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Westminster Record

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Remembering Grenfell: One year on Page 3

Corpus Christi: Taking Christ to the streets Pages 10 & 11

Enduring Truth of Humanae Vitae

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‘Ahome for every heart’ On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, 3rd June, Cardinal Vincent inaugurated the Diocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament at the newlyrestored Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, during a Pontifical Mass. Cardinal Vincent said: ‘It is my privilege to be here today to declare this newly and beautifully renovated church to be our Diocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. ‘In doing so I pray that so many, young and old, will come here to raise their voices “in songs of love and heartfelt praise”, find again a “home for every heart where restless yearns cease”, a “shelter blessed”' and discover a true glimpse of our “Godhead's majesty”, to borrow the words of a previous parish priest!’ Remarking on the beauty of the renovated church, the Cardinal explained that ‘it is surely right that we lavish all that is best of our skill and endeavour, for one reason only: in order to express our love for the Lord. The extravagant beauty of this shrine is an outpouring of that love. In ways beyond words, that beauty will call people into this sanctuary, into this glimpse of heaven, and speak to their hearts with its message of eternal comfort and calm, in a world so often lacking in both.’ Recalling that his predecessor Cardinal Manning, who, on visiting the newlyopened church on 20th October 1847, proclaimed it to be a ‘sanctuary to be specifically

devoted to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament’, he added: ‘Here, he knew, disciples of the Lord could come to meet him, in that most simple and direct manner: being before him in the Blessed Sacrament in an intimacy of gaze and heart that both refreshes the soul and stirs it into action.’ ‘The Blessed Sacrament is the source of our mission,’ Cardinal Vincent affirmed. ‘From this holy shrine, we are sent out. We are not to linger too long in its embrace, but rather, strengthened here, we leave in order to fulfil our share in this great gift. This was the hope of Cardinal Manning, too.’ He expressed the hope that this Shrine to the Most Blessed Sacrament may ‘enrich the life of faith in our time and bring to many the joy and consolation of the Lord's presence, so that we may all come to know and praise his beauty, with all our brothers and sisters, in the life to come’. After Mass, the Cardinal led the Blessed Sacrament Procession around Covent Garden in an act of witness by the faithful, with visitors and tourists looking on. The Mass was the climax of a week-long celebration of solemn ceremonies for the reopening of the church following five years’ renovation and restoration work. For more information about Corpus Christi and the Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament, visit the parish website: corpuschristimaidenlane.org.uk

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Editorial

Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Westminster Record – Contact us Editor Mgr Mark Langham

Anchored in Faith

Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QJ Managing Editor Marie Saba 020 7798 9031 Inhouse writers Martha Behan 020 7798 9030, Sharon Pinto 020 7798 9178 Photos Mazur/Catholicnews.org.uk Design Julian Game For distribution queries contact Michelle Jones 0161 908 5330 or email michelle.jones@thecatholicuniverse.com Print management and distribution by The Universe Media Group Ltd.

September publication dates Editorial deadline: 13th August 2018 Listings email: communications@rcdow.org.uk News and stories call 020 7798 9030 Email: communications@rcdow.org.uk Advertising deadline: 17th August 2018

To advertise contact Andrea Black/David Whitehead andrea.black@thecatholicunvierse.com david.whitehead@thecatholicuniverse.com 0161 908 5301 Produced by the Communications Office of the Diocese of Westminster. News and articles published in the Westminster Record do not necessarily represent the views of the Diocese of Westminster, unless specifically stated otherwise. Appearance of advertisements does not imply editorial endorsement.

Google search engine informs me that summer is upon us. Holidays beckon and the days entice us to linger, even as they warn us that the summer will fly. The seasons of the year seem to come around ever more swiftly, and months slip by with relentless speed; one sign of this is the new double July/August issue of the Westminster Record, marking the rapid turn of the year.

Caught up in this cycle, we look to anniversaries and special celebrations to anchor us in a deeper narrative, an unchanging reality grounded in our faith. These moments can be joyful, or sombre: whatever their nature, they stand outside the rush of the seasons; they are timeless. We recently marked the anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy, which deeply scarred one of our parishes in Notting Hill. Here, alongside remembering, Catholics believe in a future; we pray for the dead, look to a redemption from suffering and death. We learn of the action of God within human suffering. Another anniversary is that of the seminary in Douai, founded 450 years ago, and the origin of our diocesan seminary and a prestigious school. Here memories are bitter-sweet; the embers of faith kept alive during years of persecution

were fanned by the deeds of our martyrs, one of whom, St John Southworth, is enshrined in the cathedral. Here we learn of sacrifice, of decision, of what our faith means to us. There are joyful anniversaries also: 25 years of SPEC, a Golden Jubilee at Wembley, and the anniversary of Humanae Vitae. An especially merry celebration is underway for Sr Imelda Poole, awarded an MBE for her work to preserve human dignity and freedom. The team of the diocesan newspaper wishes you a blessed and restful summer. May you have some sense of the unchanging good news of the Gospel amid the dizzying rush of the year!

Relic of St Clement Returned A mysterious item found by Enviro Waste some months ago has turned out to be a relic of Pope St Clement. Discovered by company owner James Rubin during a routine walk around the company warehouse, it was among items recovered from house clearances. Intrigued, James wrote about it on his company blog, generating a lot of interest and hundreds of responses from many wishing to claim the relic. ‘It is probably the most remarkable story coming out of the waste industry right now,’ he said. One of the responses was from historian Sophie Andraea of the Bishops’ Conference Patrimony Committee, who explains: ‘We were in touch very quickly with James and his company to say that this was of extreme importance from the Catholic perspective and that we would like to find an appropriate home for it. For Catholics relics do have very great significance and this is of course a relic of St Clement the third Pope, ordained by St Peter himself in Rome so it is a very remarkable artefact.’ Page 2

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James formally returned the relic to Archbishop George Stack, Chair of the Patrimony Committee, on 19th June in Westminster Cathedral. It will be housed in the Treasures of the Cathedral exhibition.

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‘Relics are a tremendous living connection with our forefathers and mothers, going back to the days of St Clement, and an inspiration to people today as we try to follow, the witness that they gave,’ stated Archbishop George.

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Commemorating First Anniversary of Grenfell Tower Tragedy

On Wednesday 13th July, the Parish of St Francis of Assisi, Notting Hill, commemorated the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy with a Mass, led by Cardinal Vincent, to pray for the repose of the souls of all who died and for the healing and peace of all who survived. Present at the Mass were the families of many of the victims and other former residents of the Tower. Also present with the parish community were some of the hundreds of volunteers who assisted at St Francis in the immediate aftermath of the fire last year. They were joined by ecumenical guests Rev Dr Alan Everett from St Clement and St James Anglican Church and Rev Dr Mike Long from Notting Hill Methodist Church. Concelebrants included Parish Priest Fr Gerard Skinner,

Fr Alexander Master, Fr Peter Scott, Fr Kevin O’Shea CM and Fr Martin McPake SVD. In his homily, the Cardinal spoke of listening as a pathway to the heart: ‘Day by day, at present, we hear stories of those whose lives were changed forever by this fire. We listen to their accounts and their emotions, and our hearts almost stop beating, such is the immensity of what happened.’ Reflecting on prayer as another pathway to the heart, he added: ‘This prayer, our prayer this evening, takes us to the very heart of the mystery of our living and dying…It is this pathway of prayer, which we take again this evening, to equip us to live together even through the worst of times, as has been shown in this parish, in this neighbourhood, in the very worst of those times.’

neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ The statue is of the Madonna and Child and has been carved by Graham Heeley. Of the families of the victims whose names are recorded on the plaque, 13 mothers and fathers have lived to see the death of a son or daughter (eight mothers and five fathers) and two mothers died with their child. After consulting the families of those who died, the image of Mary with her infant Son, Jesus, was chosen as a fitting memorial to those who died and as a comfort to those who survived. The two figures convey the compassion of a mother and the gentle encouragement of her son. After the service, the Cardinal met some of the families and reflected that the Mass was ‘deeply heartfelt and full of emotion’. He expressed his hope that ‘it has brought some healing’ even as the inquiry continues. He added: ‘Perhaps we, in our own parishes, can © Mazur/catholicnews.org

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After the Mass the Cardinal and the congregation gathered in the courtyard outside the church where Fr Gerard Skinner, the Parish Priest of St Francis, together with Imam Fahim Mazary from the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre and Yusuf Al-Khoei from the Al-Khoei Foundation read out the names of all who died due to the fire at Grenfell Tower, followed by 72 seconds of silence. After the silence the Cardinal blessed a plaque and a statue that commemorate the 15 children, women and men of the parish who died at Grenfell Tower. The text of the plaque reads: Of your charity, pray for the repose of the souls of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, 14 June 2017. The statue above this courtyard has been erected in memory of those of this parish who died during the fire. Logan Gomes, Isaac Paulos, Jessica Urbano Ramirez, Gloria Trevisan & Marco Gottardi, Mary Mendy & Khadija Saye, Denis Murphy, Gary Maunders, Vincent Uzoh Chiejina, Ligaya Moore, Berkti & Biruk Haftom, Tony Disson, Raymond ‘Moses’ Bernard ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying,

remember this moment and pray for those who died and offer to Almighty God the sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of their souls.’ Fr Gerard Skinner, whose church is situated in the shadow of Grenfell Tower, spoke of the effect of the fire on his parish: ‘United together in this church, in the centre of this parish, we all came together to help and support, to comfort, to listen, to hear.’ Explaining the significance of the statue of Mary and the Infant Jesus dedicated to those who lost their lives in the fire, he said: ‘There's a gentle presence, a gentle smile, a gentle affirmation, a welcome. I'd like to hope that when those who have lost loved ones look at this statue, they'll think of Jesus welcoming their loved ones and how he welcomes them too, with Mary his Mother, bringing all of us to Jesus.’ He added ‘Please continue to pray for this community. That those who sit in the shadow of darkness may actually see the light of faith, the light of hope, the light of love that they've shared so much over the past year.’

St Francis of Assisi School commemorates Grenfell anniversary

On 14th June 2018, the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, Bishop John Wilson, together with Fr Gerard Skinner, celebrated Mass for the pupils, staff and governors at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School in Notting Hill. Tragically, a pupil from the school, Issac Paulos, and a former pupil, Jessica Urbano

Ramirez, who later moved on to the Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College, both lost their lives in the fire. Their families, together with those of unborn baby Logan Gomez who died following the fire, attended the Mass. Also present were other family members, people from the local community, Police Liaison Officers and representatives from the Diocese and the Catholic Children’s Society. The Mass was celebrated outside in the school grounds. The sky was overcast and the breeze sometimes gentle, at other times strong. The whole area was decorated with green scarves and ribbons of remembrance, together with a large green Grenfell heart made up of the pupils’ handprints.

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The liturgy was marked by remembrance and prayer for all those who died, for their families, and for all those living with the consequences of the devastating fire. The theme of Christ as our light and our hope ran through the readings, prayers and music. The power of the light of Christ to overcome the darkness of fear, of loneliness and of despair, was captured through the words of St Francis himself: ‘All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.’ In his homily, Bishop John spoke about the importance of trusting that Christ is our light even on the darkest of days. He asked the children to remember ten important

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words and to share them with others. With hands held up, counting from finger to finger, the message of Jesus was shared: ‘I am your light; you must be light for others.’ The Mass ended at midday and everyone kept the 72 seconds of silence in memory of the 72 victims of the fire. Bishop John and Fr Gerard then spoke individually with each of the family members and other guests. A new garden has been erected at the school in remembrance of those who died. There is a beautiful bench inscribed with Isaac’s name and a tree and plaque to remember Jessica. Bishop John blessed the garden, the bench, the plaque and the tree, and invited the family members to Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

join him in sprinkling them with holy water. Executive Headteacher Kathleen Williams paid tribute to the families, staff, pupils, governors and members of the local community. She said she was so proud of everyone at St Francis of Assisi School who had shown such strength and support during the terrible aftermath of the fire. The Mass gathered together people whose lives, in different ways, had been marked by the Grenfell fire, some devastatingly so. United around the altar, remembrance and hope were intertwined with the commitment to walk forward strengthened by the light of Christ’s presence, a light we share with others. Page 3


Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Cardinal congratulates Welcome refugees, says Bishop Paul Sr Imelda Poole on MBE

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Cardinal Vincent offered his congratulations to Sr Imelda, saying: ‘Sr Imelda, and her many colleagues in other religious congregations, have long been champions in this important work.’ Sr Imelda is President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, a role that has led Sr Imelda to becoming President of RENATE, the European network of religious Sr Imelda Poole IBVM was and lay people committed to named in the Queen’s Birthday working against human Honours list in June 2018. She trafficking and exploitation. She is awarded an MBE for her also works with Talitha Kum, the work in combatting human worldwide network of women trafficking and modern religious working against human slavery. trafficking.

For World Refugee Day, 20th June, Bishop Paul McAleenan has called on society ‘to reflect on how we can better help refugees, both through welcoming them into our society and communities, and through supporting refugees globally…a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable within it, and in England and Wales we must do more.’ He encouraged catholics to ‘welcome refugees into our communities, reaching out to the most vulnerable groups through the community sponsorship scheme for Syrian

commend the work done to support those groups.’ In a statement issued in May, Bishop Paul had called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to suspend the charges while they are reviewed and cancel any planned extension of the charging regime to emergency or GP care for non-UK citizens receiving healthcare. Citing concerns over endangering patients and wasting healthcare staff time, he explained. ‘These changes are already beginning to inflict unintended harm upon patients, the medical profession and our society as a whole.’

Barnet hosts Interfaith Iftar An Interfaith Iftar evening was hosted by North Finchley Mosque on Sunday 10th June in association with Barnet Multi Faith Forum (BMFF) and other religious communities. The breaking of bread with people from different faiths was an opportunity to foster understanding, and promote diversity. It was also an occasion for people of different faiths in the Barnet community to come together for a celebration. Guests included: Bishop John Sherrington, Chair of BMFF Esmond Rosen, President of North Finchley Mosque Nurul Alam, Barnet Brookside

Cardinal Vincent with Cardinal Bernadito Auza and Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland OBE accepting the UN’s Pathway to Peace Award on behalf of the Santa Marta Group at the end of May, during a visit to the United Nations to raise awareness of the work to combat human trafficking and modern slavery.

refugees. We should also keep refugees in our prayers, and look on practical ways to help.’ ‘Our society must be mindful of the challenges and abuses refugees face, and look to protect them,’ he said. ‘Refugees and asylum seekers must be integrated and their cause promoted so they can flourish and contribute to our society. We must recognise the value and gifts that they bring; instead many currently face barriers to work, effectively barring them from our society. ‘Refugees abroad, and the organisations that care for them, also need support, and I

Methodist Church Minister Rev Shaun Sanders, Barnet Councillor Reuben Thompstone and Linda Freedman.

Iftar at sunset marks the breaking of the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Support for mothers and unborn children

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to another human being, a brother or sister, is a wrong that harms our fragile humanity. We work and pray for the day when this truth is widely accepted and laws permitting abortion are seen for what they are. ‘Our pro-life convictions have to be consistently expressed in action, in support of women who are trapped in difficult and painful circumstances and in support of the children they are carrying. ‘May God bless Ireland and its generous hearted people. May that love, in every family, be a protection for the unborn, whatever the law may now permit.’

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Cardinal Vincent has spoken in support of the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin following the Irish referendum. In a statement released 29th May, he said: ‘Today I offer my prayerful support to the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin, Eamon Martin and Diarmuid Martin, and their statements following the referendum in Ireland on changes to its Constitution. ‘Our commitment to mothers and their unborn children remains unchanged. We must do all we can to ensure that the deliberate taking of an unborn human life is not an option that anyone would choose. The denial of life

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The Annual Youth Interfaith Iftar was hosted this year by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at St John’s Wood Synagogue, London on Wednesday 30th June, and attended by Cardinal Vincent, Mayor Sadiq Khan, Bishop of London Rt Rev Sarah Mullaly, and young people from all three Abrahamic faith traditions. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Pastoral Letter: ‘Pray for all our priests.’ by Cardinal Vincent Nichols priests in England and Wales will be invited to come to Westminster Cathedral to celebrate together a Mass of thanksgiving and renewal. On that day too, we will gather around the precious body of St John Southworth, knowing that he will intercede for us. I hope and trust that you will do so too. At Mass today we heard these words: 'The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother's womb he pronounced my name' (Isaiah 49:1). Today around Westminster, to those impoverished and sick because of the plague. In 1637, he was again imprisoned. Again, he avoided trial and for 14 years continued his clandestine ministry in our streets, in and out of prison. Finally, in 1654, he was arrested and brought to trial. He refused to deny that he was a priest. The magistrate, sick of so many executions, reluctantly sent him to his death on the gallows. St John Southworth is a key patron saint of the priests of this diocese. He is an inspiration and an intercessor for us. We bring his body into the central aisle of the cathedral not only for his feast day but so that he is there among the candidates for the priesthood on the day of their ordination. During the singing of the Litany of the Saints, they will prostrate themselves, face down on the floor. In their midst will be the prostrate body of the Martyr. But he lies face up, reflecting the glory of God shining in him as he now enjoys the fullness of God's grace in heaven. He is indeed our special patron. Today I ask you to pray for all our priests. Pray particularly for the six new priests and the priest(s) serving in your parish. Our lives may not be as dramatic nor as full of public conflict as the life of St John Southworth. Yet we priests strive to express in our daily ministry exactly the same dedication to the mission of Jesus Our Lord as he did. Like

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him, we depend on the support and love of faithful people. For St John Southworth that was literally a matter of life and death. While that deadly drama has ended, over the centuries a marvellous tradition has remained of genuine love for priests and a readiness to support them, through thick and thin. I ask you, today, to continue that tradition and share it with your families. Of course, we priests and bishops are sinners. There is no hiding our mistakes and faults. Indeed, we have learned painfully, that trying to hide major failures, especially in relation to the most vulnerable, seriously compounds the failures and betrayals that so damages our shared mission. Today I express my sorrow at our failings and I ask for your patience, forbearance and, indeed, forgiveness. In the Church, we are bound together in Christ Jesus. He is full of mercy. We can only strive to show that mercy to each other, always and everywhere. In the months ahead, remembering Douai College and so many martyr priests, we will be striving to renew our priestly mission and purpose. As priests, we will try to encourage each other more steadfastly. This time of renewal will come to a key moment next year, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a day set aside by Pope Francis for prayer and renewal for all priests throughout the world. On that day, 28th June 2019, all diocesan

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Yes, Lord, I thank you every day. Amen.

Cardinal praises ‘selfless courage’ of police

© Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police

On the left-hand side of Westminster Cathedral, in the second side Chapel, lie the mortal remains of St John Southworth. In preparation for his Feast Day on 27th June, they move into the middle of the main aisle. St John Southworth has a very special place in our history and in our hearts. A Lancashire man, he had been ordained a priest in 1619 at the English College in Douai, in northern France, at a time when it was impossible to prepare men for the Catholic priesthood in this country. This year, Douai College is celebrating its 450th anniversary. We are all included in this celebration, for the College is a crucial part of Catholic survival and heritage, succeeded first by St Edmund's College in Ware, Hertfordshire, and then by Allen Hall, our own diocesan seminary. To be a Catholic priest in England in those days was considered to be an act of treason and punished by the cruel death of hanging, drawing and quartering. This is how St John Southworth died on 28th June 1654 at Tyburn, near Marble Arch in central London. By then he was no stranger to central London. His priestly ministry started in Lancashire. But after his first arrest, he was moved to a gaol in London. In 1630, he was spared execution and deported to France. He returned, determined in his mission, to minister in the streets of central London,

they are applied to St John the Baptist. Yet they are words of truth for everyone who hears them, for each of us has a Godgiven purpose in our lives. Pray, then, for each other, that you may all have that same sense of purpose and dedication in your life. Then you will pray with joy, as I do, the words of today’s Psalm: 'I thank you, Lord, for the wonder of my being' (Psalm 138).

Cardinal Vincent with Commissioner Cressida Dick at Metropolitan Police Annual Memorial Service At the annual Metropolitan Police Remembrance Service on 14th June, Cardinal Vincent paid tribute to the men and women of the Metropolitan Police ‘who strive courageously to serve our society, often without thought for their own safety’. He particularly remembered ‘those whose commitment to justice led them to respond with selfless courage in the tragedies’ that had hit London in the previous year, and especially those who ‘lost their lives confronting evil, protecting the vulnerable, pursuing the criminal’. The Cardinal spoke of this commitment to justice as a strength of police officers, just as compassion is a strength which Catholic priests display. ‘A partnership between justice and compassion is always Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

needed,’ he said, noting especially the partnerships that exist between the Church and Police in the fight against human trafficking, knife crime, and in face of violent attacks. Striving for justice and compassion, he explained, are virtues, the practice of which ‘takes us beyond every pragmatic calculation’, to a ‘wider horizon, to a yearning for something more’, to the source and origin which ‘since time began, men and women have called God’. With a ‘full heart, the Cardinal prayerfully commended to God ‘those whose memory we honour today’ and assured all the men and women of the Metropolitan Police of his thankful prayers for their protection and their ‘virtue in the pursuit of justice’ and ‘service in our society’. Page 5


Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Working for safer streets at St Mellitus, Tollington Park In the last year the Capital has seen a 21% increase in knife crime, according to figures from the Metropolitan Police. Between January and April 2018 alone this has included 1,296 stabbings, 46 of them fatal, contributing to London’s murder rate overtaking New York’s for the first time ever. This rise in violent crime is hugely troubling, leading many in London to question what we can do to support our community and protect people from this violence. For St Mellitus Parish in Tollington Park this issue hit especially close to home. In the last 10 years St Mellitus has tragically lost two young parishioners to knife crime. The St Mellitus Justice and Peace group decided to look into how they could help make their local

area safer. They began by raising awareness of the problem through an annual peace walk in memory of local victims. They also began working with London Citizens’ ‘CitySafe’ campaign, persuading local shops to become safe havens for those feeling threatened and unsafe on the streets. However, the continued rise in violent knife crime led to the parish thinking more about how they could help take knives off the streets. On 9th June they held their second knife search, where parishioners joined the police to search for hidden and abandoned knives, successfully finding and removing a large cache of weapons. Their main focus, however, has been finding a longer term

solution for removing knives. They are now raising money to install a knife bin outside St Mellitus. Knife bins are places where those who no longer wish to carry knives can dispose of them safely and discreetly. These bins have helped remove thousands of knives from the streets, collecting an average of 250 knives a year, and supporting the work of the local police. They are provided by a Christian charity called ‘Word 4 Weapons’; however they are costly to install and maintain, costing £10,000 for three years. Caritas Westminster have been supporting St Mellitus with this project. At Caritas we support parishes to respond to the needs of their local community through social action projects. One of the key

ways we can do this is through the St John Southworth Caritas Fund. This fund exists to provide support to those in crisis, and to offer seed funding to innovative parish projects which address local needs. We have been able to give funding and continued project support towards the St Mellitus knife bin, helping the parish to deliver their ambitious project. St Mellitus are now well on their way to securing enough funding for the knife bin to be installed. They will be holding fundraising and awareness raising events with the local community over the coming months. They will also be working with Courtyard to host a gathering called ‘Hope Together’, looking at the issues of knife crime and how Catholic communities can provide a

positive response. This is part of Courtyard’s wider work in the diocese to support young people on the edge of our communities. If you would like more information or to donate towards St Mellitus’ important project please visit their Just Giving page here https://www.justgiving.com/ crowdfunding/percy-aggett.

St Mellitus are raising funds for a knife bin, similar to this one outside St Ignatius, Stamford Hill

St Casmir’s retreat nurtures fullness of joy by Valdas Vitkauskas

Climate change has been at the forefront of media coverage and is one of the top political topics, occupying the attention of many. This is all for the right reasons. There is, however, another at least equally significant global challenge faced by societies today: the condition of the human spiritual heart. The most stable and predictable climate, thriving ecosystems and booming economies would mean little if our consciousness were confused and hurting from broken relationships, destructive desires and envy. But for some reason we do not hear much about the fundamental needs of the human soul in mainstream media and world leaders are yet to convene a meeting to debate it. No need to despair about that. We can and should work on these matters in our families and parishes, and in our Church. With this in mind, my wife and I joined the retreat that the Lithuanian Catholic community organised for our families over the May Bank holiday weekend. Nearly 150 women, men and children Page 6

gathered on the beautiful grounds of Alton Castle in Stoke-on-Trent to enjoy the communion, to pray and ponder the words from John 15:11 ‘...that your joy may be full’. The seeds of this joyful common time and effort will surely grow in each participating heart to bear fruit not just in abundance, but perhaps also in variety. One message that struck a chord for me was an invitation to recognise in every life experience an opportunity for advancing towards the fullness of joy and to take it as a precious gift, even when the event may be appalling by any other measure. In John Chryssavgis’ book on the spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Abba Zosimas explains the ways in which an inadvertent hardship can contribute towards building a more solid character. Such hardships in these particular situations can even be considered blessings, and those people who are used to deliver those hardships may be worthy of thanks and appreciation, rather than anger. Sometimes, to combat pride

