Sunday, 27 November 2016


Our Bishop has written a Pastoral Letter that has been read this weekend

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As we open a New Year in the life of the Church, on this First Sunday of Advent, there are a number of matters that I wish to bring to your attention, briefly, in this short letter.

I am very pleased to say that real progress is being made in finalising the plan for the Diocese. The “proposal document” published in June of this year brought a wealth of responses and the experience and ideas contained in them has meant that it is taking longer than I had initially anticipated to reach conclusions. So I now intend to have the final document ready for publication on the weekend of 14th and 15th January. Given the responses received, some of the proposals have been adjusted or changed. Where these are now substantially different from what was in the proposal, there will need – for justice sake - to be a time of further consultation within just a few parishes so that priests and people may have an opportunity to consider the impact of these further proposed changes. 

I firmly believe that this re-structure will strengthen us all for our missionary purpose of bringing Christ to the world in which we live, both in the care we have for one another within our own communities and in the witness we show through our Works of Mercy in the wider community. 

I am aware that some people think the whole process has been too slow, while others believe it is rushed. I think we are making the right sort of progress considering the importance of the matters being considered. I am sure that we can embrace these changes and, strengthened by prayer and God’s Grace, build up the Church in this Diocese.

There was a clear consensus expressed in the previous Diocesan Consultation in 2015 that we should review the timing of reception of Sacraments and have a clear policy for our preparation for their celebration. I am pleased to say that there is a new policy, effective from this First Sunday of Advent, which draws on and develops the experience and pastoral practice of many parishes. There are guidelines for preparing families for the baptism of a child and a new program for preparation and celebration of Confirmation, intended for children in Year 8 of the High Schools, beginning in 2021. A close alliance between schools, parishes and families will combine so that our young people will grow in a sense of discipleship and develop a strength of living faith in their lives. A further policy concerning the preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion is also in preparation.

The people of our Diocese have also expressed a clear desire for the introduction of the Permanent Diaconate. So beginning in January, we will define the sort of diaconal ministry that we need in our Diocese and candidates will be invited to speak either with their parish priest or a nominated priest about an interest in ordination or to simply know more about what it entails.

While I thoroughly appreciate the hesitancy to change and the concerns as to what change may mean for all of us, I cannot ignore the real sense of expectation that it will bring a renewed sense of purpose and energy, particularly in engaging our young people. 

Two matters have frequently been mentioned in these past months. Many people have expressed an anxiety that the elderly will find it difficult to get to churches if distances increase. I hope that our sense of community will be reinforced by our ensuring that no-one is left isolated or without transportation and that no-one in our parishes will be left feeling lonely or alone. We need to be sure that individuals are not merely administered the Eucharist in their homes and receive parish newsletters, but that they are included in social gatherings and brought to Mass. 

The other concern is that we must not judge the health of our Diocese by numbers. At times, in his ministry, Jesus drew enormous crowds, in their thousands. But he also persisted and remained consistent in his teaching even when crowds drifted away either because they did not understand or approve of what he said or they were distracted by other matters. In the busy secularisation of our world, many have drifted away but, if we are persistent and constant in our living of the Gospel, in our kindness and care for those around us in need, then people will be drawn back with a new sense of searching and commitment. 

Pope Francis asks us if we have the courage to walk with others, even while they are walking away from the Church? I believe we have.

We begin this Season of Advent and prepare for Christmas. How good it is to celebrate this Feast with family and friends but let us all take care to remember why we celebrate Christmas and the purpose of all the arrangements and preparations. Christmas becomes a shallow and empty occasion if we forget that “God so loved the world that in the fullness of time he sent His Son to be our redeemer”. Our presents, decorations and parties must never allow us to lose sight of God’s love and His insistence in being a part of our world, to redeem and save us.

I wish you every blessing for this Season of Advent and let us continue to ask the Lord to stay with us on our journey.

With my prayers and good wishes

+ John Arnold

Bishop of Salford


What started out as a bit of fun with a few parishioners at the parish of the Sacred Heart, Accrington (now closed) as a way of trying to 'keep Christmas out of Advent' has developed into an annual letter to members.
The letter is intended to be lighthearted but at the same time give us something to think about in the run up to the celebrations of our Saviour's Birth.

Below is the Message for 2016 from our Chaplain General.

The Advent Preservation Society

A Message from the Chaplain General

As I look out of the rectory window I notice the poles of the scaffolding that currently surround the tower of our beautiful church.  In the autumnal evenings they seem to glisten gently in the soft light that emanates from the security lighting hidden behind the scaffold.  

Advent is a time of renewal and reflection.  As we prepare our hearts once again to receive the King of Kings we must put aside all that is not worthy of the Lord.  All that gets in the way of us advancing the Kingdom of Christ our King in this passing world.  

It is not only the poles of the scaffolding that glisten in soft light. The shops too are gearing up for the approaching Feast, many of them without a second thought about Whose coming they celebrate.  For many it is just another commercial opportunity.  As members the Advent Preservation Society we must do all we can not to allow the secular preparations for the celebration of our Dear Saviour’s Birth to encroach on our own spiritual preparations which must always take priority.  
I had to smile the other day when my 'Gin Advent Calendar' arrived at my door.  The calendar provides a different gin to be sampled each day as you open the windows of the calendar.  It is a very different way to prepare for the Feast of the Incarnation.  My parishioners obviously know me well!!!

Even a secular thing like the 'Gin Advent Calendar' can be focus for further reflection.  A good G and T is made up of several elements.  The gin, the tonic, the lime, lemon or cucumber and then, of course, the ice.  

The ice doesn’t really add any flavour to the G and T but through its cooling effect improves the overall 'taste experience' of the gin.  As Christians and especially as members of the Advent Preservation Society we are called to be like the ice of a good G and T - not to be fully incorporated into the secular society in which we live but to stand apart from it, pointing to other, deeper and more lasting realities.  

Lastly, let us remember before God the founding members of our Society Mr Leo Warren and Mr Joseph Peter Schofield and all those who rejoice with us, but now upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which no man can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in this Lord Jesus, we for evermore are one. 

With my prayers and good wishes for a fruitful Advent
The Fairly Very Reverend CPFX Wadsworth
Chaplain General

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Last night we began our Sacramental Programme at St Joseph's School using a new resource from the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

The first session went really well and it was great to see the parents interacting with the children as they worked through the booklet. 

My thanks go to all the staff at the school for helping to facilitate this and thanks to Miss Mysercough for the photo below.

We look forward to seeing the children on Sunday when they will bring their enrollment forms to church.

Friday, 18 November 2016


In the rush to do a few updates of the blog (long over due) I forgot to add a little post about our Polish Seminarians who came to visit us this year.

The visit of students from the Seminary in Katowice has become something of a tradition now and we look forward to them coming each year.  Whilst they are here they are able to experience something of the life of the Church in England (not Church of England!) as well as sampling our English culture and traditions and of course being able to practice their English!!

This year we welcomed three students: Mateusz Mryka, Bartłomiej Cudziło and Kamil Pyta.

During their visit they were able to experience something of another 'foreign' country.  We had a day out in Wales and the students were able to see something of the beautiful welsh countryside.

We wish them well in their continuing studies and look forwarding to hearing of their progress towards the Sacred Priesthood if that be God's will for them.  Please keep them in your prayers.


On Thursday 10th November our parish hosted the Bury Catholic Education Mass.  This is an opportunity to give thanks for the gift of Catholic Education and to remember in the month of the Holy Souls deceased colleagues.  

