Bishop Ralph – Marriage Week – Pastoral Letter, February 2017 – Sheffield Catholic Cathedral. This week marks the twentieth year that Marriage Week has been celebrated in the UK. We have also celebrated St Valentine’s Day. Three years ago Pope Francis used the feast of St Valentine to speak to engaged couples in St Peter’s […]
Archives for February 2017
The Rotherham Deanery Christmas lunch on Thursday, 8 December was attended by sixty-three parishioners and friends from the churches of St Gerard’s, St Bede’s, Immaculate Conception and Blessed Trinity. There was entertainment by a Shirley Bassey tribute act and a great time was had by all.
Dorothy Anderson tells us, on Saturday, 26 November members of Hallam Union of Catholic Mothers enjoyed meeting up and having Christmas lunch at the Holiday Inn, Rotherham. We had the pleasure of the company of Mrs Val Ward, the UCM National President. This was also the opportunity for fund raising for the Bluebell Wood Hospice. We were able to purchase Christmas stockings knitted by some of the members of St Vincent’s Foundation, Sheffield. A good time was had by all.
St Bede’s Church, Rotherham awaiting the celebration of Christmas Midnight Mass.
Pupils from Mount St Mary’s College and Barlborough Hall School performed a three night sell-out run of Les Misérables to a Sheffield theatre and won consecutive standing ovations as the curtain fell. The cast, ranging in age from 8 to 18-years-old, performed for over 1,200 people over the three nights, including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox. Many months of rehearsals totalling well over 100 hours paid off, as the pupils expertly delivered what is a demanding and much loved show. Headmaster, Dr Nicholas Cuddihy said, “It was outstanding and I am immensely proud. What a brilliant showcase of our pupils’ abilities. I have been inundated with praise for them by members of the audience, which included a significant number of people who aren’t connected to the school but know of our musical reputation and for that reason alone bought tickets.” The school, in the village of Spinkhill near Sheffield, is renowned for its prowess in the field of performing arts. Pupils won 50 of the 57 classes they entered in the Worksop Festival of Music and Drama 2015 and have recently returned from a hugely successful tour to Rome where 100 choristers gave a series of concerts and sung Mass in St Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican. Director of Music, Mrs Lucy Kitchener, said, “We knew that this show would be exciting when we auditioned the pupils nine months ago. The principals are exceptional singers who have superb vocal technique thanks to their teachers, husband and wife team Katharine Prestwood and Jonathan Mugridge. “This was a large cast of around 65 pupils which demonstrated not just a few good individuals but a breadth of talent across all years in the school. We are immensely proud of this production and are delighted that our audiences appreciated the quality of the pupils’ performances,” added Mrs Kitchener. Mr Jack Murphy, Deputy Head Pastoral and Head of Sixth Form, co-directed the play with Jonathan Mugridge, vocal coach and choirmaster. The set was built by Mr Murphy’s father.
St Peter-in-Chains, Doncaster are very much looking forward to a celebration on Wednesday, 1 February when one of their parishioners, Sir Patrick Duffy, will be invested with the Order of Knight Commander of St Gregory. Patrick Duffy is one of four children born to the late James and Margaret Duffy, Irish immigrants who settled in Wigan, Lancashire. He was born in 1920. His father was a miner. At the age of five his family moved to the coalfields of South Yorkshire, where new pit shafts were being sunk to the depth of seven hundred metres. The risk of accident and death haunted miners every day. Margaret Duffy was determined this would not be the fate of her sons. Education was the only avenue open to poor people at the time, if they could manage without a child’s wages from the pit. Patrick attended the local school. The nearest Catholic Church was 10ks away. There was no public transport. A priest came every Sunday. Mass was celebrated in a local school and at the age of seven Patrick became an altar server. This was a major step on the avenue of future success. The priest taught him Latin. It helped him acquire at an early age a taste for reading and an understanding of language, literature and history. He travelled with the priest, (a wounded veteran of WW1), to other schools in other mining villages. While still a teenager WW2 broke out and he joined the Armed Forces, the Fleet Air Arm. On one of his missions his plane crashed and he received serious burn injuries, especially to the upper part of his body. Since then at regular intervals he requires corrective plastic surgery to his face. Perhaps the wartime surgeon did not expect him to live for too long. He eventually returned to duty and left the forces in 1946 with the rank of Commanding Officer, Naval School of Air Radar; at that time a new and experimental department in the Navy. Patrick gained a Degree and a Doctorate in Law from the London School of Economics and the Columbia University, New York. He started as a Lecturer at Leeds University, was always interested in politics, local and national and fought a number of parliamentary elections. He was elected as a member of the Labour Party for Colne Valley in 1963; he lost the seat in the 1966 election. He stood for Sheffield Attercliffe in 1970, won the seat and remained in Parliament until 1992. In the 1970’s he was Minister of the Navy, President of the NATO Assembly in the 1980’s. In this latter capacity he had a private audience with Pope St John Paul 11 on 9 October, 1989. He led the Delegation to the Warsaw Pact and was the first western leader to take a Delegation to the Kremlin in 1991. He was a major force in bringing the Cold War to an end, for which he received a Knighthood from HM Queen Elizabeth 11. He was also Deputy Chair of the Atlantic Council. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Boards of the Centre of Defence and International Studies, Hull University, and the Universities of Lancaster and York Defence Research Institute. Life after Parliament was and still is very full and busy for Patrick Duffy. Throughout his public life he has always acknowledged his Faith. He has fought with great vigour for the Rights of the Unborn Child, even voting against his Party Whip. And has given, and still willing to give, Seminars throughout the country on the Right of the Unborn. Welfare and Social Justice remain of great interest to him. He has been a Champion of Peace, especially in Northern Ireland and worked hard in the early days to contribute to, what eventually became, the Good Friday Agreement. He has led many Summer Schools on Peace and Cooperation between nations at numerous Universities across North America. As the son of immigrants he is keenly interested in supporting the present day immigrants. He has always been an active and devout member of the Parish of St Peter in Chains and has never made a secret of his Catholicism. He remains a great example of a Public Figure witnessing to the Faith by his numerous Pilgrimages, not least El Camino Santiago. His autobiography ”Growing up Irish in Britain” and “British in Ireland” was published in 2013.
