Pilgrims Invited To Follow In The Footsteps Of St Pio And St Francis

San Giovanni Rotondo

You are invited to join Bishop Terry on our diocesan pilgrimage to Italy to follow in the footsteps of St Pio Of Pietrelcina and St Francis Of Assisi.

The pilgrimage takes place from Wednesday October 2 to Sunday October 6 and highlights include…

Pietrelcina – the village where Padre Pio was born. The visit will include Saint Pio’s house, the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the Church of Sant’ Anna and ancient village.

San Giovanni Rotondo – we will visit the places associated with Saint Pio’s life and activities – Santa Maria delle Grazie, the new church of Padre Pio, the sanctuary where he had a famous appearance and more.

Route To Assisi via Lanciano (Miracle of the Eucharist) – there will be a guided tour of the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angele and we will visit St Francis’ hermitage before travellling on to San Damiano and the Basilica of St Clare.

This is a taster of the places we will visit and experiences we will have while on this journey. Mass will be celebrated every day in some of the beautiful basilicas.

Flights are from and to Leeds-Bradford airport and the cost is £659 per person sharing based on a minimum of 40 people travelling. There is a single supplement of £28 per night and travel insurance is required and available for £29pp.

To express your interest in joining this pilgrim journey, please email Jenny Dowson on jennydowson@rcdmidd.org.uk or write to her at The Curial Office, 50A The Avenue, Middlesbrough, TS5 6QT, giving your contact details.

A Reflection For Racial Justice Sunday

Racial Justice Sunday

February 17 marks Racial Justice Sunday, which focuses on the experiences of ethnic communities in England and Wales.

It is a day on which we all called to earnestly pray for an end to racism and racial inequality in our country. The theme this year is Dignity of Work, looking at how all people must not be exploited or face discrimination and hatred in their work.

The second collection for this day will be distributed in grants to organisations working on racial justice issues.

FATHER ASHLEY BECK, senior lecturer in Pastoral Ministry at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, tells us more…

On Racial Justice Sunday we are invited to root our prayer and practical work for racial justice in our response to how God speaks to us in the scriptures at Mass this weekend.

The focus of the Sunday this year is the exploitation of workers – both migrant workers in general and particularly victims of trafficking and slavery.

For more than 120 years the Catholic Church has championed the rights of workers because of what we believe about the dignity of every person created in God’s image and the nature of human work itself, as being part of how God wants us to fulfil his will for us in our lives.

The rise of populist nationalism – in this country, the rest of Europe and throughout the world – has led to an increase in racial discrimination and hatred, which Christians need to discern and denounce.

The prophet Jeremiah in our first reading on Racial Justice Sunday (17: 5-8) is facing in his society a level of moral chaos and political disintegration, which perhaps we can recognise.

But his call to the people and their rulers is to trust in God and not in man – human institutions, especially the power of the state, which has always claimed so much power over people’s lives.

For Christians trusting in God rests on the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the belief which defines us as a community, which St Paul reflects about in our second reading from 1 Corinthians (15:12, 16-20).

Those who oppress others in the world put before people false heroes and role models based on power and violence: by contrast our God is one who was crucified as a common criminal and who came back to life through God’s power.

Luke’s version of Jesus’ Beatitudes (6:17, 20-26) unambiguously shows God as being on the side of the poor in history. The poor who suffer now will be vindicated by God. In Luke’s version, Jesus who tells the poor that they are blessed and happy also tells the rich that the tables will be turned and that they will be punished –perhaps this is why Luke’s version of the Beatitudes is less well known than Matthew’s.

All of us are challenged today to put the poor first, especially migrants and others who are victims of labour exploitation.

Resources for the Racial Justice Sunday will be available in parishes and can be downloaded from at catholicnews.org.uk/racial-justice-sunday-2019.

Campaigner To Give Peace Talk

Campaigner To Give Peace Talk

Our diocesan Justice and Peace Commission is delighted to welcome Chris Cole as the speaker for its January Peace meeting in York.

Chris is the co-ordinator of Fig Tree, a new initiative to engage the Christian community on peace and security issues.

Fig Tree aims to preach the gospel of peace in word and deed and to build and support the Christian peace community here in the UK. 

Chris’s work of preaching the gospel of peace has led him to challenge war and the arms trade, resulting in several prison sentences.

He has spent the past seven years as director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a Christian peace organisation set up by conscientious objectors during the World War I.

He was a co-ordinator at Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and Justice and Peace co-ordinator for the Diocese of Southwark. 

“The Technology of Modern War and the Quest for Peace” takes place on Saturday January 19 2019 at Our Lady’s, Acomb, York Y024 3AE from 10.30am, with tea and coffee from 10am. The meeting will conclude with a shared lunch.

This year’s Peace Sunday is celebrated on January 20.

Barbara Hungin

Choral Services At The Cathedral

Choral Services At The Cathedral

The following choral services will take place at St Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough during the month of January…

Sunday January 6 at 10am: Solemn Mass of Epiphany (Cathedral Choir)

Sunday January 13 at 10am: Solemn Mass (Cathedral Choir)

Wednesday January 16 at 6pm: Sung Benediction with Vespers (Cantor)

Sunday January 20 at 10am: Solemn Mass (Cathedral Choir)

Wednesday January 23 at 6pm: Sung Benediction with Vespers (Ladies Schola)

Sunday January 27 at 10am: Solemn Mass (Cathedral Choir)

Sunday January 27 at 4.15pm: Solemn Vespers (Consort and Senior Choristers)

Wednesday January 30 at 6pm: Sung Benediction with Vespers (Low voices Schola)

For more information about our choral services and music visit


A Time Of Faith-Sharing And Fellowship

A Time Of Faith-Sharing And Fellowship

York Carmelite Spirituality Group and HCPT Group 122 invite you to a time of faith-sharing and fellowship at Thicket Priory Carmelite Monastery, Thorganby, York YO19 6DE on Saturday February 9.

The event has been organised close to the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (February 18) and World Day of the Sick (February 11).


9.30am: Morning Prayer

10.15am: Presentation and reflection by Dr Johan Bergström-Allen, lay Carmelite and Lourdes pilgrim

12.15pm: Mass with Anointing of the Sick
1pm: Close (bring a packed lunch if you wish)

You can come to all or any part of the event and there’s no need to register. Suggested donation of £15 to raise funds for HCPT Group 122, which takes sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children from York and the rest of the Diocese of Middlesbrough to Lourdes at Easter.

For more information, please contact Dr JohanBergström-Allen TOC by calling 01904 411521, emailing carmelitecommunications@gmail.comor visiting carmelite.org/yorkcsg.

Summer Retreat Focuses On God’s Plan

Hinsley Hall

God’s Plan for the Fullness of Time is the theme of a Foyers de Charité Retreat to be held at the Diocese of Leeds’ Hinsley Hall Pastoral Centre this summer.

The preacher will be Monsignor Keith Barltrop, with help from Foyers’ members and past retreatants.

Foyers retreats are held mainly in silence, with three talks a day, and offer a holistic way of deepening our faith in the Church’s teaching and our life in Christ. 

The Foyers are communities of consecrated lay people living with a priest in order to help others grow closer to Christ and live the Catholic faith more fully. 

The retreat is from 6pm on Sunday July 21 to 2pm on Saturday July 27.

The Foyers do not charge for their retreats but request a donation. For further information or to book a place, email keithbarltrop@rcdow.org.uk, call 07879 953953 or write to Monsignor Keith Barltrop, St Mary of the Angels, Moorhouse Road, Bayswater, London W2 5DJ.

Bishop Unveils Plaque For Pilgrimage Of Grace Leader

Bishop Unveils Plaque For Pilgrimage Of Grace Leader

Bishop Terry unveiled a plaque in honour of martyr and Pilgrimage of Grace leader Robert Aske near the place of his execution in York.

The plaque, near Clifford’s Tower, was a joint project between York Civic Trust and the Knights of St Columba.

Aske, a lawyer, objected to Henry VIII’s religious reforms, especially the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and he ended up leading the growing revolt in Yorkshire, Northumberland, Durham and other areas.

Thousands of insurgents marched on York and Aske met the king and was given assurances that their concerns would be addressed.

However, Henry later had Aske seized and convicted of high treason in London. He was taken back to York where he was hanged in chains on a scaffold outside of Clifford’s Tower in 1537.

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage.

The trust has been placing commemorative plaques on buildings since the late 1940s and there are now around 80.



Timetable For Dowry Visit Unveiled

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham

The timetable has been unveiled for events during the Dowry Tour of Our Lady of Walsingham to St Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough.

The statue, which usually resides in the shrine’s famous Slipper Chapel, is being taken around the country for two years as part of the spiritual preparation for England’s rededication as the Dowry of Mary in 2020.

Although the exact origin of this title is unknown, in medieval times it was widely used to indicate that England belonged in a special way to Mary as the country’s protector.

Speaking of the rededication, which will take place around the Solemnity of the Annunciation in March 2020, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “This is a moment of great promise for the Church in this country and for our mission.”

The cathedral will be open to welcome people to venerate, pray, and place flowers before the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. There will be talks on the Dowry of Mary by the rector of the shrine at Walsingham, Monsignor John Armitage. Pilgrims will also be able to view an exhibition about the title of England as Mary’s Dowry and the history of the shrine.

The statue was given a place of honour during Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to England in 1982 and again during this year’s Adoremus Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool.

