Catholic Pic September 2020

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Issue 192 September 2020

‘With the Church in prayer at home’

Schools celebrate exam success INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Welcome to our new Deacons

200th anniversary of Sister Mary Joseph CP

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Inspiring excellence personal and academic

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

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

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contents Welcome The world of education has experienced great disruption this year and, in these last weeks, the publication of the annual exam results has been surrounded by controversy. As always there are moments of jubilation and disappointment at this time, but the focus on education gives us all the opportunity to gives thanks for all who work in Catholic education and for the work of the students themselves. This month we reflect ‘results day’ in the archdiocese. In normal circumstances Michael Bennett, Anthony Cave, John McCarthy and John Power would have been ordained to the permanent diaconate together in the Metropolitan Cathedral, instead they were ordained in the parishes where they will be serving. We meet them and reflect on their celebrations. Our prayers go with them as they begin their ministry among us. Two hundred years ago Elizabeth Prout was born in Shrewsbury. As Mother Mary Joseph she founded the Sisters of the Cross and Passion and served in St Helens where she is buried in the Shrine at Sutton alongside Blessed Dominic Barberi CP and Father Ignatius Spencer CP. Sister Dominic Savio CP, the historian of the Order, looks back on a life of service in our archdiocese.

From the Archbishop’s Desk Summer was a very new experience for most people. Even those who did get away for a holiday couldn’t or didn’t travel far and even then, found that their freedom to eat out and enjoy the company of new people was restricted. However, it would be wrong to paint a picture of gloom. The recent months have been marked by an upsurge in volunteering and community activities. It is as if a latent desire to serve others has been unleashed by our new way of living. Christians should not find this strange because one of the fundamental ways to be Church is to serve. We often concentrate on other aspects of Church life such as liturgy or proclamation of the good news, but our saviour said explicitly that he came to serve and not to be served. He also gave us that almost forgotten commandment to wash one another’s feet! You can imagine the joy throughout our diocese in July when four men were ordained to the permanent diaconate. By their ordination they received the spirit of service; a grace to enable them carry out their ministry in the name of the Church. In other words, to be Christ to others. In a way that is something we can all do because we are baptised into Christ. As it seems that some kind of lockdown will be with us for quite a while let us continue to reach out. The wonderful effect of this grace is that helping others is better than being helped oneself. Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool Editor Peter Heneghan Editorial Catholic Pictorial Magazine Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool L17 1AA Tel: 0151 522 1007 Email: Picture credits: Main Feature: Advertising Sales team 0151 709 7567 Copy deadline October 2020 Monday 7 September 2020

Students from St Mary’s College, Crosby celebrate their exam results

Contents 4

Main Feature Called to Serve Welcome to our new Deacons


News From around the Archdiocese

13 Cathedral Record A welcome at the Cathedral 14 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life 15 Nugent Nugent Million Pennies Appeal – Children helping children 16 Animate Youth Ministry My mini-Youth Pilgrimage 19 Profile Catherine Moloney Author exploring the dark side with her pen 27 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC

Subscriptions To take out a subscription please email Kim O’Brien at or call 0151 709 7567 or contact Barbara on 0151 733 5492 Publisher CPMM Ltd Suite 4 Pacific Chambers, 11-13 Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 5QQ CPMM Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced copied or transmitted in any form or by any means or stored in any information storage or retrieval system without the publishers written permission. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published, Catholic Pictorial Ltd. can accept no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by advertisers.

28 Pic Life My early lesson in the virtue of humility 30 Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network Pray with Pope Francis for our common home

Website: Twitter: @PicCatholic Youtube: CPMM Media

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‘Called to Serve’

‘My ordination was a very intimate and personal affair not only between Archbishop Malcolm, myself and my family but with God Our Father also’ Deacon John McCarthy

The Archdiocese of Liverpool witnessed the ordinations of four new deacons over the summer, all of them united by a common calling. By Simon Hart ‘Some people ask, “Why be ordained deacon?”. I think the answer has to come from deep within at the core of our being, as a calling to serve and walk with God’s people in the name of the Church.’ The above words come from John Power, the new deacon at St Oswald’s and St Sebastian’s in Old Swan, who this summer was one of four men ordained to that ministry in the Archdiocese of Liverpool. The quartet of ordinations took place across eight days

Deacon John McCarthy


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Father Chris Fallon, director of the diaconal programme for Liverpool Archdiocese, said: ‘The diaconate ordinations were quite different this year. Usually we have a big celebration in the cathedral but because of the coronavirus we had to have small individual celebrations in the parishes of the four men being ordained.’

took place at St Jerome’s, Formby on Sunday 19 July, with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon the celebrant and Father John Poland assisting. This was the case too for the ordinations the following weekend of John Power, at St Oswald’s on Friday 24 July, and Mike Bennett at St James’s, Bootle, on the 26th. In between Anthony Cave was ordained at his home parish of St Anthony’s, Scotland Road on Saturday 25th, with Bishop Tom Williams the celebrant this time.

The first ordination – of John McCarthy –

Owing to the current restrictions

between 19 and 26 July and marked a change from the normal practice of each year’s candidates being ordained together at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

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Deacon John Power

there were differences to the service. For example, each ordinand was vested with the stole and dalmatic by his wife only, and there was no kiss of peace from the deacons present. Yet for Anthony Cave this did not diminish the joy of the day. ‘I feel the ordination was made extra special as I was ordained in my local church,’ he said. ‘It was a true blessing to have a celebration in the parish. Even though not all the parishioners could make it, they felt part of it through prayer.’ There was a similar reflection from John McCarthy who, while sorry he ‘couldn’t share this time with all of my family and with all the community of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s’ still found it ‘a truly inspiring day’. He elaborated: ‘My ordination was a very intimate and personal affair not only between Archbishop Malcolm, myself and my family but with God Our Father also.’ Father Chris added: ‘The celebrations were subject to the precautions we’re all having to take at the moment and one sadness was that the new deacons could not be welcomed with the sign of peace by their brother deacons, but we’re hoping to provide an opportunity for that to happen at the next annual retreat. ‘Different gifts and experiences’ When it comes to the four new deacons, Father Chris observes that ‘they each bring different gifts and experiences to

their ministry’. In John McCarthy’s case, he brings the experience of a professional life as a police officer. He explains that after retiring from Merseyside Police in 2015 he sought ways to ‘continue to serve in my community’ and one way was to help with ‘the administration of St Jerome’s at the request of our parish priest, Monsignor John Walsh. Having specialised in the area of Protecting Vulnerable People while serving with Merseyside Police, I felt it only right that I take on the duties of parish safeguarding representative. Even so, I felt there was more I could do and often while praying asked what the Lord wanted of me. During one of the many conversations I had with Mgr John, he asked if I’d ever considered the diaconate. I hadn’t, and so he asked me if I’d consider it. Now here I am.’ He added: ‘The five years spent first discerning, then in formation for the diaconate, have been a very enlightening and fulfilling part of my life so much so that I believe for many years I must have been going about with my eyes and ears shut.’ For John Power, this process has taken time too. ‘It’s been a long journey of discernment involving close family and prayer and listening to what the still small voice is asking of us,’ he reflected. ‘My

journey towards ordination has been varied. I’ve been a catechist for many years in the parish of St James in Bootle, been the sacristan in the Cathedral Crypt and now serve in the parishes where I live in Old Swan.’ John’s professional life has been varied also and includes a spell working as an IT consultant in Bangalore, India and, most recently, teaching Computing and ICT at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School, Crosby – a role he left this summer to focus entirely on his new ministry. ‘I had 12 very happy years there and the biggest personal achievement was developing a charity link with schools in Sierra Leone and fundraising with the kids to build two schools out there. I actually founded my own charity, Orphan Child Sierra Leone, which will continue working out there now I’ve left.’ ‘Support my local community’ Anthony Cave, the new deacon at St Anthony’s Scotland Road, has his own experience of working in education as chaplain to St Mary’s Catholic High School, Leyland. ‘I’ve always felt called to be of service to God and His Church,’ he said, and the permanent diaconate offers an opportunity to be more deeply involved in the life of the parish in which he grew up. ‘When I felt called to become a deacon, it

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Deacon Michael Bennett

was mostly a calling to support my local community,’ he said. ‘I felt I wanted to give something back to the community that supported me when I was a young boy, and I felt there was a pastoral need in my parish – especially with looking after the elderly and the sick. We’re quite close to the hospitals so I’d like to get involved as much as possible with supporting families, and especially bereaved families – I think there’s a real need, not just in the lead-up to a funeral but afterwards.’ The last-ordained of the four, Mike Bennett, will serve at St James’s, Bootle. It is a Salesian parish and Mike, now deputy head at De La Salle Academy in Croxteth, has a deep connection with the order. ‘The Salesians have been a big part of my formation ever since I did my teaching practice at St John Bosco 23 years ago and then taught at Savio Salesian College for nine years.’

