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Westminster Record

December 2016/January 2017 | 20p

Academies: Shaping Catholic Education

Cardinal Cormac: 60 Years of Priesthood

Christmas: Reflection of God’s Mercy

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From Tears to New Life

Detail from Church of St Lazarus in Bethany. Below right, the entrance to the tomb of Lazarus.

by Cardinal Vincent Nichols Towards the end our pilgrimage to the Holy Land this year, we visited the village of Bethany and the site of the tomb of Lazarus. Deep underground, now beneath a mosque, we saw the cave which served as the tomb. Standing at its entrance we were at the spot where, at least according to tradition, Jesus cried aloud: ‘Lazarus, come out!’ Before we visited the tomb, we gathered in the church to hear the passage from St John's Gospel telling of this moment. Being in Bethany brought home to us the part played in the life of Jesus by the house of Martha, Mary and their brother, Lazarus. The four were bound together in the close and enduring love of

friendship, a love which caused Jesus to burst into tears as he came to the tomb of his beloved Lazarus. The raising of Lazarus from the dead has to be seen in the context of this great loving friendship, although, as the Lord makes clear, it was also carried out to be a powerful witness to all who saw it happen and to all who have heard of it taking place. It remains an act of witness to the power of God over death and to the importance of the love of friendship. Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land came to its close just as we were ending the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Perhaps this helps us to see the deeper beauty of this miracle.

Mercy is the shape, the form, taken by love when it comes face to face with our weakness and need. God's mercy is the caress of God for us when we are profoundly in need. This miracle of the raising of Lazarus, seen in this light, is a wonderful act of mercy, for by it the love of God transforms grief into exaltation and death into life. Throughout this Year of Mercy, we have pondered and entered more deeply into the embrace of the mercy of God so that, in our turn, we may offer to others this same gift we ourselves have first received. Mercy can only flow from love, for mercy is the face of love. If there is no love in our hearts for

those who are wretched, then we will find no mercy to extend to them. Death comes in many forms. It may be the death of hope; it may be the deadening effect of pain; or the life-sapping impact of a relentlessly demanding routine. Whatever the wretchedness we meet, whether in friend or stranger, if we can embrace the person with a Christian love and compassion, then the work of mercy will flow from our hearts. We are not able to stand at the side of a grave and declare 'Come out' as Jesus did. But we are able to lift the darkness of these smaller deaths through our own gift of practical mercy, especially at Christmas.


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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

A Sure Hope in society and created uncertainty. However, they pale in significance before the acts of war and terror which have afflicted many these past twelve months; the inability or unwillingness to resolve conflicts, and give hope to the dispossessed, says something about the preoccupations and powerlessness of our society. And 2017 cannot offer much more in the way of hope. Perhaps the violence will just The experience of the play itself out, perhaps some threshold between one reality and the next is known measure of stability will be restored. Perhaps. But as we as ‘liminal’: most famously, the open platform at the back stand on this threshold, our of the old Routemaster buses suspicion must be that it will gave you a feeling of being in be more of the same. Of course, for the Christian, between worlds, partaking of there is a wider context. The both, but being in neither. Doors of Mercy that were That is the mood of this recently closed signaled the time of year, also. The old year end of the Year of Mercy, but is almost done, the new one also, as it were, locked mercy not yet started. It is a moment into the Church, established to reflect and remember, to her dwelling there. That mercy hope and to dream. Certainly, holds us in God’s hand, directs our Cardinal and our Bishops our lives, directs our world. So, are in the mood to do so, and whatever our fears and we carry reflections from them anxieties, we also have hope, a in this issue. sure hope that God’s power I don’t think I am being will triumph, his will bear extreme or partisan to fruit, his mercy sustain us. describe 2016 as an awful year. Whatever your view of the political earthquakes here and in other countries, they have shown up deep divisions

An Invitation to Church

Christmas is traditionally a time when many Catholics who have fallen away from the practice of their faith think about returning to church. To encourage them and to help them find a parish near them, the diocese is running a social media campaign using #comehomeforchristmas. It offers a simple invitation to come and experience the warmth of the Catholic Page 2

St Thomas More Celebrates 50 Years

Cardinal Vincent was in Berkhamsted on 1 December to mark the 50th anniversary of St Thomas More Catholic Primary School in Greenway. The Cardinal, joined by Fr John Bowland, Canon Vincent Berry and Fr Derek Hyatt, celebrated a special Mass with pupils, staff and governors past and present at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Park Street. Headteacher Isabel Cerasale said ‘It was a wonderful occasion. We were delighted that so many people were able to share in this celebration and we look forward to the next 50 years!’

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community, with a link to the diocesan website where they can find their nearest parish with Mass and confession times. Keep an eye on the diocesan Twitter and Facebook accounts as we prepare for the celebration of Christmas throughout Advent. Why not use the hashtag to publicise events at your own school or parish and invite others along?

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

of 1.8 million. In addition to the Holy Family parish where Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass, the Catholic Church runs two schools where over 90% of the pupils are Muslim, an orphanage for disabled children and other charities offering support to the population as a whole. Cardinal Vincent explained: ‘Christians have been in Gaza since the Holy Family fled to Egypt, as depicted on the wall behind the altar in the Holy Family Church. Their numbers are small, but I believe their faith is strong.’ Cardinal Vincent also met with religious sisters working in Gaza. He also met some young beneficiaries of university sponsorship and job creation schemes provided by the Pontifical Mission Society and Friends of the Holy Land, the latter being the charity set up in the UK to support Christians across the Holy Land. With youth unemployment running as high as 60% and over half of the population under the age of 15, providing jobs and income is essential to supporting the remaining Christian population.

On Sunday 6 November, Cardinal Vincent took a brief detour from the diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pay a visit to small Christian community in Gaza, where he celebrated Mass at the Catholic Parish of the Holy Family and met with parishioners to listen to their stories and concerns. The Cardinal said he was encouraged by the ‘witness of strong faith’ of Christians in Gaza. In his homily, he referred to the green vestments worn in Ordinary Time, saying: ‘Today we pray as we celebrate this Mass that our hope in Jesus as

Our Lord, our hope in his promise to be with us always, even in our greatest difficulty, will be strong in our hearts.’ He added that, whereas ordinary hope looks from a very secure present to an uncertain future, ‘Christian hope knows the present is unsure but that the future is very certain’. Referring to Mary, as our Mother, who accepted us at the foot of the Cross, he prayed ‘that she will protect and gather her family here in Gaza’. There are now around 1,200 Christians, of whom 170 are Catholic, in a total population

Cardinal Vincent Encourages Peace Process in Colombia

Standing for Faith and Freedom on Red Wednesday

On the occasion of the visit of President Juan Manuel Santos de Calderon, the first-ever state visit of a Colombian president to the UK, Cardinal Vincent said: 'Throughout five decades of violence and bloodshed in Colombia, the Catholic Church has provided support and accompaniment to countless victims of conflict in their quest for justice, reparation and lasting peace. This peace process is now in a further, challenging phase. 'I welcome every effort by all involved to bring that lasting peace to Colombia and a better future for all its people.'

On 23 November buildings across the country were lit red to raise awareness of religious persecution and to stand up for faith and freedom. The #RedWednesday campaign, led by Aid to the Church in Need, honoured those persecuted or killed in acts of religious hatred. Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster were amongst many buildings in London and across the country that were illuminated in red for the occasion. A prayer vigil was held outside the cathedral with live music and speakers including, His Holiness Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Ameer (HeadImam) of the Al-Mustafa

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Bishops Offer Prayers for the Middle East At the recent plenary meeting of the bishops of England and Wales, prayers were offered for the people of Syria and Iraq, particularly in Aleppo and Mosul, and for South Sudan, where the situation is worsening. On 22 November Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the International Affairs Department for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, called for an end to the targeting of civilians in the conflict in Syria, particularly in East Aleppo. At least 141 civilians, including 18 children, have been killed in a week of renewed bombardment on the rebel-held eastern half of Aleppo which has devastated its hospitals, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

reported. The monitor said it had documented hundreds of injuries as a result of Russian and Syrian air strikes and shelling by government forces and its allies on the besieged eastern half of the city. The assault began after a weekslong ceasefire. ‘We are shocked and horrified at the violent attack on civilian lives, especially women and children, in East Aleppo,’ said Bishop Declan. ‘The destruction of hospitals and the consequent lack of medical supplies for the victims of violence cannot be justified. We call upon those responsible for conducting the war to respect the lives of all civilians and to work unceasingly for a peace based on justice. War can never be a satisfactory solution to political problems.’ © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

Firm Faith and Strong Hope in Gaza

Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre, and Dr Sarah Bernstein, Director-General of the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations. Prayers were led by the Westminster Youth Ministry team. A specially-decorated red London bus travelled around the city during the day in order to spread the message of faith and freedom, stopping at religious sites such as Imam Khoei Islamic Centre, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood. On 24 November ACN released its 2016 Religious Freedom in the World report, which assesses the situation for different faith communities across the world.

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Welcoming the Community Sponsorship Scheme for Refugees At their autumn plenary meeting, the Bishops of England and Wales welcomed the government's Community Sponsorship Scheme responding to the desperate situation of refugees. The scheme supports and authorises local communities to welcome refugees coming to this country. The first family to be received into a Catholic community arrived in Salford, an arrangement that was organised by Caritas Salford. The bishops have formed a working party to help parishes understand and take part in this

community sponsorship scheme. In doing so, parishes can take up Pope Francis’s appeal for parishes to play an active part in welcoming refugees. At a press conference following the plenary, Cardinal Vincent explained that the bishops' concern was ‘the way in which an instinctive compassion and welcome is corroded by fear and history’. Reflecting on the document Meeting God in Friend and Stranger, a document issued by the Bishops in 2010, he added that the Church can and should offer a way of maintaining a

compassionate response to people who are genuinely in difficult situations. With respect to the refugee crisis and following the EU referendum, the Cardinal expressed concern about levels of tolerance and ‘hardening attitudes of exclusion and the fostering of a climate of fear that makes finding solutions more difficult’. Following the vote to leave the EU, the priority for the Church will be to continue to provide practical help for the poor and most vulnerable in society.

Bishops Call for Prison Reform and Banning the Box Cardinal Vincent Draws Attention to ‘Hidden Homelessness’

In his address to Catholic charities, MPs and supporters at the annual Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) parliamentary reception on 2 November, Cardinal Vincent focused on homelessness and, in particular, the rise in 'hidden homelessness'. Describing them as 'under the radar', the hidden homeless are those who may have a job but are sleeping on sofas or spare rooms or in Bed and Breakfasts. Young people in this position may stay with a different friend each night or go to all-night parties to avoid sleeping on the street. The Cardinal stressed that prevention must be the key priority: 'Family relationship breakdown is a leading contributor to homelessness among single men, and a leading cause of family breakdown is financial difficulty. Then there is the Page 4

scourge of drug and alcohol addiction. And of course, those without suitable accommodation upon release from prison are the most likely to find themselves on the streets, back in its vicious cycle.' He also commended the contribution of Catholic charities and parishes: 'All over England and Wales, parishes and charities offer a range of support to people who are homeless: from extensive skills training, counselling, hostels and move-on accommodation, to simply offering a hot meal and clothing to those with nowhere else to turn. Indeed, in the Diocese of Westminster we calculate that in our parishes over 4 million hours of volunteers’ time are given every year.' The Cardinal also stated that the Church was ready to engage in greater partnership with government, central and local, in order to truly serve the common good, the good that omits nobody. Finally, he spoke about the link between imprisonment and homelessness referencing an 'urgent crisis' in prisons in England and Wales with escalating levels of violence, suicide, self-harm and assaults on staff.

At the CSAN parliamentary reception on 2 November Cardinal Vincent called for prison reform as he launched The Right Road: A Catholic approach to prison reform, the latest document on prison reform by the Bishops’ of England and Wales which was produced and printed at HMP Coldingley. The Right Road calls for the prison system to truly embrace the road of rehabilitation, calling for the full implementation of Dame Sally Coates’s review and the development of restorative justice programs. Cardinal Vincent said: ‘Our society is failing prisoners and prisons are failing our society. Even more than before, a bold and serious program of prison reform is needed. Many of our prisons are more overcrowded and dangerous than at any point in recent history. Every time a

prisoner or an officer comes to harm this represents both a human cost and a failure of the system. It is clear that far too often prisons are places of despair rather than places of redemption. ‘However better prisons are possible and now is the time for courageous improvements to sentencing, education, staffing, health services, family contact, and pastoral care. This will require resources and determination, but we have a duty to fix our broken system for the common good of all our society. ‘The Church has a great deal to contribute in this endeavour and we have recently set out our vision for prison reform in The Right Road. I look sincerely forward to discussing this with the government and engaging with the Secretary of State’s reform agenda.’ This launch came as Justice Minister Liz Truss was set to unveil her strategy for improving prisons, including additional funding of £14 million for more than 400 extra staff. The document comes 12 years after the Bishops’ Conference published A Place of Redemption, which set out the Church’s vision for a prison system that rehabilitates offenders, supports victims and works for society as a whole. Prison reform was also discussed at the autumn plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference, coming at the end of the Year of Mercy when bishops have systematically visited prisons.

