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Issue 204 September 2021
INSIDE: Education special
Welcome Bishop Tom
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Inspiring excellence personal and academic
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Issue 204 September 2021
It has been a very special start to the month of September with the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Thomas Neylon as Bishop of Plestia and our new Auxiliary Bishop by Archbishop Malcolm on 3 September, the Feast of St Gregory the Great.
It was a glorious day as once again priests and people from throughout the archdiocese and beyond were able to gather in the Metropolitan Cathedral for a major celebration. Many months have passed since this was last possible and it was wonderful to see the Church united again in welcoming Bishop Tom to his new ministry among us. Bishop Paul Swarbrick, the Bishop of Lancaster, who studied for the priesthood with Bishop Tom, preached the homily and we were also joined by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishops from throughout England and Wales, reminding us that we are united in prayer with the Church in our country.
The Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, read the mandate from Pope Francis appointing Bishop Tom, displaying our unity with Pope Francis and the universal Church. Our congratulations and prayers go to Bishop Tom as we wish him many more years of fruitful service among us – ad multos annos.
From the Archbishop’s Desk I have kept my head down during the recent liturgical controversy but some of you may have noticed that Pope Francis has put new restrictions on the celebration of Holy Mass according to rites which were used before the reforms of Vatican II. However, I am sure that the Pope’s motu proprio (Traditionis Custodes) will have passed most people by and they will wonder what all the fuss is about. It is true that there is a small number of Catholics who are devoted to the ‘old mass’. In Warrington we are fortunate to have the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter which was founded by Pope St John Paul II. They conduct their liturgy according to the pre-conciliar rites and offer pastoral care to those Catholics who choose that way of worship. One thing that annoyed many Catholics is that those devoted to the old ways of worship often describe themselves as ‘traditional’. I think that they have hijacked the word for their own use. Pope Francis has reclaimed the word ‘tradition’ by clearly stating that the bishops are the guardians of the tradition. Tradition has a particular meaning in theology; it refers to St Paul when he says that he passes on to us what he has received. In other words, tradition is a living concept not something stuck in the past. The Mass which I celebrate daily is the one which I received from Pope St Paul VI and Pope St John Paul II and is therefore the ‘traditional’ Mass. The point I am making is more than simple semantics; it is about the very life of the Church itself.
Editor Peter Heneghan
Copy deadline October 2021 Monday 13 September 2021
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Main Feature Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Thomas Neylon A day of grace and celebration
News From around the Archdiocese
11 Nugent A parenting approach with pace 12 Profile Ray Pealing Knight Vision 14 Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Thomas Neylon The Mass in pictures 16 Education Picture special: Schools celebrate results 26 Cathedral Record Liverpool’s first Auxiliary Bishop 27 Pic Extras Mums the word News from the KSC
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool
Pictures Cover, Main Feature, and Episcopal Ordination: Robin Clewley www.robinclewley.co.uk
28 Animate Youth Ministry Keeping alive the spirit of Lourdes 30 Sunday Reflections Liturgy and Life
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A day of grace and celebration The Metropolitan Cathedral welcomed over 1,000 people on 3 September for the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Tom Neylon. By Simon Hart ‘What we have received today is an extraordinary grace from above, a new bishop for the Church.’ These were the words of Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio, at the conclusion of the Episcopal Ordination of Canon Thomas Neylon – a strong moment of light for the archdiocese as more than 1,000 people came together at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Friday 3 September. It was Archbishop Gugerotti, the Vatican’s representative in Great Britain, who had earlier read the mandate from Pope Francis formally appointing Canon Neylon with the words ‘We name you Bishop of the Titular See of Plestia and at the same time appoint you Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Liverpool’. Canon Neylon, 63, duly became the ninth Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool appointed in the history of the archdiocese and he will assist Archbishop Malcolm McMahon alongside Bishop Tom Williams. The Archbishop added a pinch of humour to the proceedings when noting at the beginning of Mass: ‘With two Toms – Tom Tom – we won’t lose our direction in this diocese.’ In his welcome note in the order of service, the Archbishop reflected: ‘It is
testament to the service which Canon Neylon has offered to the Archdiocese of Liverpool that the Holy Father has appointed him Auxiliary Bishop. Indeed, the presence of so many people from across the archdiocese and beyond pays tribute to his ministry and reflects very fittingly Canon Neylon’s own sentiment and new episcopal motto, “I call you friends”.’ This was the first large-scale celebration at the Metropolitan Cathedral since the Covid-19 pandemic and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, was present together with Bishops from across England and Wales – among them Paul Swarbrick, Bishop of Lancaster, who studied for the priesthood alongside Bishop Neylon and preached the homily. The centrepiece was the Rite of Ordination, which included the reading of the papal mandate in Latin by Archbishop Gugerotti and in English by Canon Aidan Prescott, Vicar General and Chancellor of the archdiocese. The congregation heard that in order that ‘the flock of the Lord may arrive safely at eternal, verdant pastures, it is necessary to appoint suitable shepherds who will lovingly tend this sheepfold’. The mandate concluded with the following words from Pope Francis: ‘We urge you to carry out your ministry
Some of you may not have been surprised by Tom’s appointment – after all, he was ordained a priest by a saint’ lovingly and zealously, in communion with your Archbishop, entrusting yourself to the protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph her spouse, who will help you to shepherd with the heart of a father, so that in you the Christian faithful may recognise Christ, who is always close to His people.’ This was followed by the singing of the Litany of Saints, as Bishop Neylon lay in front of the high altar, before Archbishop Malcolm led the Prayer of Consecration. He anointed the head of the new Bishop with the oil of chrism and presented him with the Book of Gospels, his Bishop’s ring, mitre and pastoral staff amid a spontaneous round of applause from the congregation. As the rite came to an end, Bishop Neylon was greeted by the other Bishops present and invited to take first place among them. ‘Ordained by a saint’ Another highlight of the Mass was the homily by Bishop Neylon’s friend, Bishop Swarbrick. The pair studied at seminary together and Bishop Swarbrick recalled the fact that Bishop Neylon was ordained as a priest by Pope St John Paul II, in front of 250,000 people at Heaton Park, Manchester in May 1982. ‘Some of you may not have been surprised by Tom’s appointment – after all, he was ordained a priest by a saint,’ he quipped. Touching on the symbol of the shepherd, Bishop Swarbrick also made a light-hearted reference to Pope Francis’s observation about a bishop having ‘the smell of sheep’. He began: ‘To put it crudely he has sniffed you out … Tom, you smell of sheep!’ This led to a more serious reflection. ‘It means not only have you shown you know and are faithful to Christ’s teaching, but that you can get it across,’ he said.
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‘The art of teaching means first, of course, to have a solid grasp of and passion for the subject; but this must be communicated. The skill of the true teacher is to awaken in the pupil a sense of interest and wonder that will provoke and feed an adventure for life.’
The Prayer of Consecration
Bishop Swarbrick added: ‘Your work as a bishop, Tom, will be to sanctify the people of God because this is what Christ came to do – be holy for the Lord your God is holy.’ Finally, there was a reference to the significance of the Episcopal Ordination taking place on the Feast of St Gregory the Great. ‘The burden of pastoral office is daunting,’ said Bishop Swarbrick. ‘Individuals can be forgiven for shying away from it. St Gregory the Great, whose feast we keep today, serves as a comforting example of somebody of immense ability and great holiness who did all he could to avoid taking it. When you read the Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, have St Gregory’s book on pastoral care close by.’ Born in Padgate, Warrington, Bishop Neylon had most recently served as parish priest at St Wilfrid’s in Widnes, following 24 years at several parishes in St Helens.