Deacon Anthony Cave


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It is an Order, he notes, which works through education to ‘serve the poor’ and this has been the central purpose in his calling to become a deacon. ‘The primary reason is that Pope Francis is very clear that the Church is a field hospital and it’s a field hospital primarily for the poor. I was inspired by Pope Francis to want to serve the poor. The parish which I minister out of, St James’s, is a Salesian parish and a very, very poor area and my ministry will be twofold – to serve the poor through the parish and also to serve the poor though education.’

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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:

Hiroshima and Nagasaki remembered On 6 August Liverpool marked 75 years since two atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was a gathering in St John’s Gardens attended by the Lord Mayor, Anna Rothery, and peace groups including members of Pax Christi. During the service a wreath was laid to remember all victims of the bombing. By the end of 1945 it was estimated that 250,000 civilians had lost their lives through the bombing and radiation poisoning. The service included music, reflection, prayer and statements from Pope Francis.

Pope Francis has condemned the use and possession of nuclear weapons. In 2019 he visited Nagasaki and called on all countries to support action for nuclear disarmament and non -proliferation, by using international legal instruments such as the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The Vatican was among the first states to ratify this treaty, which is also supported by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon. Following the Pope’s visit to Nagasaki he wrote: ‘Here is an opportunity for the leaders of nuclear weapons possessing countries, such as the UK, to demonstrate creative

moral courage. We call on our government to sign the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and be part of a future built on just international relationships and the common good of all humanity.’ Liverpool Pax Christi have sent a message of support to partners in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 2018 they met with a survivor of Hiroshima who visited Liverpool as part of a world tour organised by the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. The survivors (known as Hibakusha) continue to play a pivotal role in protecting the world from nuclear catastrophe. Jan Harper of Liverpool Pax Christi said: ‘In commemorating this anniversary, we are called to work for disarmament; this pandemic has made us aware that we are one global family, vulnerable to threats we cannot easily control. There is a real risk of nuclear war by intent or accident. Hiroshima and Nagasaki have given us a warning of the effects of nuclear weapons which threaten the future of the planet. The money we spend on nuclear weapons should be diverted into healthcare, education and housing, and saving the earth. We have asked our MPs to lobby the government to sign the Nuclear Ban Treaty (TPNW) which needs 50 countries to ratify it, but the UK is one of the nine most powerful nuclear weapons states which have refused to sign, or play any part, in the discussions of the treaty.’ Members of Pax Christi are also campaigning for local authorities in Merseyside to support the treaty by joining ‘Cities of Peace ‘across the world, such as Manchester, Norwich, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Washington DC, Paris and Geneva. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon is the President of the British branch of Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement which was founded after the second World War. For further information: Liverpool Pax Christi group: Email:

Clergy appointments Father John Cullen has retired as parish priest of St Edmund of Canterbury, Waterloo and Father Dominic Curran will take on the additional pastoral responsibility for the parish. Father Bernard Higham has retired as parish priest of Our Lady of Compassion, Formby and Monsignor John Walsh will take on the additional pastoral responsibility for the parish Father Brian Dougherty has retired as assistant priest at St Mary 8

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of the Isle, Douglas, St Anthony, Onchan, and St Joseph, Willaston. Monsignor Peter Fleetwood will move from St George’s, Maghull to be on loan to the Diocese of Copenhagen and will be parish priest of the Faroe Islands. Father Patsy Foley will be parochial administrator of St George’s, Maghull.

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news diary

Our Parish Communities by Father Philip Inch, Episcopal Vicar for Mission Planning At the beginning of summer (July 20th) the Vatican issued an instruction which Pope Francis had signed at the end of June. It is called: The Pastoral Conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church. That is something of a mouthful, but the document is a reflection on the Parish. Why did the Pope sign, and the Vatican issue such a document? For many of us the way we experience the Church is through our parish, through its priest (s) and so is it a timely reminder to all of us what the parish is all about and particularly at this time when we have been through ‘lockdown’ and so have been made to think again and afresh about what it means to belong to a parish. The document clearly says that nothing new is being proposed here – it is gathering together the riches of church teaching, practice and law. The document reminds us of three important things: 1. The Parish exists for pastoral conversion. The Parish must be missionary. 2. The situation of the world today means we have to re-think what it means to be a Parish. It can no longer just be defined as a territory in which we live. We have to be open to new ways of being a Parish. 3. The structures that exist in a Parish are at the service of its mission and we must not be afraid to try new and innovative expressions of Parish. 1. Pastoral Conversion: Pope Francis repeatedly says that Parish communities must be places that are ‘ever more conducive to an encounter with Christ.’ He says: ‘we should be disturbed by the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters live without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Christ, without a community of faith to support them.’ (EG 49) The Word of God dwells in our midst, hence the importance of the Parish, a home amongst the homes of an area. And in order for the journey of the Word to continue the Catholic community must make a determined missionary decision: ‘capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her selfpreservation.’ (EG 27) 2. The value of the Parish in a contemporary context: According to the new instruction, the current model of Parishes no longer measures up to most people’s expectations: Whereas the parish church was once a community’s primary gathering space, people now have many other places—in person and virtual—to gather, weakening their commitment to their geographic neighbours. As a result of this change, the document says, ‘any pastoral action that is limited to the territory of the Parish is outdated, which is something the parishioners themselves observe when their Parish appears to be more interested in preserving a nostalgia of former times as opposed to looking to the future with courage.’ A missionary Parish, rather than remaining focused on preserving the existing

community, is ‘”called to reach out to everyone, without exception,” particularly the poor.’ 3. The Parish and its structures within the Diocese. This is the longest section of the document and it talks about restructuring parishes. It reminds us that parishes must be led by priests, but clearly in the context of working with others. The priest has a role, but he cannot carry this out if he is not in collaboration with others, with priests, with religious, with deacons and with lay people. There is a stress on parish councils and on finance committees. Any re-organisation of parishes within a Diocese must be done in consultation with people. The Pope compares it to the way he is trying to reform the Roman Curia – you have to take people along with you. It is no good imposing from ‘the top.’ There is seen in the instruction a clear role for emerging lay ministries. It talks about lay-pastoral associates, about lay funeral ministers and about people in different parishes working together. The document reminds us that there is already in place the mechanism for trying new ways of re- structuring our parishes, always for the good of the people they serve. It is clear that we must not be afraid and we must not be tied down by the ‘old ways’ of doing things. I hope this short article will have given you the encouragement you need to read the whole document: you can find it here: o/2020/07/20/200720a.html


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news diary

Bicentenary of the birth of Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus, Sister Elizabeth Prout Foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion born on 2 September 1820 by Sister Dominic Savio CP Mother Mary Joseph (Elizabeth Prout) brought the Sisters of the Cross and Passion into what is now the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1855, when, at the inspiration of Father Bernardine Carosi CP, Rector of the Passionist monastery in Sutton, the Misses Orrell of Blackbrook asked her to open a convent in Parr Hall, to take charge of Parr Hall girls’ academy and to open day and Sunday schools for the working-class children in Blackbrook, as well as taking charge of St Anne’s day and Sunday schools in Sutton. Reducing the fees at Parr Hall to open the school to middle and upper working-class girls, Mother Mary Joseph admitted day pupils as well as boarders and introduced a school uniform to eradicate class distinctions in dress. She opened a convent in Sutton where she personally taught in St Anne’s school and in 1857 opened St Joseph’s school, Peasley Cross. Apart from a break from 1979–1984, the Sisters of the Cross and Passion have remained in Sutton to the present day. They were also in Warrington from 1899, teaching in St Mary’s girls’ and infants’ schools from 1899 to 1967; St Benedict’s from 1901 to 1975; St Alban’s 1902 to 1970; St Oswald’s from 1929 to 1988; St Stephen’s from 1957 to 1983; and English Martyrs’ from 1959 to 1984. After retiring from the schools, they remained in Warrington, playing an active role particularly in St Oswald’s parish from 1988 to 2016. The Sisters of the Cross and Passion have been in the City of Liverpool since 1909, teaching and doing parish work in St Hugh’s. As a result of war damage in 1946, however, they had to move their convent to North Drive, Wavertree. That area was in Our Lady’s parish and so some Sisters continued to teach and do parish work in St Hugh’s and others arrived to do parish work in Our Lady’s. The Sisters continued to teach in St Hugh’s school until 1990. In 2013 they opened another convent, with two Sisters working in schools and in St John’s parish, Kirkdale. In 2017, with the rearrangement of parishes 10