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Prisons are not isolated institutions and the treatment of prisoners reflects upon all of society. The bishops welcomed the government’s new prison reform which is necessary for proper rehabilitation, enabling prisoners to undertake courses and other opportunities which help break the cycle of reoffending. They also emphasised the need for more effective opportunities for prisoners to engage with their families and for family support services to be developed further. The physical and mental health of prisoners is of the greatest importance in effective rehabilitation and the bishops call on the government to prioritise the response to the crisis of self-harm and suicide in prisons and ensure parity of care between prisons and the local community. The bishops also announced their support for the Ban the Box initiative, a campaign the Cardinal has previously spoken about, which encourages employers to remove the tick box requiring applicants to disclose convictions, often resulting in the immediate failure of an application. Cardinal Vincent explained that, rather than making workplaces unsafe, this would encourage a conversation for all job applicants and lead the way for a life away from the potential of reoffending. This box has been removed from diocesan job application forms. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Remembering the Fallen to mark Armistice Day and were joined by World War II veteran, Roy Beckett, who had just been honoured by the French government with the Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest French order for military and civil merit, for his bravery during the world war. Students and teachers from Newman Catholic College attended a memorial service in Willesden New Cemetery on 10 November to honour those who gave their lives for their country. They were honoured to meet Prince William at this event celebrating the Living Memory

Remembrance Sunday was commemorated at Westminster Cathedral, with military personnel and parishioners gathered for a Mass for the Fallen. Principal Catholic Chaplain to the Royal Navy Mgr Andrew McFadden celebrated Mass. The Last Post

played by a serving member of the Armed Forces and the national anthem was sung at the end of Mass. Many schools in the diocese also marked the day with special celebrations. On 11 November Bishop Douglass School held a service

© Nigel Sutton

Project which students have been involved in. The project encourages community groups to discover, explore and remember their First and Second World War heritage. Mgr Phelim Rowland took part in an interfaith Armistice Day service at the Hampstead War Memorial as part of events across Camden and Haringey. Also taking part in the event were the Rev Diana Young of Hampstead Parish Church, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg of the New North London Synagogue, and Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini representing the Muslim community.

Praying for Our Deceased Clergy On 29 November priests from across the diocese gathered at the cathedral to remember departed priests of the diocese. The main celebrant was Cardinal Vincent who was joined by Cardinal Cormac and the Auxiliary Bishops. Bishop John Sherrington gave the homily, quoting the final words of the Dream of Gerontius: ‘Farewell, but not for ever! Brother dear, Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow; Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here, And I will come and wake thee on the morrow.’ He explained that ‘the prayers and the Masses we offer are our final acts of love for those who have preceded us in the priesthood and on whose foundation we build and labour.’ Those priests we remember have ‘accompanied so many people in their last journey and celebrated the sacraments of the Church with them’. He continued, ‘Prayer cards from older members of my family long since dead remind me of

the sacrifice of priests so that the words, “Fortified by the Rites of the Church”, could be included on their memorial cards.’ ‘We thank God for the presence of these priests in hospital wards in the middle of the night, in family homes and for having been close to the dying in remarkably generous ways.’ Reflecting on the important work of evangelisation to ‘renew the understanding of the Sacrament of the Sick and the prayer for the dying’, Bishop John spoke of the Art of Dying Well, a contemporary resource based on the Ars Moriendi tradition. ‘To die well, we must firstly ensure that we live well.’ To do this, we must recognise our limits and surrender ourselves to God, just as Jesus ‘reveals a calm surrendering to the Father’s will’. ‘This is the invitation’, he added, ‘offered to each Christian who, like Job, is invited to profess his hope and belief in the promises of God whom he will see face to face.’

Deceased Police Officers and Staff Remembered On 16 November the annual Requiem Mass to pray for deceased members of the Catholic Police Guild of England and Wales took place at Westminster Cathedral. The principal celebrant was Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, with four concelebrating priests including Fr Barry Lomax, Chaplain to the Catholic Police Guild. The Metropolitan Police choir, conducted by Richard Fox, led the singing.

In his homily Cardinal Cormac urged those present not to lose sight of ‘the great hope, the hope of God’, saying they must continue to look forward with confidence. He went on to talk about the renewed emphasis on the Beatitudes in the Year of Mercy, how we look less at what we are forbidden to do, and more on how we should try to act. He explained how this related to the Gospel reading which

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calls us to step forward and be merciful, to be peacemakers. He thanked the Guild members, not only for their work in keeping law and order, but for the care they offer people every day in many different ways. The Catholic Police Guild (CPG) of England and Wales was founded in 1914 as the Metropolitan and City Catholic Police Guild. The association was formed to cater for the

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spiritual needs of Catholic policemen and women. In 1974 the Guild became a national association with membership open to Police Officers serving in the police forces in the rest of England and Wales. More recently membership has been opened up to police staff and Police Community Support Officers. The CPG also has a Friends category of membership for other civilian supporters. Page 5


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Relics of St Margaret Mary Alacoque and St Claude de la Colombière Welcomed to London relics and again at the close of the mission. This mission, he explained, celebrates a love story: ‘In fact, we celebrate the greatest love story every known, the greatest love story ever told. The love in this story is older than the heavens, but it’s as fresh as the present moment. The love in this story stretches wider than the entire human race, but it’s as personal as you and me...God’s tremendous love comes through Jesus Christ, whose Sacred Heart is beating now to pump mercy throughout the whole of creation.’ Reflecting on the importance of this particular devotion, he quoted St Claude: ‘Jesus’ heart is still the same, always burning with love, always open so as to shower down graces and blessings upon us, always touched by our sorrows, always eager to impart its treasures to us and to give himself to us, always ready to receive us, to be our refuge, our dwelling place,

and our heaven even in this world.’ Many people have ‘decommissioned God’ despite his constant search for us, he explained. ‘They are closed to his message and to the love story which he longs for us to embrace in and through his Son.’ Devotion to the Sacred Heart offers a new way of engaging with Christ, and reopens the way to recognising God’s love for us. ‘He chose St Margaret Mary to receive a new love letter through her visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And he chose St Claude to help her understand what this all meant. Together, their human hearts were united with Jesus’ Sacred Heart, to bring afresh to the Church and world of their day the love that is pure and gentle, the love that teaches God’s blessed will, the love that shows us the print of Jesus’ footsteps, the love that stays close to us when we fall.’

#LondonUnited: Combatting Intolerance On 7 December, London’s Church Leaders launched a new campaign in response to the ongoing refugee crisis, and continued reports of intolerance and heightened tension in the wake of the EU Referendum. #LondonUnited encourages churches representing the capital’s different Christian dominations to showcase their community work, particularly in response to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and destitute migrants. Throughout the run-up to Christmas, churches are being encouraged to share their stories of community cohesion in London, using the hashtag #LondonUnited on social media. Church leaders stated their collective desire to celebrate the capital’s status as the most diverse city in the world and its role as a beacon of racial harmony through what is hoped will be a mass display of fellowship and collective responsibility that transcends religion, race and ethnicity. Cardinal Vincent expressed Page 6

his support for the initiative: ‘We have a great tradition of welcome in London. The rich diversity of our parishes, schools and neighbourhoods offers a testament to this tradition. As Christians we are called to extend the hand of friendship and support to the those who are most in need. It is in recognising and promoting the inherent dignity of every

person that we build a strong society and remain true to our British values.’ London’s Christian leaders will also reach out to the city’s other religious communities, asking that they add their support to #LondonUnited in order to transform the campaign into an interfaith initiative representative of all those who live in the capital.

© Jesuits Britain

The relics of St Claude la Colombière SJ and St Margaret Mary Alacoque were welcomed to London as part of a Sacred Heart of Mercy Mission from 9 to 13 November. The visit was led by missionaries from the Emmanuel Community in collaboration with the parishes of Farm Street, Soho Square and Our Lady of Victories, Kensington. St Margaret Mary received the first visions of the Sacred Heart and was guided by St Claude who was then resident at St James’s Palace as chaplain to Mary of Modena, the wife of the soon-to-be-King James II. At a time of great religious persecution in the country, St Claude was arrested as a suspect in the fabricated ‘Popish Plot’. He was imprisoned and exiled back to France where he died at the age of 41. Bishop John Wilson celebrated Mass to welcome the

Cardinal Vincent: ‘Harness the potential of religion for peace and just concern,’ Speaking at a conference on Religion, Identity and Conflict, at St Mary’s University on 2 December, Cardinal Vincent spoke of the role that religion can play in facilitating contact and dialogue between people to resolve conflict. Instead of marginalising religious belief or simply seeing it as a problem, he explained that ‘the potential within religious traditions’ can be harnessed ‘for peace and just concern’. The Cardinal was responding to an address given by Dr Christopher Moran which outlined some of the contributing factors to the work for peace in Northern Ireland. Recalling too the situation in the Holy Land, he spoke of a similar initiative, led by Rabbi Michael Melchior, to bring together religious leaders from all three Abrahamic faiths to use ‘the strengths and resources of religious belief’ to seek peace in the Land and to work tirelessly

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to promote a life of mutual respect and to educate future generations, whilst continuing to call on political leaders to take initiative. He recalled the words of Pope Benedict at the university on his visit to England in 2010: ‘He insisted that to find peace we have to move from seeing religious belief as a problem to be solved to understanding that it is a great resource to be rediscovered.’ ‘In this country, we too are travelling the same road,’ added the Cardinal, ‘even if our steps are small. Dialogues are taking place, focusing on the nature and understanding of violence. The role of religious minorities is being quietly explored at a personal level, while more public bodies reconsider their attitude to religious belief.’ The conference was hosted by St Mary’s University in partnership with the Institut Catholique. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Cardinal Vincent Nichols was joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for the closing of the Door of Mercy at Westminster Cathedral on 13 November. Archbishop Welby preached for the first time in Westminster Cathedral at Vespers. Also present were bishops from England and Wales, members of the Chapter of Canons, and ecumenical guests. In his homily, Archbishop Welby reflected on how the Year of Mercy has ‘caught the imagination not only in the

Catholic Church but in all churches in a year when the living of mercy has been very absent’. ‘Mercy’, he continued, ‘is the gift that goes on giving’, ‘that dissolves the hardness of our hearts and the selfishness of our lives’. Archbishop Welby explained that a Door of Mercy ‘calls us back to receive mercy by grace and to be people of mercy’. Drawing a parallel with the door in the wardrobe of the Narnia series of books, he explained that Doors of Mercy open to us a different world: 'what we find on the other side

of the door is another world, where new rules apply, where the deep magic of the Kingdom of God is what prevails'. Reflecting on the closing of the Door of Mercy, he said: 'We may close a door, but we are not closing the opportunity for a gift. The year of mercy is a year of renewing our own receiving of mercy, and of renewing our own commitment to mercy.' Cardinal Vincent expressed his joy in welcoming Archbishop Welby to this celebration before they jointly gave the final blessing. In a recent press conference, the Cardinal reflected on the gifts that have come from the Holy Year. In all dioceses there was a remarkable increase in the number of people receiving the Sacrament of Confession. Fr Chris Thomas, a regular confessor at Westminster Cathedral, explained that large numbers of people were returning to confession after a long period. Following Vespers to close the Door of Mercy, the Cathedral Administrator asked priests who had attended to stay on to hear the confessions of those who had formed a lengthy queue in the cathedral.

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Mercy: ‘the Gift that Goes on Giving’

In a homily given at Westminster Cathedral at the blessing of the new decorative scheme of the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs and the new glass doors in the west porch, Cardinal Vincent said that the martyrs offer ‘a witness that challenges us to assess afresh our own commitment to the faith’.

Comparing the martyrs to the twelve apostles, he noted that the apostles had no special standing, but 'they offered themselves as they were'. He added, 'For the most part, and despite any number of setbacks along the way, they remained faithful. Their fidelity has brought such a light into our world!' By contrast, many of the English Martyrs had 'considerable status in the world'. Like the apostles before them, 'their courage and faithfulness, expressed in quite different stories, speak to us of an integrity and a courage rarely seen,' he said. Referring to the reason for their martyrdom at Tyburn, he explained that 'two miles from here and four hundred or so years ago, the truths enshrined in the Catholic faith and the expectations of the state clashed in the most violent of ways'.

