Thursday, 3 June 2010

Trinity Sunday

Better late than never! Sunday was the feast of the Holy Trinity; that wonderful feast which each year draws us deeper into life of the Holy Trinity. It always offers us the opportunity to reflect on the communion of love that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and be a part of it. This is thought is clearly seen in the way we try to live our lives as Catholics: for we are made new in baptism and set out on the pilgrimage of life and faith towards the eternal Father; then to help us on the way the providential love of God, made flesh in Jesus, is there to nourish us with the Eucharist; and to make us completely prepared for that pilgrimage, in Confirmation the Spirit fills us with His gifts as we take for ourselves the first tentative steps of a considered pilgrim faith.

It was therefore an additional blessing that this year we also celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation on Trinity Sunday. Bishop Campbell confirmed our own young people who were joined by candidates from St Bernadette’s, St Patrick and Holy Family. Together they renewed their baptismal promises and joined Bishop Campbell in saying ‘This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord’. As Bishop Campbell anointed them, with the Chrism he blessed at the Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday, each young person had the chance to say AMEN and put their own feet on the pilgrim way, engaging fully in the communion of love that is God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This communion is reflected in us, God’s people, as we strive to make that communion our own in faith, in our lives and in our families. After Mass they joined Bishop Michael for a group photo on the steps of the Cathedral seen here.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

No Greater Love

After the great sucess of the visit of the relics of St Therese last Septemeber there is a wonderful opportunity this week to learn more about Carmelite life. At 6:20pm on Wednesday evening (2nd June) the Dukes Playhouse in Lancaster is showing a film entitled, No Greater Love: "A fascinating insight into the closed world of the Carmelite Nuns in London’s Notting Hill. Director Whyte spent ten years trying to gain access to the monastery and his resulting film captures a community where the modern world’s materialism is rejected. Though mainly an observational film there are several interviews, which offer insights into their life, faith, moments of doubt and their belief in the power of prayer in the heart of the community."

Thursday, 20 May 2010

The Presentation in the Temple

Mary and Joseph, as obedient Jews, went to the Temple to give thanks for her 'first-born male child' - Jesus. Being poor, they brought the offering as the Law required of them 'a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons' - they can be seen in the basket by Mary's knees. Simeon and Anna, both wonderful examples of people of faith witnessed this event: Anna, the old prophetess and widow spent all her time now - St Luke tells us - 'serving God night and day with fasting and prayer.' Simeon, the holy man, says 'Now, Master, You can let Your servant go in peace' because for Simeon this moment was a moment of light. The Ark of the Covenant had been kept safe in the Temple in Jerusalem and was there until the Temple was ransacked by the Babylonians in 586BC. The Ark represeneted God dwelling among His people. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant; she fulfils all that the Ark was; for just as the Ark of the Covenant was overshadddowed by God prescence and power, so Mary was overshaddowed by the same living presence which she carried in her womb from the Annunciation, and gave birth to nine months later - Jesus Christ. For Simeon the light was put out in the Temple when the Ark was no longer found there, but now on this day, the Light, Jesus Christ, has come back into the Temple, and hope is here for all people. He is feeast of the Presentation of the Lord, or Candlemas (2nd February) Simeons hymn, the Nunc Dimitis, is said every night as part of the Office of Compline.

At last, all-powerful Master,
You give leave to Your servant
to go in peace, according to Your promise.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
which You have prepared for all nations,
the light to enlighten the Gentiles
and give glory to Israel, Your people.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Madonna and Child

As we move on with images of Mary in and around the Cathedral, we can look at some the images we have of her with her child. The statue in the picture is a particulalrly nice one, of Mary holding her infant Son. It lives in Cathedral House; sadly it is a little too small to be used with an impact in the Cathedral, standing only about 24 inches high. The antiphon used after Vepsers from Advent until the feast of Candlemas (2nd February) puts into words the feelings this statue invokes:

"Loving Mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before, you who received Gabriel's joyful greeting, have pity on us, poor sinners."