The new Bishop is greeted by Bishop Paul Swarbrick The congregation included groups from both towns, with St Wilfrid’s parishioner, Barbara Norris, reading the first reading of the Mass from the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (4:1-2,5-7). As a measure of the scale of the occasion, there were also church leaders from other denominations – including the Bishop of
Liverpool, Paul Bayes – and local civic guests including the Lord Lieutenant, Mark Blundell, the High Sheriff, Nigel Lanceley, and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Mary Rasmussen. On a personal level, members of Bishop Neylon’s family played their part by bringing forward the gifts at the offertory –
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Above: Bishop Tom Neylon, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP, Bishop Tom Williams Below: Members of Bishop Tom’s family carried the gifts forward at the offertory
I think I’m going to spend a little bit longer wearing Lplates 6
his nephews, Joe and Peter Neylon; his brother Joseph Neylon; and his sister, Mary Annels – as the choir sang ‘Jubilate Deo’ by Benjamin Britten. The music of the Mass – led by the Cathedral choir under their director, Dr Christopher McElroy – also included ‘Praise to the holiest’ by St John Henry Newman; the medieval ‘Laudes Regiae’, with its Latin refrain 'Christus vincit' which was chanted at the consecration of the Cathedral in 1967; and 'Hail Redeemer, King Divine', which was the recessional hymn. The celebration came to a finish with a closing address from each of Archbishop Gugerotti and Bishop Neylon. The former described Liverpool as an ‘extraordinary archdiocese’ and described the ordination of its new
Bishop as a ‘universal gift’. He said: ‘’I would like just to say that my presence is the presence of him who is the sign of visible unity in the Church which means that through his presence, the whole Church universal is here with you now because this Bishop has been ordained for the Church universal not only for the Archbishop of Liverpool and this is very important.’ Then it fell to Bishop Neylon himself to offer his own closing words. ‘I think I’m going to spend a little bit longer wearing L-plates,’ he said. ‘There is lot to learn as I am discovering day by day and even hour by hour with this new direction in my life. Just to say that I will continue to pray for you and please do keep me in your prayers.’
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Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti
Papal Mandate for the appointment of Bishop Thomas Neylon FRANCIS, BISHOP, SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD, to our beloved son Thomas Joseph Neylon, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Liverpool and Vicar General there, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the same ecclesial community and assigned the title of Plestia, greeting and an Apostolic Blessing. “I am with you always until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). All the Christian faithful, rejoicing on account of the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are regarded inheritors of these words, to whom it is said on their pilgrim journey that they never walk alone, because Christ himself and his grace, kindness and mercy follow us all the days of our life, so that we may live in the house of the Lord for length of days (cf. Ps 23:6). In order, however, that the flock of the Lord may arrive safely at eternal, verdant pastures, it is necessary to appoint suitable shepherds who will lovingly tend this sheepfold. Assuredly, we now turn our attention to the community of Liverpool, whose Metropolitan Archbishop, our venerable brother Malcolm Patrick McMahon OP, has petitioned for an Auxiliary Bishop on account of pastoral needs. We have readily assented to his requests and we have resolved that you, beloved son, should be the one chosen to discharge this office, you who are outstanding in the spiritual life, organisational skills, sound doctrine, prudence and charity, and in fact diligently fulfil there the office of Vicar General. Therefore, by the fulness of our Apostolic Authority, having accepted the advice of the Congregation for Bishops, we name you Bishop of the Titular See of Plestia and at the same time appoint you Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, with all due rights bestowed and the corresponding obligations imposed, according to the norms of the Code of Canon Law. You may receive episcopal ordination from a Catholic bishop anywhere outside of Rome, observing the liturgical regulations. Beforehand, however, just as ecclesiastical law prescribes, you must make a formal profession of faith in the customary manner and swear an oath of fidelity to us and our successors in this See. Finally, we urge you to carry out your ministry lovingly and zealously, in communion with your Archbishop, entrusting yourself to the protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph her spouse, who will help you to shepherd with the heart of a father, so that in you the Christian faithful may recognise Christ, who is always close to his people. Given at Rome, at the Lateran, on the sixth day of July in the year of Our Lord two thousand and twenty-one, the ninth of our pontificate. FRANCISCUS PP. Unofficial translation of the original Latin.
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Clergy Appointments Canon Aidan Prescott – Vicar General Rev Philip Inch – Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Development Rev Matthew Nunes – Moderator of the Curia Rev Sean Riley – Vice-Chancellor and Tribunal Canon Peter Stanley - Canon Penitentiary Rev John Hindley – Dean, Croxteth and Walton Pastoral Area Rev Mark Moran – Moderator of St Wilfrid, Widnes and Dean, Widnes Pastoral Area Rev Raymond Anyanwu CSSp - Pastoral experience/Parochial Vicar, Warrington Pastoral Area Rev Thomas Clarke – Assistant Priest, St Wilfrid, Widnes Rev Graeme Dunne – Parish Priest, St Oswald, Coppull Canon Christopher Fallon - Parish Priest, St George, Maghull (from January 2022) Rev Anthony Kelly – Parish Priest, Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, and St Swithin, Croxteth Rev Joseph Kiganda CSSp – Parish Priest, St Mary and St Columba, Castletown and Port Erin Rev Carl Mugan – Parish Priest, St Teresa, Norris Green Rev Benedict Ogbuevule CSSp – Parish Priest, St Mary and St John, Newton-le-Willows Rev Chima Opara CSSp – Parish Priest, Our Lady of Walsingham, Netherton, and Assistant Chaplain at Aintree University Hospital Rev Dominic Risley – Parish Priest, Our Lady Immaculate and St Joseph, Prescot, and Parochial Administrator of St Leo, Whiston Rev Thomas Skeats OP – Parochial Vicar, St Wilfrid, Widnes Rev Mike Thompson – Parish Priest, St Luke the Evangelist, Whiston, and Whiston Hospital Chaplain Rev Andrew Unsworth – Parish Priest, St James, Orrell Rev Laurence Mayne – from St Oswald, Coppull to retirement Permanent Diaconate Rev Paul Rooney – Assistant Director for the Diaconate Rev Andrew Cleary to St Paul and St Timothy, West Derby and Liverpool North Pastoral Area Rev David Lawson to St Austin and St Teresa of Avila, St Helens and St Helens Pastoral Area Rev Alan Molloy to St Mary and St Columba, Castletown and Port Erin and the Isle of Man Pastoral Area Rev John Sargent to St Mary Magdalen and St Teresa, Penwortham and Leyland Pastoral Area. Rev Keith Ballard to St George, Maghull
Sr Mary is remembered on anniversary Maricourt High School fondly remembered the first anniversary of founding headteacher of Maricourt, Sr Mary Magdalen who died peacefully in her residence in McAuley Mount residential home in Burnley. She was the headteacher of Maricourt for 32 years before retiring in 1989. Ken McCabe, Lay Chaplain at Maricourt said: “In 1957 she was asked by her order, the Sisters of Mercy, to go to Maghull to open an independent girls school following a request from the local community. The school was to be known as Mater Misercordiae High School. “On 12 September 1957, the school opened in the convent parlour with only 16 eleven-year-old girls. This tiny institution grew and, by 1964, became a girls grammar school with voluntary-aided status from the then Bootle Education Authority. “After only four years as a grammar school, the Reverend Mother at the time was approached by Archbishop George Andrew Beck to annexe a newly built, but as yet unoccupied, parish secondary modern building, and to undertake co-ed comprehensive education for the area. “Mater Misercordiae was transformed into Maricourt and had its first intake of boys as well as girls in September 1968 under the Lancashire Education Authority. “Sister Mary Magdalen was tireless in her work and efforts to make Maricourt a great school, serving the needs of the local community and giving so many young people a fantastic education. As a result of her efforts the school grew in numbers and between 1968 and 2005 had no fewer than 19 major building developments to house its 1,500 pupils. Many of the developments were initiated and supervised by her and funded by 8
the Sisters of Mercy.” Sister Mary retired at the age of 65 at Christmas 1989 but remained as a governor. She became chair following the sudden death of Bishop Kevin O'Connor in 1994. She remained a member of the Maricourt community until 2017 when, due to failing health, she moved to the Sisters' retirement home, McAuley Mount in Burnley. Ken added: “We will be forever grateful for her vision and her dedication to Maricourt. She was loved and respected by so many and, despite retiring in 1989, she was always asking after our staff and students whilst keeping the school in her prayers. We, as a school community, will mark her anniversary in our prayers.”
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news Obituary of Father Joseph (Joe) Duggan SJ by Father Denis Blackledge SJ Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier, Liverpool Father Joe, as he was usually known, was a Joseph both by name and by nature. A quiet man, who preferred to be in the background, a reverent and just man, who served his sisters and brothers unstintingly and unobtrusively in so many ways. Joe was an only child, born to Joe and Vera on 30 May 1944, and brought up in St Matthew’s Parish, Clubmoor, where he attended the parish school, and tended to be top of the class. Most of his cousins were much older than himself, apart from Elaine, a regular chum. Joe passed his 11+ and went to St Francis Xavier Grammar School, then sited next to SFX Church near the city centre. From an early age he wanted to be a priest, and when asked by the Head at SFX in 6th form if he’d like to be a Jesuit, he readily said ‘yes’. He was only 17 at the time and had just gained a State Scholarship. Not a sporty type, Joe was a backroom boy at SFX, spending most of his time in labs setting up for classes, or doing all the lighting and technical for the big affair of the annual school play. He had two close friends from SFX, Bernard Aspinall, now deceased, and Bill Ryan, very much alive and a family man and Deacon. Joe went through the gates of the Jesuit Noviceship in its final year at Manresa House, Roehampton, on 7 September 1961, and took his first vows two years
later at Harlaxton Manor, near Grantham. After three years of philosophy at the original Heythrop College in the north Oxfordshire countryside, he went to Campion Hall Oxford and did a degree in physics. He taught at Wimbledon College for a year after that, before being one of the first entrants into Heythrop London in autumn 1970. He was ordained priest at his home parish on 14 July 1973, and stayed in London for his pastoral year, whilst working in St Ignatius Parish, Stamford Hill. He carried on there as a curate until Tertianship at St Beuno’s in North Wales 1976-77. He had short stints working in parishes in Clitheroe, Manchester, Preston and Stamford Hill until he was made parish priest at St George’s Worcester, where he stayed from 1983-90. In 1991 he moved to Corpus Christi, Boscombe, where he soon became parish priest. After a spell of sabbatical in Brussels – he loved going to Europe - he spent four years as parish priest in Wardour and Tisbury 1999-2003. Time at parishes in Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Preston and Manchester followed, before he came back home to his native city to SFX in 2016, until he died, collapsing in the sacristy at Corpus Christi Boscombe just before Mass on 22 August, and dying two days later in the ITU of Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Joe had an amazing memory, kept a few very close friends for decades, looked after the Jesuit liturgical Calendar for many years, was ‘revisor’ of all the Jesuit British
Province’s Accounts for a long time, kept up his love of photography to the end, and had almost certainly supplied in more parishes than any other British Jesuit, as he was always ready to help out. In fact he was due to supply in his home parish of St Matthew’s, Clubmoor, for three weekends in September. A man of deep humility, a quiet charismatic who for years had the gift of tongues, more than anything, Joe loved the Eucharist, and had an immense reverence for the Real Presence. He also loved to serve others, and nothing was ever too much to ask of him. He’s already much missed, but he’s already enjoying the rest he never gave himself.
Maricourt’s Wellbeing Champions Maricourt High School have trained up a team of Wellbeing Champions ready to take mental health and wellbeing to a new level in the new academic year. The team was originally formed in 2019 but the pandemic brought things to a halt for them. Rosa Parks said ‘Maricourt have a strong wellbeing system in school and we feel we can take this to a new level’. The wellbeing champions took part in a two-day training programme in preparation for their new role. This consisted of expanding their knowledge on what the school has to offer and to gain an understanding of the resources available so they can signpost peers for support. Learning Mentor Alison Turner said, ‘students more than ever are starting to open up about their mental health and wellbeing, having a team of passionate pupils around school, will give us an extra layer of support and ensure that no student is left behind’. Learning Mentor Michael Kirby, ran the role play sessions with the students, his observations were ‘the students really blew me away with their care, compassion and empathy, they were able to put their training into practise straight away, recommending apps, journaling and encouraging students to refer themselves to the mentor or school chaplain’. 10
The wellbeing champions are a fantastic addition to the team, timed well with a newly formed partnership with the Sefton Mental Health Support Team. The school Chaplain, Mr McCabe’ continues to run the Rainbows support programme and provides a support service for students. To go with the Wellbeing Centre, Student Services staff have given up their lunch time to revamp the wellbeing garden. With the extra commitment and resources and constant developments the school hopes to achieve the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award by 2022.
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Speaking with frankness and listening with humility: Nugent and Synod 2020 by Marie Reynolds, Caritas Manager Over three years ago, Archbishop Malcolm shared the vision behind Synod. He reflected on the importance of listening in his role as Archbishop and how his decision to call a Synod was inspired by the need to hear the hopes, fears, and challenges faced by the members of our diocesan community. The word ‘synod’ is a combination of two Greek words — sun (meaning ‘with’) and odos (meaning ‘path’). A Synod is a gathering of people who reflect, discern and listen to the Holy Spirit. In some ways, it’s a bit like a review, a chance to stop and listen to others and hear their thoughts in order to decide on what’s important and what our priorities should be. Four members of the Nugent Caritas Team (Jonathan Hurley, Denise Armstrong, Mary Beatham and Marie Reynolds) became Synod members and attended various events through the three-year journey and represented the views of the people, we, as Nugent serve. We were asked to listen to what people thought and all parishes and groups were asked the following four questions: 1. Where in your everyday life do you experience love, truth, goodness, hope, and joy? 2. When you reflect on your life now, and as you look to the future, what causes you concern or worry? 3. What is the purpose of the Catholic Church in the world today? 4. Having reflected on these things, what are the topics you would like to see on the agenda of Synod 2020? We changed these questions into a more accessible format and visited Nugent projects. We met with beneficiaries to ensure that the views of those we serve were heard. The views of our beneficiaries were joined with everyone else’s and in total there were over 27,000 responses to the questions. The responses were later collated under four themes which resulted in 19 recommendations, and
Normandie Wragg Chief Executive Nugent
these were what Synod members would later vote on. Over 400 Synod members met online at the Synod Voting Day. It was a long but great day with contributions from the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, and Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. After much deliberation, reflection and thought, Synod members voted to focus our collective attention on: young people, evangelisation, inclusivity, the role of women, lay ministry and love of neighbour. These priorities express a desire to reach out to others and not to be an inward-looking and closed community; instead to be an outward-looking and inclusive Church, very much like Nugent, looking out, being inclusive and all playing our part. A pastoral plan on how we move forward and bring life and action to our words will be presented by the Archdiocese in the first week of Advent at the end of November. When my colleagues and I started on the Synod journey one of our main concerns was that as a faith community we needed to be more inclusive. So we were ‘chuffed’ when this came out as a priority for so many others too! We are most thankful to the Archbishop and to the Archdiocese of Liverpool for allowing us, our beneficiaries and the broader Nugent family to be part of this important reflective journey. It would be easy to think of this as the end of the Synod, but at Nugent we are more inclined to think of it as the beginning. We have some way to go to become the community that God is calling us to be. We look forward to working together - as one united community - to achieve our common goals and actions for the coming years.
