Happy New Year!
With this being the first Newsletter of 2018 I wish you all a Happy New Year. These next few days we celebrate the final Feasts of Christmas with the Epiphany this weekend and the Baptism of the Lord on Monday before returning back to ordinary time for a few weeks prior to the start of Lent. To conclude the Christmas Season there is a special Epiphany Carol Service on Sunday afternoon at 3pm in place of Choral Evening Prayer and next Friday at 2pm a Schools Epiphany Service. We need the guidance of the Daystar, Christ the saviour born into our midst, to guide us through the joys and challenges of the coming year.
I’ve never been successful at predicting what lies ahead or at keeping new year resolutions but there are major events already in the Cathedral Diary for this year which provide us with some stepping stones around which the year will unfold. Channel 5 are planning a series of six programmes on various English Cathedrals and have been here last week to prepare for a joint programme on the two Liverpool Cathedrals which they will film in early February. They want to focus particularly on the relationship between the two Cathedrals and how we co-operate and work together. Ash Wednesday is on 14th February, St Valentines Day. During Lent the Cathedral Friends are sponsoring a series of Lenten talks by well known people working in different aspects of public service and how their faith is a strength and support in the challenges they have to deal with.
The Pentecost Two Cathedrals Service and Procession in May will focus on young people this year and there is a similar focus later in June when Hope University will end their Big Hope 2, involving over 1,000 young adults with a service at the Cathedral.
There are three men to be ordained as priests for the Diocese this year and all three will be ordained together in the Cathedral in July by Archbishop Malcolm.
It has still not been confirmed as to whether Pope Francis will attend the ‘World Meeting of Families International Conference’ in Dublin and preside at the final Mass on 26th August. There will be a contingent of people from the Diocese attending this – perhaps they could put in a good word to the Holy Father to get him to come and visit us some time. Following this in the first weekend of September there is the National Eucharistic Congress taking place here in Liverpool. Most of the main activities will take place at the Liverpool Arena but there will be a variety of smaller events taking place in our city centre churches and the final Mass and procession will be held in the Cathedral. Later in the year the country will mark the centenary of the end of World War I – On Armistice Day, 11th November, there will be special services and events on Merseyside and throughout the country to mark the end of the war to remember those who died during this conflict and to pray for peace. These are just some of the highlights for the coming year – it promises to be a busy and eventful 2018.
Fr Terry Madden, provincial of the White Fathers will be in Liverpool next weekend and has asked if he can concelebrate Mass at St Vincent’s on Saturday evening (13th January) and meet with parishioners afterwards to discuss future arrangements once the White Fathers take responsibility for the parish in the autumn. I would be grateful if many of the regular parishioners could stay behind after Mass for a short meeting with Fr Terry and myself next Saturday.