together brilliantly to ensure learning continued. Julie Thomas, Vice-Principal, said: ‘We are delighted to be back in school and fortunately, the majority of our pupils have been able to attend lessons in person. ‘Despite our extensive safety protocols, like all schools we have to deal with the reality that some of our pupils have to isolate due to COVID-19. ‘Where we differ from many other schools is that the remote learning support we are able to offer when pupils are learning from home is excellent.’ All St Mary’s pupils, whether in school or at home, have full access to learning thanks to their ‘blended learning’ model which means: • Isolating pupils are able to join classroom lessons remotely using Microsoft Teams: teachers, pupils and classmates have direct contact via a screen in the classroom. Pupils isolating at home experience the same live lesson as those physically in the classroom. • Isolating pupils maintain their school routine: this supports their academic progress as well as their mental wellbeing. • Lesson content and learning resources are put on Microsoft Teams for pupils to access at any time. • Teachers set assignments and provide feedback via the Microsoft Teams


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assignments function. • Pupils submit homework via the Microsoft Teams assignments function and can also communicate with their teachers using the Microsoft Teams chat function. • Phone calls, emails and one-to-one Teams meetings are provided as required. Julie Thomas said: ‘Our ‘blended learning’ model makes the most of the innovations and new communication methods we introduced during lockdown and ensures all of our pupils, whether in school or at home, feel supported and able to continue

their learning. ‘We are determined to continue to provide the best possible education and care for our pupils despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. ‘We will continue to evaluate and adapt our ‘blended learning’ provision to ensure that all of our pupils keep connected and keep learning. ‘We are proud of the way our pupils have adapted to our ‘blended learning’ approach during this first term back in school and we know that they will continue to make us proud as the academic year continues.

Julie Thomas, Vice-Principal, delivers a Year 10 Maths lesson with some pupils attending in class and others attending remotely via their laptop at home

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education news Ambition is all around at ASFA The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) has appointed a new Student Leadership Team for the 2020/21 academic year. When the academy announced that applications for a place within the team were open, the response was overwhelming. Interested students were then tasked to prepare for an interview and give a presentation on a relevant topic; ‘Ambition - what it means to me’. The standard of presentations was outstanding with many preparing personal responses from the heart, all articulately delivered with passion, creativity and confidence. Many students, such as head boy, Amman and head girl, Noor, drew upon their journey to Liverpool from their native countries. They expressed their ambition to not only be the best they can be but to support others to achieve their dreams - a clear message and inspiration for others in the school. Amman defined ambition in the following way: “I see ambition as the fuel for the fire inside people. The thing that drives them to achieve their goals and reach success. Ambition is the first step you need to take in order to create or do anything.”

A team of 13 has been appointed and each individual has been awarded a gold tie. They will each link in with a key member of staff with clearly defined roles, from charity ambassadors, academic and curriculum leads, pastoral support and wellbeing, as well as leaders of the student council and students' voice. Mrs St John, Senior Assistant Head of School at ASFA, said: “Interviewing the team has been a truly humbling and inspiring experience. They had clearly practiced and didn’t look at their notes, speaking fluently and confidently throughout their presentations. “Their personalised view of ambition is

inspirational. I believe we can learn as much from students, their experiences and their ideas as they can from us and this is a clear example of this.” The student leadership team forms just one part of the academy’s growth programme - a values led approach to personal development, cultural enrichment, leadership and faith. The overarching aim, through the leadership ladder, is to develop a student’s character, confidence and to become an articulate young adult who can contribute to society and make a difference to their future.

St Cuthbert's wins PE Equipment for Girls Football from FA and Youth Sport Trust Students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in St Helens are enjoying a batch of brand new PE equipment, after enrolling in the FA and Youth Sport Trust girls football programme, Game Of Our Own. The school was awarded the equipment in a prize draw for completing a survey managed by the initiative. The programme aims to improve the PE experience for girls, through teachers adopting a life skills approach to PE using football as the vehicle. It also intends to increase the number of girls participating and enjoying football related activities, as well as developing girls in


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leadership roles as Football Activators. This enables them to create and deliver relevant and enjoyable opportunities for more girls in their school, while also helping girls to access community football opportunities. The kit, which includes new football bibs, balls and drinking cups, will be used in PE lessons and also by the school’s girls’ football team, The Cyclones. Head of PE and Health and Social Care, Mrs Vicky Jackson, said: “Winning the new kit is a fantastic opportunity for St Cuthbert’s and we hope that this, combined with the school’s sport and physical education programme, will encourage more girls to take part in and enjoy football. “The Game Of Our Own programme is a fantastic initiative that not only drives participation in sport but also develops vital life skills that are transferable from pitch to classroom and workplace.” Year 7 student, Ruby Holden-Hunter, said: “Game Of Our Own is a great way to get more girls into football. We get to learn about the game and skills and tactics, but also how to talk to other girls in the school about the sport so they feel motivated to be involved. The new kit is brilliant and we can’t wait to use it.” Headteacher, Catherine Twist, added: “Being a part of such a rewarding programme is not only beneficial for our students, so they can deliver football sessions to girls their own age but also to the wider community and we feel honoured and proud that we remain at the heart of our community.”

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Pic extras

Mums the Word Ladies, what can we say about this new year? That it must be better than the last one? That we are nicer people because of what we have been through? Have we helped others more, or have we allowed others to shine by helping us?

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

West Derby knights donate £750 to Zoe’s Place

In a recent homily my parish priest, Father Ian McParland, took the potter as his subject. A potter is a person who forms something fine out of a lump of clay, using skill, experience and patience. He turns it into an object which is very useful or very beautiful, which could last for a very long time. He told us of the Japanese tradition of valuing even their broken pottery, by repairing pieces with a mixture containing gold which enhanced their appearance by tracing a golden thread through them. I wonder if we can pick ourselves up from the broken year of 2020 and let the golden thread of wisdom, kindness and thankfulness shine through in 2021. Many have had the terrible experience of losing loved ones during the pandemic and not being able to see them or attend their funerals. Others were lucky and were able to join their families in other parts of the country (or even on the other side of the world in Australia) to watch the service through a livestream to their TVs or computers, which made them feel part of it all. It is wonderful that we have had the prayers and support of so many of our UCM members. Thank you so much, ladies.

Over the last 10 years Brother Terry Kelly, secretary of Council 493, has been facilitating the collection of 5p coins which council members along with parishioners at St Paul and St Timothy’s in West Derby – as well as the adjoining St Paul and St Timothy’s Catholic Infant School – have been donating to assist an order of missionary nuns.

donation of £750 to Zoe’s Place Children’s Hospice in West Derby. ‘The donation was made in line with the nuns’ wish that it should go to a local charity,’ said Brother Terry, noting that Zoe’s Place was chosen to support its crucial and admirable work with babies and infants aged from birth to five years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Wishing you all a happy, holy and healthy new year. May God bless us all.

In recent years the ability to be able to offer that support diminished, but the 5p coins still continued to come in, albeit at a slower rate due to people responding to the pressing needs of other charities especially those which are currently suffering financially in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic.

Brother Rosario Bracchitta, the council treasurer, presented the cheque to the charity in August, and the nuns were delighted with the choice of Zoe’s Place as the care given there reflects closely that which they have provided in the missions.

Madelaine McDonald, media officer

With the funds raised, council members have now made a

The Committee are working hard to arrange venues and dates for the coming year. January's Bi-monthly Mass will be at St Gregory the Great, Lydiate, on 13 January, starting at 7.30pm. For those who have the facility, it will be livestreamed; for those who don’t, please join us in prayer.


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cathedral ( it) will consider the following questions:

Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean It is hard to look ahead more than a week in advance and be able to say with certainty what will take place so I am cautiously looking ahead to the month of January and can only write of two things that will definitely be taking place however we will be post Christmas. Once we are into the New Year the work to dismantle the Cathedral organ will commence. This could take up to a month and the whole instrument apart from the console will be taken off site to be refurbished and repaired which is scheduled to take about 15months. So January will be a noisy and messy month in the Cathedral - the organ builders will be working throughout the days apart from when services are scheduled. Once the organ has gone there will be a cavernous empty space above the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in full view from every vantage point within the building. At present we are trying to think of some way in which we can cover this over in a suitable and dignified way for the year ahead.