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Nativity

We celebrate the Annunciation on 25th March and we celebrate the Nativity nine months later on 25th December. This image, the only one of the Nativity in the Cathedral, is a detail from the Reredos of the Lady Chapel Altar. That said the Crib figures always make an annual appearance in December! The Christmas mystery and Mary's role in it is truly significant for us; of all women she is the most blest in being chosen to give human flesh to Son of God. This mystery is wonderfuly expressd in the first antiphon at Vespers on January 1st, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God:

"O marvelous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share our humanity."

Friday, 14 May 2010

The Visitation

This image of the Visitation is found in the Lady Chapel; the event is celebrated on 31st May each year. After having heard that she was to be the Mother of Emmanuel, God-with-us, Mary hears that her cousin is also with child: since nothing is impossible to God. Mary hurries to visit Elizabth; Elizabeth's son (John the Baptist) would prepare the way for Mary's son. On this first meeting, the baby in Elizabeth's womb and recognises the presence of the hidden God, as the poem below describes it, and jumps for joy. From this meeting of Mary and Elizabeth we have recorded in Sacred Scripture Mary's great hymn of joy and thbnaksgiving the Magnificat.


There is a wall of flesh before the eyes

Of John, who yet perceives and hails his King.

It is Our Lady’s painful bliss to bring

Before mankind the Glory of the skies.

Her cousin feels her womb’s sweet burden rise

And leap with joy, and she comes forth to sing,

With trembling mouth, her words of welcoming.

She knows her hidden God, and prophesies

Saint John, pray for us, weary souls that tarry

Where life is withered by sin’s deadly breath.

Pray for us, whom the dogs of Satan harry,

Saint John, Saint Anne, and Saint Elizabeth.

And, Mother Mary, give us Christ to carry

Within our hearts, that we may conquer death.

By American poet Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Annunciation

Around the top of the North wall of the Lady Chapel the text of the 'Hail Mary' can be seen. This wonderful prayer is easily rushed through, and yet the words are very powerful. Gabriel's words to Mary at the Annunciation open a new chapter in the life of God's people. Mary humbly accepts God's will and her 'Yes' reverses Eve's 'No'. With Mary's grace filled 'Yes' our salvation is on the way. Mary's reward will be her crowning as Queen of Heaven, when she is seated at her risen Son's right hand in heaven. The Monogram 'MR' at the top of the picture mounted by the crown tells us she is 'Maria Regina' - Mary is Queen.

This painting, and all the painting in the Cathedral, was part of the 1995 of reordering of the Cathedral and was carried out by Bernard Watson of Preston. ( Sadly, there has been some damage to the paint work in the Lady Chapel due to water ingress; we hope one day to restore the fine paintwork.

In Latin 'Ave' literally reverse 'Eva' (Eve). The ancient hymn, the Ave Maris stella... is a fine poem for us to meditate on:

HAIL, O Star of the ocean,
God's own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav'nly rest.
Taking that sweet ‘Ave,’
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve's name.
Break the sinners' fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.
Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.
Praise to God the Father,
honour to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.

Let us go to the altar of God

Today the Cathedal is host for the Diocesan Altar Servers Mass. It is wonderful to see so many altar servers from across the Diocese here at the Cathedral for Mass with Bishop Campbell. In the three photographs above we see some of the servers who sat in nave processing into the Cathedral before Mass; then we see the procession leaving the sacristy and finally the servers in their places and the Bishop is about to incense the altar. After Mass a bun fight followed in the Social Centre. It is always good to thank and encourgae altar servers - perhaps an opportunity may arise this weekend!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Annunciation

This is an image of the Annnunciation and is to be found on the Reredos in the Lady Chapel; it is the left-hand panel. This is a beautiful altar - we think it is Italian - but have no physical evidence for this only the wisdom of those who know these things!

