Jack Traynor Talk, 25th May. Report from Pres. Phil Gray.


Last November we invited Alex Taylor, Jack’s Great Great Grandson to speak after dinner about the film he is producing about Jack, his life and his cure at Lourdes. The injuries Jack had suffered were from battle in World War 1.         

Earlier this year, in discussions with Fr. Neil Ritchie of the Catholic Chaplaincy we focused on ways we could support the Chaplaincy and accordingly promote the Catenian Association and the Bursary Fund. 

We thought that a public talk in the church about the forthcoming film would be a good first initiative. It is worth keeping in mind that the church is seeking grants for ongoing architectural restoration to the building and the gardens. St Philip Neri is not a parish. Grant applicants are asked to explain how frequently and for what purposes the building is used. Greater the use, greater the chance of a grant. Increasing the range of events held at the chaplaincy thus supports the chaplaincy too.      

Following our discussions, Fr Neil was invited to speak at our April Ladies Post Circle.

Publicity for the Talk on 25th May

The poster included details about the film and the Catenian Association. The accompanying email had further information about the The Bursary Fund and awards.

The circulation included : all churches in the Archdiocese; the Diaconate; the UCM; the Lourdes Groups; the Knights; the Archbishop and Bishops; the Circles in Province; students at the Catholic Chaplaincy.  

Parishes included details in their newsletters which are available to see online. The Lourdes Pilgrimage Group and the students at the Catholic Chaplaincy added the item to their facebook accounts.  

The Talk and Reception 

The event attracted just short of 70 attendees. A very pleasing turnout with the vast majority not being Catenians. The latter point is important to note, not as a criticism but to indicate the interest the publicity had generated from outside our Association. During the reception over cheese, meats and cake we were able to chat to guests about the Association and to answer their questions.

Future Initiatives 

Fr Neil and I will meet over the Summer to consider ways in which we can strengthen our links with the Chaplaincy.

I know from correspondence and from talks that there are a numbers of Brothers and wives from across the country who have had family links with the Liverpool Pilgrimage of 1923 and association with Jack Traynor. They were very much interested in the project. This week I will be drafting a letter for Catena Magazine explaining how our Association was promoted by this event and asking for those with information that could help Alec and Shona to contact them.   

Alex Traynor