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.



Archbishop Malcolm has announced a number of appointments of clergy and mergers of parishes becoming effective during the summer months within the Archdiocese of Liverpool:
  • Fr. Pat Sexton will remain at Saint Monica's, Bootle, but will become assistant priest.
  • Fr. Philip Inch will move to Holy Rosary, Old Roan, as parish priest.
  • Fr. Peter Hannah will retire from Saint Anne & Blessed Dominic, St. Helens, due to ill health.
  • Fr. Gordon Abbs will take up appointment as parish priest at Saint Catherine & All Saints (Golborne & Lowton) and Saint Lewis, Croft. (English Martyrs, Haydock, will begin to be administered from the St. Helens Pastoral Area.)
  • Fr. Simon Cadwallader, after several years in Peru, will be assistant priest at Saints Peter & Paul, Crosby.
  • Fr. Ron Johnson will be going on sabbatical.
  • Fr. Jean Paul Ilunga will take up appointment as parish priest at Saint Anne & Blessed Dominic, St. Helens.
  • Fr. Ged Callacher will take up appointment as parish priest at Saint Monica & Saint Richard, Bootle, in addition to his responsibility at Saint Francis de Sales, Walton.
  • Fr. Roy Cooper will move to Penwortham as parish priest at Saint Teresa & Saint Mary Magdalen.
  • Fr. Michael Barrett will become parish priest of Saint Oswald's, Longton.
  • Fr, Matthew Jolley will go to Rome for further studies and reside at the Beda College.
  • Fr. Dominic Risley will move to Saint Matthew & Saint Cecilia, Liverpool, as assistant priest.

This summer's newly-ordained priests will become assistants as follows:

  • Fr. Philip Carr at the Metropolitan Cathedral;
  • Fr. Anthony Kelly at Saint Julie & Saint Teresa, St. Helens;
  • Fr. Carl Mugan at Saint Wilfrid, Widnes.

Fr. George Joseph, a priest of the Diocese of Palai who is currently at Holy Rosary, Old Roan, will take up appointment as priest-in-charge at Saint Bede, Clayton-le-Woods. He will also administer Saint Chad's, South Hill, for the foreseeable future.

We also look forward to welcoming two communities of religious priests to work in the Archdiocese:
  • The Spiritans will take on the parish of Saint John, Kirkdale, and also provide chaplaincy to HM Prison Liverpool. A community of White Fathers will take up residence at Saint Vincent's, Liverpool.
  • Fr. Silviu Climent has returned to the Archdiocese to take up an appointment at the Cathedral.
The three Deacons who were ordained for the service of the Archdiocese on the 10th of June at the Metropolitan Cathedral have been given the following parish appointments:
  • Deacon Tony Downes to Christ the King and Our Lady, Liverpool;
  • Deacon Chris Housbey to Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs and Saint Swithin, Croxteth;
  • Deacon Anil Lukose to Saint Edward, Wigan.

On the 1st of May 2018 there were three mergers of parishes across the Archdiocese.

  • The parishes of Our Lady, Queen of Peace and English Martyrs in Litherland were merged to form the new parish of Our Lady and the English Martyrs.
  • Our Lady's and Saint Gregory's in Lydiate were merged to form the new parish of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (the dedication of the medieval chapel whose remains lie within the parish).
  • The three Warrington parishes of Saint Benedict, Saint Mary and Saint Oswald were merged to form a new parish under the title of Blessed James Bell (a local martyr).

On the 1st of July 2018 the parish of Saint Mary's, Aughton, and the parish of the Most Holy Redeemer and Saint Kentigern, Melling, were merged to form the parish of Saint Mary and Saint Kentigern.


The Days of Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament which we had hoped to hold on Corpus Christi (Sunday June 3rd) at Holy Family Church and on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (Friday the 8th of June) at Sacred Heart Church have been postponed until later in the Summer when we will hold a time of Solemn Exposition to coincide with the National Eucharistic Congress taking place in Liverpool during September.

The weekly half-hour of Exposition at Holy Family Church on Saturday mornings has been placed on hold until later in the Summer.


