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Issue 200 May 2021
‘With the Church in prayer at home’
Holy Oils blessed at Mass of Chrism INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh
Blessing of Palms at St Bartholomew’s
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contents Welcome Our front cover this month shows Archbishop Malcolm celebrating the Mass of Chrism at the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Wednesday of Holy week, 31 March. Although the current restrictions meant that there could only be limited numbers in the congregation it was very much a welcome return after last year when lockdown meant that the celebration couldn’t take place. In the background of the picture is the beautiful Pentecost mosaic by the Hungarian artist George Mayer-Marton which was moved to the Metropolitan Cathedral in 1988 from the church of the Holy Ghost in Ford. It is a reminder that as we continue to celebrate the great Feast of Easter we also prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost which is celebrated on Sunday 23 May. Our main feature this month looks at some of the tributes which were given from Church Leaders on the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His loyalty and dedication to the service of others are hallmarks of the Christian life. It is right that we give thanks for his life and work and hold in prayer her Majesty the Queen and the members of the Royal Family who mourn him.
From the Archbishop’s Desk The Vatican’s recent announcement forbidding the blessing of same-sex partnerships has brought to mind a story which was often told of Father Vincent McNabb OP. Father Vincent was a very well-known preacher and author. On Sunday afternoons until he died in 1943, he could be found on the Catholic Evidence Guild pitch at Speaker’s Corner at Marble Arch, London where he attracted great crowds. He always walked in his Dominican habit there and back, between his priory in North London and Hyde Park, cutting a striking figure. When he was stopped by people asking for his blessing, he would respond by kneeling in the street with them and get them to pray that God would bless all of them including himself. A critic might accuse Father Vincent of showmanship, but his point was that it was not him who blessed but God. In general use, the word, ‘blessing’, has come to mean giving approval, and this is why the Vatican felt it could not give permission for liturgical services which are outside the practice of the Church. Fortunately, everything and every person is within the scope of God, our Father and Creator, and at those times when we are confronted with aspects of his creation which we don’t fully understand or even approve of, the only approach open to us has to be to fall to our knees, like Father Vincent, and ask God for his blessing.
Main Feature Giving thanks for the life of Prince Philip
News From around the Archdiocese
15 Nugent Spirits begin to life across our community 17 What’s On Whats happening in the Archdiocese 18 Profile Brendan O’Friel A Prison Governor’s Journal 24 Animate Youth Ministry Easter’s enduring message of hope 25 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 26 Cathedral Record A new repertoire for Holy Week
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
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28 Pic Life There but for the grace of God… 30 Dialogue and Unity ‘Better Together’ – encouragement from Archbishop Malcolm
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Giving thanks for the life of Prince Philip ‘A wonderful gift’ is how Archbishop Malcolm McMahon described the life of the Duke of Edinburgh whose death on 9 April was marked by a Requiem Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral. By Simon Hart It was two days after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh that Archbishop Malcolm McMahon offered BBC Radio Merseyside listeners the story of a fondly remembered personal encounter during a royal visit to Liverpool. It occurred a few years ago when the Archbishop and his Anglican counterpart, Bishop Paul Bayes, attended a lunch for the Queen and Prince Philip at Liverpool Town Hall – and Archbishop Malcolm got a taste of the latter’s famous sense of humour. He recalled: ‘I was on the table with Prince Philip while the Bishop was on the table with the Queen, and Prince Philip said to me, “Oh, you must be the Catholic because you’re on the second table with me”. That was typical of him, I believe, because he put everyone at ease.’ Archbishop Malcolm’s tale is just one of the countless told among the tributes that followed the death of Prince Philip on Friday 9 April, two months before his hundredth birthday. The passing of the longest-serving consort of any British monarch was marked by a Requiem Mass the next day at the Metropolitan Cathedral which served, in Archbishop Malcolm’s words, to ‘give thanks to God for the wonderful gift of this quite remarkable person’. 4
There were messages of condolence too from Pope Francis and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. ‘At this moment of sadness and loss, I pray for the repose of the soul of Prince Philip, Her Majesty the Queen’s faithful and loyal husband,’ said Cardinal Nichols. ‘How much we will miss Prince Philip’s presence and character, so full of life and vigour. He has been an example of steadfast loyalty and duty cheerfully given. May he rest in peace.’ From Pope Francis, who received the Queen and Prince Philip at the Vatican in April 2014, his ‘heartfelt condolences’ came in a telegram sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. In it, the Pope praised Prince Philip’s ‘devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations.’ Prince Philip, who was laid to rest at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday 17 April, had been married to the Queen for 73 years and in this time performed 22,000 solo engagements. Speaking at the Requiem Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral, which the prince had visited with the Queen in 1977, Archbishop Malcolm said of him: ‘We will all miss this intelligent, caring, humorous and thoughtful man who gave back to
‘He has been an example of steadfast loyalty and duty cheerfully given. May he rest in peace.’
his family, the nation and the world much more than he received, but our grief can only be a shadow of that felt by Her Majesty the Queen, their children and all their family. It is to them that I extend my sincerest condolences at their loss.’ One immediate consequence of Prince Philip’s passing was the belated discovery of the remarkable life of a figure whom many Britons had only known of as an old man. It was a life which began in extraordinary circumstances with his birth on a dining table in a villa in Corfu. Born into the then Greek royal family, as the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, he was a toddler when the family were forced into exile. As a young man, Philip was a Royal Navy officer in World War Two and was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender. After marrying the future Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 he would become a modernising force in the Royal Family whose traditions still included footmen wearing powdered wigs when he and the Queen moved into Buckingham Palace after her coronation in 1953. In 1956 the prince founded the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme which has, to date, given five million young people a valuable sense of mission. He was president of the Council of Engineering Institutions and later helped set up the Royal Academy of Engineering. He served also as president of the World Wildlife Fund UK and, from 1996, was its president emeritus. Archbishop Malcolm added: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh award scheme
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Prince Philip with Pope Benedict XVI during the 2010 Papal Visit ingrains in young people ideals of service and commitment as well as recognition of personal achievement that stay with a person throughout their lives shaping them as future citizens. Remaining faithful to the World Wildlife Fund has made the world a better place, respecting the love which God has for us in the world He created. His understanding of ecology and his work in drawing together different parties went far beyond saving the giant panda to offering hope for the future of the planet to us all. He had an enquiring mind which explored ideas in theology, philosophy, and science and technology – as witnessed by his collection of books. He was ahead of his time.’
the Requiem Mass celebrated at Westminster Cathedral, gave his own thanks for Prince Philip’s life of service. ‘His long, long life is marked by many achievements,’ he said. ‘They are being
gratefully recalled in these days – achievements for young people, for engineering, for the environment, in the defence of our nation, for so many charitable causes. Yet it is for his selfless
Prince Philip only retired from public duties in 2017, aged 95, and Archbishop Malcolm observed: ‘Fidelity or faithfulness is not a popular idea because it doesn’t follow fashion, doesn’t allow for whim or fancy but it is based in duty and lasting love. But it goes in hand in hand with another characteristic of Prince Philip which was humility. He was often self-effacing and slow to claim credit for his achievements and did what he did because that was the way he was made.’ Cardinal Nichols, speaking is the homily at
The memorial at the Metropolitan Cathedral
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Her Majesty the Queen with Prince Philip and Archbishop Worlock following her Silver Jubilee visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral in 1977
loyalty to the Queen and his tireless, generous sense of duty and service for which we give the most heartfelt thanks. ‘Inspired by his Christian faith, and, I believe, by the example of his extraordinary mother, Princess Alice, the service given by Prince Philip will long be an inspiration to us all. Little wonder that, as they celebrated their Golden Jubilee, Her Majesty spoke of him as her “constant strength and stay”.
‘An abiding memory of mine is the sight of Prince Philip, standing for hours on end, upright and alert, in the cold and pouring rain on that long celebratory pageant on the River Thames, marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. How he must have longed to take shelter. But he did not. A steadfast and indomitable spirit marked every one of his 70 years of service. For this we thank God and pray that he may now rest in peace.’
‘A strong individual, full of character and humour’ ‘A steadfast and indomitable spirit marked every one of his 70 years of service.’ 6
Bishop Paul Bayes, the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, paid his own tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh when he said: ‘Prince Philip was a strong individual, full of character and humour, who chose for the whole of his life to use that strength and character to serve and support – to support the Queen and to offer service to the nation as a whole. He accompanied the Queen many times on visits to Liverpool and our region over the years, on each occasion enriching and encouraging our communities here. We thank God for his life, and commend him now to the mercy of our Lord.’
