On 14th October Pope Francis presided at the Ceremony of Canonisation in Rome of Pope Paul 6th and Archbishop Oscar Romero both of whom have been outstanding witnesses to the faith in very different ways within my lifetime. Thankfully we have a memorial symbol of both these saints within our Cathedral. At the time of the opening of the Cathedral, which was during the pontificate of Paul 6, we were presented with a gift of a baptismal font from him. This is a treasured item and is on display in the Unity Chapel and used from time to time. The new bust of Archbishop Romero which is now in place alongside Saint Martin de Porres was a gift from Archbishop Malcolm and will be blessed by him at the end of the Solemn Mass this Sunday. Saint Oscar Romero was an advocate for peace, sacrificing his own safety to be a voice for the poor and persecuted, speaking out against violence and injustice. This led to his assassination on 24th March 1980. ‘He was a guiding light for his people as pastor, as shepherd and as teacher’.
This Sunday afternoon at 3pm there is the ‘Pause for Hope’ Service in support of all those who have been affected by cancer. Bishop Tom Williams will preside at the service with the music led by the ‘Sing Me Merseyside choir’ and the speaker will be Dame Lorna Muirhead, former Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside. On Thursday 1st November we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, which is a Holyday of Obligation. This is followed the next day with the Commemoration of All Souls – the evening mass will be a Solemn Requiem Mass with full choir, celebrated at the High Altar in memory of deceased benefactors of the Cathedral, former members of our families and those who have died within the parish over the course of the last year. We finish the week with the memorial of St Martin de Porres, patron of Lamp and a much venerated saint within the Cathedral.
Last Sunday we were informed about the forthcoming Diocesan Synod in 2020 by Archbishop Malcolm in the Pastoral Letter and the handout at the end of mass provided more information and a timeline mapping out the preparation process leading to the eventual synod assembly in November 2020. The whole event may seem a long way off but the parish and deanery synod members have to be chosen by Mid December this year so that they can be involved and participate in every step of the preparations. Each parish is entitled to one delegate who will need to be a person who is committed to playing an active part in the churches mission and involved in the life of the church, who will be committed to the Synod process by attending meetings and will participate in preparation and formation. They must also ‘with support and guidance be prepared to lead group discussions, to listen with respect and without judgement to the ideas and opinions of others and to gather and record people’s ideas and feed them back faithfully to the diocese. There are a number of information meetings across the Diocese over the next few weeks open to anyone who wishes to find out more about the Synod and the preparation process. I would like to invite any of you who may be interested in being our Cathedral Synod member and feel that you would be able to commit to the whole training, discussion and discerning programme over the next 2 years to get in touch and speak to me or one of the Cathedral priests.
If you would like to include the names of deceased family and friends as part of our pious list for November could you place them in an envelope marked pious list and hand them in and they will be included in the intentions for mass during the month.
Canon Anthony O’Brien