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Issue 176 May 2019
Our Easter Celebrations
14 Stations in 14 Churches
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
A pictorial veiw of Easter
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Inspiring excellence personal and academic
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contents Welcome Happy Easter. This month we look back on the celebrations in our archdiocese during Holy Week and Easter, just two weeks ago, with pictures of some of the services and events that took place. We also look at some of the preparations for Easter including the RCIA Retreat Day and a very special day of pilgrimage making the fourteen Stations of the Cross in fourteen different churches. The month of May is one of devotion to Our Lady with the tradition of processions in her honour. Our Archdiocesan Archivist, Neil Sayer, takes a fascinating look back on the processions with May Queens, and the crowning of statues of Mary. It is a happy coincidence that Easter was celebrated late this year which means that the whole of the month is in Eastertide (Ascension Thursday is celebrated on 30 May) when the Church says and sings the beautiful anthem to Our Lady ‘Regina Coeli Laetare Alleluia’. (‘Queen of Heaven, Rejoice, Alleluia’.) A fitting way to celebrate the great feast of the resurrection of the Lord. At this time in our prayers and May devotions we remember to pray for peace and harmony in our world and in our country.
From the Archbishop’s Desk The recent retirement of Pat Gaffney as the general secretary of the British section of Pax Christi, the international catholic peace movement, has made me think about my own commitment to realising Christ’s peace in our world. Pat worked for Pax Christi for 29 years and, at times almost single-handedly, built it up into an effective organisation to increase awareness and educate our community in the art of peace-building. Among many other qualities needed to be a person of peace Pat showed the virtue of courage at its best. To have the courage of our convictions is what is needed to be a follower of Jesus. We often forget this and withdraw into a kind of personal religion where we set the boundaries and don’t step outside them. The harsh reality is that at times Christianity demands us to be prophets as well as priests; leaders as well as disciples. To be faithful to this takes guts. We cannot always retreat into prayer; sometimes prayer and reflection mean that we are compelled to act. But we must always be rooted in prayer, otherwise we may lose our way, and then we will be following our own ambitions and not those of our Master, the Prince of Peace. Pat’s courageous service will be missed by many in the peace movement both inside the church and beyond, but the work of peacemaking will continue. In truth, the Church should be the peace movement par excellence: if only we had the courage to be just that. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God! Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
Editor Peter Heneghan
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Main Feature Holy Week and Easter 2019
News From around the Archdiocese
13 Profile Eleanor Lalley An American in Ainsdale 16 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent News Challenge yourself, and raise funds for Nugent 19 Animate A message of new life, hope and direction 26 Cathedral Record Two Cathedrals ‘Messiah’ 27 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC 28 Pic Life Why each of us has a role to play, however great or small 30 Justice and Peace A letter no Catholic should ignore
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Holy Week and Easter 2019 This month, as we celebrate Easter, we take the opportunity to reflect in pictures on the ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter in the archdiocese.
Mass of Chrism on the Wednesday of Holy Week 4
Archbishop Malcolm consecrates the Oil o Cathedral of Christ the King
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Oil of Chrism at the Metropolitan
Holy Thursday Altar of Repose at St Stephen, Warrington
Right: Good Friday Walk of Witness at St Bartholomew, Rainhill Left: Holy Thursday display at St Bartholomew, Rainhill, by parishioner Trish Rigby Bottom Left: Good Friday Ecumenical Service at Our Lady Immaculate and St Joseph, Prescot Below: Swieconka: Blessing of the Easter Baskets at St Stephen, Warrington
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Above: Holy Saturday Walk of Witness Liverpool City Centre Right: Easter at St Catherine Laboure, Farington
Easter Garden at Sacred Heart, Chorley Above: Easter Sunday at the Metropolitan Cathedral Below: Easter Vigil St Bartholomew, Rainhill
Canon Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool, leads prayers on the Walk of Witness 6
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News diary If you’ve got any news from your parish that you’d like featured e-mail us with the details at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospice appeals for unwanted furniture St Joseph’s Hospice has launched an appeal for any unwanted furniture – and is even offering to send out van drivers to collect it for free, provided it is good
enough to be sold in its charity shops. The hospice even offers a whole-house clearance service where its staff will come and remove anything that can be resold.
The hospice has two specialist furniture shops, in Warbreck and Kensington, which it needs to keep fully stocked and it also operates smaller charity shops across Merseyside – in Allerton, Crosby, Formby, Maghull, Netherton, Southport and now on County Road in Liverpool. These shops sell a wide range of goods, including jewellery, clothes, toys and books, and staff are always looking for donations and for volunteers to help in the shops so please get in touch if you can help or simply drop in. Jo Rigby-Clare, retail manager for St Joseph’s Hospice, said: ‘Donating your unwanted goods to the hospice makes a significant difference as we raise thousands of pounds every year from sales in our charity shops, through our eBay shop and on Amazon Marketplace, all from donated goods. All the money we raise goes towards helping us provide end-of-life and palliative care for our patients as well as care and support for their families. ‘Please make sure that any soft furnishings, such as sofas, mattresses or upholstered items, have a fire label sewn which meets the British Standards Specification for Fire Safety. Also, donated goods should be in a good, clean condition with no rips, tears or stains. Please think of us when you’re next having a clear-out and you can be sure that your goods will be very gratefully received.’ To arrange a house clearance or furniture collection, call 0151 525 3072. To see the locations of the hospice’s shops, visit www.jospice.org.uk.
Archbishop’s Retreat Day 2019 Over 50 people gathered at St Joseph’s Prayer Centre in Freshfield on Saturday 30 March. With blue skies, sunshine and the sometimes elusive red squirrels visibly busy in the trees, RCIA teams accompanied those whom they have been preparing to celebrate the sacraments of initiation at Easter for a day of prayer and reflection led by Archbishop Malcolm. The day included a number of reflective workshops and the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The retreat ended with the Presentation of the Our Father, one of the special liturgical steps which form part of the RCIA process.
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Archdiocese of Liverpool Lay Formation Fund by Veronica Murphy â€˜There is a variety of skills, but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.â€™ (1 Corinthians 12:4-7.) In calling us all to embark on the journey to Synod 2020, Archbishop Malcolm reminded us of the need for all the baptised to be willing to reflect prayerfully on how we could use our gifts for the wider community as we strive to become the Church God wants us to be. Pope Francis has consistently called us to focus more and more on becoming a Missionary Church looking outwards to discern the needs of our local and global communities and becoming a people that listens and accompanies on the path to holiness. If this Is to become a reality, then diverse opportunities to grow in the love and knowledge of God and to be formed in the ways of discipleship and mission need to be provided. Many such opportunities already exist, and many lay people have already received such formation, generously answering God's call to develop their faith in ways appropriate to adult Catholics in the 21st century. The Lay Formation Fund is a new initiative to enable all who have discerned this call to grow and develop in their faith in order to better serve their communities, to receive financial support. The Fund can be used to provide faith formation at a variety of levels, or for the development of practical skills. Grants will usually be given on a matched funding basis (with a sponsoring parish/organisation paying half), although consideration will be given for full funding where local parish finance is difficult. The archdiocese is particularly looking to develop Lay Ministry and Leadership and would be keen to support people looking to develop their faith and skills in this area. For more information about any aspect of the Fund, please contact the Pastoral Formation Department Tel: 0151 522 1040. 8
Who is eligible for support? Any adult (aged 18+) living in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, Involved In the local church community in any aspect of ministry, and wishing to further deepen their knowledge of religious formation and education, wishing to educate others or wishing to extend their practical skills, is eligible to apply for support from the Lay Formation Fund. Some of the courses which would be acceptable include: The Archdiocesan Diploma in Pastoral Ministry and Leadership or the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry awarded by Loyola University Chicago. Residential courses to further develop knowledge and skills in particular aspects of ministry and leadership eg Scripture. courses which will benefit the parish (such as book keeping or flower arranging) from a local Adult Education Service. New local adult formation initiatives. Each year the administrators of the Lay Formation Fund, will also identify emerging priorities and will be proactive in seeking the appropriate people to respond to
these priorities and will assess appropriate funding. Applicants must have the support of their parish priest, area dean or another diocesan priest known to them before applying. In addition to this application form, you must also include: 1. A letter of support from the applicantâ€™s parish priest/area dean or a priest known to the applicant. 2. Proof of costs, which may include training fees, necessary travel, accommodation and/or reading materials, should be included in the application or as available. Applications will be assessed every six months and eligibility will depend on the applicant fulfilling the necessary criteria. There is a fixed amount in the fund for each year, and once this has been allocated, it may not be possible to give further grants until the following year. The Application Committee will be responsible for reviewing applications and allocating funds. Their decision is final. The Committee will contact applicants with the outcome shortly after each meeting.