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Issue 163 April 2018
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Easter Joy INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Peter Woods appointed High Sheriff
Celebrating marriage and family life
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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
Accompanying Ramadan Cardinal Michael Fitzgerald MAfr from St Vincent de Paul parish, Liverpool and formerly Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has compiled a booklet ‘Accompanying Ramadan’ which has its roots in a parish project. He writes: ‘Ramadan, the ninth month of the year according to the lunar calendar followed by Muslims, is started in April. It is a holy month, marked especially by a fast each day during the hours of light. This way of fasting sets Muslims apart from others. ‘In the southern Philippines, on the island of Mindano which has a large Muslim population, the Christians devised a programme which they called Duyog
Ramadan, “Accompanying Ramadan”. The idea was taken from music. When people sing, they are often accompanied by someone playing the guitar. The guitarist doesn’t necessarily sing, but he or she backs up the singers by strumming. In a similar way Christians, who are not observing Ramadan, can accompany the Muslims who are doing so. ‘Last year the priests and people of St Vincent de Paul parish, in Liverpool, decided to do just this. They wished to accompany their Muslim brothers and sisters, especially by their prayers. In order to sustain this effort some information about Ramadan, or about
Islam in general, was provided every day on the parish Facebook account. It is these daily posts that have been collected in the booklet presented. ‘Each post is in two parts. There is first some brief information about some aspect of Islam; this is followed by a multipleanswer question. The answer to this question is given after the next post.’ The booklet is available online at http://www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk/dialogu e-unity
Obituary of Rev John Kearns CP Father John Kearns CP, the Provincial of the Order of the Cross and Passion died on Wednesday 14 April aged 56. He was a much loved and familiar figure in the archdiocese who will be remembered for his ministry at St Anne and Blessed Dominic parish in Sutton, St Helens and for his work in Prison Chaplaincy. He first worked at the Shrine in Sutton as a student for the priesthood and after ordination served in the parish. After he left the parish, he was still a regular visitor especially for the annual Masses for Blessed Dominic Barberi, Venerable Elizabeth Prout and Venerable Ignatius Spencer. He was born in Birmingham on 13 February 1965 and worked in the banking world before joining the Passionists. He was professed on
13 September 1991 and ordained at St Anne and Blessed Dominic on 5 July 1997. While serving in the parish he was invited to celebrate Mass at a young offenders institute and his work in prison ministry began. After becoming Provincial he moved to his home city of Birmingham to Austin Smith House in Sparkhill where he also worked in ministry to refugees and asylum seekers. His fruitful ministry will be greatly missed and will be remembered as an important part of Passionist life in this country, in northern Europe, and in the wider Passionist congregation. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at his home parish of St Thomas and St Edmund of Canterbury, Erdington Abbey, Birmingham.
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Liverpool Seafarers Centre shares 1,000 hot cross buns Liverpool Seafarers Centre (LSC) shared a traditional Easter treat with seafarers docked in Liverpool thanks to the kind donation of 1,000 hot cross buns. Seafarers on board 20 vessels received the baked goods in the run-up to the Easter weekend after Peter Woods, the past High Sheriff of Merseyside, stepped in to help following an appeal by the Crosby charity. LSC chief executive John Wilson had asked for help with providing a little something extra this Easter for the seafarers the centre supports. Keen to help, Mr Woods acquired funding from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund on the Crosby charity’s behalf, enabling the purchase of the hot cross buns from Greggs. Crew on six vessels in the port of Liverpool received packets of buns delivered in person by Mr Woods and Mr Wilson, who were joined by the High Sheriff of Merseyside, John Roberts. The packages included a card put together by LSC volunteers indicating the significance of this Easter-time treat. Mr Woods first got involved with the centre in 2018 when he served as High Sheriff and went out to distribute presents on ships on Christmas Eve. During the pandemic, he supported the cause by collecting board games and
jigsaws for seafarers. He said: ‘I was so impressed by what Liverpool Seafarers Centre did after my first visit that I wanted to continue to show my support. When you see the different types of vessel that come into Liverpool bringing various commodities, you realise how dependent on our ports and on seafarers we are, and the difficult lives they have.’ Mr Roberts, who visited with his wife Mary, said: ‘It was fascinating to meet the seafarers and great to see how welcomed they felt in Liverpool thanks to Liverpool Seafarers Centre. The ones we met were all thousands of miles from home, coming from the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Russia, China and Ukraine, and it was great to see how important it was for them to have friends like John and the other people from the centre when they come to another part of the world.’ In previous years, LSC had arranged church services to enable seafarers to celebrate Easter, but this was not possible this year owing to Coronavirus restrictions. Instead on Palm Sunday, blessed palm crosses were taken to crew on board vessels docked in Liverpool while on Easter Sunday, chocolates were handed out by volunteers who also made themselves available for practical advice or pastoral assistance.
Catholic Bishops send birthday message to Her Majesty The Queen The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales sent their ‘heartfelt greetings and prayers’ to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her 95th birthday which she celebrated on Wednesday 21 April. The Bishops, who were meeting in Plenary Assembly, also conveyed ‘with one voice’ their deepest condolences on the death of the Queen’s ‘beloved husband’, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The letter in full reads: Your Majesty, This week we, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, are meeting in Plenary Assembly. We wish to send you our heartfelt greetings and prayers. With one voice we wish to convey to Your Majesty our deepest condolences on the death of your beloved husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. With the peoples of our nations, we have mourned his death, prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul, thanked God for the example of his life, and prayed to our heavenly Father for the strengthening of Your Majesty and the Royal Family. We also wish to offer you our congratulations on the occasion of your 95th birthday. We thank you for all the years of outstanding service that you have given as our Queen and Sovereign, and we ask God’s blessings on the years of your reign that are still to come. May God bless Your Majesty, now and always. With all good wishes and prayers, Cardinal Vincent Nichols President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
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Strictly’s coming to St Joseph’s Hospice St Joseph’s Hospice is planning the ultimate Strictly fundraising event in September and is looking for participants who fancy hitting the dancefloor. The Thornton-based hospice is partnering with the Marshside School of Dance in Southport to launch Strictly St Joseph’s and will provide professional dancers and training sessions for the challenge. The hospice is looking for 12 participants with no previous dance experience. The successful candidates will each be partnered by a professional dancer and allocated a specific dance style before beginning their training. All the Strictly St Joseph’s couples will then perform their routines at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on Saturday 25 September. Tickets for the event will be available nearer the time. Maxine Armstrong, head of fundraising for the hospice, said: ‘After 12 months of not being able to hold any fundraising events, we wanted to get the glitter out and launch a brand-new event that we can all really look forward to. It is the perfect challenge for anyone who has watched
St Joseph’s Rebecca Ruddock and Shirley Farrell are already equipped for the big event.
Strictly and dreamed what it would be like to hit the dancefloor with a professional. ‘We’re looking for 12 non-dancers, aged over 18, to take part. Each contestant will receive a series of dance lessons but will be expected to raise their own sponsorship for the hospice. This is also a great opportunity for local businesses to
support the hospice by putting one of their team forward for the challenge and raising sponsorship.’ Applications for Strictly St Joseph’s are now open. Visit www.jospice.org.uk for full details or call the fundraising team on 0151 932 6044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
‘History in the making’ for Wigan school heading national rebuilding scheme A bright new future beckons for St John Fisher Catholic High School in Wigan after it was named among the first wave of schools selected for a national rebuilding scheme. The 50 schools chosen by the government for the first phase of its £1bn School Rebuilding Programme were announced on 5 February. There will be a total of 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade and St John Fisher will act as a pilot as one of the first schools scheduled to be rebuilt according to the greener, energy-efficient specifications required to meet the government’s netzero target. Alison Rigby, headteacher of St John Fisher, said: ‘We cannot express our sheer delight that our young people will have access to modern, state-of-the-art facilities in the future. We all know buildings don’t educate children, people do, but the environment in which children learn and are encouraged to grow is vital in producing decent human beings. ‘It’s great that our school has been identified for this investment. We have a unique sporting heritage – we’ve 10
produced international rugby league, rugby union and netball players and athletes, despite our modest sporting facilities!’ The rebuilt school will feature, she explained, ‘light and airy and spacious classrooms’ along with a new dining hall and canteen providing eating spaces indoors and outdoors. There will also be a new chapel, theatre, fitness and dance studios, and a music room with recording technology. A bigger sports hall and dressing rooms will be complemented by outdoor sporting facilities, which will be available for local sports clubs to hire at weekends. Mrs Rigby added: ‘This new-build project will boost our curriculum offer and provide fantastic facilities in which our learning community will continue to flourish, and, most importantly, build confidence in our young people because they’ll feel valued and invested in and – ultimately, loved.’ Work is due to start in September this year with a view to the new school being completed by autumn 2023. Mrs Rigby described it as ‘history in the making’ and continued: ‘St John Fisher is one of the
oldest schools in Wigan, it’s steeped in history and for many of us holds lots of fond memories. We will be incredibly careful to archive the demolition of our current school buildings and save important artefacts which can be placed into the new school to help preserve our traditions.’ More than 70 per cent of the schools involved are in the Midlands and the North, and there will also be 21 new free schools created by the scheme.
