New Ebor Lecture Series Underway

The thirteenth series of Ebor Lectures has got underway at York St John University with the theme of “Science: Wonder, Gift and Challenge”.

The lectures promote a conversation between theology and public issues and contribute to the creation of personal and collective decision-making in economic, political and social spheres.

Lecturers come from a wide array of fields and will explore the extraordinary possibilities offered by science to examine the beauty, fragility and complexity of the world and consider what it means to be human in a rapidly changing technological society.

The first lecture, by former registrar and secretary at Gresham College, London, Dr Valerie Shrimplin, discussed how the beginning and end of the universe have been portrayed visually.

She considered examples of art from ancient times through to Michelangelo’s depiction of the Creation and Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel and up to the present day. 

Before the lecture, the two winners of the Ebor Lectures Eassy Competition were presented with their prizes by the chair of the Lectures Committee, Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood.

The prize is given to students who submit essays on any aspect of “Theology and Public Life”.

Isobel Hedley-Jones, from York, is pictured receiving a prize for her essay on environmental issues and climate change.

Future lecturers in the series include two prominent Catholic scientists, Dame Ottoline Leyser, of the University of Cambridge, on Wednesday July 3, and Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, who will give both a lecture and presentation for families on Wednesday August 21.

The next lecture is on Wednesday June 5 when physicist, natural philosopher and Anglican lay reader Professor Tom McLeish speak on “Science as Gift not Threat: An Essential Culture-Change for the Church”.

The Ebor Lectures is an ecumenical project jointly organised by York Minster, York St John University, the Order of Carmelites – British Province, the Yorkshire North and East District of the Methodist Church, and the C & JB Morrell Trust.

Ordination to the Diaconate of Francis Sutcliffe

Ordination to the Diaconate of Francis Sutcliffe

Bishop Terry told the congregation to reflect on the love and guidance we receive from God in the sacraments during the Ordination to the Diaconate of Francis Sutcliffe.

The ordination took place during the 10.45 Mass at his home parish of St John of Beverley Church, Beverley, on Sunday March 17.

Francis, who is 71, is a former Anglican vicar and is married to Barbara. He will be ordained to the priesthood at the same church on Saturday May 11.

Churches Rally Together To Stop Knife Crime

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols with Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams © Mazur/

Cardinal Vincent Nichols will join other churches leaders at a rally in Trafalgar Square this Saturday (April 6) to call for an end to knife crime.

The church leaders will stand alongside young people, families and communities affected by the scourge of violent crime at the ecumenical event.

They believe this violence must be challenged and will stand shoulder to shoulder with those most affected, united in demanding action and encouraging communities to come together.

Cardinal Nichols said more and more priests have been raising the issue of knife crime and youth violence.

“On Saturday we will be speaking up for young people today, for their generosity and sense of justice,” he said.

“We will be speaking out against knife crime. We will be lamenting with all who have lost loved ones or suffering injuries on our streets at this time.”

A BBC report on Home Office figures in January indicated a 19% increase in violent crime recorded by police in England and Wales in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Churches are deeply concerned that violent crime involving young people is a life and death issue that has not been given the due concern and attention it rightly deserves.

Organisers called on Catholics in parishes, communities and schools to take part in this cooperative effort.

The rally takes place from 2pm to 4pm.

Church leaders will stand alongside young people, families and communities affected by the scourge of violent crime at the ecumenical event.

They believe this violence must be challenged and will stand shoulder to shoulder with those most affected, united in demanding action and encouraging communities to come together.

Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, who will be attending, said more and more priests have been raising the issue of knife crime and youth violence.

“On Saturday we will be speaking up for young people today, for their generosity and sense of justice,” he said.

“We will be speaking out against knife crime. We will be lamenting with all who have lost loved ones or suffering injuries on our streets at this time.”

A BBC report on Home Office figures in January indicated a 19% increase in violent crime recorded by police in England and Wales in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Churches are deeply concerned that violent crime involving young people is a life and death issue that has not been given the due concern and attention it rightly deserves.

Organisers called on Catholics in parishes, communities and schools to take part in this cooperative effort.

The rally takes place from 2pm to 4pm.

Young People’s Synod Document Now Available

Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Christus Vivit – Christ is Alive! Is now available to order from the Catholic Truth Society (CTS).

The document is the fruit of six months of prayer and reflection on the conclusions of last autumn’s Synod on Young People.

The Holy Father has produced a direct and heartfelt appeal, addressing himself both to young people and to the entire church, placing before us the figure of Christ, “the true youthfulness of a World Grown Old.”

The CTS is dispatching thousands of copies around the UK and Ireland to fulfil pre-orders.

A spokesman said: “Christus Vivit is a watershed moment in the Church’s ministry to young people.

“It will become a handbook for all priests, catechists and teachers who are charged with the vital mission of evangelising and handing on the faith to young people.

“With this direct, down-to-earth exhortation, the Holy Father is calling the entire church to re-evaluate our approach to accompanying the journeys of young Christians, seeing them not simply as ‘the future’ but as the ‘Now of God’ – brothers and sisters who face unique and unprecedented challenges in living their faith in an ever more secular world.

“The CTS, is, as always, honoured to be able to provide this service to the Holy Father and the Church in the UK and Ireland.”

Christus Vivit – Christ Is Alive! By Pope Francis can be ordered from priced £5.95.

Twelve key quotes from the Pope’s new Exhortation…

Jesus had no use for adults who looked down on the young or lorded it over them. On the contrary, he insisted that “the greatest among you must become like the youngest.

It is unhelpful to buy into the cult of youth or foolishly to dismiss others simply because they are older or from another generation. Jesus tells us that the wise are able to bring forth from their store things both new and old (cf. Mt 13:52). A wise young person is open to the future, yet still capable of learning something from the experience of others.

It is important to realize that Jesus was a young person. He gave his life when he was, in today’s terms, a young adult.

Let us ask the Lord to free the Church from those who would make her grow old, encase her in the past, hold her back or keep her at a standstill. But let us also ask him to free her from another temptation: that of thinking she is young because she accepts everything the world offers her, thinking that she is renewed because she sets her message aside and acts like everybody else.

The Church should not be excessively caught up in herself but instead, and above all, reflect Jesus Christ. This means humbly acknowledging that some things concretely need to change, and if that is to happen, she needs to appreciate the vision but also the criticisms of young people.

Our present-day culture exploits the image of the young. Beauty is associated with a youthful appearance, cosmetic treatments that hide the traces of time. Young bodies are constantly advertised as a means of selling products. The ideal of beauty is youth, but we need to realize that this has very little to do with young people. It only means that adults want to snatch youth for themselves, not that they respect, love and care for young people.

If you are young in years, but feel weak, weary or disillusioned, ask Jesus to renew you. With him, hope never fails. You can do the same if you feel overwhelmed by vices, bad habits, selfishness or unhealthy pastimes. Jesus, brimming with life, wants to help you make your youth worthwhile. In this way, you will not deprive the world of the contribution that you alone can make, in all your uniqueness and originality.

Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth. Don’t observe life from a balcony. Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen. Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions. Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anaesthetized or approach the world like tourists. Make a ruckus! Cast out the fears that paralyze you, so that you don’t become young mummies. Live! Give yourselves over to the best of life! Open the door of the cage, go out and fly! Please, don’t take early retirement.

At every moment in life, we can renew our youthfulness. When I began my ministry as Pope, the Lord broadened my horizons and granted me renewed youth. The same thing can happen to a couple married for many years, or to a monk in his monastery. There are things we need to “let go of ” as the years pass, but growth in maturity can coexist with a fire constantly rekindled, with a heart ever young.

Youth ministry, as traditionally carried out, has been significantly affected by social and cultural changes. Young people frequently fail to find in our usual programmes a response to their concerns, their needs, their problems and issues… we should take into greater consideration those practices that have shown their value – the methods, language and aims that have proved truly effective in bringing young people to Christ and the Church. It does not matter where they are coming from or what labels they have received, whether “conservative” or “liberal”, “traditional” or “progressive”. What is important is that we make use of everything that has borne good fruit and effectively communicates the joy of the Gospel.

Rather than being too concerned with communicating a great deal of doctrine, let us first try to awaken and consolidate the great experiences that sustain the Christian life. In the words of Romano Guardini, “when we experience a great love… everything else becomes part of it”.

Many young people have come to appreciate silence and closeness to God. Groups that gather to adore the Blessed Sacrament or to pray with the word of God have also increased. We should never underestimate the ability of young people to be open to contemplative prayer.

The Pope’s Prayer Intentions For April

Among the many intentions we will bring to our prayer during April, the Holy Father invites us to consider also what is in his heart and his prayers this month.

This month brings us Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Good Friday, then the bright triumph of absolute good over evil’s darkness on Easter Day.

Pope Francis invites us to pray for a particularly heroic and brave group, doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war zones, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.

He shares this so that we might hold these courageous and generous professionals in our prayer too, thanking God for them and for the selfless good that they do – a powerful story that is, perhaps, not always told as it might be.

Here in England and Wales we are blessed to have the widely admired humanitarian and development agency CAFOD.

Other agencies operating in war-zones include Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). Founded in Paris in 1971, following the war and humanitarian disaster in Biafra, they work to provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare.

Their mission is to remain impartial and neutral, guided by medical ethics and by the demands of justice.