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which joined Our Lady’s parish to that of Christ the King, the Sisters in Wavertree left their convent in North Drive to be nearer the church of Christ the King and Our Lady, where they remain today. All the Sisters of the Cross and Passion throughout the world have a special affection for St Anne’s parish, Sutton, because it was in their convent there that their Foundress, Mother Mary Joseph died on 11 January 1864 as the Servant of God, Father Ignatius Spencer CP gave her Final Absolution. After a Requiem Mass sung by the Passionists and Sisters in the Sutton monastery church, she was buried in the adjacent graveyard. In 1973 her coffin was exhumed and her remains were placed in a sepulchre on the right of the tomb of Blessed Dominic Barberi CP in the new church of St Anne and Blessed Dominic. The remains of Father Ignatius Spencer are in a sepulchre on the left of Blessed Dominic’s tomb. Elizabeth Prout had been born in Shrewsbury. By 1842, however, she was living in Stone, Staffordshire when Blessed Dominic Barberi CP arrived there to found the first Passionist Retreat in England.

Previously an Anglican, Elizabeth became a Catholic between 1842 and 1848, when she entered a convent in Northampton. She became ill, however, and had to return to Stone. In early 1849 Father Gaudentius Rossi CP gave a Mission in St Chad’s, Manchester and heard that the parish priest, Father Robert Croskell was looking for a schoolmistress to take charge of St Chad’s girls’ school in George Leigh Street in Ancoats, Manchester. When Elizabeth had recovered from her illness but was being pressurised by her mother to abandon her Catholic Faith, Father Gaudentius suggested that she might take that post. About early September 1849, therefore, she arrived in Manchester and lodged in a house in Stocks Street beside St Chad’s new church at Cheetham Hill. Shortly afterwards Father Gaudentius invited her to co-operate with him and Father Croskell, with the approval of Bishop William Turner of Salford, in founding a new Congregation to give a contemplative and active religious life to women who could not afford the dowry required by the established Orders and

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news diary did not wish to be lay Sisters. She agreed and founded our Congregation with six other Sisters at St Joseph’s convent, 69 Stocks Street, on 21 November 1852 when Father Gaudentius presided over the first Clothing ceremony. The first group of Sisters professed their Vows before Bishop William Turner on 21 November 1854 in their convent in Levenshulme. Then, at Bishop Turner’s request, on 1 January 1855 Mother Mary Joseph opened a second convent in AshtonUnder-Lyne. It was from there that she arrived in Sutton. We can imitate Elizabeth Prout in many ways and pray to her with confidence. She was such a practical person; so entirely God-centred; so forgetful of self; so generous in giving herself to others; so willing to suffer in union with Our Lord’s Passion, always so that God’s Will might be done; and so charitable in protecting the reputations of even her enemies, even at great loss to her own. Pray to her about a practical difficulty and it will be solved in the twinkling of an eye. It need not surprise us that even her mother became a Catholic, nor that her father, too, returned to his Catholic Faith. At present all the material for her Cause presented to the Holy See has been accepted by the competent authorities, including a committee of theologians in Rome but we still await the verdict of the responsible Cardinals and Bishops that

she should be entitled ‘Venerable’. After that only our successful pleas to her for miracles can raise her to the honours of Beatification and Canonisation. And so please pray to her and when she answers your prayers, send an accurate, detailed account to Father Paul Francis Spencer CP, Vice-Postulator, c/o Sister Dominic Savio Hamer CP, Cross and Passion Convent, 19 East Beach, Lytham, Lancashire, FY8 5EU. In the meantime it is possible to visit the various places connected with her: Shrewsbury, Stone, Aston Hall, St Chad’s and Sr Mary’s, Manchester as well as Sutton. Also the ‘Definitive Biography, Elizabeth Prout, 1820-1864, A Religious Life for Industrial England’, is available in paperback, written by Dr Edna Hamer (Sr Dominic Savio CP), the Historian for the Sisters of the Cross and Passion on the Historical Commission appointed by Archbishop Derek Worlock in 1994 to investigate the Cause for the ultimate Canonisation of the Servant of God. It was published first by Downside Abbey in 1994 and since 2011 by Gracewing Publishers, 2 Southern Ave, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 OQF. In 2008 Gracewing published a shorter, more ‘popular life: With Christ in His Passion, Elizabeth Prout (1820-1864), Foundress of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ’, also written by Sr Dominic Savio; and in 2009 the Catholic Truth Society, London published a booklet: Sr Elizabeth Prout.

Virtual Little Church by Anna Sweeney, St Edmund of Canterbury, Waterloo The Little Church of St Edmund's Waterloo was hugely missed during lockdown. As churches began to reopen we realised it was not necessarily 'little one friendly' and certainly may be stressful for the parents so we had to get thinking and we launched Virtual Children's Liturgy. It is done through Zoom and takes place during the 10.00 am Mass just as it was done pre lockdown. We log on to watch Mass from home and our Parish Priest Father John Cullen invites the children watching to

join Virtual Little Church after the Gloria. We then come together with some on video, audio or simply present to listen to meet the needs of our families. The catechist leads our welcome, we sing and listen to the Gospel but can share videos to support the understanding of the Gospel message. Before joining families are asked to acknowledge guidelines to cover safeguarding. Virtual Little Church has grown from strength to strength each week and has brought Church into our homes for our children. Our highlight so far has been welcoming our lockdown baby to our Church family. We will continue this as long as we need to and will celebrate when we can be physically together once again.

Obituary of Deacon Michael McGlynn

Deacon Michael McGlynn who served at St Mary, Birchley died suddenly on Tuesday 4 August at Wigan Infirmary, aged 74 years. He had been a deacon for 24 years. Michael Thomas McGlynn was born on 17 May 1946. He married Christine at St Mary’s, Birchley, on 2 August 1975, and together they had two daughters, Clare and Lisa. He was a teacher and finished his career as an Assistant Headteacher. He was ordained to the permanent diaconate at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on 23 June 1996 to serve at St Mary’s, Birchley. The following was posted on the parish Facebook page: ‘With deepest regret we announce the sudden passing of Deacon Mike McGlynn of St Mary’s, Birchley. Our love, prayers and condolences are extended to Mike’s wife, Chris, his daughters, Clare and Lisa, his grandchildren and wider family. ‘Mike served Birchley parish tirelessly and without reserve. His ministry of service to the Archdiocese and alongside Father Paul Harris (and Father Bernard Jackson) will be forever appreciated, furthermore - and most especially - by the countless people he ministered to as a deacon of the Church. ‘For the babies baptised, the couples married, the sick visited, the homilies preached, the dead buried: May God reward you and grant you a place at the Liturgy of Heaven.’ Deacon Michael’s Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday 14 August at St Mary’s, Birchley, prior to interment in the churchyard.

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news diary

National Board of Catholic Women publishes booklet on domestic abuse In order to raise awareness within the Catholic community of domestic abuse and the impact upon victims and their children, the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) has released a booklet that offers pastoral care and guidance. Commending the booklet, the Bishops’ Conference Liaison to the NBCW, Abbot Hugh Allan, O.Praem, believes its publication is particularly timely: ‘At a time when the crisis around the pandemic has seen an increase in cases of domestic abuse, this timely booklet from the National Board of Catholic Women is an excellent resource for all of us. ‘The masterpiece of creation is a human being. This great dignity is the birth right of everyone. The welfare and safety of all God’s children is a something every Christian has a responsibility to act upon. No one should ever live in fear of violence, or of any kind of abuse.’ The booklet contains notes on Church

teaching on violence in relationships – including extracts from the 2016 Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ – and provides useful links and resources to help both those suffering in various situations of domestic abuse and also survivors who need time, space and help to recover. Preventing and combating domestic abuse is a shared responsibility and the booklet contains a section offering simple, practical guidance to Catholics who want to play their part. Margaret Clark, President of the National Board of Catholic Women England and Wales says, ‘this booklet is primarily intended to raise awareness in the Church of the devastating effects of domestic abuse and violence. We hope it will help victims get the support they need through the pastoral care of parishes, organisations and individuals. We hope the booklet will encourage its readers to seek out and support initiatives, publicising them more widely

Christian Heritage Centre online The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst will be offering a series of online talks, ‘Saints, Scholars and Spiritual Masters’, over the next few months, exploring some of the great figures of Western spirituality with well-known experts. The free series will take place at 7:30 pm on Thursdays, beginning on 3 September and running through until 10 December. Register to receive a link, online at or email

Alpha Online There is an opportunity to be trained directly by the Alpha UK team with Alpha Online this Autumn. Mike Roche and Jo de Paula will host three one hour sessions in September register at Thursday 3 September 7.30 pm - ‘Alpha Online 101’. Thursday 10 September 7.30 pm - ‘How to host Alpha Online Small Groups’. Thursday 17 September 7.30 pm - ‘Prayer on Alpha Online’.