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A socially distanced Chrism Mass This year Archbishop Malcolm could once again celebrate the Mass of Chrism in the Metropolitan Cathedral though the current necessary restrictions remained in place. The Mass was livestreamed and the numbers in the congregation were limited with Deans and Hospital Chaplains present to represent the clergy. In his homily Archbishop Malcolm reflected on the events of the past year and looked forward to the future saying, ‘This last year has been a very long and trying year for us here in Liverpool and for others throughout our country and the world. It has been a hard path to tread, a difficult road to walk. But it has been a road which we have walked together. We are together on the road to our diocesan synod in June which we pray will be a time for a new start as we are released from lockdown and discern a new way forward for our archdiocese. It will be a time for renewal as we step forward into a changed world.’ At the Mass the Archbishop blessed the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens and consecrated the Oil of Chrism which will be used in the archdiocese in the coming year. The priests also renewed their commitment to priestly service. Archbishop Malcolm concluded his homily saying, ‘Today we give special thanks to almighty God for the holy oils and the sacred chrism which are more signs of his tender love for us as he calls us to share in the mission of his Son’. Pictures: www.nickfairhurstphotographer.com
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Two wheels good by Neil Sayer Archdiocesan Archivist Over the past year many of us have no doubt taken to solitary recreational activities such as running or cycling. Not too long ago, cycling was seen as a means of transport not of sport. For Father Ernest Gray, pictured here in the pages of the Catholic Pictorial 50 years ago, in May 1971, his bike not only enabled him to get round his parishioners, it gave him a useful profile in the community around English Martyrs, Haydock. The Pic reported that ‘Father Gray firmly believes in visiting and gets round the parish easily on his small bicycle.’ It is remarkable that when this picture was taken, Father Gray was 77, yet he still managed to visit 80-90 houses each week. No doubt the roads were quieter, and safer, then. Father Gray was Parish Priest in Haydock for almost 35 years before he retired in 1973; he died in 1980. The bike that he is riding is, as its many aficionados will have noticed, a Moulton Standard. Still in production today, its design can seem as revolutionary as it did when it first appeared in 1962. It was invented by Dr Alex Moulton, an engineer with a background in aeroengines and the car industry. He wondered why the bicycle design had changed so little since the 1890s and went back to first principles to create this eye-catching piece of machinery. Created around an ‘F’ frame, its wheels were smaller than other bikes, it had front and rear suspension for comfort over cobbled surfaces, it offered a fair amount of carrying space, and the design has clearly stood the test of time. Father Gray probably found it lightweight, easy to mount, and comfortable enough for his parish visiting purposes; and it was relatively inexpensive. Back in the 1890s, bicycles had first come to the notice of the Catholic Bishops in England. At their annual conference in 1897, they spent some time discussing ‘The clergy and the use of bicycles’. It seems that priests were increasingly using bicycles (and tricycles) ‘as a means of transport over large districts confided to their care’. Standards of dress, it seemed, had
slipped, and the Bishops felt obliged to remind the clergy of ‘the rules regarding ecclesiastical dress’. They were, however, not entirely inflexible: ‘Objection will not be made to a slight shortening of the clerical coat, where this may be found necessary when using a bicycle. In this case a Priest who is going to visit the sick should take with him a light slip, to wear when administering the Sacraments.’ The bicycle was seen in its early days as giving too much freedom to women, whose dress and morals would suffer from taking advantage of the wider horizons it offered. It is interesting to note that the Bishops also thought that the bicycle might ‘relax the discipline that everywhere marks out the Catholic Priest as the minister of God.’ So, a shortening of the coat was allowed, presumably so as not to hinder safe cycling. But ‘the putting off of the clerical dress in order to mix with greater freedom in lay society is absolutely forbidden.’
Day of Prayer Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter Listening to the voices of victims and survivors, the Bishops have moved the date on which the Day of Prayer for the Victims and Survivors of Abuse is marked in England and Wales. The day itself is an important initiative that was proposed by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. The Holy Father welcomed the proposal and asked that each Bishops’ Conference choose an appropriate day in their nation or territory to hold a ‘Day of Prayer’ for the victims and survivors of sexual abuse. Initially, in 2018, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales chose the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent. However, listening to the voices of victims and survivors, the Bishops received a proposal that the day should be changed to a time in Easter Season. It was felt that the inclusion of this day in Lent was penitential. The original motivation for the day was not on the Church seeking forgiveness for its failings, but on the hope and renewal that is necessary for the victims, survivors and others affected by abuse (for example families, parish communities). As such, the Bishops have moved this Day of Prayer for Victims 12
and Survivors of Abuse to the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, this year it will be on Tuesday 4 May. Making this change, after listening to the voices of victims and survivors, affirms the desire of the Church in our countries to put survivors at the heart of the response to abuse. Holding the day in Easter Season offers the hope that Pope Francis spoke of in his first General Audience: ‘He healed, comforted, understood — gave hope. He led all to the presence of God.’
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Pastoral Letter for Vocations Sunday Pastoral Letter read at all Masses in the Archdiocese of Liverpool on the Fourth Sunday of Easter - Vocations Sunday, 25 April 2021. Dear Friends, Today is traditionally known as Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday as, in today’s gospel reading, Jesus says, ‘I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd is the one who lays down his life for his sheep’. Jesus’s listeners, although very familiar with the image that Jesus is using, would be startled by his use of this imagery with reference to himself. Shepherds lived on the margins of society and were treated with suspicion. What on earth is Jesus doing? Well, in the first place, he has made his listeners ears prick up and then, by identifying with certain qualities of the good shepherd, he is showing us clearly the mission he has received from his Father: to gather us into one flock, to know each of us individually, to protect us and to lay down his life for us. Jesus takes this on freely but also predicts his resurrection. I want to ask you to reflect on your vocation because this gospel applies to every one of us, not simply those who are called to serve in the Church as priests, deacons or religious. By baptism we have been gathered into one flock and called to holiness. That call is unique to each of us; the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and they know him, and furthermore Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has opened for us the way to eternal life with his Father. Our particular journey through life in response to God’s loving purpose for us is different from the person sitting next to us. Some of us live out our vocation in a particular way such as by being married and having a family. Others will live in a religious community. Many people respond to the call to holiness through the work they do, perhaps as a teacher or in a caring profession. There are as many ways of hearing God’s call and answering it as there are people on this earth. Our responsibility as Christians is to listen to God’s word and hear how he is calling us individually. Although the call is particular to each of us, the way we as a community find holiness is through each other in the Church, becoming one in Christ and by being Christ to the wider world. Holiness is not confined to the Church. We have seen numerous examples of this throughout the pandemic in the service which individuals have given to others. The ultimate sacrifice has been paid by many NHS workers who cared for infected patients with selfless love and fatally caught the virus themselves, but many others in every part of our society have reached out to offer help and support to isolated people they did not know before the lockdown. Volunteers are stepping forward to make our churches safe, to train as vaccinators, to steward the vaccination centres and to get their neighbour’s shopping. These practical actions are signs of the communion that characterises the human person and, dare I say, speak of holiness, as they are a sign for us of the unity that we strive for under Christ, the Good Shepherd. It is therefore essential that we allow the Holy Spirit an opportunity to work in and through us. By doing so we are able to understand more fully the life to which we're called. Be in no doubt that if we accept that the Spirit is at work, every one of us is called to a particular Vocation. As an archdiocese we have been opening ourselves to that same Spirit as we move towards
our Archdiocesan Synod in June this year. The future of our Church here in the Archdiocese of Liverpool depends on every one of us discerning our individual vocation and following it in truth; and we should not let any mistakes in the past or a feeling of unworthiness hold us back. Pope Benedict noted several years ago that ‘Weaknesses and human limits do not present obstacles, as long as they help to make us more aware of the fact that we need the redeeming grace of Christ.’ I pray that some of you may have specific calls to priesthood, religious life and the diaconate. The ordained ministry and religious life are necessary for a healthy Church. Just as it is really impossible to have a Church without the Mass, so I believe it is also unthinkable to be a Church without men and women religious, contemplative and active, who have laid down their lives in service. If I were to give you statistics of the falling numbers of vocations you would be quite shocked and worried, suffice it for me to say that the Church is changing, and we should not be afraid of what the future holds - Jesus tells us that the Good Shepherd knows his own and they him. That should be enough assurance for us to face what lies ahead with bold hearts. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide shepherds for his flock and that you may continue to be supported by his love as you follow your vocation. Wishing you and your families every blessing in this Easter season, Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note I trust you are continuing to enjoy a blessed and happy Eastertime. Having been given the 40 days of Lent to prepare ourselves for the renewal of our baptismal promises, we are now given the 50 days of the Easter season in which to continue our rejoicing, get back into the habit of having the ‘Alleluia’ at weekday and Sunday Masses, and listen again to the story of the early unfolding of the Easter message through the words of the Acts of the Apostles. One thing which strikes us constantly in the Acts of the Apostles is the dynamic nature of the Gospel. From the enthused preaching of Peter on Pentecost Day, to the miracles worked through the Apostles and continued growth of the community of early followers of ‘The Way’ (later to be called Christians), to the constant physical journeying of the followers of Jesus, there is a feeling of being always on the move: eager to recognise and experience new signs of the presence of the Lord, fresh workings of the Holy Spirit in the world. It is a constant reminder and
Sunday thoughts ‘The Best Catholics in the World: The Irish, the Church and the End of a Special Relationship’ is an account by Irish Times journalist Derek Scally of how revelations of sexual abuse have toppled the Catholic Church in Ireland. Drastic falls in Mass attendance and vocations mark the end of a ‘special relationship’. Irish bishops and priests had been on a pedestal but revelations of abuse have released a torrent of cynicism and resentment which had fomented for decades. Sexual abuse, with its shame, degradation, secrecy, darkness and denial, has left countless broken lives. ‘Avoidance of scandal’ has denied victims justice. A cosy alliance with government has allowed the imbalances of power and privilege to go unchallenged. The Beatitudes do not sit comfortably with power. And how much thought did ‘respectable’ Catholic Mass goers give to the misery behind the closed doors of ‘Magdalen’ laundries as they
Canon Philip Gillespie
challenge to us to have eyes, ears and hearts open to fresh opportunities to know, to love and to serve. Pope Francis reflects in his exhortation ‘The joy of the Gospel’: ‘Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says, “We have always done it in this way”. I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation in their respective communities.’ Challenging words, but words which seem to chime well with the season of new life in which we find ourselves. Here at the Beda we recently celebrated a further step on the journey of some of our students and prayed for the gifts and guidance of the Holy Spirit upon their ministry as acolytes. Please pray for them and indeed for those who are now preparing for their ordination as deacons: ‘May God who has begun the good work in each one of us bring it to fulfilment’ (Philippians 1:6).
Mgr John Devine OBE
dumped their dirty washing each week? (Do I allow my own love affair with Amazon to be disturbed by reports of workforce exploitation?) This year, I celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper alone. Peter asks, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answers, ‘Later you will understand.’ Will I ever fully understand? ‘Special relationship’ suggests competitive advantage, a share in power over others. The temptation is to follow these same instincts – ‘for the good of the Church’. The mother of James and John thinks along the same lines: ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your Kingdom.’ We are indeed invited to a ‘special relationship’ with the Lord: ‘I shall not call you servants any more … I call you friends.’ But the invitation is uncompromising: ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink?’
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com
Living in the power of the Resurrection I first met Sister Nancy Kellar at a conference many years ago. Nancy is a native New Yorker with a broad accent and a no-nonsense attitude to life. When I met her, she was speaking at conferences all over the world. Now, because she is well into her eighties, life has quietened a little and she no longer travels as much as she did. I met her in Rome a couple of years ago for the first time in many years and, with her bright, sparkling eyes, she looked at me and said, ‘Don’t forget even if we never meet again there is always more in God’. That phrase for me captures the truth of the Resurrection, that there is always more in God. Who would have expected a crucified man to rise from the dead and bring new meaning and purpose into the lives of millions who would believe in him as the Son of God? There is always more in God. The anthem ‘We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song’ rings in my heart and mind in these days after Easter and yet what does it mean to live in the power of the Resurrection? One reality that the Resurrection of Christ reveals is that when we are so paralysed by fear and overcome by darkness that we can no longer help ourselves, God can break through our locked doors, stand inside our fear and paralysis, and breathe out peace. That’s the power of the risen Christ in our lives. Another aspect of living in the Resurrection is the personal experience of the risen Jesus which comes about through the love that exists between people. That personal experience of the risen Lord is there whenever we accept one another without judgement. It’s there in the loving touch of one for another. It’s there in the listening ear and the compassionate heart. It’s there when we allow this risen Jesus to break through the petty limitations that we put on Him and reveal His presence. It’s there when we let go of our images of God, of our presumptions about where we’ll find God, and look again with fresh eyes. The risen Christ we’ve been given is bigger than anything we care to imagine. Never presume that you know, always look with fresh eyes for the one who is with us. Don’t cling to what you had because in clinging to what you thought you knew, you don’t have eyes to see. All of this and more is living the life of the risen Christ. Open your hearts to Him today and find that life coming to you in surprising ways. Father Chris Thomas
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Reflection on Pentecost – A time to be charitable
Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
Spirits begin to life across our community It has been a busy few weeks here at Nugent, made all the better by the welcome arrival of better weather and lighter evenings. As I recently noted to Nugent staff - as we emerge from a particularly challenging winter, impacted by the pandemic, there is hope-abound that the spring season will begin to lift spirits across our community. By Anthony Hopkinson Head of Fundraising and Income Generation at Nugent Last year, during a special online service for Pentecost Sunday, His Holiness Pope Francis called on all Christians to seek a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in order that they might be bearers of Christ’s love, light and hope, in a world ‘experiencing a tragic famine of hope’. The Pope also urged us all to turn away from the ‘selfish pursuit of success without caring for those left behind’ and to be united in facing the ‘pandemics of the virus and of hunger, war, contempt for life and indifference to others.’ Here at Nugent, we believe the Pope’s heartfelt message on Pentecost Sunday 2020 is as apt today as it was 12 months ago. For many of us, the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions brings longed-for opportunities (even if at a social distance!) – we are all eager to see family members, resume contact with our friends, go on holiday, attend social functions, play sports and get back to work we value. Whilst we have much reason to celebrate and rejoice, we must endeavour to remember those that needed our help well before the pandemic took hold of the world. We must also think about those that will still need our help long after COVID-19 runs its course.
Philippians 2:1-4 NIV ‘If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.’ As Christians, we strive to be more Christlike each day and the purpose of God sending us His Holy Spirit is to enable us, with His help, to be like Him. If you believe God is Love, as I do, then charity, faith, and spirituality are central to everything you do in both your vocational life and personal life. The most rewarding purpose is to serve others, whether business associates or persons in need. This Pentecost I would like to encourage members of our Archdiocese to make either a financial donation (within your means) or a donation of your time to a charitable cause you believe in and continue to serve others as God intended. If you would like to support Nugent then please may I encourage you to reach out to me and my team at email@example.com
Such hope has already led to a tremendously positive outcome for our annual Easter Egg Appeal. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, we have been able to distribute over 1800 Easter Eggs as well as countless sweets and other treats to deserving beneficiaries across the region. It has been truly wonderful to see how much unadulterated joy and excitement we have been able to generate this Easter for those who would have otherwise gone without. I must underline our collective thanks to the following individuals and groups who made this appeal such a ‘cracking’ success: Peter Firth and members of St Joseph’s Blundellsands SVP Group; the Archdiocese of Liverpool Union of Catholic Mothers; Bellerive FCJ Catholic College; St Peter’s Catholic High School; Matthew Hurst, Knowsley Lift Services; Jess Little Cakes; Vitaflo and all the staff at Lloyds Banking Group’s Customer Contact Centre Hubs in Liverpool and Chester. As a charity, our need for voluntary support and charitable donation is ever increasing. It is heartening and encouraging to see such a wide and diverse variety of supporters continue to support our vital work.
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Synod FAQs by Father Philip Inch and Chris Knowles 1. What is happening at the moment? The 19 Recommendations that will be voted on in June have been published and the Synod Members are preparing to discern how they will vote on June 19th. When the Synod began, almost 4 years ago, a deliberate decision was made to have Members and not representatives. A representative has a group of people who they are representing, a Member comes from a group (parish or Deanery usually) and having listened over the years to the parish or Deanery or community, they are then able to discern how they should vote at the Synod. Some Synod Members are anxious because they cannot call meetings at this time – but we keep telling them that they have been working at this for over 3 years and so they are already equipped to respond appropriately as a Synod Member. 2. Where will the Synod take place? There is still a need for us to be cautious due to social distancing regulations and so it has been decided that, as it is a full day event, the Synod will take place on a Zoom meeting on Saturday 19th June, and then the Mass on Sunday June 20th will be at the Cathedral. 3. Who can vote? All the Synod Members will have a vote, and how they vote is not as a representative of a community, but based upon their own discernment. The Members are parish members, deanery members and priests with an appointment in the Diocese. There are also Members representing the religious and special interest groups. At the Synod there are ecumenical observers, but this stage of the Synod journey they will not be able to vote, but their contributions so far have helped on the journey. On Synod Day, June 19th, there will also be observers from other Diocese and from across the Catholic world. 4. What will happen to the votes? On the day of Synod each Synod Member will be asked to look at the 19 Recommendations and respond in one of 4 ways:
a. This is a high priority which the Archdiocese should enact soon b. This is an excellent idea but not at the top of my list c. This doesn’t strike me as vitally important d. This is not the right way forward for us in the Archdiocese Once this has happened the Synod Members will receive (in the afternoon of the 19th June) the outcomes. This will be done in a series of bar charts. (The July Pic will have all this information for everyone.) The Archbishop will receive the responses and in the light of these he will begin to put together the Pastoral Plan. 5. Will the Archbishop put together the Pastoral Plan by himself? A Pastoral Plan Group has already been meeting – not to write the Plan in advance, but to begin to understand the Synod process so far in more depth and get a better appreciation of the
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context in which the Pastoral Plan will be implemented. This Group is made up of people from the Diocese, men and women, priests and lay people and it has on it 6 people from around the country who work in different church setting who can help in the crafting of the Plan because of their breadth of experience. 6. When will the Plan be ready? From July 12th – July 16th the Archbishop, his Council and the Pastoral Plan Group will go away for 5 days. This will be an intensive time to pray, discern and to decide what will be in the Pastoral Plan. This work will take as long as it takes, but the Plan will have to be ready to be launched on the 1st Sunday of Advent 2021. 7. What can I do to be part of this important moment in the history of the Diocese? You can engage with the Synod Recommendations by buying the Synod book, ‘Together on the Road’, which has reflections to help you think about each of the Recommendations. It is £3.00 from the Synod office or from Pauline Media at their new premises on Church Street, Liverpool (which opens on May 4th.) Ask at your parish if you want a copy. On the 4 weekends before the Synod there will be opportunities to pray at Mass for the Synod. This will culminate in a week of prayer across the Diocese which we invite people to engage within their own parishes, schools or families. You can ask your Synod Member (priest or lay) if you can talk to them about the Synod and about how their have discerned how to vote.
Whats Ons – May 2021 Thursdays 6, 13 May at 10.30 am ‘I know my redeemer lives’ – Reflections on the Book of Job (on Zoom) To book your place email firstname.lastname@example.org Monday 17 to Friday 21 May at 7.30 pm ‘I will pour out my spirit on all humankind’ Reflections on the Acts of the Apostles and prayer for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit To book your place (on Zoom) email email@example.com Liverpool Parish Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas The Friday lunchtime Masses at 1.05 pm will resume at Liverpool Parish Church from Friday 7 May. The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst Every second Thursday at 7:30pm from 29th April The Logos and Literature: Elaborating the Divine A series of online evening talks exploring some of the great themes of Catholic Christianity in writing old and new, with Catholic scholars and contemporary authors. Details and registration: https://christianheritagecentre.com/events/logos-and-literature/ 29 April Tolkien’s Cosmology – Understanding our world Rev Dr Michael Halsall 13 May Seeking Truth – Fact and fiction today Fiorella Nash 27 May Catechetical poetry – Presenting Christianity in China Roy Peachey 10 June Fiction as Formation – C S Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia Dr Rebekah Lamb 24 June Educating in Virtue – Appealing to the young mind Corinna Turner 8 July
Inspiring Heroism – Drama and counter-reformation Catholicism Professor Alison Shell
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profile or Brendan O’Friel, the idea for the book he has written about prisons in this country had been gestating for quite some time. For three decades, to be precise. ‘The book started with a lot of people telling me after the Strangeways riot, “You’ve got to write your account of what happened”,’ reflects the man who was governor of Strangeways Prison in Manchester when a 25-day riot and rooftop protest took place there in April 1990.
The idea kept coming back, notably in 2015 when he appeared in a documentary to mark the riot’s 25th anniversary and found some of his grandchildren suddenly eager to learn more. Yet, as he explains from his home on the Isle of Man, it was actually something that Pope Francis said which pushed the parishioner of St Columba’s in Port Erin to get writing. ‘The guy who really made me sit up and think was Pope Francis, who said, “We can’t just go back to what we used to call normal. We’ve got to change the world to a different and better place.” I thought, “Well, okay, I’ve got to put my twopennyworth in.’ The end result is his book, Prison Governor’s Journal, which is now available, offering his account of the prison service between 1945 and 1995 and a reflection on its current state. ‘With the pandemic you could see what it was going to do to both staff and prisoners,’ remarks Brendan, now 80. ‘The prison service has been getting into an increasing mess through the last 10 years. They’d made a bit of progress prior to that but from 2010 onwards, the government cut the funding, and didn’t cut the numbers so things just went downhill.’ The question of numbers is pivotal, he explains. ‘The real problem for the prison service is that since 1947 onwards they’ve been hit by overcrowding. The energy of management, to a far too great extent, was turned to just coping with this overcrowding. If you think that in 1946 there were about 15,000 people in
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Brendan O’Friel Reflections on life as a prison governor - By Simon Hart prisons and now there are about 80,000 that’s a huge increase and we have to ask why. My book is very much saying we have got to get the prison population right down. The challenge is getting people to think who we send to prison, how long we send them to prison for and what we should be trying to do with them in prison. ‘Once people are in the system our job is to try to reduce the prospects of reoffending and that’s been extremely difficult to do really for the past 70 years because the prisons have been distracted and overwhelmed by the number of prisoners and just surviving
rather than saying, “How can we stimulate and challenge prisoners to increase the chances of them not reoffending?”.’ Brendan speaks from a position of vast experience. Following an education at Stonyhurst College and the University of Liverpool, he embarked on a 33-year career in the prison service which took in nine different prisons, concluding with five years as governor of Risley Prison near Warrington. From 1990-95 he was also chairman of the Prison Governors’ Association. His Catholic faith provided a guiding force throughout. ‘I make no apology for saying religious principles
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‘The real problem for the prison service is that since 1947 onwards they’ve been hit by overcrowding’ and the importance of treating people as individuals and with dignity is driven in part by what has been imparted to me by family and the Church,’ he reflects. ‘I never made a secret of the fact some prisoners behave extremely badly. I used an expression that a lot of people raised their eyebrows at during the early days of the Strangeways riot when I described the behaviour as an “explosion of evil”. The use of the word evil pulled some people up short but I’m perfectly happy to stand by that. Yet just because you’re confronted with some extremely bad behaviour, it doesn’t mean you forget about people.’ Indeed, while reoffending rates might suggest otherwise, he believes that most prisoners can find a way out of crime if given ‘the right opportunities to acquire skills, literacy, to improve their health and fitness, and if on release they have accommodation to go to, jobs to go to, and good support and supervision not just from probation staff but also from the voluntary organisations who play a really important part like the SVP. There are a lot of prisoners who first of all wouldn’t reoffend at all and some who, if they did, it’d be more likely to be a less serious offence so you move them down the scale of how great a threat they are to the public.’ He recalls with a shudder the assertion by former Home Secretary Michael Howard that ‘prison works’, arguing that ‘all the evidence is that prison does not work’. Yet it would help, he acknowledges, if the support structures required for those returning to life on the outside were more solid. In his own career there was no greater challenge than finding a response to the eruption of disorder at Strangeways.’ ‘The impact on me was considerable,’ he remembers, ‘because not only did I have to manage the riot for 25 days but the first few days were particularly tiresome because it was dangerous. We were in danger of being seriously injured and were dealing with a totally unprecedented situation.
‘There was some extraordinary bad behaviour by prisoners causing fires, beating up the more vulnerable of the prisoners, but what made it considerably worse for me was on day two we assembled quite a large force to take the prison and rather at the last minute, headquarters blocked the proposal to retake the prison.’ If that was an unpopular order for those on the ground, towards the riot’s end, the then directorgeneral of the prisons, Chris Train, told Radio 4’s Today programme that it was Brendan ‘who’d taken the decision not to attack the prison’. Fortunately the ensuing Woolf report told the truth about that situation and Brendan ended his career overseeing change at Risley Prison. ‘If you read the book you’ll find in the chapter after Strangeways, I go to Risley and picked up the pieces of another very damaged establishment and was able to make a huge amount of progress, with a tremendously good staff team I worked
with,’ he says. ‘We pushed it from “Grisly Risley” as it used to be known to an establishment that was regarded by the chief inspector of prisons as a centre of excellence. ‘You can tell to a degree by the improved behaviour you get within the institution – the way prisoners treat each other, the way they treat staff, the way they acquire qualifications. Even hard-bitten prison staff like myself might start saying about individuals who’d given us a hard time, “You know, I think they’re starting to change and improve”. It does indeed happen. It doesn’t mean when they get out they’re going to be totally good but they are on a path that’ll take them away from criminality.’ It is a positive note to end on – and readers of his book will find drawings by former prisoners offering, literally, the perfect illustration. Find out more at www.prisongovernorjournal.com.
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Palm Blessing at St Bartholomew’s The Monday of Holy week was a special day for pupils at St Bartholomew’s Catholic Primary School in Rainhill. They learned about the events of Palm Sunday and acted them out in class before Parish Priest, Father Phil Swanson, joined them in the afternoon for a Service of Blessing in the school prayer garden. The windy day helped with the waving of the palms.
Students celebrate Earth Day 2021 Students at St John Bosco have celebrated the 50th Earth Day. The geography department led the activities through geography lessons using Earth Day as a focus for learning about the environment and the effect of climate change. As part of the activities students were asked to make a pledge; to make three small changes in their daily lives that would benefit the environment. There were lots of ideas and some new suggestions for whole school activities which its student council will discuss. Some of the pledges included riding a bike to school instead of asking for a lift or introducing better recycling habits at home. Head of geography, Mr Joseph Brennan, said: “Earth Day is a great opportunity for us to highlight the environment to our students. They are passionate about what they learn and are full of enthusiasm for the little things they can change themselves. It gives them a sense of ownership of their own world. “Students really benefited from Earth Day, learning more about the environment and how we as individuals can make a real difference to climate change.” 20
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education news St Julie's Shines a Light on Child Exploitation On 18 March 2021 St Julie’s Catholic High School in South Liverpool was lit up claret and pink to raise awareness of #CEADAY21. “Don’t judge. Don’t blame. #SaySomething” was the focus of the awareness raising campaign and looked at criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, trafficking and the exploitation of children who are vulnerable. There were many activities through the day, including designing and making ‘helping hands’ to give a visual representation of what we can all do to tackle criminal exploitation in homes, communities and schools. The school also highlighted how working together, we can put an end to this misery that affects thousands of children in the UK, who are co-erced and threatened into activities such as county lines. The school welcomed visiting speakers from Merseyside Police, mental health, safeguarding and local authority support services. Then, as the sun went down on a busy and productive day, the light began to shine on St Julie’s three school buildings to highlight the social media
campaigns on #SaySomething and #Helping Hands, adding “so, don’t judge,
Our shared home Inspired by the Holy Father’s encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ and workshops from Cafod volunteers, pupils in St Benedict’s Catholic Primary School in Netherton have plans to improve biodiversity in their school grounds and have received £1500 from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Community Environment Fund. The £500,000 fund has been distributed to groups for projects which will improve the environment across Liverpool City Region after Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor, pledged to support community environment projects. The funding will allow the school to improve biodiversity with a project called ‘Our Shared Home’. Work began after the Easter holidays and will continue throughout the summer term. Plans include creating a wildflower meadow, butterfly garden, bug hotel, bird paradise and vegetable patch. They are aiming to encourage a range of wildlife into the school grounds to help the children to learn more about the natural world and how it is shared between humans, plants and animals. Darcy in Year 4 says, ‘I love what we are
doing because I love helping animals and the environment.’ Ethan, also in Year 4, says, ‘We get to save animals and make the world a better place.’ Mrs Chadwick, the Deputy Head, says, ‘Our children are really motivated to tackle environmental issues, so we are excited to play our part in improving biodiversity and creating a variety of homes for wildlife.’
don’t blame! Say something and do your bit to end child exploitation.”
