St Anne's church in Rock Ferry welcomed around 250 members of the Union of Catholic Mothers on Saturday 28 April. They had come together for our retiring national president Val Ward's Triennial Mass, with almost 80 of those present travelling over to the Wirral from Liverpool Archdiocese to thank Val for her inspired leadership of the UCM over the past three years. Traditionally each retiring president holds a Mass in her own diocese before her term of office comes to an end at the AGM in May.
The whole congregation, including three bishops – Mark Davies Bishop of Shrewsbury; Alan Williams, Bishop of Brentwood (and UCM ecclesiastical adviser); and Bishop Terence Brain – along with priests, family and friends, joined in the prayers and joyfully sang the hymns. Everyone wanted to wish Val well after her time in office. Her work is not over yet, though, as she automatically becomes a deputy president.
• Mary Piper, one of our UCM vice-presidents, has related a lovely fund-raising effort for Cafod by two young brothers from Middlesbrough, Benedict aged six and Patrick aged four. They sent out birthday invitations to their classmates with a tube of Smarties, asking them to eat the sweets and then put coins in the tubes before returning them – this instead of bringing presents. It raised £200 and maybe we could plant a similar idea in the minds of our children and grandchildren.
• Four new members were enrolled at the bi-monthly Mass at St Richard's, Skelmersdale on Wednesday 9 May. The church was packed to overflowing, with some members perched up in the organ loft, and we all enjoyed the beautiful Mass and the homily given by Father David Potter, our diocesan chaplain.
• Our Annual Mass takes place at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Wednesday 13 June at 7.30pm. The business meeting will follow on Saturday 23rd at 1pm.