Showing posts from November, 2008

"2008 Voices"

On Tues. Nov. 18th, a musical event took place in Liverpool's Catholic Cathedral in the presence of Archbishop Kelly and Bishop Malone: "2008 Voices". This was a celebration of the Church's musical heritage involving over 2,000 primary and secondary school singers and musicians from all over the archdiocese, performing 12 hymns and religious songs in differing styles: from traditional choral hymns to Gospel, African spiritual, Taizé chant and modern Christian rock.

I had been involved in the organisation of the event over the past year as part of an Archdiocesan committee. This team had a strong representation from St. Bartholomew Parish Choir, Rainhill, and these hard-working souls ensured that all the background admin in preparation for the event got done very efficiently (thanks guys!). My job was more specifically related to the hymns/music itself and the performance on the day. I helped lead a backing band for about half the pieces, made up of members of our Yr.1…

Uganda 08 photos by Andy R. - part 2

(I've re-published this post as I left some great photos out first time round)

Some more pics from Andy:

Andy R. + friend at Kasasa.

The wonderful children at the orphanage near Kasasa.

Sophie + friend (we made lots of friends! :-)

Who'd be friends with this lot?? Exporting "hoodie" culture to Uganda!

Ibanda Babies Home.

The view back down across one of the very poor neighbourhoods in Kampala that we drove through to get to the Brothers' school at Kabojja.

Musicians and dancers during the entertainment laid on for us as Rubaga.

Sean with one of the Ugandan Brothers the night before our return journey home.

Matthew keeping an eye on us whilst asleep (he really was!) during the flight back. Spooky!


And with the Ugandan children centre stage we finish our account of this year's Ugandan adventure. I will maybe post some more video clips from the trip however in a few weeks time, as I will soon start editing the 5 hrs+ of footage from the trip. This is next on my list of …

Uganda 08 photos by Andy R - part 1

These magnificent photos were taken by Team Win! member Andy R (aka Rolo):

Bro. Francis showing his photos to Allan + driver John. Allan is a young Ugandan whose father is a financial consultant for the Ugandan government. Allan is actually with us here in Liverpool for 2 weeks at the moment, staying in the Brothers' community house, attending lessons in school, joining in various extra-curricular trips and being entertained by the different members of Team Win!


More to follow from Rolo...

Prayers expressing trust in God

I rediscovered these beautiful prayers the other day when the first was quoted to me by my spiritual director and someone sent me the second in an e-mail. How timely they were!

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.

Christ has no body on earth now but yours;
no hands but yours;
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes
through which the compassion of Christ
must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet
with which he is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands
with which he is to bless his people.

(St. Teresa of Avila)


May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into yo…

Uganda 08 diary - Day 18: ...we did it our way!!

There were a few tired faces on the final morning as we prepared for an early departure from Entebbe back to Heathrow. It had been a highly memorable, thoroughly enjoyable, moving, rewarding but tiring trip, and the last night festivities meant that some got less sleep than they needed. But hey, it was most certainly worth it. Most of us managed to kip on the plane anyway.

Going home.

Team Win! 08 had done Liverpool proud. The group was a total pleasure to take away. They were great fun to be with, but knew where to draw the line, showing tremendous maturity in their relations amongst themselves and with the Ugandan children and adults that they met. Everywhere we went all I heard was what a wonderful bunch of young people they were and how they gave to the Ugandan teenagers in particular a much better image of what "wealthy" European teens can be like in terms of their sensitivity to the others' needs, their simplicity, their friendliness and the way they didn't look …

Uganda 08 diary - Day 17: and now, the end is near....

And so to our last full day in Uganda. We decided to wear our multi-coloured Ugandan Martyrs School t-shirts we'd been given the day before so that we could have a Team Win! team photo... and here it is! Bottom left is Bro. Michel Clouet, a French Brother who came over with us and who'd worked in Uganda for a year (he speaks excellent English) when he was a young Brother. By the way, Jack on the back row (aka Jack THE Beanstalk :-) is not standing on a box! The photo was taken back in the Ugandan Brothers' mega-campus at Kisubi, a few miles from where we stayed those last 2 nights.

Notice our carefully arranged pattern of colours... so artistic!!

Bro. Francis with Bro. Joseph Tinkasimire, a Ugandan Brother he knew from international Bro. meetings in the past.

Rollo directing the Team Win! Choral Scholars.

This was taken at breakfast that morning methinks, due to the half asleep expressions... either that or I was telling a particularly boring anecdote (probably both, actually)…

New Dominions (with my nephew on lead vocals!) perform Losing Lisa

My nephew James (Aah bless!! - from New Orleans, student at Univ. Of Virginia, Musical director for various stage shows, etc...) is the lead vocalist (red shirt at front) in this rendition of Ben Folds' song Losing Lisa. Quality. The original is pretty good too.

Uganda 08 diary - Day 16: Kampala - part 2

... From Kabojja, we moved onto Rubaga and Ugandan Martyrs Secondary School. Just next to the school is an impressive brick cathedral around which we were given a guided tour by a young, articulate seminarian.

Then it was on to our Brothers' school next door, Ugandan Martyrs, Rubaga. We had heard that together with the Kabojja primary school, these two had some of the best music and dance groups of all the Brothers' schools in Uganda. This seemed to be borne out by the marvellous shows the 2 schools put on for us. The pupils at Ugandan Martyrs began their performance with pieces sung by the school choir. This 50-strong group made a marvellously rich, warm Gospel sound, and in the shape of their 14 year-old soloist a vocalist of rare maturity and talent. She led them in a performance of "Let It Be" that had many of us in tears... and the choir didn't realise that the The Beatles were from Liverpool!!

The soloist for "Let It Be" with some of the choir.