The Funeral of the late Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor will take place this Wednesday, 13th September, at Westminster Cathedral. Please pray for the repose of his soul. This was the statement issued by The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, on the news of his death last week. It was with great sadness that I heard of the death of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor this afternoon. I will remember him for his humanity, his sense of humour and for the great care which he showed to his brother bishops, priests, the people he served and all who he met. He was always approachable, willing to give his time to listen to anyone and to offer any help he could. We will miss him greatly here in Liverpool as he was a frequent visitor to our archdiocese sharing in many of our celebrations. He was a holy and spiritual man who I am sure will now be praying for us all in the presence of his Lord. May he rest in peace.
With all the children now back at school for the start of the new academic year, sadly the holidays are over for another year for most people and the Cathedral is back to full strength with the normal full schedule of worship. We mark this new beginning with an act of renewal and rededication to our various ministries and involvement in Cathedral life at the Solemn Mass this Sunday. We ask for the Lord’s blessing on the Cathedral as we begin this new academic year.
Not everyone’s holidays are over yet and we waved goodbye to Claire Hanlon at the end of last week who was off to walk the last section of the Camino of Santiago de Compostella which should take a week to complete. Her final duty was to visit the hairdressers before setting off – not what I would consider the most important last minute preparation for a trek but then again I don’t have to worry about hairdo’s!
For the last three months we have had to cope with the closure of the section of Mount Peasant adjoining Oxford Road and Hope Street. It hasn’t been easy for all who frequent the Cathedral having to negotiate different routes when driving to or from the building for services and other occasions, especially at morning and evening rush hour times. Thankfully I have some good news having met with the estates manager from the University. The crane is due to be moved in about one weeks time and the road will be opened from 19th September. The refurbishment work to the corner building is however behind schedule hence the scaffolding and closure of the pavement on the opposite side to the Cathedral could possibly remain in force until December.
Next Sunday afternoon there will be a special Choral Evening Prayer with Archbishop Malcolm presiding. In our Cathedral Jubilee Year a number of long serving members of the Cathedral Community representing different aspects of Cathedral life will receive a Bene Merenti in recognition of their long service and dedication to the life of the Cathedral. Looking ahead the 8.30am Mass on Sunday 24th September will be transferred to the Crypt Chapel due to there being an early morning service of morning prayer being broadcast live from the Cathedral on Radio 4 that morning.
Canon Anthony O’Brien