After a troubling 18+ months and much uncertainty, I am pleased to share with you that we see a bright future ahead of us at Nugent. All off our CQC registered homes are rated as ‘good’ and all our children's homes are also rated as ‘good’. We continue to make strong progress with our financial sustainability and our growth plan. As a charity, our first priority has and always will be the welfare and wellbeing of children and families who are marginalised, vulnerable and atrisk. Having these quality marks and regulatory ratings is a reassurance to our beneficiaries and to our wonderful supporters that we are moving in the right direction in terms of the quality, scope and effectiveness of our services. As a testament to the impact of our work and the importance of your ongoing support, I’m delighted to share with you that pupils at Nugent House School have achieved some fantastic examination results and learning outcomes this year. • This year, we celebrated our first Year 10 GCSE candidate for Design Technology. This remarkable young person achieved a grade 6; our highest achievement this year and the highest grade for 5 years at Nugent House School. • Our first BTEC distinction grade was achieved by one of our Sixth Form pupils in only 12 weeks. They will now progress on to the Level 2 programme which continues their journey to becoming a social worker. • Another pupil has successfully achieved six GCSEs at grade 4 and above and will now begin an apprenticeship with our Property Services Team. This pupil started at Nugent in our Primary provision – his achievements are exceptional and we are delighted with his progress. • In addition to the above, we have now tripled the size of our Sixth Form provision, with a record number of pupils achieving the required grades to continue in their studies. Nugent House School is a place where pupils are loved fiercely and helped to overcome very significant barriers to learning. What counts as progress and achievement at our School is very individual. Many of our young people are dealing with complex educational and emotional needs. We recognise and celebrate the smallest steps as well as the large jumps in all our pupil’s learning. We are incredibly proud of our 2020-21 cohort, who have managed to achieve such fantastic results despite the added challenges that Covid19 has foisted upon them. Such achievements and positive outcomes are only possible due to the ongoing generosity of our donors. Thank you for your continued faith and investment in our work.
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Knight vision - by Simon Hart A conversation with Ray Pealing, the man who heads the Knights of St Columba in Liverpool, begins with a striking fact pertaining to his working life with ICI. Now retired, Ray was group construction manager for the chemical company, a role which included involvement at the sprawling site at Runcorn which was, for decades, the property of ICI. ‘I had a finger in many of the bits and pieces you see at Runcorn,’ he explains. ‘At night, it’s lit up like a Christmas tree. Just that one site consumes one per cent of the national grid.’ Ray spent 32 years with ICI after graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree from Liverpool University and his experiences serve him well in his role as provincial grand knight – to use his official title – with the KSC in Liverpool. ‘The managerial skills, the manmanagement skills, the planning skills, the organisational skills … yes indeed, it’s been a big help,’ he reflects. ‘I can remember one of my colleagues saying to me even before I joined, “You’re going to be a provincial grand knight one day”. I said, “I don’t know how you work that out” but it turned out to be right.’ These skills will be tested once more in 12
the coming weeks as, between 1 and 3 October, the Liverpool Knights will host ‘for the first time in living memory’ the Order’s annual supreme conference, usually held in Scotland. ‘There are people coming from the north of Scotland and from as far south as Jersey, and a big contingent coming up from London,’ he says. The annual supreme meeting on Saturday 2nd will feature some 90 members of the Order, with around 150 attending the banquet that night. Sunday will bring Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral, concelebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham. Ray’s wife, Mary, meanwhile, is helping stage Saturday’s tour of Liverpool’s cathedrals for members’ wives, including lunch at the Anglican Cathedral. This is an honour bestowed on Liverpool for the fact that 100 years ago the city became the first in England to found a KSC province, today comprising nine councils stretching from Widnes to Southport via the Isle of Man. ‘It’s seen as the first place south of the border where the Knights of St Columba got a grip,” adds the Aigburth-based Ray, whose own council in south Liverpool is
England’s oldest (and one of four in Liverpool celebrating their centenary this year). On his own history with the KSC, the father of two admits he is ‘very much a Johnny come lately’ having become a member at 54. ‘I’ve seen provincial grand knights who’ve managed to hold down a busy working career as well and I honestly don’t know how they did it,’ adds the 72-year-old, who considers the Order’s strong sense of ‘fraternity’ as fundamental. ‘It helps your faith, it helps you to pray, work and have fun together.’ And, he notes, it extends to supporting the widows of Brothers who pass away and to helping fellow Brothers in need. He adds: ‘We help others who are less fortunate than ourselves, mainly with charitable donations. We generate funds by doing sponsored walks, concerts, dinners, and other social events that can make a profit for us and all those funds we disperse to local charities and further afield as well. At the end of the day, it’s a lay vocation. We’re not ordained men but we are a lay apostolate who care for each other and the world that we live in.’ • For information about joining the KSC, contact Ray at email@example.com
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A Day of Celebration
The Bishops prepare for Mass in the Cathedral sacristy
Bishop Paul Swarbrick preaching the homily
Barbara Norris from Widnes read the first reading
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The procession enters the Cathedral
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm
Canon Thomas Neylon lies before the altar while the Litany of Saints is sung
The new Bishop is led among the congregation to give his blessing
Bishop Thomas Neylon speaks at the end of Mass
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education news “They will always be part of the global FCJ family” Staff and students at Bellerive FCJ Catholic College have been celebrating the success of the class of 2021 in their A-level results. Despite the challenges of learning in a pandemic, students secured some excellent results and many are now looking forward to starting their first choice university course. Students have accepted offers in courses in a wide range of institutions including the universities of Oxford, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Keele, York, Lancaster, Nottingham and Salford. Students have been accepted into some exciting courses such as medicine, pharmacy, geography, environmental sciences, psychology, history, politics, philosophy, music performance, fine art and maths. Mrs Howlett, headteacher said: “We wish all of our departing students good luck in the opportunities and challenges which now lay in front of them.
“We will keep them all in our thoughts and prayers and we remind them that they will always be part of the global FCJ family.” Some of its successful students were Ellisa who has been accepted to study medicine at the University of Birmingham; Sophie, Megan and Natassia who are all off to the University of Liverpool to study
geography or environmental science; Megan, Lucci-Jae, Jessica and Audrey are leaving Liverpool to continue their studies. Megan is going to York to study history and politics, Lucci-Jae to Chichester to study music performance, Jessica to Brasenose College, Oxford to study geography and Audrey to Nottingham to study pharmacy.
