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Issue 190 July 2020
‘With the Church in prayer at home’
Father Peter Murphy our new priest INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Churches begin to reopen
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contents Issue 190 July 2020
Welcome This month we welcome Father Peter Murphy who was ordained priest on Sunday 28 June in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Current restrictions meant that it was not the Mass that had been planned but it was still a great time of prayer to bring Father Peter to the priesthood. Between 2018 and 2019 Father Peter shared his journey with us through his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Letter from Wonershâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; column in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Catholic Picâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. When the series finished he wrote â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thank you for allowing me to share the past year with your readers, and your continued supportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. That prayerful support now continues as he begins his priestly ministry at the Metropolitan Cathedral. These last weeks have seen the reopening of many of our churches for private prayer and as the Pic goes to press many more are preparing to open for the celebration of public Masses in the next few days. The return to Mass is welcome but things have to be different. We reproduce the leaflet which outlines what we can expect when we go to church, please do read it and respect the restrictions which are necessary for the safety of all.
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;With the Church in prayer at homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;
From the Archbishopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Desk During lockdown I have made a special point of keeping the Synod 2020 candle burning. Even though the paschal candle was extinguished at the end of the Easter season the Synod candle continues to light my path. All it takes is a lit candle to stir and lift our spirits, and this is because it is a symbol that has meaning for everyone, Christian or otherwise. Light is a very strong theme in the bible and especially in St Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gospel. Referring to Jesus, the author says, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;that the true light that enlightens every person is coming into the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and we need that light more than ever as we come out of the darkness of lockdown back into the light. The problem is that the true light as well as bringing us hope and joy will also shine into all the dark corners of our society and show them up for what they truly are. Already that light has shone on the story of our forebearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; involvement in slavery. In addition to facing up to the past we are reminded that this is an ongoing issue and modern slavery is present amongst us. We may encounter it when we get our car washed or eat fruit that is picked by illegal immigrants. Also, the true light has shone into the murky world of racism and the realisation that as a society and individually we simply have not done enough to stamp it out. As we continue to welcome Christ the light of world, we must prepare to stand up for what that light reveals and means. Keep your Synod 2020 Candles burning as we pray for the courage to step into the light. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
Editor Peter Heneghan Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: email@example.com Picture credits: Cover and Main Feature: www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 firstname.lastname@example.org Copy deadline August 2020 Monday 13 July 2020 Website: www.catholicpic.co.uk Twitter: @PicCatholic
Main Feature Welcome to our new priest
News From around the Archdiocese
14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent For I was hungry, and you gave me food 19 Profile Jacob Viera From refugee footballer to FA referee 20 Animate The year of living Lourdes from home 25 Cathedral Record A year unlikely ever to be forgotten 26 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life The gloom is real but faith can shine a light
Youtube: CPMM Media Subscriptions To take out a subscription please email Kim Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien at email@example.com or call 0151 709 7567 or contact Barbara on 0151 733 5492
30 Justice and Peace Charity, justice and the right response to this crisis
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Welcome to our new priest Father Peter Murphy’s ordination was a quiet affair because of Covid-19 restrictions but one filled with joy nonetheless. by Simon Hart It was an ordination with a difference. Social-distancing requirements had made sure of that, with just 16 people present in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 28 June. Yet it was an ordination as special as any other, studded with those moments that are pocketed in the aftermath and prized for years to come. For Father Peter Murphy, the newest priest of Liverpool Archdiocese, one such moment occurred during Archbishop Malcolm McMahon’s homily. ‘Because it was a smaller ordination,’ he relates, ‘sitting in front of the Archbishop during the homily was like a moment of realisation: “Oh, I am here, and he is there, and this is happening”.’ Happen it did, and come the finish, another of those moments arrived. ‘Archbishop Malcolm invited people to give me a round of applause and because of the acoustics of the cathedral, that round of applause circulated around and it almost felt as if the cathedral was full. As I came down from the altar and looked at this intimate gathering in a small area, I felt a real sense of going out into the wider Church.”
It is at the Cathedral that Fr Peter will begin his life as a priest, and Archbishop Malcolm, who concelebrated with Bishop Tom Williams, offered the following advice in his homily: ‘What you have to offer is Jesus, nothing more and nothing less – by looking straight into the heart of the person you can be the occasion of an encounter with the Lord Jesus. This will happen in your priestly life, not in any mechanical way but in deeply personal moments when you preach, when you baptise, give absolution, anoint the sick or witness a marriage between two followers of Christ.’ A quiet joy When Fr Peter said his first Mass subsequently, at St Cecilia’s in Tuebrook on 29 June, he took on to the altar a simple message from Father Dominic Risley to ‘just enjoy it’. The sense of joy at his ordination the day before had been quiet but certain. Owing to the Covid-19 restrictions there was no ‘kiss of peace’ – the embrace usually offered by fellow priests as a gesture of welcome – but instead ‘a profound bow’ from Archbishop Malcolm in his direction. ‘There was an intimacy in that moment, spiritually if not physically.’ Fr Peter’s father James, mother Mary – a Maths teacher at All Saints School in
‘Oh, I am here, and he is there, and this is happening’ Kirkby – and sister Sarah were there and so too a number of priests who had helped him along the way, including Canon Brian Coyle, his rector at St John’s Seminary in Wonersh, who travelled up to ‘perform the “giving away ceremony”’ as he puts it. The priest who ‘vested’ him, meanwhile, was Fr Conor Stainton-Polland, ‘another priest who has encouraged and inspired me’ – in this case when he spent his fourth year as a seminarian at St Matthew’s and St Cecilia’s parish. Also present were Father John Poland, taking the role of MC; Fr Ron Johnson, the diocesan vocations director; Fr Philip Gregory, episcopal vicar of the clergy; and Fr John Heneghan, who was Fr Peter’s priest when growing up at St Marie’s, Southport. Now 29, he reflects that it was as a pupil at St Mary’s College in Crosby that thoughts of the priesthood first began to take root. ‘I first started thinking about becoming a priest maybe when I was 15.’ The school’s annual mission week left its mark. ‘That opportunity of being able to go to Mass every day for that week brought me closer to the Lord in the Mass and so that was a significant moment,’ he explains. Coincidentally, the priest who led that mission was Fr Stephen Pritchard with whom he spent the recent Covid-19 confinement period at Our Lady of the Assumption in Gateacre. ‘It’s as if things came full circle during the lockdown. He was an important part of my formation.’ (And would be present at Fr Peter’s first Mass.) Seminary years On the course of his vocation, Fr Peter adds that he remained ‘committed to the idea’ while studying Business Management at the University of Hertfordshire. ‘I thought God was calling me
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somewhere,’ he says, and that call became all the clearer during his postuniversity year as a pastoral assistant at St John the Evangelist in Horsham, West Sussex. ‘This firmed up the feeling I was genuinely ready to take the next step.’ As a consequence, he began his training for the priesthood under the auspices of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, at St John’s seminary in Wonersh, just outside Guildford. ‘I started very happily with Arundel and Brighton but then started to realise that while I quite enjoyed living away from home, as most people do in their early twenties, home is where the heart is and so I started to explore the idea of returning to Liverpool.’ He remains grateful to a number of people – St John’s spiritual director, Canon Luke Smith, and rector, Canon Brian Coyle, as well as Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton – for smoothing the switch to his home diocese. ‘Thankfully the bishop gave me permission to ask Archbishop Malcolm to accept me as a seminarian for Liverpool and Archbishop Malcolm did, in April 2016, and so for the last four years I’ve been a seminarian for Liverpool.’ It was Bishop Moth who ordained him as a deacon at St John’s last December. On the challenges ahead, Fr Peter’s duties will include ministering at the Royal Liverpool Hospital – a role, he notes, never more significant than it is today. ‘The hospital ministry means caring for people at their most fraught and sensitive moments – and not just the people in hospital but all of their families. At this moment in history, we’ve had this opportunity to really think about healthcare workers and there’s something exciting about being part of a team in that way as well.’ He adds: ‘One of the most daunting things is knowing the desire to be as helpful and as supportive to people as I can be but knowing I’m not the finished product and in some ways am never going to be. The daunting aspect of being a priest is that gap between what I’m called to be and what I’m capable of
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being. But, of course, there is God’s grace to help make up for my inadequacies.’ There is that gap in all of us, and in his homily on 29 June, Archbishop Malcolm pointed to the example of St Peter: ‘It is Peter’s humanity and his weaknesses that inspire us’. And the Archbishop added to Fr Peter: ‘Remember that even though you may fail in love of the Lord, He never, ever, stops loving you. You can come back to Him and profess your love time and time again – and the specific way in which the Lord responds to that continuing return to Him is not to
‘home is where the heart is and so I started to explore the idea of returning to Liverpool’ 6
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feature wallow in your own issues or problems but to feed His lambs and to feed His sheep. This continuous process of turning to the Lord shows expression in your ministry by turning outwards to the poor, that must always be your direction – to the poor in spirit, those suffering poverty, those who are hurting and saddened.’ Words worth storing along with those prized moments.