All the children from Nursery to Year 6 will be involved in the project. As well as understanding more about the natural world, staff are hoping that digging, planting and teamwork will have a positive impact on children’s well-being after a challenging year. Keep up to date with the group and the project on Twitter @StBenedictsL30 and find out more about the fund on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority website: https://www.liverpoolcityregionca.gov.uk/community-environment-fund/
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St Mary’s College Preparatory establish phonics project with Edge Hill University Pupils at St Mary’s College Preparatory School had an exciting time in their phonics sessions recently as they were filmed during lessons as part of a collaboration with Edge Hill University to create training material for
School Chaplain, St Helens Salary: SCP 1922 (£22,938£24,669) Location: De La Salle School, St. Helens Contract type: 37 hours per week, term time plus 3 weeks Contract term: Permanent We are seeking to appoint a school chaplain who feels called to make a signiﬁcant and exciting contribution to the faith journey of every member of our distinctive Lasallian community. The successful candidate will be a practising Catholic with a strong personal faith and a passion for encouraging young people in their faith. You will be able to develop a strategic, systematic and inspiring plan for the students’ spiritual development in keeping with our Lasallian tradition. Inspired by the example of St John Baptiste De La Salle, our school strives to pursue excellence in all that we do. “The catholic life of the school is outstanding” – Section 48, November 2018 For further information and for an application pack, please go to the school's website at www.delasalle.sthelens.sch.uk to download and complete the application form. Please submit all applications via email to Joanne Peet at firstname.lastname@example.org Please note we are unable to accept CVs. Closing date: Thursday 13th May, 12:00pm The school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. To ensure that this is achieved we expect all employees and volunteers to share this commitment and staﬀ will be recruited and selected in line with safer recruitment policy and practice. The successful applicant will undertake an enhanced DBS check.
current and future student teachers. St Mary’s has a long-standing relationship with Edge Hill University, training several student teachers each year and collaborating on research projects. A number of the current staff are alumni of the university and completed part of their initial teacher education and training with the school. One of those alumni is Headmaster, Mr Jonathan Webster, who said: “It was lovely to be asked to provide training material for Edge Hill University. It has been a great experience for our teachers, who have seen this as an opportunity to reflect on their phonics teaching, and for our children who can feel that what they do in class is ‘important’ enough to be filmed. We firmly believe that phonics is the key tool that enables children to make rapid progress with their reading and writing and we are continually working to ensure our delivery is of the highest standard. “I know from my membership of the Primary ITE Programmes Board at the university, the amount of thought and dedication that is put into the provision for student teachers from the staff at Edge Hill University in order to give them the best possible experience during their training. I am acutely aware that this must have been tremendously difficult during the recent pandemic but putting together this type of material will be a benefit both now and for future cohorts.” Reading is the keystone of the curriculum at St Mary’s College Preparatory School with the children having access to individual reading sessions four times a week, reading each night, a library and an outdoor library that can be used when they desire. Assistant Head of Primary Education at Edge Hill University, Nichola Grimshaw said, “I have worked closely with St Mary’s for many years and the priority that the school places on every child learning to read and developing as a life-long reader is apparent as soon as you walk through the door. Our student teachers often comment on the amount of time dedicated to reading and the focus on reading for pleasure. I'm thrilled to now be able to use video of such high-quality exemplar phonics lessons that showcase our own past students to support the professional development of our current and future students."
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Easter’s enduring message of hope By Father Simon Gore, director of Animate Youth Ministries As many of you know, the creation of the Pic happens weeks before it is published so I am writing this towards the end of the first week of some social restrictions being lifted. It is a more uplifting time to be writing an article for the Pic than it has been for a long time (I hope I have not now cursed the roadmap out of restrictions and by the time you read this we’re back to square one!). But as I do type this, the sun is shining, shops are open, beer gardens are full of well wrapped-up patrons. The world does seem to be opening up. I, for one, find it a most uplifting time. And if society around me reopening gradually were not enough, I am also greatly looking forward to our work and ministry here restarting. We do not have long to wait. We are due to start work with St Edmund Arrowsmith, Prescot, on a week of retreats. To say I am excited is to put it mildly! Although we have had odd bits of work over the last 12 months, there has always been a lingering fear that we would have to stop what we were doing at any time, and this indeed proved to be the case. Yet now, there does seem to be more hope for the future and that we will be able to
manage some form of return to old routines. I have spent much of the last week walking around the house with a grin on my face as I look forward to actually working with young people again and being able to plan for the future more than we have been able to do for over a year. It seems especially appropriate, then, to have ‘Easter Hope’ as our theme for this week of retreat days. As we sat and planned the retreat, it gave us, as a team, the chance to think about what ‘hope’ means for us. And what the difference may be in what the world may be feeling as a type of hope with shops and pubs reopening; and what we might feel as Christians through the hope of the Resurrection. Yes, there will be some overlap and similarities. But as the whole of life and history comes to fulfilment in Christ then the hope that I might be feeling at the moment is as nothing compared to the hope that I should have in this Easter season. It gave us as a team significant pause for thought. It allowed us to
reflect on how and where we find hope in our everyday lives. And in the same way, how hope can be taken from us and we find ourselves in darkness and anxiety. Worryingly, we noticed that is far easier to have hopes dashed and to fall into despondence than it is to be filled with hope. As I type this, though, we are in the middle of the Easter season. It is the season of hope, when even the darkness of death cannot be overcome by the hope of the light and life that Christ offers. That has to be the challenge for us as we begin to work with young people again, and perhaps it is the same challenge for each one of us. It is the challenge to remember that even in the darkest moments the hope that Christ offers through the Resurrection will always be there. Can we transmit that belief of a sure and certain hope? Is it something that we have ourselves? There is some hope in the air at the moment yet, inevitably, the world will begin to sap at that hope we might have now. The hope of the Resurrection will always be there, however, remaining after we have forgotten the joy of meeting friends in those beer gardens or having a haircut or going shopping for non-essential items. The gap between writing and reading means that you may well be reading this when the Easter season has come to an end. Is the hope of the Easter season still alive within us? Let’s hope so!
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The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Church Leaders with the Mayors from the constituent local Authorities in the area covered by Churches Together in the Merseyside Region
‘Better Together’ – encouragement from Archbishop Malcolm by Ultan Russell I remember the days when Lent was doubly busy with the usual Lenten then Holy Week activities of a Catholic parish plus events with neighbouring churches – Lenten Groups, United Services on Good Friday, Easter Processions inevitably these have been severely curtailed this Lent but, throughout the Archdiocese ecumenism is vibrant notably via the Network of Foodbanks which are normally managed by Churches and Christian organisations who recruit hundreds of committed volunteers. Covid has seen worryingly high increases in food bank usage. So that is one key area where ‘Better Together’ is the mantra. ‘Better Together’ echoed as last year Archbishop Malcolm agreed a new remit, title, and Constitution for the Ecumenism Commission and it became the Commission on Dialogue and Unity. Archbishop Malcolm met with the Commission before Christmas and underlined his support and commitment to our work on interchurch partnership, interfaith dialogue, and social justice. He stressed and challenged us to emphasise that these key areas were not optional extras but central to our life and our work. It was vital for all of us to reflect regularly on the key Documents from the Second Vatican Council on these issues and many that had been produced subsequently. He had the opportunity working with the late Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor
when serving on one of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commissions (ARCIC) which had produced a document on Mary – prayer and worship had been pivotal to the meetings and the representatives of the two churches had grown together and the loose-leaf worship resource book had been an enriching resource for all the members – the fact that it was loose leaf a reminder that we all needed to adapt. Archbishop Malcolm reiterated a comment made by Cardinal Cormac which he knew was reflected in this Commission’s work: the Road of Ecumenism is a Highway which has no exit. He challenged the Commission (and every priest, deacon, school, parish, and lay association) to prioritise this by continuing the analogy by challenging us that we were not just walking along the highway, but we had to lay down the paving slabs to expand the highway as well. Coming to Merseyside was a great joy for him to serve as a Bishop in one of the areas where ecumenism had such a high profile internationally. He remembered with affection in particular the leadership of Bishop David Sheppard, Archbishop Derek Worlock, and the Rev Dr John Newton – he was delighted that those strong bonds of trust continued in the Church Leaders’ Group today. ‘Better Together’ is part of our DNA. The Archbishop reminded us that, we must neither be complacent nor rely on structures. The path to unity is a responsibility for everyone. The practical
aspects of ecumenism are particularly apparent at present notably in response to the Covid crisis and the broad based and intensive engagement in Food Banks, debt advice and pastoral care. To that can be added major ecumenical initiatives like Liverpool Hope University and the range of ecumenical team ministry in industry (notably via Mission in the Economy), prisons and healthcare. Organic Unity may not be something to achieve in our lifetime but that cannot be an excuse for not seeing our ecumenical journey as a high priority. It is important that our theology of dialogue is rooted in the documents and traditions of the Church. Going around the Archdiocese he was overjoyed to identify vibrant ecumenical partnerships. However, he also identified the danger at times to be both complacent and at times inward looking with the internal problems facing all denominations. Another challenge was the erosion of respect for faith combined with ignorance. The lack of recognition and respect for all religious traditions was a challenge and all of us must give that priority. These should be important items for the Commission to consider and work on over the next few years. So that is my challenge as the Commission Chair and in the months and years ahead I want to celebrate all that is being achieved throughout the Archdiocese on Christian social action, interfaith relations and interchurch partnerships. Contact me at email@example.com
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cathedral by Dr Christopher McElroy Director of Music, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
A new repertoire for Holy Week
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean One of the sayings attributed to the late Duke of Edinburgh related to the opening of a building following the completion of a new build extension. In his speech he referred to the blitz of London and stated that after the bombing raids when some of the shops had had their windows blown out they put up signs saying that they were ‘more open than normal’. Then he pronounced that ‘Just like them, I declare this place more open than normal.’