Anas aims to fulfil his ambitions
Students from All Saints Sixth Form College in Garston were jumping for joy as they received their A-level results. The doors of the sixth form opened promptly at 8:00 am to Year 13 students who were eager to receive the envelopes containing their results. Grades have been teacher-assessed for the second year in a row after exams were cancelled due the pandemic. The sixth form, which is part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, has seen significant improvements in A-level physics, chemistry and biology whilst Alevel English literature and A-level history continue to go from strength to strength. Student, Anas achieved outstanding results gaining an A* in A-level biology, chemistry and an A in Arabic which has ensured that he is now able to fulfil his ambition of studying medicine. Anas has had a difficult journey moving to the UK at the later stages of his academic journey – at the end of Year 11. His dream has always been to study medicine and he made the brave decision to repeat year 11 in order to ensure he had the best GCSE results possible. He then studied for his A-levels, meticulously planning his revision and taking part in various work young medics programmes with Edge Hill University and Plymouth University. He is now off to Plymouth to realise his dream of studying medicine and is the first medical student and will inspire the All Saints students of the future. Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Lawson, said: “It is wonderful to see our Year 13 students once again. As expected, there was a nervous atmosphere at first but this soon lifted once they received their results and confirmed their next steps.” Headteacher, Mrs Sing added: “I would like to congratulate our students on their hard work and dedication over the past couple of years – it has not been easy but they have shown resilience and determination despite the challenges they have faced. On behalf of the staff at All Saints Sixth Form, I would like to wish them the very best of luck as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.”
There was a fantastic atmosphere at Maricourt Catholic High School on GCSE results day. Not only was the school very proud of the incredible results, but also the spirit of the phenomenal young people blew staff away. The pupils were just as excited to share their friends’ results, as they were their own. Pupils Sophie and Anjelu opened their results together alongside friends Sinead and Olivia, the excitement at seeing a page full of 9s and 8s is a memory that will last the pupils a lifetime. Parents also soaked up their son and daughters’ achievements with Connie, Tom, Abi, Charlotte and Aofie now looking forward to starting their journey in The Maricourt Sixth Form Centre. Jasmine Rowe, gained 9s and 8s across the board and is planning on becoming a doctor. Sonny Stewart also achieved 9s and 8s in all subject areas. Headteacher, Joseph Mangan said: “At Maricourt all our students stand out to us as they are all amazing in their own special way. “The parents and carers loved being in on the action as pupils received their results, and the school will always be grateful for their on-going support. “We can’t wait to support the students further in The Maricourt Sixth Form Centre as they start the next chapter in their educational journey. “For those students moving on to new destinations, thank you for being part of the Maricourt history and take our school ethos everywhere you go! #maricourtfamily.”
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education news Majd makes it from war torn Syria to top of the class Students and staff at St Mary’s College in Crosby are again celebrating excellent A-level results this summer despite the widespread disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Building on the high standards set in previous years the ‘class of 2021’ recorded a 100 per cent pass rate in the key examinations, with more than a third of students (34 per cent) achieving three or more A* or A grades. Top of the class at St Mary’s this year is 18-year-old Majd Kweder from Bootle who only arrived in the UK from Syria three years ago. Majd joined the St Mary’s College Sixth Form on an Edmund Rice Scholarship (assisted place) and has achieved an incredible four A* passes in biology, chemistry, maths and further maths. Majd is planning to study economics in London. Majd said: “Having escaped war in Syria, I never thought I would be in this position in my life. The last two years at St Mary’s have been the best two years of my life. “I want to thank my teachers for all their help and support. It’s been hard work but I’m really proud of my results. It just shows that if you work hard you can achieve anything.” St Mary’s principal, Mike Kennedy, said: “Majd is an exceptionally bright and motivated young man and despite the challenges he
has faced in his life he has thrived at St Mary’s and we are incredibly proud of his achievements.” Majd is one of five St Mary’s students to have recorded straight A* grades this summer, the other high achievers being head girl Hope Brown, Daisy Davies, Lauren James and Laura Kearns, who all achieved three passes at the highest level.
New adventures ahead Congratulations were sent to the class of 2021 from Carmel College who received their exam results. The atmosphere in college was amazing as students celebrated their success with friends, parents and teachers. This year students achieved a very impressive Level 3 pass rate of 99.4% with 66.1% top grades (A*-B / Dist*-Dist) and 86.7% high grades (A*-C / Dist*-Merit). Carmel College principal, Mike Hill, said: “We are very pleased to be able to celebrate with our students as they now embark on a new adventure whether that be a place at university, an apprenticeship or employment.
“The Class of 2021 have had another tough year having to contend with a changed timetable with a mix of face-toface and online learning throughout. They have coped really well with the changes and should be so proud of not only their academic achievements, but also their personal achievements too. Congratulations from all the staff here at Carmel and best wishes for the future.” This year, five students are continuing their studies at the prestigious Oxbridge Universities and a further six students will be studying medicine, dentistry or veterinary science.
Successful year at Maricourt Maricourt Sixth Form Centre celebrated another successful year as students collected their A-level and BTEC results. The school was delighted with the range of courses and universities the students are progressing to, they really do show a high level of aspiration. There are so many standout results and exciting destinations on the horizon, amongst them was Megan who is off to study biochemistry at The University of Oxford after picking up three A*s. Danielle Lawler, associate assistant headteacher at Maricourt, said: “We took friends Mary, Kate, Megan, Amy, Louis and Reece on an Oxbridge trip in Year 12, today they celebrated with 11 A*s and five As between them. This shows how important university trips can be in helping raise aspirations. “There were lots of outstanding results, but the best achievement of all, was how they waited around to support each other and celebrate together. “Parents were keen to join in the fun and we cannot thank them enough for their support. The students went on to celebrate over breakfast together. “Well done to all Year 13 students, we are so proud of you all, we will miss you and look forward to catching up next term to hear about your new adventures.”
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education news “Our students should be proud of their work” Students at St John Bosco Arts College are celebrating another excellent set of results at A-level and GCSE in a year of huge disruption caused by the pandemic. Headteacher Mr Darren Gidman, said: “Our students should be very proud of their achievements this year. They have
worked with determination and have shown huge resilience in navigating a new assessment system. I am incredibly proud of everyone involved. “Students, teaching staff and support staff have worked tirelessly in the most difficult circumstances. We now wish all of our students every success in their future
High achiever Bruno de Silva with headteacher Darren Gidman
Resilience is the key word for Nicholas It was all smiles from the students from the Academy of St Nicholas in Garston as they eagerly received their GCSE exam results. Staff at the academy, on Horrocks Avenue, welcomed back the Year 11 cohort at staggered times and handed them the envelopes containing their results. The academy, which is part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, were very pleased with outcomes for students under such challenging circumstances this year. There has been an improvement in the percentage of students obtaining higher grades (7 to 9) with an increase in English language, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science and history. The school has had many individual personal triumphs this year. Nicholas, above, through his personal dedication and relentless hard work achieved a 9 in mathematics, 8s in biology, chemistry, computer science and a Level 2 Distinction* in the DIT BTEC Tech Award. Nicholas opted to attend school often during periods of lockdown in order to obtain support from staff and to ensure the best personal outcomes. He will be returning to All Saints Sixth Form, which is part of the Trust, to study A-levels in chemistry, maths and biology. Many students have embodied one of the school’s core values of ‘resilience’ whilst studying for their GCSEs. Headteacher of the Academy of St Nicholas, Mrs Jeniffer Sing, said: “It has been a difficult year and a half for our students but they have remained resilient and continued to work hard even when the opportunity of sitting exams was taken away from them. “Many will go on to study A-level or vocational courses at All Saints Sixth Form College, which is here on campus, or move on to complete apprenticeships. Whatever their next steps, I wish them all the very best for the future and remain incredibly proud of each and every one of them.” 18
studies and careers.” Amongst a number of achievements at Alevel were Milli Grier who achieved three A*s and will now be studying mathematics at the University of Liverpool, Bruna Da Silva who achieved A* A* C C and will now be studying law at the University of Liverpool and Macie Holloway Dwyer who achieved A, B, Distinction* and will now be studying medicinal chemistry and pharmacology at the University of Liverpool. At GCSE, Abbie Fletcher achieved seven grade 9 and two grade 8 qualifications and will be returning to St John Bosco Sixth Form to study art, biology and mathematics. Niamh Moorcroft achieved six grade 9, two grade 8 and a distinction* qualification and will be going to Winstanley College to study for her Alevels and Millie Pates McAllister achieved eight grade 9 and one grade 8 qualification and will be returning to St John Bosco Sixth Form to study biology, chemistry and religious education.
