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On Sunday the 13th of October, Pope Francis will canonise Blessed John Henry Newman in Rome. Cardinal Newman will be the first English person since the 17th Century to be officially recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church.

John Henry Newman is held in high regard by both Catholics and Anglicans (he was an Anglican priest before becoming a Catholic) and his canonisation is a day long-awaited and rejoiced over by many in both communions. But how much do you know about his life and his writings?

Father Laurence Sambella, a priest of the Salford Diocese, will be giving a talk about Cardinal Newman on Friday the 4th of October at 7.30pm at Saint John’s Presbytery, Powell Street, Wigan – beside Saint John’s Church. All are welcome


Archbishop Malcolm has announced the following clergy retirements and appointments taking place around now:

Bishop Vincent Malone, who retired as Auxiliary Bishop in 2006, has resigned as Vicar General after serving for thirty years in that capacity. He has also resigned as a trustee of the Archdiocese after nearly forty years. Monsignor John Devine has succeeded Fr. Sean Kirwin as Episcopal Vicar for Finance. This is in addition to being Parish Priest of Saint Mary’s, Douglas, Isle of Man. Fr. Bernard Jackson has tendered his resignation as parish priest of St Mary’s, Birchley, and will retire after fifty-four years of dedicated service to the Church in the Archdiocese. Fr. Paul Harris SDS, currently parish priest of Corpus Christi, Rainford, will also take on responsibility for St Mary’s, Birchley.

The four Permanent Deacons ordained at the beginning of July have been given the following appointments: Gergely Juhász: Parishes of Bishop Eton and St. Mary, Woolton; Woolton & Halewood Pastoral Area and Liverpool Hope University. Peter Mawtus: Parish of St. Anne, Ormskirk, and Ormskirk and Maghull Pastoral Area. Michael Moffatt: Parish of St. Edward, Wigan, and Wigan Pastoral Area. Paul Rooney: Parishes of St. Bartholomew & St. Theresa, Rainhill & St. Helens; St. Helens Pastoral Area and Liverpool Hope University.


After fifty six years of active ministry, twenty nine of them as Parish Priest of Saint Oswald’s, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Father Brian Newns has chosen to retire due to reasons of ill health. He will continue to live in the presbytery at Saint Oswald’s. We pray for him a long and happy well-earned retirement.

Father John Gorman will succeed him as Parish Priest of Saint Oswald’s, in addition to being Parish Priest of Our Lady’s, Bryn and Saint Wilfrid’s, Stubshaw Cross.


Archbishop Malcolm has announced the following Movements and Appointments of Priests to take effect in the Archdiocese of Liverpool from September:

  • Monsignor Anthony Dennick retires as parish priest of Our Lady and St Joseph, Prescot,
  • Canon Joseph Kelly retires as parish priest of St George, Maghull.
  • Fr Michael O’Dowd will be stepping down as Episcopal Vicar for Education after 23 years and is succeeded by Fr Michael Fitzsimons.
  • Canon Chris Fallon to be parish priest of Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, and St Swithin, Croxteth, in addition to his current appointment at St Teresa, Norris Green.
  • Fr Martin Kershaw to be parish priest of St Teresa, Devon Street, St Helens, in addition to his current appointment at St Austin, Thatto Heath.
  • Fr Andrew Rowlands to be parochial administrator of Our Lady and St Joseph, Prescot, in addition to being parish priest of St Michael and All Angels, Kirkby.
  • Fr Ron Johnson to be parish priest of St Charles and St Thomas More, Aigburth, and also to be Archdiocesan Director of Vocations.
  • Fr Gerard Tuite to be assistant priest at St James, Orrell. Fr Colin Fealey to be parish priest at Christ the King and Our Lady, Liverpool.
  • Fr Andrew Unsworth to be parochial administrator at St James, Orrell.
  • Fr James Preston to join the staff at St Mary’s College, Oscott, as spiritual director.
  • Fr Sean Riley to further studies in Leuven.
  • Fr John Poland to Archbishop’s House as private secretary and assistant at the Metropolitan Tribunal.
  • Fr Anthony Kelly to be assistant priest at Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs and St Swithin, Croxteth and at St Teresa, Norris Green.
  • Fr Mark Drew to be assistant priest at St Paul of the Cross, Burtonwood and St Joseph, Penketh, and residing at Penketh.
  • Fr Kenneth Hyde is on sick leave.

The Archbishop writes: Once again, the list of appointments shows priests taking on additional responsibilities. It is to their credit and shows clearly the apostolic zeal and pastoral care which is characteristic of the priests of our archdiocese. I found their willingness to accept additional roles very touching and I ask you all to join me in keeping them in your daily prayers.

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.