‘I felt a real sense of going out into the wider Church’
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News diary If you’ve got any news from your parish that you’d like featured e-mail us with the details at: email@example.com
Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral re-opens Archbishop Malcolm formally re-opened the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King at 12.00 noon on Wednesday 1 July. After leading a short prayer, the Archbishop, together with Canon Tony O’Brien, the Cathedral Dean, knocked on the bronze doors of the Cathedral which then were opened. The Cathedral, which is subject to the same restrictions as all churches in the archdiocese, will be open from 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm each day for private prayer. Public celebrations of Mass will restart from the weekend 11/12 July. There will be a Vigil Mass at 4.00 pm on Saturdays and two masses on Sunday morning at 9.00 am and 11.00 am. All celebrations of Mass both at the weekend and during the week at 12.00 noon each day will be in the main Cathedral at the High Altar. The 11.00 am Mass on Sunday will continue to be livestreamed for those who are not able to attend in person.
Obituary of Rev Joseph Weston Father Joe Weston, parish priest of St Benedict, Hindley, for over twenty-seven years died at home on Thursday 30 April. He was aged 85 and died just a few weeks short of his Diamond Jubilee of Ordination which he would have celebrated on 12 June. Joseph Denis Weston, the son of Francis and Mary Weston, was born in Liverpool on 11 December 1934. He attended St Dominic’s School, Huyton, and St Paul’s, West Derby, before training for the priesthood at St Joseph’s College, Upholland. On 12 June 1960 he was ordained to the priesthood at St Dominic’s, Huyton, by his uncle, Bishop Joseph Gerald Holland SMA, Bishop Emeritus of Keta. He served in a number of parishes as assistant priest: Saints Peter and Paul, Crosby from November 1960; St Malachy, Liverpool in 1964 and then in St Joseph, Kirkby later that year; St Anne, Liverpool from February 1973 and St Vincent, Derbyshire Hill from July 1975. In January 1981 he was appointed parish priest at St Alban’s, Warrington. This was a period of significant change for the towncentre parishes as the Benedictine presence reduced. It was during his tenure that St Alban’s was clustered with the parish of Sacred Heart. With the support of a team of curates, some of
them fresh from ordination, he was able to be quite innovative in his pastoral approach amid the changes. He saw the great importance of community spirit, something that he fostered both at home in the presbytery as well as in the wider parish. Thus, he regarded parish clubs as being integral to parish life; not just as places for people to socialise, but also as places for outreach and evangelisation. His wide contacts with the local community meant that he was highly regarded not only by parishioners, but by many of other faiths as well. In August 1992 he moved to another former Benedictine parish with his appointment as parish priest at St Benedict’s, Hindley. This was to be his home for the remainder of his life. Here he continued to serve faithfully the pastoral needs of his parishioners. Between 2002 and 2011 he assumed additional pastoral responsibility for the parish of Sacred Heart, Hindley Green. In his younger days he had something of a flair for football and played centre half for the priests’ team in the archdiocese. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon presided at his funeral service at Howe Bridge Crematorium on Friday 22 May, with only a few family members attending because of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
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news diary Pauline Books planning for next chapter Their bookshop on Bold Street may have been shut since March but their work goes on – this was the message from the Daughters of St Paul as they underlined their determination to reopen their doors as quickly as possible. In an open letter, Sister Angela Grant relayed the message from the order that while the pandemic had focused their attentions on online activities, their Pauline Books & Media Centre in Liverpool city centre would reopen soon. She said: ‘The Trustees of Pauline Books & Media are well aware of the implications this lockdown has on us as a charity. Although we aim to focus on our online presence, which is currently being redesigned, we are optimistic that our centre in Liverpool will continue to be supported by you all. Now that some churches have reopened for private prayer and some restrictions have been eased by the government, we are discussing with our staff how we might have a phased reopening of the centre, once the refurbishment is complete. We will keep you posted.’
insights and other interesting reflections are posted regularly. Our younger followers posted their art work of Rainbows of Hope, and their thank you messages for NHS and key workers cheered and kept us hopeful.’ Sr Angela added that the the order were grateful to all customers for their support, noting: ‘Suppliers are gradually reopening
and so we will be happy to help source whatever you may need. We are most appreciative of your on-going support for the ministry of the Daughters of St Paul in the diocese over the past 17 years. This support enables us in turn to support our committed and loyal staff.’ Visit www.pauline-uk.org or telephone 017535 77629 to order online.
On their online presence, she wrote: ‘We are staying connected with our customers via social media and have gained new followers to our Facebook page. Daily Scripture readings offering some reflective
Obituary of Rev Bernard Eager Father Bernard Eager, who served as parish priest of St Catherine of Siena, Lowton for over twenty-four years died on Monday 29 June at St John’s House (De La Salle Brothers), St Helens, aged 85 years. He was in the 61st year of his priesthood. Bernard Joseph Eager was born on 14 October 1934 in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, the son of Roland and Ellen Eager. He received his early education at St Michael’s, Dun Laoghaire, and St Bede’s, Widnes, before training for the priesthood at St Joseph’s College, Upholland. He was ordained to the priesthood in the college chapel by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan on 11 June 1960. Following ordination he was appointed as assistant to Father Winder at St Alphonsus, Liverpool. He served there until the early part of 1965, when he was forced through ill-health to relinquish his parish duties. In November of that year 10
he returned to parish ministry as assistant to Canon Robert Meagher, and subsequently Canon Francis Ripley, at St Oswald’s, Ashton-in-Makerfield. His lengthy curacy at Ashton was brought to an abrupt end by another bout of ill-health in the early part of 1978. Following his recovery he became chaplain to the Sisters of Notre Dame at Lancaster House, Parbold, in June 1978 and served the community faithfully until March 1985. He was then asked to succeed Father John Connolly as parish priest of St Catherine’s, Lowton. This was to be his one-and-only appointment as parish priest. His long tenure in the parish was marked by his devotion to his parishioners. He also took on the additional responsibility of St Lewis’s, Croft, in January 2006. He retired from active ministry to live in Rainford in September 2009 but continued to celebrate Mass for the sisters at Parbold
on many occasions. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon on Wednesday 8 July at Corpus Christi, Rainford, prior to burial at Widnes Cemetery. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions only a limited number of people can be present in the church.
