PARISH GROUPS

Visiting the Sick: Our parish is blessed with both Parish clergy and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. If you are not well and would like a visit at home, or know somebody who does, please contact us at the parish number: 01902 736440. If you would like a visit at New Cross Hospital, please contact the Hospital Chaplain's office: 01902 695098.

Finance Committee: helps the parish priest in the administration of the goods of the parish; current members: Fr. D Piskorz, Deacon Mel Harwood, Anne Barry (chair), Mavis O’Connor, Pat Simpson, Margaret Middleton and Bill Martin.

Friends of St Patrick: Pastoral group that works alongside the Parish Priest with organisation of events, e.g. Confirmation, FHC, St Patrick’s Day, Christmas Bazaar and many more, meets every 2 months.

Liturgical Committee: chooses hymns for worship, meets quarterly.

Social Committee: a new group in the Parish; works hard to arrange social activities which help to build up a sense of community and belonging.

Sunday Café for Parishioners: Sunday mornings after 9:30am Mass in the Hall.

St Vincent De Paul (SVP): helps the poor and needy, visits people in their homes, organises outings and pilgrimages and annual Masses with the Sacrament of the Sick for the housebound.

St Patrick's Youth Choir: We are blessed with a fantastic youth choir (about 30 members aged 8-17 years), which sings every first Sunday of the month; choirmaster being Winnie Andujar.

Altar Servers: We are blessed with a group of 15-20 altar servers (aged 8-19 years old). They have an important role to play, since they serve at the Altar during Masses and other services.

St Patrick's Academy: Catholic primary school with a nursery for 3 to 11 years old, which has strong links with our Parish.

Children’s Liturgy: Jackie Mason, Elaine Caulfield, Margaret Middleton, Margaret O'Hara, Mavis O'Connor, Anne Barry, Helen Harwood, Sony Thattil, Winnie Andujar and Julie Jayce.

Hope Community: seeking out and supporting vulnerable families and wider community in Heath Town. The staff visit people on the estate and help parents and children and run a girl & boys’ group, women group, etc.

Emerald Club: open all week. Senior citizens club Thursdays 2pm-4pm. Regular dances and socials and screened sporting events e.g. All Ireland.

Keralan and Filipino Communities are actively involved at St Patrick’s parish life (e.g. organise cultural programmes in the Hall, support youth ministry like Flame 2019).

Sacramental Preparation at St Patrick's

What are the Sacraments?

The disciples were fortunate they could meet the Lord and experience him there and then in their everyday lives. We might think that they were very much a separate privileged group. While this might be true on one level, we are all in fact given the same wonderful opportunity to encounter Jesus - through the sacraments.

The Latin word sacramentum means "a sign of the sacred."

The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God's saving presence. That's what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God's grace. 

The Seven Sacraments are: Baptism, Eucharist (Holy Communion), Reconciliation (Confession), Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.

Baptism

The sacrament of Baptism is called the "first sacrament" and the "door of the Church", through which we become members of the Church. It is the entrance into a new life; we are reborn from the state of slaves of sin into the freedom of God's Children. For Catholics it is the event of great value.


Dear Parents! Your spiritual involvement is essential in preparing for the baptism of your child. Parents are the first and most important teachers of the faith. The faith of your child will grow as it witnesses your Catholic faith in action. So it is important that you attend the Sunday's Mass. Your presence is vital for the whole Parish community.

SPECIFIC PREPARATIONS. The Parents should contact Fr. Dawid to agree upon the details. Usually they are required to attend one or two baptismal preparation meetings.

For adults, the proper preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism is the RCIA course (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) which starts early October. 

First Holy Communion and First Confession

First Holy Communion means first and solemn reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This event is very important for the Parish, as the Eucharist is one of the central focuses of the Catholic Church. It is the primary duty of parents and of the priest to ensure that children are properly prepared for the Holy Communion.

Parents of children from our Parish who wish their child to make his (her) First Holy Communion and First Confesion need to see Father Dawid before the end of September. They should fill in the Request Form for Sacramental Preparation and bring the Baptismal Certificate.

The Catholic children from St Patrick's Primary School have their preparation at school. It is run by the class teacher and Fr. Dawid.

The children from our Parish who do not attend a Catholic school have their course of preparation in the Parish. The exact dates are given in the Parish's Newsletter.

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ. Its effect is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles after the Resurrection. The sacrament of Confirmation strengthens our faith and gives courage to live according to the Gospel.

Parents of children from our Parish who wish their child to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation need to see Father Dawid before the end of September. They should fill in the Request Form for Sacramental Preparation and bring the Baptismal Certificate.

The Catholic children from St Patrick's Primary School have their preparation at school. It is run by Fr. Dawid and the teachers.

