Monday, 21 July 2008

World Youth Day comes to Chester!

Yesterday Pope Benedict celebrated Mass in Australia for the World Youth Day pilgrimes, and Bishop Brian celebrated Mass for 140ish young (and not so young!) people at Chester Catholic High School, the venue for our own diocesan celebrations of World Youth Day. Shropshire was well represented by a minibus full of young people. Following the Mass, which used much of the readings and texts of the papal Mass which was themed around the Holy Spirit and Confirmation, there was an afternoon full of events - workshops, games, opportunities to pray (which Bishop Brian had encouraged us to do each day in his homily) and plenty of food! The day came to an end with a time of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

It was a great day, big thanks to Dave Fitton (Diocesan Youth Co-ordinator) for all his hard work in getting the event set up. it was a real priviledge to spend the day with so many committed and enthusiastic young people. Here's to the next World Youth Day whether it be Spain or Chester!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Lourdes anniversary!

Last night a minibus full of youngsters from Shrewsbury and BRJ headed north to join me, Bishop Brian, a handful of other clergy and two hundred plus people at Saitn Michael's Church in Birkenhead. The occassion? The Diocesan Mass to mark the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to Saint Bernadette in Lourdes. Yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and also the date of the last apparition in 1858. It was a great occassion, really good to gather together to celebrate Mass and then to eat together as a diocese. It's less than two weeks till the three planes, three trains and three coaches from the Diocese depart for the annual Lourdes Pilgrimage under the directorship of Father Peter Sharrocks (Honary CHaplain to the Sanctuaries) and the leadership of Bishop Brian.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Sausage Sizzle!

Yesterday Saint Winefride's held their annual sausage sizzel after the 9.30am Mass, which was a children's Mass, this year there was a difference - it wasn't just a Saitn Winefride's parish event - it was an LPA (Local Pastoral Area) event. There was parishioners (young and old!) from all three of our parishes at Mass, with children from The Cathedral children's liturgy group taking a full and active part in the celebration of Mass alongside the children from Saint Winefride's. The BBQ afterwards was great too!! Roll on the next annual LPA Sausage Sizzle!!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Bene Merenti!

On Friday night (again i was missing!) Canon Stephen presented two Bene Merenti medals to parishioners of Saint Winefride's. Pat and Mike received the medals, awarded by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, for long service to the Church in Shrewsbury. After Mass, concelebrated by Father Ged McGuiness (former parish priest) a reception was held in the parish centre. Congratulatiosn to both.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Raising the Cathedral roof!

We still need to raise much of the £40,000 needed to restore The Cathedral windows, but after this afternoons concert I think we might need to repair the roof too!

This afternoon it was a great pleasure to welcome the school choir from Saint John's Primary School in Wythenshawe to The Cathedral. Along with the choir from our own Cathedral Primary School, the choir from Saint Johns entertained us for almost an hour with a great selection of songs. We were treated to a selection of religious music , including a number of latin pieces, some folk songs in various langauges, the odd action song and a great selection of hits from several musicals including Joseph and his Amazing technicolour Dream Coat.

The two choirs looked as though them were enjoying performing as much as we enjoyed listening! Hopefully we will see a return visit to Wythenshawe, but also a repeat performance here in The Cathedral next year! Well sung guys!

Saturday, 5 July 2008


This morning Bishop Brian arrived at The Cathedral to ordain two men to the diaconate, John Boggan and Edward Miller. Both men will serve the diocese in parishes, working alongside the parish priest and being the eyes and ears of the bishop. The celebration had a great sesne of occassion, helped dramatically by the wonderful singing of our Cathedral choir - great job done again guys!

In his homily, Bishop Brian highlighted many aspects of the diaconate ministry, but ephasised the phrase used as the Book of the Gospels is handed to the newly ordained deacon; "Receive the Book of the Gospels whose hearld you now are. Believe what you read, preach what you believe and practice what you preach." A great motto or rule of life that we could all adopt as our own.

The Mass of ordination was followed by a buffet reception in the local high school. Sadly byt he time I got there the food was all gone!!! So the Canon and I slopped off to Ask for a quick bowl of pasta and a glass of something chilled ......

Friday, 4 July 2008

On Pilgrimage!

Although I wasn't there, last night The Cathedral and Convent jointly hosted an illustrated talk by Brendan Mulcahy entitled The Way of a Pilgrim. His talk showed his journey to Santiago de Compostela, the home of Saint James. A fabulous journey illustrated with some wonderful photographs. Well over seventy people turned up to listen to Brendan and really enjoyed his description of that famous journey of pilgrimage.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

As promised ...

here are two photos from the First Holy Communion celebration last Saturday. The photo of the cake is just one of the two fantastic cakes made especially for the day. It really was a great celebration all round!