With the Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei – The Door of Faith – Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith for all Catholics throughout the world. This year begins on 11th October, 2012 and concludes on 24th November 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

The Year of Faith gives us all a graced opportunity to nourish the life of faith we have been given. None of us stays believing automatically: our faith needs to be fostered and cherished, fed and fortified; otherwise it can die from indifference or neglect. The Year of Faith gives us a favourable time to deepen our personal faith in the Lord and strengthen our attachment to the believing community.

As part of the worldwide community of followers of Jesus, we Catholics have a special opportunity during the Year of Faith to deepen our attachment to Jesus as Lord, strengthen our ties with all who believe in Jesus, and witness to our faith with a sense of pride.

To help mark your journey through the Year of Faith, our parish of St. Mary of the Angels & St. Clare have different events programmed.

  •  On Saturday, 13th October Mary O’Broinn of the Ember Mission team from Dublin will speak to us about the Parish Mission that will take place next year from 3rd – 10th May. Her initial visit coincides with our Forty Hour Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, an opportunity for all to pray in the real presence of Jesus  for the success of our Mission.


  • A team from the Legion of Mary Perigrinatio Pro Christo (Journey for Christ) will visit the parish from 30th March to 6th April, 2013. We must always remember that the Eucharist is the centre and source of our Faith.


Mass is celebrated almost daily in our beautiful parish church; the other sacraments are celebrated at appropriate times, we should not neglect our opportunities.

Through our website and parish bulletin we will keep you informed about the extras to look out for during this year of Grace.


by Fr. William Techie

Come 29th July 2014 and please God I will be 25 years in the priesthood. It is an opportune time for me to look back and to thank God for the gift of my vocation.

A few months before the ordination, looking at my humble family background, I asked myself if I was really being called by God, I wondered if I was the kind of person God wanted to use. What kind of people does God use?  After a few days of reflection, the response came: “ordinary people—with all the struggles, all the strengths and with all the weaknesses of people like me. it’s not what you are that is important; the issue is what you are willing to become.”



Trusting these words were from the Lord, I presented myself for ordination. I decided then to have the following words boldly printed at the back of a few “T Shirts” which were printed as a souvenir. The words are: “taste and see that the lord is good”—(psalm 34:8). On my invitation card were the following: “I don’t place any value on my own life, provided that I complete the mission the Lord Jesus gave me—to bear witness to the good news of God’s grace”—(acts 20:24). These texts have greatly challenged me to do the best that I could.


Arriving from the ordination, at the outskirts of my village was a crowd including the traditional rulers waiting to welcome me home. Seeing the crowd, I was dumbfounded and I wept. Who am I that such a crowd of people would gather to welcome me, process to the small village church for Benediction and later to our house?



My first appointment was to the Sacred Heart Cathedral in HO. It had 34 outstations and two of us being the Assistants, had 17 each to ourselves. I recall vividly that I spent almost one month in the villages before returning to the main parish where the parish priest remarked:”Ooh Willie, this is a real Pauline journey!” I reached those outstations on foot with luggage on my head and Mass kit in hand, on bicycles; passenger vehicles; tractors; motorbikes; canoes. I remember one day coming from one of the villages in a remote area on bicycle when I had a blackout due to dehydration. It was the Lord who saved me else I could have died in that wilderness.


Subsequent appointments were Parish priest, Juapong (1994-96), Cathedral Administrator, Akatsi (1996-2002), Parish priest, Denu (2002-2007) and I left for the UK to work in St. Mary of the Angels and St. Clare from September 2007—September 2011. From November 2011 to date, I have been working as the Parish priest of the Risen Christ Quasi-Parish, Adidome.


I have served also as the Diocesan Communications Director, President of the Diocesan Fundraising Committee, member of the Diocesan Projects Implementation Committee, Spiritual Director of Choirs in the Diocese, member of the College of Consultors, member of the Senate, a Dean, member of the Diocesan Seminary Commission, member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, member of the Diocesan Finance Committee and treasurer of Keta-Akatsi Diocesan Priests Association.



Looking back, I admit my priesthood has not been without many challenges. There have been moments of despair, discouragement, hopelessness and helplessness. There have also been moments of failure.   In spite of the challenges I recognise also that I have touched the lives of many countless people who in turn also have touched my life. I have enjoyed the love and care of those (Catholics and non-Catholics) I have encountered. The smiles and joy with which I am greeted as I enter people’s homes is beyond description. I am not always appreciated but the successes I have chalked up and countless blessings have always urged me on, never to lose hope or lose my bearings as a priest. Countless Catholics and sometimes non-Catholics have taught and encouraged me to cherish my priesthood especially in difficult moments.


Through many dangers, toils and snares, the Lord has brought me this far with his grace.



Indeed, the priesthood is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. In fact if anybody asks me what I would like to become in the world to come, my response is: a priest. Mind you, not just a priest but a Catholic Priest of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.


Having looked back to see the various areas that I have served as a priest, I have come to understand and recognise that I am the ordinary weak and struggling person that the Lord is using.