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within their parishes. We believe that promoting a greater awareness of the problem will, together with the support of existing specialist support services and projects, be the most effective method by which Catholics will be able to help victims of domestic abuse.’

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Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean

‘Adoremus’ remembered Two years ago, from 7 to 9 September 2018 the ‘Adoremus’ Eucharistic Congress took place in Liverpool. Simon Hart looks back to some of the events. Adoremus was the first national event devoted to the Blessed Sacrament in this country since 1908. It is estimated that more than 20,000 Catholics gathered in Liverpool for the three-day event, between Friday 7th and Sunday 9th September, and each will have taken home their own impressions, not only from the main Congress events in the ACC Convention Centre but also the Saturday Youth Congress for 13 to 20-year-olds and the parallel events around the city. Archbishop Malcolm McMahon said, ‘When we receive the Eucharist in church, it’s imperative for us to be charitable, to be sharing, to give of ourselves to others. You can’t do one without the other. I’m hoping this renewal of our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament will make us more aware of social-justice issues, will make us more caring of each other and allow us to share what we have but also give of our time and ourselves to other people. ‘It also helps our parishes,’ he continued, ‘to know their worship of God in the Blessed Sacrament and Mass and in the adoration, the Eucharist, is really an expression of the way in which we’re united in the body of Christ and how that unity can actually sustain us in our daily lives. That will then make our parishes grow – they won’t just see themselves in terms of structure and organisation but truly as a Eucharistic community.’ Following a symposium on the Eucharist,

day two of Adoremus was titled ‘The Adoremus Congress Day – Exploring the Place of Eucharistic Adoration’ and it drew over 5,000 delegates to the main hall of the convention centre, as well as 1,000 young people next door. The highlight for many came in the form of two keynote speeches from the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Robert Barron. His insights included reflections on the deeper meaning of the Mass and on the roads we travel as Christians, which he defined as ‘find the centre, know you’re a sinner, realise your life is not about you.’ Cardinal Vincent Nichols gave a reflection at Exposition and Benediction, and afterwards he said the event had underlined the ‘joy and richness of the Mass’. For the young people present at the Youth Congress, they had their own crucial message to take home according to Sister Mary Ann Francalanza, an FCJ sister from Bellerive, namely ‘the important message they are loved and don’t have to be any different than who they are. It’s a really key message that quite a few of the speakers have come back to.’ Day three was Adoremus Pilgrimage Day and featured two morning Masses and then a Eucharistic Procession through the streets around the Metropolitan Cathedral. The pouring rain that fell did nothing to diminish the occasion and Archbishop Malcolm, said he was ‘humbled and honoured’ to take part in a walk involving leaders of Liverpool’s other churches, including the Anglican Bishop, Paul Bayes, and Sheryl Anderson, moderator of the Methodist Church. ‘Fifty years ago that would have been impossible,’ he noted.

This month we welcome our newly ordained diocesan priest Father Peter Murphy on to the clergy team at the Cathedral, with Father Philip Carr leaving us for pastures new as parish priest of St Julies, Eccleston and priest in charge of English Martyrs, Haydock. Father Chris McCoy another member of the clergy here is also a relatively new arrival, taking up his appointment just before the lockdown. In normal circumstances moving into a new parish presents both considerable challenges and new opportunities but it must be more difficult in present circumstances settling into a new environment as a priest due to all the social distancing protocols and the limited pastoral engagement that we are able to have with people at present. I hope all three of them will be happy in their new appointments. Here at the Cathedral we have been able to offer a scaled down schedule of weekday and weekend Masses for the last two months. With weekend Masses at 4.00 pm Saturday Vigil and 9.00 am and 11.00 am each Sunday. Attendance has been encouraging taking into account that many are still having to remain isolated due to health related factors, but at present the total weekend attendance is about a third of our Pre-Covid figures. Compared to many places of worship we have a vast internal space for people to maintain a safe distance and for us to keep a relatively safe environment. I feel that we are almost at the point of trying to encourage those who are able to come back to Mass. When we do reach the appropriate time we may need a slogan or a campaign to encourage people back to Mass.

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sunday reflections On a liturgical note We are all called to be ministers of God's good news. Yet it is not easy to be a bearer of good news in the current circumstances – not when there is a global health pandemic, recession in the economy, and the woes and difficulties of society and Church to be worried about. Where is the good news in all of that? My home parish is Saint Matthew in Clubmoor, Liverpool and it was in that church that I was ordained a priest 31 years ago. At the top of the main aisle, just as you enter the sanctuary, there is a mosaic, set in the floor, of our patron and it was on that spot that I lay during the singing of the Litany of the Saints at the Ordination Mass. When I was a parishioner I'm not sure the picture made much of an impression on me: when you have prostrated with your head resting on the mosaic, it certainly does! Some years later, when I was chaplain at Southport Hospital, I remember being asked by a patient what was my favourite passage of the Good News. I realised that it was a portion of St Matthew's Gospel, where he recounts the words of Jesus: ‘Come to me all you who labour and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from me

Sunday thoughts As a young priest in Skelmersdale I took Holy Communion to the housebound every ‘First Friday’. In those days few people had phones. That was no handicap. Each person expected me on the same day at the same time each month. They waited with a little altar prepared and candles lit. I entered and left each house in silence. Conversation with the priest was avoided. It was considered disrespectful to the Blessed Sacrament. One Friday I couldn’t make it. Changing the day required a visit to each person in advance, this time without the Blessed Sacrament. We were free to speak. Gallons of tea were drunk. It was a revelation. I heard their stories, their anxieties and their joys. I related to them as fellow human beings. Looking back, I realised that I had allowed the Eucharist to become a barrier to my recognising the presence of Christ in each of them. This wasn’t what the Lord had in mind on the night

Canon Philip Gillespie

for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Matthew 11: 2830) We are heavy burdened in so many ways at the moment – for many of us, the requirements of physical distancing and the need to wear a face covering are but relatively minor inconveniences in the face of the poverty, illness and bereavement suffered by so many in our own communities and around the world. What would be worse is if the physical distancing became something which rendered us insensitive to the pain and the needs of others, be those needs physical, emotional or spiritual. It is good to have a place where we can find rest, where we can put everything into perspective, and where gentleness and true humility are understood as virtues, the practice of which shows that we have truly learned the lessons of the Gospel and therefore can be bearers of good news to all peoples. St Matthew, pray for us. The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Gospel Writer, is celebrated on Monday 21 September.

Mgr John Devine OBE

before He died. Throughout the lockdown our churches have been closed. Some still are. There have been livestreamed Masses. These continue. Expressions of appreciation fill my in-box. There is a common theme. Many of those deprived of Holy Communion speak of their discovery of the Lord’s presence deep within themselves; a recognition that frequent reception of the Eucharist obscured. Furthermore, cut off from their friends whom they met every week at Mass, many have discovered a solidarity in the faith with others that transcends closed doors and isolation. Our lockdown period coincided with Gospel accounts of Easter. Closed doors were no obstacle to the Risen Jesus. On Pentecost Day the locked doors of the upper room were thrown open. Peter and Paul both went on to spend time in prison. Locked up or set free, the faith flourished.

Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at 14

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Kingdom living Some time ago I was invited to meet a community of people, who met in the centre of the city I was in. I was taken to an underpass. It was noisy and dirty because of the motorway overhead. We arrived there late at night. It was in a fairly poor part of the city and there were unsavoury characters hanging around. I was a bit hesitant about walking into the underpass but the man who was with me pushed me forward. When I got used to the lighting, I saw people everywhere in small groups, either reading, or having read to them, the Scriptures. Some of them obviously lived on the streets and all were extremely poor. They were gathered by a young Pentecostal minister called Kevin. He had felt called, years earlier, to work with the poor and here he was leading these people into a life of reflection on the Word of God. He had begun his street mission about three years earlier and told me that, as people responded to the Scriptures, he had seen changed lives. I wandered among the people talking with them and I realised he was right. They were excited about the Scriptures and what they learned about God’s presence with them. To see these people filled with hope and joy in the worst of circumstances was a real experience of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is within us, among us and yet beyond us. It can’t be quantified or limited or even fully explained, but it can be experienced. Church is one of the means by which the kingdom can grow but not the only means. Wherever there is love, joy, forgiveness, peace, there is the Kingdom of God. In the parables Jesus tells us that when the kingdom is recognised people will give up an awful lot to become part of it because it’s a very attractive, human experience which brings life. What makes us part of that kingdom is to turn from self and turn towards God. That changing of direction is a life-time process. Every day we fall away from the values of the kingdom and so every day we need to ‘repent’, turning towards the kingdom and away from self. Richard Rohr says that in one breath we need to say, ‘Thy kingdom come’ and, in the next, ‘My kingdom go’. To live in the kingdom will bring us life and isn’t dependent on what’s happening around us. Even when times are hard the kingdom can still be experienced by those who want it. So let’s pray for an experience of the kingdom which will change us deeply within. Fr Chris Thomas

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Nugent Million Pennies Appeal – Children helping children ‘Dear young people, put your talents at the service of the Gospel, with creativity and boundless charity’. Pope Francis

Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent

In 1854, Nugent’s founder, Father James Nugent arranged a meeting of leading citizens and churchmen in Liverpool Town Hall. His rallying cry was, ‘Save the boy.’ His concern was the plight of the thousands of homeless children who survived in squalor only by begging or stealing.

I am so proud of the students and staff at our school.

One of the young people Father Nugent recalled in a speech was Tiny Bill, ‘Please Sir, will you spare a poor boy a copper to get a bit of bread with? Do Sir, I'm starving, I haven't tasted anything today. Father’s dead and mother’s sick and can’t get work and we ain’t got anything to buy nutting with. Do kind gentleman, just one penny.’ The plight of these young people prompted Father Nugent to arrange, ‘Save the Child’, meetings which took place at Liverpool Town Hall, at which he campaigned for financial support to help those in need under the slogan: ‘Wanted: a million pennies to Save the Boy!’ His rallying cry appeared in the Catholic Times in 1866, and collecting boxes were placed in public places across the city. Some 156 years later, as Nugent heads to its 140th year we are reviving our founder’s rallying cry with our ‘Million Pennies Appeal – children helping children’ We are asking individuals, schools and businesses to try and collect as many pennies as they can from Tuesday 1 September 2020 until #GivingTuesday on Tuesday 1 December 2020. If we are able to collect one million pennies, this will raise £10,000, which will support the work of Nugent. This appeal is part of our 2020 Good Shepherd appeal, which Father Nugent

started in 1902 and that we have continued every year since: charity/ Through this appeal generations of schoolchildren have continued to support us and use their imagination and come up with some amazing ideas that their friends and staff can take part in. Across the last ten years the appeal has raised over £500,000 to support our work. Every year the appeal supports people across our communities, from those living in poverty through our food markets in Kirkdale and Woodvale, to providing education for those who need extra support in their learning, and we are proud to be taking Father Nugent’s legacy into 2021, our 140th year. How to get involved in our Million Pennies Appeal: If you would like to take part, find out more information, or request one of our collection boxes, please contact our fundraising team on: 0151 261 4498 or email:

Nugent operates a special independent school, located in Billinge, called Nugent House School. We teach, and care for, children with special educational needs or disability (SEND), from primary to Sixth Form. The aim of our school is to support and develop young people to lead independent and successful lives and become responsible and active citizens in line with our iACCORD values. As a special independent school with under 50 pupils, we have been operational throughout the pandemic. This has been a particularly challenging time for many, and our pupils are no exception. All Centre Assessed Grades have been confirmed as accurate by Ofqual and the awarding bodies: 32 recognised qualifications have been awarded to pupils in 2020, which is TWICE as many as the previous academic year. Pupils have DOUBLED their grade 4 and grade 3 achievements from 2019. Four post-16 pupils have achieved the necessary grades to continue in their chosen career pathways. Many thanks to our new Headteacher, Mrs Sarah Gregory, for her ongoing inspiration to both staff and pupils. Also thank you to the staff on Hope Lane who care for many of the pupils at Nugent House School and all of our staff around Nugent who supported the school and Hope Lane – what team work.

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My mini-Youth Pilgrim Father Simon Gore visited Lourdes in August and found that despite the ‘Closed’ signs and low pilgrim numbers, there remained that ‘specialness’ to savour. It seems a long time ago that our pilgrimage to Lourdes was postponed. Indeed the world has changed a lot since the confirmation came back in April that we could not go on our annual pilgrimage this year. During the lockdown period the coach leaders of the nine Liverpool Youth coaches held regular Zoom meetings, the fruit of which was a successful virtual pilgrimage, running for a week from Friday 24 July. I would be the first to admit that I was hesitant about the idea of a virtual pilgrimage. It seemed to me that a lot of what makes Lourdes special is the physical interaction: either between coaches, or between assisted pilgrims and young people. How could a virtual pilgrimage replace those interactions? However, the virtual pilgrimage turned out to be far more of a positive experience than I could have hoped for. And for that a huge amount of credit must go to the leaders and staff of each coach who made time to plan and lead morning and night prayers for their coaches, led Stations of the Cross, celebrated distanced coach Masses, co-ordinated acts of local community-based service, and even added social time with quizzes and music nights. As a whole Youth Pilgrimage, we had an opening Mass and a closing liturgy streamed via YouTube (both of which are


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still available on the Animate YouTube channel should you wish to watch now). And while the virtual pilgrimage may have sated some of our Lourdes thirst, there was a still a feeling among staff members that it would be nice to try to get to the town itself. With lockdown having eased and travel now possible by the end of the pilgrimage week – and our taste whetted by the virtual week – the coach leaders put the word out among their staff teams that we might try to get to Lourdes at the last minute for the Feast of the Assumption. Sadly, leaving things so late meant that most staff members had already made commitments for those few days in August. So an intrepid Gang of Four – comprising Canon Michael Fitzsimons (chaplain to coach 5), Fr Carl Mugan (chaplain to coach 9), Ben McMullen (leader of coach 5), and I – set off from the diocese to represent the Liverpool Youth Pilgrimage for a few days in Lourdes. It was a very ‘mini’ Youth Pilgrimage. And yes, I am aware that I am using the word ‘youth’ incredibly loosely here! We decided to go overland on trains and set off from Wigan on a train to London, then to Paris, and finally on to Lourdes. It was an enjoyable journey and the time flew by. Before we knew it, we were heading into Lourdes station, seeing the candles at the grotto flicker as we arrived, and reminiscing about the ‘olden days’ when a great gathering of Youth would be at the station to welcome the assisted pilgrims. The town was noticeably quieter than we

would normally see it but there was still some life around. Some hotels were shut, as were some shops and bars. The owner of the hotel where we stayed described the virus as being disastrous for the town and it felt right to be trying, even in a very small way, to offer something back to a place which has given us so much over the years. It was strange to walk the torchlight procession without worrying about being in lines of six. And there was often a feeling of missing something … and then realising we were now not responsible for 450 young people. We even had a daytime

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mage beer, which would be in complete breach of the Youth Pilgrimage rules! We all felt it was a worthwhile visit. We saw the town as I hope we will never see it again. But even amid the turmoil wrought by the pandemic you could still feel the ‘specialness’ of the place: as hard to put your finger on as ever but that overwhelming feeling that there is something different about Lourdes. We lit candles for those who had asked for prayers and prayed especially for the young people of our Archdiocese. Our original plan had been to be in Lourdes for the Feast of the Assumption. However, with some hotels closed and a booking made at the last minute, it was hard to find rooms for the actual weekend so we decided to leave Lourdes on the Friday and have a night in London on the way back. Perhaps it is luck or perhaps it was Our Lady smiling down on us but as the week went by and rumours became stronger that France would become a country of quarantine, we waited to see if we would be affected. When news broke that France would be quarantined, we realised that our trains back would make us among the last people getting into the country before the deadline. Typical Youth Pilgrimage fashion – it would not be the same without some tension on the journey! Before we left Lourdes we made the traditional trip to the Crowned Virgin and prayed that we, as an Archdiocese, would be back in Lourdes next year. And hopefully with far greater numbers than four. If you can, spare a Hail Mary today that we might be able to return there in full force next year.

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Catherine Moloney Author exploring the dark side with her pen - by Simon Hart ‘I am lucky as I’ve known wonderful priests and nuns,’ says Catherine Moloney. ‘I hear people who haven’t had such lovely experiences and I can turn that to good use. I suppose I have killed some of my clerics, haven’t I!’ Catherine, let us stress, is a crime-fiction writer and her words are accompanied by laughter. Author of the DI Gilbert Markham series published by Joffe Books, she is an Oxford Law graduate who became a barrister and later chose crime fiction because of an ‘interest in the darker side of human nature’. The parishioner at Bishop Eton, Childwall, elaborates: ‘Mixing with lawyers who had gritty, interesting stories to tell – maybe that rubbed off on me. I try not to dwell on the murders. I’m interested in what makes people tick and the psychological side. It’s that idea of exploring human character. I’m a great fan of the Agatha Christies, George Gently and Endeavour.’ She wrote her first two ‘potboilers (as she calls them self-deprecatingly) while still teaching English at a secondary school in Rochdale. Having once earned a PhD in Victorian Literature and Tuberculosis, she observes that ‘crime fiction is so light by comparison’ and since the publication of

the first in 2018, she has written at a prolific rate – she is currently working on number 12 in the series. ‘I like to do it in two and a half months,’ she explains. ‘I’ll sit down and give myself a day to come up with a story and a set of characters and once I’ve got that, I won’t budge from it. I’ll map out the chapters then, and it’s almost like a theatre director mapping out a play.’ Looking back she concedes that ‘the first one was quite wooden because I was learning how to write’ and a particular challenge initially was dialogue. ‘I now enjoy writing the dialogue more than anything else. I see my characters as a family and the strange thing is that, at times, I hear them talking in my head so, if this doesn’t sound bonkers, they’re very real to me. I might be writing a chapter and one of my characters takes over and it goes off in a completely different direction.’ Her Catholic faith influences her writing too. ‘I like it to have some moral dimension as well. Does that sound really preachy and obnoxious?’ she adds with a chuckle. It has also informed various settings for the novels, including a cathedral choir school and a convent.

Catherine relates the strident reaction of one reader: ‘Somebody tackled me in Tesco about my hatred of the Church which was really odd. I have a tremendous love of the Church. It’s always been there underpinning everything. My faith is very simple, almost child-like. We were one of those families where lots of our holidays were spent going round mouldy old churches looking at saints’ statues so it was always a very real physical thing as well as spiritual. A lot of people think Catholics are ever so gloomy and guilt-ridden but it’s a very joyful faith.’ It was family too that bequeathed another source of joy: her love of words. Indeed her father, Peter Moloney, wrote for many years the ‘Only Moloney’ column in the Catholic Pic. ‘Pa always said heredity counts for something,’ she smiles. ‘He did his weekly column for years and years and it was always a bit of a sacred ritual never to intrude on him at those moments. It is wonderful to feel he’s passed the bat on to me in some way. It must be my Pa who’s influenced me so much.’

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All Saints Sixth Form College students have celebrated another year of successful results! Once again, All Saints Sixth Form College have seen huge successes across A-level and vocational subjects which is reflective of continued improvement and success in the college. In English literature A-level, 80% of students achieved grades A*C with 20% of students achieving grades A*-B. This represents a 40% improvement on grades A*-C. In A-level computer science, students achieved 80% grades A*-C with 40% of these students being awarded grades A*-B. This is a 20% improvement (in both categories) from last year. They have seen another huge improvement in A-level history where 57% of students have been awarded grades A*-C and 29% of these grades being A*-B. This represents a massive 40% improvement on last year’s history grades. In A-level art, 100% of students were awarded grades A*- C with 67% of those grades being A*-B. This represents a 22% increase in grades from last year in an already outstanding department. Students studying Spanish A-level, which was only introduced last year, achieved 100% A*-A. This is a significant achievement in the first year of delivering the course. All other A-levels maintained a positive performance and many, including A-level sociology, biology, business studies and media continued to improve results from last year. Students studying law achieved 75% A*-C with 38% achieving A*-B. Students studying vocational qualifications achieved 100% pass rate with 46% of all entries (or equivalent) achieving distinction or distinction* grades. Mrs Lawson, head of sixth form, said: “The results this year are a reflection of a committed and hard working All Saints Sixth Form family. Students have worked exceptionally hard to achieve their

goals and it has been a pleasure to celebrate with them today. I would like to thank all staff for going above and beyond to ensure our students have the best possible chances of success. “This year has brought many challenges and I am incredibly proud of the dedication and maturity displayed by our students. The grades awarded are representative of our students’ achievements and we will do all that we can to support them in their next steps. I am remarkably proud of each and every student and wish them all the success in their future destinations.”

Carmel College celebrate a tough year for students Results Day 2020 was very emotional for many with a mixture of outcomes for lots of students both at Carmel College and across the country. Due to COVID-19, staff and students were unable to celebrate in college as they normally do but the college was still able to provide support for students who needed it. Many students also got in touch to share their success and it was fantastic to see so many wonderful achievements despite the results received on the day, being potentially the ‘worst results in Carmel history’ according to principal, Mike Hill. Following the government’s U-turn on exam results, the principal said: “It is going to be good news for us in the main, but with a bit of a caveat that it doesn’t work for everybody and some students’ assessed grades were below where they wanted. “Fifty-seven per cent of our grades have gone up overnight. The concerns we had on results day were that it would have been potentially the worst results in Carmel’s history but it has now gone back to what we would expect Carmel students to achieve.” “As in previous years, Carmel’s students have many great results to shout about. 67% of our A-level students got the top grades of A*-B. Almost 500 A* and A grades were awarded to our students with over 300 students being awarded the highest possible grade of A* or Dist* in their subject. Over 90% of all students were awarded the equivalent of A*-C grades. “BTEC students had already completed a significant amount of assessed work by the time we reached lockdown. Carmel’s BTEC results this year have been really fantastic, with 100% pass rate and 96% managing to achieve a top grade. “The class of 2020 have had a tough journey. They were the first group ever to do all the new GCSE’s and they have had their final year interrupted by the pandemic. These young people have shown resilience and passion and will have developed life skills, which, alongside their academic skills, should equip them well for whatever the future holds. 20

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Eva Carroll who is off to Cambridge University

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Disruption fails to halt St Mary’s students as they continue with excellent A-level results Students and staff at St Mary’s College in Crosby are celebrating another excellent set of A-level results this summer, despite the widespread disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Building on the high standards of previous years candidates again recorded a 99 per cent pass rate in the key examinations, with more than a third (37 per cent) achieving three or more A*, A or B grades, up from 34 per cent last year. And 62 per cent of passes were at A*, A or B grade, up from 59 per cent last summer, 57 per cent in 2018 and 52 per cent in

2017. Commenting on this year’s A-levels St Mary’s Principal, Mike Kennedy, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce such a pleasing set of improved results in what has been an exceptionally difficult year. “I am also very proud of the pupils and staff who have worked incredibly hard to achieve these results despite the challenges they have faced, seeing formal examinations cancelled and having to adjust to remote learning from home during lockdown. “There is still work for us to do supporting those pupils who are querying some

grades, and we will do everything in our power to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work over many years”.

A-level success for St John Bosco Arts College pupils Students from St John Bosco Arts College received their A-levels results achieving an overall pass rate of 100% A*-E.


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Among those collecting their results was Alice May Hardaker who achieved outstanding grades (A*, A, A) and will be studying law at Oxford University. Following

a really challenging year Alice is excited to start this new chapter and the college sent her off with all our best wishes for the future. In total, 16% of students achieved the very highest A*-A grades, 41% of students achieved A*-B grades, 72% of students achieved A*-C, with 100% achieving A*-E grades. Many students are now looking forward to going onto university, whilst others will be entering the world of work or embarking on an apprenticeship. Headteacher of St John Bosco Arts College, Darren Gidman, said: “This has been an unprecedented year for our students and their A-level results are the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication. “Myself and all the staff at St John Bosco are so proud of the way students have dealt with their final year with us and we are very proud of all of their achievements. “On behalf of all the staff here, I’d like to wish the class of 2020 the very best in everything that they do.”