Overcoming challenges Students at St Mary’s College in Crosby have been praised by staff for overcoming coronavirus-related obstacles to achieve excellent GCSE results again this summer. More than half (52 per cent) of all passes at the school were at the highest 9-7 grades, and 41 per cent of candidates achieved seven or more passes at these top levels. Staff at the school believe these results reflect the broad and balanced curriculum at St Mary’s, and the fact that the college does not restrict the number of GCSE subjects that students can choose to take. In terms of individual achievement Sami AlMachhoor from Prescot and Victoria McKinley-Smith from Mossley Hill were top of the class at the Crosby school this year. Sami achieved a full house of eleven top grade 9s in biology, chemistry, physics, English language, English literature, maths, further maths, French, Spanish, history and religious studies. Meanwhile Victoria achieved grade 9s in nine subjects biology, chemistry, English language, English literature, French, German, history, music and religious studies - plus 8s in maths and physics. Sami said: “I’m really proud and thrilled with my results. It’s been a tough few years and I’m really glad all the hard work has paid off. “I can’t thank my teachers and family enough for their support. I’m really looking forward to joining the Sixth Form at St Mary’s to study biology, chemistry, maths and further maths at A-level.”
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Keeping you up-to-date with all the news from around the Archdiocese online at:
www.catholicpic.co.uk You can follow us on social media at: @PicCatholic Catholic Pictorial
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education news Ready for a bright future Students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, in St Helens, have been celebrating another great set of GCSE results this year. The school's Cafe's Conservatory was filled with smiling faces as students received the results that would take them onto the next stage of their lives, from starting colleges or apprenticeships, to moving into employment or undertaking further professional training. A total of 52% of students achieved five grades 4-9/ C- A* including maths and English. The results are testimony to the hard work of St Cuthbert's students and staff - and underline the school’s determination to help every young person achieve the highest possible standards. Many will now progress on to their career choices, or on to further education. Headteacher Mrs Catherine Twist said: “Every one of these results, whatever the grade has not been 'awarded by teachers’, but earned by the hard work and determination of our students and staff. “The last 18 months have not been the easiest but when we continued to ask exceptional things of our young people, their families and our St Cuthbert community, time and time again they responded with maturity and determination and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together.' “Everyone here at St Cuthbert’s would like to wish the Class of
2021 the very best of luck. The St Cuthbert’s community cannot wait to see where their next steps will take them and the bright futures they all have ahead of themselves.”
Bellerive super stars
A mixture of emotions
Jovitha J and Abeena Q were very pleased with their results
Year 11 students returned to the Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA), Kensington, to collect their GCSE results. Staff were on hand to welcome students as they arrived at the Academy, with the students happy to see one another again. There was a mixture of emotions all around as they opened the envelopes containing their results. Similar to last year, the Year 11s were unable to sit the exams they had worked so hard towards, due the pandemic, and so grades have been determined by teachers. The academy, which is part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, saw an overall increase in the number of top grades awarded to students with the number of good and strong passes also increasing. Headteacher of ASFA, Mr Kevin Maddocks, said: “GCSE results day can be a stressful day for students but we hope we have made it as relaxed as possible after how hard they have worked this year. Whilst it is disappointing that they couldn’t sit their exams, our assessments have been fair and we hope this allows them to go on and fulfil their dreams. “On behalf of all the staff, I would like to wish our 2021 cohort the very best of luck for the future - we just know that they'll be successful in everything that they do.” 20
Staff, students and parents were celebrating again as Bellerive’s Year 11 class of 2021 received their GCSE results. After the trials and tribulations of multiple lockdowns, remote learning and the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, the excellent results achieved by so many students were all the more impressive. The college were pleased to see improvements in the number of students achieving a strong pass in maths and English. Equally impressive was the increased number of students achieving passes in the English Baccalaureate group of academic subjects. Almost half of its students achieved one grade at 7 or above with an impressive number of students achieving nine grades at 7 or above in all subjects. Particular mention goes to Millie T who achieved a grade 9 in all her GCSE subjects. Students entered for vocational BTEC subjects also scored well in terms of the number achieving merits and above. Headteacher, Mrs Howlett said: “We are very proud of all of our Year 11 students, many of whom coped with great personal challenges these past 18 months and who have achieved such impressive results this summer. They have shown great courage, perseverance and resilience. “Their formation as young women in the FCJ tradition will give them the values and character needed to succeed in whatever the future holds for them. Their success is a testament to the hard work and support provided by their teachers and the encouragement of their parents who, this year above all others, played a major role in helping their children to achieve these results.”
Make us your choice for September 2022
Join us for Open Evening Thursday 14 October 5:30 - 8:00pm Come and see us. We welcome visits at any time. Get in touch to arrange your visit.