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news diary Hospice thanks its volunteers For volunteers across the country, the Covid-19 crisis has meant the closing of doors to many of the places where they make such valuable contributions – and St Joseph’s Hospice in Thornton is no exception. In ordinary times, volunteers support hospice staff there in a wide range of roles – as gardeners, patient buddies, administrators or ward clerks – and also working in its charity shops and fundraising out in the community. As a gesture of thanks, St Joseph’s Hospice marked Volunteers’ Week in early June by sending thank you cards to all of its volunteers, as well as long-service badges to those who had reached key milestones. These badges would usually be awarded at an annual volunteers’ evening but this year’s event had to be cancelled. The hospice also shared messages online at www.jospice.org.uk and on its social media channels. Diane Donaldson, a volunteer at the St Joseph’s Hospice shop in Crosby since 2005, received her 15-year service badge and said: ‘I originally wanted to help by giving my time just one day a week. I’ve made good friends with the other
volunteers and it has helped me personally to improve my own lifestyle.’ Mike Parr, chief executive of St Joseph’s Hospice, said: ‘This has been a really tough time for many of our volunteers. The main reason that many of them volunteer is because the hospice is a very special place to them and brings them great comfort and a real sense of purpose as
Share your lockdown stories ‘A snapshot of what we’ve all been through.’ This is how Kenny Lawler describes the collection that he and Father Simon Gore are compiling of people’s lockdown experiences across the Archdiocese – and they are asking Pic readers to help. Their aim is to gather as many reflections as possible of lives in lockdown, particularly of good works done during this challenging time, be it in a short video or as a written account accompanied by pictures. Kenny, pastoral associate at both Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Thomas of Canterbury and St Edmund of Canterbury parishes, explains: ‘The idea is for people to send us short video clips or texts with pictures to share what they’ve been doing during these very difficult, isolating times and hopefully it’ll provide a little bit of a snapshot of what we’ve
all been through and how we’ve all helped each other. These will be going up on the Archdiocesan website and hopefully shared on social media to show everybody what we’ve been up to and give us a warm sense of togetherness.’ Anybody wishing to contribute should send either a 30-second video with details of their name, where they are from and their activities during this unprecedented period, or alternately an account of no more than 2,000 words with some photos which Kenny and Father Simon will then convert into a montage of words and images. To make a contribution to this piece of social history for the Archdiocese, email s.gore @animateyouth.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org. Kenny has produced a video about the project at: https://youtu.be/m3AHm_Xnq_s
well as a close network of friends. We still need more volunteers so, even though they can’t start right away, we’re still recruiting and would love to hear from anyone who’s interested in finding out about volunteering for the hospice in the future.’ To learn more, please call 0151 932 6043 or email email@example.com
Chris Johnson former Pic photographer dies aged 68 Chris Johnson, who began his career as a photographer on the ‘Catholic Pictorial’, has died at the age of 68. He moved on to become a reporter at Mercury Press before working his way up to become owner of the news agency. He died on Thursday 25 June, aged 68, after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. Born in Atherton in 1952 he ran the Mercury Press agency in Liverpool for 40 years and in 2014 co-founded Bay TV Liverpool which merged with Made Television in 2016. He was press agent for Denise Fergus, the mother of James Bulger, and was honoured to become Chairman and a Trustee of the James Bulger Memorial Trust. He gave much time and energy to running the Liverpool Press Club on behalf of his fellow journalists.
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Cautious reopening of our churches The Archdiocese has issued a leaflet on what to expect on the reopening of our churches. The leaflet entitled: ‘Cautious reopening of our churches - what to expect’ is to help people know what they can expect when they come to Church for Mass. Before you arrive • You should stay at home if you are unwell. People who are vulnerable or who feel unsure about returning to Mass need to consider the wisdom of doing so. • Remember the Sunday obligation has not been reinstated and livestreaming of Masses will continue. • You will need to bring your own face covering. All people entering church must wear a face covering at all times. • You should avoid bringing any unnecessary items into church, e.g. shopping bags, as you will not be returning to your seat once you have received Holy Communion. When you arrive • You will be welcomed by a volunteer steward and you may be asked to give your contact details. • You will be directed to the hand sanitiser. • You will be directed to a bench. It may not be where you usually sit. • You must adhere to social distancing guidelines in place. • Any children accompanying you must do the same. • Baskets will be available at the entrance (and exit) for your weekly envelopes or other contributions. • Toilets will remain closed at all times except for a genuine emergency. • The piety stall will be closed. During Mass • There will be no Sign of Peace. • There will be no singing. Holy Communion: • Will be distributed after the final dismissal of the Mass. • The words “The Body of Christ” and the reply “Amen” will only be said once at the beginning of distribution. They will not be repeated for each person receiving Holy Communion. • The volunteer stewards will direct you to approach the altar to receive Holy Communion • People receiving Communion will be instructed to approach the altar with their arms outstretched so as to maintain a reasonable distance from the minister. • You may only receive the Sacred Host in your hand and not on your tongue. • Communicants must avoid skin to skin contact with the minister’s hands. • You must then step to one side, lower your face covering and place the Sacred Host in your mouth then follow directions to leave the church immediately. 12
After Mass • Please take home any newsletters, Mass sheets and other papers you may use. • Use only the designated exit. • Please do not gather in the church porch or on church property for conversations. • Continue to wear your face covering until you leave the area where other people are. We know that many people are excited about returning to church. We want to make sure that you can do so safely and comfortably as social distancing guidelines are still in place. Because of social distancing we will have to limit the numbers in church so we would encourage people, if possible, to attend weekday Mass as an alternative to Saturday evening or Sunday – the Sunday obligation is still suspended. The Mass will be different to the way we are used to celebrating but it is to ensure everyone’s safety. Thorough cleaning and sanitisation will need to take place after each Mass and that may mean the number of Masses may need to be reduced. While we will attempt to take appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, parishioners should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 any time they enter a public space since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.
Obituary of Deacon James Melia Deacon James Melia who served in the parish of Holy Family, Boothstown, died on 2 June aged 93. James Melia, known to everyone as Jim, was born on 11 August 1926 and was baptised and confirmed in St Francis Church, Gorton, Manchester, also known as Gorton Monastery, served by the Franciscans. He married Maureen Wilmot in St Luke’s, Irlam and they had five children: Kevin, Fran, and Lisa, and Jimmy and Andrew who predeceased him. They had nine grandchildren, of whom one is also deceased. The family settled in Holy Family, Boothstown, where Jim and Maureen were deeply involved in the life of the parish, especially in the prayer group led by Father Kevin Snape. Jim began his formation for the diaconate in 1987 and was ordained deacon in 1989, serving in Holy Family parish with Father Kevin and later with Father Dave Heywood until his retirement in 2001. Jim’s wife Maureen died several years ago and Jim himself died on 2 June 2020 aged 93. He will be fondly remembered for his gentle care and his commitment to prayer and service. Deacon Jim’s funeral service took place at St Marys RC Cemetery, Wardley on Tuesday 16 June with Bishop Tom Williams officiating at the service and burial.
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Our Lady’s outdoor procession
For the feast of Corpus Christi Our Lady’s Parish, Gateacre put a modern day twist on an ancient tradition of outdoor veneration of the Blessed Sacrament. Parish priest Fr Stephen Pritchard, said: “In the 1570s when plague hit Milan killing many people, St Charles Borromeo closed all the churches and he also ordered the construction of altars outside each church. This way, believers could still access the altar without putting their health and that of others at risk. “For Corpus Christi an outside altar was erected in front of Our
Lady’s Church and people parked their cars in the car park so that they could socially distance. “There were three services and parishioners heard the service that was transmitted through their car radios. At the end of the service people received a benediction with the Blessed Sacrament whilst they stayed in their cars. “A number of people were moved to tears, it was very emotional for many people and the weather helped in making it a very significant moment of prayer during this difficult time.”
Liverpool Seafarers Centre urges support to mark Sea Sunday Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) has called on ‘people of all denominations’ to remember seafarers in their prayers on Sea Sunday, which falls on 12 July. The ecumenical charity said it was more vital than ever to support those working on ships, with many left stranded on board during the coronavirus pandemic. Many seafarers are facing extended contracts, a lack of shore leave and the inability to speak to loved ones because of poor quality, non-existent or expensive wi-fi and internet. LSC, which has bases in Crosby and Eastham, reported in May the urgent plight of seafarers from India and the Philippines who felt ‘like prisoners’ aboard ship as they were unable to return home owing to flight bans. The next month, the shipping industry warned that travel restrictions had left up to 400,000 crew stranded either at
sea or at home. According to LSC chief executive John Wilson, seafarers have been working hard to deliver protective equipment and medication, as well as the food and other essential supplies needed to keep supermarket shelves stocked. He added: ‘During normal times, the men and women aboard these ships often work long hours in dangerous conditions to
carry out their roles. In the current situation, many of these are working with limited shore leave due to quarantine restrictions, leaving them with extended periods on board their vessels. Others are stuck at home unable to earn money for their families because crew changes are infrequent during lockdown.’ He has visited ships during the pandemic to deliver donations from the public, including toiletries, confectionery, puzzles and games, fresh fruit, and recently released CDs and DVDs. Wilson added: “Seafarers are at increased risk of suffering from mental health problems anyway, through long periods away from home, isolation and cramped living conditions. The pressure on their mental health from the Covid-19 crisis is huge and this exacerbates the risk of accident.’ For further information, visit www.liverpoolseafarerscentre.org.