After Mass refreshments were served in the Minden Suite of the  Fusiliers Museum

Here is the homily I delivered on that occasion

I want you to cast your minds back to the visit of Pope Benedict to us in 2010 and in particular to the Big Assembly that he held in Twickenham.  I was fascinated by the question which Pope Benedict put to the large group of children from every Catholic school in Great Britain.  He asked them:  “What are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves?  What kind of person would you really like to be?”
These same questions are put both to us who have responsibilities in education and to the children entrusted to our care.  What are the qualities that we see in others?  This means what qualities do children look for in us?   You don’t need me to tell you that children today are much more perceptive and discerning than perhaps we were in judging teachers and leaders.
 When most of us are asked about our own school life and the things we remember most of all, I have never heard anyone answer “we had a well balanced curriculum” or that “we made progress and achieved a Level 6 or whatever ”  or even that “our classrooms were bright and modern”.  These and many other aspects of school life are important and must be attended to, but in my experience what always appears as the most significant memory is: “I remember Mr or Miss so and so”,  in other words: “I remember a teacher who was different”.
We remember the teacher who recognised us as individuals, who acknowledged our talents, who transmitted to us that we were capable, capable of doing more than we had imagined, teachers who helped and encouraged us when things were not going well, and teachers who quietly rejoiced in our small successes.
 Teachers do not constantly ask their children “what kind of person would you really like to be”.  They draw out from within the child through patient dialogue what is best and most challenging in the child.  Sadly many children today never arrive at that situation in which their talents are fully realised.  They never reach a situation in which the talents they have can be offered and used to better society.
Life has changed; the economy has changed; society has changed, education has changed.   The teacher can only do a certain amount. Most teachers go way beyond the requirements of mere duty and they deserve as individuals and as a profession greater recognition.   We should not overburden our teachers with expectations that they alone can heal the wounds produced in children by a broken society.   Very often however they are among the few who heroically try.
 Tonight we gather and give thanks to God and celebrate that great gift which is Catholic Education in our locality.  On a bad day we may well ask ourselves the question ‘Why do we do it?  Why do we bother to turn up to work each day and literally flog ourselves to death for the children in our care?  Ultimately it is out of love . It is because in the context of our Catholic faith we don’t need to be told by government officials that ‘every child matters.’  We truly believe it.  Each and every student – created in the image and likeness of God.  Every child matters whether they are gifted and talented or under achieving. Every child should be welcomed into our Catholic Family – it is who and what we are. 
In the Catholic view of education every child in our care has special needs – to be what God, from all eternity has called them to be.  Or in the words of Pope Benedict quoted earlier ‘to be the kind of person they would like to be.’  The task of making that happen is our vocation as those who, at whatever level, are involved in our Catholic Schools and for that tonight we say ‘Thanks be to God.’  


Beginning this weekend (20th November) we will be selling what have become our very popular Memorial Candles.

These candles burn from the Vigil Mass of Christmas for the Octave.  The names of your loved ones or the intentions for which you wish to pray are placed on the candle via a label and the names and intentions are remembered during our Masses in the Christmas Octave.

Candles are sold at £5 each and are available after each of the weekend Masses or for further details please contact Father Francis


Once again we will be hosting the Annual Memorial Service organised by Bernadette Gibson Funeral Service.

This service enables those who have been bereaved in the last twelve months to come and remember their loved ones through prayer, music and scripture.  There is also the opportunity to come and light a candle in memory of our loved ones who have died.

The service takes on Sunday 20th November at 7:00pm 
in St Marie's Church and all are welcome to attend.  

If you would like the names of your loved ones read out at the service then please contact Bernadette directly on 0161 761 6214 and she will happily add them to the list.


Of your charity, since our last blog update pray for the souls of those who have recently died

John Campbell
Mark Gibson
Harold Hargreaves
Jane Cusack


In the middle of October we welcomed back to our parish Father Alosza Miciński from Kazakhstan. 

The text of his homily the weekend he was with us is given below.

My I take this opportunity to thank you all again for your kindness and generosity towards Father during his visit and in the retiring collection.  The total amount raised was £2,300.  This being made up of the Retiring Collection, Mass Stipends and my own personal contribution.  

Drodzy Bracia i Siostry,

Po raz kolejny stoję przed Wami tutaj w tym kościele. Widzę znajome już mi twarze, rozpoznaję znajomych ludzi. Stoję przed Wami jako jeden z Was, jako Wasz brat w Chrystusie, który co prawda na co dzień jest daleko, ale który sercem jest blisko tej parafii i tego co się tutaj dzieje.

My dear brothers and sisters,

Once again I stand before you here in this church. I see faces by now familiar to me and recognize people I know. I stand before you as one of you, as your brother in Christ, who, if truth be told, is normally far away, but whose heart is close to this parish and to what happens here.

Przed oczami mam jeszcze obraz sprzed kilku lat, kiedy to jeszcze jako diakon stałem tutaj w tym miejscu dzieląc się doświadczeniem życia i prosząc o modlitwę, a potem co roku stawałem przed Wami już jako ksiądz i dzieliłem się doświadczeniem człowieka, który posługuje na misjach głosząc Jezusa Chrystusa, nieraz także i tym, którzy o nim  - o Chrystusie – nigdy przedtem nie słyszeli.

The picture I still have before my eyes is one from a few years ago, when as a deacon, I stood here in the same place, sharing my experiences of life and asking for your prayers. Then each year as a priest, I again stood here before you, sharing the experiences of someone who works as a missionary, preaching about Jesus Christ, sometimes even to those who have never heard of Him—of Christ—before.

Wasza parafia stała się bardzo mi bliska do takiego stopnia, że bardzo często myślę o Was i o tym czasie który dotychczas dane mi było spędzić pośród Was, ale także i o tych ludziach bliskich memu sercu, których tutaj spotkałem i poznałem.

This parish has become very dear to me, so much so that I often think about you and the time that so far I have been able to spend with you, and also about those close to my heart who I have met and got to know here.

Cały czas powtarzałem i nadal to powtarzam, że Kościół jest jeden, że Kościół jest misyjny i w tym Bożym Kościele my wszyscy – chociaż mamy różne zadania i obowiązki – to jednak my wszyscy jesteśmy braćmi i siostrami.

I always emphasize and will continue to emphasize that there is only one Church, that it is a Missionary Church, and that in God’s Church all of us – even though we have different tasks and responsibilities – all of us nevertheless are brothers and sisters.

W naszej posłudze w Kazachstanie dużo się nie zmieniło: nadal borykamy się z trudnościami związanymi z ciężkimi warunkami pracy i posługi, klasztoru i domu parafialnego jeszcze nie zacząłem budować, pojawiają się nowe trudności i potrzeby, którym nie zawsze od razu możemy sprostać, takie na przykład jak: wymiana dachu w Kościele (bo zaczął przeciekać), zrobienie elewacji zewnętrznej na Kościele, osuszenie Kościelnych fundamentów, zmiana oświetlenia w Kościele i td.

In our ministry in Kazakhstan little has changed: we continue to struggle with the difficulties associated with the harsh conditions under which we work and serve; I have not yet started building the monastery and parish centre; new problems and needs crop up that we cannot always immediately address, such as replacing the church roof (as it leaks), constructing the façade, drying out the church foundations, changing the internal lighting, and so forth.

Cieszy natomiast jedno powołanie do naszej wspólnoty zakonnej, udało się przetrwać zimę (która była bardzo ciężka, by nie powiedzieć okropna), zostały namalowane i przywiezione dwa bardzo duże obrazy do Kościoła (obraz Matki Bożej Niepokalanie Poczętej i obraz Jezusa Miłosiernego). O tym można mówić jeszcze bardzo dużo i wiele…

In contrast we were delighted by the addition of a new member to our religious community; that we managed to survive the winter (which was very severe, not to say terrible); and by two very large images that were painted and brought to the church (an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and an image of The Divine Mercy). A lot more could be said about all this and in more detail …

Ale chciałbym w tym miejscu – szczególnie - podziękować każdemu i każdej z Was za każdy wyraz pamięci, za każdy dar serca, za każdą ofiarę złożoną i poniesioną dla dobra naszej misji. Szczególnie dziękuję za troskę o mnie i za modlitwę w mojej intencji, szczególnie wtedy, kiedy borykałem się z olbrzymimi problemami zdrowotnymi. To Wasze wsparcie, ta Wasza pamięć i ta Wasza troska były i nadal pozostają dla mnie bardzo ważne. Cenię sobie to bardzo i serdecznie za to dziękuję.

But at this juncture I would especially like to thank each and every one of you for each expression of remembrance, for each gift from the heart, for each offering made and sacrifice endured for the good of our mission. In particular, I thank you for your concern for me, for your prayers for me, especially when I was battling against huge health problems. Your support, your intent not to forget about me, your concern, were and continue to remain very important to me. I appreciate it very much and thank you sincerely.