Holy Week was rather different at the Cathedral this year. Government restrictions only permitted 3 singers in the choir and no congregational singing. Most choral music written over the last four hundred years has been for 4 (or more) voices, traditionally laid out as Soprano (the highest voice, usually sung by boy/ girl trebles in our Cathedral) Alto (a lower female voice, or male falsetto) Tenor (higher man’s voice) Bass (lowest man’s voice.) Thus, the available repertoire for 3 voices was rather limited. As a result, hours of looking for new repertoire for Holy Week for 3 voices was invested upon, with some intriguing possibilities uncovered. However, on the Friday before Palm Sunday, the Government announced that the 3 voice restriction for a choir no longer applied, and that a slightly larger group in accordance with the space available was now permitted. Needless to say, a bit more notice would have helped and saved hours of searching for new 3 voice repertoire. In the event, given that all of our service sheets were prepared and liturgies planned, the chosen music was retained, but we increased the 3 singers to 6 for some
services. One of the most moving traditions of Holy Week in our Cathedral is the singing of the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. We are very fortunate to have a set of all four passions written for our Cathedral by Philip Duffy, Master of the Music in the Cathedral from 1966-1996. These are set for three soloists who take the parts of the narrator, Christ and the other voices, with the choir taking the part of the crowd. For this year Philip kindly revised his settings so that they could be sung by just the three soloists allowing us to continue this tradition. Another major difference this year with Holy Week, and indeed with Cathedral liturgies generally, has been the growing importance of live-streaming choral services via YouTube and Facebook. The numbers of ‘views’ of choral services during Holy Week from our Cathedral runs into the thousands and allows us to share our ministry far and wide, particularly to those who are not able to regularly come into the Cathedral. If you have not yet done so, why not join our congregation ‘virtually’ one Sunday for Solemn Mass at 11.00 am or Choral Evening Prayer at 7.00 pm on YouTube or Facebook.
Thankfully our experiences haven’t been as devastating as the blitz but during the next two months we will all be slowly opening our churches and the Cathedral more than has been the norm over the last twelve months. That will bring with it fresh challenges and opportunities -not everything will or can be exactly the same as it was before the pandemic. In May we celebrate the calendar anniversary of the opening of the Cathedral on 13th and the actual Feast on which it took place on Pentecost on 23rd May. Archbishop Malcolm will preside at the Solemn Mass on Pentecost Sunday, recalling not only the opening of the Cathedral but also the visit of St John Paul II in 1982. Sadly, we will not be able to have a public celebration of the Two Cathedrals Pentecost Service in the afternoon – once again it will have to be an online service only for this year. This will coincide with an exhibition of doves that will be opening in Liverpool Cathedral that weekend.
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Mums the Word Looking out of my window I can see the beautiful Magnolia tree in the garden in full bloom, with its cupshaped flowers of silky pink and white petals just opening up. It makes me believe that we are experiencing a new beginning – after all, we will be opening up our lives, our hearts and our homes to relatives and friends once more. Of course, in the month of May many more flowers will be out for us to enjoy in parks and gardens, God willing. As the Union of Catholic Mothers’ annual pilgrimage to Walsingham has had to be cancelled for a second year, the committee have had a wonderful idea – that we should organise a substitute event. And so, Father Grant Maddock from Our Lady's, Lydiate, has offered his grounds for us to hold an outdoor Mass followed by a Rosary procession to the Parish grotto. This will take place on Wednesday 19 May. We will follow all Covid restrictions that apply at that time and further information will be given in the ‘UCM Matters’ newsletter. Traditionally, the retiring national president organises a Mass in her own diocese before the end of her term of office. This Mass was to be celebrated for Margaret McDonald here in our own Metropolitan Cathedral, but it has had to be postponed from 17 April this year until April 2022. There is some good news, though: Liverpool UCM's Annual Mass is still scheduled to go ahead on Saturday 26 June at 2pm at the Cathedral. Our diocesan president, Maureen Finnegan, is thankfully home from hospital and progressing well. She wishes to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes. Margaret McDonald, our national president also thanks everybody for their Masses, prayers, condolences and support on the death of her youngest daughter, Helen. May she rest in peace. Our prayers are with them and all who have suffered bereavement at this time. May God bless us all. Madelaine McDonald, media officer
A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
Marking the month of Mary Ever since the foundation of the Knights of St Columba, it has been the practice every May to rededicate the Order to Our Lady. Indeed we have a special prayer, which must be recited at the first meeting in May each year by every council. This year the KSC decided that in addition to the annual dedication, the Rosary would be said in streamed Zoom broadcasts each Monday from a different province, with the whole of the Order’s membership able to join in. It will take several years to cover all of the provinces but the process is due to start this year, commencing here in Liverpool on Monday 3 May, led by Council 9 chaplain Deacon Paul Whitehead, with responses by the provincial grand knight, Ray Pealing. On subsequent Mondays in May up to the 24th the streaming will be from Salford, the Channel Islands and Portsmouth. The head office will
provide the ID and passwords, and the sessions will also appear on the KSC’s Facebook page. • Just to return briefly to our centenary, we have been recounting how the Order arrived in Liverpool 100 years ago and how Council 9 became the first council in England. The actual date on the council charter is 10 April 1921. It would have been nice to have a special dinner celebration to mark the occasion but we are still under Covid restrictions and a gathering of this nature is not permissible. However, Brother Ray Pealing felt we should not let it pass without some recognition of this important date so he arranged a Zoom meeting for 10 April – the day of the anniversary – with invitations sent to all councils in the province and further afield, including to widows of late brothers. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A SPECIAL PRAYER Jane Anne Cassin 6 January 1974 - 30 March 2021 For John, Jane’s husband, her mum and dad Agnes and Tommy Chidlow, and both families
A Message from Heaven I see the countless churchyard towers surrounded by their yews With tiny light, like Heaven’s stars reflecting on the dews. The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear, For I have arrived in heaven and Jesus Christ is here. I hear the many Christian hymns, outpourings of our love But earthly music can’t compare with the heavenly choirs above. I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring, For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing. I know how much you miss me and the pain inside your heart But I am not so far away we’re really not apart. So be happy for me, dear ones, There is no need for fear, Be glad I’m blessed to be reborn With Jesus Christ this year.
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The World of Finance The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network promotes the monthly prayer intentions of Pope Francis. People from around the world suggest papal prayer intentions in each country to their national office, which selects some of them and sends them to the international office of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network at the Vatican. After the Pope’s prayer and discernment, the official set of monthly prayer intentions, are then translated into the major world languages and published in print and digital formats. We are invited to pray with the Pope ‘that those in charge of finance will work with governments to regulate the financial sphere and protect citizens from its danger’. by Father David Stewart SJ
justice precisely because of our irreducible human dignity, which is the unchangeable basis of all our social thought and teaching. This intention, and the entire mission of Christ’s followers, is rooted in concern for the poor.
