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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 22nd May 2022 Posted on Saturday 21 May 2022

Congratulations Bp Tom

As we approach the end of the Easter Season we prepare for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In this weekend’s Gospel the Lord offers his disciples his farewell Blessing that they will have peace through remaining true to Him and next Thursday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension. The Lord goes up with the promise of the Holy Spirit and his abiding presence with us for all time.

Next weekend Bishop Tom Williams will be celebrating his Golden Jubilee of Ordination to the Priesthood. He will preside at the 11am Mass to celebrate and give thanks to God for 50 years of priestly life and a number of his family and friends will join us in the congregation that day. We were able to send Bishop Tom a few pictures from the Cathedral Archives which had been printed in the Catholic Pictorial in May 1972. Bishop Tom was not the only priest ordained that day as there were seven young men ordained in the Cathedral by Archbishop Beck and alongside Bishop Tom was also a very youthful looking Fr Arthur Fitzgerald from St Michael’s and Sacred Heart Parish. Bishop Tom Neylon will also be celebrating his 40th Anniversary next weekend. He was ordained in Heaton Park, Manchester by Saint Pope John Paul II.

Not only will we be celebrating Jubilees next weekend but also the 40th Anniversary of the visit of the Holy Father to Liverpool. He arrived to be greeted by huge crowds assembled in Speke Airport and then celebrated Mass within our Cathedral later that morning on what was the Feast of Pentecost. Next weekend we will try and capture some of the memories and events of the Visit of Saint John Paul II using some of the Archive material that we have here.

Next weekend is also World Communications Sunday. There will be a retiring collection next Sunday- it is one of the three annual mandatory collections agreed by the Bishops Conference.

In addition to promoting the Church’s and the Bishops’ message in the local, regional, national and international mass media, the Bishops’ Conference Media Office (CCN) helps journalists with their queries and to a better understanding of the Church’s activities and witness.

CCN also runs the Bishops’ Conference website, which has been the primary source of information throughout the pandemic, online Masses and spirituality and ways to assist charitably (whether through foodbanks, caring for the elderly and vulnerable, assisting refugees and the homeless etc). Record numbers of people have used this website over the past two years of the pandemic as a principal means of Church communication and as a provider of information and resources.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean