The Feast of Pentecost is not only a major day of celebration in the church year, but it is also a day of special significance to this Cathedral. It was on the Solemnity of Pentecost 1967 that Bishop Augustine Harris presided at the opening Mass with a packed Cathedral including Cardinals, Bishops, Prime Minister, civic leaders and individuals representing all aspects of diocesan and civic life. Crowds thronged the areas outside of the Cathedral intent on seeing the inside of the completed building once the service had ended. That was 52 years ago.
Then on Pentecost in 1982 St John Paul II celebrated Mass here with a packed Cathedral congregation and even bigger crowds outside eager to catch a glimpse of the Pope and to welcome him to our city. Those crowds also thronged Hope Street as Pope John Paul walked from our Cathedral to our sister Anglican Cathedral where he was welcomed with great joy as he encouraged us to work for unity and, through the promptings of the Holy Spirit, give common witness to our shared faith in Christ. Although these are now historical events they define what we are today and give added significance to the way that we celebrate this Festive Day. It is a day of rejoicing and celebration of the beginnings of the church and our own beginnings here with Christ as our Foundation and the Holy Spirit as inspiration and guide. It is also a day of unity when we celebrate our common fellowship with all our Christian brothers and sisters. This afternoon we come together for the Annual special joint churchesservice for Pentecost, ‘Journeying Together in Hope’. This will begin here in our Cathedral 3pm incorporating a shared pilgrim walk to conclude with a final act of worship at Liverpool Cathedral.
During the period of Lent and Easter our catholic schools throughout the Diocese organise a whole variety of fund raising eventsand activities to support ‘Nugent’ and their work with the elderly, those with disabilities and the socially disadvantaged. These donations are received at the Annual Good Shepherd Mass which takes place next Wednesday at 1pm and the caring work of Nugent and our schools is celebrated and prayed for.
The Friends of Cathedral Music are staging a prestigious choral concert at Liverpool Cathedral on Thursday evening. The performing choir will include two choristers from every Cathedral Choir in England and Wales as well as the full choirs from our two Cathedrals. The evening has been organised to raise the profile of Cathedral Choirs throughout the country and to raise funds to be able to support Cathedral Musical foundations. VIP guests from across the country will be attending and are gathering at a reception in the Crypt that evening before the concert.
Next Saturday St Mary’s College, Crosby, are having a Mass and Dinner in the Cathedral to celebrate their Centenary Anniversary of Foundation. Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, who is an old boy of the college will be celebrating this celebratory Vigil Mass at 6pm. The reception afterwards is only for those who have purchased tickets but the Mass is open to anyone to attend.
Canon Anthony O’Brien