News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool



Cath Pic Jubilee Issue-1 Catholic Pic November 2021-1

On the Isle of Man, we have been celebrating our annual novena to Mary, Untier of Knots. Bishop Tom Neylon opened the first night of the novena and it was great to have him with us so soon after his ordination. Father Colum Kelly led another evening.


A friend from seminary days, he is a priest of the Diocese of Leeds. His theme for the evening was ‘Untying the Knots of Uncertainty’. Colum drew on his experience as a chaplain with the Apostleship of the Sea at the massive container port of Immingham. He spoke of the uncertainty and insecurity of the lives of seafarers visiting the port. They are away from home for months or more, uncertain when they will next see their families or when and how much they will be paid. Their working conditions can be a form of slavery.


Colum went on to suggest that we all live with uncertainty: when we face diagnosis of a life-threatening disease; redundancy at work; in the erratic behaviour of a family member suffering from an addiction. He shared his own experience of Mary, Untier of Knots, and how he had promoted the devotion in his ministry.


This was Colum’s first visit to the Isle of Man. We talked into the night as we caught up on almost 100 years of priesthood between us. He explained how one seafarer was killed in the docks in a particularly harrowing way. His crewmates, thousands of miles from home, were distraught. Colum spent the day with them as they shared their grief. The captain said to Colum, ‘Look, I don’t know what a chaplain’s for or what a chaplain does, but I’m glad you’re here.’ That is a wonderful tribute to Colum’s dedication and perseverance. It is not a bad description of the priest’s role, whatever the setting. The Church needs more priests like Colum.

Sunday thoughts

His crewmates, thousands of miles from home, were distraught