Patron Saint of human trafficking and slavery On 8 February, the Catholic Church commemorates the life of St Josephine Bakhita, a Canossian Sister who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Sudan when young. The trauma of Bakhita’s abduction caused her to forget her own name. The name by which she has become known is a mixture of the name given by her slave traders (bakhita, Arabic for ‘lucky’) and the Christian name, Josephine, she took in adulthood. In 1883, Bakhita was bought and taken to Italy. She made her profession in 1896 with the Canossians and was assigned to a convent where she spent the remaining 45 years of her life dedicated to assisting her community and teaching others to love God. Bakhita’s last years were marked by pain and sickness, but she retained her cheerfulness. If asked how she was, she always answered smiling ‘as the Master desires’. St Josephine was beatified in 1992 and canonised shortly after in October, 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She is the first person to be canonised from Sudan and is the patron saint of the country and the patron saint of victims of human slavery and trafficking. The Global Slavery Index estimates there are 45 million slaves today in the world and Government estimates in the UK suggest that there may be up to 15,000 men, women and children at present who are victims of human trafficking and slavery. The Medaille Trust is a charity founded by Religious – by Priests, Sisters and Brothers from many Orders and Congregations to help men, women and their children who have been rescued from the evil of human trafficking. The work of The Medaille Trust is to care for and empower victims of human trafficking in the UK and to raise awareness of the plight of those who are enslaved and exploited in the trafficking industry, and campaign on their behalf. Working together with victims we rebuild lives and offer brighter futures. The charity does this by providing safe housing for both male and female victims of human trafficking and their dependents in 10 houses located across the breadth of England. For more details about the work of The Medaille Trust, please contact Sheena Field on 01246 769486 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sheena is available to deliver talks and presentations in schools, parishes or to other groups interested in combating human trafficking and slavery in the UK and across the globe. Pope John Paul II said, “The trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights.” Pope Francis says that trafficking is “an open wound on the body of contemporary society.” Please pray with St Josephine Bakhita for the men, women and children who are victims of trafficking and slavery still.
A fused glass art installation designed and made by a Sheffield teenager was unveiled at a war memorial by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Molly Meleady-Hanley, a pupil at Mount St Mary’s College, a Jesuit school, created the artwork in memory of the pupils and school staff who fought and died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Artistic Molly was inspired to create the striking tribute by the centenary of the battle and the forthcoming 175th anniversary of the school. The piece was unveiled in a special ceremony in front of the whole school and invited guests, including the Bishop of Hallam, Ralph Heskett, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, John Holt and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox. The service took place in the Memorial Chapel, within the school building in the village of Spinkhill, near Sheffield. Guests were welcomed by the school’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF) marching band. During the service, buglers from The Yorkshire Volunteer Corps of Drums played the Last Post and Reveille, which opened and closed a minute’s silence. Molly, aged 13, who is a competitive race walker, a volunteer at Sparkle Sheffield and a poet, used Peter McArdle as her muse for the piece. The McArdle family lost four of five sons in the First World War, all of whom were pupils at Mount St Mary’s. Molly connected with Peter primarily as he was a sports scholar, like her. Dr Nicholas Cuddihy, Headmaster of Mount St Mary’s, said, “Our mission is to grow men and women for others and Molly is a person who takes that message and adds to it. She is a role model, no doubt, and we are very proud of how generously she shares her talents and time for the good of others.” The chapel, designed by Adrian Gilbert Scott, was completed in 1924 and is a registered national memorial to pupils and staff from the school killed in the First World War. More than 200 names are inscribed on the walls of the atrium to the chapel, listing those from Mount St Mary’s who died in the Second Boer War, First World War and Second World War. Molly’s artwork will be displayed in this space.
Cyril Morewood, a parishioner of St Marie’s Cathedral, celebrated his 100th birthday on 29 December, 2016. His celebration included a birthday party with his wife Justine, son Roger and family and friends. Cyril received many cards including ones from the Queen and from our Diocesan community.
Six Characters in Search of an Author is a 1921 Italian play by Luigi Pirandello. But Barnsley Catenians went one better than Pirandello by staging Cinderella with Five Characters at their December Circle. Fortunately the production was very short, five minutes, with no acting skill required. President Luvvie, Andrew Hartley was producer, director and lead! Kenneth Brannagh can sleep easy though. The rest of the cast appealed for anonymity but as they didn’t write this review, or the one that went in The Stage.., they are left to right Mike Fealy (Fairy Godmother) Mike Starford (Ugly Sister) Pat Horbury (Prince Charming) Chris Horbury (Cinderella) and Andrew Hartley (Narrator). Oh yes they were!