*The below message is taken from the weekly Cathedral Record newsletter. The full Cathedral Record is available to pick up from the Cathedral or can be downloaded here.*
It was mentioned a few weeks ago that our Cathedral van had been involved in a collision with another van at the traffic lights on Hope Street. I was driving the van at the time and thankfully the matter was all dealt with cordially by the other driver and he accepted responsibility for driving into the rear of our vehicle. The original opinion from the insurers, to my delight, was that the van would have to be written off as the repairs would cost more than it was worth and hence we needed to agree a cash settlement. Despite the initial euphoria over the purchase of our second hand van a few years ago and the liveried signage on the bodywork it has been a let-down for the years of our ownership. Our Maintenance men had the embarrassment on one occasion of breaking down outside Liverpool Cathedral and having to walk home to our Cathedral in full view of the staff in the security lodge. I have been stuck in the van on numerous occasions, once breaking down outside Coventry and having to catch the train home. So agreeing a cash settlement was music to my ears. However, a few days later the garage that the insurers were using rang to say that they could access the parts and that it would be delivered fully repaired next week. I think the chap at the garage in Southport thought he was doing us a favour! Much to our chagrin it looks like our van has not reached the end of the road yet.
This weekend we wish Fr Artur Matuszek farewell as he returns on Monday to begin a new ministry as parish priest of St Wenceslaus parish in Prague.
We also welcome the choir of Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff, who will sing at Solemn Mass this Sunday. The headteacher of Llandaff choir school, Mr Stephen Morris, will succeed Mr Waszek as Principal of St Edward’s College in September so no doubt the two choirs will have the opportunity to forge closer links with one another.
There is a retiring collection at the Masses this weekend in support of our priests in retirement. The current situation within the diocese is that at present we have 148 active diocesan priests, 123 are working in parishes and the rest have other roles as chaplains or in other posts either at home or abroad – at least 20 of these are over 75. We now only have 25 priests who are aged 50 or under. We currently have another 60 priests who are retired most of them living in flats or accommodation provided by the Diocese with a number at any one time in need of more intensive nursing or specialised care. The annual collection is to support the accommodation and care provision for our retired priests – many of whom are still helping out in celebrating Mass within our parishes without the worries of other parish responsibilities. The numbers of priests working in Parishes has declined sharply over recent years but the numbers of priests having to retire through frailty or old age has and will remain constant for the foreseeable future. Please be generous in your support for this collection.
Please remember in your prayers Taras Khomych, who attends Mass regularly here at the Cathedral with his family and has a son, Emmanuel, who sings in the choir. The family are Ukrainian Orthodox Catholics and Taras is due to be ordained a priest on 5th June at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Cathedral in London.
Canon Anthony O’Brien