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The Dean’s Weekly Message – 7th November 2021 Posted on Saturday 6 November 2021

We received news this last week of the death of two nonagenarians whose lives were closely linked with our Cathedral in different ways. Sir Patrick Reyntiens, artist and glass designer died this week at the age of 95. For thirty years of his creative life he worked in partnership with John Piper and along with the great window at Coventry Cathedral their greatest work was the design of the glass lantern to our Cathedral. It was Reyntiens’ idea, having read a work by Dante, to choose the concept of The Trinity for the abstract design of the glass in the tower. The pair of artists worked on more than 50 church commissions over a thirty year period along with other work. When their partnership ended Reyntiens then continued to work on his own and for a number of years also established a training school for glass artists. His funeral Mass will be taking place at his local parish in Somerset and Bishop Tom Williams will attend on behalf of the Diocese.

We also received the news of the death of Canon Michael O’Connor last week. He was the second Administrator/Dean of our Cathedral following Monsignor Thomas McKenna. During the few years he served here from 1975 – 1979 there were two major events in the life of the Cathedral. The visit of Her Majesty the Queen in 1977 on the occasion of her Silver Jubilee year and the Funeral Service for Archbishop Beck in 1978. Canon Michael moved to St Monica’s in Bootle in 1979 and served as parish priest there until 2001. Following this he retired and settled back to Ireland to live near his relatives. In June this year he celebrated his Platinum Jubilee of Priesthood. His Funeral will take place in Rathmore, County Kerry.

Next Wednesday there is a Conference in the Cathedral as part of the Liverpool Good Food Plan launch. It is jointly hosted by the two Cathedrals, Feeding Liverpool and Together Liverpool. The aim of the Good Food plan is to ensure that all sections of the community work together to create a city where everyone can eat good, healthy food and to eradicate food insecurity. There will be a keynote address by Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust and information on the Good Food Plan and the work that is going on around the city. The Conference is from 7-8.30pm in the main Cathedral. You can sign up to come by visiting this link. Liverpool’s Good Food Plan Pledge Evening Tickets, Wed 10 Nov 2021 at 19:00 | Eventbrite.

On Friday there is an evening Mass at 7pm celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm to pray for all our priests who died from Covid or other conditions over the last 18 months as it was not possible to attend many of their funeral services due to limited numbers. Among those who died during this period were Bishop Vincent Malone, Fr Joe Weston, Fr Bernard Eager, Fr Anthony Garrett, Monsignor Austin Hunt, Fr Des Power, Fr Michael Youell, Fr Jim Clarkson, FR Jim Matthews, Fr Gerry Britt, Fr Peter Fox, Canon Albert Shaw and Fr Brendan Rice as well as three priest from each of the Redemptorist and Mill Hill Communities. This later Mass will take the place of the Friday 5pm Mass.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean