Newsletter 31st May 2020

A People of Hope Thirty-eight years ago this weekend, Pope John Paul II flew into Speke Airport and addressed the crowds gathered there, then he drove to the Anglican Cathedral and along Hope Street to the Catholic Cathedral where he celebrated Mass and preached about reconciliation. Some of the words he spoke in our city are as relevant today as they were then.
At the airport he said ‘our times present us with many challenges and difficulties’, mentioning unemployment and other dangers facing young people. He said he had been told he would be passing along Hope Street and went on ‘All these ills of society could bring us to disillusionment and even despair, if we were not a people of hope, if we did not have a deep and abiding confidence in the power and mercy of God… our young people, indeed all of us, need the virtue of hope, a hope not founded on fantasy and dreams, not even on what is seen, but a hope which arises from our faith in the God who loves us and is our gentle and merciful Father.’
In the Cathedral the Holy Father recalled that at Pentecost in 1980 the delegates at the National Pastoral Congress had gathered in the Cathedral to pray for healing and mercy, for light and wisdom and for the grace to be faithful to God’s will. He said, ‘This evening we too assemble round this same altar… we seek unity from the same Holy Spirit who grants various gifts to the faithful and different ministries to the Church…. As the Holy Spirit granted the Apostles the gift of tongues, so that all gathered in Jerusalem on that first Pentecost might hear and understand the one Gospel of Christ, should we not expect the same Holy Spirit to grant us the gifts we need in order to continue the work of salvation, and to be reunited as one body in Christ?’ And then he prayed: ‘Send forth your Spirit O Lord, renew our hearts and minds with the gifts of light and truth. Renew our homes and families with the gifts of unity and joy. Renew our cities and our countries with true justice and lasting peace. Renew your Church on earth with the gifts of penance and reconciliation, with unity in faith and love’. What better prayer could we pray today? Fr Chris.