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news diary Obituary of Deacon Terence Rimmer Deacon Terence Rimmer who served in St Peter and St Paul parish, Crosby, died on 29 May aged 65. Terence Alexander Rimmer, known to everyone as ‘Terry’, was born in Bootle on 30 April 1955. He was baptised at St Richard’s and St Alexander’s church, Bootle, on 15 May 1955. He married Fiona O’Boyle in August 1984 at Our Lady of Walsingham church, Netherton and they had a daughter, Sophie. Terry began training for the Permanent Diaconate in 2005, and was ordained deacon in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on 6 July 2008. As a deacon he served in St Peter and St Paul’s parish, Crosby, helping also in the surrounding parishes. Terry served the parish well as a deacon for 11 years, and his ministry and friendly approach to everyone was much appreciated. He had a good Liverpool sense of humour with accent to match and mixed easily with all whom he met, celebrating baptisms and weddings and assisting at Mass on a regular basis. In recent years he led the Marriage Preparation course for the Crosby area. His work in the Employment Office brought him into contact with many of the most disadvantaged in the community and he made his job an integral part of his diaconal ministry. He had been planning to retire soon. As a school governor at the Salesian School in Bootle, Terry kept in contact with the Salesian Community, and with former parishioners and friends at Our Lady of Walsingham parish, he was well known and well-liked by everyone. He enjoyed walking his dogs along Crosby beach every morning and socialising with friends in Crosby. Terry took ill at the end of November last year whilst out walking and was admitted to hospital where he underwent an operation to remove a brain tumour. In the following six months he was cared for in hospital and then at St Joseph’s Hospice in Thornton – Jospice - where he died peacefully on 29 May this year. Deacon Terry’s funeral service was celebrated by Monsignor John Furnival, Parish Priest of St Peter and St Paul, Crosby, at Thornton Crematorium on Friday 12 June. 14
Holy Land charity raises over £200,000 with matchfunding campaign
The Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) charity has raised more than £200,000 for vulnerable families in the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan thanks to a successful Pentecost Challenge match-funding campaign. The challenge achieved a total of £110,000 which rose to £210,000 thanks to a pledge by three FHL supporters to mirror the fundraising effort. Fundraisers from Scotland to Jersey found creative ways to attract sponsorship under lockdown conditions with events including socially-distanced strawberry teas and garden and neighbourhood walks. Plans are under way to distribute funds with around 500 families identified so far for support. With hotels in the West Bank closed because of the Coronavirus crisis, over 70% of the population of Bethlehem who serve the tourism sector have been unemployed since early March and tourism numbers are not predicted to reach 2019 levels until mid-2021. Restrictions related to the pandemic have drastically reduced domestic economic activity and external trade across the West Bank and Palestinian Authority (PA) with monthly revenues declining to their lowest levels in at least two decades according to FHL. Brendan Metcalfe, the FHL’s executive director, said: ‘We’re hugely grateful for the generosity of all of our supporters who have given to this appeal and for their efforts to maintain awareness of our mission in the public eye. The situation facing our brothers and sisters is set to remain very challenging for many months to come.’ The charity’s previous fundraising drive, the Bethlehem Appeal, generated £48,000 which it sent out to the Holy Land in March but Metcalfe added that yet more funds would be needed: ‘Our team in Bethlehem and our partners in the Holy Land will need more financial support to provide practical help to our Christian brothers and sisters as these conditions persist. Together with those across the UK we will do our utmost to meet those needs.’
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For I was hungry, and you gave me food (Mt 25:35) Catholic Social Teaching In Action Nugent has been the recipient of a £30,000 grant via The Albert Gubay Foundation to continue to provide free food and crisis grants to people experiencing hardship due to Covd19. The AGF made available a £1 million donation for Catholic Charites in England and Wales, all grant applications were overseen by Cardinal Nichols who issued the following message: ‘On 20 May, I received a phone call from the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation. During it, I received some startling news that the foundation decided to make an immediate outright donation of £1 million to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for the urgent relief of poverty in the context of the current pandemic. ‘The intention of the grant was clear; to support front-line action in the alleviation of this current suffering – specifically for food banks, food vouchers and crisis schemes for those most in need. It was therefore stated that the monies received were to be utilised immediately by the charity in the alleviation of poverty between now and the end of September. ‘So on behalf of so many, I wish to express heartfelt thanks to the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for this exceptional and magnificent donation to such important work. In particular, I thank the Gubay family for their leadership in this remarkable gift which is in addition to the regular charitable giving of the foundation. I do so, not only on behalf of every bishop in England and Wales for the confidence it shows in the effectiveness of the
Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
charitable work of our Catholic charities, but much more importantly, on behalf of all those whose hardship will be alleviated by this outstanding generosity.’ Since the beginning of lockdown, the Nugent Caritas team and volunteers have run a weekly free food market and hamper delivery service from its base at Epsom Street, Kirkdale. They have responded to people who are in need due to the pandemic. This front-line response, targeting those most in hardship has to date ensured that 1789 people have received food and this includes the delivery of 911 hampers across the Archdiocese. One lady wrote to us, ‘While I have been waiting in the queue, I’ve seen parents with young children, close to tears because they could now give their children food. I’ve seen other pensioners, who, like me are thankful that they have a tin of soup, some eggs, a loaf of bread, fresh fruit and vegetables to make meals during the lonely week ahead, I’ve seen ‘carers’ shopping for those in their care who are too ill or too weak to venture outside of their homes – even to the safe environment that you have created.’
Along with the food market, a Nugent Crisis Fund has been set up to help individuals or families in a crisis situation due to Covid-19. Schools and parishes can apply for a small grant of approximately £300. Applications are available on the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. On behalf of the beneficiaries, we send our heartfelt thanks to the Gubay Foundation for enabling us to serve and respond with dignity and respect to the most vulnerable in our communities. Their wonderful gift is already making a huge difference to many. (My thanks to Marie Reynolds, Caritas Manager for providing me with this information)
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Synod 2020 by Father Philip Inch (Synod Moderator) ‘Together on the road’ As you know the word Synod comes from two Greek words which can be translated as together on the road, together on the way, on the path, on the journey. When we set off on the Synod 2020 journey with the words: ‘together on the road’ and ‘becoming the Church God is calling us to be’, we never imagined what God had in store for us. The last few month have been unexpected and they have taught us all that the road has many twists and turn on it and, as the Synod journey continues, God is calling us to listen, often in new and exciting ways. ‘Becoming the Church God is calling us to be’ This phrase is the other part of our Synod tag line. We cannot doubt that God is inviting us to take a fresh look at the ways we have been doing things. It is certainly a gifted time to be part of the Church, especially part of our Synod process. It is important to say and to emphasise that the Synod has not been postponed; it has not been halted; it has not been cancelled. The Synod is happening; it is ongoing; it is alive and dynamic. You can see this in some of the ideas that have come forward in the recent reflections and requests for new proposals in the light of the present situation: here are two examples: A parishioner from Liverpool ‘Covid-19 has opened up many new challenges in our ways of worship and coinciding with Synod 2020, I truly believe that God is working in different ways to enable us to look at our forms of communicating with him. Priests and congregations have marvelled at the way live streaming has opened up different avenues of worship. Priests now have their intimate parish congregation in their daily Mass and they have their regular virtual congregation. So let every church have live streaming.’ A parishioner from Wigan ‘Parishes should develop an online presence to enable communication to and 16
that are outside the work of the Synod – but it has been a privileged task to work on all that has come in so far. from the clergy. Parishes should be encouraged to establish a PCC type of grouping to discuss and extend parish life. I have greatly valued and appreciated livestream but feel bereft of parish life although I am normally involved as minister of the Word and the Eucharist. As there was minimal provision for communication... or indeed community... before the pandemic, I worry for the future of parish life and my own practice.’ In the light of all this we have had to look again at the proposed Synod timetable. The Synod was never just one or two dates but there are certain dates that we have had to change. We are using this present time (until the beginning of September) to ask: ‘What is God saying to us in the light of what is happening all around us?’ Where can we hear the voice of God in the new and different ways in which we are gathering, in which we are celebrating Mass, in which we are using (or not) our buildings. We need to try to listen and to carefully discern. This is surely a God given opportunity. Please go on to the Synod Website: www.synod2020.co.uk and suggest any proposals that you feel need to be heard. Members of the Working Party have been looking at (discerning) all the proposals that have come in – over 2500. We have tried to ask ourselves what it is that is being said in each of the proposals. There is repetition and there are a few proposals
In October (on what would have been the weekend of our Synod gathering) we will take an opportunity, through Synod Sunday, to revisit the themes of the Synod, the work that has been done and outline the next stages of the Synod 2020 journey. From mid-October to early December all of the discerned proposals (long-list) will be sent to the Synod Members. They will be asked to share them as widely as possible and listen to responses. At the beginning of December Members will be invited to share the responses saying which of the (long-listed) proposals should go forward to the Synod gatherings. There will be a meeting of Synod Members in March. At these meetings we will present the final list of proposals to the Synod Members who then go back to the parishes and communities to discuss them before the Synod Weekend. The Synod weekend will now be June 18th, 19th and 20th. A prayer vigil will take place on 18th. The Synod Gathering will be at the Edge on Saturday June 19th and then the Synod Mass of Thanksgiving will be on Sunday June 20th. Please keep praying for the work of the Synod. Look at the Synod web site and Synod social media so that you can keep playing your part.