The other January certainty is an online Conference with Archbishop Malcolm and Bishop Paul, the Bishop of Liverpool as key speakers on 28th January. WHO CARES? LIFE AFTER COVID19: THE PERSPECTIVE AND CONTRIBUTION OF THE CHURCHES Thursday, January 28 at 11am. The prospect of a successful vaccine has brought renewed hope to many people during the continuing crisis of the Covid 19 pandemic. But even if it is successful as we all hope, the huge social, health and economic challenges raised by the crisis will not have disappeared and must be confronted if we want a healthier, fairer, more sustainable society in future. This discussion organised by the Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Cathedral in collaboration with the Heseltine Institute will examine these issues, reflecting on the role of the Churches in a post-Covid world and how we all rebuild the Liverpool City Region. Building on the reflections of Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti

Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon

Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes

Professor Gerard Pillay, Vice-Chancellor, Liverpool Hope University

Lesley Martin-Wright, Chief Executive, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce

• What kind of life do we want after Covid? • What has the pandemic done to relationships and connections individually and institutionally? • Why is working together across the city region so important and how can we do it better in future? • What contribution can the Churches as crucial partners best make? We have a powerful set of speakers and panellists from across the city region: the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon; the Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes; Denise Barret Baxendale, Chief Executive, Everton Football Club; Professor Gerard Pillay, Vice-Chancellor, Liverpool Hope University; Lesley MartinWright, Chief Executive, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce and Tony Reeves, Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council. Our discussion will be chaired by Professor Michael Parkinson from the University of Liverpool. We hope it will the beginning of a shared conversation across Liverpool City Region in the coming months. Keep an eye on the website for details of this nearer to the time.

Denise Barret Baxendale, Chief Executive, Everton Football Club

Tony Reeves, Chief Executive, Liverpool City Council

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PIC Life Seek and you will find By Moira Billinge The house is tidy. Every nook and cranny has been carefully cleaned – sometimes two or three times. Forgotten treasures are rediscovered and old favourites are restored to their accustomed homes. Is that a sudden attack of domestication, virtue and New Year resolutions? Sadly, no: It is merely the inevitable consequence of the single question, ‘What on earth did I do with it?’ The frantic search through the postChristmas detritus of cards, wrapping paper and gifts which, somehow, have not yet found a resting-place, gives rise to the despairing realisation that the only way in which to find the missing item is to go through each pile of rubbish, every mound of newspapers and magazines and every corner where ‘it might have

hidden itself’ – for how could I be blamed for the loss? The blame has to be placed on the object which has gone walkabout. Do you somehow recognise that awful feeling of mounting disbelief and rising panic, the dry mouth and churning stomach when the initial - but fairly confident that we will find it - hunt hits a dead end and becomes the all-too familiar, frantic turning of the house upside down? What about the sleepless night, spent in a virtual retracing of the day’s waking moments? As for any plans for the following day - including breathing – forget them. There is only one thing which matters: finding the rogue item. Panic in such circumstances is natural and is often a hindrance. Rational thought becomes one of the first casualties. Of course, realising the loss inevitably

happens minutes after the local council’s collection of recyclable and non-recyclable rubbish. (Why were they so punctual?) It is too late to search the bins, scrutinise every piece of paper, supermarket bags and soap powder box, wade through parcels of rotting cabbage leaves, and worse – only to repeat the whole process, just in case the first investigation missed a vital clue. When Jesus said with such confidence, ‘Seek and you will find,’ he obviously wasn’t thinking of seeking to find anything in my house. Nor did he ever mislay his car keys! A friend once told me that she lost a ring which had belonged to her mother, so it was of enormous sentimental value. She begged St Anthony to help her find it but it was only 25 years later that she did – after she had moved house and was repotting some plants. It was at the bottom of one of the containers. Thank goodness he doesn’t usually keep us waiting for nearly three decades before coming to the rescue. St Anthony, St Jude, St Dympna and a legion of saints and angels find themselves coerced into helping with the big search - and, there are copious promises of abundant tokens of gratitude if only they will get their act together and find the missing item. Family and friends are also asked to ‘storm the heavens,’ on my behalf. Boundless joy, triumph, gratitude and relief accompany the discovery of the wayward article, but a ‘firm purpose of amendment to be more careful in future? Naturally – until the next time!