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Alluding to the flames bearing the names of each of these martyrs in the dark mosaic sky of the chapel, he added: 'They light up more than the ceiling of the chapel. They offer us a witness that challenges us to assess afresh our own commitment to the faith and our practice of it.' Speaking of the recently completed glass doors, the Cardinal noted the contrast between the rush and endless noise of Victoria Street and 'the peace and uplifting space which embrace all who enter the cathedral'. 'Their greatest value lies in the fact that their presence allows the great west doors to be stood open more often, inviting the passer-by to pause from their business, put their phone away, and enter into the peace of the cathedral, a space where God has a chance of

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English Martyrs Offer a ‘Witness that Challenges Us’

speaking more insistently than the clamour of a text message,' he said. He expressed the hope that 'many will be attracted to this sacred space, drawn by what they see through the new doors'

and 'that the peace and the holiness they find in this house of prayer may encourage them to seek its Source'. The blessing took place after Mass on the Feast of Ss Simon and Jude, 28 October 2016. Page 7


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Academies: Helping Shape Catholic Education for the by JP Morrison

Catholic education is rightly celebrated for all the successes it achieves every day. Education is at the heart of the Church’s mission and it is the place where Christ and his Church are encountered. From this we derive the qualities and characteristics that define Catholic education. Our schools have the child at the centre, providing the very best educational opportunities and life fulfilling experiences. They are places where every child matters and where safety, wellbeing, enjoyment, tolerance, respect and dignity are reflected in all aspects of school life. Our schools strive for excellence across the entire curriculum. They also promote strong and positive links with the wider community, and are places of effective social integration for our children as well as children of other faiths. And yet, there are many challenges to Catholic education from a variety of sources, including changing regulations, a reduction in available funding for our schools, as well as objections from those who argue against all forms of religious education. Since I last wrote in these pages in April, the government has reversed its decision to force all schools to convert to academies. If this is the case, why change? First, it continues to be government policy that the majority of schools in this country should become academies in future years. It is government policy to make fewer resources available for local authorities to support our schools. Financing schools and Page 8

services is becoming increasingly demanding, putting greater pressure on school budgets. If we are expected to do more with less, then it is preferable that the solutions to all the challenges we face come from within our communities, so that we can maintain autonomy and control over our own future. Change is the reality in education today. Our schools do not become better by chance, they become better by change. If we are content in knowing what we stand for then we should be vocal and clear about where we want to go. Our key purpose with the academy strategy is to help shape Catholic education for the children we serve, the parents who have entrusted us with their child’s whole development, and the staff who work in our community. ‘Help one another – this is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with all my heart.’ – Pope Francis. This is our opportunity to define what it means to work and serve Catholic education in the years to come. The families of schools No Catholic school or college in the diocese should be seen as working in isolation. We seek to go further than the existing partnerships between schools that have flourished over many years, to establish and secure a new spirit of openness to dialogue and working collectively and cooperatively together. We are at our best when we work together for each other and the core principles of Catholic social teaching, namely, the dignity of the individual, the common good, and solidarity and subsidiarity, which are integral to all decision making and actions undertaken by a Catholic school. To that end, it is intended that each school that becomes an academy will join with others in a Catholic Academy Trust (CAT), to help protect, develop and extend our mission to the Church. All schools have been matched and grouped with other schools within their local authority area or local deaneries, with the intention that close proximity will allow for better

collaboration, and opportunities to develop more tangible, durable and sustainable partnerships. Each grouping will allow local Catholic parishes to see a direct link to their local network of schools which can reflect local identity and community. The families of schools have been designed to contain both primary and secondary schools, where possible, to provide opportunities for closer ties between the two sectors. According to the Department for Education, financial viability and sustainability are reached when there are 5,000-plus students per Trust. The due diligence undertaken by the Education Service has grouped schools to include around 7,000 students in each of the 12 different families of schools. These families are designed so that, if one CAT encounters any unforeseen trouble, then another CAT can help steer a course out of trouble by working closely with the Trust to address and resolve any identified obstacles to improvement.

The Benefits This strong collaboration with shared accountability can lead to better progress and attainment for pupils, and help schools meet expectations, as school leaders and teachers can share thinking and planning together, and governors can come together to share strategic thinking, to combine skills and to support each other in challenging times. School leaders, teachers and other staff can be shared across more than one school, enabling schools to find different solutions to recruitment challenges, to retain staff by providing new opportunities within the group, and to plan succession more effectively. Groups of schools can find it easier to find and fund specialist expertise (specialist teachers and specialists in areas such as data analysis, finance, health and safety) and provide richer curricular and extra-curricular activities. The economies of scale and collective purchasing made possible within larger groups can help schools cope better with shrinking budgets.

Opportunities for Development CATs will also provide additional opportunities for staff development in teaching and learning, and leadership and management. There may be shared subject leader roles in primary schools, who can share knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all students in the CAT. The diocese will work in partnership with St Mary’s Catholic University in Twickenham to develop a suite of programmes to support the personal and professional development of our teachers, leaders and governors. Diocesan Service Company A Diocesan Service Company will be established to help procure services for all CATs in a wide range of areas, such as HR, legal advice and financial assistance. It will be a broker of the best services for all Trusts and identify and review outstanding services for schools to adopt. Further work and consultation will take place to ensure that the right services are provided at a cost that represents value for money. The Project Board A Project Board will be set up to manage the transition to Academy Trusts. It will have the expertise and breadth of support that is required to implement the strategy effectively, and will include a representative from the DfE (who have approved our model), as well as legal, financial and educational experts, and a

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Future project management service. The Board will meet with each family of schools, and will listen to concerns and evaluate and implement ways to mitigate any risks. It will meet those schools who have already agreed to take part in January and we will publish regular updates of the progress of this pilot to all governing bodies over the year ahead. Religious Order Schools Religious Order schools and independent schools in the diocese have a unique charism and recognised tradition that needs to be celebrated and supported. Next year we will invite them to attend a meeting to help shape the partnership of schools within the designated families of schools. Academy Timeline A timeline for implementing this strategy has been shared with governing bodies at every school so they can see how this will unfold. Each month we will continue to publish information regarding progress and achievement. We are very much aware that dialogue and consultation must continue and involve a wider group, including staff in our schools, parents, local community schools, local authorities, and professional associations. Conclusion The child is the priority; change is the reality; and collaboration is the strategy. I must stress that there will be no forced academisation. Each school will be invited to consider the best way forward. We seek to build this future through solidarity and subsidiarity. Our purpose is to provide the very best opportunities for the Catholic child, family and all those thousands of people who work tirelessly every day to achieve the witness to faith and academic excellence in our schools and colleges. Our strategy is to strive for a future that protects, secures and develops Catholic education. JP Morrison is Director of Education for the Diocese of Westminster

St Thomas More Annual Prizegiving Ceremony

St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green, held its Tenth Annual Prize Giving evening in November, celebrating the progress, effort and achievement of its pupils. The guest speaker was Dr Tim Coulson, Regional Schools Commissioner for East of England and North-East London, who kindly presented the pupils with their awards. Heads of departments nominated pupils whose hard work deserved to be recognised on this special evening. Special awards were given for community service to Emmanuella Thomas, Lucasz Anulewicz, Matthew Allen and Hannah Tolera. The Old Glendalians award recognised the excellence of Mya Jarrett

(Year 10) for her role as Scar in the school’s performance of The Lion King and Ylenia Rodriguez Marchitto (Year 10) for her service to the Air Cadets. Outstanding A Level examination results were recognised with a £100 bursary from the Ruben Varughese fund to Michelange Nkumu, who is currently at Nottingham University studying Business and Economics. Mary Habtes (Year 12) was awarded the Patrick Egan Memorial Cup for best Year 11 examination performance in 2016. The school also recognised musical success this year with Marilyn Gomes (Year 9) presented with the Les Aldrich Award for Music. The school marked the sad passing of John

Goldman Sachs Come to St Thomas More School

During October, GCSE Business studies pupils from St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green, took part in a new initiative run through Teach First and Goldman Sachs called ‘Goldman Sachs’ Next Steps’. During the day pupils engaged in a range of activities including team work and problem solving as well as learning about how Goldman Sachs operates. The enthusiastic Goldman Sachs volunteers explained to pupils the types of careers available at Goldman Sachs and pupils had plenty to ask during the Q&A session on Shaughnessy, who was careers. Towards the end of the day, Headteacher of the lower school pupils were set a task to design and was deputy of the secondary and pitch a product. This task school until 1987 when he was intended to develop their retired, by awarding a special communication, creativity and prize for services to the school confidence. Pupils rose to the choir, music having been a challenge and some of the Year passion of the late John 11 pupils, including Alkeo Bani Shaughnessy. The welland Bradley Lanigan, deserving recipient was Jayden produced memorable presentations of their product. Malinizi (Year 8). The school looks forward to The school choir and soloists continuing its great sang beautifully and the drama relationship with Teach First department performed a piece, and developing a new devised by the pupils, inspired relationship with Goldman by Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Sachs. It has already put plans Keats. The whole evening was a in place for Goldman Sachs to wonderful reminder of the host some pupils for work talents and abilities of the pupils experience and to attend the school’s annual Sixth Form of St Thomas More Catholic careers event. School.

Marking the End of the Year of Mercy St Martha’s School in Hadley Wood closed the Year of Mercy on 18 November with a beautiful balloon ceremony. There was a short assembly led by School Chaplain Helen Baly who reiterated what the Year of Mercy entailed. She gave a number of examples of acts of mercy that had been performed throughout the year, for example: collecting over 130 Christmas shoe boxes, numerous tins for the harvest appeal, visiting the school chapel for private prayer and house celebrations, offering seats to those

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travelling on the tube and local buses, collecting money for the Poppy Appeal and many more. Each pupil was then given a balloon which had a prayer attached to it. On the reverse was a picture of a door which represented the small doors each form room had as a reminder of the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The whole school walked to the front of the school with their balloons and released them into the sky, a fitting end to a Jubilee Year that we hope has a lasting legacy.

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Page 9


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

And yet the call to the priesthood was stronger, having expressed his wishes to his father at 15, he says, ‘I never really deviated from that by the time I left school at 18. I was convinced I wanted to be a priest.’ He is careful to point out, however, that ‘one mustn’t be dramatic. I wanted to be a priest because I thought that’s what God wanted me to do. I didn’t have a revelation, a Damascus moment. In the providence of your life, if you feel that God was there, that it has a meaning and a purpose for you, then it’s what God wants you to do.’ During his time as Rector of the Venerable English College, he adds, ‘those who were coming forward for the priesthood were those who said their prayers every day and were always doing something in the service of others. There was already a basis there.’ His first appointment as curate in Portsmouth was in a very poor parish, where most of the people were workers in the

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

On 28 October, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor celebrated the diamond jubilee of his priestly ordination. On the occasion of this milestone, the Cardinal took time to talk about his family, his vocation and some of the highlights of his ministry. Coming from a very Catholic family with uncles who were priests, it is perhaps not surprising that he might have considered a vocation to the priesthood. ‘I remember one occasion when I was 15 going out with my father, who was a doctor, on his calls, when he turned to me and asked “what do you want to be?” and I said I wanted to be a priest,’ he explains. ‘I had thought about being something else: a doctor, like my father, or a musician, or in today’s terms perhaps even a DJ!’ (The Cardinal is well-known for his musical talent, especially at the piano, entertaining family, friends and the faithful alike.) With a strong culture of vocations in the family, there are

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

Cardinal Cormac Reflects on 60 Years of Priesthood

about in the Scriptures and from other people.’ In time, then-Fr Cormac also started courses for non-Catholics wishing to know more about the faith, which was ‘very successful’, as well as a youth club. When he moved to another parish after four years, he started 10 groups. ‘It revolutionised the parish,’ he explained. ‘It became a living parish with about 250 people participating in these groups.’ During his time in Portsmouth, members of the Catholic Evidence Guild would regularly speak about the faith in Southsea. ‘So, I went down and joined them and decided I would get up and talk about the faith,’ he recalled. ‘There was a big crowd and the chap before

me was excellent. To my horror, when I started speaking they started moving away because they became bored. That taught me a little bit.’ Indeed it is a lesson that he put to great use, as those who have heard him preach or give a speech over the years can attest. He is well-known for his humorous stories that capture and hold the attention of an audience or congregation. ‘I was fortunate,’ said the Cardinal. ‘I had about 10 years in parishes. You learn such a lot about people, their lives and their difficulties. To know all is to understand all is to forgive all.’ He explains that contact with parishioners was very precious: ‘I realised I needed them,

At the installation of Archbishop Bishop Vincent Nichols to Westminster on 21 May 2009

doctors, teachers, lawyers and business people in the MurphyO’Connor family. The Cardinal adds, ‘I would have liked to have been a teacher. It’s a very noble profession and a demanding one. ‘Teachers and priests are similar in that they both have the task of forming people. My nephew, who is a teacher and a very devout Catholic, sees the wholeness of education: forming the whole person for the greatness of life.’ Page 10

dockyard or widows from the War. ‘I had a lot to learn,’ he explained. ‘A lot of these people were very lapsed. I learnt that there was no point in asking why they didn’t come back to Mass.’ ‘Gradually I evolved the idea that, to get people who had been baptised back to church, we had to get them meeting with other Catholics to learn about the faith of the Church. Before celebrating the sacraments, you have to have faith in God, which you learn

With his family after his priestly ordination in Rome on 28 October 1956

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married and single people, to be a priest; and they needed me to make sense spiritually of their lives. Seeing people on a personal basis, sometimes in difficult circumstances and at other times in happy situations, meant a lot.’ He relates the story of a married couple who were childless for 10 years, who came to see him to share some good news. ‘They came back hand in hand to say that a baby was coming. These are the small things that gave me great joy.’ There were sad times too when he accompanied people as they were dying or families in their bereavement. ‘You get to see the will of God or the providence of God in everything.’ ‘The most worthwhile thing about being a priest,’ he added, ‘is about being with people.’ He explained that ‘the best parish priests are those who let others do the work. Somehow, you have to be the spiritual leader of an orchestra where everyone has a different part to play.’ Commenting on how things have changed in the Church, the Cardinal said: ‘I think there was a lot of what I would call “folk religion”. A lot of people went to Mass out of habit. I think this folk religion is gone for the most part. People who come to Mass now come because to a greater or lesser extent they believe. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Receiving his red hat from Pope St John Paul II on 21 February 2001