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Jacob Viera By Simon Hart From refugee footballer to FA referee – with a helping hand from his friends at St Anne’s Over 6,000 miles separate Liverpool from Jacob Viera’s home city of Nairobi. To say he felt far from home on arriving at the Birley Court residence for asylumseekers on Percy Street would be an understatement. It was November 2014. Jacob was 18. Yet he found a place of welcome at St Anne’s Church. ‘It was so cold and the language and culture were different but the people from this church really supported me. I didn’t have any family or anybody and that was the first place I went to and all the lovely people welcomed me,’ he says. ‘They wanted to know where I’d come from, and wanted to hear my story.’ The story they heard – of the promising young Kenyan footballer electrocuted by a drugs gang – is an arresting one. Thankfully, it comes today with a few new chapters, featuring his wife and young daughter and a fresh footballing challenge as a referee on the FA’s CORE (Centre of Refereeing Excellence) programme. A story retold on the Football Association’s website during National Refugee Week in June – complete with a photo of his parish priest, Father Peter Morgan. ‘I always say Fr Peter is just a
living saint,’ says Jacob. ‘One thing he’ll never say is no. It’s not in his vocabulary.’ Let’s start at the beginning, though. It was in June 2014 that Jacob’s refusal to cooperate with a gang who had asked him to take drugs into Tanzania during a football trip nearly cost him his life. Returning home one day, he was electrocuted when opening his front door. ‘The only thing I remember is I put my hand to open the door and then … bang! I was unconscious. After I’d been electrocuted my skin turned very dark and there were pink spots where the skin came off my face. My neighbour saw wires connected to the door handle which went right to the socket.’ Jacob was then playing football in Kenya’s top flight. Two months later he arrived in Britain for a trial at Newcastle United. It was Liverpool, though, that would become his home and St Anne’s his place of support after the rejection of his initial application for asylum – and then a failed appeal. ‘It feels like the end of the world but Fr Peter said, “You’ve got to keep trying and got to keep praying”. I used to report to the Home Office every week and he used to take me and explain to them we’d lodged a new appeal “so give him some more time”.’ It was Fr Peter who arranged for a fellow
parishioner, retired solicitor Peter Simm, to help with a second appeal. Support came too from Everton Football Club. Stuart Carrington, then the academy manager, invited Jacob to train with the youth teams. Mike Salla and his team at Everton In The Community paid for a series of courses. ‘They made sure I kept myself busy while waiting for my decision,’ says Jacob. ‘I kept believing and never gave up. I knew that at the end of the tunnel there’d be some light.’ He was right. A cruciate ligament injury sustained on the football field led him into refereeing and by 2017/18 he had received the Liverpool Match Official of the Year award. He has since refereed an England v Portugal Under-16 international. Last May, meanwhile, the Home Office granted him leave to remain in the UK. His next goal? To be a Premier League referee. ‘It doesn’t happen in a day or a week or a month, it takes time,’ says a 24-year-old who knows plenty already about the value of perseverance.
‘One thing he’ll never say is no. It’s not in his vocabulary’ Catholic Pictorial
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The year of living Lourdes from home Father Simon Gore explains why his sadness over this summer’s postponed pilgrimage is offset by the many signs of the Lourdes spirit active here in our diocese. When people have asked me what I have been doing in lockdown I have tended to answer: cancelling things. I expect we have all had to cancel or postpone plans that we had. In early April it was certainly a sad day for the Archdiocese when this year’s Lourdes pilgrimage was postponed. For many, this summer will be the first time that they have not been to Lourdes for years – possibly decades. To miss being on pilgrimage to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin, even for very good and understandable reasons, is a sad thing. Fortunately, there are plans afoot for a virtual pilgrimage this year. More news about that will follow and it would be nice to see as many pilgrims as possible gather together ‘virtually’, even if we cannot be with
each other in person. As well as missing the actual week in Lourdes we are also missing the preparation time that is integral to the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage. Normally, this would be a busy and pleasant time for us as we reach the end of our preparation period. Young people would have been meeting their fellow coach pilgrims for the past few months: getting to know each other and learning more about what Lourdes entails. It might not sound like there is much to miss there but those times of meeting are essential. It is said that our faith is one of encounter, and to miss those encounters of the living Body of Christ is to miss an essential part of pilgrimage. We would have been having our liturgy preparation as well. Believe it or not, all the liturgies we do are planned and prepared. Again, these times are full of vigour and spirit as
we try to break open the theme of Lourdes each year to make it as accessible and enjoyable and thoughtprovoking for our young people as possible. This year we were due to reflect on ‘I am the Immaculate Conception’; a tricky theme, I think. But I am sure we would have got a lot from it over the teas and coffees of our preparation meetings. As the pilgrimage is postponed, we will tackle it next year instead so let’s see how we get on in 2021! Our Departure Mass this year was scheduled for the first weekend in July. The Departure Mass really sets the scene for the pilgrimage week ahead. We have all our pilgrims together, and their families can be with them to see them off on their pilgrimage journey. As much as we try, the roof has managed to stay on Lowe House but maybe next year will be the year we really do blow it off with the singing! Of course, there is much more that happens as well in this time of preparation. But to think what we would normally be doing now is to remind myself of how the world has changed since that announcement went out about Lourdes. The pilgrimage was postponed, yes, but so much else has had to change as well. Of course, I am sad to miss those encounters in the lead-up and I am sad to miss the week itself. Yet I am also aware that there is no point dwelling on what we cannot change. It is better to focus on what we can do and have done. And that, for me, has been to see that although Lourdes has not taken place this year in the way it ‘normally’ does, the spirit of Lourdes – of service and simple humility – has been shining through in our Archdiocese. I have seen so much good work in our parishes as people reach out to those vulnerable and in need – surely the message of Lourdes. I have seen so many young people putting the needs of others before their own. Again, the spirit of Bernadette and the message of the Blessed Virgin. We have missed our encounters in person but the Body Of Christ has remained intact through virtual encounters. I sit here a little sad to have missed all the build-up to Lourdes and what that brings, but also heartened by what we have gained and what we have seen: Lourdes lived out at home.
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education news Local school and SVP group inspire community effort to set up clothes bank A food bank in Norris Green has become a place where people can also access second-hand clothing – thanks to the initiative between St Vincent’s School for Sensory Impairment and Other Needs and the local St Vincent de Paul group with the support of their wider community. The concept of a clothes bank came from the SVP group at St Teresa’s parish who
asked fellow parishioners for donations of clothing and received an ‘overwhelming’ response according to SVP member Kevin Hesketh, who explains: ‘We received about 50 bags of donated clothes and the objective then was to provide them “free” to those in need.’ It was St Teresa’s parish priest, Father Chris Fallon, who then advised them to seek help from St Christopher’s Church of England parish
on Lorenzo Drive. ‘He suggested we contact Barbara Smith, the vicar from St Christopher’s whose team runs a local food bank in Norris Green, and ask if we could display the clothes there. Barbara was fantastic and immediately thought it was a great idea and would help all those families who visit the food bank.’ Another source of support was St Vincent’s School for Sensory Impairment and Other Needs, whose principal, Dr John Patterson, responded immediately to a request to allow the SVP group storage space on the school grounds for all the clothes collected. Kevin Hesketh describes the scheme, which began last October, as a heartening example of different groups uniting for a good cause. ‘It wouldn't have been possible without the support of all these groups of people – that's community support. ‘Two members of our SVP conference deserve a special mention too – John and Mary Caddick, who volunteered each week up until the lockdown in setting up the clothes display at the food bank and helping the families to choose what's right for them. It's been a great success and everyone looks forward to starting again in the future.’
Performing arts students receive well-done medals Each year, all of Carmel College’s Upper 6 performing arts leavers receive a personalised award from their head of department, Erinna Delaney, to commemorate their time at the college. Sadly, this year they were not able to celebrate in person. So, Erinna kindly posted each of her students a good luck note and a drama medal to congratulate them on all their hard work and to remind them of their potential. Erinna said: “I am really proud of all my students, we have had a great two years, not just making theatre, but memories too! “It was sad not to be able to wish my students luck and award them in person, but I hope they will treasure their time at Carmel and being part of the performing arts family. “This year, once again, a high proportion of drama students are off to Russell Group Universities as well as many who will be going on to study at prestigious drama schools across the country.
“This is a subject that provides a wonderful experience and grounding for many courses at higher education as well as the industry. “It was also very nice that some of the students sent us selfies with their medals”.
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education news Talented Carmel student selected for National Youth Choir An upper sixth student from Carmel College has been selected for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB)! Yasmin Al-Zuhairi has been singing in choirs such as the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir for a couple of years now but a few weeks ago, Yasmin auditioned for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. As well as being the UK’s leading youth choir, it’s also recognised as one of the best youth choirs in the world! The audition process proved to be extremely tough with a huge amount of applicants. Yasmin said: “I was shocked when I found out the news but I’m extremely excited to join the choir! The age range of the choir is 18-25 years. Since I’m still 17-years-old, I will be one of the youngest members. “The majority of the concerts are based in London, at the Royal Albert Hall, which will be an amazing opportunity! “We will be performing there for the Christmas concerts, BBC Proms, 150th Royal Albert Hall Anniversary and more, which is really exciting. “I’m really looking forward to starting in September.”
St John Fisher rise to the challenge Staff and pupils at St John Fisher Primary School in Knowsley Village are celebrating being awarded an Area of Excellence for vision and leadership. St John Fisher earlier this year joined the Challenge Partners Network of Excellence and formed the Aspire hub along with a number of Knowsley schools and schools from the North West area. The aim of the network is to facilitate school improvement, leadership development and share great practice through various programmes including peer review. The school had their first review in March this year. The reviews involve three or four members of school leadership teams from across the country coming together for three days to review the school, celebrating their successes and aims in which to leave the school in a better position to move forward. Headteacher Michelle Forrest, said: “The review process was not an easy ride! It was demanding and challenging but it gave us the opportunity to share why we are so proud of our school and to celebrate the wonderful children and staff we have at St John Fisher, and all of the things we have achieved together”. The report highlighted the fact that: ‘Leaders at all levels have a clear ambition to ensure that the school vision, created jointly by all stakeholders, has a dynamic impact upon culture, curriculum and standards. Saying also that everyone in the school community is challenged to reach their full potential
and ‘shine’ through the school aims of ‘engagement, high expectations, respect and dignity’. They are delivered through the curriculum, underpinning all aspects of school life and reinforced by the strong Catholic ethos.’ Michelle said: “As part of the review, we put forward an application for an ‘Area of Excellence’. This is an additional focus on an area of school, which we felt was a significant strength. “We asked the team to focus on our leadership, particularly vision driving culture and standards. Our leadership team is strong, passionate and forward looking. “We achieved accreditation for our area of excellence in our first review and were contacted by a school in Doncaster who asked us to support them as they revisited their own vision and values. “Via a zoom meeting, we shared how we have made the vision and mission a golden
thread which weaves through every element of our school and reminds us of what we are aiming for the children and adults in our community. Michelle continued: “I’m so proud of our whole school community who work together to support our children and adults to achieve their full potential. The leadership team is passionate and dynamic, always looking for ways in which we can improve. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful team working alongside me.’ “The report also highlighted the fact that all stakeholders have together created a shared vision through which everyone is enabled to ‘shine’. This vision is at the heart of the school and drives everything it does and pupils care about their school, they take a pride in their work and appreciate the supportive, caring relationships that exist across the school. Consequently, pupils want to come to school’.
St John’s SLT team, back row-Michael Brooks (deputy), Michelle Forrest (headteacher), Carly Graham (curriculum lead), front Lorraine Morris (school business manager) and Danni Monaghan (English teacher)
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note This month of July is, in tradition, dedicated to the Precious Blood. Pope Pius IX established a Feast of the Precious Blood in the year 1849, but this was building on a tradition dating back to scriptural times. The shedding of blood in the Old Testament is seen as a ‘sealing’ of the covenants made between God and his people and indeed between the people themselves the blood poured out by Jesus seals the ‘new and eternal covenant’ which – in His life, death and resurrection – is the expression and the revelation of God the Father’s love for each one of us. To eat and drink at the Lord’s table, to have Communion with Christ in His selfgiving, is at the heart of what it is to be a follower of the way of Christ; we have to have a personal and individual life of prayer and devotion but this is to underpin our common life, our communal following of the way of Christ. During these past dark months a sharp focus has been brought to bear on the fact that we indeed do need each other, we rely on others to ensure that – quite literally – we have ‘our daily bread’. At his live-streamed Masses from Casa Santa Marta at the Vatican, the Holy Father made a particular point of praying each day for those who ensured that our lives were kept as safe as possible and that our loved ones were cared for with dignity. At the end of March, from a rain-
Sunday thoughts ‘Growing up I never met a parish priest who wasn’t always cross’. These are the words of a lady who grew up as a Catholic. She went on, ‘The parish priest said “No” to everything.’ In recent weeks I find myself saying ‘No’ to parishioners. Some resent the lockdown and priests are seen as inflexible enforcers. Many requests are connected with funerals. Encounters with grieving families leave me wondering if I’m overzealous; a parish priest who can only say ‘No’. I’m aware that any flexibility I concede is grudging and the family get less than they want. I have a fridge magnet which says ‘What would Jesus do?’. Does pastoral sensitivity demand that I ignore the rules? It’s a tough call. Where’s the ‘good news’ in all of this? For many Catholics their occasional contact with the Church is at times of crisis. Funerals are not a good time for a
Canon Philip Gillespie
drenched Saint Peter’s Square, he addressed the city of Rome and the whole world (Urbi et orbi) on the uncertainty, fear and fragility which have deeply affected us all in these past months: ‘The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: by His cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by His cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by His cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from His redeeming love. In the midst of isolation, when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: He is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from His cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognise and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.’
Mgr John Devine OBE
stand-off. Grievances over a funeral lodge in a family’s memory to be revived each year at the anniversary. And there are parishioners who imagine that the whole Coronavirus reaction is over the top. This can be coupled with a belief that secular rules and regulations should not apply to the Church; that we answer to a higher authority; that the Lord will look after His own; that churches are ‘safe’ by definition. And there are some who simply resent being told what to do by anyone – secular or religious. My soul-searching leads me to question my own double standards. Do I pick and choose which rules I observe or reject? For example, do I blithely dismiss Coronavirus restrictions and at the same time enforce rules on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried? Or vice versa? No more Mr Nice Guy?
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com 24
Eucharist and Unity I was invited not so long ago to talk to a group about transformation and the Eucharist. I told them about the time a woman, who lived on the streets, had kissed me and held me as she cried some of her pain away. She stank of stale sweat and alcohol. I was challenged about how transformed I really was when this happened. She needed human warmth, comfort and to be held. If I appeared to her like a lump of stone, she graciously never said. That experience allowed me to reflect on transformation and Eucharist and our call to be one with the least of our brothers and sisters. Afterwards, a woman came up to me, horrified that a woman of the streets should have been the means of transformation. It was a gospel moment but not a comfortable moment. I had a certainty I was there to tell that woman the story. Her understanding of Eucharist had been hugely challenged by my sharing and what that might mean for her. It frightened her as she recognised the need for deep inner transformation, if she were to really serve. Eucharist draws us deeply into relationship with Jesus and with others. We need to be transformed to see that clearly. When we break bread, we identify with everyone who is broken. When we drink from the cup, we identify with everyone who shares themselves with another. It is not an individual devotion but the sacrament of unity through which we become what we receive and learn how to serve one another. Richard Rohr says: ‘We keep eating and drinking the Mystery, until one day it dawns on us in an undefended moment: my God, I really am what I eat.’ I remember attending a Sunday Mass in a place that is rich in community values. When we got to the offertory collection, a man got up. He wandered down the church with his basket, talking away to himself and occasionally to others. Then a little girl decided it was her job so when she received the basket, she handed it around. The man was bewildered and began to mutter. He was obviously distressed. Behind me were three women whose conversation had kept me entertained as I listened to various health problems. One of these women, moved with compassion, went and put her arms around the man and said, ‘C’mon love, you come and sit with us for a while’. He began to cry as she held him. At that Eucharistic gathering the unity and service that we are invited into every time we gather was apparent in the gift of an elderly woman to that man who would experience rejection in most other places. So, to the shores of Galilee and the words to Peter: ‘Do you love me … then feed my sheep.’ He stands as a symbol of the Church, invited to feed the world with the presence of Jesus that is recognised in the breaking of the bread. He stands as a symbol of all, called to unite the world in the mystery of love through the service of the most broken. He stands to challenge us to recognise the invitation to unity that the Eucharist holds out to us. Fr Chris Thomas
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cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
A year unlikely ever to be forgotten
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean After a period of almost three months I am delighted to announce that finally the Cathedral doors were opened again on Wednesday, 1 July. It is a joy to see the Cathedral slowly come back to life with people visiting, with the building once again resuming its role as a house of prayer for all.