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Catholic Senior Executive Leaders –

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a 21st century role, for a 21st century education system…. The world we woke up to on 1st January 2020, when the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia, has gone forever. We have seen the way society operates change beyond recognition, this has included how our schools function. In recent months, we have witnessed the outstanding contribution that school leaders and their staff have made to supporting children’s wellbeing and ensuring education could continue, in the most trying of circumstances. We have seen particular resilience across the Catholic education sector, with leaders supporting their staff and pupils while acting for the common good of their communities, including the most vulnerable. These new ways of operating have made many across the education sector reflect on how organisational systems and staffing structures need to transform to develop and support future generations. In this context Birmingham Diocesan Education Service (BDES) are introducing new models for executive school leadership within their Multi-Academy Companies (MACs). The BDES in conjunction with their MAC Boards are looking to encourage committed Catholics with executive leadership experience from a range of professional backgrounds to consider

making the move into the education sector, and taking on the role of Catholic Senior Education Leader (CSEL). As Fr. Jonathan Veasey – Lead Trustee for Education stated: ‘With so many strong headteachers, principals, and school improvement leaders across the Archdiocese, a CSEL need not be an "educationalist". It is a post that is about embracing the outlook of the Church on education and being able to develop a strategic vision which fosters a spirit of communion amongst the schools and a shared purpose of mission.’ Last month BDES launched an umbrella recruitment campaign, in partnership with their preferred recruitment consultancy, St Helens-based Satis Education, to identify potential CSELs. The aim is that in the coming months CSELs will be appointed whose skills and experience will complement and enhance those of the schools leaders already operating across the Archdiocese of Birmingham. As part of this campaign a dedicated website has been developed This website provides details of the CSEL role, identifies the type of candidate BDES are seeking to attract and also includes links to live vacancies. Executive leaders from across all sectors and industries who aspire to commit to Christ-centred servant leadership are urged to visit the website to find out more about these unique roles.

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GCSE joy for the Academy of St Francis of Assisi Students from the Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) came together to receive their GCSE results. Students were in good spirits as they arrived at the academy and were happy with their results, pleased to see their friends and teachers after such a long time away from the school grounds.

There was a plethora of students who rejoiced in top grades across the board, meeting and exceeding their expectations and target grades to ensure entry into their sixth form of choice. It was fantastic news for students Deja, Lisa, Jordan, Salaina and Lucy, who were among those with a full suite of top

grades. The future certainly looks bright and their smiles said it all. Many students will be going on to study Alevel or vocational courses at All Saints Sixth Form College in Garston, a collaboration between ASFA and The Academy of St Nicholas, while others will be heading into alternative education, training and work options. Head of school, Kevin Maddocks, said: “It has been a difficult year for students across the country who should have sat their GCSE and A-level exams in the summer, but didn’t get the chance too. “After the government’s last-minute decision to change the way in grades were awarded this year, we are pleased to see many of our students given the grades they deserve and will allow them to move on to their desired destination. “Our Year 11 students have worked incredibly hard over the years at ASFA and although they didn’t get to sit their exams, they should be very proud of what they have achieved to date. “I would like to wish them all the best of luck as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.”

St Mary’s College students shine with top grades

Students and staff at St Mary’s College in Crosby are celebrating an excellent set of GCSE results this summer, despite the widespread disruption to the education sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of all GCSE grades at the school were at the highest 9-7/A*-A grades, and more than half of candidates (52 per cent) achieved seven or more passes at these top levels. Just under a quarter (24 per cent) of pupils recorded ten or more 9-7/A*-A grades, and of these, eight candidates achieved 11 or more top grades. Overall 88 per cent of students recorded ten or more GCSE passes, with many achieving 11 GCSEs. Staff believe these results reflect the broad and balanced curriculum at St Mary’s, and the fact that the school does not restrict the number of GCSE subjects students can choose to take.


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Richly deserved grades for Maricourt students In addition to the challenges we have all faced over recent months, this GCSE year group from Maricourt Catholic High School have lost out on so much. Headteacher, J Mangan said: “We are all delighted that they were able to receive the grades they so richly deserve and can start to move on to the next part of their journey. “We are expecting record numbers to stay with us in sixth form, while others will now be able to move into further education or employment elsewhere. We congratulate them all on their amazing successes and wish them well for the future”. Top students grades included: Leah - 7 Grade 9’s and 2 Grade 8’s; Rosie - 8 Grade 9’s and 1 Grade 8; Matthew - 9 Grade 8’s, Phoebe - 9 Grade 9’s and Jacob - 5 Grade 9’s and 4 Grade 8’s.

Students are ready for a bright future Students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in St Helens were celebrating as they received their GCSE results. The school’s drama studio was filled with smiling faces as students received the results that would take them onto the next stage of their lives, from starting college or apprenticeships, to moving into employment or undertaking further professional training. Ben Beswick, St Cuthbert’s head boy said: “I’m going on to Cronton College to study fine art, psychology and geography. Hopefully I’ll smash it as much as I have with my GCSEs.” Lauren Hesketh, St Cuthbert’s head girl also praised her school, saying: “The best thing about my time at St Cuthbert’s was the sense of community. It was like one big family. I’m over the moon with my results, what a way to finish my time here!” Other students celebrated their success, Kiera Darracott said: “I’m heading off to Cronton College to study maths, biology and chemistry to hopefully go on and study medicine at Uni.” Whilst McKenzie Price-Griffiths said: “I’m moving to Wales to do a football scholarship with Connah’s Quay Nomads alongside A-levels - with hopes to become a professional footballer or go onto to university at some point.” Freya Wynn said: “I’m going to Carmel College to study criminology, sociology and history. I can’t wait to start my next step.” Catherine Twist, headteacher at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in St Helens, added: “After being faced with so much uncertainty, not just in recent weeks regarding grade allocation, but over the past six months, it has been wonderful to see so many of our students celebrating


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success that has been achieved in the most challenging of climates. “We are over the moon that the correct decision was made regarding this year’s GCSE results. Our young people are and always have been at the centre of any decisions. Our priority has always been to equip our students - not just academically but also socially and morally - to go out there and be able to hold their heads up high. “Today we celebrate and acknowledge their achievements, as well as recognising the commitment of the teachers who worked extremely hard under very difficult circumstances during lockdown to ensure that every child achieved the best grade possible based on the evidence from mock exams and assessments. “We would like to congratulate all of our Year 11 students and wish them the best of luck as they take the next step in their lives, be that going to college or moving

into apprenticeships, employment or training.”

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Mums the Word I hope that many of you have been able to return to Mass in your own parish churches by now, albeit in a very different fashion. It is wonderful to meet fellow members and friends again even if we can’t recognise them behind their masks. Perhaps the resumption of UCM meetings will not be too far behind. Let us pray that we have turned a corner and that cases of coronavirus will continue to fall. Maureen Finnegan, the diocesan president, and the committee have been holding monthly meetings via Zoom (with the aid of children and grandchildren). We are hoping to arrange for the bi-monthly Mass at St George’s on 9 September (7.30pm) to be live-streamed on the internet so that as many members as possible will be able to join in. St George’s are marking the 65th anniversary of the UCM in their parish and although it won’t be the same as all of us being together, I am sure their ladies will have a great celebration. They have all our congratulations and best wishes. Our national president, Margaret McDonald (St Paul’s Parish, Liverpool), had to cancel her proposed national pilgrimage to Banneux in Belgium this month owing to Covid-19. It has been rearranged for 19-25 September next year. It is a UCM tradition for the president to arrange a national pilgrimage during her term of office, so let us hope and pray that things will be back to normal by then. We celebrate Our Lady’s birthday on 8 September and the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham on the 24th. Let us turn to her, our best advocate, and pray for the discovery of a vaccine against the virus. May it soon be found and be offered to all throughout the world. May God bless us all. Madelaine McDonald, media officer

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

Irish bishop follows in St Columba’s footsteps

The bishop of the Irish town of Raphoe, Dr Alan McGuckian, spent two weeks this summer walking a different kind of Camino. Rather than take the trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the bishop undertook a 190km walk closer to home, following in the footsteps of St Columba. It is a path that several other walkers have taken this year and their hope is for support at governmental level for an ‘Irish Camino’. An avid walker and jogger, Bishop McGuckian braved the vagaries of the Irish weather to explore the paths once wandered by St Columba who was born in Gartan, County Donegal in AD521. His journey took him across Donegal from Glencolmcille through Ardara and into Dungloe and even the remote island of Tory with its 140 inhabitants. He reflected afterwards that such a walk was an opportunity to lose himself in the beauty and

peace of the countryside, allowing precious time for self-reflection too. Bishop McGuckian is pictured holding his shepherd’s crook at the Cross of St Columba in Gartan, Co Donegal (photo reproduced with the kind permission of the Donegal Daily newspaper). • Sunday 26 July was a great day for the Bennett family with the ordination as a permanent deacon of Michael Bennett, son of KSC council 584 member Joe Bennett, during Mass at St James’ Church, Bootle. On behalf of all Liverpool knights, provincial grand knight Ray Pealing offered congratulations to Michael. “We are sure that his ordination will bring enormous blessings to his dear family, to De La Salle Academy where he teaches, to his parish and indeed our Archdiocese,” he said. Websites: Email:

