On this Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ I want to begin the Record with a few paragraphs from Cardinal Nichols Homily at the Jubilee Mass as a reflection for this Feast. He had shared some of his memories of the significant events, that he witnessed here as a priest of the Archdiocese, and then referred to the celebration of the Eucharist as a memorial “For us, however, the word memory has a far deeper and more remarkable meaning. Here, in this Cathedral as in every Catholic Church, we not only remember, but we make real again. Our ‘remembering’ of the person of Jesus, makes him present to us in his words and actions, in a real and vivid way. At the focal point of every church, seen so vividly as in this cathedral, lies the altar, the place at which the sacrifice of Christ in his death on the Cross is not only remembered but made again a living reality. Here we gather at the foot of that Cross. Here we receive again its fruits: the Father’s mercy, our forgiveness.
At the end of this Mass, as at every Mass, we will be sent out to fulfill the task given to us by the Lord. Today as you leave, glancing back towards this great Cathedral, please remember that it is built on the site of the Liverpool Workhouse, which stood here from 1771 to 1928. In 1900, for example, over 4,000 poor people were housed on this site, in conditions which were very harsh, even if not quite punitive. Remember, too, that Catholic priests were often refused entry and could not fulfil their ministry to the poorest of their people. These foundations can serve to remind us that our first mission is to those who today are poor and forgotten, who are on the margins, the very ones who are indeed the most beloved of Christ our King. In fulfilling this mission no obstacle, misunderstanding or hostility should ever deflect us from our purpose. In our thanksgiving and celebration in this Cathedral of Christ the King, we pray that God’s Holy Spirit, which transforms base material into divine substance, may fill us and work in our lives, transforming our humble humanity into a noble instrument of God’s purpose in our world. In this we will be faithful to our great mission, so well symbolised in this Cathedral, an icon of our endeavour and, more importantly, of our faith.”
This coming week there is a Mass for ‘New Catholics’, those received into the church within the Diocese at Easter, on Thursday in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at 7pm.
Friday is the Feast of the Sacred Heart and as well as the normal Mass times there is a Mass for the year 7 children from our Liverpool Catholic Schools at 10.00am and later that evening at 7.00pm a Mass in thanksgiving with the priests who are celebrating Jubilee Anniversaries of Ordination this year. Next Saturday is also a busy day with voice trials for prospective new boy choristers in the morning and a Mass at 3.00pm for the members of St Vincent De Paul Societies from across the country who are having a Conference in Liverpool that weekend, this year marking the 400th Anniversary of the Saint Vincents’ mission to the Poor.
The Missionary order of the White Fathers have been in contact with Archbishop Malcolm with regard to having a pastoral mission within the Archdiocese and they have expressed an interest in using the presbytery at St Vincent’s as a home for a few of their priests to live. I will be meeting with representatives of the order along with the Archbishop this weekend to discuss matters further but it will be great news if the presbytery is occupied once more and that we have some priests in residence in that area even if their ministry is spread across the wider diocesan area.