This Reredos has had has suffered some damage over the years; on this picture the lily that Gabriel is touching is no longer there. All the same it is a wonderful image and gives us something to think about during May.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mary, Mystical Rose

The Cathedral Chapter had a meeting today and since we’re looking at Marian images in and around the Cathedral we can have a look at the Seal of the Chapter since it bears a symbol of Mary, under the title ‘Mystical Rose’.
It is an odd time for a Christmas Carol but this carol gives us a nice reflection of Mary, the Mystical Rose:

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Saviour,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Our Lady and St Anne

This image of Our Lady and St Anne is from the Whiteside Chapel.

St Anne is showing her daughter the text from the Prophet Isaiah which refers to her: 'A virgin will conceive...' The Holy Spirit had already acted; Mary was conceived free from sin. She who was to be the new 'Ark of the Covenant', she who was to be the tabernacle of the Most High, had to be free from the contamination of sin, in order to give human flesh to the Word made flesh, Jesus our saviour. As we begin the month of May let us pray that we can listen to the Word of the God, that It will help us avoid sin in our lives and so teach how to live in the freedom that belongs to the childen of the living God.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

May is Mary's Month

Today sees the start of the month of May, during which we will have our next series of ‘Curious About...’ talks. It will be no surprise then that we are going to be Curious About Mary. As the month unfolds the Cathedral blog will take a look at various images of Mary seen in and around the Cathedral, some may be familiar, some not. Today’s image is of a statue, which at the moment, is by the main staircase in Cathedral House, here catching the early morning sunshine.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Concerts and Events 2010

The programme of concerts and cultural events for 2010 has just been published, and as always there's plenty to look forward to. A great variety is on offer, ranging from chant workshops to the popular Candlelight Baroque concert in December. You can see all the details in pdf format, by clicking here.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Beside the Seaside

As many Blog readers will know, Fr Andrew left the Cathedral parish last week to take up new duties as assistant priest at St Bernadette's in Bispham, and to be the Catholic chaplain to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. A couple of days after his arrival in Blackpool, St Bernadette's was celebrating its 60th anniversary. Bishop Campbell celebrated Mass for the parish, and took the opportunity to present to the people their new priest - this picture captures the moment!

Fr Stewart Keeley, who left St Bernadette's to replace Fr Andrew at the Cathedral, returned to Blackpool for the Mass. At the buffet afterwards, the priests of the parish past and present posed for a photo. Here is Fr Stewart (now safely installed at the Cathedral parish) is with Fr Andrew.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Responding to the criticisms

Following the extensive media criticism of the Church, a number of writers have offered responses to balance the media's reporting of scandal within the Church. A parishioner has recommended a piece in The Tablet by Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP (read it here). Other useful pieces include an article by Bishop James Conley of the Archdiocese of Denver (see here); George Weigel has written a helpful article here; former Holy See Press Officer Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who is also a doctor, has written a defence of the Pope here, and a Rabbi has spoken out against the media's coverage of the situation (see here). These and many other articles are available online, reminding us that there is another side to this story, even if it remains largely unreported by the secular media.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Chrism Mass 2010

This morning the diocesan Chrism Mass took place in the Cathedral, and the Lord blessed us with fine weather for the priests' annual walk through the Cathedral gardens. On these occasions the concelebrants tend to enter the Cathedral through the main west doors, and so form a public procession as they approach the church. At the Chrism Mass priests come, in many cases with some parishioners, from all parts of the Diocese. It is the occasion each year on which priests are asked to renew their commitment to service, and in this Year for Priests the Mass this renewal seemed particularly important. In his homily, the Bishop spoke about how the Holy Oils reveal the fundamental calling given to the priest. You can find the full text here.

After Mass, the three oils: the Oil of Catechumens, used just before baptism, the Oil of the Sick, used to anoint those who are ill, and the Oil of Chrism, which is used in baptism, confirmation and at ordinations, are distributed to the priests of the Diocese for them to take back to their own parish. The fact that all the oils used in the sacraments come from this one source reminds us of the unity of our Diocese. Now all those who came this morning have returned to their own parishes, ready to celebrate the great Triduum - the three days of Our Lord's suffering, death and resurrection. The Triduum begins here at the Cathedral with the Mass of the Lord's Supper, celebrated this evening at 7:30pm. The full Holy Week timetable can be found here.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Palm Sunday

Today we begin Holy Week, the high point of the Church's year. Mass at the Cathedral this morning began with a procession through the Cathedral gardens, after the reading of St Luke's account of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. For the next seven days we are called to accompany the Lord in His suffering, death and resurrection.

There are over twenty public services (liturgies and devotions) at the Cathedral during this week. This morning the Bishop, who will preside at five of these liturgies, celebrated the 10:30am Mass. It will be the first time that Bishop Campbell has celebrated Holy Week at the Cathedral; last year Bishop O'Donoghue presided, a few weeks ahead of his retirement.

You are most welcome to come to the Cathedral for the liturgies taking place this week. Of particular note for those outside the parish is the Diocesan Chrism Mass, which takes place on Thursday at 11:30am. You can find the full Holy Week timetable in the Cathedral Diary: click here.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Convent Chapel Windows

Today is the feast of the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and asked her to be the Mother of the Saviour. The scene is represented in one of the windows of the former convent chapel at the Cathedral (now referred to as "St Walburga's", and used mainly for catechesis). As you can see from this image, the window is quite badly faded, seemingly as a result of faulty glass-making techniques which were sometimes used in the early 1850s.

The other stained glass window on the same wall shows two independent scenes: on the left Our Lady as a child, being taught by her mother, St Anne; on the right, St John the Evangelist at work. It too has suffered over the years, with much of the detail lost. There are examples of this sort of deterioration in other churches; one notable example in the north of England is the glass in St Joseph's Chapel in the seminary at Ushaw, which dates from around the same time.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Papal Visit: details confirmed

Today details of the Holy Father's visit to Britain have been confirmed. The four-day trip will take place 16th-19th September, beginning in Scotland. The main public celebrations of Mass will be in Glasgow and Coventry; at the latter the Pope will beatify Cardinal Newman. The state visit - an historic first - also includes an address to civil leaders in Westminster Hall, where St Thomas More was sentenced to death in 1535. You can find many more details about the visit on the dedicated website which has been launched - click here to take a look. Also keep an eye on this blog for further news and developments, as the Cathedral parish makes its plans to see the Holy Father during his visit.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Saturdays during Lent

Although there haven't been too many posts on the blog recently, there is plenty going on behind the scenes, and a fair amount at parish level too. Our Tuesday evening talks on Holy Week are continuing, as are our Friday evening meditations on the Passion of the Lord. Saturdays, too, have an extra opportunity for Lenten prayer. Throughout the year the Rosary is prayed on Sunday afternoons in the Cathedral (Joyful Mysteries during Advent and Christmas, then the Mysteries of Light until Lent, and the Glorious Mysteries from Easter Sunday onwards), but during Lent this is replaced by Stations of the Cross. So that the Rosary is prayed publicly the whole year round, the Sorrowful Mysteries are now prayed during Exposition on Saturday mornings during Lent, beginning at 11:40am.

Also on Saturdays, we are now praying for God's blessing upon the forthcoming Papal visit, details of which are due to be announced shortly. Each Saturday until the visit, at the end of 12:15pm Mass, a short prayer is said for our country and prayers for the Holy Father's intentions are offered. Please pray for Pope Benedict in the months ahead, and if you haven't yet signed the petition set up to welcome him, you can find it here.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Choosing the Common Good

You may have seen reports during the week about the launch of a new document from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. The document, Choosing the Common Good, was launched at a press conference on Wednesday. The pictures here are from the Bishops' Conference Flickr site and are (c) Mazur/

Archbishop Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Smith of Cardiff, chair and vice-chair of the conference, led the proceedings. The Archbishop of Westminster has also written the foreword to the document, which states that its purpose is to promote the good of all and a greater understanding of Catholic thinking, ahead of both the General Election and the papal visit.

The document deals with some of the key issues concerning the Church in our country today: the practice of virtue, the value of human life, globalisation and ecology, migration, marriage and the family, community cohesion, the consequences of the economic crisis and the right and duty of faith communities to make a contribution to the life of the country. It's a fairly concise document - about 20 pages in total - and we are encouraged to read it over the coming weeks. The full text can be downloaded from the Bishops' Conference website (click here).

