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On Tuesday 12th of February, Pope Francis cleared the way for the CANONISATION OF CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN. Following the announcement, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, issued the following statement: "This is wonderful news which will be greeted with thanks to God by people across the world. Newman’s exploration of faith, depth of personal courage, intellectual clarity and cultural sensitivity make him a deeply admired follower of Christ. He brings together so many of the best of Catholic traditions shared well beyond the Catholic Church. His canonisation wIll be welcomed especially in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion. For me the truly remarkable nature of this moment is that this is an English parish priest being declared a saint. During his life the people of Birmingham recognised his holiness and lined the streets at the time of his burial. I hope every parish priest in England will hold his head high today knowing Cardinal Newman is declared a saint." Cardinal John Henry Newman was beatified - declared a 'Blessed' - by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on his historic state visit to the UK in September 2010. The date for his canonisation ceremony has not yet been decided.

Reverend Alec Parkinson, Curate at Saint John's, Pemberton, is planning to lead a group to attend the PASSION PLAY AT OBERAMMERGAU for the 2020 performance, combined with holiday time in Austria, from the 13th to the 20th of May 2020.

The cost will be £1,715 per person, including flights from Manchester, luggage, breakfast and dinner each day, and all gratuities. (supplement for single rooms £235).

For more details please contact Revd. Alec Parkinson at 28 Townfields, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 9LJ or telephone him on 01942 272838 or email

The Family Life Department of the Archdiocese of Liverpool offers a series of informal meetings twice a year, in February and September, to support anyone, DIVORCED OR SEPARATED, finding it hard going through a relationship breakdown, either recently or in the past. The meetings are in small groups and are free, confidential, informative and affirming.

Topics will cover: Facing the effects of what’s happened; Communication and conflict resolution; Letting go; Managing other relationships; Legal matters; an being single and moving forward.

For details of times and venues please contact Maureen O’Brien on 07967 753 371 or Jacqui Selleck on 07793 825 815.

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED to help run a support group for female asylum seekers and refugees which meets every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12 noon. If you can help please email or telephone 01942 51657. The group meets at SWAP, Pension St, Wigan, WNI 2LP.


Congratulations to Pearse McDonagh from Holy Family Parish who was recently accepted by Archbishop Malcolm to begin the process of discernment and formation with a view to serving in the Archdiocese of Liverpool as a Permanent Deacon. The process begins with a year of discernment and introduction to study (which Pearse will enter into from September) followed by a three-year course of academic, pastoral and spiritual formation. During this time the candidate is formally admitted as a Candidate for Ordination and will receive the ministries of Lector and Acolyte, before eventual ordination and service as a Deacon. Please hold Pearse, his wife Nicola, and their two boys, in your prayers.