Vast sums of money are electronically moved around the world each minute, each second of every day. The temptations towards greed are obvious and are often indulged. The system is full of opportunities, some perfectly legal, some criminal, for self-enrichment. Lest we slip into selfishness, we need always to remember that human solidarity and concern for the common good are core principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
The scale of the problem
In May, the Pope stays with the common good theme; he wants to highlight the pressing need for regulation in the world of finance. Left uncontrolled, it will cause some to suffer as others grow rich. Those already poor are always the first to suffer. Confronting Power Likely, most of us, hearing this intention, wondered how we could ever influence the world’s financial decision-makers. We would probably feel powerless, if not through lack of influence then through lack of knowledge of how these systems work; it’s a world that feels a million miles away, run by a small number of people who hold all the levers of power. Yet, in this Easter season and Pentecost month, we must try to be open to where the Spirit of God might be at work, drawing our attention, nudging our hearts. Therein lies the beginning of a response to this month’s prayer intention, although we might not see it at first. The Intention asks for regulation of financial operations for one specific purpose – to protect citizens from the dangers of an unregulated system. When we see this, we will begin to understand that this is really a matter of justice. Unregulated financial systems can put people, especially those least able to protect themselves, in danger. Followers of the Risen Christ engage in struggles for
The Jesuit advocate for social justice Father Peter McVerry explores the size, scale and effect of large-scale tax avoidance and evasion. Far from protecting people from danger, the global financial system is growing the wealth of a few people who are already rich. Father McVerry, who has long worked with and campaigned for Dublin’s homeless people, notes that ‘it is estimated that to provide everyone in the world with healthcare would cost between €100 and €250 billion a year; to feed the world would cost €265 billion a year and to educate every child in the world would cost €26 billion a year, a fraction of the money hidden away in offshore accounts. These secretive and often illegal money transfers, in pursuit of maximising profits or wealth, cost the lives of millions of people from hunger and lack of healthcare, and destroy the future of many children through depriving them of education’. These are big sums – but let’s remember also that the total held in secret offshore accounts worldwide, as McVerry points out, is commonly accepted to be around €7,500 billion; they cost governments up to €600 billion of lost revenue each year. Of this shortfall, at least €200 billion, which could have gone to healthcare and education, is denied to low-income countries. For Pope Francis, there is little doubt about our mission. ‘If the Church disowns the poor, she ceases to be the Church of Jesus; she falls back on the old temptation to become a moral or intellectual elite.’ Meditation In April, Pope Francis took to social media
to remind us that ‘In the midst of the contradictions and perplexities we must confront each day, the din of so many words and opinions, there is the quiet voice of the Risen Lord who keeps saying to us: “Peace be with you”’ Let this thought draw us into a meditation moment. As St Ignatius insists, we should begin every time of prayer by recognising that God’s gaze is already on us, that the Trinity looks longingly on us and on our world. That gaze is full of compassion for us and all of creation. Remembering that true prayer is never an escape from the world, but is entering the world ever more deeply, we can bring to mind the Pope’s Intention for the month. Let our thoughts about this, together with our feelings, emerge into God’s gaze; speak to the Trinity whatever seems important to say. Note carefully when you become aware of the peace that the Risen Christ wants to offer you. Thank the Spirit for whatever is given. May the Lord help all the little ones and the poor of our world to continue to believe and trust that the Kingdom of God is at hand, in our midst, and is ‘justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Romans14:17). May He sustain all those who, day by day, strive to combat evil with good, with words and deeds of fraternity, respect, encounter and solidarity. We ask all this in the power of the crucified and risen Lord. Amen
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PIC Life There but for the grace of God… By Moira Billinge His young shoulders were shaking with sobs, as the terrified boy stood at the side of a traffic island, unable to dodge the hurtling cars which barred his route to safety. How many times had he tentatively placed a foot on the carriageway and just given up? There was nothing he could do and so he remained at the edge of the roundabout, immobilised by fear. It was a busy Saturday afternoon and I was also attempting to negotiate the same roundabout; car window down and caught up in the vehicular jumble of confused drivers criss-crossing from lane to lane in the traffic free-for-all. The only hope for pedestrians of negotiating a safe passage to the shopping centre opposite is if they manage to locate the designated traffic lights which are few and far between. The boy – he looked about 13 – must
have been there for some time to have reached that level of distress. He had obviously tried to take a short cut to the shops and although many drivers would have wanted to stop and help the poor lad to safety, it was at a very dangerous section. If one car were to brake, others might not and there was a real danger of a catastrophic pile-up. With the benefit of hindsight, the most sensible action would have been to phone the police who would have been in a better position to help but instead I carried on to the next roundabout so that I could double back, find somewhere to park and go over to him. Thankfully, someone else had reached him first and I watched with huge relief and gratitude as a gentleman steered him safely across. I realise that it is rather stretching an analogy but his situation reminded me of the rescue of refugees as they flee their war-torn countries. Despite his terror, however, my ‘roundabout boy’,
surrounded by the swirling, relentless, deafening traffic, could not have been far away from his family, a warm home and a nourishing meal, though it seemed to be little consolation to him; indeed, at that moment in time, his face mirrored the expressions of the migrants as they are hauled from the seas and their sinking boats. For the genuine asylum seekers, who have risked and lost everything, the prospect of any such home comforts must seem a very remote dream indeed. They have escaped one enemy, only to find that they are in the clutches of perhaps an even more dangerous one – from which they are unable to extricate themselves. They can only be saved by our mercy and willingness to treat them as human beings. It is all too convenient to regard them as a problem for someone else to solve yet this is exactly what is happening because our initial sympathies – from when we first watched them emerging, traumatised from the perilous waters – has started to wane as they, in greatly increasing numbers, seek refuge wherever and however they can. These desperate people are now being seen by many as a drain on resources and a threat to our (by comparison) comfortable way of life; as a consequence, countries continue to haggle over whose responsibility they are. I hope that if members of my family were to be caught up in such dire circumstances somebody would – out of love rather than a begrudging sense of duty – feed, clothe and provide them with shelter because it really is a case of ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.
Worth a visit - Clacton-on-Sea This month we plan a pilgrimage to the national shrine of Our Lady of Light in Clacton-on-Sea, writes Lucy Oliver. A chapel overlooking the seaside resort of Talland Bay was built in the 1800s at the request of a grateful baronet. His wish was to bring to the Cornish people the light of faith that he had received. It was having spent a considerable amount of time in Brittany that Sir Henry Trelawny became devoted to Our Lady of Light, frequently visiting the shrine there. Witnessing the solace found by pilgrims suffering from blindness or problems with their sight, the Catholic convert and his daughters renamed their estate at Trelawne ‘Sclerder’, the Breton and Cornish word for light. In 1902, the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Light and St Osyth was built after successive generations of Catholics had persevered to pass on their faith despite financial and personal difficulties. St Osyth, the seventh-century abbess martyred nearby, has also remained an important local saint of inspiration. The nearby Martello Tower, originally a Napoleonic fort, is now an
arts and heritage centre. This iconic building was also once used to celebrate Mass, a reminder of how, from unusual beginnings, things can grow to be so much more.
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Remembering Pentecost 1982 and the visit of Pope John Paul II to Liverpool The Feast of Pentecost is a day of celebration in Liverpool, marking a double anniversary –the consecration of the Metropolitan Cathedral in 1967 and also the visit of Pope John Paul II. Here we look back to Sunday 30 May 1982. Moe than 150,000 greeted Pope John Paul at Liverpool Airport in Speke. The crowd sang and attended an open-air Mass with Archbishop Derek Worlock before the first sight of the Papal helicopter and they roared with approval when the Holy Father appeared at the top of the helicopter steps. He thanked the thousands of well-wishers for their welcome and added: ‘In my turn I greet you in the words of the risen Saviour – peace be with you.’ Before the Pope’s arrival, Archbishop Worlock had given one of the most moving sermons in his five years in Liverpool, when at the Mass at the airport he urged the 150,000 strong congregation to ‘show your love and deep faith’ to the Holy Father. ‘You will show him we stand firm for our faith’ he said. In his greeting on his arrival at Speke, the Holy Father paid tribute to the many missionaries, priests, sisters, brothers and lay people, who sailed from our ports to play their part in building up the life of the Church in other lands saying, ‘These men and women are a sign of the vitality of the faith which you have received and cherished. And their going forth upon the sea is a symbol of the confidence and trust which Christ asks of all his disciples.’ He continued: ‘But perhaps your greatest heritage is found in all those who have struggled here to overcome the ills of society and to build up a common brotherhood. In this regard I am told that you have your own pioneer of charity, Father Nugent. It is only fitting that I should take this occasion to acknowledge the generosity for which Britain has long been known’. A six-mile queue of young and old turned one afternoon in May into the city’s finest hour for the coming of the Pope to Liverpool. Hundreds of thousands poured from their homes to wait patiently for a glimpse of the Holy Father as he made his way through a fanfare of cheer and chant when at last he joined Archbishop Worlock and Cardinal Hume for the motorcade ride from the airport, many of them ran alongside his Popemobile on the pavements, triumphantly greeting him. On arrival at Liverpool’s Anglican 30
Cathedral, smiling and waving as he went, Pope John Paul II was met by Bishop David Sheppard and other church leaders. He was clapped and clapped again by the enthusiastic and emotional crowd of around 3,500 who had waited to greet him. Bishop Sheppard said in welcome, ‘Your Holiness, we welcome you in the name of the Lord to this Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool. We are pleased that you have come among us, and we who represent so many of the churches on Merseyside, give you our Christian greeting.’ The Pope replied: ‘Christ is our peace. He has reconciled us to God in one body by the cross. We meet in his name and share his peace. The peace of the Lord be with you.’ As he left the Anglican Cathedral the Pope blessed everyone, and then, in clear, perfect English, he said: ‘Thank you – very much.’ It was then that Pope John Paul caught his first glance of the roaring crowd which lay ahead on the ramp and steps of the Metropolitan Cathedral – ‘We love you Pope John Paul.’ Cheering crowds lined Hope Street as the Popemobile made its slow progress towards the Metropolitan Cathedral with the Pope blessing them as he travelled along. On arrival he celebrated Mass for the
Feast of Pentecost beginning his homily with the words. ‘As Pentecost Sunday draws to its close, we have come to this Church, the Cathedral Church of Christ the King, here in Liverpool, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of Christian life and the Sacrament of unity and love.’ He continued, ‘Two years ago, the National Pastoral Congress gathered in this Cathedral to begin its work with a service of repentance and reconciliation. Those present prayed for healing and mercy, and for the grace to be faithful to God’s will. They asked for light and wisdom to guide their deliberations and to deepen their love for the Church. This evening we assemble around this same altar to give honour and glory to the Lord, to praise our God who is rich in mercy. We see the need for conversion and reconciliation. We too pray for understanding where there has been discord. We seek unity from the same Holy Spirit who grants various gifts to the faithful and different ministries to the Church. After the Mass he greeted thousands of cheering young people on the piazza outside the Cathedral referring to them as ‘a living Cathedral’. He then went to Archbishop’s House before leaving for Mass at Heaton Park, Manchester the following day and leaving Liverpool with a day to remember.
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