Find out more at stcuthberts.com /stcuthbertschs
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education news Picture special: Schools celebrate results Staff and students from around the Archdiocese came together to celebrate A-level, BTEC and GCSE results in what has proved to be a very difficult and emotional year for many. Carmel College
All Saints Sixth Form College
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education news The Academy of St Francis of Assisi
Bellerive FCJ Catholic College
St Mary’s College
Bellerive FCJ Catholic College headteacher, Mrs Howlett congratulates one of her students
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education news Maricourt Catholic High School
The Academy of St Nicholas
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education news St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School
St John Bosco Arts College
Students from St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School jump for joy with their results
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cathedral Liverpool’s first Auxiliary Bishop by Neil Sayer, Archdiocesan Archivist At the distance of almost a century, it’s difficult to say why Canon Bob Dobson was selected to become Liverpool’s first Auxiliary Bishop. Even his closest friend among his priestly colleagues acknowledged that he was shy, obstinate, naïve, oversensitive and really rather hard on himself. Looking back over his 20 years as a Bishop, the guidance he had given to hundreds of priests, Bishop Dobson with Edwin Lutyens at the Cathedral site in 1931 the service he had given to hundreds of thousands of Whiteside. At this time there was a Lancashire Catholics, he was still inclined to say, ‘I might have done it all a lot better’. Catholic population of nearly 400,000 in the area covered by the Archdiocese. Born in New Orleans in 1867, just as the There were some 50 charitable institutions southern States were recovering from the and 74 convents, and the Archbishop American Civil War, Robert Dobson foresaw ‘the provision of more churches, returned to his ancestral county and spent more schools, and more clergy in the near his early childhood in Lytham. Following future’. He was also preoccupied with the his education at St Edward’s College and three projects that defined his own time as St Joseph’s Seminary, he spent several Archbishop, the fundraising for a new years following his ordination as a priest in Cathedral, the expansion of the Seminary 1891 in the world of academia. At the at Upholland, and the creation of the new specific request of the college Rector, he Diocese of Lancaster. He nominated taught Scripture and Church History at Robert Dobson as his Auxiliary because of Upholland until 1898. Following further ‘his personal qualities and his record of study in Rome, he went on to be a service in the Archdiocese’. professor at Ushaw and then returned to Upholland in a similar capacity. If anything, Following his consecration, Bishop Dobson threw himself into administrative and this early training made him merely pastoral work. He became an enthusiastic suspicious of academic discussion, but it supporter of the Cathedral building project taught him how to be clear and simple in (he is pictured with Edwin Lutyens at the speech and in writing. As Father Alban Cathedral site in 1931) and, though Atkins said of him, ‘his concern was not so appointed Parish Priest at St Clare, much to say what he thought as to make Liverpool, in 1922, and later as chaplain at himself understood’. La Sagesse convent and high school in Brought up in the Fylde, it may have been Grassendale, he tirelessly undertook parish his affinity with the northern extremities of visitations up and down the Archdiocese, what was then part of the Diocese of Liverpool that helped in his appointment as confirming an estimated 100,000 people between 1922 and 1938. Perhaps he Bishop. Between 1907 and 1922 he was wished he still had his motorbike: an early successively Rector of Fleetwood and adopter of the machine during his time at Barrow-in-Furness, and then became Parish Priest at St Peter’s in Lancaster. The Upholland in the early 1900s, he was once newly-consecrated Archbishop of Liverpool, stopped by the police while on holiday in Northumberland. His speed of 23½ miles Frederick Keating, then applied to the an hour had caused them concern. newly-elected Pope Pius XI to seek the When he died in 1942, he was buried in appointment of an Auxiliary Bishop, ‘to the small cemetery at Upholland. Selfenable the Archbishop to cope with the deprecating to the end, he recalled that very heavy demands of the Archdiocese’. ‘Many a priest remarked, when news came He was convinced that the ‘abnormal of my election – “Fancy Bob Dobson being strain’ of leadership had contributed to the made a Bishop”’. death of his predecessor, Archbishop
Cathedral Record Canon Anthony O’Brien – Cathedral Dean September within the archdiocese could be summed up as a tale of two Bishops. We begin the month with the ordination of Canon Thomas Neylon as our new Auxiliary Bishop. At the time of writing this we are in the final stages of preparation for the ordination on 3 September. I’m sure it will be a magnificent celebration and we offer our prayers and support for Bishop Neylon in his future episcopal ministry within the archdiocese. Bishop Neylon will be returning to the Cathedral on Sunday 19 September to celebrate the 11.00 am Solemn Mass if you would wish to join him on that Sunday you are very welcome. Also, on Sunday 19th there is a short joint service at Liverpool Cathedral at 3.00 pm to commemorate key workers. We celebrate our Annual Community Mass on Sunday 12 September which not only marks the beginning of the new term but also a return to our regular schedule of Masses and the reopening of the Crypt not just to return to using the Chapel for services but also reopening the Halls for visitors and events. It has been almost 18 months since we last held a service within the Crypt Chapel and we are really looking forward to celebrating Mass there once again. The month ends with another celebration when Bishop Tom Williams is conferred with the Honour of the Freedom of the City at a ceremony in the Town Hall on Thursday 30 September. Part of the ancient privileges of being a Freeman of the City was that he had the right to herd his cattle and sheep through the town centre. Bishop Tom has his Shepherd’s Crook but as far as I know hasn’t any intentions of herding any sheep through the city centre. Congratulations to Bishop Tom on receiving this well-earned honour for the many years that he has ministered in the city of Liverpool both as a Priest and Bishop.
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Pic extras A century of service News from the Liverpool Province of the Knights of St Columba
West Derby Knight ordained as Deacon It is with great pleasure that we report the Ordination to the Diaconate of Brother Andrew Cleary, a former KSC grand knight and longstanding member of Council 493. Bro Andrew was ordained at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Sunday 18 July at a special Ordination Mass for four new deacons, celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, the former ecclesiastical adviser to the KSC. This event was already covered extensively in last month’s edition but we take this opportunity to congratulate Bro Andrew on his ordination – a great personal achievement, which has also brought credit to his family and to the order. He will serve as a deacon at St Paul’s, West Derby. This group photo shows Bro Andrew (far right) together with (left to right)
Alan Molloy (Isle of Man), David Lawson (St Helens), Archbishop Malcolm and John Sargent (Preston). • The Knights of Liverpool province are greatly honoured to be preparing for the KSC’s Annual Supreme Conference here next month. This is normally staged in Glasgow, where the Order was founded, but this year is being held in Liverpool in recognition of the city having become the first place outside of Scotland to establish a KSC council and province 100 years ago. The conference takes place over three days from 1-3 October at the Liner Hotel and will conclude with Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Sunday 3rd. Websites: www.ksc.org.uk www.kscprov02.weebly.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mums the Word On Saturday 14 August, Liverpool Archdiocese’s Union of Catholic Mothers held our Annual General Meeting which should have taken place in 2020. It was still not possible to hold it in the Gibberd Room of the Metropolitan Cathedral and so our spiritual adviser, Father David Potter, kindly offered the use of his parish, St Albert the Great in Stockbridge Village. Led by our president, Maureen Finnegan, we opened with our UCM prayer. We remembered those who are ill and those whom we have sadly lost. We then heard reports of the work of the committee. Secretary Cath Lydon reported on how foundations have been coping, and on their plans for re-opening for prayer, friendship, fun and fundraising. Sadly, three of our foundations have had to close, due to Covid, age and illness. We heard also about Justice and Peace activities from our deputy president, Maria Bruns, and the plans for future study evenings from Kathy Buck, vice-president. UCM’s unsung heroine, treasurer Sue Bickerstaffe, brought us up to date on our financial position. Fr David then brought the business meeting to a close with some well-chosen words of encouragement. After business was completed, it was time to bid farewell to those committee members who have finished their respective terms of office. Cath Lydon has been a super secretary for five years and we welcomed Lucy Thornhill from All Saints’ foundation as her successor. In my own case, Maria Pimblett of St Margaret Mary’s foundation is taking over from me as media officer. Thanks and presentations were offered by Maureen Finnegan and the afternoon then closed with an uplifting Mass celebrated by Fr David. I would like to thank all members for their support and encouragement in sending me news of their activities throughout the years and hope that you will do the same for Maria. I am sure that you will. Finally, there is a change of venue for the Bi-monthly Mass in September. This will now take place at St Margaret Mary’s, Pilch Lane, Knotty Ash, L14 0JG on Wednesday 15th, starting at 7.30pm. Thank you all. Goodbye and God Bless. Madelaine McDonald,
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Keeping alive the spirit of Lourdes By Father Simon Gore A year or so ago, I wrote here about a (very) mini youth pilgrimage to Lourdes. We prayed then that we would be able to return the following year for a more normal pilgrimage. Well, those prayers must not have been as powerful as hoped for as, once again, only a very small youth pilgrimage presence was in Lourdes this year – even if we can point to a year-on-year increase of 25% (up from four to five)! Yes, with the diocesan pilgrimage cancelled once more, a few of us made a journey to the shrine of the Blessed Virgin. After a slightly fraught week of preparation – getting all the passes and tests booked and downloading various apps which we thought we might need – the week itself in Lourdes was fairly relaxed. We had to show our vaccination status in pretty much each place we went, but this was easily done: your phone being scanned while you ordered your coffee, for example. There was also the tense wait as we had a video call with somebody back at home to have our re-entry tests verified. Prodding a swab into your mouth and nose while a young woman sits watching you from her bedroom then making polite conversation as the test results come in is surely one of the more bizarre turns of the last 12 months! Lourdes itself is much unchanged.
