Fr Andrew is from Middlesbrough and has been a lifelong supporter of the football team. He will be at Wembley for their play-off final, so maybe they will be playing Sunderland again next season. What an escape for them and my thanks once more to Everton for playing their part!
Fr Stephen Pritchard. Fr Stephen is finishing his time at Hope University at the end of this term and will take up residence in St Mary’s presbytery during the summer until he receives a full-time appointment in the autumn. It will be good to have him around still during the coming months and I would like to put on record how much we have appreciated his support over these past years amidst a very heavy schedule at the university. He has also helped to maintain the excellent relationship our parishes have with Hope University.
Book of Remembrance. In the near future we will have a second Book of Remembrance on display in the church. This is a gift of Dr Norman Russell who responded to the news of the vandalism of our other book by offering to provide us with a Book which can be kept under lock and key. Over the coming months it will be filled in and open on the anniversary pages, similar to the arrangement at St Mary’s. We intend to keep both books, so that those who wish to look through the book by the Pietà may continue to do so. And obviously we hope and pray that there will be no further vandalism.
Confirmations and First Holy Communions. For the next four weekends the focus in both our parishes will be on the families of our children who have been preparing for the sacraments. I believe this time provides us all with a wonderful opportunity to deepen our own commitment to the Lord. In the Eucharist we have the source and summit of our Christian life: the gift which unites us with the Lord and one another, nourishing our lives so that we can fulfil our call to be his disciples. Please pray that we will not miss this opportunity. Pray for the children, pray for their families and pray for yourselves: allow the Lord to fill you with the peace and joy of his abiding presence.
The timetable for the coming weeks is as follows.
Sunday 10th and 17th May I will be confirming and giving First Holy Communion in St Mary’s at the 11.00am Mass. Over the Pentecost weekend (23 & 24 May) the ceremonies will be in Bishop Eton and the following weekend St Mary’s has the final celebration, again at the last Mass.
Please note that on the weekend of 23 & 24 May, there will be no Noon Mass on the Saturday and no confessions in the afternoon because the ceremonies for the children will be at 10.30am and 3.00pm that day, with a further ceremony on the Sunday afternoon.
Fr Barrie. I saw Fr Barrie at his appointment at Broad Green on Thursday afternoon. He is in good spirits and returned to Ripon with his sister for a further period of convalescence.
Please also pray for Fr Ronnie McAinsh, our provincial superior, who is in hospital undergoing tests.
Welcome to Fr Andrew Burns, our new rector, who arrived on Wednesday. Andrew and I went to the novitiate together on 14 September 1964, so we go back a long way. Immediately after his ordination in 1971 he went to South Africa, where he was engaged in a variety of ministries. When South Africa became a full province in 1990, Andrew was the first elected Provincial. He returned to England in 2006 and has been based in Middlesbrough – his home town – until his recent appointment to Liverpool. I am sure you will help him realise that Liverpool is home from home!
Madeleine McCann: Today is the eighth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance and her family will be with us for the 10.00am Mass, which will be for their intentions. Perseverance was one of the virtues St Alphonsus, our founder, instilled in his sons and daughters, and we assure the family that we will continue to support them with our love and our prayers.
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