‘We had a huge number going to Mass in those days, about three or four million. Nowadays, it’s closer to one million. Does this spell disaster? No, I think it just speaks of different circumstances.’ He recalled that ‘Pope Benedict, in his last speech, spoke of the Church as the Barque of Peter. Sometimes there are stormy seas, sometimes it is balmy and sunny, and sometimes one thinks that God is asleep. He finished by saying that it is not our Church, but his Church, and he will never let it sink. The Catholic Church with all her storms and troubles will

continue. She will always be there. She might become weaker in Europe and stronger in other continents, but she will be there until the end of time.’ The Cardinal also observed that there have been parallel changes in society: ‘We’re in a different time. In those days, we could still call ourselves a Christian country. People were taught the Lord’s Prayer at school. They would still doff their cap when a priest passed by or put the blind on the window if someone along the street had died. It’s these little things which are now gone. ‘That’s why community is so

important today. We have to make communities today.’ He added that, through the years, he has ‘learnt to be a priest among Catholics and ecumenically among Christian communities, and among people who are not religious’. Quoting Julian Barnes, who said, ‘I don’t believe in God but I miss him’ in his memoir, Nothing to Be Frightened of, the Cardinal observes that he often meets people who ‘are not particularly Christian, but they are not atheists’. He finds few atheists, but many agnostics. When encountering people of no faith, he reiterates the importance of being respectful: ‘It’s not about saying I can prove the existence of God, but acknowledging that there is something in each person that looks for meaning, some hope in life. And, of course, as Catholics we believe there is.’ That yearning was evident in a debate at the Albert Hall to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Society of Arts in 2004. Each of the prominent speakers was invited to address the audience for 10 minutes about the contribution of the Enlightenment to their particular area of expertise, such as science, philosophy, the arts, and so on. As the last to speak, the Cardinal pointed out that the others had not addressed the whole person or the meaning of life. Afterwards, the questions that came from the audience were all about this search for meaning, demonstrating that ‘these things still resonate. People are always searching for

With his family in the Apostolic Palace

meaning and hope. It’s the way we approach people today about faith, and about how we face up to suffering and death, that matters.’ Among the things he counts as most precious in life is the family: ‘The family is absolutely crucial,’ he said. ‘The greatest evil of life today is the break-up of families. It has such an effect on the children. The work we do to try and hold marriage together is hugely important.’ Through his years of accompanying married couples, he has observed that after 10 to 12 years of marriage and a couple of children, many run into difficulties. ‘I used to tell them to hold out together. Over time, they would see life changing and gain a new perspective on their situation. With the arrival of grandchildren, couples begin to

Cardinal Basil Hume lays on hands at his episcopal ordination on 21 December 1977 With then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams

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see a different side to life.’ The Cardinal credits his own family, as well as his faith and friends for weathering the storms of life: ‘I think it’s very simple: family, faith and friends. You’ll always find the cross in life in ways that you hadn’t expected. Even during those times when you don’t get a result, you realise through it all that the Good Lord was there in the community of the Church.’ Twenty-eight members of his family joined him in Rome to celebrate his Jubilee: ‘We met the Holy Father, who said, when you get older, you become wiser and more compassionate: wiser because you learn from other people and your experiences of life; more compassionate because you understand more, therefore you forgive more, and you learn that you need to be forgiven yourself for your own faults and weaknesses. Wisdom and compassion are the good qualities that good priests have as they become older.’ ‘I’ll tell you what else you need,’ he added. ‘Patience and perseverance: As I was setting off to Rome to start my formation at the seminary all those years ago, I went to see my parish priest to ask him for advice. I thought he’d say, “the harvest is great and the labourers are few”, but he didn’t. Instead, he just said, “pray for perseverance”. I thought it was very boring advice at the time, but it has proved to be very true.’

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Christmas: A Reflection of God’s Mercy

A Light in the Darkness

Thanking God for a Most Precious Gift

A Real Expression of Love in Action

Mercy’s Ever-youthful Face

by Bishop John Wilson

by Bishop John Sherrington

by Bishop Paul McAleenan

by Bishop Nicholas Hudson

In the birth of Jesus a light shone which, says St John, ‘the darkness has not overcome’ (Jn 1:5) Shortly after my priestly ordination a parishioner asked me to take part in a sponsored sleep-out to raise funds for people who are homeless. Despite my hesitancy, she reassured me that if I did it, others would join me, and they did; and that people would be generous in sponsoring me, and they were. The date came, a cold, wet Friday evening in midDecember. Around 2am, in my plastic sack, laid against a town centre church wall, suddenly all the Christmas street illuminations were switched off. Albeit tokenistic, it gave me just the slightest insight into what it must be like living on the streets. The night crowded in and the darkness intensified It was during the dark of night that salvation came into the world. In the birth of Jesus a light shone which, says St John, ‘the darkness has not overcome’ (Jn 1:5). Something so beautiful happened that first Page 12

Christmas in Bethlehem when God became one of us in Christ, full of grace and truth, full of light. Every Christmas light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world; that his radiant love never dims. To stand illumined by the splendour of our new-born King is a prompt and prod to action. For too many people the light does not seem to shine and the darkness seems all powerful: the gloom of suffering and isolation, of loneliness and rejection; the dark of poverty in whatever form it occurs. We have a part to play in switching on the light of practical love, at Christmas and throughout the year. May the brilliance of that holy night inspire us anew to do whatever we can to banish darkness in people’s lives so that fresh hope might lift and brighten their hearts.

Christmas Eve: As parish priest, the church was now ready for the celebration of Midnight Mass. The crowds who had attended the Vigil Mass had gone home and the church was quiet and peaceful on a bitterly cold night. It is a time of waiting. Suddenly a man ran breathlessly into the Church and asked whether the church was open. ‘Of course,’ I said. He rushed out and then returned a few minutes later with his wife carrying a small baby shrouded and bundled up in blankets. They went into the Lady Chapel, lit a candle or two and then placed the baby on the altar. After a few

minutes of prayer they came to leave. I mentioned that the baby looked very small. ‘Yes,’ was the reply, ‘we are on our way home from the hospital after the birth and wanted to thank God for the gift we have been given.’ I was moved to tears by the depth of their faith. They explained that in their tradition in Kerala the first thing to do with the new baby is to thank God, visit the church, and light a candle. As they left I reflected that they, perhaps better than I, understood the meaning of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem and the profundity of the Incarnation. As St Leo the Great writes,

‘This is the day our Savior was born: what a joy for us, my beloved! This is no season for sadness, this, the birthday of Life - the Life which annihilates the fear of death, and engenders joy, promising, as it does, immortality. Nobody is an outsider to this happiness… O Christian, be aware of your nobility - it is God's own nature that you share… Recall that you have been rescued from the power of darkness, and have been transferred to the light of God, the kingdom of God.’ These words remind us of the dignity of each and every person. Each is a precious gift from God. Happy Christmas.

‘We are on our way home from the hospital after the birth and wanted to thank God for the gift we have been given.’

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On Thursday 1 December Caritas Westminster launched a scheme called Love in Action, a timely presentation given that in Advent we celebrate the action of the Source of all love when he called Mary to be mother of the Word made flesh. This new programme, with its roots in Catholic social teaching, is a gift. Using this gift, parishes and schools grow in understanding of the Church’s teaching on the good and Christian way to engage with our neighbours and the world.

‘Are they in harmony with the values of the Kingdom of God’?

other and creation. We JUDGE: is this right and just? We allow our conscience to speak and in response, we ACT. And so through actions inspired and informed by Catholic social teaching, we incarnate, make visible our Christian values and beliefs. Through our involvement with society we reveal our faith in a way that can be seen and understood. At Christmas we recall how God acted in response to humanity’s need for redemption. He looked and he saw and didn’t leave us as were: lost, unable to find our own way out of our sinful condition. He enlisted the help

of Mary whose ‘yes’ was necessary for his plan. Through Mary the love of God became visible, tangible and incarnate. As St John wrote: ‘Something that existed from the beginning, that we have heard, and we have seen with our eyes; that we have watched and touched with our hands; the Word, who is life – this is our subject. That life was made visible’. Helped by ‘Love in Action’ we too can give expression to our love in a real and visible way as we reach out to our neighbour and care for creation. May Christmas bring you true joy and peace.

The programme, working on six essential principles, leads us to examine our style of life and relationships with others and creation, asking ‘Are they in harmony with the values of the Kingdom of God’? First we are asked to SEE: to see the reality around us and to ask ‘what do I see’; we think of our neighbours, how they are treated, their inherent dignity, our relationship with each Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

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One youthful face which dominated World Youth Day was that of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. At Christmas we celebrate God’s eternal youth in the child born in Bethlehem. I was touched, on arriving in Krakow for World Youth Day, to hear Pope Francis say to the young pilgrims, ‘The world wants to learn from you that the Father’s mercy has an ever-youthful face!’ One youthful face which dominated World Youth Day was that of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I had no idea he would be with us in Krakow! But his image was emblazoned across every street; and his actual body housed in the church of St Dominic: it had been brought there especially from Turin. I felt a deep joy spending time in his presence; and I was not the only one: throughout the week the stream of young pilgrims to his body was unceasing. I had discovered years previously what a missionary of

mercy Pier Giorgio was. As a young man, he chose to study engineering so that he could help the poor miners. He was the kind of boy who never had his bus-money, because he had given it to the poor! Photos of him skiing and mountaineering with friends show him to be the life and soul of the party. What his friends did not know was that he was forever slipping off to visit Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and in the poor. He risked disease; and eventually contracted polio. His family would not believe he was dying. The last thing he asked of his sister was to collect a prescription and to deliver a poor man’s medicine. His parents were amazed when all the poor people of Turin turned out to salute his coffin as it passed: it was the biggest funeral the city had ever seen. He was only 24. If the face of God is mercy, then Blessed Pier Giorgio shows that face to be indeed ever-youthful, and eternally so.

‘ ... it was the biggest funeral the city had ever seen.’ Page 13


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Christmas: A Reflection of God’s Mercy

A Light in the Darkness

Thanking God for a Most Precious Gift

A Real Expression of Love in Action

Mercy’s Ever-youthful Face

by Bishop John Wilson

by Bishop John Sherrington

by Bishop Paul McAleenan

by Bishop Nicholas Hudson

In the birth of Jesus a light shone which, says St John, ‘the darkness has not overcome’ (Jn 1:5) Shortly after my priestly ordination a parishioner asked me to take part in a sponsored sleep-out to raise funds for people who are homeless. Despite my hesitancy, she reassured me that if I did it, others would join me, and they did; and that people would be generous in sponsoring me, and they were. The date came, a cold, wet Friday evening in midDecember. Around 2am, in my plastic sack, laid against a town centre church wall, suddenly all the Christmas street illuminations were switched off. Albeit tokenistic, it gave me just the slightest insight into what it must be like living on the streets. The night crowded in and the darkness intensified It was during the dark of night that salvation came into the world. In the birth of Jesus a light shone which, says St John, ‘the darkness has not overcome’ (Jn 1:5). Something so beautiful happened that first Page 12

Christmas in Bethlehem when God became one of us in Christ, full of grace and truth, full of light. Every Christmas light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world; that his radiant love never dims. To stand illumined by the splendour of our new-born King is a prompt and prod to action. For too many people the light does not seem to shine and the darkness seems all powerful: the gloom of suffering and isolation, of loneliness and rejection; the dark of poverty in whatever form it occurs. We have a part to play in switching on the light of practical love, at Christmas and throughout the year. May the brilliance of that holy night inspire us anew to do whatever we can to banish darkness in people’s lives so that fresh hope might lift and brighten their hearts.

Christmas Eve: As parish priest, the church was now ready for the celebration of Midnight Mass. The crowds who had attended the Vigil Mass had gone home and the church was quiet and peaceful on a bitterly cold night. It is a time of waiting. Suddenly a man ran breathlessly into the Church and asked whether the church was open. ‘Of course,’ I said. He rushed out and then returned a few minutes later with his wife carrying a small baby shrouded and bundled up in blankets. They went into the Lady Chapel, lit a candle or two and then placed the baby on the altar. After a few

minutes of prayer they came to leave. I mentioned that the baby looked very small. ‘Yes,’ was the reply, ‘we are on our way home from the hospital after the birth and wanted to thank God for the gift we have been given.’ I was moved to tears by the depth of their faith. They explained that in their tradition in Kerala the first thing to do with the new baby is to thank God, visit the church, and light a candle. As they left I reflected that they, perhaps better than I, understood the meaning of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem and the profundity of the Incarnation. As St Leo the Great writes,

‘This is the day our Savior was born: what a joy for us, my beloved! This is no season for sadness, this, the birthday of Life - the Life which annihilates the fear of death, and engenders joy, promising, as it does, immortality. Nobody is an outsider to this happiness… O Christian, be aware of your nobility - it is God's own nature that you share… Recall that you have been rescued from the power of darkness, and have been transferred to the light of God, the kingdom of God.’ These words remind us of the dignity of each and every person. Each is a precious gift from God. Happy Christmas.

‘We are on our way home from the hospital after the birth and wanted to thank God for the gift we have been given.’

Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

On Thursday 1 December Caritas Westminster launched a scheme called Love in Action, a timely presentation given that in Advent we celebrate the action of the Source of all love when he called Mary to be mother of the Word made flesh. This new programme, with its roots in Catholic social teaching, is a gift. Using this gift, parishes and schools grow in understanding of the Church’s teaching on the good and Christian way to engage with our neighbours and the world.