July calls to a close another choir year. Without doubt 2019-2020 will be a choir year unlikely to ever be forgotten due to the pandemic. The last three months have been a strange time for us all, but our choristers have worked very hard throughout, taking part in daily singing sessions, theory sessions and vocal technique sessions. These sessions have taken place on Zoom and have been led by myself or my colleagues from our homes. Our two primary motivations during this lockdown period have been, firstly, to keep developing the choristers’ musical skills, and secondly, to maintain a sense of community with each other, and with our Cathedral. Quite what September holds for the Cathedral Choir is uncertain. Scientific tests are being held in various locations across Europe and the United States to ascertain how choirs can once again safely sing together. We hope that some ‘in person’ singing will be possible during the Autumn term, but a return to the ‘normal’ may well be some time off. From September our junior choir School, Runnymede St Edward’s Primary School in West Derby will become a grantmaintained school, moving from the private into the state sector. We are delighted that this means that all Catholic children throughout the archdiocese will now have the opportunity to audition for a place as a chorister at the Cathedral, without the burden of schools fees, and to be educated at our two Cathedral Choir Schools: Runnymede St Edward’s Catholic
Primary School (Boys, age 7-10) and St Edward’s College (Boys & Girls, age 1115.) We have filled all our places for girls in September, but a limited number of places remain for admission into the Cathedral Choir for boys entering year 3 and 4 in Autumn 2020. If you know of a family who might be interested please do direct them to the Cathedral website. In addition to Runnymede changing status in September, we will bid farewell to Bradley Slater, the Headteacher. A South African by birth, Mr Slater has been a passionate supporter of the Cathedral Choir and its choristers over the last nine years. Going beyond the call of duty he has accompanied the choir on trips to Rome, Cologne, London and other more local trips. We wish him the very best as he moves to take a new post in Cheshire, and hope that he will keep in touch with the choir. In August we also bid farewell to James Todd, our Cathedral organ scholar for 2019-2020. James came to us from the Diocese of Shrewsbury where he played in several Catholic Churches and annually on the Shrewsbury Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. During the course of this year James has been an enormous help in the Cathedral music department carrying out a wide range of duties. Although the year didn’t quite go as planned with the lockdown, we are delighted that he has been awarded a place at the highly prestigious Royal College of Music in London to study organ from September. Congratulations James.
We have spent the last couple of weeks preparing the Cathedral and developing procedures in line with current guidance to ensure that all who come here will feel confident that their safety is ensured as much as is practically possible. This will however mean that not everything that we are used to doing when visiting the Cathedral will be available at first. Please be patient – it is better to start simply and gradually reintroduce more facilities as we become more familiar with the new protocols that have to be in place to maintain a safe environment. The times of opening and safety procedures that will have to be followed are listed below – none of this is to impede you visiting but rather to help you feel confident about being able to come to the Cathedral and feel safe whilst you are here. From Wednesday 1 July 2020 our temporary opening times are 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm, seven days a week. The public celebrations of Mass at the Cathedral will restart from the weekend 11/12 July. There will be a Vigil Mass at 4.00 pm and two masses on Sunday morning at 9.00 am and 11.00 am. All celebrations of Mass both at the weekend and during the week at 12.00 noon will be in the main cathedral at the High Altar. We will continue to live stream the 11.00 am Mass on Sunday for those who are not able to attend in person.
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Mums the Word Looking through my trusty UCM diary for July, I notice that the 29th is the feast day of St Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus. I have always been pleased that she has a day all to herself and is not coupled with her sister. Do you, like me, often feel that she had a raw deal when Jesus said that Mary had ‘chosen the better part’ by listening to Him speak instead of helping Martha with the serving of guests (Luke 10:38)?
A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
Thank God for Zoom!
This leads me to wonder what we would have done. I feel sure that we would have loved to listen to Jesus but wouldn't we have felt guilty about not preparing the food, or waiting upon Him? How often have we felt undervalued when we have done everything and not been appreciated for it? Which would you have been – a Martha or a Mary? We hear of Martha again in St John's Gospel (chapter 11). When Lazarus died, Martha was the first to go out to greet Jesus, saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died, but even now I know that God will grant whatever you ask of Him.’ Then Martha was the recipient of one of Jesus’s most important pronouncements: ‘I am the Resurrection. Anyone who believes in Me, even though that person die, will live, and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.’ How wonderful for Martha to hear those words and then to have her brother Lazarus brought back to life. So, ladies, if we do not feel appreciated right now, perhaps our time will come in another place and at another time. As you know the Walsingham trip scheduled for 6-8 July has been cancelled. Maria Bruns, our deputy president, is awaiting information before sorting out refunds. Do please make a note of the dates for next year’s Walsingham pilgrimage, which will take place on 5-7 July 2021. Stay safe and well, and may God bless us all. Madelaine McDonald, media officer
With the reduced physical contact brought by the COVID-19 restrictions, most activity involving the KSC, as with so many institutions, is taking place by means of the internet. Our local councils have been conducting monthly meetings by Zoom and are finding it beneficial to see and hold conversations with each other. During the month of May, it is a KSC tradition to rededicate the Order to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This year, due to the restrictions, we took the decision to do this nationally by Zoom, praying the Rosary at a set time each Monday evening. The Rosary was introduced each time by the supreme knight, Brother Bertie Grogan, and led in turn by our own Archbishop Malcolm McMahon; the Bishop of Paisley, John Keenan; the Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley; and the parish priest of Whitton, Father Nigel Griffin. From across the country a number of deacons led the responses along with councils and their members.
We thank all who participated in this moving, uplifting and novel experience. To honour the feast day of our patron, Saint Columba, meanwhile, we started the celebrations with a streamed Mass from St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow (see photo), which was celebrated by the Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia. There were other Masses streamed to mark the occasion, including one in Paisley, celebrated by Archbishop John Keenan, and another in Southwark, celebrated by Archbishop John Wilson. If ordinary circumstances, we would have celebrated our National Biennial Mass for deceased members at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 13 June but this had to be postponed and will now take place on Saturday 12 June 2021 at 3pm. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Keep up to date with all the news from around the Archdiocese online at: www.catholicpic.co.uk You can now follow us on twitter at:
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PIC Life The gloom is real but faith can shine a light By Moira Billinge The Coronavirus, despite the advances in treatment, continues to influence almost every imaginable aspect of our daily lives. As we attempt to rebuild our society from the devastation that the virus has wreaked, we are also striving to prevent its return in a second wave. When I listened to Boris Johnson’s announcement in March that ‘Many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time,’ I remember thinking that his words must have created the same chill, deep within the hearts of the people, as Neville Chamberlain’s statement in his radio broadcast in 1939 when he declared that ‘This country is at war with Germany’, such was the gravity of the situation. The prime minister’s prediction was criticised for its brutality yet it was quickly proved to be correct. What he couldn’t
have predicted, however, was the way people across the nation would pull together in wonderful acts of generosity and selflessness. Many brave, dedicated individuals lost their own lives to the very disease that they attempted to alleviate in their own patients, or while providing a service to others in the community. ‘Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) While many people have recovered from the disease, countless bereaved families have carried the additional burden of not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones or to provide the ‘send-off’ which would have happened in normal circumstances. Contrary to the opening lines of the prayer ‘Death is nothing at all,’ death really is devastating, yet those words seem to shrug it off as if it were hardly more than an inconvenient interruption to the daily routine. In truth, death is something which turns life
upside down, inside out and back to front. To describe death as ‘nothing at all’ stretches piety to its limits. It is truly a massive event for those who are left behind. Our Christian belief in life after death does not spare us the searing agony of loss, but our faith gives us hope which, in turn, gives our lives some balance, and helps us to find reason where there may not otherwise be. Of course we too would like Jesus to return our loved ones to us from the dead, as He did for his dear friend Lazarus, but it is not going to happen. That person has moved from the here and now of this world into the timelessness of eternity. As Christians, we trust that, enfolded by our prayers, the one we love has, in reality, stepped across the divide between the ups and downs of this life and a life and happiness with our beautiful God which is beyond our imagining. Being a Christian does not exclude us from fear, or necessarily lessen the gut-wrenching terror which may confront us. It does not create an automatic immunity from worries about pain, illness, family and financial problems, or concerns relating to this monstrous, global pandemic, conflict or environmental disasters. Being a Christian ‘connects’ us to the One who is there for us no matter how seemingly hopeless or desperate the situation, who will stand right inside our fear and breathe His peace into our souls. And while we cannot escape the suffering which accompanies bereavement, God will lead us through it and we can be certain that the dead are only as far away as God … who is so very close.