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Helen: ‘the voice on the radio’ ‘I’ve wanted to work in radio ever since I was 13,’ says Helen Jones, the Religious Affairs Producer at BBC Radio Merseyside. Helen has worked at the station for 18 years in various roles. Since 2012 she has produced and presented the Daybreak programme which is broadcast each Sunday morning from 6.00 am to 9.00 am. Daybreak reflects what's happening across all religious communities in Merseyside, Cheshire and West Lancashire and discovers how people are living out their faith. It's a forum for debate on the big moral issues of the day and includes a weekly half-hour Act of Worship. Before joining the BBC, Helen was a residential Youth Worker for the Shrewsbury Diocese at Dehon House in Wirral. She earned a Diploma in Pastoral Studies at Oxford. Interviewing the legendary comedian Ronnie Barker (‘one of my heroes’) helped earn Helen a FirstClass degree in Media at the University
of Bedfordshire. ‘Being “the voice on the radio” is a real privilege,’ says Helen. ‘You're not just keeping listeners informed and entertained. Often, you're bringing them simple companionship.’ Neston-born Helen is one of BBC Radio Merseyside's established female presenters. One of her favourite radio moments was covering Pope Francis' visit to Ireland last year. That assignment meant an opportunity to re-visit the Marian Shrine at Knock in County Mayo: she last went as an 8-year girl with her Mum back in 1979 on pilgrimage to see Pope John Paul II. BBC Radio Merseyside is the most listened to BBC Local Radio station outside London. Helen loves being the station's breakfast time 'ambassador' each Sunday morning, waking up the region and easing listeners into the day with features, interviews and music.
Crosby’s Family Groups Family Groups met for the first time in early April at Our Lady Star of the Sea, St Thomas of Canterbury and St Edmund of Canterbury in the Crosby Pastoral Area. Enthusiasm and energy at these first meetings were fantastic to witness and the forming of friendships was evident very quickly. Planning for activities that can be enjoyed by all was done over a welcome cup of tea and biscuits. Family Groups seek to bring together a group of people who share a common bond and commitment through their faith and in doing so they become a family in their love for one another. The groups are not exclusive to Catholics as many group members bring along their non-Catholic partners who are integral to the group’s success. Family Groups are also not prayer groups; they are parish friendship and support groups open to any parishioner irrespective of age or personal circumstances. Family Groups are not intended to replace other groups in the parish but to complement them, by providing parishioners with the opportunity to come together regularly in a social setting to get to know one another, develop mutual interests and create meaningful parish support networks. In this way Family Groups help to create a sense of community in the parish and a sense of parish in the community. Each group is encouraged to arrange a monthly get-together that is simple, low cost and allows people to share food and drink. The overall aims and purposes are for people within the group to mix with each other, celebrate special events such as birthdays and anniversaries, support people in times of need and treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Simplicity is the key. The hope is that the new energy they are bringing to the Churches will continue to grow.
At 7.30am Helen's ‘News from the Pews’ slot gives faith communities the chance to share news about events such as fundraisers, talks and church services. Why not share your news with Helen? You can contact the show by emailing email@example.com to be part of an award-winning show keeping Merseyside informed and inspired.
Silver in Skelmersdale
Chloe Davies joined her brother and sister in receiving the Guild of St Stephen Silver medal at St Francis of Assisi Skelmersdale. Pictured (L to R) Bethany, Chloe and John Davies with Father Mike Thompson, Parish Priest, and Paul Rowan, Archdiocesan Chair of Guild of St Stephen.
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14 Stations in 14 Churches by Helen Jones (Pastoral Associate: Liverpool South Pastoral Area) When Father Ravi Bosco approached me to assist in organising a Lenten Pilgrimage for Divine Saviour Parish, Runcorn (Diocese of Shrewsbury) praying 14 Stations of the Cross in 14 Liverpool churches, I was somewhat unnerved, having just begun my ministry as Pastoral Associate for Liverpool South. Runcorn New Town, which Divine Saviour Parish serves, was populated by many who were encouraged to move out of Liverpool during the 1960s. It was with these roots in mind that the Lenten Pilgrimage, to relive memories from those Liverpool communities, was envisaged. Parishes in the pastoral area and environs responded warmly to the request and thanks to them a route was ready for Saturday 30 March: St Francis of Assisi, Garston; St Anthony of Padua, Mossley Hill; St Clare, Sefton Park; St Charles, Aigburth; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Toxteth; St Patrick, Toxteth; St Vincent de Paul, St James Street; St Francis Xavier, Salisbury Street; St Anne, Edge Hill; Sacred Heart, Low Hill; St Philip Neri, Catherine Street; St Anthony of Egypt, Scotland Road; Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, St Domingo Road with the 14th Station at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Our common thread was connectedness
– connecting the neighbouring dioceses of Shrewsbury and Liverpool, reconnecting with former Liverpool parishes, remembering deceased families and friends in each church, strengthening bonds between the individual churches which make up Divine Saviour Parish (Our Lady’s, St Augustine’s and St Martin’s) and connecting with parishes of Liverpool, themselves often merged. Deep-rooted faith was articulated in the testimonies of the pilgrims: First Communions at St Francis’, weddings at St Patrick’s, prayer during school
lunchtime at St Clare’s, memories of former parishioners and priests, times of togetherness, times of belonging, times of connection. Our sincere gratitude to the participating parishes for their warm welcome, to clergy, pastoral assistants, and the wonderful Liverpool parishioners for their support, historical input, participation and refreshments. It was a day full of prayer, memories and fellowship, connecting each one of us with our Catholic faith and with each other in a very special way.
Reflections on the blessing and opening of the church hall by Father David Potter (Parish Priest, St Albert the Great) Last year, during a conversation with an elderly priest, I mentioned our parish social club at St Albert the Great, Stockbridge Village. His reply was, ‘I thought all those places were on wheels’. I must have looked puzzled, as he then
explained, ‘that means they do very well and make a lot of money’. Sadly, it is no longer true that all parish licensed premises are ‘on wheels’ in this way. Many struggle, and some eventually become unsustainable. This was the case with our club, which finally closed on 19 November 2018. But the building
remained, so what were we going to do with it? After much reflection, it was decided to reopen it as a Church Hall which would cater for a range of parish events and also be available for hire by a local dance school and other groups. We were blessed to have Archbishop Malcolm with us for the sacrament of Confirmation on the Feast of St Joseph, and he kindly stayed on afterwards to bless and open the Church Hall. It was a joy to see many younger families in the parish embracing this fresh start; that surely bodes well for the future. As does the prayer to God our Father by which the Archbishop introduced this new phase in the life of the parish: ‘Through the gift of your eternal wisdom, grant that the undertaking we begin today for your glory and our own wellbeing may progress day by day to its successful completion.’
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Queen of May! by Neil Sayer Archdiocesan Archivist Our archives include many photographs of May processions up and down the archdiocese. A lot of them were originally published in the pages of the ‘Catholic Pictorial’ in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the records do not show why the tradition is not as widespread as it once was. In English folk tradition, the May Queen seems to have origins in Tudor village celebrations of springtime. According to this rural tradition local girls in white dresses formed a retinue of attendants for the May Queen, who was usually crowned by the previous year’s queen. The Victorian fashion for reinventing national myths was then given a push by ‘The May Queen’, a long poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson published in 1855. Maypole dancing was created as an educational and physical pursuit. Processions became a vital part of community activity. Possibly the creation of workers’ holidays in May helped in the development of parish processions and festivities. Catholic churches in the early 20th Century seem to have grafted some of these elements of pageantry on to celebrations associated with the worship of the Virgin Mary. The month of May has been associated with devotions to Our Lady for several centuries, originally in Italy but spreading throughout the Catholic world. The garlanding or crowning of a statue seems to have been imported from the eastern church. Photographs in the archives from at least the 1920s show processions with
May Queens, and crownings of statues of Mary, in parishes not just in Liverpool but elsewhere in Lancashire. Processions could have included the appointment of a Queen of the May, the crowning of a statue of the Virgin Mary with flowers, or a solemn procession with the men of the parish carrying a statue around the church before bearing it inside. The Children of Mary or a resident order of nuns might also have taken a turn heading the procession with the statue for veneration. Very often the processions were combined with school celebrations of first Holy Communion. A display of these photographs can be seen at the Archdiocesan Archives during May. The one here dates from 1931 and shows Catherine Finnan, May Queen for St Augustine’s parish, Liverpool.