‘Are they in harmony with the values of the Kingdom of God’?

other and creation. We JUDGE: is this right and just? We allow our conscience to speak and in response, we ACT. And so through actions inspired and informed by Catholic social teaching, we incarnate, make visible our Christian values and beliefs. Through our involvement with society we reveal our faith in a way that can be seen and understood. At Christmas we recall how God acted in response to humanity’s need for redemption. He looked and he saw and didn’t leave us as were: lost, unable to find our own way out of our sinful condition. He enlisted the help

of Mary whose ‘yes’ was necessary for his plan. Through Mary the love of God became visible, tangible and incarnate. As St John wrote: ‘Something that existed from the beginning, that we have heard, and we have seen with our eyes; that we have watched and touched with our hands; the Word, who is life – this is our subject. That life was made visible’. Helped by ‘Love in Action’ we too can give expression to our love in a real and visible way as we reach out to our neighbour and care for creation. May Christmas bring you true joy and peace.

The programme, working on six essential principles, leads us to examine our style of life and relationships with others and creation, asking ‘Are they in harmony with the values of the Kingdom of God’? First we are asked to SEE: to see the reality around us and to ask ‘what do I see’; we think of our neighbours, how they are treated, their inherent dignity, our relationship with each Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

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One youthful face which dominated World Youth Day was that of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. At Christmas we celebrate God’s eternal youth in the child born in Bethlehem. I was touched, on arriving in Krakow for World Youth Day, to hear Pope Francis say to the young pilgrims, ‘The world wants to learn from you that the Father’s mercy has an ever-youthful face!’ One youthful face which dominated World Youth Day was that of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I had no idea he would be with us in Krakow! But his image was emblazoned across every street; and his actual body housed in the church of St Dominic: it had been brought there especially from Turin. I felt a deep joy spending time in his presence; and I was not the only one: throughout the week the stream of young pilgrims to his body was unceasing. I had discovered years previously what a missionary of

mercy Pier Giorgio was. As a young man, he chose to study engineering so that he could help the poor miners. He was the kind of boy who never had his bus-money, because he had given it to the poor! Photos of him skiing and mountaineering with friends show him to be the life and soul of the party. What his friends did not know was that he was forever slipping off to visit Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and in the poor. He risked disease; and eventually contracted polio. His family would not believe he was dying. The last thing he asked of his sister was to collect a prescription and to deliver a poor man’s medicine. His parents were amazed when all the poor people of Turin turned out to salute his coffin as it passed: it was the biggest funeral the city had ever seen. He was only 24. If the face of God is mercy, then Blessed Pier Giorgio shows that face to be indeed ever-youthful, and eternally so.

‘ ... it was the biggest funeral the city had ever seen.’ Page 13


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Holy Land 2016: Wilderness of Souls The final diocesan pilgrimage of the Year of Mercy saw pilgrims venture to the Holy Land to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, joined by Cardinal Vincent. Fr John Farrell OP was Spiritual Director and, without him, the rugged streets and arid lands of scripture could not have come to life in the minds and hearts of pilgrims as they did. The journey began at Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Pilgrims were later joined by Cardinal Vincent who had been visiting Christian communities in Gaza. These territories that were so troubled during Jesus’s life still suffer for violence and conflict, with many Christians being martyred for his name. During this pilgrimage, there were many moving moments and times of great tenderness. In Cana, couples renewed their marriage vows and prayers were offered for those whose partners had died and those who had yet to meet theirs. In Capernaum Fr John called on us to ‘go with the flow in the mercy of Our Lord’, in acceptance of the greater plan which God has for every one of us, just as Peter did. The wilderness which Jesus entered after his baptism is where we stood on pilgrimage thanks to the grace of the Lord. We were called to witness a ‘gentle truthfulness’ that the kingdom of God can break through the darkness.

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Standing on the banks of the River Jordan, we renewed our baptismal vows and recalled God’s declaration from heaven at Jesus’s baptism: ‘This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased’. During Mass in the desert, we contemplated the loneliness of Our Lord, not only in the wilderness, but also in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. In this moment, under the immense call to service in God’s plan, Jesus’s humanity was made manifest in his fear and frailty. Jesus brings to completion God’s loving plan for humanity by commending himself to the will of the Father for the sake of our sins. A striking moment occurred, with the most coincidental of timings, on our exit from the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Christ three times, when a cockerel on the hillside below crowed three times. Arriving in Jerusalem, the giddy atmosphere of the souks provided a backdrop as the pilgrim group prayed the Way of the Cross through the narrow alleys of the old city, along the route that Jesus would have taken. The breath-taking vastness of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, home to Golgotha and the tomb in which it is said Our Lord was laid, was an

incredible sight to behold. Exploring the city one evening, we visited the Western Wall, just inside the city wall to pray and to place petitions in the cracks of the famous edifice. Pilgrims were very much aware that Christians are in a minority in the Holy Land, but what prevails is a sense of belonging, even in small communities, with a mission of hope especially for the young, the sick and the lonely to be living stones. The seeds have been sown but the fruits of faith need to be nurtured. We were told that the population in Gaza consisted of 1.8 million people, of which 1,200 are Christian and in part, this is why the Friends of the Holy Land continue to strive and appeal to us to come to their aid.

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A visit to the Holy Land, for me personally, was a source of spiritual and scriptural revelation and total awe. To follow the path, the way of Our Lord, and to walk the streets as he did, was a deep source of nourishment for my faith. Every step of the way the scriptures came alive for us as we followed the Gospel of St Mark. Undertaking a spiritual journey enables the pilgrim to focus on

what is at the heart and centre of faith. Although many of us are gifted with all of our senses, we can often end up tuning out the truth. Just as Peter was chosen as the ‘rock’ on which the Church as we know it was built, so must we be ‘living stones’, firm in faith and witnesses to the truth in the wilderness of the adversity that challenges us and our fellow Christian communities.

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Way of the Cross Closes Building on Anglo Portuguese Year of Mercy Heritage in Central London

UK, Arkady Rzegocki, opened a photo exhibition,which featured photos of World Youth Day in Krakow taken by Marcin Mazur. In a short address opening the exhibition, Bishop Nicholas said: ‘This exhibition is a celebration of two things: it celebrates not only the remarkable World Youth Day which so many of us experienced last July in Poland; it also celebrates the rich Polish presence here in England and Wales’. He also emphasised that we must not forget ‘the mercy which our loving God waits to pour into our hearts and which he calls us to live’. A wider display of images has been collated into a book, featuring many photos, accompanied by the words of Pope Francis. A copy of this book, ‘From Krakow with Love’, was presented today to the Pope by Cardinal Vincent in Rome.

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

To mark the end of the Year of Mercy in the Diocese of Westminster, young people were invited to Westminster Cathedral to pray the Way of the Cross. Hundreds of people gathered together, to pray the Stations with a focus on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that have been a continuous thread through this Holy Year. A re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross was presented by RISE Theatre and young parishioners from St Patrick’s, Wapping, the parish of Youth Chaplain Fr David Reilly. Narrating the scenes were World Youth Day pilgrims, with music led by Edwin Fawcett. To aid prayer and reflection on mercy, there was a projection of examples of practical works of mercy from around the diocese including food banks and homeless shelters. After the Way of the Cross, Bishop Nicholas Hudson and the Polish Ambassador to the

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On 24 November the first in the 2016/2017 series of Anglo Portuguese Ensemble concerts took place at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street. The ensemble is a string group made up of young musicians from both Portugal and the UK. Having being formed just over three years ago, it began as a very small idea that has expanded into a wonderful venture, which strives to generate both fellowship and friendship through the concerts the musicians perform. It is fitting that Warwick Street is the resident base of the ensemble, as it is located on what was once the site of the Portuguese Embassy in London.

Parish Priest Fr Mark ElliottSmith said: ‘We are delighted that the musicians use this beautiful church as their resident base. This venture enables us to deepen our historic links with the Portuguese community. It was a particular

joy to welcome the new Portuguese Ambassador to the UK Manuel Lobo Antunes and we look forward to the continuation of a cordial relationship.’ For information about future concerts in this series, visit: http://www.apensemble.org.

In the Footsteps of the English Martyrs On 1 December Bishop Nicholas celebrated Mass at Tyburn Convent commemorating the 435th anniversary of the martyrdom in 1581 of Ss Ralph Sherwin, Edmund Campion and Alexander Briant, the martyrs of the Venerable English College. Having spent time at the college both in formation for the priesthood and later as Rector, Bishop Nicholas has had much opportunity to reflect on the lives and witness of these martyrs. During his time as Rector, he explained how every year on the Feast of St Andrew, he ‘liked to imagine Fathers Sherwin, Campion and Briant gathered with Bishop Goldwell’ poring over the maps in an atlas was ‘surely brought from England to prepare students for arrival on English soil’ to undertake the dangerous mission of ministering to Catholics in a hostile environment that would lead to their eventual martyrdom. After completing his formation at the college, he and four others returned to England along the same route the martyrs had taken. It gave the

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five young priests an opportunity to reflect on the various stages of the journey and what their predecessors must have experienced. Their journey took them through Milan where they recalled Fr Sherwin preaching to St Charles Borromeo; Geneva, they ‘sought out the headquarters of the World Council of Churches, to pray there for reconciliation among Christians in England and Wales’. Along the way to Rheims, they built in time to pray alone, ‘remembering Campion who used to walk ahead of the group for an hour every morning praying, no doubt, for the grace to persevere in the enterprise on which they’d embarked.’

In Douai, they celebrated Mass at what turned out to be the old high altar from the seminary demolished at the revolution. When they finally arrived in Tyburn, they ‘remained a good long while in silent prayer, where the martyrs had made ‘the supreme sacrifice of offering their lives in witness to the truth of the Catholic faith’. Today, Bishop Nicholas said, ‘we salute their extraordinary courage. We salute indeed every alumnus of the Venerable English College who went to his death in this way: we honour them, and we thank them. For by their witness we are truly encouraged, empowered, and yes, emboldened, for the mission ourselves.’

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

by Donato Tallo

Detail from ceiling decoration in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral with the names of the three martyrs Page 15


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Encountering God at a Wedding by Alex Pooler people with a common acquaintance: the bride, groom, or in this case, seminarian. People of different ages and professions are all united by their love for one friend. Some people may be familiar, some complete strangers. Meeting guests at a wedding is an awesome opportunity to encounter God in his people and to hear his new words spoken to us. One of the best parts about being a young adult is wedding invitations. I love weddings, and there’s a period of time from your early 20s when there seems to be a wedding or an ordination every month. It is a great time of celebration. Recently I went to a wedding in Rome that was very different from any other wedding. One of my closest brothers in Christ was ordained a deacon in St Peter’s Basilica. My friend married Christ and his Church. What made it different was that, for the first time in my life, I felt that attending this celebration was a pilgrimage. Although the celebration was in Rome, it wasn’t ancient churches and reliquaries that made it a pilgrimage. It was a pilgrimage because it was a spiritual journey where I encountered God. Being present at the ordination allowed me to hear God speak to my heart. It was an invitation from God to go deeper with him. It’s my desire that we see every celebration this way. Meeting God through his People At the ordination and the events surrounding it, I met a lot of people. In each conversation I was aware of how great God’s love is that he would give us all the gift of friendship and the gift of this unique journey to bring us all together in Rome. Spending quality time with people, striking up conversations with strangers and receiving words of encouragement for my journey with Christ, I grew closer to God and was able to hear the things he wants to say to me. A wedding or ordination brings together a variety of Page 16

Seeking God’s Presence Everywhere Finding Jesus in Rome is a pretty easy task. Jesus can be found at every corner of the city. But there was something beautiful about seeking the presence of Christ each day, and it’s something that I think should be done wherever people gather for a wedding or ordination. Weddings and ordinations can be a bit chaotic and fast-paced. When you travel somewhere for a wedding, before and after the festivities, take time to seek out Jesus in the tabernacle. When you find him, dwell there. Experience Celebration as a Gift This celebration was such a gift. Throughout the whole week I could hear God saying to me: ‘I love to make you happy. I love giving to you.’ To witness someone take a big step in their journey is a gift. To see a bride in her dress, a groom in tears, a man in full

surrender of spirit on a marble floor; it is all a gift. The feast and dancing afterwards is a gift, every meal shared with the company of guests, every shared experience and conversation, every new friend. God gives us so many gifts at a wedding. At a wedding or celebration, take time to see the beauty of the present moment as a gift from God specifically for you. The voice of God deep in our hearts calls us his bride all the time, men and women alike. And this was so clear to me during the ordination. Every commitment and vow taken was a gift for everyone present. It was a visible sign of what God wills for all of us because at the end of the day, Jesus doesn’t just invite us to the wedding feast, he proposes to each of us personally. Let celebrations like weddings and ordinations be a personal invitation from Christ to go deeper and to experience his love more and more. The graces that our loved ones receive are all graces that are offered to us.