The following information was circulated within the Catholic parishes of the Wigan Deanery :

"From the First Sunday of Advent 2017 (3rd December) three new parishes will be created in Wigan and one parish will remain. The present geographical parishes of Saint John, Saint Patrick and Saint William will be formed into one new parish called Saint William's: The parish will use the churches of Saint John and Saint Patrick and Father Ian O'Shea will be the Parish Priest. The present geographical parishes of Saint Cuthbert, Saint Edward and Sacred Heart will be formed into one new parish called Saint Edward's: The parish will use the churches of Sacred Heart and Saint Cuthbert and Father Aidan Kelly will be the Parish Priest and Dean. The present geographical parishes of Saint Jude and Saint Aidan will be formed into one new parish called Saint Jude and Saint Aidan's: The parish will use the churches of Saint Aidan and Saint Jude and Father John Causey will be the Parish Priest. The present geographical parish of Saint Mary will remain as a parish for the time being and Father John Johnson will remain as Parish Priest."


The Pastoral Formation Team of the Archdiocese of Liverpool have produced a small leaflet offering Ten Top Tips for Supporting People with Dementia.

Archbishop Malcolm writes: "Dementia has been around for a long time and as a diocese we have only recently become aware of how much we need to do to make people with dementia and their carers feel welcome in our community."

Please do take a copy of the leaflet home with you from church and be aware of how best we can support those who suffer from dementia so that they feel relaxed and at ease.


The new stained glass window in church is in memory of the late Elizabeth Cooke, donated by her family.

Deacon Ken wishes to thank those who sponsored his recent Trek to Iceland for Francis House Children's Hospice. To date over £1,300 has been collected with more sponsorship money still to come.

There is a shortage of church cleaners for Sacred Heart Church: If anyone would like to join the group, please see Deacon Ken. Due to a rota system, you would only be asked to clean once a month.

There is also a need for more Readers and Lay Ministers of Communion to assist at Mass, just two or three times every two months on a rota basis. Again, please see Deacon Ken if interested.


With the beginning of a new school year during this week, we will soon begin our preparation with those families who have children wishing to enter into a deeper commitment to the Christian Community through making their First Confession and First Holy Communion. Two Introductory Meetings will take place on Wednesday the 13th of September at 5.45pm in Holy Family School and on Thursday the 14th of September at 6.00pm in Sacred Heart School to which we invite parents of baptised Catholic children in Year Four or above to come along. Details of the Course to be followed and the commitment expected will be explained at these meetings and parents will then be free to choose if they wish this for their children before the Preparation Course begins two weeks later.


The parish community, in collaboration with the home and school, has a privileged opportunity and responsibility to help all concerned to grow in their faith. This is a lifelong process. To achieve this we need to help those involved with parish catechesis to share this vision and have an adult understanding of their faith. The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) is designed for people who are engaged in the communication of their Catholic Faith, whether directly or indirectly. It is open to catechists, people involved in liturgical work, as well as any other interested adults. The CCRS can provide general theological knowledge and offer a better understanding of the Catholic faith. It will help participants to increase their practical application of the faith in their ministry in the Church and provide the means to accurately and effectively communicate the principles of Catholic teaching. For more details about start dates, fees and your nearest centre please visit the CCRS Website at or telephone 0207 901 1900


The National Office for Vocation has launched a new edition of the UK Priest website, which can be viewed at The main section is about the life of a priest and how to become a priest but other features include material for students studying the priesthood, and help for friends and family of candidates for the priesthood. Give it a view.


The Catholic Church in England and Wales is consulting with young people and those who regularly engage with them in preparation for a gathering hosted by Pope Francis in October 2018. The theme of this gathering is "Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment" and the Mega Youth Poll has already been launched for young people to tell the Church about their lives, faith and vocational discernment. But if you work with or care for young people who are aged between 13 and 29 then the Church wants to hear your view of young people today through a second survey which you can find at

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, depending on whether you care for or work with young people in more than one setting. Should you have any queries, please contact


Want to be part of a friendly team helping couples create healthy marriages? The Archdiocese in partnership with Marriage Care are looking for volunteers to train as facilitators and provide engaging, interactive courses, helping couples live out the Sacrament of Marriage with the practical and spiritual tools they need.