Special members remembered At the St Mary’s SVP healing Mass in Woolton, celebrated by Father Timothy Buckley, two very special members were presented with medals and certificates for their huge contribution to the SVP. George Flattery joined in 1968, as expresident and former treasurer, George gave 58 years to St Marys SVP. Pic contributor, David Keane, is the conference treasurer who joined in 1986 and has been a member for over 32 years. Tremendous contributions to parish life well deserving of recognition. The Mass was followed by a reception in the parish hall.
Hail Glorious Saint Patrick St Patrick’s Church in Wigan held a St Patrick’s Day procession this year for one of the many celebrations for their Patronal Feast. The weekend began with the children of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School carrying their banners of St Patrick around the church to the altar. Each class produced a piece of artwork which charted various moments from the life of a man who, through God’s intervention, was transformed from an enslaved shepherd to a revered Bishop. In addition to this, a large banner and a statue were also carried in procession by school staff and parishioners. Parish Priest, Father Ian O’Shea, was the celebrant for the whole school and community Mass, with Father Paul Grady and Canon Pat MacNally concelebrating. During his homily, Father O’Shea reminded the children of St Patrick’s life and achievements and linked this to the Irish community settling in Wigan in the mid-1800s. Following the Mass, the large congregation and the school children retreated to the school hall to enjoy a Feast Day party. On St Patrick’s Day itself, Sunday Mass was followed by a coffee morning in the presbytery attended by parishioners old and new and the celebrations ended with a Holy Hour and Benediction.
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Eleanor Lalley An American in Ainsdale By Simon Hart Eleanor Lalley is remembering a perk of her old life in the American state of Tennessee. ‘Nashville has fantastic church musicians because they have all the session musicians that play on the country records so at Mass it’s multiple guitars, percussion singers, drummers,’ she explains. ‘People are professionals so they can just sing church music at the drop of a hat.’ It is just over a decade now since she, her husband Hans and their five children left behind the home of country music for the city that bequeathed the world the Beatles. For Eleanor, one of Liverpool Archdiocese’s new pastoral associates, the 4,000-mile move proved smoother than you might imagine. ‘People are so welcoming and friendly, it wasn’t hard to emigrate here,’ notes Eleanor, born and raised in Washington DC, of a switch that has brought eagerly embraced challenges – and rich rewards. While Hans works as the principal at Liverpool College, Eleanor – previously an RE teacher with an degree in Religion from Kenyon College, Ohio and a Master’s in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School – spent eight years as a project coordinator with the Archdiocese, overseeing Sacraments of Initiation and Adoremus projects. Now a
fresh set of demands beckon in her role as pastoral associate at the twin parishes of St John Stone and Sacred Heart in Ainsdale. ‘I worked at LACE for eight years but this was a completely new opportunity and I wanted to be part of something new and experimental,’ she reflects. ‘It’s been about getting to know the culture of the parishes and getting to discern with them. I’m extremely blessed because they did their work preparing for a pastoral associate and are already working collaboratively with Father Tony Slingo. He’s a terrific parish priest.’ Of the challenges ahead, she cites ‘adult formation’ as a key aspect. ‘How do we feed the faith of our parishioners and develop adult formation, and how can we draw new people to that relationship with Jesus?’ she asks – and she made a start in Lent with a series of Scripture study lunches. The ‘wonderful’ ecumenical connections already established by Father Slingo should help too. ‘How can I link in with what’s already going on and how can we work together ecumenically as Christians in the community?’ continues Eleanor, who has also been building a relationship with the young people from the Sefton area who will travel on the
Liverpool Archdiocesan Youth Pilgrimage to Lourdes. ‘It’s a parish with a lot of committed parishioners who are retired, so we’re trying to understand how to make contact with more families and how to support young people too. We’re also looking at working ecumenically with the Southport and Area School Workers’ Trust – they work in schools with young people and have youth groups and afterschool sessions. ‘I’m lucky to be there,’ she adds of her parish communities. ‘They already did a lot of hard work before I came in terms of trying to discern what they wanted.’ Happily, it is not the first positive experience of parish life here for Eleanor and her Aigburth-based family, who attended St Austin’s parish on arrival – and are now at St Charles and St Thomas More. ‘People were really generous – there was a lot of support for our family and for us as Catholics.’ If it all sounds too good to be true, there is one snag. She laughs as she describes the linguistic obstacles her children, aged 14-21, have yet to overcome: ‘They’re mixed up! When they’re home they sound more American, but when we go out on the street they sound really Scouse!’
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note A late Easter means that the entirety of May is spent within Eastertide and, therefore, also within the period when the anthem to Our Lady in the liturgy is the Regina Coeli Laetare – Queen of Heaven, rejoice – with its multiple Alleluias. Having restrained from (or ‘fasted from’, you could say) the use of the Alleluia during the 40 days of Lent, the liturgy gives us ample opportunity to catch up during the 50 days of Eastertide (indeed the double Alleluia at the dismissal from the liturgy makes a comeback on the Feast of Pentecost, this year on Sunday 9 June, just to give a final blast). Why is Alleluia such a significant word ? Because it sums up the spirituality of the Christian life: praise of the Lord. We give praise and we give honour and, in that sense, put the Lord is his rightful place at the heart of our lives when we gather in liturgy and pray together. We do the same, equally as importantly, when we put those sentiments of prayer into our ‘right living’, our everyday words and actions, which may not be within a
Sunday thoughts We’ve been praying the Synod prayer each day at Mass. I’m drawn to the phrase: ‘May your Holy Spirit be powerfully at work among us.’ It reminds me of the prayer we used to say in preparation for the Second Vatican Council as a boy at Upholland in the Sixties. We prayed that the Holy Spirit would be with the Church ‘as on the day of Pentecost’. And so it proved to be. How does the Holy Spirit work? Is it an ‘outside’ force which intervenes in history when invited? Or is the Holy Spirit the ever-present, life-giving pulse not only of the Church, but of creation? The Holy Spirit was around before the day of Pentecost. ‘God’s spirit hovered over the water’ long before human beings were around to ask him to ‘come down’. The Holy Spirit was the life-giving force that brought about creation in the first place. That same Holy Spirit was also
Canon Philip Gillespie
Church building but certainly form part of the liturgy of our daily lives. This is the dignity to which we are called – recognising that we give right praise to the Lord and live our ‘Alleluia’, wherever we find ourselves in the day and according to whichever means (words or actions) present themselves. A simple act of recollection for the close of the day (the ‘examen’, or examination of conscience, which is part of our Catholic devotional tradition) would be to ask the following: How have I lived my ‘Alleluia’ today? How have I brought my relationship with Jesus to bear on choices and decisions of the day? How have I been a bringer of happiness and joy and the warmth of the love of Christ into a world which can at times be dark and cold and unforgiving? So ‘Alleluia’ is not only a word but also an invitation and a challenge – sing it with gusto in the liturgy and live it with gusto in the day.
Mgr John Devine OBE
at work in Mary at the Annunciation and at the Baptism of Jesus. It was the Spirit of the Lord that led Jesus ‘to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free.’ The same Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and the very same Spirit is invoked over the bread and wine ‘like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ’. One of the phrases about the working of the Holy Spirit that I like best occurs in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles for Sunday 5 May: ‘We are witnesses to all of this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’ It suggests a partnership.
