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The Dean’s Weekly Message – Sunday 13th October 2019 Posted on Sunday 13 October 2019

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

Saint John Henry Newman
Welcome to the parents, pupils and staff of St Edward’s College as they join us for 11.00am Mass today on the Feast of St Edward the Confessor.

Today is also a great day of celebration for a newly canonised English Saint – John Henry Newman. Born in 1801 he grew up in the Anglican faith and was ordained an Anglican priest and became one of the leading figures in the Oxford Movement. In 1845 he converted to Catholicism and was later ordained a catholic priest and the founder of the Oratory in Birmingham. He was a well loved pastoral priest, a man of prayer and one of the most renowned intellectuals and writers of his time. He died a cardinal at the age of 89. His letters and writings were extensive, ranging from hymns and prose to reasoned arguments on matters of faith, issues of the time and on education and have had great influence on people right up to the present day. His influence spans both the Anglican and Catholic Church and both churches will be marking his canonisation. We will be having an evening of celebration of Newmans life in conjunction with Liverpool Cathedral on the 7th November. There will be a joint Choral Evening Prayer here at 6pm followed by a shared lecture at 7pm on Newman by two theologians who have written extensively on his life and work. Monsignor Rod Strange will speak of Newman’s influence on the Catholic Church and Canon Dr Rod Garner on his influence on the Anglican Church followed by a chance for a few questions a glass of wine. It promises to be an enjoyable, informative and popular evening celebration – a date to put in the diary.

This weekend is designated as Synod Sunday within the Archdiocese of Liverpool. It offers us an opportunity to reflect upon the progress that has been made so far as a local church on our journey to a Diocesan Synod in October 2020. It is also an opportunity to announce the four themes that summarise the key areas of church life that came out of the extensive listening exercise in response to the initial Synod questions and map out the next steps along the way. Archbishop Malcolm has written a Pastoral Letter to be read out at Masses over the weekend and in it he says “Over the last few months we have listened together and have journeyed along the road towards our Synod. I would encourage you to have a look at the report from the listening that can be accessed through our Synod Website. Even a quick glance will give you an idea of the riches that have been shared by so many who have participated. As you read through you may notice some ideas that might make good proposals to be considered at the Synod next October. You may also notice some ideas that lie outside of what can be considered at a Diocesan Synod. Thank you for all you have already done. Please continue to pray, listen and share your thoughts as we now reflect together on our Synod Themes.” There are prayer cards and leaflets giving information on the Synod Themes available for you to take home from masses this week. As a Cathedral parish we have to arranged a series of meetings to discuss issues related to each of the four themes in order to come up with suggestions for proposals to be discussed at the Synod. The first of our meetings on the theme ‘All called and gifted by God ’will be at 9.30am on Saturday 26th October – which is open to all.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean