Liverpool: news from St Francis Xavier's

 Following the overwhelming success of the Held in Trust exhibition which attracted over 12,000 visitors through its doors, the Church of St Francis Xavier in Liverpool has got another busy few weeks ahead. On All Saints Day (November 1), Stephen Patterson SJ will be ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool.

Stephen, originally from Oldham in Lancashire, qualified as an electrician before entering the Society of Jesus in 1997. He studied at Heythrop College in London and in Madrid.

The parish is also organizing reflective periods of quiet prayer in the heart of Liverpool for Advent. 'Silence in the City' will take place for an hour from 5pm at Pauline Books, in Bold Street, on the three Thursdays of Advent in December (4, 11 and 18).

Finally, on Sunday 7 December, the 10.15am Mass will be a celebration of the church's 160th anniversary: the Jesuits opened the church on 4 December 1848, five years after founding a college in the city. Until the earlier 1960s, SFX was the largest Catholic parish in England ­ with over 13,000 Catholics within its boundary; by the end of the 1960s, as a result of 'slum' clearance, it was one of the smallest! It has one of the largest ­ and most beautiful - collections of church vestments in the North West.

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