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The Dean’s Weekly Message – Sunday 15th September 2019 Posted on Sunday 15 September 2019

*The message 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.*

Cardinal John Henry Newman
This Sunday we pray for our Cathedral community as we embark on a new academic year following the summer holidays. It is a time to welcome back those who have been away, and any new members to the parish, and we rededicate ourselves to service and support of the liturgical and pastoral life of the Cathedral.

On 13th October, Pope Francis will preside at a ceremony in Rome to canonise five men and women. Amongst this group to be declared saints is Cardinal John Henry Newman. Born in 1801 he grew up in the Anglican faith and became an Anglican priest and 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 died a Cardinal at the age of 89. A considerable number of people have been asking what we are doing to celebrate the Life of St John Newman. His influence and holiness of life has influenced both the Anglican and Catholic Church and both churches will want to mark his canonisation. Liverpool Cathedral and ourselves have decided to have a shared two Cathedrals evening celebration on 7thNovember to be held at our Cathedral. There will be a joint Choral Evening Prayer 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 ofNewman’s influence on the Catholic Church, and Canon Dr Rod Garner on his influence on the Anglican Church. It promises to be an enjoyable, informative and popular evening celebration – a date to put in the diary.

The Bishop of Salford was pictured in the church news last week alongside his newly acquired beehives which he will have in the grounds of his residence at Wardley Hall alongside other environmental projects that are underway at his home. As the Bishop for the environment, he has encouraged parishes to consider their carbon footprint and introduce positive steps to consume less and adapt a more eco-friendly way of life in response to Pope Francis call in ‘Laudato Si’ to care for our common home. Here at the Cathedral we have had beehives in the presbytery garden for many years and in the last year through the Inter Diocesan fuel management company we have switched to renewable sources for our electricity and gas supplies. There is so much more that we could do. Some changes would involve considerable expense such as solar panels and electrical charging points but others just need a bit of effort and thought. I have been saying for a few years that we could have a vegetable patch on our site and this coming year I am determined to make it happen so if anyone out there with a bit of energy would like to give a hand let me know. We did take part in a project encouraging our staff and volunteers to cycle to work that was found to be both difficult and dangerous trying to negotiate through heavy traffic around the city centre. However perhaps we could all do a bit more walking or cycling or using public transport locally. There are lots of other challenges personally and as a community regarding what we consume and what we waste. We are all guardians of as well as benefitting from God’s Creation.

Next Saturday afternoon at 2pm Archbishop (Emeritus) Patrick Kelly will be the principal celebrant for the Annual Mass for Altar Servers at which is to be held here – which is the first time it has been held outside London. Altar servers and their families are very welcome to attend and take part.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean