As many of you will know by now, I am due to leave the Cathedral in September to take up the role of Parish Priest at Saint Julie, Eccleston and English Martyrs, Haydock.
This appointment by the Archbishop has come as quite a surprise as I was not expecting to be moved, certainly not this year, and I wasn’t expecting to be appointed as parish priest so soon as I am a little over two years ordained. But when the Archbishop makes a decision, through obedience to him, we carry out his wishes.
I have been assistant priest here at the Cathedral since September 2018. On my arrival the Cathedral was in the throws of preparing for Adoremus the National Eucharistic Congress. This gave me a taste of what was to come, and a realisation that serving at the Cathedral was not going to be like any ordinary parish. But what a time to arrive.
I also had the great pleasure to work along-side Monsignor Peter Cookson, and it was a pleasure. He was very welcoming when I arrived and always willing to pass on words of wisdom from his many years of ministry and service, as well as his rather dry sense of humour. I am blessed to have known him and worked with him even for such a short time. As well as Monsignor Cookson there is also Canon O’Brien, Cathedral Dean. Having already served Fr. Tony as an altar boy many years ago it was a pleasure to have been able to serve with him again as his assistant priest. Again, he has been a great support and guide during my time at the Cathedral and I thank him for all his help. And Fr. Stephen who again welcomed me and has supported me throughout my time here.
I wish I could thank everyone who has supported me individually, but I’ve been limited to 500 words! Suffice to say, all the staff here at the Cathedral have been a great help and support from day one. From the security and maintenance teams who have gone above and beyond on many occasions to help me, and all at the Cathedral, making our lives easier and safer.
The team of sacristans who did all they could to help along the way. A particular word of thanks to Alison and Chris, the former and current head sacristans who again, have gone above and beyond to make my life easier. To the team of altar servers who have seamlessly made me look as though I know what I’m doing, Julian, Chris and the team are a credit to this Cathedral, and I cannot thank them all enough.
Our Choir, under the leadership of Dr. McElroy, always a joy to hear them sing and raise the roof of this magnificent building in worship of the Lord. I will miss all of this. It is something special and unique to Cathedral life. Finally, to all who work in Cathedral House, Claire and the team have made my time at the Cathedral all that bit easier and I truly thank them all.
Well I’ve gone over 500 words, but then brevity was never my strongest attribute as my homilies often proved! I thank you all for making me feel welcome from day one, and for the continued support you as the parishioners have shown me. I keep you all in my prayers as I move on and I ask for your continued prayers. Until we see each other again, may God bless you all.