A suggested Morning Offering prayer, from the Living Prayer 2019 booklet:

Merciful Father, I thank you for your presence in my life and your immense love. May my heart become more like the heart of Jesus and may this union of hearts be reflected in the way I interact with my colleagues, my family, friends and strangers. I offer you my day, in union with the Heart of Jesus, for the Church and the intentions of the Holy Father. Our Father …

Pope Francis’s Prayer: May he Lord help all the little ones and the poor of our world to continue to believe and trust that the Kingdom of God is at hand, in our midst, and is ‘justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom.14:17. May He sustain all those how, day by day, strive to combat evil with good, with words and deeds of fraternity, respect, encounter and solidarity. We ask all this in the power of the crucified and risen Lord – Amen.

THREE CHALLENGES for this month

  1. Get to know about the work of medical and humanitarian agencies that carry out their mission in war zones, such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Jesuit Refugee Service and CAFOD.
  2. Promote in your worshipping community, perhaps during Holy Week, a moment of prayer for all those who put their lives at risk to help the victims of war.
  3. Reflect on how to put academic and professional talents at the service of others, especially the poorest and those who suffer. Ask a trained and experienced spiritual director to guide and accompany your discernment. You might find an Easter invitation to action, from the Risen Lord!


Log on to our website and download the latest version of the app. (on App Store, iTunes and Google Play) to pray with the Pope, and hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world. This app connects you with all who pray with the Pope in a quick, easy and creative way.

Each day, the app offers a different set of short and accessible prayers including a fresh Morning Offering for each day. There’s a Prayer Wall on which you can post intentions, anonymously if you wish, for others to pray with you. Click to pray each morning and make this world better each day.

Baby Hospice Appeals For Vital Funds

Zoe's Place

Middlesbrough’s only dedicated baby hospice has made a desperate appeal for support to prevent it from having to close its doors for two days a week.

Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice issued a rallying call to the public to ensure this essential and unique service remains in the heart of the town after increasing demand for its services and changes in respite care funding.

Situated in the historic Crossbeck House in Normanby, Zoë’s Place provides palliative, respite and bereavement care for families of babies and children with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses. Since opening its doors in 2004 it has cared for more than 350 children.

The hospice today has more than 30 babies and young children receiving regular nursing care in its special home from home environment.

With two sister facilities in Liverpool and Coventry, Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice is the UK’s only dedicated hospice service for babies and young children up to their sixth birthdays.

While the majority of the families are local, as long as the staff can provide the appropriate care it is the policy of all Zoë’s Place hospices that no young child is turned away and it has cared for children from as far afield as Scarborough.

But general manager Mark Guidery says it now faces having to close for one or two nights each week, leaving families without this precious provision. 

Mark said: “We have always had fantastic support from businesses and individuals in the local community. But without a doubt, these are the most challenging times we’ve ever faced.

“To ensure our long-term viability we need regular donations from as many different income streams as possible. Unless we receive help month in, month out, year in, year out, we won’t be able to continue to help these wonderful children and their families.”

Mark said many individual supporters choose to donate so much per month from their bank accounts in a regular giving scheme, while companies can encourage employees to donate through their salaries.

“All funds raised make a huge difference to this amazing hospice. Over the years I have been privileged to meet children who have raised funds for the hospice by selling their own toys.

“At the other end of the age scale, we have welcomed supporters at our reception who have made incredible one-off donations. Some companies organise fundraising events and charity dinners to benefit the


“Whatever the donation, it all helps to keep the service our nursing team provides open to families who desperately need it.

“The harsh reality is that without the generosity of the local and regional community we won’t be able to continue to run this vital, unique service for Middlesbrough. It would be heartbreaking to turn away these special children and their families so we need all the help we can get.

“We hope everyone in Middlesbrough will get behind us by giving regularly. We have to find £1.5m a year to keep our doors open. If supporters give just £10 a month each via direct debit or call by the hospice to make a one-off donation it will help our children and their families to get the care and support they deserve.”

For further information visit

Appeal For Urgent Help After Cyclone

Cyclone Idai

CAFOD is appealing for help as it seeks to provide urgent humanitarian for the millions of people made homeless by Cyclone Idai.

The charity says its priority is to reach the most vulnerable with food and clean water, basic shelter and hygiene kits in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

The scale of the crisis is such that the Disaster Emergency Committee, of which CAFOD is a member, has launched a full-scale humanitarian appeal.

“The more we see and hear of the destruction caused, the more shocking the impact on the lives of children, women and men,” said CAFOD director Christine Allen.  

“We know the Catholic community will want to respond. The Church and our local experts in southern Africa are already responding but desperately need your support.

“Your gifts will help families who have lost everything. Knowing they are not alone, will give people hope.”

Gabriele, a CAFOD expert working with the Church in Mozambique, says: “Idai has wiped out crops and livestock, damaged water supplies and wrecked sanitation facilities, leaving vulnerable families even more exposed.

“With the support and generosity of the Catholic community, we can reach the people who really need urgent emergency aid.”