For more information please contact: Maureen O'Brien, Co-ordinator for Marriage and Family Life, on 0151 522 1044 or email or for more information about what's involved visit the Marriage Care website at


Under current Data Protection legislation, the Catholic Chaplaincy is not automatically informed of any Catholic patients who are admitted into hospital - either relatives or the patients themselves must ask for a visit by the chaplain. The Catholic Chaplaincy at Wigan Infirmary can be contacted on 01942 822324 and a message left to request a visit from the chaplain. In an emergency, ask the nursing staff to bleep the 24/7 on-call priest.

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick can be celebrated either in church during one of the weekday Masses or else at home before you go into hospital.

Contact Father Tony to arrange this.


In 2018, Pope Francis will invite bishops and others to Rome to talk about Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment. At this gathering they will discuss how the Catholic Church can best accompany young people in their faith and help them to hear God's call. If you are aged between 13 and 29 years old, the Catholic Church in England and Wales would like to hear from you, to hear what life is like for you, your thoughts on faith, and how you connect (or not) with the Church. To help you tell us we have created a Youth Poll that you can access at And if you're not in this age group but would like to help, please encourage the young people you know to respond to this poll by giving them the link.


Nearly three years ago the Catenians made an appeal for people to send unused rosary beads to the missions. Since then around 450,000 rosary beads have been sent to various mission territories around the world. They are now hoping to reach a new target of 500,000 rosary beads.

Do you have any unused rosary beads? Send them to Mr. Michael Blackburn at 164 Green Park Road, Halifax, HX3 0SP.


Archbishop Malcolm writes: "The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has supported the proposal that a Eucharistic Congress should take place in Liverpool in 2018. The bishops have asked the Working Party to continue and progress the plans for this important moment in the life of the Church in England and Wales. This an honour for us to host the Eucharistic Congress in our archdiocese and an opportunity to deepen our faith with fellow Catholics and other Christians from across our countries. Planning is still in the early stages, but it is envisaged that it will take the form of a pilgrimage of up to 10,000 pilgrims and that it will take place in September 2018 after Pope Francis has visited Ireland. Bishop Tom Williams is the archdiocese's representative on the Working Party and he will have more information for us later in the new year."


If you pay tax on your earnings, or indeed on your pension, then you can join The Gift Aid Scheme if you're not in it already. Gift Aid allows you to maximize any donations you make to the Church so that for every £1 you give, the Tax Man will return a further 25p to us. So if, for example, you are in the habit of contributing £5 a week, then over the course of a year your total offering will be £260.00. But if you are in the Gift Aid Scheme, this would mean a total income of £325.00 to us. We have not yet received Gift Aid income from HMRC for the Tax Year 2015/2016 but in 2014/2015 our two parishes received an additional income because of the Gift Aid Scheme of £6,157 at Holy Family and £6,399 at Sacred Heart. So each 25p certainly does add up!

Some people are anxious about the privacy of the scheme. No worries at all! You are assigned an untraceable number and no one except the person who does the Gift Aid recording - not even your Parish Priest - knows which number belongs to which name. And they are sworn to secrecy! We can also gather tax relief on your very generous donations to the Retiring Collections if you use your numbered envelopes, or on any other donations you make to the Church (Mass Offerings, In Remembrance Donations, etc) - just place them in an ordinary envelope and write "Gift Aid" with your Envelope Box Number on the front.

Heartfelt thanks to those of you who do already Gift Aid your offerings - as you can see it makes a massive difference to the finances of your parish. And if you are a tax payer but not yet in the Gift-Aid scheme, then please do consider joining. If you would like to begin Gift-Aiding your weekly contributions please contact Deacon Ken at Sacred Heart or Elizabeth Fairhurst at Holy Family or just pop a note with your name, address and phone number into the collection basket saying "I want to Gift Aid!" and someone will contact you.