The village of Walsingham, in Norfolk, has been a major centre of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years and now has both Catholic and Anglican shrines, as well as an Orthodox chapel.

Thursday December 13

5pm: Shrine and exhibition open. Rosary for a spiritual renewal to facilitate the New Evangelisation

6pm: Angelus

6.30pm: Opening Mass with welcome from Monsignor John Armitage, rector of the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham – Main celebrant, Monsignor Gerard Robinson

7.30pm: Confessions available

8.15pm: Talk on the Dowry of Mary by Monsignor Armitage

9.30pm: Close

Friday December 14, Feast of St John of the Cross

8am: Morning Mass, celebrant Monsignor John Armitage

8.45am: Shrine and Dowry Exhibition open for pilgrims – Confessions available throughout the day.

11am: Rosary for the conversion of our families, friends and enemies

11.30am–12.30pm: Holy Hour, including sacrament of reconciliation

Noon: Angelus and midday Mass celebrated by Father Richard Marsden

2pm: Dementia friendly carol concert

4pm: Rosary for the conversion of England

6.30pm: Rosary for vocations to priesthood and religious life

7pm: Adoration with sung Evening Prayer

8.30pm: Talk on Dowry of Mary by Monsignor Armitage

9.30pm: Close

Saturday December 15

8am: Mass of Our Lady celebrated by Monsignor Armitage

8.30am: Shrine and exhibition open

9.45am–10.30am: Confessions

10am: Rosary for the renewal of marriage and family life

11am: Adoration

Noon: Solemn Mass with Bishop Terry

Shrine and exhibition close


Deacon John Dies After Long Illness

Deacon John Dies After Long Illness

Deacon John Steel, who served in several parishes in our diocese as well as working as diocesan safeguarding coordinator, has died at the age of 73 after a long illness.

Born in Easington Colliery, County Durham, on March 14 1943, John had a variety of managerial jobs and was managing director of Stagecoach Cambus Holdings. After being ordained a deacon for the Diocese of East Anglia, he returned to the North East and was incardinated into the Diocese of Middlesbrough.

He worked at St Mary and Romuald Parish in Yarm and also in Thirsk Parish under a number of priests including Canon Alan Sheridan and Father James Blenkinsopp. He retired in 2014 and moved to Cambridgeshire with his wife Margaret. Sadly, he had cancer and recently contracted pneumonia and pleurisy.

His last visit to the diocese was for Sister Sheila’s funeral at the Bar Convent in York. Unfortunately, the cancer spread and he died on Thursday October 25.

Deacon Peter Warren worked alongside John for about five years in the curial offices and was his deputy in the safeguarding department.

“He was very dedicated to the work of the diocese and was instrumental in setting up its safeguarding structure,” he said. “He was equally dedicated to the parishes he worked in, taking a key role in their running and always putting the needs of the people first.”

Bishop Terry was among the mourners at Deacon John’s funeral at St Etheldreda’s, Ely, on Wednesday October 31. Canon Sheridan gave the eulogy and Deacon Ken Senior was one of the readers. As well as Margaret, he also leaves two sons, John and Michael, and five grandchildren.

Bishop Terry Celebrates Mass For Seafarers

Bishop Terry Celebrates Mass For Seafarers

Bishop Terry celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving at St Mary’s Cathedral organised by Catholic charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS).

During the services he commissioned AoS ship visitors Hugh Ward, Mary Ward, Billy Barnett, Jun Barnett, Roger Worton and Gerry Quinn, who provide pastoral support to seafarers in the Humber and Tees region.

AoS Tees Port chaplain Deacon Peter Barrigan delivered the homily, explaining how AoS’ ministry was one of brief encounters with seafarers.

“Our ministry is to be present and very often provide seafarers with phone top-up cards, Rosaries and transport into town, but mainly to listen to them,” he said.

“These are brief encounters. We probably won’t see them again, so it’s important to be with them in the moment. We can’t always know where these brief encounters will go but they will be remembered. My own father sailed in the merchant navy and told many stories about the kindness of people he encountered.

“Jesus’ ministry a lot of times consists of brief encounters. The gospel has lots of stories about Jesus spending time with strangers, listening to them, carrying out acts of kindness.

“We at AoS are sent by the Church, commissioned by the bishop, to be Christ to all we meet at ports. We welcome the stranger, are gentle and compassionate with them and need to be self-giving in our sacrifice.

“We are in a privileged position to care for seafarers and do this under the protection of Our Blessed Lady Star of the Sea, Stella Maris.”

The Mass, which was followed by a reception, was attended by Anne McLaren, AoS senior regional port chaplain (North East England) and AoS port chaplain for Hull & Goole, AoS volunteers from Hull, Tees and Middlesbrough, supporters, parish contacts, head office staff and local parishioners.


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