CAFOD is asking people to pray for those affected and is also hoping parishes will hold a special second collection.

Donations will provide food, clean water and healthcare to people in desperate need. 

The charity thanked those who supported its Family Fast Day, which it relies on for projects over the next year around the world.

To read more about the Cyclone Idai appeal and make a donation, visit

Pray For Seafarers At Lindisfarne Pilgrimage

Apostleship of the Sea

Apostleship of the Sea invites you to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne for a peaceful day of prayer and reflection on Saturday June 8.

Parish groups, families and individuals all welcome to join them and pray for seafarers and for everyone involved in our ministry and charity.

The retreat will led by Bishop Paul Mason, AoS bishop promoter for England and Wales. 

For further information, please contact regional port chaplains Paul Atkinson on 07906 212 426 or Peter Barrigan on 07713 924 504.

Faith Renewed With Pope Francis In The Sun

Our pilgrims at World Youth Day in Panama

A group of 20 young people from our diocese plus Bishop Terry, Father William Massie, Father Phil Cunnah, Deacon Peter Taylor and two Franciscan sisters, flew out from Newcastle to Panama City – via Heathrow and Bogota – to join Pope Francis for World Youth Day. One of our young people, MICHAEL KENDALL, tells us more about their unforgettable pilgrimage….   

World Youth Day in Panama was an amazing experience. In one week I felt every emotion and made memories that will last a lifetime.

This was my second World Youth Day – I also travelled to Krakow, Poland, in 2016 – but I still couldn’t have anticipated how good it would be.

The highlight of the trip has to be the overnight vigil. On Saturday morning we left our hotel to start our journey to the site. We took the metro but walked most of the way. It was tiring in the 30-degree heat – even with my newly purchased Panama hat – but it was definitely worth it.

After the sun went down, Pope Francis arrived to lead us in adoration and then we had Benediction. The experience was surreal, sharing a field with almost a million other young people from around the world, kneeling and all praying together in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The silence of so many people took my breath away.

In the morning, after sleeping under the stars, Pope Francis led us in Mass, which was exceptional. In the homily he inspired us by telling us we are the “Now of God”. He encouraged us to continue living the faith and sharing it with others around us.

Another highlight for me was the catechesis sessions, attended by around 1,000 other English-speaking pilgrims. This gave us a chance to meet others from around the world and talk about our faith. It also offered an opportunity to learn more about our faith through the talks. 

Each was led by inspirational individuals, including Bishop Edward Burns from the Diocese of Dallas and Bishop Alan Williams of Brentwood Diocese. The sessions were followed by a Mass together with the other English-speaking pilgrims. We also attended a reconciliation service, which gave us an opportunity to go to confession.

I mustn’t forget to mention how friendly and welcoming the locals were to us. As we walked around as a group with our Union Jack flag, many of the passing cars honked their horns and waved to us. Even when crossing the roads, cars would stop for us and local cafés left free water out for us to drink in the boiling heat.

To sum up, World Youth Day has definitely strengthened my faith, by seeing so many other young Catholics from around the world who share the same beliefs as I do. I was inspired by the words from Pope Francis and learnt more about my faith through the catechesis sessions.

Finally, I had the privilege of meeting others from around the world and formed many new friendships with others from our diocese. 

I would definitely recommend World Youth Day to anyone who has the chance to go – it’s an experience you will never forget. I’ve already started a countdown for WYD Portugal in 2022!

*Father Phil adds: “We were blessed to have Barney Ord with us and I would like to thank him for helping us organise this pilgrimage and for all the generous support offered to our youth service.”

*Follow @MYMissionTeam on Twitter and look out for news of more social media accounts coming soon! 

Study Day Explores Pope’s Vision For Missionary Parishes?

Father Eamonn Mulcahy

Bishop Terry is inviting clergy and lay-faithful to a study day to explore Pope Francis’ vision of what the Church needs to be both now and in the future.

Priests and deacons and two specially chosen representatives from each parish in the diocese will be asked to take up the Holy Father’s challenge to be missionary disciples in missionary parishes in a missionary Church. 

The speaker is Father Eamon Mulcahy CSSp, who has led spiritual retreats for priests, religious and lay-people all around the world, including our own Scripture Festival last spring.

Bishop Terry intends the day to begin a process that will enable the clergy and parish representatives to offer witness and feedback to their parishes.

It is also hoped it will lead to benefits such as the setting up of parish groups to look more deeply into the next practical steps to be taken towards realising the Holy Father’s objectives.  

Lay representatives will be chosen who are able to contribute to the Church both now and in the future.

The study day is at the Lakeside Conference Centre, York, on Saturday June 8 from 10am to 3.30pm. The cost is £25, which includes a buffet lunch. 

There will be a further study day on intentional discipleship at a date to be confirmed.

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