Worth a visit - Newark-on-Trent In a time of crisis, it seems fitting to look to a town that weathered the turbulence of civil war, writes Lucy Oliver. The ancient market town of Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire is presided over by its Saxon castle, also the resting place of unpopular King John. He is said to have spent his last night there in 1216, after attempting to revoke his signature on the Magna Carta and provoking the barons to rebel. Later, during the English Civil War, the castle was a crucial halfway point between London and York and was besieged three times. However, its defences were strengthened and the Queen’s Sconce, an earthwork fortification considered the finest in 17th-century military engineering, survives. For more information about the castle ranger’s guided tours and when they may resume, contact 01636 655765. A 30-minute drive away is Sherwood Forest and from 3-9 August, the Robin Hood Festival is planned (government guidance permitting) with live medieval re-enactments, archery and storytelling. For walkers seeking sanctuary, some ancient giants welcome you – notably the Major Oak,
estimated to be between 800 and 1,100 years old. In testing times, it is awe-inspiring to reflect how God’s creation has withstood the trials of the elements and man-made disasters from wars to deforestation.
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Catholic Pic Tours The Catholic Pic announces two special pilgrimages for readers for 2021, in association with Northern Star Travel No deposit required to reserve your place!
Poland in the Footsteps of St Pope John Paul II & St Faustina 9 days £949 departing from Liverpool May 2021: dates to be confirmed 2 night’s dinner, bed & breakfast Warsaw 1 night dinner, bed & breakfast Czestochowa 5 nights dinner, bed & breakfast Krakow Warsaw • Niepokalanow • Swinice Warckie • Czestochowa • Wadowice • Krakow Zakopane • Auschwitz • Lagiewniki (Divine Mercy) • Wieliczka On this journey, we will follow in the footsteps of three great Polish saints - St John Paul, St Maximilian Kolbe and St Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy - as we embrace the culture of the Polish people.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 8 days £1350.00 departing from Manchester Departure: October 4th 2021 4 nights half board 4* Hotel Bethlehem 3 nights half board 4* Hotel Tiberias. Tel Aviv • Caesarea • Stella Maris • Nazareth • Cana • Tiberias • Sea of Galilee • Jordan River Mt Tabor • Jerusalem • Ein Karem • Bethlehem • Qumran • Jericho • Dead Sea • Mt of Olives Mt Zion • Holy Sepulchre • Capernaum Guiding in the Holy Land with a licensed Christian Guide.
Sea of Galilee
Gardens of Gethsamane, Jerusalem
For more information about what the trips include and the full itinerary please either email: email@example.com or telephone Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Catholic Pictorial
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Letter from Oscott by Peter Ross As lockdown begins to ease, I feel myself beginning to let out a sigh of relief. Yet, at the same time, I feel a small sense of loss. While lockdown brought feelings of restriction, I have to say also that it brought a great sense of freedom. That freedom was experienced most explicitly during time spent among nature. As I mentioned in one of my recent letters, getting out for a daily walk has proved to be so beneficial. Actually stopping to appreciate the birds, their colours and sounds, is something that I usually would not bother doing at all (mostly because I had ‘something better’ to do). Seeing the spring sweep in with all of its hope-filled colour was a great experience. I would usually miss all of these wonderful things from the natural world, but lockdown highlighted them all for me. Many other people have expressed similar sentiments; they have found consolation in nature during these past few months. It is official Church teaching that we can come to know God through His creation so I would be quite confident in saying that I have come to know Him a little bit better during this time. God does not reveal Himself in the ways we expect, but rather in ways we do not expect (a child born in a stable, bread and wine). Now, as I look towards our ‘new normal’, I wonder whether I’ll be able to hold on to this newfound appreciation. I certainly hope I can, and I pray that you can hold on to something similar too. Finally, a world of congratulations to Father Peter Murphy, our newest priest. Fr Peter will be joining the team at the Metropolitan Cathedral in September, and please spare a prayer for him if you can as he begins his priestly ministry during this time of uncertainty. As for our formation at Oscott, the academic year has now come to an end. The hope now is that we will return to Oscott for the last week of August. This will allow us a chance to unpack these past few months and spend time with friends before the new students arrive. Then, fingers crossed, the year will go from there! 30
justice & peace Charity, justice and the right response to this crisis By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker I have wrestled for years with the distinction between charity and justice, and have come to realise that we use the word ‘charity’ to mean very different things. Its grandest use is to describe the love that God has for all of creation. This overwhelming, all-inclusive, allforgiving love holds us secure in all trials and tribulations. It is the source of our existence and the goal of our lives. God is love. It ‘passes all understanding’ (Ephesians 3:19), in which sense, when we have a share in it, it is a theological virtue. Not just one of the great three virtues of faith, hope and charity but ‘the greatest of these’ (1 Corinthians 13:13) without which our lives are ‘hollow gongs’ (1 Corinthians 13:1). This wondrous love/charity is the inspiration of the love we share with each other by ‘charitable’ works. Cafod is a charity because it cares for others. That is why we have ‘charity shops’ where the proceeds go towards looking after people. Yet we must be careful not to slip into thinking that our taking of unwanted items to charity shops is a replica of God’s unfailing love. It may be generous but it is also convenient for us to have a place to put our excess purchases. So ‘charity’, which in its origins is our highest expression of selflessness, becomes the word we use to mean giving to those in need. And it gets worse. In its meanest sense, it is the pittance that we grudgingly give to the poor – even the so-called ‘undeserving’ poor – out of our generosity and our surplus. At this low point in the use of the word we have reached the expression ‘as cold as charity’. The companion word, ‘justice’ has a similar track record, ranging from ’God’s justice’ – which demands that everyone has a dignified life – to the harsh justice that gives people only what they deserve, often in the form of punishment. The lowest form of justice protects the status quo, keeping the rich and powerful in their wealth, keeping oppressive systems safe from change, insisting that the way things
are is the way things should be and must be. This is the mindset that maintains that people are poor because they deserve to be: they do not try hard enough, they are feckless and make bad life choices. Late 20th-century and early 21stcentury British society is not the best model to benefit everybody. The experience of society during the lockdown has demonstrated that some of the ways in which society is organised are unjust, putting burdens on certain sectors while protecting others. Is it just that some people have become better off merely by working at home whereas others have used up their savings and ended up relying on charity? Foodbanks have been life-savers but are they the best way to make sure people can lead dignified lives? How is it that suddenly all homeless people have been found a place to sleep? Should we not rise to the challenge of ‘building back better’ and ‘making all things new’? Dare we take the idea of furlough to its logical conclusion and suggest that there should be a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for everyone so that all people can live dignified lives? There will be howls of protest from the rich if the redistribution of wealth were to start moving in the other direction. The Pope has set up a Commission on COVID. It begins by looking at the immediate response, but is looking also to a different future. Pope Francis has called us all to ‘Prepare the Future’ not ‘Prepare for the Future’. He is asking us not to restart but to reset; to work for a transformed future not a return to the same old past. And who will do this? He is not asking cardinals and bishops, he is asking us! These are questions that the J&P Annual Assembly will be raising in its four online sessions looking at our Christian response to the crisis, taking place between 28 June and 4 July. Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, has been confirmed as a panel speaker for the final session and all four will be available to view on YouTube and Facebook after the event. Go to: https://jp.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/event s/assemblies/
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