Thanks to all who have walked this journey with me. St. Mary’s in Levenshulme has been part of this journey. May the Lord shower His blessings on you all.



Fr. William Techie




 by Fr. Pat O’Beirne

I arrived in Britain from Taiwan in January 2010, beginning a four-year appointment to work on the Columban mission appeals. Last year I began my discernment on where God was calling me to be from January 2014. My heart was telling me to return on overseas mission. I have just turned 50 and still feel a bit of energy in my body and a passion for overseas missionary work. I had been living in our London community house in leafy Hampstead and I fell in love with London.



However, something did not feel right inside me. When priests or religious live in community, unless one is highly motivated, it is easy to slip into a comfort zone and unconsciously avert our gaze from the suffering of ordinary people and the poor.  Life can too easily become focused on the narrow petty squabbles that go with community life.


For this reason I requested, that if this was to be my last year in Britain, I would live in a parish setting, closer to the lives of ordinary people. My desire was to continue living in London, doing the Columban mission appeals at week-ends, while being available to help out in a parish mid-week.  My Regional Director, wise man, had other ideas. He responded warmly to my request but encouraged me to consider moving into the diocese where we would be doing our mission appeals.  In this way I might be able to give something back to the people who are so loyal and generous to us and at the same time deepen our connections with the people of Salford Diocese.  I have often heard missionaries giving testimony that they went out on mission to bring Christ to others but ended up receiving much more from the people than they could ever give. Well, my experience in Levenshulme was soon to teach me the truth of that statement. 



I spoke to the Vicar General Mgr Kay and within a few days he informed me that Fr John Ahern was willing to let me stay with him.  I had never met this man before, so how was I going to gel with him in his house? I had heard that football is big in Manchester. The people are united in their love for the game but I couldn’t even name two players in any of the two clubs based in the city. Fr John’s life’s journey took him to Latin America, whereas my own journey took me to the Orient and Taiwan. A more missionary minded priest than Fr John would be hard to find the length and breadth of this land.  He immediately made me welcome and shared with me about the many Columban friends he has made in Peru.  I discovered that I was not the first Columban that Fr John had opened his home to. Fr Peter Tierney, who now works in Fiji, was here some years before me. Fr John’s passion for mission has certainly rubbed off on the people of the parish. I have found, among the people of St Mary of the Angels and St Clare, a deep awareness of our personal and community missionary call and an empathy for other people around the world who are truly our brothers and sisters. I found a community with a large core group of active faithful who are eager to participate in the life of the parish in whatever way they can.   


There is still a very high proportion of Irish immigrants living in the parish but nothing ever remains the same and thank God for that. Over the years new people from other countries have moved into Levenshulme adding to the wonderful diversity of life on our doorstep. This is even more obvious in our school, St Mary’s, in the rich ethnic mix of second and third generation children. I was very pleased to see parishioners being welcomed to the Tuesday morning Mass in the school. It brings home the point that teaching the children and helping them to grow is the concern of the whole community. Do we ever wonder what do the children see when they look at the adults coming to pray with them each week?  We truly never know the real impact of our lives on others, even long after we are gone and people walk past our headstones and say, “I remember that person”.    



Sr Maria introduced me to Cornerstone and I was glad to be able to give a few hours each week to serve the people who go there in their need. The great service that this small building gives to the poor of Manchester is a testament to the many volunteers who faithfully give of their time there each week and the many people and businesses who support it with generous donations. I have seen in many churches around the diocese a little box at the back of the church seeking food donations for Cornerstone.


I was glad to be available to Fr David in the hospital a few times. Ministry to the sick and dying is one of the most difficult ministries in the Church. There is little we can say when caught up in the mystery of another person’s struggle with illness and death. Yet we feel the urge to fill the air with our pious words hoping others will find comfort and wishing with all our hearts to ease their pain, especially if it is a young baby in its mother’s arms with only a few hours to live.



I was privileged to meet many parish communities in Salford and each one is different with its own character, identity, styles of prayer and priority of values. The gracious welcome and generosity I have received in each place has been humbling.  I have come to a better appreciation of the pressures on almost every single parish to raise funds for building maintenance and repairs from an ever dwindling number of faithful.

Probably the happiest days in the parish calendar, – the First Communion and Confirmation celebrations, for me was also tinged with the sadness of knowing that so many of the happy young families who joined us in these celebrations would not feel the need or desire to come back again the following Sunday. I sense that this is a source of pain for many priests and laity in Britain today. How do we look forward to a future church that is as vibrant as the one in which we grew up in our youth? The answer I suppose is that we can’t or more accurately, we are not asked to think of the future. That is God’s job. All he asks of us is to be faithful and to be faithful to the end.  And of course never, ever give up on praying in gratitude for the privilege of being able to be of service to His Kingdom.   



My time in Levenshulme is swiftly coming to a close and I am looking forward to returning with fresh heart to China.  I take many happy memories and blessings with me and I know I am in your prayers as you are in mine. I don’t know how to thank you all enough for the kindness many of you have shown to me. I can do no better than borrow the words of St Paul.

Fr Pat O’Beirne

Missionary Society of St. Columban