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PIC Life My early lesson in the virtue of humility By Moira Billinge I have not forgotten the feeling when, aged eight, I spent two months away from home while my mum was in hospital. I remember how desperately homesick I felt, though I also remember a significant encounter at the end of the second day at my new school. As I approached the school gate, I was unsure about which way I was supposed to be going. I decided to cross the road, and, once safely on the other side, I burst into tears. A priest who was walking his dog asked why I was crying and said that, as he was going in the direction of my intended destination, he would show me the way. The next day and for several subsequent weeks, when I came out of school I would find him standing at the same spot where we had met the previous afternoon. As we walked, he listened patiently and kindly to all my woes while offering advice and encouragement. In my

homesickness, the priest’s support, friendship and wisdom comforted me beyond words. He would tell me if he knew he was going to be away the next day so that I wouldn’t be distressed by his absence. One afternoon, as we walked and talked, a man passed by, doffed his hat and said: ‘Good afternoon, Your Grace.’ I thought this was hilarious and had no idea what he meant by this greeting. ‘Why did he say that?’ I laughed. Giving one of his lovely, gentle smiles, he replied: ‘Because I’m the Archbishop.’ At such a young age, the title meant nothing to me. How many others in Liverpool Archdiocese have their own personal memories of the then Archbishop, subsequently Cardinal, Heenan? Even his tomb in Westminster Cathedral doesn’t draw attention to itself: a simple grey slab set into the floor. But then, one of his successors in Westminster Abbey, Cardinal Basil Hume, was equally slow to show off. A visitor to the cathedral, said that she had met a

monk strolling down the aisle, his black cardigan slung over his shoulder. ‘I thought I recognised him,’ she said. ‘I went across to say hello and asked him if he was the monk who used to cut the grass at Ampleforth. He said that, yes, he used to mow the lawns. We chatted for a while about Ampleforth. It was only afterwards that I realised the monk was actually the Cardinal.’ Of course today, we have another example of someone not pushing himself forwards. Before the conclave which elected him Pope, Cardinal Bergoglio was regularly seen praying before the statue of St Thérèse in a church on his way to the Vatican. It was only after some time that the priests recognised him, not only as a cardinal but also as a cardinal who was thought a likely or possible candidate to become Pope. Days after his election, Francis rang the Jesuit Generalate, close to St Peter’s, and asked to be put through to the then Father General, Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ. The staff member on reception, as always, asked for his name. On being told that the voice on the other end of the phone was Pope Francis, the man snorted in disbelief and basically told the caller to pull the other leg – and then realised, to his horror, that he really was speaking to the Pontiff! Great people are not show-offs. In the fifth century, St Augustine wrote: ‘Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being humble. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.’

Worth a visit - St Michael’s Mount As summer draws to a close, why not explore favourite haunts which have reopened, writes Lucy Oliver. St Michael’s Mount, near Marazion in Cornwall, is a breathtaking coastal promontory with a rich history. Legend has it that Cormoran, a cattle-stealing giant, made the mount his home before being defeated by Jack the Giant Killer. The mount has weathered many battles, from the Wars of the Roses to the Civil War, and it was here that a lit beacon raised the alarm of the approaching Spanish Armada. It became a place of pilgrimage after the apparition of St Michael led fishermen to safety in the late fifth century. During the Norman Conquest, a church and priory were built at the heart of the castle which still stands today. Yet what was once a bustling village and harbour, with school, dairy and 3,000 residents, is today home to just 30 inhabitants. As the tide ebbs, visitors can walk the cobbled causeway to visit the castle, whose 12th- century chapel still holds Sunday services. The gardens are another place to reflect for owing to the unique micro-climate, numerous unlikely plants thrive


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Pope Francis – Worldwide Prayer Network September’s Universal Intention of Pope Francis – Pray with the Pope for our common home 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. holy days could enlighten our prayer. Mary stood mournfully by her Son’s Cross – she still does. What is that cross today? We are called, not to regret the cross or shy away from it, but to exalt it, hold it high in the world. God’s creation, God’s free gift is being crucified by us in our freedom.

by Father David Stewart SJ In September, as the whole of humanity continues to grapple with the COVID pandemic, Pope Francis maintains his constant call to us all for a ‘globalisation of compassion’. The Pope continues to urge us through his worldwide prayer network, an apostleship of prayer that everyone can join, to take into our prayer these and all the challenges that face humanity and the church’s mission. In September, the particular form that takes is a prayer for our common home, our planet – we are invited to pray with the Holy Father, and all people of good will, that ‘the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner’. The pandemic surely has affected every single human person on the planet. Similarly, the looming environmental disaster, not so evident in the news headlines in recent months, is going to affect every single person alive on the planet, and those yet to be born. It will affect the poorest first and more quickly. Each person, in her or his own situation, must respond in some way and when we can’t, others must help us, and we must help anyone unable to help themselves. Earth Overshoot Day Towards the end of August, humanity passed a tragic milestone which might have gone un-noticed because of the pandemic. This day, August 22, was Earth Overshoot Day; the moment in the calendar year on which humanity’s consumption of the earth’s resources exceeded, or overshot, nature’s ‘biocapacity’, or capability, to replenish these resources. It is timely that the Holy Father has issued this call for prayerful solidarity now. We can pray about this, we can reflect on the patterns of overconsumption in our culture and we can reflect on our own individual use, or overuse, of the earth’s resources. We can examine our consciences about whether, or in all honesty how, we have contributed to this deadly excessive consumption. But we must also not fail to reflect on the good that we’ve done, as we’ve learned to limit our use and our sharing of depleted resources, reminding ourselves of our duty, in solidarity, to look to the common good. 30

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Meditation Our prayer of intercession is never a magic spell that, if we get the exact formula of words right, will suddenly correct everything that has gone wrong. That would be a false and empty religion that had no room for faith. We do not doubt God’s power and action in the world but we can, at times, doubt what God calls us towards, in our everyday reality – that compassion, that solidarity that has the power to change the world. When we glimpse that, we begin to realise that God’s immense power is exercised that way, through us and even our tiniest acts of kindness and solidarity toward each other. We have in our Catholic tradition the concept of ‘subsidiarity’ – that decisions that affect us all must be taken as near to the ‘grass-roots’ as possible. After all, the Trinity exercises subsidiarity towards us. We’re often tempted to suggest that our little gestures are too small to be worthy of mention, but like the mustard seed that Jesus mentioned in one of the parables, such apparently tiny actions could do mighty things. In our prayer this month we could meditate on this reality and draw strength from what we find. Prayer with the Liturgy On consecutive days during September, the calendar of our church presents feastdays of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross followed by Our Lady of Sorrows. Coming at the mid-point of the month, these two

It’s difficult, after so many months of lockdown in many lands and a great deal of personal tragedy and suffering, to keep in mind that there are other huge concerns that face humanity. It’s also difficult, at times, to remember that a great deal of good is being done by many people. As St Ignatius knew, the Bad Spirit is very likely to nudge us towards the negative thus undermining our Christian hope and leading us to think that we can’t do anything about our situation. The Good Spirit, that comes from God, reminds us of the opposite, the truth that sets us free. Ponder, in your quiet time this month, the good that is happening; those many acts of kindness as the pandemic has deepened, the scientists working tirelessly towards vaccines, the selflessness of so many health-care professionals, the researchers and writers bringing to our attention the real concerns about our environmental dangers. If we feel weak and defenceless in the face of so much danger, pray to become more aware of our deep human interconnectedness, which is where true hope is to be found, the hope that impels us, with Mary, to hold high the Cross for all of humanity to see. A morning offering prayer This prayer, perhaps adapted to your own or your community’s situation, could begin each new day, offering the day ahead for God’s greater glory and the common good: ‘Merciful Father, I pause for a few moments, at the beginning of this day, to be in your abiding presence. May your Spirit guide me today and lead me in all that is true, good and beautiful. Grant me the grace to live the gospel and infuse in me a love for all people and for the whole of creation, your free gift to us all. I offer you my heart this day, united to the intention of Pope Francis for this month. Amen.

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

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

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

Sea of Galilee

Gardens of Gethsamane, Jerusalem

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


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