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/reflection
Look for the risen Lord One of my closest friends was a priest called Steve. He loved people and he loved God. As the years went by, we grew very close and I have to say he had a profound influence on me. I used to go with him when he was filling in for priests who were on holiday or needed a break. One weekend, we drove from Durham to Alnwick in Northumberland. We arrived early in the afternoon and, after a walk around the town, got ready for the Saturday evening Mass. When it came to the homily, Steve stepped down off the sanctuary and began to wander up and down the church. Every now and then he would stop and look at someone and smile and say to them, ‘Do you know that you are loved by God?’ Several people had tears in their eyes as Steve sat down next to them and held their hands for a moment or put his arm around them explaining that God was as close to them as he, Steve, was. It was a very powerful image of entering into the mystery that is God, of being held by a God who can only love. I often reflect on that experience and ask why people found it so moving. I think it is because of the intimate relationship between God and humanity. The search for God begins when we dare to believe that God is in the human condition. I think one of our problems is that all too often we divorce the spiritual from the human, and never the twain shall meet. We have just celebrated Easter, but I wonder how many of us recognise the risen Christ in our midst. I wonder what it means for us to say, ‘He is alive for us’ or ‘He is living in us’. Can we dare to trust that we will find the risen Christ in the mess and wonder that we call humanity? In the Easter Gospels, Galilee represents the ordinariness of life. All of Jesus’ friends met him in their daily lives in Galilee. Even though after the resurrection we are told that he was the same but different, they will meet him again in their daily lives and they do. The same is true for us. If we look for the risen Lord in the human reality that is our lives, we will find him. The challenge is to look for the Lord within ourselves, within one another, even within those we find most difficult. As we journey, we will meet Jesus but we have to start trusting and believing that he is on the road of life and that, just as once he was at work in Galilee, so he’s still at work today in our lives and all around us, waiting for us to recognise him, for us to look for the risen Lord. Father Chris Thomas
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Letter from Wonersh By Peter Murphy
Challenge yourself – and raise funds for Nugent ‘May we overcome indifference with concrete acts of charity.’ These are the words of Pope Francis and for supporters of the Liverpool-based Nugent charity, they resonate deeply. Just ask Brother James Hayes (pictured below) who last May set off on an 860-mile, nine-day bicycle ride to raise almost £2,000. Or Mike James who undertook a fundraising abseil on behalf of Nugent in 2016. ‘I enjoyed every minute,’ he said, ‘but to know I’ve helped raise vital funds is the best part.’ Since its beginnings in 1881, Nugent has been at the heart of its community, providing a vital safety net for vulnerable children and adults. However, it is a charity which, to carry on the good work of founder Father James Nugent, remains grateful for the support of parishes, community groups and other supporters, such as the abovementioned fundraisers. As the charity states: “We continue to provide support and care where local government funding and austerity is impacting most and creating hardship, and this means that we rely on the support of our fantastic fundraising volunteers and supporter groups more than ever.’ There are plenty of ways for Catholic Pic readers to get involved in the fundraising drive for Nugent in 2019, be it to run, walk, dance – or simply help fill a collection box for us. Those seeking a more adventurous experience could sign up for one of our 2019 challenges, including Abseiling from the Anglican Cathedral, or Riding the Lakes – or you could organise your own fundraising event. For a fundraising pack containing ideas and ways to support Nugent, contact our team on 0151 261 2000 or at fundraising@wearenugent. To learn more about Nugent’s work, visit: wearenugent.org
When the news of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral broke on the Monday of Holy Week, I was en route to the Royal English College, Valladolid. The community of St John’s Seminary, Wonersh had been invited to join the Valladolid community for the Holy Week celebrations. Having read of the many elements of ‘Semana Santa’ in Joseph ChampionWilliams’ Letter from Valladolid column in the Pic two years ago – as well as from many other ‘vallisoletanos’, as local residents are known – I was very much looking forward to this visit. And, I’m glad to say, it lived up to expectations. One of the most poignant moments of the week occurred within less than two hours of our arrival when, after our 13-hour journey, we found ourselves in the chapel alongside the resident community preparing to take the statue of Our Lady Vulnerata onto the streets in order to meet her crucified Son. I am sure many of you will recall Joseph’s account of the story behind the statue of the Blessed Mother, and subsequent devotion, in Valladolid. Following the desecration of the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary in Cadiz, it was taken north to Valladolid so that the seminarians in formation for the priesthood, alongside the staff, could pray in reparation. As Joseph described previously, this statue of Our Lady, which ordinarily resides behind the altar in the seminary chapel, has been ‘hacked away at’. Standing next to this wounded, yet somehow beautiful, statue with candle in hand waiting for the procession to begin, I couldn’t help but note the parallel between Our Lady Vulnerata and Notre Dame in Paris. While these events may have taken place almost 425 years apart, they both gave rise to the opportunity to stand alongside Our Lady at the foot of the cross and weep. In this month of May, the month of Our Lady, we too can bring to her all of our troubles: the struggles of our own lives, and also the struggles and the troubles that we see present in the world, and even in the Church. If it is important for us to be honest about these issues, let us not become downhearted. It is still Eastertide, and we are the Easter people. Let us rejoice in the Lord’s Resurrection. Let us make ourselves ready to join Him in heaven. Let us make use of the prayers, spirituality, and the Sacraments which our church buildings, and the statues that furnish them, encourage us to embrace.
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what’s on Wednesday 1 May ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathedral Choirs with soloists: Barbara Ruzsics, Soprano; Danielle Thomas, Alto; David Lee, Tenor; and Stuart O’Hara, Bass, accompanied by the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and under the direction of conductor, Dr Christopher McElroy, Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Tickets (£10/£15) from www.ticketsource.co.uk/metcathedral or the Cathedral Gift Shop Tel: 0151 707 3525.
Saturday 4 May ‘A Little Night Music’: Music by Mozart, Boccherini, Berlioz and Mendelssohn with the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra Conductor: Stephen Pratt, Soloist: Julia Smith. 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral Crypt Concert Room. Tickets and details Tel: 0151 707 3525 or www.cathedralconcerts.org.uk
Sunday 12 May World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Sunday 5 May Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 66: ‘Efreuet euch, ihr Herzen.’ (‘Rejoice, O ye Hearts.’) 6.30 pm at Our Lady’s Church, Cavendish Street, Birkenhead, CH41 8AQ. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. www.liverpoolbach.com Email: email@example.com Tuesday 7 May Towards Synod 2020, a time to pray and listen. ‘The Social Mission of the Church.’ Speaker: Monsignor John Armitage, Rector of the National Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. 7.00 pm in St Charles church, 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17 9PG, followed by refreshments in the parish hall. Wednesday 8 May UCM bi-monthly Mass 7.30 pm at St Edmund of Canterbury, Oxford Road, Waterloo, L22 8QF.
Monday 13 May 52nd Anniversary of the Dedication of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Interdenominational Youth Gathering Are you a young adult 18+ who would like to meet with youth from denominations across Merseyside in an informal setting to reflect on and discuss life as a Christian today? 6:00 - 8:30 pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT. Refreshments included. Bookings contact: Elisabeth/Veronica Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0151 709 0125 by Sunday 12 May.
Saturday 11 May Focolare Mariapolis Day: ‘May they all be one.’ (John 17:21) 10.00 am-5.00 pm at Hope Chapel, Hope Park, Liverpool, L16 9JD. Children’s programme for under 16s. Please bring a packed lunch. Details Tel: 0151 722 3981 Email: email@example.com
Tuesday 14 May Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Handel’s ‘Messiah’ 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Sung by the Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan
Towards Synod 2020, a time to pray and listen ‘The Social Mission of the Church.’
Website at www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk 16
Speaker: Fergal Martin, General Secretary of the Catholic Truth Society 1995-2019. 7.00 pm in St Charles church, 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17 9PG, followed by refreshments in the parish hall. Mass of Healing 7.00 pm at Sandymount, 16 Burbo Bank Road, Blundellsands, L23 6TH. Details: Tel: 0151 924 4850 Email email@example.com Wednesday 15 May ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday 18 May Renewal Day New Life in the Holy Spirit with Ros Powell and Shauna Tooley, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm at St. Mary's Lowe House Hall, Crab Street, St. Helens, WA10 2BE. Booking essential and entrance by ticket only. Details: Deacon Dave Caldwell Tel: 07523 425540 or Maria Overend Tel: 07730 413283. Tuesday 21 May Towards Synod 2020, a time to pray and listen ‘Going out to the peripheries.’ Speaker: Mary Ebbasi, Catholic Chaplain HM Prison Pentonville. 7.00 pm in St Charles church, 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17 9PG, followed by refreshments in the parish hall. ‘Life and Soul.’ An evening of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with praise, worship, music, spiritual reflection and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 7.00-8.00 pm at St Joseph’s, Harpers Lane, Chorley, PR6 0HR. Details: www.animateyouth.org Saturday 25 May Annual May Procession with the Missionaries of Charity Meet at 2.00 pm at St Peter’s Square (off Seel Street) procession via Seel Street, Berry Street, Bold Street, Church Street,
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may Whitechapel to Queens Square concluding at the Blessed Sacrament Shrine. First Holy Communicants are welcome to join the procession. Details: Jim Ross. Email: email@example.com Tel: 07766 706766.