Towards the end of last year, Archbishop Malcolm invited feedback from us about the order in which we celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism soon after birth and (for the last few years) Confirmation and First Holy Communion together at Primary School Year Four age. Based on the results of the feedback he has received from clergy, schools, parents and catechists, the Archbishop has decided that we should return to the previous practice of Baptism soon after birth, with First Communion and First Confession in Year Four (as now) but with Confirmation returning to Secondary School Year Nine age or above and celebrated by a bishop. So, as from next year, we shall be returning to this schedule for celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

A new programme of preparation meetings with parents and children for First Communion (but now excluding Confirmation) will be released by the Archdiocese during the summer for use in the next School Year. Future preparation for First Communion will continue to involve parents and catechists working with the children, but parental involvement will not be expected in preparing teenagers for Confirmation.


A series of support meetings for Divorced and Separated Catholics will start in September 2016. The meetings are open to Catholics and other Christians who are divorced or separated (recently or in the past) or who are experiencing the breakdown of a marriage or a long term relationship. The small groups are informative, affirming, free and confidential and the meetings include information about practical matters and sources of help, as well as the opportunity to receive support from Catholics in a similar situation.

For more information about the dates and venue of the meetings or to book a place on them please contact Frances Trotman 0151 727 2195.

Other general enquiries about support with Family Life issues can be directed to Maureen O'Brien, Marriage and Family Life Coordinator, on 0151 522 1044 or email her at


Do you know of anyone suffering from addiction and needing help? Or are you yourself looking to come off drugs or alcohol and have tried everything? Cenacolo have a great success rate in helping young men and women recover from any addiction, rebuild their lives and find peace and meaning. Meetings are held every Tuesday in Liverpool City Centre from 7.00pm to 9.00pm at The Blessed Sacrament Shrine, 4 Dawson Street, Liverpool, L1 1LE.

Just come along or, if you'd like more information first telephone Margaret on 0151 342 1043 or Mary Holgate on 0151 342 4166 or Mary Conway on 07883 339980 or visit the website at

Foundation Governors in Catholic Schools

Have you ever thought about being a foundation governor in a Catholic school?

Within the Archdiocese of Liverpool, there is a need for over 1,600 practising Catholics to support and share in the leadership of all our Catholic schools. At any one time, there are approximately 100 vacancies, some of which can be hard to fill.

If you are interested in learning more about how to serve the Church in this way, there is further information, including an application form, on the Archdiocesan website at

Alternatively you can telephone Fran Coldicutt at LACE on 0151 522 1071.


Sycamore (named after the kind of tree which the Gospel according to Luke says that Zacchaeus climbed to get a better glimpse of Jesus) is a new initiative presented by Father Stephen Wang, a priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster, to be used as a support tool for evangelisation and growth in faith. They are designed primarily for use in parish-led and schoolbased discussion groups, and we do hope to use them for that purpose in our parishes in the near future. The course includes ten films about various areas of faith and life, which can either be viewed online or downloaded to a PC, and can just as easily be used by an individual for home faith study or as a home retreat. Each film lasts just twenty or thirty minutes and covers and can be viewed or downloaded at

Film 1: The search for happiness.

Film 2: Does God exist?

Film 3: Who is Jesus Christ?

Film 4: The Holy Spirit in our lives.

Film 5: Why do we need the Church?

Film 6: Can we trust the Bible and Christian Tradition?

Film 7: The gift of faith.

Film 8: The power of prayer.

Film 9: The meaning of love.

Film 10: How do I discover the purpose of my life?


Hundreds of talks about the Catholic Faith, Spirituality and Christian Theology have now been made available free online. The 800 recordings of course-talks, which reflect the legacy of the Second Vatican Council and were given at the Upholland Northern Institute between 1975 and 1988, have been digitised by Liverpool University and now made public. Subjects include the Scriptures (both Old and New Testament writings), the Sacraments, Moral Theology, Social Justice, Spirituality and Prayer, Community Development, and lots more.

The speakers are experts in their fields with many being familiar names such as Vincent Nichols, Brian Newns, Patrick Kelly, Derek Worlock, Ernest Sands, Charles Curran and Aelred Smith who are easy and interesting to listen to. Father Kevin Kelly, who was the Founding Director of the Upholland Northern Institute, writes: "Unitapes are a very valuable tool for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the faith at this momentous time. They will bring encouragement, fresh insight, and hope to many".