New Acolytes Welcomed On the feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Douai College, 29 October, Bishop John Wilson celebrated Mass at Allen Hall and welcomed six men as Acolytes. At a Mass attended by friends and family, Laurence Bryce, Ian Conford, Mark Dunglinson, Chinedu Enuh, Daniel Herrero and Johnathan Stogdon were instituted into the Ministry of Acolyte. Before Mass began, seminarians read out the names of the 150 Blessed martyrs of Douai College, reminding those gathered of the great sacrifice that was made for Christ by these men. In his homily Bishop

John explained that, in a spiritual way, the seminarians of Allen Hall were descendants of those who came over from Douai and were martyred. He went on to talk about the importance of the role of Acolytes in Mass and to encourage the recentlyinstituted acolytes not to lose hope in God’s plan for them. He finished by reminding the congregation that we should not lose heart that we are not all like the Douai martyrs, because we each have something to offer, we all can give our lives to God in different ways.

St Michael’s Celebrates 110 Years Alex with her friend at his diaconal ordination

The new Vocations team, under the direction of Fr John O’Leary, have been planning a series of events at Allen Hall Seminary and in parishes to promote vocations. These events will offer an opportunity to speak to seminarians and priests about their vocation, to spend time in prayer and meet other like-minded people. Keep an eye out in your parish and on the diocesan events calendar for more information in the new year. If you would like to discuss whether God might be calling you to the priesthood, contact Canon Stuart Wilson by emailing vocationspromoter@rcdow.org.uk.

Permanent Diaconate: Come and See Men wanting to know more about the permanent diaconate are invited to come 25 March: St Edward the Confessor, Golders Green 16 April: Ealing Abbey 21 May: Sacred Heart and St Joseph, Ware All meetings are 10am to 12. No booking is needed and wives are most welcome. Contact Deacon Adrian Cullen on 07961 594725 or Deacon Anthony Clark on 07545 373548 for more information.

On 27 November, Cardinal Vincent visited St Michael’s, Ashford, to celebrate Mass, along with Parish Priest Mgr Jim Overton, to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the founding of the parish and the 10th anniversary of the consecration of the church. The present building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott OM RA, with construction commencing in 1927 and continuing until 1960. The church recently received a Grade II listing.

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Chaplain’s Corner

Fr David Reilly, Diocesan Youth Chaplain When he first became pope, Pope St John Paul II inserted the letter ‘M’ into his coat of arms. This letter represented his profound devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Similarly, he had already chosen for his motto some words of devotion to Our Lady from St Louis de Montfort: totus tuus, ‘all yours’. He had been a child when his own mother died, and it is said that, from that moment, he devoted himself to the Mother of God. Today, Pope Francis has a similarly deep devotion to the Mother of God. Before and after each apostolic trip he undertakes to various countries, Pope Francis has made it his custom to visit the shrine at St Mary Major Basilica in Rome. Here, he entrusts his mission to the image

of Mary Salus Populi Romani, the help of the Roman people. His strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin reflects the faith of the peoples of Latin America who look to the Mother of God for protection and light. During World Youth Day 2013, Francis prayed at the great Brazilian shrine of Aparecida, the shrine of Mary, the ‘appeared conception’. Pope Francis recently published the programme of themes for the coming World Youth Days which will culminate in the next international celebration in Panama in 2019. Each of these themes is devoted to the Mother of God. The themes are: 2017 ‘The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His Name’ (Lk 1:49), 2018 ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God’ (Lk 1:30) and 2019 ‘I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word’ (Lk 1:38). Let us devote ourselves to Mary with the same faith as the popes have done. Let us walk the journey of these next three years with Mary, the mother of Jesus, who guides us with her powerful prayers from heaven.

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Director’s Spotlight

Make a huge step and change lives – Become a Volunteer Missionary at SPEC

Phil Ross, Youth Ministry Director

I spoke last month about SPEC and shared the wonderful news we are on track to reopen for residential retreats for school and parish groups from September 2017. It’s exciting times in Pinner. One aspect of these positive developments is the pressing need to recruit volunteers to help us with our mission. In fact, we’ll need up to 14 missionaries to support our work from September 2017. A Volunteer Missionary (VM) commits to a full year with us and becomes very much an integral and important member of the SPEC community. The role of VM cannot be underestimated; they are crucial! We provide lovely accommodation, meals and an allowance. Our missionaries are supported pastorally and spiritually, with our rhythm of prayer and our rule of life, underpinning positively their formation. Last year two of our departing missionaries, Ivan and Tom, became school chaplains within the diocese and it was their time with SPEC that provided them with the self-confidence, knowledge and life skills to take on their new roles. We are proud of their achievements. In fact, many missionaries have moved on from SPEC and into a range of roles across the diocese and beyond. SPEC is very much a launch pad or stepping stone and we encourage this approach. So, if you are over 18 and want to spend a year developing your personal prayer life and helping us to support the young people of the diocese then do get in touch.

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We’re now recruiting for volunteers to join our SPEC residential retreat centre for young people for 2017-18. If you’re over 18 and want to experience an extremely fulfilling year then maybe this is the place for you. Set amongst stunning grounds in Pinner, SPEC provides retreats for young people arriving from schools and parishes from across the diocese and much of our success is underpinned by a small army of committed volunteers. This year we have an additional exciting consideration because from September 2017 we begin to offer residential retreats with the completion of the residential complex. This will become the centre-piece of our campus and we are truly blessed to have such a state-ofthe-art facility within our reach. We also have a fully refurbished and beautiful round building and a stunning, rebuilt cabin situated in a secluded part of the grounds. As a Volunteer Missionary, you have the opportunity to develop your faith in a community setting as we journey together. The personal formation and spiritual development of our missionaries is very much at the heart of our mission. In addition, you’ll learn a raft of new and valuable career and life skills, with leadership, time management and group facilitation at the forefront of your own personal development programme. To make your stay as comfortable as possible, all our volunteer missionaries have lovely bedrooms, are fully

catered for and receive a monthly allowance. We would like to think that all our missionaries reflect on the potentially life-charging opportunity that SPEC presents. Here are some testimonies from previous missionaries. ‘Going to SPEC was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I can’t even begin to describe just how fun and fruitful it was. I grew in my faith, made fantastic friends and developed lots of skills… ranging from public speaking to archery! For me it was a phenomenal year and I couldn’t recommend it enough.’ Christine, Trainee Nurse ‘Spending a mission year at SPEC was incredible. Not only have I made friends for life but I have grown massively in my own faith, learned lots of useful skills and gained knowledge that helped me get a full time job in youth ministry. At SPEC, the formation and training was fantastic and I left knowing that I helped make a difference in thousands of young people’s lives and had also learned valuable skills that have consistently helped me work with both young people and adults.’ Callum, Youth Worker One-day Retreats of quiet reflection at Our Lady of the Assumption Warwick Street: On the last Saturday of the month, from 11am to 5pm, with Traditional Latin Mass, talk based on Scripture, Christian meditation, Adoration, and individual healing prayers. Next dates: 28 January, 25 February, 25 March. For information, please contact Eileen and David Brum on 020 8542 2476. Page 17


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Ars Moriendi: Dealing with Life’s Final Journey In November, the month of the Holy Souls, the Bishops’ Conference launched a new website, called the Art of Dying Well (www.artofdyingwell.org), which offers a helping hand to those grappling with issues around death and dying. Based in the Catholic tradition but open to people of all faiths and none, it features real-life stories about the highs and lows of dealing with the final journey. Professionals in palliative care, ethics, chaplaincy and history contributed their expertise to the development of the site. ‘There is evidence that many people want to engage in a conversation about death and dying,’ explained Bishop John Sherrington. ‘The Parliamentary debates and increasing media coverage about assisted suicide, along with the number of internet searches about death and dying, make it clear that people are looking for answers about death, the dying process and the afterlife.’ The Catholic Church has 2000 years’ worth of experience of helping people to die in peace

and a treasury of resources and reflections on death, dying and eternity that the Bishops of England and Wales would like to open up to everyone. ‘Often people leave it until too late to speak about death,’ said Bishop John. The Art of Dying Well aims to help them keep death in mind, so as to fully embrace life now. ‘We want to help them engage in this most profound conversation, to be reassured by the words of Jesus, and to focus on the hope which eternal life offers.’ Ars Moriendi or ‘Art of Dying’ was a very popular fifteenth century manuscript designed to bring Christian comfort and practical guidance to a dying person and his/her family. The original Latin texts and illustrations offered advice on the protocols and procedures for a good death. They included deathbed etiquette and prayers, as well as the five temptations that a dying person might face and the prescribed antidotes. As a Catholic approaches death, there are a series of comforting rituals that can help

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him or her to prepare spiritually for the final journey. In www.artofdyingwell.org these rites and special prayers for the dying are illustrated in an animation which features the fictional story of the Ferguson family, narrated by actress Vanessa Redgrave. Fr Peter-Michael Scott, Chaplain to St Joseph’s Hospice and the Cardinal’s Advisor for Healthcare Chaplains, explained: ‘The resources on the website can give those who are dying and their relatives, who often do not know what to expect, a sense of what will happen without fear.’ ‘The resources can also help with educating other nonCatholic chaplains, nurses and doctors to help them understand the Sacrament of the Sick and what Catholic chaplains can do to help those who are dying,’ he added. Bishop John describes the website as a labyrinth: ‘There are many different entry points. We are invited to begin to explore, to follow the links and to hear the stories, which may help many people find consolation.’ Fr Peter adds: ‘Death is a part of the drama of life but we don’t bring it into our reality. The Art of Dying Well brings death into our normal reality, showing that it is a part of life.’ Indeed it is hoped that some of the materials will be used in

schools, particularly with Sixth Form students in RE classes to help them understand the gap between life and death. The website was launched in November, as it is traditionally the month dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls and for the Fallen on Remembrance Sunday. ‘Hearts and minds are already open to thinking about and engaging in these conversations,’ said Bishop John. ‘We hope that we can start to bring the insights of the website into conversations between individuals, and then gradually into parish catechesis about sickness and bereavement. And it is our hope that eventually we can make a contribution to the national conversation about death and dying.’ In addition to the website, there is an Instagram account (@artofdyingwell) which hosts a ‘Remember them’ virtual memorial wall, inviting people to post pictures and memories of a loved one who has died or is dying. By tagging @artofdyingwell on Instagram, these names and photos are shared with five convents and abbeys who will remember and carry in prayer those whose memory is kept alive in these snapshots. The religious sisters and brothers will also pray for those who have no one to remember or pray for them.

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O my Lord, inflame my heart with love for you, that my spirit may not grow weary amidst the storms, the sufferings and the trials. You see how weak I am. Love can do all. St Faustina Nothing can come but that which God wills. And I make myself very sure that whatever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be best. St Thomas More

Prayer for the Dying Go forth, Christian soul, from this world in the name of God the almighty Father, who created you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who suffered for you, in the name of the Holy Spirit, who was poured out upon you, go forth, faithful Christian. May you live in peace this day, may your home be with God, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with Joseph, and all the angels and saints. Please visit www.artofdyingwell.org for additional resources and @artofdyingwell on Instagram to post pictures and memories of loved ones.

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

New CEO for St Joseph’s

Proclaim the New Year

Nigel Harding has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. Nigel has over 18 years’  management experience in healthcare starting in 1998 at St John’s Hospice and the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in St John’s Wood, moving to Ireland in 2005 to run several hospitals in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Sligo. Nigel returned to the UK in 2010 taking over Woking and Sam Beare Hospices in Surrey where he stayed until moving to St Joseph’s on 7 November.

Advent, the Church’s new year, as with all new years is a time for making new plans, renewing old plans and putting new energies into what has gone before. In 2016 we have seen in many parishes the unfolding of Proclaim, the new evangelisation initiative. Launched in 2015, with conferences in Birmingham and Westminster, Proclaim has been taken forward through the work of evangelisation groups who are building missionary parishes. At one parish in north London the evangelisation group recently held an outreach session on the local high street, talking to people about their faith and praying with them. Meanwhile an evangelisation group in Hertfordshire has facilitated Year of Mercy events and helped to start a homevisiting group for the elderly. Each parish in its own way is making Christ more visible to the world. As we prepare for Christmas, Pope-Emeritus Benedict reminds us that there are many people who don’t know Jesus. Like the shepherds some people are close by, but they need the angel messengers to tell them that Jesus is waiting for them. Others, like the Magi, are a long way from Jesus and need the star to lead them to the crib. In the dark months of winter when the pressures of the world

‘I am extremely privileged and honoured to be leading the incredible team at St Joseph’s,’ says Nigel. ‘It is one of the largest and oldest hospices in the country as well as one of the most innovative. We are all rightly proud of our wonderful Catholic heritage and core values that are at the centre of everything that we do.’

by Deacon Adrian Cullen

can weigh people down, perhaps we too can be messengers or stars that lead the way to Jesus. This is what evangelisation is: bringing the Light of the World into people’s lives, and, for some, a new evangelisation, a reawakening of something that has been lost. The start of the new year is a new start for me too, as I take on the full-time role of Evangelisation Coordinator across the diocese. Along with the Director of Evangelisation, Fr Chris Vipers, I look forward to working with parish evangelisation groups to carry on and build Proclaim through the coming year. Pope Francis tells us that ‘with Christ, joy is constantly born anew’. And he calls on us to be missionary disciples. As we celebrate Advent, share the joys of Christmas and start the New Year; let each one of us consider how we can bring the joy of Christ into people’s lives and Proclaim 2017!