Wednesday 29 May
Sunday 26 May Liverpool Bach Collective Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata 42: ‘Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbaths.’ (‘On the evening of that Sabbath.’) 6.30 pm at St Mary’s church, Back Lane, Little Crosby, L23 4UA. Singers and Players directed by Philip Duffy. www.liverpoolbach.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tuesday 28 May Towards Synod 2020, a time to pray and listen ‘The Church as leaven in our cult.’ Speaker: Monsignor Peter Fleetwood, Official at the Pontifical Council for Culture 1995-2003. 7.00 pm in St Charles church, 224 Aigburth Road, Liverpool, L17 9PG, followed by refreshments in the parish hall. Wednesday 29 May ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who
likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: email@example.com Taizé 18–35 A time of prayer, Scripture reading, singing,
Looking ahead: Sunday 2 June World Communications Day. Wednesday 5 June UCM Annual Mass 7.30 pm in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Celebrant: Bishop Tom Williams. Sunday 9 June Feast of Pentecost.
silence and discussion for young people 18 -35. 7.30 pm at St Margaret Mary’s Parish House, Pilch Lane, Liverpool, L14 0JG. Details: Father Ian: firstname.lastname@example.org (the 15 bus stops outside the church/house.) Thursday 30 May Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Holyday of Obligation.
Wednesday 26 June ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: email@example.com Friday 28 June to Sunday 30 June ‘When I am weak then I am strong.’ A retreat led by Father Peter Prusakiewicz at Sandymount, 16 Burbo Bank Road, Blundellsands, L23 6TH. Cost £40. Details: Tel: 0151 924 4850 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 11 June Time Out on Tuesdays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at the Cenacle, Tithebarn Grove, Lance Lane, Liverpool L15 6TW. An opportunity for quiet time, away from the daily rush of life. Offering £10 per person (bring your own lunch). For further details contact: Sister Winifred. Tel: 0151 722 2271, Email: email@example.com Wednesday 12 June ‘Songs we Remember.’ Singing and enjoyment for anyone who likes to sing but particularly geared towards those living with dementia and their carers. 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm at St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Hall, Great Georges Road, Waterloo, L22 1RD. Details: Irenaeus Tel: 0151 949 1199. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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McCallum & Tritton & Sons Independent Family Funeral Directors
0151 931 2002
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A message of new life, hope and direction By Father Simon Gore Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to the world. The very first words I want to say to you, then, are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! As you read this, you might well be thinking that these are words that I, or Animate, are offering the readership of the Pic. But as much as they are the sentiment we do offer in this Easter season, they are actually the first words of the recent Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father, Christus Vivit. As many of you are aware, the Holy Father instituted a synod on youth and discernment, the fruit of which is Christus Vivit. While the letter is written to all ‘Christian young people’, the Holy Father also says that its messages are addressed to all the people of God. And reading through the exhortation, it seems to me that this letter is particularly appropriate for us in our own diocese at this time of renewal in the Easter season with our own Synod 2020 coming more into focus. I am writing this the morning after the horrific fire that has destroyed the
interior of Notre Dame in Paris: the Tuesday of Holy Week. Commentators this morning are focusing on the cross that is still visible on the sanctuary of the fireravaged cathedral. We are reminded that hope will always prevail: that Easter joy will be victorious. This is certainly what the Holy Father reminds us in his letter, writing ‘that he is with us, and will never abandon us … that when we feel old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore strength and hope’ (CV1, 2). I suppose there is always that temptation within most of us to ‘feel old’ with the trials of life. I remember at seminary that as the nights grew longer and the weather got colder we would often paraphrase St John Paul II and say that we are a Lenten people and ‘De Profundis’ is our cry. But, of course, we are not a Lenten people but an Easter people ‘redeemed by the precious blood of Christ’ (CV 122).
We are each challenged, in those moments when we feel like hope might be lost, to ‘keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified’ (CV 123) and see the hope that radiates from the cross. For it is never too late to feel the hope of renewal stir within our hearts – ‘Youth is more than simply a period of time; it is a state of mind’ (CV 34) – and if we have lost our inner vitality, our dreams, our enthusiasm, our optimism and our generosity, Jesus stands before us as once he stood before the dead son of the widow, and with all the power of his resurrection he urges us: “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (CV 20). The Easter message of rising shines through the whole document and illuminates our own lives: Christ is alive! It is a reminder that if we lose sight of this hope-filled message of new life ‘every other solution will prove inadequate and temporary … with Jesus, on the other hand, our hearts experience a security that is firmly rooted and enduring’ (CV 128). Pope Francis uses a favourite quotation from his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI: ‘Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction’ (CV 129; cf Deus Caritas Est 1). To encounter the risen Lord is to be changed and made new and whole. It gives new direction and means we need never give into the fires of despair as the cross of Christ will always remain unscathed as our focal point. The cross of Notre Dame seems to offer some hope this morning; but what of next week when the news cycle moves on? To the Holy Father we must give people the reason for their hope over the noise of the world. Pope Francis gives the example of Ulysses who plugged his ears to avoid hearing the siren call that would take his ship to the rocks. But with the noise of the world so loud can stopping our ears be enough? Instead, we can use the example of Orpheus who countered the sirens by singing an ‘an even more beautiful melody’ (CV 223). For us, this more beautiful melody is the proclamation of Christ, crucified and risen. Dates for the diary: Life and Soul – Praise and Worship before the Blessed Sacrament 21 May, St Joseph’s, Chorley (7-8pm) Lourdes Departure Mass 7 July, Lowe House, St Helens (6.30pm)
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education news Classrooms and cake for Bishop Tom on seaside trip A visit to the seaside meant going back to the classroom for the Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, Tom Williams. On a visit to Southport, Bishop Tom spent time meeting the children and staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic primary school and joined Year 5 pupils for collective worship. Vice-Chair of Governors, Carole Baker, explained: ‘The theme was “Forgiveness” and the children invited Bishop Tom to read from Scripture and he assisted in unpicking the meaning behind the parable of The Prodigal Son. The children all thoroughly enjoyed having their special visitor join them for worship and said he could most definitely come again.’
Christ the King Catholic High School
Above: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School. Below: Sacred Heart Parish
When he visited Sacred Heart parish, Ainsdale, Bishop Tom was greeted with a specially baked cake, and witnessed a Church parade involving the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from Ainsdale Green District. At Christ the King Catholic High School in Birkdale Bishop Tom visited classes, offering his thoughts and reflections to pupils as well as talking to sixth form students and exchange students from around the world who study at the school. He also heard from the student council
about the charity work and their faith development. His visit also included the blessing of a mosaic designed and created by a former pupil, Abby Fisher, which now takes pride of place in the school Chapel.
Race for Life at St Bartholomew’s A special ‘Race for Life’ was held at St Bartholomew’s Primary School, Rainhill, on Monday 1 April to raise funds for Cancer Research. This was also to support the family of one of St. Bart’s pupils, Leah, who is currently undergoing treatment. There was a great turn out from family and friends who ran or walked with their children. An online giving page has raised over £2675 and offline sponsorship so far totalling £4147.46 which is a fantastic amount of money raised for Cancer Research. The children and staff have been training each day, throughout Lent on a mile run track painted on the school playground. This was kindly donated by L&R Roadlines who offered to help when they heard about Leah and how the children had responded by running each day. Leah and her family also joined the other children on the day and everyone had a marvellous time.
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St Mary’s College honours ‘one of bravest sons’ A Crosby school has tribute to a former pupil and priest who died during the Northern Ireland Troubles. St Mary’s College unveiled a plaque in honour of Father Gerry Weston, an army chaplain killed by a bomb in February 1972, who is buried at St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church on Liverpool Road. The event tied in with the college’s annual Patron’s Day Mass in February. Following the service a wreath was laid at Father Weston’s grave before the unveiling of the plaque beneath the school’s World War Two memorial. The plaque’s wooden mount was designed and made by Mark Ireland, St Mary’s head of Design and Technology. Fr Weston’s brother Paul attended the ceremony along with senior British Army representatives including former St Mary’s College pupil Lt Col Andrew Jackson and Lt Col Andrew Wareing, both senior officers in the Parachute Regiment. Niall Rothnie, commander of St Mary’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) and also head of History, said: ‘This plaque will be a permanent memorial to the remarkable life and tragic death of Fr Weston, one of the school’s bravest sons who tried so hard to promote peace and reconciliation at the
height of the Troubles.’ Fr Weston had served in Germany, the Persian Gulf and Kenya before being posted to Northern Ireland. He frequently entered the difficult areas of Turf Lodge and Ballymurphy alone, talking with local people in an attempt to reduce tension This placed him in considerable personal danger, especially with a rumour circulating that a soldier was involved in military activities disguised as a priest. After his commanding
officer ordered his withdrawal, he was awarded the MBE for gallantry on 15 February 1972. Just seven days later, Fr Weston and six civilians were killed when a bomb exploded outside the Officers’ Mess of the 16th Parachute Regiment in Aldershot. He was 38 years old. The Official IRA claimed responsibility for the attack, in retaliation for Bloody Sunday three weeks earlier.