Worth a visit - Nottingham Nottinghamshire is a county rich in myth and folklore, writes Lucy Oliver. The legendary escapades of Robin Hood and his Merry Men are synonymous with Nottingham, and history truly runs deep here. The city is also famous for a labyrinth of over 800 sandstone caves beneath its streets, dating from different periods. Accompanied by a guide, you can go back in time to an Anderson air raid shelter used in World War Two, to the notorious Drury Hill Victorian slum houses, and even to a medieval tannery. Visitors can experience a 40-minute tour of the city’s caves, and then enjoy a visit to the National Justice Museum on a joint ticket. Housed in the Grade II-listed Old Shire Hall and County Gaol (certainly a fitting setting), the museum uses original courtrooms, dungeons and prison cells to display its exhibits and educate about the justice system and crime and punishment in an interactive way with colourful historical characters telling their stories on your way. For those seeking refreshments, try the nearby Hungry Pumpkin.


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It is worth booking in advance by calling 0115 952 0555 or emailing A joint ticket for the caves and the museum costs £17.60 (adult).

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The Priest

Motor trade winter TIPS to keep your car SPOT­ON! Chilly dark mornings can mean dangerous driving conditions. Keeping car windscreen and light lenses clean and clear improves safety and car reliability. 1. Change windscreen wipers if split or showing signs of wear 2. Allow extra time to warm car up and defrost screen properly 3. LIGHTS ­ Test front and rear lights are working keeping light units clean and clear 4. LEVELS ­ Check battery, screen wash, oils, and water/antifreeze are topped up 5. TYRE PRESSURES ­ Check tyre tread wall condition and air pressure (EASY WAY TO REMEMBER THE ESSENTIALS OF CAR SAFETY CHECKS IS LLTP) YES: L ­ L ­ T ­ P: LIGHTS­LEVELS AND TYRE PRESSURES On another note WHAT THE LOCAL MOTOR TRADE are saying regards car ownership during Covid 19 times: If you are not sure it’s the right time to change your car then the answer is simply “Do not change”. If there are doubts in your current financial situation, then hold off! There are so many factors to consider, here are just a few: 1. Should I buy petrol or a diesel car? 2. Should I buy a low tax/emission car? 3. Should I buy a small or large engine car? 4. Should I see if car tax increases in 2021? 5. Should I wait for electric car prices drop? 6. Should I hold onto my existing car? 7. Should I keep my car maintained at any cost? 8. Should I save spending on my car and buy new? 9. Should I save spend on my car and buy used? 10. DON’T be wise after the event! If not able to buy another car and move up the car ladder of a younger low mileage car ownership then the decision is straight forward for you. The answer is just maintaining your existing car to the best of your ability is the best thing that you can do. Make sure that your cars MOT is current and if car is due a service then please get this done. FOR YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF OTHERS AROUND YOU If not sure then ask your local garages advice.

24 HR LOCAL GARAGE HELP LINE 07774 463549 Tony Standish

Tony Standish is the owner and manager of Sarbkar NW Ltd situated in Speke, and regular attendee of St Charles RC Church. Readers may remember Tony from his work with the light and peace where Tony’s contribution included administration and helping to push wheelchairs.