Inside the Hospice: Inside the Stable by Fr Peter-Michael Scott What a hotchpotch of creatures visited the Holy Family when Jesus was born: cows, donkeys, sheep, shepherds, angels and wise men. I like to think they were all a bit grumpy and then softened when they came across the baby Jesus. There is something about babies that thaws us out. Even the most hard-hearted of individuals look placid as they rock a tiny baby. In the hospice, when relatives or friends start to visit, they sometimes arrive looking stern or tense. They might sit at the end of a patient’s bed or quickly leave. The hospice staff

notice this, and with their skill and sensitivity they encourage visitors to relax, to move closer and to stay with a patient longer. This is not an easy process; it requires hospice staff to use their expertise to encourage relatives and visitors to have the confidence to care. The ability to care is probably one of the gifts the baby Jesus brought out of the shepherds and wise men. They softened and stopped, admiring the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. I like to think Mary urged them to come forward to hold the infant Son of God, and by this they were able to acknowledge

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that they were not so bad and that they could show love. Hospice staff do the same with the encouragement they offer to patients relatives and friends. We can all love, we can all care, even the most grizzled and bad tempered of us. Just after he was elected, Pope Francis made a simple request to the crowds who packed St Peter’s Square, ‘I want to ask a favour. I want to ask you to walk together, and take care of one another’. How about that for a new year’s resolution? We can all do it too! Please pray for the patients, staff and volunteers of St Joseph’s Hospice.

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Page 19


Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

New President for Catenian Province 14

SVP Appeals for Time

The St Vincent de Paul Society has launched a Christmas appeal but they are not asking for money; instead, they are asking for people’s time. As people plan their Christmas celebrations, the SVP is asking them to spare a thought for those who dread the festive season. For many, Christmas is a time of

profound loneliness, solitude and isolation, while for others it means not being able to afford all the family presents, foods and treats that the rest of us take for granted. ‘If more parishioners could become SVP members and give a little of their time to assist those in need, it could help give people a far happier time at Christmas

Denis Murphy, a parishioner of St Augustine Hoddesdon, has been elected President of Province 14 of the Catenian Association. He takes responsibility for the 13 circles in the province, namely City of Westminster, Highgate, Mid Hertfordshire, Broxbourne, Bishop Stortford, Southgate, London North West, London Charterhouse, London Northern Heights, North London, Milton Keynes, Luton and Bedford.

Denis joined the Catenian Association 14 years ago and has previously served as President of Broxbourne his local circle and also became a joint member of Bishop Stortford Circle. He commented: ‘I am privileged to be a part of such a strong and growing international body of Catholics, who help others and each other, support the clergy, encourage the younger generation and enjoy each other’s company in a social environment.’

and beyond,’ explains SVP Chief Executive, Elizabeth Palmer. ‘They might find that a gift of time like this might be the best gift they’ve ever given,’ she adds. The appeal, which is being supported with materials including posters for churches, will run across England and Wales until Christmas. 1

LONDON SHRINES Carmelite Convent, St Charles Square, London, W10. Holy Mary appeared to a nun there in 1915, she said it would be a great shrine for the conversion of England back to the Catholic faith! She told the nun, Mother Mary of Jesus, to draw a picture of the apparition – ‘Our Lady of Notting Hill’ (1) – now a famous picture worldwide. Tube: Ladbroke Grove. Buses: 52, 452, 23, 7, 70. (2) Our Lady of Assumption & St Gregory Church, Warwick St, Piccadilly Circus, London, W1. 2 Tube: Piccadilly Circus. Buses: 23, 12, 38, 22,19. A famous shrine where hundreds of miracles were worked. Grateful people donated many silver hearts in thanksgiving for cures. The church is run by the Ordinariate, former Anglican vicars who became Catholic priests. Mass 12.45 Mon­Fri. 3 (3) Carmelite Church, Kensington Church Street, London, W8. Tube: High Street, Kensington. Buses: 52, 70, 23, 27, 28, 328 & 452. Venerable Herman Cohen was a Jewish convert who became a Carmelite priest at this church and started the church. Pray for his speedy canonisation – a big boost for London! 4 Mass 8am, 12.15pm and 6pm weekdays. (4) Our Lady of Muswell Church, 1 Colney Hatch Lane, N10 1PN. Tel. 020 8883 5607. Famous Shrine for hundreds of years, until Protestant ‘Reformation’ stopped it! It was the most famous Marian shrine in Europe! (5) Our Lady of Willesden Shrine, 1 Nicoll Rd, NW10 9AX. Tel. 020 8965 4935. Famous Shrine for hundreds of years, until Protestant ‘Reformation’ stopped it! St King Edward the Confessor and 5 King Richard the Lion Heart consecrated England as the “Dowry of Mary”. England was covered with Holy Shrines to Mary. She made Britain great. Page 20

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Step Forward in Love

Learning from Laudato Si’ by Barbara Kentish

On 1 December Caritas Westminster launched Love in Action, a programme aimed at introducing the principles of Catholic social teaching (CST) to parishes and schools. Designed to be used with a variety of groups, the resources offer a programme to educate, inspire and help parishes to discern the needs of their local area, and to focus on how to put love into action. The launch, held at Our Lady of Victories Church in Kensington, gave participants a chance to look at the resources as well as interact with them

through a series of activities. Chair of Caritas Westminster Bishop Paul MacAleenan introduced the launch by explaining that Love in Action is the ‘perfect expression of Caritas’. He went on to say that the programme provides accompaniment for parishes ‘walking’ them through Catholic social teaching. Author Danny Curtin gave the background and inspiration for developing the materials and Fr Shaun Middleton from St John Fisher, North Harrow,

explained how the scheme unfolded in his parish and school. The resources are free and available for download on the website: www.stepforwardinlove.org. Parishes and schools requiring support to use the materials can contact the Caritas team using the following link caritaswestminster@rcdow.org.uk. The resources have been developed with the help of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) and other Caritas agencies.

Roughly 40 parishes were represented at three Laudato Si’ autumn gatherings across the diocese. Hitchin, Chiswick and Kensington were the host parishes, bringing together people from a wide range of parishes, as well as members of Anglican and Methodist churches. The workshops were organised jointly by Westminster Justice and Peace, Caritas Westminster and CAFOD to discuss the challenge of climate change, the message of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ and practical ways that parishes can follow this.

Ministering to the Deaf

On 6 November Bishop Paul McAleenan celebrated Mass for the Deaf community. Bishop Paul worked closely with the Deaf community while he was a parish priest and was glad to be able to continue his ministry to the Deaf in his new appointment. During his homily he spoke about the different ways in which we approach death, reminding the congregation that ‘Christ has taken the Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

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poison from the sting through his death and resurrection’. The Mass was well attended by the Deaf and their families. Shell Roca of Westminster Deaf Service said they were ‘delighted to have Bishop Paul with us again’. If you want to know more about Westminster Deaf Service, you can visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wd dservice or email Michelleroca@rcdow.org.uk.

At all of the events Maria Elena Arana from CAFOD spoke, as did Susy Brouard from the theology team. Barbara Kentish and Fr Joe Ryan from Westminster Justice and Peace, Edward De Quay from Caritas Westminster and Tony Sheen from CAFOD Westminster were also there, speaking about their work and guiding workshops. Bishop Nicholas Hudson joined the Kensington event, giving a reflection at the end on God’s overarching love for all, humans and creation as a whole. These events showed that Laudato Si’ is indeed a vehicle for greater dialogue and cooperation between people of all faiths and none.

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Saint of the Month: St John Bosco

For those who work with young people in the Church, Don Bosco will be a familiar figure as his legacy lives on youth ministry and education to this day. Born in 1815, as a young child John Bosco was disappointed to have been ignored by a local priest who he had greeted warmly. At this moment, the first seed of his vocation was sown, and he told his mother that he would become a priest and would do everything for young people, never ignoring them. During his childhood Bosco already showed signs of leadership and compassion for young people, befriending the local young farm hands as he grew to understand they were less fortunate and did not have a stable family life. To help him in this endeavour, Bosco learnt the tricks of magic from travelling showmen and held his own performance, for which admission was one Rosary to be recited by spectators. During this time he had a dream where he heard the voice of Our Lady saying, ‘This is the field of your work. Be humble, steadfast and strong.’ This was the first of many things he Page 22

would hear from her as she guided and inspired his ministry. In 1841 Bosco was ordained in Turin and, during, his first Mass he asked for the gift of efficacy of speech, which he believed he had received. Shortly after this he heard a sacristan shouting at a boy who had come into the church for warmth. Don Bosco called him back, inviting him to sing at the next Mass. That friendship was the beginning of a ministry during which he brought many young people closer to God. Bosco invited the boy to bring his friends to Mass on Sunday after which they could spend the day together. The boys grew in number, meeting each Sunday. Many of them were in great need of warmth and food. Bosco was first-hand the difficulties these boys faced in the slums of Turin. His weekly meeting with the boys became known as ‘the Oratory’. Each week they would meet for Mass and confession, closing with a talk given by Bosco. In 1846 he bought an old shed, which he converted into a chapel, as a permanent base for his ministry. The site, he later discovered,

was formerly a burial ground for the martyrs of Turin. Bosco’s ministry continued to grow when, one night, a young orphan came to his home asking for food and shelter. Much like the young boy in the church, this boy sparked a new mission for Bosco. The boy became the first of many orphans that he took in. Don Bosco housed these orphans, and provided them with food and schooling. He went on to buy more property which he converted to cobblers’ and carpenters’ shops, where he and two men trained the young orphans. This was the birth of the Don Bosco Trade School, a legacy that continues today in schools and technology colleges. Don Bosco wanted to educate the young boys so that they could be kept off the streets and out of trouble. This approach became known as the ‘preventative system’ of education which was based on the double foundation of reason and religion. As word spread about this work, priests from around the country were released by their bishops in order to support Don Bosco. In 1859, never growing tired of his work, Don Bosco formed a religious congregation. Inspired by a local politician and guided as always by Our Lady, the Congregation of St Francis de Sales received Vatican approval in 1869. Bosco also went on to found the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who supported young women and girls. Don Bosco’s legacy lives on in the work of the Salesian communities that he founded, and in the many schools across the world and all those that minister to the young. He remained ever humble, describing himself as an ‘instrument in the hands of Mary’, seeing his achievements as only ever coming through the grace and help of Our Lady.

In Memoriam: December 3 4

6 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 19

21 23 24 25 26 27 28

29 30 31

Fr Harold Purney (1983) Fr John Simcox (1972) Fr Peter Allen (1978) Mgr Wilfrid Purney (1987) Fr Benedict Westbrook (1989) Fr John Harper-Hill (1998) Mgr Alexander Groves (1998) Fr Dalton Haughey (1991) Fr Laurence Kingseller (1975) Fr Jeremiah Daly (1974) Deacon Michael Bykar (2008) Fr Francis Donovan (1983) Mgr George Tancred (2002) Fr John Donlan (2006) Canon Bernard George (1980) Canon John Shaw (1981) Fr Edward Gwilliams (1981) Fr Edward Scanlan (1992) Fr William Campling (1996) Fr Clive Godwin (1974) Fr Ian Dickie (2012) Fr Manoel HGomes (1989) Deacon Ron Saunders (2007) Fr Alan O’Connor (1992) Fr Bernard Lavin (1999) Fr Andrew Morley (1993) Mgr Canon Joseph Collings (1978) Fr Gerard Mulvaney (1996) Fr Robert Bradley (1976) Canon Alexander Stewart (1976) Fr Wilfrid Trotman (1976) Fr Stephen Rigby (1978) Fr George Swanton (1979) Fr Dennis Skelly (1996) Fr Michael Ware (1998)

January 1 2

Cardinal Francis Bourne (1935) Fr Brendan Soane (2000) Fr Sidney Dommersen (1970)

3 4 6

7 8 10

11 12 14

15 16 17

18 19 20

21 22 23 25 26 29 30

Fr Alexander Wells (1970) Fr Cyril Wilson (1988) Fr Donald Campbell (1985) Fr Denis Cantwell (1995) Fr Bernard Canham (1990) Fr William Brown (2001) Fr Thomas Anderson (1974) Fr Thomas McNamara (1976) Mgr Graham Leonard (2010) Mgr Ralph Brown (2014) Fr John T Carberry (1988) Fr John Kearsey (2004) Mgr Ernest T Bassett (1990) Fr William Kahle (1993) Fr Patrick Nolan (2014) Mgr Eustace Bernard (1972) Fr Mark Coningsby (2014) Fr Arthur P Mintern (1993) Cardinal Henry Manning (1892) Fr Peter Lyons (1998) Canon James Hathway (1976) Fr Anthony Busuttil (2013) Fr Edward Hinsley (1976) Canon Frederick Smyth (2007) Fr Edward Dering Leicester (1977) Fr George O’Connor (1989) Fr Gerry Ennis (2000) Fr Robin Whitney (2012) Fr Oldrich Trnka (2003) Mgr George Leonard (1993) Fr Thomas Gardner (1995) Fr Stephen Bartlett (2012) Preb Ronald Pilkington (1975) Cardinal William Godfrey (1963) Fr Derek Jennings (1995) Fr Bernard Fisher (1990) Bishop Patrick Casey (1999) Fr Frederick Vincent (1973) Fr Joseph Fehrenbach (1985) Fr Patrick Howard (2000) Fr Philip Dayer (2005)

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers’ Club meets every Sunday for walks around London and the Home Counties. Email: antoinette_adkins2000@yahoo. co.uk, call 020 8769 3643 or go to www.stfrancisramblers.uk walkers.com Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

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Events & Calendar

Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

REGULAR EVENTS

Liturgical Calendar December and January

If you have an event, please email: communications@rcdow.org.uk

Prayer Groups SUNDAYS Taizé at St James, Piccadilly W1J 9LL every third Sunday 5pm. Call 020 7503 5128 for details. Tyburn Benedictines Monastic afternoon Every first Sunday 2-5pm Martyrs’ Crypt, Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place W2 2LJ. Westminster Cathedral Young Adults meet socially after the 7pm Mass on Sundays and then at the nearby Windsor Castle pub. For further details please contact: westminsteryoungadults@gmail.com

MONDAYS Mothers’ Prayers at St Dominic’s Priory, Haverstock Hill NW5 4LB Mondays 2.30-3.30pm in the Lourdes Chapel. All are welcome.