Top: Paul Weston (second right) next to the plaque put up at the College in his brother's honour, pictured with (from left) CCF Contingent commander Niall Rothnie, CCF standard-bearer Georgina Duncan and St Mary’s principal Mike Kennedy.
To continue to help support over 6,000 vulnerable children and adults across the North West, Nugent’s charity shop is in urgent need of donations. You can donate any items at our shop at:
73 Allerton Road,
Liverpool, L18 2DH (Monday - Saturday, 9am - 5pm)
0151 737 2951 email@example.com wearenugent.org 73 Allerton Road, Liverpool, L18 2DH Registered Charity: 222930
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education news School celebrates the joy of reading Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School & Nursery Hall Lane, Kensington, Liverpool L7 TQ
0151 709 1782 Headteacher - Mrs Roach Office Manager - Megan Hanford Website: www.sacredheartliverpool.school
We have Reception places available for September 2019 Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Nursery, Liverpool, is celebrating the opening of a new reading shed for their pupils. Headteacher, Mrs Roach said: “At Sacred Heart we are a multicultural proud Catholic School with high aspirations. We endeavour to have a positive impact on each and every child that walks through the doors of Sacred Heart, and we will continue to bring out the best qualities in our children through the Gospels of Jesus Christ and the teachings and aims of the Catholic Church. “Our new reading shed, purchased to celebrate reading across our school, is now in place on our recently refurbished school playground. The children are all excited for a summer of outdoor reading”.
Twitter: @Sacred_Heart_Li Facebook: Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Liverpool
St John Bosco students perform the Passion As part of its preparations before Easter, St John Bosco Arts College held a special performance of the Passion before the end of term. Over 50 students from the Croxteth-based school took part in the play, retelling the story of Jesus’ suffering and death from the perspective of Mary. The performance took place in the school’s Hill Theatre in front of a packed audience made up of staff, families, friends of the school and members of the community. Those involved made it a truly memorable piece and their interpretation of those fateful few days proved to be very moving for the audience. The Salesian school also offered complimentary refreshments following the recital, allowing guests to individually congratulate the students on their performances. Headteacher Darren Gidman, said: “The students delivered a fantastic performance of the Passion which was retold from the viewpoint of Mary. “The cast put in a lot of hours developing and rehearsing the play, ensuring that it carefully portrayed what Mary saw and went through during this period of time. The feedback we received from guests was extremely positive and the girls should be very proud of themselves”.
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a letter from syria
Liverpool student tells the story of her escape from war torn Syria A Year 10 student from The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Liverpool has told her story of how she and her family fled the war in Syria and ISIS and is now living in Liverpool. Roj Al Joul Bek wrote her story as part of a project for Refugee Week – coming up in June this year. She initially wrote it out by hand and then revised it whilst typing it up on her computer. Roj is now looking to enter the story into writing My name is Roj Al Joul Bek. I was born in May 2004. I have spent most of my life in Aleppo, Syria. My life was great, I had my school, my friends, I got new siblings (triplets) and life was perfect. I was at the top of my class in school and I was really happy about my results and tests. If I’d got 9 out of 10 in an exam on something simple I would’ve cried and run to my mum because my education means so much to me. But even that was not really a problem, quite simply I felt my life was amazing. This is when it all started to get miserable. I finished Year 2 in the summer of 2011 and I was excited to move into Year 3. We left our home to go to a historic village in the desert for the holidays. After a month in the village we got terrifying news that war had begun back in Aleppo and that we wouldn’t be able to go back to our home. My dad managed to get back to try to rescue our things but unfortunately we lost almost everything as everything had been stolen. Literally everything – clothes, books, furniture and even doors. So, we lived in the village for four
‘My dad managed to get back to try to rescue our things but unfortunately we lost almost everything ’ 24
competitions and she’ll be working on a video of the story to be shown to all students during Refugee Week. The school were so impressed by her article that they decided that Roj deserved a reward for her hard work, honesty and bravery in sharing her story with them. Headteacher Mrs Greenough presented her with a copy of “The Last Sanctuary in Aleppo” – the story of a man from Roj’s hometown of Aleppo.
months. We were in settled in school there but unfortunately it was time to go to another city. We packed what few possessions we had and went to a place called Kobani. It was terrible place: the streets were dirty; it was congested and life was hard. My uncle managed to find us a house. It had two rooms a kitchen and a bathroom. I went to yet another school and met new friends. At last it felt like had started a new life. Meanwhile the war was getting worse. It was hard for my dad, he had to travel to another city for work. This meant we didn’t see him very often - only three times a month. His job earnt decent money but it was very risky. The reason it was so dangerous was that the city he worked in was ruled by ISIS. I remember my dad telling us that every day he would see people executed by ISIS and they would put the heads on wooden poles in order to show people how powerful and terrifying they were. We were so worried about my dad being in such a dangerous place. We knew nothing of what was going on and at any minute ISIS could have just killed him. They were everywhere. He was really vulnerable but he had to go to work. In 2014 my dad decided that he should go to Turkey to find a new job. A few days before he was due to leave I was due to go back to school in Year 5. I was really pleased to be back in school and I enjoyed my first day but all that was about to change. The next morning I was so happy to be going to school. I prepared my lunch
books and equipment and we were picked up by the school bus. About half way on our journey, a bomb landed 30 metres away from the bus. We were so lucky that it didn’t hit us. We could have died. Luckily, we came home safely but I felt really angry. So, so angry because we missed school. All the hopes I had for returning to school and for my future were taken away from me. All the plans for my education gone! Our family spent a lot of time on the phone trying to make sure everyone was still alive after the bomb attack. My dad was supposed to be going to Turkey the next day and I insisted that he let me go with him. But yet again our plans had to change. News came that ISIS were taking control of the other side of the city and we fled to the border of Syria and Turkey. When we got to the border there were 10,000 people all trying to escape. What I didn’t realise at the time was that when we crossed the border we were walking through a minefield. I don’t think mom and dad told us at the time so we are not scared or panicked. Once we arrived in Turkey mom and dad said that the soldiers kept us away from the bombs. I didn’t really know what was happening at the time as I was too young, but I know for a fact that it was dangerous and scary and I was confused about the whole thing. It was a noisy night. All I know is that we crossed the border into Turkey and went to my aunt’s house and I slept heavily because we stayed for a long time for our turn to come and cross the border. After two weeks of
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living with my aunt we were able to get a house nearby. We started another new life and it felt kind of nice to be going back to yet another new school and have new friends. However, we had to pay for our school and this where money problems came. It wasn’t easy to get money but my dad got a job and after about a year my mum was able to start her job working as a nurse in maternity teaching new mothers how to look after their new born babies. Just as I felt settled, my mum and dad decided that we would move to Britain for our future. My mum had to stop working because the company closed down and moved somewhere else. My dad travelled to Greece and then to France. He stayed in France for a while. He had to pay a lot of money to get across the French/English border. He spoke to us on the phone and told us of the lack of food, sleep and just about everything! He tried many times to cross the border to get to England through all the tiredness and hunger. One time he was even attacked by dogs on the English side. Once he crossed the wrong side of the border and the people traffickers beat him with a metal stick. He was so badly injured that he couldn’t walk for a week. Eventually he learnt that if he covered himself in garlic the dogs wouldn’t find him and he managed to make it to England. He went through all of that to save our future. In Liverpool he lived in a shared house and stayed with strangers. He was given £4 a day to live on and eventually got a job in a shop. He spent a whole year sorting out our papers to come to live with him. In 2016 we moved to Liverpool and were once again a family. We were able to go to school after a couple of weeks of resting and organising everything. Eventually, I started my school year. I was a bit late but it was ok. The first day was full of new things. I didn’t know the system and there were routines that I hadn’t had in any of my other schools. In the first few weeks it was hard to settle in because on one hand you have the feeling that you are not like anyone else and you think everyone hates you and that they are talking about you. I never liked that feeling and I still hate it now. On the other hand there was the language barrier. The problems that I had with understanding some of the questions and when teachers started to talk I didn’t understand half of what they said because it felt like they were speaking really fast, and some of the words were new to me. When I came to the school I had terrible