The children from our Parish who do not attend a Catholic school have their course of preparation in the Parish. The exact dates are given in the Parish's Newsletter.

Marriage

Catholic Marriage is a sacrament, which involves a lifelong commitment. Therefore proper preparation is necessary. Its aim is to help the engaged couple prepare for this profound experience of God's love that will be showered upon them on the wedding day and every day of theirs married life.

Dear couples contemplating marriage! First of all, your spiritual development as a couple is very important aspect of your marriage preparation. As you are to build a relationship on faith in God and mutual love, you should attend Sunday Mass that you may be strengthened by the Eucharist. Your spiritual involvement in the life of the Parish will make your marriage ceremony in the Church more familial and credible.

For further details please contact Fr. Dawid.

Sacrament of Confession

Making a good Confession

1. A careful and sincere examination of conscience since your last confession;
2. Contrition (repentance), which includes the determination to avoid the occasions of sin;
3. Confession of sins to the priest, with humility and honesty;
4. Satisfaction - carrying out the penance prescribed to repair the damage caused by sin.

EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE


The relationship with God:

Do I exclude God from my life?
Do I neglect my daily prayers or say them badly?
Have I used God's name in anger or carelessly?
Have I missed Mass on a Sunday or Holyday of Obligation?
Have I received Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin?
Do I observe the one hour fast before receiving Communion?
Do I abstain from meat or perform some other act of penance on Fridays?

The relationship with other people:

Have I been impatient, angry or jealous?
Have I taken part in, or encouraged, an abortion?
Have I physically harmed anyone?
Have I been drunk, used drugs, or given a bad example to others?
Have I driven carelessly so as to endanger my life or that of other people?
Have I placed myself in danger of sin by reading or looking at what was indecent or pornographic?
Have I sinned against the virtue of purity by myself (masturbation)?
Have I sinned against the virtue of purity with others (fornication, adultery)?
Have I been dishonest by stealing or cheating?
Have I been lazy at my work or at home?
Have I been uncharitable or unkind in thought, word, or deed?
Have I told lies?
Am I greedy or selfish?
Do I judge others?

THE EFFECTS OF THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION

1. Reconciliation with God and therefore the forgiveness of sins;
2. Reconciliation with the Church;
3. Recovery, if it has been lost, of the state of grace;
4. Remission of the eternal punishment merited by mortal sins;
5. Remission, at least in part, of the temporal punishment which is the consequence of sin;
6. Reace, serenity of conscience and spiritual consolation;
7. An increase of spiritual strength for the struggle of Christian living.

Confessions at St Patrick's:
Saturday after 9:30am Mass & Sunday 5:30-5:55 pm or on request

Funerals

While we wish to support mourners at the difficult time of bereavement, we believe the best way to do so is to offer the riches of the Catholic Liturgy without some of the extras which have become commonplace due to the secularisation of society. We do our best to ensure that any funeral service here is personalised in an appropriate way. However taped music (CD) is not permitted at the Church. 'Eulogies' should be brief, written down, and given to Fr. Dawid by the evening before the service. When the service in church is followed by cremation, there is usually plenty of time at the crematorium, so that may be the best place for speeches, cds and other tributes.

There are several options for celebrating a funeral in a catholic context. The first is to have a funeral Mass (Requiem Mass). In normal circumstances the Mass in Church is the most appropriate context for a funeral of a Catholic person. In it we access Christ's sacrifice, made so that the power of sin and death might be overcome and the way to heaven made open for us.

It is also possible to have a simple service in the church or at the crematorium. In this case you can have a formal liturgy of the Catholic Church which should be treated with a similar level of respect as a Mass in Church.

The main service is followed by either burial or cremation. In the case of cremation, the ashes should be buried at a later date. There is a simple ceremony to mark this. The Church does not bless the scattering of ashes.

ST PATRICK'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY ACADEMY

VISIT SCHOOL'S WEBSITE

The Beginning

In September 1964 St Patrick's Church was informed that the site was required, by the council, for redevelopment. The site chosen for the new church was not big enough for the construction of a school so alternative arrangements needed to be made. It was a difficult decision and needed changes to Parish boundaries and sites, but in 1970 St Patrick's Catholic Primary School opened on its current site in Graiseley Lane.

The School owes a debt of gratitude to many people including Canon Allport, parishioners, governors and the local councillor at the time, Jennie Lee.

Mission Statement

At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary Academy: With Christ beside us, we LOVE, LEARN, LAUGH, PRAY, PLAY and GROW together as children of God'.

The commitment of the school to engendering faith mirrors the Parish mission to honour and praise God to every nation. The Department of Religious Education inspection report noted that 'Prayer and collective worship are embedded in school life'.