TUESDAYS Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Tuesdays 6-9pm concluding with Benediction at Newman House, 111 Gower Street WC1E 6AR. Details 020 7387 6370. Prayers for London at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden Tuesdays 7.30pm. Organised by the Guild of Our Lady of Willesden, Nicoll Road NW10 9AX. Vocations Prayer Group Second Tuesday of the month 8pm at 47C Gaisford Street NW5 2EB. Taizé at St James’, Spanish Place, W1U 3UY every first Tuesday of the month at 7pm. Email: penny28hb@aol.com or just come along.

WEDNESDAYS Wednesdays on the Wall (WOTW) Every first Wednesday of the month. 6pm at All Hallows on the Wall, 83 London Wall EC2M 5ND. A short service of prayer and reflection at 6pm, coffee at 6.45pm followed by discussion. Corpus Christi Contemplative Prayer Group for Young Adults Wednesdays from 7pm at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB. For further details please contact

corpuschristipg@yahoogroups. co.uk. Our Lady, Untier of Knots, Prayer Group of Intercession meets every third Wednesday at St Anselm & St Cecilia, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Parish Mass at 6pm followed by Prayer Group until 8.45pm. Rosary, Adoration, silent prayer and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Email: Antonia antonia4161@gmail.com.

THURSDAYS Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life (JCFL) provides a space for Christians of different traditions to join together in prayer and friendship. Details at www.jcfl.org.uk. NFG Prayer Group meet weekly at 8pm for praise, worship followed by a social. Monthly a DVD is watched follow by a time of sharing. Held in St Mark’s Room, Christ the King Church N14 4HE. Contact Fr Christophe: christophe.brunet@cheminneuf.org. Soul Food A Catholic charismatic prayer group for young adults meets Thursdays 7-9pm at St Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street W1W 6HS. Details at www.soulfoodgroup.org. St John Paul II Prayer Group Every second Thursday of the month 7-8pm, Mass, Adoration and prayer at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB.

FRIDAYS Divine Mercy Prayers and Mass Every first Friday 2.30-4.30pm at Our Lady, Mother of the Church, 2 Windsor Road W5 5PD. Westminster Cathedral Charismatic Prayer Group meet every Friday 7.30pm prayer, praise and teaching. First Friday is a healing Mass. For details, please call 020 8748 2632.

SATURDAYS Taizé at Notre Dame de France 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX at 7.15pm. Call 020 7437 9363.

Praying with Pope Francis - December 2016 Universal Intention: End of Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over. For Evangelisation: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life. Praying with Pope Francis - January 2017 Christian Unity: That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and be collaberating to meet the challenges facing humanity. At Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Acton, the Queen of Peace prayer group meets every Friday evening after 7pm Mass, for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, homily, the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. All welcome. Members of the Westminster LGBT Catholic Community are specially welcomed at the following Sunday Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, and invited to our parish hall afterwards for tea/coffee, when there is also an opportunity to learn of pastoral help available: 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, 5.30pm. Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

1 Thu 2 Fri 3 Sat 4 Sun 5 Mon 6 Tue 7 Wed 8 Thu

Advent feria Advent feria; Friday abstinence St Francis Xavier, Priest + 2nd SUNDAY OF ADVENT Advent feria Advent feria or St Nicholas, Bishop St Ambrose, Bishop & Doctor THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Patron of the Diocese

9 Fri

Advent feria or St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin; Friday abstinence Advent feria + 3rd SUNDAY IN ADVENT Advent feria or Our Lady of Guadalupe St Lucy, Virgin & Martyr St John of the Cross, Priest & Doctor Advent feria Advent feria; Friday abstinence Advent feria + 4th SUNDAY IN ADVENT Advent feria Advent feria Advent feria (St Peter Canisius, Priest and Doctor) Advent feria Advent feria (St John of Kanty, Priest); Friday abstinence Advent feria + THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (CHRISTMAS) ST STEPHEN, The First Martyr ST JOHN, Apostle & Evangelist THE HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs ST THOMAS BECKET, Bishop & Martyr, Patron of the Parish Clergy

10 Sat 11 Sun 12 Mon 13 Tue 14 Wed 15 Thu 16 Fri 17 Sat 18 Sun 19 Mon 20 Tue 21 Wed 22 Thu 23 Fri 24 Sat 25 Sun 26 Mon 27 Tue 28 Wed 29 Thu 30 Fri

HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH; No Friday abstinence

31 Sat

7th DAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS (St Sylvester I, Pope)

1 Sun SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Acton, the Queen of Peace prayer 2AtMon Ss Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, group meets every& Friday evening after 7pm Mass, Bishops Doctors for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, homily, the Rosary and the 3Chaplet Tue ofChristmas feriaAll or The Most Holy Name of Jesus Divine Mercy. welcome. 4 Wed Christmas feria of the Westminster 5Members Thu Christmas feria LGBT Catholic Community are specially welcomed at the following Sunday Mass at the Church of the Immaculate 6Conception, Fri Christmas feria; Friday abstinence Farm Street, and invited to our parish hall afterwards for when thereferia is also opportunity learn of pastoral 7tea/coffee, Sat Christmas or an St Raymond of to Penyafort, Priest help 2nd andEPIPHANY 4th SundaysOF of the month, 8available: Sun + THE THE LORD5.30pm. 9 Mon THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD 10 Tue Feria, First Week of Year 1 11 Wed Feria 12 Thu Feria or St Aelred of Rievaulx 13 Fri Feria or St Hilary, Bishop & Doctor; Friday abstinence 14 Sat Feria or Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday 15 Sun + 2nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 16 Mon Feria, Second Week of Year 1 17 Tue St Anthony, Abbot Universe Ad 18 Wed Feria 19 Thu Feria or St Wulstan, Bishop 20 Fri Feria or St Fabian, Pope & Martyr, or St Sebastian, Martyr; Friday abstinence 21 Sat 22 Sun 23 Mon 24 Tue 25 Wed 26 Thu 27 Fri 28 Sat 29 Sun 30 Mon 31 Tue

Other regular Masses Deaf Community Mass First Sunday of the month 4.30pm at Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QW. Young Adults Mass with an Ignatian twist Every Sunday at 7pm. Church of the Immaculate Conception, 114 Mount Street W1K 3AH. Contact: yam@mountstreet.info or visit www.pathwaystogood.org Mass at Canary Wharf Held on Tuesdays at 12.30pm at 2 Churchill Place E14 5RB. Organised by Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Chaplain to Canary Wharf Communities. Details www.cwcc.org.uk. St Albans Abbey Fridays at 12 noon. Mass in the Lady Chapel of St Albans Abbey AL1 1BY. EXTRAORDINARY FORM MASSES Sundays: Low Mass 9.30am, St James Spanish Place W1U 3QY. Low Mass 9am, The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP. Low Mass 5pm, St Bartholomew, St Albans AL1 2PE. Low Mass 5.30pm, Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden, NW10 9AX. Mondays: Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP Mass 6.30pm Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: Low Mass, 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP. Fridays: Low Mass 7.45am St Mary Moorfields, 4/5 Eldon Street EC2N 7LS. Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP. Low Mass 6pm St Etheldreda, Ely Place EC1N 6RY. First Friday only. Low Mass 6pm St John the Baptist Church, King Edward's Road E9 7SF. First Friday only. Low Mass 6.30pm Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB. Second Friday only. Saturdays: Low Mass 12.15pm, St Wilfrid’s Chapel, The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP. Low Mass 4.30pm, Side Chapel, Westminster Cathedral SW1P 1QW. Second Saturday only.

St Agnes, Virgin & Martyr + 3rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Feria, Third Week of Year 1 St Frances de Sales, Bishop & Doctor THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL THE APOSTLE Ss Timothy and Titus, Bishops Feria or St Angela Merici, Virgin; Friday abstinence St Thomas Aquinas, Priest & Doctor + 4th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Feria, Fourth Week of Year 1 St John Bosco, Priest

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Westminster Record | December 2016/January 2017

Allen Hall Chapel: Strong Catholic Roots in Chelsea and unusually shaped reredos, accessed by twin stairways and designed to hold the Blessed Sacrament aloft for permanent public devotion and veneration. The original configuration also had a screen to define separation between the nuns and laity. Some original interior features have remained in the chapel, including a series of fine inlaid ceramic panels depicting symbols of the Eucharist, by Czech-born artist Endre Hevezi, (founder of the British Society of Enamellers).

The chapel at Allen Hall Seminary, Chelsea, has recently been added to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest at Grade II under the advice of Historic England. The chapel, originally the convent chapel of the Sisters of the Adoration Réparatrice, was designed by Hector Corfiato, a French architect best known for teaching in the classical Beaux Arts tradition, and was built in 1959. Both of Corfiato’s other churches in the diocese are also listed at Grade II: St William of York at Stanmore and the Church of Notre Dame at Leicester Place. Although the chapel is smaller and simpler than his listed examples, it combines Corfiato’s signature mix of bold forms with elegant simplicity in the style of structural rationalism. Visual interest is focused almost entirely on the full-height concrete grid which Page 24

forms the façade, now softened and considerably improved by the reinstatement of the original aluminium crucifix to the front of the building. Internally, the space evokes a contemplative atmosphere, defined by judicious use of natural light and a strong rhythmic emphasis conveyed through a series of openings to the side corridors. The vertical emphasis is echoed in the sanctuary, which is lit by vertical strips, angled to throw light as a series of shafts onto the altar. The plan is a simple long rectangle, and at the time of construction, was carefully planned in response to the specific requirements of the rule of the Sisters of the Adoration Réparatrice. They were one of two religious orders whose rule required permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a requirement served by Corfiato’s exceptionally high

A Rich History The wider site at Beaufort Street was built in the 18th century over part of the site of Thomas More’s house (later called Beaufort House) in Chelsea. In 1886, 28 Beaufort Street was purchased from the Earl of Cadogan by Fr Kenelm Vaughan (brother of Cardinal Vaughan) for the Brotherhood of Expiation, which he had founded. Two artists’ studios behind 28 Beaufort Street (designed in 1879 by William Burges for the painters Louise and Joe Jopling) were converted into a chapel. It had been Mgr Kenelm Vaughan’s intention to establish a male monastic community for prayer, but these plans were not successfully realised, and in 1898 the building was offered to the sisters, who had been invited to England by Cardinal Vaughan. The convent chapel was served by priests from Our Most Holy Redeemer, Chelsea. On 5 October 1910, the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Amyela for a new chapel in the Romanesque Revival style, designed by Charles George Keogh (1848– 1943). The chapel was opened on 21 March 1912 by Cardinal Bourne. It was dedicated to the Most Holy Sacrament and the Blessed Thomas More. The sisters and the convent played a significant role in the cause for the Canonisation of St Thomas More.

chapel in 1958, designed by Corfiato and built within 12 months. Following his studies at the École des Beaux Arts, Corfiato came to England in 1922, in order to teach at the Bartlett School of Architecture, whose director he became in 1946. He built relatively little and his largest works are university buildings in Nigeria. Among his works in England are an extension to University College London and three churches and two chapels, all Roman Catholic. Archbishop (later Cardinal) Godfrey laid the foundation stone for the new chapel in Beaufort Street on 8 April 1958. It was opened and consecrated on 7 November 1958 by Bishop Cashman, Auxiliary of Westminster. The furnishings included artworks by Professor Georges Saupique of Paris, with whom Corfiato also worked on Notre Dame de France; Harry Warren Wilson of the Bartlett, who made the ornamental designs in the sanctuary; and the Hungarianborn artist Endre Hevezi who

designed blue ceramic panels in a Chagall-like manner. Corfiato designed the nave to be segregated with the nuns occupying the eastern section near the sanctuary, which was screened from the laity who occupied an area behind them. In 1975, the sisters left for London Colney and the buildings were bought by the Diocese of Westminster for use by the diocesan seminary, which traces its origins back to the seminary established by Cardinal William Allen at Douai in 1568. This is the successor institution to the English College founded in 1568 by William Allen (later Cardinal) in Douai, Flanders, which in 1793 moved to England as St Edmund’s College in Old Hall Green, Ware (1793-1975). In 2015 a new wall screen by artist Stephen Foster was installed. In December of that year, Cardinal Vincent visited to consecrate the new altar, which holds relics from Ss Clement I, Liberatus, Justa and John Southworth.

Destruction during World War II The chapel was nearly completely destroyed by bombing in 1940 and was still in ruins by 1948. By 1957, the west end was used as a garden. It was replaced by the new

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Westminster Record December 2016/January 2017