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Make the Pope welcome: sign the petition

As you will know, Pope Benedict is due to visit our country later this year. Details of the visit are still to be announced, but it seems likely to be a four-day visit in the middle of September, and we can expect to see the programme before too long. As news of the visit emerged, a number of secular groups got together to organise a petition against the event. Now a petition has been launched in support of the Holy Father. It takes less than a minute to sign up and show your support for the visit, so please take the time by clicking here and following the instructions. Thank you to Fr Chris Loughran of St Clare's, Preston, who notified us about this initiative.

Monday, 1 March 2010

March Diary

Happy St David's Day to all readers - especially if you have Welsh connections! Today, of course, is also the first day of March, so time for us to take a look ahead at what the month brings. Before we get to April we will be in Holy Week, so a busy few weeks lie ahead. It's a penitential time, of course, and so Lenten practices and devotions such as the Stations of the Cross give this month its character. Our Friday evening devotions, and our Tuesday night talks, 'Curious about Holy Week', continue through to the end of the month. A couple of feast days break the rigours of Lent: St Patrick (17th), St Joseph (19th) and the Annunciation of the Lord (25th). Some of the children of the parish will make their First Confession towards the end of the month, ahead of their First Communion in June. You can see the full March diary (and also the schedule for Holy Week) on the Cathedral website's main diary page: click here.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

St Martin Fund

The story of St Martin, the fourth-century Bishop of Tours, tells us that as a young man he saw a man in need of clothing, and shared half his own cloak with the poor man. Last weekend the Cathedral parish launched a new 'St Martin Fund' as part of our charitable work. The fund will be used to support local families who are struggling to make ends meet. It will give practical help, rather than money directly (for example, it may pay for a gas/electricity card to be 'charged up') and will hopefully prove to be of assistance to those in great need. Parishioners have the opportunity to contribute to this fund at the end of each Sunday Mass during Lent.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The return of the Curious

We're now less than 40 days away from the greatest week in the Church's year. Holy Week is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the very heart of our Christian faith. The Liturgy of Holy Week is the most powerful of all the Church's actions, and is rich in symbolism. A series of five talks on the liturgy of Holy Week gets underway this evening. The talks take place each Tuesday leading up to Holy Week, and begin at 7:30pm in St Walburga's (the Cathedral 'day chapel', accessed from Balmoral Road). There's no charge and everyone is welcome. This is the latest in our series of 'Curious about...' talks, which have built up something of a following in recent years. If you'd like to know more about the talks, click here.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Friday evening devotions in Lent

Yesterday our Lenten Friday evening devotions got underway. Each Friday during this holy season there will be Stations of the Cross at 7pm (followed by Exposition), a 15-minute meditation on the Passion of the Lord at 7:45pm, and sung Compline (night prayer) and Benediction at 8:15pm. The idea is that people can come for the whole time (about one and a half hours) or for any part of the evening. The meditations focus on the role of different characters in the Passion narratives. Last night's text looked at St Peter; still to come are Judas and the Pharisees (26th), Pontius Pilate (5th March), Simon, Veronica and the Holy Women (12th March), The Secret Disciples (19th March) and finally Our Lady (26th March). You are most welcome to join us for any of these Friday evenings. If you'd like to read last evening's meditation on St Peter's role in the Passion, you can find it here.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Cathedral School organ visits

A couple of weeks back many of the children at the Cathedral School had the chance to visit our newly-restored pipe organ. Guided by the Cathedral's Director of Music, Damian Howard, who also teaches music at the school, they learnt about the workings of the instrument. The children then had the chance to play a few notes, giving them a brief 'hands on' experience. Hopefully the visit will have deepened the children's appreciation of music in general, and - who knows - maybe it will have inspired some organists of the future! The Cathedral School Blog, which is regularly updated, has a couple more photos: click here to visit the site.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Ash Wednesday

Today, Ash Wednesday, the great season of Lent begins. It is a time of year that calls us to repentance, and its message seems to echo in the experience of the faithful. Each year, large numbers of people come to Mass on this day and are marked with ashes on their forehead.

