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Tomorrow sees the re-convening of bishops in Rome to consider marriage, divorce and sexuality. Last year’s meeting brought bitter disagreements out into the open and the rows have continued to simmer ever since
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The leader of the broadcasting regulator Ofcom has paid tribute to the religious sisters at her secondary school after being made a Dame in the New Year’s Honours.
Colette Bowe thanked those who had helped her to be awarded the accolade including her family and the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mount Pleasant, Liverpool.
“They were tough and resourceful as well as being very clever and they were fantastic role models,” she said.
Dame Colette, 67, attended Notre Dame High School, which in 1970 merged to become Notre Dame Woolton and then in 1983 joined with another school to become St Julie’s Catholic High School.
Dame Colette, who is a director of The Tablet, began her career at the then named Department for Trade and Industry working for Leon Brittan during his row over a helicopter contract with Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine in what became known as the Westland Affair. A trained economist, she has held a number of city posts and was appointed chairman of Ofcom in 2009.
She is among a number of Catholics to be recognised in this year’s honours. Antony Gormley, the sculptor famous for “Angel of the North” near Newcastle, who was educated at Ampleforth College in north Yorkshire, has been knighted, while Stephen Hough, the pianist, has been awarded the CBE.
The latter honour has also been given to Elaine White, head teacher of St Mary and St Thomas Aquinas in Gateshead, Newcastle while Christopher Smart, Chairman of Governors of Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Rugby, Warwickshire has been awarded the MBE.
Barry and Margaret Mizen have also been given the MBE: they have been campaigners for improved community relations since the murder of their son Jimmy in 2008.
There was also an award for Terry Prendergast, the former Chief Executive of the Catholic charity Marriage Care, which offers relationship counselling and marriage preparation.