It has become a tradition of the Liverpool Archdiocesan UCM for the retiring president to arrange a retreat for members at the end of her term of office. Maria Bruns, who completed her term on 27 April, duly arranged for us to go for the weekend to Belmont Abbey near Hereford. It is an abbey run by the Benedictine Order of monks, and together with Father David Potter, 18 of our members headed off there on Friday 5 April.
We stopped in Hereford for a look at the beautiful Cathedral and the famous Mappa Mundi (Map of the World). This was drawn in the early 14th century and shows Jerusalem at its centre, and the British Isles in the bottom left-hand corner.
At the abbey we joined the monks for Masses and some other services, including their Matins and Compline. One of the monks, Father Alastair, delivered fascinating talks on the theme of ‘The saints as ordinary people’. We also had time for prayers and walks in the garden. We made new friends and reconnected with old ones.
On the return journey we called in to the nearby Poor Clares' convent, where Maria has a friend in the Order. They made us very welcome with tea and cakes.
We would like to wish Maria well as she takes up her duties as deputy president for the next three years, and we also welcome Mrs Maureen Finnegan from St Margaret Mary's foundation as our new Liverpool Archdiocesan president. Maureen has been an enthusiastic UCM member for 40 years, doing sterling work at parish level, not least in acting and singing at the ‘famous’ concert party, and also serving as a diocesan media officer. She has many outstanding talents which she will be able to bring to the office of president.
• St Edmund of Canterbury (62 Oxford Rd, Waterloo L22 8QF) will host the next bi-monthly Mass at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 May. We wish a successful trip, meanwhile, to our members who are going to the Annual National Council at Swanwick in Derbyshire.