grades which I was so angry about. I believe that when I came to England and saw my grades I became a totally different person. Everything was hard and I felt I was genuinely lonely, and I did not like it. After a couple of months I started to mix in with other people but it was difficult to get friends. It felt hard to trust them but I did in the end and yet again I started a new life. The feeling that I and my siblings had was of being alone, because we have no relatives close to us. All we have are neighbours but if you think about it, it’s never the same. I honestly feel isolated from my family, and I don’t like it at all. In Turkey we always used to go outside play until we were tired we would’ve stayed up for hours. I miss my grandmother’s village the things we did there were really fun to do and I really miss it. There was no technology except TV, we would’ve woken up at eight in the morning, gone outside and come inside at 10pm. Those things were amazing but because of war we couldn’t go to the village any more. I’ve not been in our village for about six years now. When I came to England I stopped playing games which I didn’t like. I feel like we’ve missed out on our childhoods. I really want it back but it’s too late. Over the last two years I’ve done a lot of things. A year ago I did my Bronze Cultural Citizens Art Award and I am currently doing the Sliver Award. For the Bronze Award we went to different places one was going to an art museum, we went on a ghost walk and to the Titanic Museum. I went on a lot of trips, I went ice skating a couple of times and I learned to roller skate. In summer I went with the school police officer on four trips. One was climbing,
‘My ambition is to go to Oxford or Cambridge University when I’m older. I know that this will involve more hard work’ and another one making a raft and racing it. I recently finished a sculpture that I made with clay, which was fun. Now I am doing Duke of Edinburgh Award. I have taken up boxing which will be a part of my award. I really enjoy boxing because it’s fun and I’m learning self-defence. I did my Arabic GCSE in Year 8 and got A*, and now I am doing A-level and my exams are in June this year. I enjoy reading as well and am an avid reader. All of these activities are fun and I don’t think I would’ve been able to do those things in my country. I feel settled in Liverpool and having been here over two years, I feel I achieved a lot. My ambition is to go to Oxford or Cambridge University when I’m older. I know that this will involve more hard work because of the language barrier but I am determined to do it. If it was safe to return to Syria I would want to go back at some point in the future. One of the staff in school asked me what I missed most about Syria. I said: “The smell of the air in the park in Aleppo.” He then asked what first thing I would do if I went back to Syria and I said: “I would go to the park, lay down, and breathe in the air.”
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Cathedral Choirs join together for Handel’s ‘Messiah’ Over one hundred musicians will take part in a special performance of Handel’s choral masterpiece ‘Messiah’ at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 11 May 2019 at 7.30 pm. The Oratorio will be sung by the Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Choirs with soloists: Barbara Ruzsics, Soprano; Danielle Thomas, Alto; David Lee, Tenor; and Stuart O’Hara, Bass, accompanied by the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and under the direction of conductor, Dr Christopher McElroy, Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral. The concert is both a celebration of musical excellence and of the close relationship that exists between Liverpool’s two Cathedrals. With its rousing ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus and its sublime solo parts, ‘Messiah’ is regarded as one of the most beloved musical works of all time with the majestic surroundings of the Metropolitan Cathedral offering the perfect setting for the performance. Lee Ward, Musical Director of Liverpool
Cathedral says, 'The two cathedral choirs’ ‘Messiah’ is rightfully a highlight in Liverpool’s musical calendar. This work, sung by such a vibrant and young top line, brings it a freshness often missing in other performances. We always enjoy collaborating with our friends at the Met and are sure this will be a wonderful performance.' Dr Christopher McElroy, Metropolitan Cathedral Director of Music, who will conduct the concert says, ‘We are very much looking forward to this performance of ‘Messiah’ with our friends from the Anglican Cathedral. For the first performance of ‘Messiah’ in 1742 Handel drew his chorus from the two Cathedral Choirs of Dublin. It is wonderful that our two Cathedral’s performance of Messiah will continue in this tradition.’ Tickets for ‘Messiah’ (£10/£15) are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/metcathedral or from the Cathedral Gift Shop Tel: 0151 707 3525.
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean The drama and rites of Holy Week having run their course, we journey through May rejoicing in the glory of the Resurrection with a series of celebratory events throughout the month. On Saturday 11th May there is an evening concert of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at our Cathedral at 7.30 pm. All the choirs of our two Cathedrals will be taking part to form the choral ensemble with four featured soloists and a small orchestra completing the line-up of performers. The concert takes place two days before the Anniversary of the consecration of our Cathedral and it promises to be a great evening of entertainment to mark our fifty second anniversary. The Catenians host their Annual National Conference in Liverpool on the weekend of 18/19 May. The Catenians attending the Conference and their wives will be joining the congregation at the Solemn Mass at 11.00 am that Sunday which will be celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm. The Cathedral Friends, being anxious to try new ideas for events and raise much needed funds for Cathedral projects, have organised an evening about the world of gin on 23rd May. This will be led by John O’Dowd the original founder of the ‘Liverpool Gin’ brand, who will talk about the distilling of gin including various tastings of different gins and tonic. There are only a limited number of tickets for this so book early.
Choristers at the Easter Garden in the Metropolitan Cathedral
There is an organ recital at 3.00 pm on Bank Holiday Monday as part of the trio of concerts that day at the two Cathedrals and St Georges Hall.
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Pic extras A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
New provincial council installed
The Liverpool Knights welcomed a new provincial council during the past month, following elections in March. In accordance with the rules of the Order, a new council is elected each year with the officers installed soon afterwards and this year’s elections took place at the provincial council meeting at St John’s, Kirkdale on Sunday 10 March. The installation ceremony followed at St Mary’s, Little Crosby during the 11.15am Mass on Sunday 7 April. The ceremony was arranged by our provincial chaplain, Father Dunstan Harrington, parish priest at St Mary’s, Little Crosby and St William of York, Thornton, and performed by Brother Harry Welsh, the deputy supreme knight. We thank Fr Dustan for his help and for his kind words in appreciation of the work undertaken by the Order. Our photo shows the members of the new council, together with other members of the Order, following the installation ceremony. • Congratulations to two members of Isle of Man council who have been
awarded Silver Jubilee Long Service Membership medals and certificates. These were presented to Brothers Peter Mundy and Alistair Haywood by council grand knight Ivan Park during a recent council meeting. • St Joseph’s, Upton was the venue for a full knighthood ceremony during Mass on Sunday 31 March when Brothers Chaldrine Ekobe, Christopher Hunt, Terry McGough and Terry Noonan were installed as full members of the Order. We congratulate them all on their attainment of higher office and wish them well with their active participation in the work of the Order. • It is with great sadness that we report the death on 12 March of esteemed Brother Harry Sheridan. His Requiem Mass took place at St Charles and St Thomas More Church, Aigburth Road on 27 March. We convey our sincere sympathy to Harry’s family. May he rest in peace. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk and www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mums the Word It has become a tradition of the Liverpool Archdiocesan UCM for the retiring president to arrange a retreat for members at the end of her term of office. Maria Bruns, who completed her term on 27 April, duly arranged for us to go for the weekend to Belmont Abbey near Hereford. It is an abbey run by the Benedictine order of monks, and together with Father David Potter, 18 of our members headed off there on Friday 5 April. We stopped in Hereford for a look at the beautiful Cathedral and the famous Mappa Mundi (Map of the World). This was drawn in the early 14th century and shows Jerusalem at its centre, and the British Isles in the bottom left-hand corner. At the abbey we joined the monks for Masses and some other services, including their Matins and Compline. One of the monks, Father Alastair, delivered fascinating talks on the theme of ‘The saints as ordinary people’. We also had time for prayers and walks in the garden. We made new friends and reconnected with old ones. On the return journey we called in to the nearby Poor Clares’ convent, where Maria has a friend in the Order. They made us very welcome with tea and cakes. We would like to wish Maria well as she takes up her duties as deputy president for the next three years, and we also welcome Mrs Maureen Finnegan from St Margaret Mary’s foundation as our new Liverpool Archdiocesan president. Maureen has been an enthusiastic UCM member for 40 years, doing sterling work at parish level, not least in acting and singing at the ‘famous’ concert party, and also serving as a diocesan media officer. She has many outstanding talents which she will be able to bring to the office of president. • St Edmund of Canterbury (62 Oxford Rd, Waterloo L22 8QF) will host the next bimonthly Mass at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 May. We wish a successful trip, meanwhile, to our members who are going to the Annual National Council at Swanwick in Derbyshire. God bless, Madelaine McDonald, media officer
