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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 11 September 2016 Posted on Sunday 11 September 2016

*The below message is taken from the weekly Cathedral Record newsletter. The full Cathedral Record is available to pick up from the Cathedral or can be downloaded here.*

We have been having considerable problems with our telephone system at the Cathedral over the last few weeks. Many people have been e-mailing us frustrated that they cannot get through and any messages left on the system seem to disappeared into the ether. Hence we are having to replace some of our call system equipment and the delay has been waiting for these new units to arrive. Hopefully, this will all be up and running without any further problems by this weekend. However this does mean that I will no longer have an excuse for not replying to my messages.

Fr Dominic our new Cathedral Assistant Priest has written a short piece for the newsletter to introduce himself – we hope he will be very happy here in his first appointment as a priest. He writes “At the beginning of my time at the Cathedral I thought I should introduce myself. I am Fr Dominic Risley. I’m the newest priest of the Archdiocese, having only been ordained this July. My home is in Wigan, where I grew up with my family. Going from my parish primary and secondary schools I went on to study A levels and from there crossed the Pennines to study for a degree at Leeds University. It was here that I first thought of the Priesthood and began to discern if this was the path for me, which all seems a long time ago now that I begin my first appointment as a priest. Having been accepted by Archbishop Patrick Kelly, I went up to Ushaw College in Durham to begin training and then moved down to Oscott College in Birmingham. In my last month at Oscott I received a letter from Archbishop McMahon telling me that I would be starting at the Cathedral in September, since then a lot of priests of the Archdiocese have spoken to me about their time at the Cathedral and what a great start to their priestly ministry it was. Following my first few days here, I am sure I will be able to say the same in the future.”

We received notification that the episode of ‘Salvage Hunters’ that was filmed at our Cathedral will be shown next Wednesday 14th September at 9pm on the Quest Channel (freeview no 37).

Not having seen the episode in advance I hope they don’t show me haggling with the presenter and refusing to sell him certain items that he was keen to acquire. However I did manage to sell a couple of paintings of long deceased seminary rectors from Upholland which were in poor condition and had been stored, unwanted and unloved, for years. I was actually glad to offload them as we had to cope with these pictures grimly watching over us as young seminary students each day whilst dining in the refectory. I never thought that I would end up as custodian of them all these years later!

The ‘Pause for Hope’ service at 3pm this afternoon replaces our normal Sunday service of choral evening prayer- Bishop Williams will preside at this service in support of all those who have been affected by cancer. The evening mass at 5.15pm on Tuesday will be attended by the families of our new probationer boy and girl choristers as the children will be welcomed as new members of our Cathedral Choirs.

18th September is Home Mission Sunday when we are asked to pray and financially support the work of evangelisation in England and Wales. Home Mission Sunday is one of the three annual collections requested by the Bishops Conference. The appeal is for the work of evangelisation on our own doorstep. We seek to reach out to those in our families and local communities who have never encountered Jesus Christ, or have become distant from him and the life of the church. There will be a retiring collection at all our weekend masses next weekend to support this appeal.

We offer our congratulations and thanksgiving to God for Brother Timothy McLoughlin at the Blessed Sacrament Shrine who celebrated his Golden Jubilee last week.

Canon Anthony O’Brien