The talks are available free online at where there is also a downloadable PDF of the catalogue of all 800 recordings. CD versions are also available at cost price, approximately £3 each.



Small charity HOST is seeking friendly people who would like to learn more about other countries and cultures and share their home life with adult international students at UK universities. Young adults from many countries would love to have a short homely break and discover the real life of this country. Host Kit Millington-Hore writes: "Meeting students from around the world is hugely fulfilling and satisfying. Watching their pleasure as you introduce them to our ways of living, particularly over Christmas, is extremely rewarding." Visits can be for a day, weekend, or four days at Christmas. Offering a Christmas invitation to someone who would otherwise be alone on a University campus can make a big difference. Invitations are urgently needed from volunteer hosts, no matter their age, or how far they live from a university. To find out more, or to be put in touch with your local organiser, please visit or call 020 7739 6292.


A good way to keep up to date about what's happening in the Church in our own country and throughout the world is to read a weekly Catholic newspaper.

Copies of The Catholic Universe and The Catholic Times are on sale from the back of each of our churches every weekend. Why not treat yourself to a one of them?


The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) is designed for people who are engaged in the communication of their Catholic Faith, whether directly or indirectly. It is open to catechists, people involved in liturgical work and other interested adults. The CCRS can provide general theological knowledge and offer a better understanding of the Catholic faith. It will help participants to increase their practical application of the faith in their ministry in the Church. It provides the means to accurately and effectively communicate the principles of Catholic teaching.

For more details about the course, start dates, fees and your nearest centre visit the CCRS Website at or 0207 901 1900


Pope Francis described the Church as "The house of the Father where there is a place for everyone with all their problems." The Pastoral Formation Department of the Archdiocese of Liverpool offers help and support for those who are divorced or separated or experiencing the breakdown of a marriage or long-term relationship through a series of six weekly meetings "Recovery and Moving on after Divorce" held in Liverpool.

Individual support is also available for those who do not wish to attend group meetings and all is free and confidential.

For further information or to make a booking (essential) please contact Frances Trotman on 0151 727 2195.

Would you like to help promote CAFOD’s work in our Primary or Secondary Schools by becoming a school volunteer? No previous experience is required: All that is needed is that you can communicate confidently and effectively with children and young people to raise their awareness of global justice and overseas development.

Full training, support, and resources will be provided and please note that all volunteers have to be DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) cleared.

Telephone Chris or James if you are interested for more information on 0151 228 4028 or email them on

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Congratulations to Vincent Egan, a member of Sacred Heart Parish, who has been awarded the Bene Merenti Medal by Pope Francis in recognition of his long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church upon his retirement as President of the Wigan and District Catholic Men’s Society.

The award waspresented to Vincent, on behalf of the Holy Father, during a Mass at Sacred Heart Church on Tuesday 11th of March at 7.45pm

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New voices are always welcome to join the choir at each of our churches, for both the 9.00am Mass at Sacred Heart Church and the 10.30am Mass at Holy Family Church. Just walk up the stairs to the choir gallery and ask for Cecilia at Holy Family or Pat at Sacred Heart. You don’t have to be another Pavarotti or Maria Callas … if you can hold a note in your head and sing it, we’d love to have you!

We would also love to have live accompaniment music to the Mass at Sacred Heart Church instead of singing to CD backing tracks, even if just on an occasional basis: So if you can play the organ or a keyboard please see Father Tony or Deacon Ken.

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Want your petition to be placed at the grotto and a candle to burn for your intentions in Lourdes but you can't get there in person?

Well now you can do it via the internet! For a voluntary offering (to cover the price of the candle) you can, with a few clicks, place and light candles at the grotto along with your prayer request.

Within 24 hours an associate at the grotto will place your petition and candle at the grotto in a rack especially reserved for internet users.

Log onto the official site at (remember to click on the English language tab at the top unless you speak French!) and follow the online instructions.

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We would greatly appreciate more volunteers (male and female) who could offer some of their time to help clean our two churches.

If you can give up an hour or two every couple of weeks please see

Evelyn Griffin or Deacon Ken at Sacred Heart Church


Rita Abbott at Holy Family Church.

Many hands make light work!

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