Even before Mass it was obvious to those arriving that we are entering a new season. The Cathedral looks very bare: no flowers, some of the decoration removed. The starkness of Lent stands in stark contrast to the vibrancy of the Easter feast which follows.

After the Gospel reading, the Bishop blessed the ashes. He then knelt down as he received the ashes on his forehead, the first of those present to be marked with this sign of repentance.

The Bishop then marked the foreheads of the concelebrating priests; here the Cathedral Dean, Canon Stephen Shield, receives the ashes. This symbol is a Biblical sign of repentance and of sorrow for sins; it also reminds us of our mortality ("you are dust, and to dust you shall return") and therefore calls us to use well our time on earth.

The congregation then approached the Bishop and the priests to receive their ashes...

... forming queues in the central aisle and side aisles as they each symbolically declared their contrition for their failings. It is perhaps surprising - and also encouraging - that within the rites of the Church's year, it is not only the great feasts and celebrations to which people respond; this penitential act also draws people in great number.

After each person had been marked with the ashes, the Mass continued as usual. So it is that the great season of Lent is underway, and for the weeks ahead we keep a 40-day feast, following the example of Our Lord at the beginning of His ministry. If you haven't yet been to Mass, it's more than likely that your local parish has an evening celebration. The Cathedral's last Mass of the day is at 7:30pm.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Deacon Nolan with the Pope

Here's a little moment of joy, before the rigours of Lent set in tomorrow. A few weeks ago the students and staff of the Pontifical North American College, Rome, had a private audience with the Holy Father to mark the college's 150th anniversary. As well as listening to Pope Benedict's address, many of those present had the chance to see him close up. Deacon Nolan Lowry, who has strong ties with the Cathedral parish (he was last with us at Christmas), is seen here greeting the Holy Father. You can read more about the audience, and see some pictures and a short video, on the North American College website: click here for the relevant page.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Archbishop Oscar Romero

Next month many events will take place to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated while celebrating Mass in March 1980. From the time of his appointment as Archbishop of San Salvador he began to show great concern for the poor and oppressed of his country, and this concern led him into conflict with the government of the time. This conflict ultimately resulted in his death, and his cause for canonisation is currently under consideration.

Yesterday our own Cathedral hosted events marking the anniversary of the Archbishop's murder. Although the anniversary is still a few weeks away, it has been marked now so that it does not interfere with the liturgy of Lent. Bishop Campbell celebrated the Cathedral's main Sunday Mass, at which the Archbishop was remembered. You can read the Bishop's homily on the diocesan website: click here. After Mass Jan Graffius of Stonyhurst College, a member of the Romero Trust, gave a fascinating talk about his life and the context in which his work took place. A good crowd turned out to hear her words, as can be seen in the picture above.

Pupils at Our Lady's Catholic College in Lancaster got involved in the events, which were organised in association with the Lancaster Diocese Faith and Justice Commission and Cafod Lancaster. The pupils produced this replica of Archbishop Romero's coat of arms, with his motto - Sentire cum Ecclesia - clearly shown. The motto, taken from St Ignatius' writings, encourages us to 'be one with the mind of the Church'. You can find out more about Archbishop Romero's life and death by visiting the website of the Romero Trust: click here to take a look.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Decorated for Our Lady's feast

As mentioned in the previous post, last Thursday was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, principal patron of the Diocese of Lancaster. Our flower ladies (who will shortly have a bit more time on their hands, as Lent is approaching!) did a fine job decorating a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was placed in the Lady Chapel for the feast. At the end of both Mass and Vespers on Thursday there was a procession to the chapel, where the Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes was said. This small shrine remains in place for those coming to the Cathedral this weekend.

In the evening the Bishop led the Rosary and presided at Vespers. In his homily at Vespers he invited us to ask Our Lady's intercession for the Diocese, for all who are sick, and for priests. You can read the full text of the homily on the diocesan website: click here.