Director Michael Whyte has produced a film following Father Paul Grogan from the Diocese of Leeds. Michael’s previous films include ‘No Greater Love’ (2010) and ‘Relics and Roses’ (2011) which followed the 2009 visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux. ‘The Priest’ completes his trilogy of films exploring faith in the Catholic Church. Bradford is the setting for ‘The Priest’ - a film that charts life in the parish of ‘Mary, Mother of God’ from the beginning of Lent to Easter Sunday. As a priest, Father Paul Grogan supports people in their joys and in their pain - the film opens with a funeral; features a baptism and shares the intimacy and beauty of a deathbed scene. The work of ‘The Priest’ is one of love and service, not just in administering to his parish, but providing invaluable, social support to the community. Father Paul Grogan, originally from Halifax worked as a journalist after graduating from the University of Cambridge. He went onto train for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome in the late 80s to mid-90s. He has spent time as a university and hospital chaplain and worked in a Young Offenders Institution. He has also been the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Leeds and since 2015, has been the parish priest of ‘Mary, Mother of God’. In the film, Father Paul says that he thought about becoming a priest at an early age: ‘I remember my two brothers and I sitting on the sofa when we were young and Sister Magdalene, a Sister of Mercy, standing over us saying, “and which one of you three is going to be the priest?” and I thought it’s probably me, but I’m not going to out myself just yet.’ The making of the film has made him aware of how lucky he is to be a priest. ‘Michael’s camera allowed me to gaze upon my own life and work from a perspective outside of myself. A young couple mourn the death of their severely disabled child – and I get to spend time with them in their grief. An elderly woman is dying – and it is to me that she says the simple lapidary words which are etched in my memory: “I am not afraid of dying.” Two adults with learning difficulties look forward to receiving the First Sacraments and I get to share with them as best I can what it all means.’ The Bishop of Leeds, the Right Reverend Marcus Stock (Father Paul’s Bishop) says that the film portrays the highs and lows of parish ministry: ‘This film provides a “fly-on-the-wall” view of the day-to-day life and ministry of a Catholic parish priest. It captures the breadth of ministry and demonstrates the privileged access that a priest is given to the lives of people during vital moments of great joy and profound grief.’ Documentary maker Michael Whyte says that he never takes for granted the privilege afforded by his work: ‘Making documentaries is an immense privilege and to enter into the lives of other people with such intimacy should not be taken for granted and is often a humbling experience.’ ‘The Priest’ is available to buy, rent or stream on Amazon.

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

The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions entrusted to his Worldwide Prayer Network for 2021 January Intention for evangelisation Human fraternity May the Lord give us the grace to live in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions, praying for one another, open to all.

‘Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage’

September Universal intention - An environmentally sustainable lifestyle We pray that we all will make courageous choices for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, rejoicing in our young people who are resolutely committed to this.

February Universal intention Violence against women We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded. March Intention for evangelisation Sacrament of reconciliation Let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.

October Intention for evangelisation Missionary disciples We pray that every baptised person may be engaged in evangelisation, available to the mission, by being witnesses of a life that has the flavour of the Gospel.

April Universal intention Fundamental rights We pray for those who risk their lives while fighting for fundamental rights under dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and even in democracies in crisis. May Universal intention - The world of finance Let us pray that those in charge of finance will work with governments to regulate the financial sphere and protect citizens from its dangers.


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August Intention for evangelisation The Church Let us pray for the Church, that She may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel.

November Universal intention - People who suffer from depression We pray that people who suffer from depression or burnout will find support and a light that opens them up to life. June Intention for evangelisation The beauty of marriage Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

July Universal intention - Social friendship We pray that, in social, economic and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship.

December Intention for evangelisation Catechists Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Catholic Pic Tours The Catholic Pic announces two special pilgrimages for readers for 2021, in association with Northern Star Travel No deposit required to reserve your place!

Poland in the Footsteps of St Pope John Paul II & St Faustina 9 days £949 departing from Liverpool May 2021: dates to be confirmed 2 night’s dinner, bed & breakfast Warsaw 1 night dinner, bed & breakfast Czestochowa 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast Krakow Warsaw • Niepokalanow • Swinice Warckie • Czestochowa • Wadowice • Krakow Zakopane • Auschwitz • Lagiewniki (Divine Mercy) • Wieliczka On this journey, we will follow in the footsteps of three great Polish saints - St John Paul, St Maximilian Kolbe and St Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy - as we embrace the culture of the Polish people.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 8 days £1350.00 departing from Manchester Departure: October 4th 2021 4 nights half board 4* Hotel Bethlehem 3 nights half board 4* Hotel Tiberias. Tel Aviv • Caesarea • Stella Maris • Nazareth • Cana • Tiberias • Sea of Galilee • Jordan River Mt Tabor • Jerusalem • Ein Karem • Bethlehem • Qumran • Jericho • Dead Sea • Mt of Olives Mt Zion • Holy Sepulchre • Capernaum Guiding in the Holy Land with a licensed Christian Guide.

Sea of Galilee

Gardens of Gethsamane, Jerusalem

For more information about what the trips include and the full itinerary please either email: or telephone Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Catholic Pictorial


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