We were pleased to see our youth pilgrimage hotels all open. Hopefully they will have got through the worst of it now and will be there to welcome us back next year. The town itself was fairly busy in the day, with the shops open and most of the cafes too. There was the usual hustle and bustle. The domain had a requirement that you wear a mask as soon as you walk through the gates – even when outside, which seemed a little odd after leaving that behind us over here. And the processions were less processional – I feel that the torchlight loses something when it is static on Rosary Square. Still, we lit our candles opposite the grotto and said our prayers at the Crowned Virgin for a return next year, and this time made them a bit more explicit that the prayer was for a larger-scale return and not just this mini version! There was a difference between the pilgrimage last year and this, however. Last year we did not really have much happen in person for the youth pilgrimage during Lourdes week as we were still coming out of restrictions and it was difficult to judge the mood regarding meeting others. This year, when the decision was made to not travel to Lourdes,
we made a conscious effort to do more and so we staged a parallel youth pilgrimage at home, alongside the main pilgrimage week. I must confess to not being sure what the week would be like. It is all very well having ideas and planning events, but who will turn up when we have lost much of our regular contact with would-be pilgrims? However, I have got to say it was a really good week. On Day 1 – a day of social action spent picking litter – I was expecting numbers to be low enough to be able to take those who’d turned up for brunch. Instead I had to do an emergency sandwich run that must have delighted the local shops, and this set the scene for the week. As well as that ‘Faith in Action’ day, we had a retreat day in Formby, a trip to Alton Towers, a social night, and a festival day with Mass to end the week. Hopefully, it was a reminder to the young people who came of what the pilgrimage week is about. Let’s pray now that my prayers at the grotto will have been successful and this time next year I can report on a full week in Lourdes for all, and not another very mini pilgrimage to the shrine!
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sunday reflections On a liturgical note On 14 September, the Liturgy keeps the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – a remembrance of the discovery (to exalt is to raise up) in around the year 320 by Saint Helena, Mother of the Emperor Constantine, of the true cross upon which the Lord Jesus died. In the year 335, the Emperor Constantine had a shrine church built over the site of Calvary and until its destruction by the Persians in the seventh century it was known by the name Martyrium – the place of witness or the giving of life. We are reminded each time we enter church or begin our prayers that the cross with which we sign ourselves is for us a sign of life and of the selfgiving of Jesus and the action is in itself a prayer – a desire that our bodies and our living will be signed with His example of self-giving love, which is the inspiration and source of strength for our service to others. The traditional devotion of the Stations of the Cross which many of us will pray daily or weekly, and which is before our eyes when we enter into our churches, appears to have been brought back to Europe in medieval times by those who had
Sunday thoughts By nature, we are tribal. We are wired to be on our guard against the ‘other’, the outsider. Both politicians and newspaper proprietors understand this and appeal directly to our baser instincts. Asylum seekers and refugees make an easy target. A tough stance on immigration is a vote winner. The popular press make prejudice respectable. Accusations of ‘institutional racism’ are common. They are routinely denied. ‘I’m not racist but…’ Most prejudice is unconscious. It can be based on accent, clothes, gender or a foreign-sounding name. I’m ashamed to admit that I also make rash judgements based on first impressions. Why should I dislike someone I hardly know? But it’s when I find my superficial judgments turned upside down that my faith in the Holy Spirit is renewed. The Holy Spirit has a knack of subverting my prejudice. I believe he (or she) has a sense of humour and
Canon Philip Gillespie
visited Jerusalem. They wanted both to share with others their experiences of walking and standing (the statio) where Jesus himself had walked on the sad journey, the Via dolorosa, which led him to Calvary but also to reflect on the way of the Cross, a daily and living part of their own spiritual lives – as Jesus loves, so we are called to love and part of that loving will be the suffering and the carrying of the cross in imitation of the Lord. So the devotion to the sufferings of Christ is not just something for Lent and Holy Week. As we look at our communities, our society and indeed our world today, we see many examples of the suffering of Christ – and our prayer is that just as the Cross was the gateway to the new life of the Resurrection, so for ourselves and our world, there may be the fullness of life after such pain and suffering: ‘We adore you O Christ and we praise you Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.’
Mgr John Devine OBE
enjoys proving me wrong. There’s nothing more humbling that hearing a fascinating life story from an unexpected source. ‘Remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.’ (Hebrews 13:2) I’m comforted by the few occasions in the Gospels where Jesus’s own prejudices are challenged. He says to the Canaanite woman: ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ He compares her to a house dog. Surprised by her instant rebuttal, Jesus changes His mind: ‘Woman, you have great faith.’ In these Sundays we are reading from the Letter of James. For me it’s the most accessible book in the Bible. James tells it as it is. ‘My brothers, do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ with the making of distinctions between classes of people.’
Weekly Reflections are on the Archdiocesan website at www.liverpoolcatholicresources.com 30
Build the Church In 1975 I went to my first prayer group and was warmly welcomed by a man called Denis. I was a shy 15-year-old with all the baggage that comes from an alcoholic father. He was a blunt Yorkshire man who, with his friend Teresa, had been walking in the ways of love for many years. He exuded kindness and compassion, all because of his unshakeable belief in the goodness of God. I had experienced a huge encounter with God which Denis had been part of and he wanted to make sure that I grew in my relationship with God. He and Teresa became hugely important in my formative years, encouraging me to pray and to read and study the scriptures. Denis was always laughing. Even when life was tough, he smiled and laughed and thanked God. I learnt from him what it meant to say that God is good even in the worst of times and that the goodness of God was not dependent on the circumstances of my life. It was Denis’s relationship with Christ that filled him with gratitude and Jesus’s revelation of God’s love that flowed from him. It was his experience of the Lord in his life that mattered and which enabled him to be a beacon of light to others. I often think of the question that Jesus puts to his disciples: ‘Who do you say I am?’ It leads me to ask myself whether I have a living personal relationship with Jesus. It’s Peter who answers Jesus’s question when saying, ‘You are the Christ’ – the one set apart to give life real meaning. Peter is the one to respond because, just a few chapters earlier, Matthew has him walking on the water. He has experienced who Jesus is. He knows that it’s his relationship with the Lord that brings him life and that when he fixes his eyes on Jesus he can even walk on water. So he's able to say, ‘You are the Christ’. It’s on that sort of faith that Church can be built. It’s to him that the keys of the kingdom of heaven are given and what are those keys? Love, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion and mercy. The question for us is whether we want to give our lives to those realities or not. Do we want to build a Church based on relationship and all that means – relationship with the Lord and with one another – or do we want to continue to build up a structure that is weighed down by the scourge of clericalism and power and authoritarianism. My sense is that a Church built on those things will ultimately collapse and maybe that’s what we’re beginning to see. However, a Church built on the power of faith in Christ and one another can never be overcome; a Church that is a servant seeking only to love, forgive and let compassion reign will last until the end of time. Let’s have the courage to open ourselves to the Lord and build that Church. Father Chris Thomas
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