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PIC Life Why each of us has a role to play, however great or small By Moira Billinge im’s father asked him if he had been given a part in the class play at the end of term. The fiveyear-old beamed happily: ‘Miss Clark said she’s given me a really important job to do! I’m going to start all the clapping off!’ Well, we can’t all be budding actors ... And what about Olivia who came home from school radiantly showing off her certificate? That week she had been described as ‘a little ray of sunshine’ in the classroom – nothing about her (poor) writing skills and (stumbling) numeracy: she was ‘a little ray of sunshine’, and that meant everything to Olivia and to her parents. We are all realistic enough to know that there are some things we can do – and
others things we can’t. Do I need to be told so bluntly that I can’t sing that I never again sing in public? Do I need to be informed that I am ‘rubbish’ at maths, so that, for the rest of my life, I am afraid of numbers? Surprisingly, there is a prison inmate who asked to become a Catholic after finding that a 67-word prayer he had written was included in a published catechetical resource for prisons. Until then, he had not realised that he could write something of value to other people. The discovery of his own worth led him to discover God – and it only took 67 words. There is a saying that ‘if all the birds in the wood were nightingales, a crow would sound sweet.’ Imagine what our world would be like if everyone could cook, paint, sing, act, play an instrument ... wouldn’t life be boring? Why, if all is the
Greeting Cards from Carmel If you haven’t already visited Maryton Carmel in Allerton do put it on your ‘to do’ list. There are beautiful greeting cards for all occasions, prayer cards and medals on sale in the shop, excellent quality and inexpensive. Contact the Sisters at Maryton Grange, Allerton Road, L18 3NU. Telephone the card office on 0151 724 7102 or Email the Sisters at email@example.com
same, would one bother visiting a restaurant, art gallery, concert or theatre? I have a particularly vivid memory of Susan Boyle’s first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. When she walked shyly on to the stage, we all saw the disdainful expressions on the faces of the judges and audience caught on camera. Equally memorable were their reactions as she sang the first bars of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. No longer was she a fortysomething figure of fun from West Lothian, but someone who warranted immediate respect and a standing ovation. At first, everyone had laughed at this timid, awkward, blustering character, but as Piers Morgan said, after her performance, ‘No-one is laughing now.’ Amanda Holden, his fellow judge, called it ‘the biggest wake-up call ever’. We all have our unique talents – they are just different and help us to appreciate each other’s God-given gifts. I am a really dreadful cook so I am very glad that there are those who shine in the kitchen. Perhaps there might even be a cordon bleu chef who, unknown to me, has appreciated my ‘compliments to the chef’ on a day when he or she felt undervalued. God gives each of us a unique mission, perfectly tailored to our talents. As Blessed John Henry Newman wrote: ‘God has created me to do him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons ...’ Perhaps God has called me to be ‘a little ray of sunshine’ in my own unique way. Nothing more. Nothing less.
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Catholic PIC retreats and away days 2019 Catholic Pic Retreat Days
Catholic Pic Away Days 2019
Summer 2019 Retreat Days will be led by Father Peter Morgan - we will visit:
During the summer of 2019 we have planned away days to: • • • •
Llangollen Wednesday 8 May FULLY BOOKED Conwy Wednesday 19 June Lytham St Anne’s Wednesday 31 July Arnside/Grange over Sands Wednesday 7 August
If you would like to join us on one or more of our away days please ring 0151 733 5492 for your booking forms
The Shrine of Our Lady at Ladyewell Wednesday 5 June and Wednesday 3 July Pantasaph Monastery LADYEWELL AND PANTASAPH - PLEASE NOTE: Due to a printing error some booking forms have the incorrect address, if you have returned any booking form or payments to any address other than to Suite 4, Pacific Chambers, Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ. Please ring 0151 733 5492
Worth a visit - Ladyewell Since the 11th century, the shrine to Our Lady at Ladyewell near Preston has been popular with locals and pilgrims alike, writes Lucy Oliver. Indeed some historians believe that the ancient shrine could even date back to Anglo-Saxon times. The nearby, Grade II-listed larger church, St Mary’s of Fernyhalgh, was built in 1794 to accommodate growing numbers of visitors, and today it forms part of the pilgrimage for many who enjoy praying the Rosary on the quarter-mile road between the church and the ancient shrine. Ladyewell House welcomes pilgrims who go there to take petitions, receive Reconciliation and adore the Blessed
Sacrament before taking home water from the well in the gardens, which also hold the English Martyrs Chapel. The restored Reliquary is well worth exploring and pilgrims will be fascinated to see the Burgess Altar and relics of both St Thomas a Becket, martyred at Canterbury Cathedral, and the ‘Pearl of York’, Saint Margaret Clitherow, who was crushed to death for protecting priests. A drop-off and parking area for disabled badge holders is available at the shrine itself on Fernyhalgh Lane, Fulwood, while a larger car park is 400 yards away.
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justice & peace
A letter no Catholic should ignore By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker ‘Christus Vivit’ (Christ lives) is Pope Francis’ latest letter to the Church, and a personal response to the Synod on Young People that was held in Rome in October 2018. Many sections of it are addressed directly to young people but some are addressed to everyone, including older people. Its message applies to all of us and its perspective is global as it points out that the version of life that we experience is not what is experienced all over the world. It brings home that we in the West live sheltered lives when compared to most. ‘Those of us who have a reasonably comfortable life don’t know how to weep. Some realities in life are only seen with eyes cleansed by tears. I would like each of you to ask yourself this question: Can I weep? Can I weep when I see a child who is starving, on drugs or on the street, homeless, abandoned, mistreated or exploited as a slave by society?’ (#76) This letter covers many of the same themes as his earlier writing and it’s the same enthusiastic and inspirational Pope Francis that we know and love, preoccupied with God’s love for us and insistent that our aim is to become holy. He’s a man inspired and sustained by his ideals, showing us the disciples’ way of following Jesus more closely. He points out something that is easy to forget as we grow older: ‘Jesus was a young person. He gave his life when he was, in today’s terms, a young adult. He began his public mission in the prime of life, and thus “a light dawned” (Mt 4:16) that would shine most brightly when he gave his life to the very end. That ending was not something that simply happened; rather, his entire youth, at every moment, was a precious preparation for it.’ (#23) He says that the Church is ‘ever young’ despite a 2,000-year history. ‘The Church is young when she is 30
herself, when she receives ever anew the strength born of God’s word, the Eucharist, and the daily presence of Christ and the power of his Spirit in our lives. The Church is young when she shows herself capable of constantly returning to her source.’ (#35) And he calls for help from young people who ‘can help keep her young. They can stop her from becoming corrupt; they can keep her moving forward, prevent her from being proud and sectarian, help her to be poorer and to bear better witness, to take the side of the poor and the outcast, to fight for justice and humbly to let herself be challenged.’ (#37) He pulls no punches, frankly acknowledging many faults but insisting that ‘A living Church can look back on history and acknowledge a fair share of male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement, abuse and sexist violence. With this outlook, she can support the call to respect women’s rights, and offer convinced support for greater reciprocity between males and females.’ (#42) As always with Pope Francis there are startling sentences that grab your
attention. The first sections that I shared with my own young adults were: ‘Keep following your hopes and dreams. But be careful about one temptation that can hold us back. It is anxiety. Anxiety can work against us by making us give up whenever we do not see instant results. Our best dreams are only attained through hope, patience and commitment, and not in haste. At the same time, we should not be hesitant, afraid to take chances or make mistakes. Avoid the paralysis of the living dead, who have no life because they are afraid to take risks, to make mistakes or to persevere in their commitments. Even if you make mistakes, you can always get up and start over, for no one has the right to rob you of hope.’ (#142) And I couldn’t resist sending them the following paragraph: ‘Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus! Cast out the fears that paralyze you, so that you don’t become young mummies. Live! Give yourselves over to the best of life! Open the door of the cage, go out and fly! Please, don’t take an early retirement.’ (#143) You can read the whole document online at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website: www.catholicnews.org.uk/Home/Ne ws/Exhortation-Christus-Vivit
‘He pulls no punches, frankly acknowledging many faults ’
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Magazine for the Archdiocese of Liverpool