Ze swojej strony zapewniam po raz kolejny o mojej modlitwie i proszę Boga, by to On Sam wynagrodził każdy poryw Waszego serca skierowany w moją stronę oraz stronę naszej placówki misyjnej. Niech Was Bóg, Miłosierny i Kochający Ojciec, błogosławi i strzeże, a Matka Boża, nasza Matka, ma w Swojej matczynej opiece. Zmarłym, którzy odeszli, niech Pan da wieczny odpoczynek razem ze Świętymi w Swoim Królestwie.

For my part, I once again assure you of my prayers, and I ask God that He Himself reward every effusion from the heart for me and for our missionary outpost. May God, the Merciful and Loving Father, bless you and keep you, and the Mother of God, our Mother, keep us in Her maternal care. For those who have died may the Lord grant them eternal rest in His Kingdom in the company of the Saints.

Proszę Was, nadal pamiętajcie o nas…

Please, I ask you not to forget about us …

Wednesday, 28 September 2016


As you know every year I travel to Lourdes with our diocesan pilgrimage to help with the sick pilgrims.  This year was no exception and I had the privilege of being Chaplain to the Nursing and Medical Team (standing in for Fr Paul Daly) who was attending the World Youth Day Celebrations in Kraków.

This year the first part of the pilgrimage was led by Bishop Emeritus Terence Brain until Bishop John could join us travelling directly from the World Youth Day celebrations.  

Throughout the week we reflected in our Masses on the theme of love and mercy that comes to us as a free gift from God the Father.

In addition to the religious celebrations of the pilgrimage there is always the chance to socialise as a Pilgrimage Family.  Here are just a few pictures taken at the last night fancy dress social evening.


When I returned from Gricigliano amongst the many items of post was a large envelope from the University of Manchester.  It contained my certificate for the Polish Studies that I had done during the year.  By some miraculous means I managed to gain 77% during the course.


On the 4th July I traveled to Gricigliano near Florence to be present at the week of Ordinations for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. 

On Monday we witnessed thirteen young men receive the cassock at the hands of Mgr Wach, Prior General of the Institute.

On Tuesday at the hands of His Excellency Mgr Meini, Bishop of Fiesole in the church of San Michele e Gaetano in central Florence we saw saw the reception of Tonsure and the minor orders of Porter, Lector, Excorsist and Acolyte.   In the early evening in the chapel of the seminary at Gricigliano those to be ordained deacons and priests received the Cross of St Francis de Sales and the Choir Habit.  Also at this Mass we witnessed Fr Philip Thomas become an affiliate member of the Institute as well as several lay people be enrolled into the Society of the Sacred Heart.

On Wednesday morning we gathered for the ordinations to the sub diaconate at the hands of His Excellency Mgr Finn, Emeritus Bishop of Kansas City.

On Thursday morning we gathered once again at the church of San Michele e Gaetano for the ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood at the hands of His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. This year we rejoice and give thanks to God for eleven new priests of the Institute.

After the ordinations we all repaired to the seminary once again to receive the First Blessings of the newly ordained priests and to gather in the chapel for Solemn Benediction and singing of the Te Deum in thanksgiving.  This was followed by a celebratory meal and a firework display.

Below are some photos which I hope capture the joyful spirit of the week and of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Processing for the subdiaconate ordinations

Canons of the Institute leaving church post ordinations

The newly ordained deacons and subdeacons

The deacons process to their priestly ordinations

His Eminence Cardinal Burke processes into the church 

His Eminence blesses all with Holy Water
before entering the church

Some clergy who attended in choir
After the Ordination Mass His Eminence blesses the faithful
Mgr Wach leaving the church in procession
Group photo with the newly ordained priests
Some of the New Priests in Procession

The newly ordained Canon Pinoteau gives his First Blessings
Likewise with the other newly ordained priests

The newly affiliated Fr Philip Thomas, Rector of Wells
New Members of the Society of the Sacred Heart
 for the laity
Mgr Wach with Affiliate Priests and
Sacred Heart Society Members
Taking off or Putting on????