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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 12 June 2016 Posted on Sunday 12 June 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.*

This weekend we celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday. Her actual birthday as you may know is 21 April but her official birthday falls on Saturday 11 June and there will be celebrations all over the weekend. The Bishops’ Conference has requested that, at all Sunday Masses on 11-12 June 2016, each parish prays for Her Majesty the Queen to mark her 90th birthday by including such an intention in the Bidding Prayers and by reciting at the end of Mass the Prayer for the Queen. The prayer has been printed in all our service sheets this weekend and we have also printed it in the newsletter. A few weeks ago we informed everyone that there was a special ‘Service of Celebration’ taking place on Sunday afternoon at the Anglican Cathedral at 3.00pm with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE. I do hope that some of you will have accepted the invitation and will join in on this special occasion. The Service will be complimented with music by the Liverpool Philharmonic and Liverpool Cathedral Choirs. It’s still not too late to go, so if you are free do please take your seat – but note that you have to be at the Anglican Cathedral and be seated by 2.40pm.

This afternoon at 3.00pm we are delighted to be hosting the Ordination of Deacons Mass when James Stephen Byrne and Joseph Thomas Morgan will be ordained by Archbishop Malcolm. We remember them and their families in our prayers as well as our own Cathedral Deacons, Deacon Noel Abbott and Deacon Paul Mannings. The Mass will be an occasion of celebration on Sunday, but also a time to reflect on the impact that Monsignor Austin Hunt has had on the Diaconate ministry in this Archdiocese over the past forty years. I am sure no-one will mind if I quote here the article that has been written about him for Sunday. ‘One of Archbishop Worlock’s early decisions after becoming Archbishop of Liverpool was to appoint Father Austin Hunt in October 1976 as Director for the Permanent Diaconate. Although restored by Vatican II, the permanent diaconate was still in its infancy in England and Wales, so Father Hunt visited many dioceses in Europe and the United States to learn from their experience of selecting, forming and deploying deacons. In the light of this practical research and of the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons, and with the help of many dedicated tutors and speakers, he developed a programme of formation, initially based here at the Metropolitan Cathedral, which led to the ordination of the first permanent deacons in 1979. Since then Father Hunt has overseen the formation of more than 100 deacons, tirelessly visiting candidates and ordained deacons at home and arranging events for them and their wives and families. His dedication was recognised with the title ‘Monsignor’ in 1992. As a member of the International Diaconate Committee, he addressed several international conferences and the Liverpool diaconal community has happy memories of hosting the International Diaconate Conference here in 1995. As the permanent diaconate developed in this country, Monsignor Hunt chaired for many years the National Conference of Diaconate Directors and Deacon Delegates for England and Wales, and he also shared his knowledge and enthusiasm about the diaconate with bishops in Scotland and Ireland. The diocesan base for formation moved with Monsignor Hunt from the Cathedral to St Thomas’s, Waterloo, then to the parishes where he served as Parish Priest, St Thomas More in Aigburth and All Saints in Anfield and later, on his retirement as Parish Priest, to St Helens in Crosby and St Joseph’s in Penketh. Despite his increasingly poor health, Mgr Hunt has served the diaconate faithfully for these forty years. Please keep him in your prayers as he enters his well-earned retirement.’

This week’s bulletin was written by Claire Hanlon, Assistant to the Dean, as Canon Anthony O’Brien is away.