The Catholic faith is the ultimate source of the cohesion and creates a great sense of belonging. There are many nationalities at the school and there is scope to express identity without fear. The Ofsted report noted that the proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds is higher than most schools. This is a real blessing and represents the diversity of God's family, a little microcosm of the world. Of the 229 children on roll 47% are Catholic (as of 2020).

The recent RE inspections and the Ofsted reports considered the links between parish and school as strong. We have a regular school Masses at St Patrick’s. We have school display boards in Church that are filled to reflect the liturgical season or the Sacraments to be received. In recent years we have attracted some pupils to altar serving.

On Thursday 9th September 2010 Archbishop Bernard Longley celebrated a 40th anniversary Mass of the school in Wednesfield giving thanks for all those involved in the school over four decades. We also remembered John McConnell former chair of governors and Elaine Thomas who worked in the school kitchen and died in 2010.

On Wednesday 13th July 2016 Bishop McGough celebrated a Farewell Mass for Mrs Wozmirska, long serving Headteacher at St Patrick’s. After her retirement, the following headteachers served at the school: Mrs Helen McKenzie (2016-2019), Mrs Lisa Thompson (2019-2020) and Mrs Sophia Mulrooney (Head of School since 2020).

In the recent Ofsted inspection (November 2018) school was praised for its ethos, behaviour and welfare of pupils: ‘The distinctive Catholic ethos fosters an atmosphere of respect and understanding that permeates all aspects of the school’s work. Pupils are kind, thoughtful and caring and there is a strong feeling of community.’

St Patrick’s Catholic Primary school became an academy on 29th February 2020 and is now part of St Francis and St Clare Catholic Multi Academy, which has been set up to unite the Catholic schools of the Wolverhampton Catholic Deanery.

THE HOPE COMMUNITY

VISIT HOPE' WEBSITE

The Beginning

The Hope Family project is a real gift for our parish, situated in the centre of Heath Town; its service and care are widely acknowledged.

In charting the history, we should pay tribute to the Mercy Sisters who served at St Patrick's until 1984 when the parish sister was moved to London. Following that change Canon Allport approached Sr. Frances, the Superior of the community of the Infant Jesus Sisters in Merridale Road, for help. In February 1985 Sr. Margaret, Sr. Mary Joy and Sr. Brid began working in the parish. Canon Allport was very pleased when his request for help in the hospital and parish was accepted and the sisters suggested doing a census in Heath Town (a later census would take place in Park Village and the High-rise flats in Wednesfield). From 1985 for many years, the Infant Jesus Sisters did hospital work, firstly those based at Heath Town Community and later Sr. Ann Breen and Sr. Mary O'Connell from Merridale Road.

The Hope Community was formed in 1985 by three members of the Infant Jesus Sisters: Sr. Margaret, Sr. Bernadette and Sr. Brid after many conversations with the Parish Priest, the Order leadership and with people on the estate who felt forgotten by society, by the Church and even by their own families. They experienced isolation, loneliness and fear and yet there was so much to unlock and share. Sister Margaret Walsh recalls driving through the Heath Town estate and sensing what the Lord was asking of them.Sister Margaret relates how the words of Saint Peter kept surfacing in her prayers: 'Be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you'. (1 Peter 3:15) People longed for hope, the virtue of hope was to be shared with the people of Heath Town and the fledging community would take hope for its name.

The Sisters had a deep desire to live among the people and this came to fruition in October 1985 when they took up residence in two and later four maisonettes. The sisters would listen to the people and encourage them to participate fully in community and family life.

In 1994 a partnership was formed between Father Hudson's Society and the Infant Jesus Sisters. The need for community workers was identified mainly to develop a literacy project for young families.

In December 2010 Hope Community registered as an independent charity, with the Infant Jesus Sisters, Father Hudson’s Care and the Archdiocese of Birmingham (represented by St Patrick’s Parish) as the founding trustees. Hope also has representation on its Board of Trustees from other churches and organisations, in particular from Holy Trinity Church of England, Heath Town.

On 24th October 2015, Hope celebrated its 30th Anniversary in Heath Town. The solemn Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop David McGough and refreshments were served in the Parish Hall afterwards.

Due to Heath Town estate’s regeneration project and demolition of Chervil Rise building, Hope Community moved to its new premises (40 Ling House) in December 2016.

On 28th September 2017, Hope was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at a ceremony at St Patrick’s church hall attended by the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. This award is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities.

On 24th January 2018, Sue Allen – the long serving Project Manager of Hope – has been honoured with a Benemerenti Medal from Pope Francis. She was presented with the award by Bishop David McGough at a special Mass at St Patrick’s church to celebrate her retirement after twenty years at Hope.

Following Sue Allen’s retirement, Hope Project managers were: Jane Bamber (2018-2019) and Lisa Storey (from August 2019).

Today and the Future

Hope Community has a team of 8 members of staff and about 40 dedicated volunteers. They are dependent on grant and trust funding for their services which are crucial to people often overlooked and who slip through the net. Working in a preventative way they build relationships of trust with people of all ages: the young at risk of becoming involved in negative life styles; women experiencing challenging situations in their lives; older people at risk of becoming isolated and lonely in their own homes; people who feel they have no future; people young and old who have no aspirations.

Throughout the years, Hope Community have continued to be active in the ever changing landscape that is Heath Town and Wolverhampton. Remaining true to our core founding mission, the project has continued to reach out to the lonely, lost and troubled; both new arrivals and long term residents of all ages and nationalities are involved at Hope Community. As we look to the months ahead, it is clear that such versatility and dedication will continue to be needed here at Hope Community.

NEW CROSS HOSPITAL

The prime reason for the relocation of Saint Patrick's Church to New Cross was the close proximity of the Hospital. The life of the Hospital would in many respects define and drive the pastoral work of the parish. For many years between 1972 and 1998 St Patrick's enjoyed the presence of two priests in order to cater sufficiently for the pastoral and spiritual needs of the parish and the Hospital. Prior to 1972 a Catholic Chaplain would visit the Hospital from the nearby St Francis and St James Church in Wednesfield, once part of Our Lady's parish, Cannock Road. Canon Woulfe acted as Chaplain for many years and would say an early Sunday morning Mass in the Hospital chapel.

From 1998 to 2004 two other parishes were involved in providing and organising Catholic Chaplaincy: Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Alongside the priest chaplain for many years there has also been Sister Mary Connell and a number of volunteer ward visitors. In addition there has been a Marist brother and a number of students on placement.

From 2004 to 2011 Catholic Chaplaincy was the responsibility of Saint Patrick's with regular on-call cover support from Ss Mary and John, though Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and Corpus Christi help out. During 2010 we were blessed with the chaplaincy support of a Deacon, and two volunteer ward visitors: a parishioner and a staff member of the Hope family project.

In 2012, Fr. Craig Fullard from St Joseph’s was appointed as hospital chaplain and emergency on-call has been provided by priests from other churches in the Deanery: St Joseph’s, St Patrick’s, St Mary and St John’s, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, St Anthony’s and St Peter & Paul’s.

Since 2017, Mrs Julie Morrell has been appointed as lay chaplain to New Cross Hospital and the priests from the Deanery continue to be on an on-call rota, providing Sacramental care to the patients (e.g. Confession, Anointing of the sick).

THE EMERALD CLUB

The Emerald Club at the edge of the parish has been a gathering place for the Irish community and their friends and relatives since the late sixties. With the closure of Bishop Milner hall and pubs, such as the Dan O'Connell and the Warwick, a social hub was required. A former bowling pavilion hut, leased from a lady owner in Cross Street North, would be the location. A licence was obtained on 12th December 1968. The founder members were Kevin Reynolds (Chair), Tom McNulty (Secretary), Vincent O'Hara (Treasurer), Tom Campbell, Tommy Lennon, Jim Needham, Jim McCormack, Eddie Ruddy, Ray Jennings, Tom Keaveney, Gary Cotter, Mick Mee and Bill McDonald. A constitution was drawn up which included two very wise rules which proved importance in the years ahead: the club would be non-political and non-sectarian.

A charity committee was formed to assist members in need or distress. There were educational and cultural activities: Irish dance classes, Irish language and sport, activities that attracted new membership. The site was purchased in 1981; Andrew Moody was appointed to oversee the building of a major section of the premises with Frank Kelly of Fareco construction the builder. A loan was received from Scottish and Newcastle brewery and a further loan for the second stage of construction a dance hall in 1985 by Ereconomics with Brian Dowdall as Quantity surveyor. A building fund was set up which speeded up repayments and after all loans were repaid a surplus of £60,000 remained in the bank. A great debt is owed to those former members.

The club is now 50 years old and there is something going on most nights: Irish set dancing, line dancing, live country and Irish music, and it's a favourite place to go for a drink on match days at the Molineux, to watch Gaelic football on the big screen, or just to meet up with friends for a bit of Irish craic. Thanks to the Dion Fund the Emerald Club is also open on Thursday afternoons between 1pm & 4pm for Irish Senior Citizens, free admission and entertainment.

Every year in November we gather at the Club to celebrate annual Mass for the deceased members of the Emerald Club, which is very well attended.