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and foster humility, it can be helpful to experience unfair treatment. Abba Zosimas gives an example of a man called Moses, who used to be a leader of a gang of robbers before becoming a Coptic monk in the deserts of Egypt in the fifth century. Abba Moses experienced what sounds like nasty verbal racist abuse, yet remained unperturbed and firm, quoting the psalm ‘Then I shall not be ashamed’ (Ps 119.6). He saw the situation as an opportunity to grow and to help others grow. A more personal experience took place one Sunday afternoon as my wife and I were walking in London’s Victoria Park. Although we were speaking softly, two or three people who were passing by heard that we were not speaking English. One whispered in an angry halfvoice: ‘stinking foreigners’ and disappeared quickly into the crowd. There were two possible responses. I could become upset or even bitter and let it spoil the otherwise wonderful memories of my beloved wife’s company among the blooming cherry trees, which we enjoyed

together with many other happy people. Or I could protect and cherish every pure twinkle of the emotional warmth of that day and aim even further: to use the upsetting part of the experience as another building block for the foundations of the house that needs the solidity of a humble heart to be able to stand for the eternity. Abba Moses was able to achieve the better choice on his own. He was a monk who left the world and all he had to live seeking God in a harsh desert. I am not. I needed to grapple with these two choices for a week and then to go on the retreat and be surrounded for

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three days with the healing love of truly caring people, with prayers, spirituals talk and evening Adoration. These brought me much, much closer to the desired destination. Now I am back home and I feel strong enough to continue the journey. I want to thank most sincerely Fr Petras Tverijonas and all the volunteers for making it possible. The experience and memories we have from this retreat are not just about those three days. They continue in some subtle yet profoundly important way to shape and improve the lasting outlook on our entire past and future life.

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Breakfast time at Douay Martyrs Healthcare placements Westminster Record | July/August 2018

for St Thomas More pupils

the main focus in this endeavour, but that with the inclusion of all involved, they see this as a community activity bridging age, culture, race and role.’ The school is in its second year running the pre-exam

breakfast initiative, thanks to the continued support of local bakeries, staff and parents alike and with the assistance of the local community of Hillingdon who rallied together to support the students through this stressful time.

© Lewis Lab UC Davis

With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, Douay Martyrs Catholic School, Ickenham, used breakfast time to help foster a strong sense of community, a supportive atmosphere and sustained interaction between staff and students by coordinating a free, pre-exam breakfast run for students sitting their GCSE and A Levels. The junior students from Years 7 and 8 were also present, helping to serve toast, fruit and orange juice to the Year 11 and Sixth Form exam students. School Chaplain,Luisa Foley shares her view of the gathering, ’It is important that students see themselves, not as

This year, the Reach Out for Healthcare Science Programme has once again offered a

A meeting of generations in Yeading and Potters Bar special and moving occasion and I was delighted to share it with members of our school.It reinforced the fact that our grandchildren enrich our lives beyond measure.’

Canon Shaun Lennard led a special blessing for grandparents with the choir singing ‘Oh Danny boy’ and finishing with the Irish Blessing.

St Raphael’s School (above) and Pope Paul School (right) celebrating Grandparents

Two of our primary schools recently welcomed grandparents and older neighbours to special celebrations. On 25th May, St Raphael’s Primary School in Yeading held a Pentecost party, inviting elderly relatives and neighbours from their local community. After serving tea and cake to the guests, the pupils took the opportunity sit down with their grandparents and parishioners and talk. Children shared the joy of Pentecost with their guests by showing them the work they had been doing in their RE lessons. Caritas Development worker Edward De Quay, who has been helping the school with their social action work said: ‘I’ve been really impressed by the initiative and commitment shown by the staff and the thoughtfulness of the children. The Pentecost party was a wonderful culmination of

a year’s hard work!’ The afternoon provided the school children a greater understanding of the significance of Pentecost in the Church while also reaching out to their neighbours, who may be lonely. It gave grandparents and elderly parishioners an opportunity to share their faith with young people, and each other. As part of their celebrations for the Year of the Family, students of Pope Paul Catholic Primary School in Potters Bar welcomed grandparents to a special assembly to celebrate the blessing of having grandparents. The pupils shared poems and stories as grandparents enjoyed some tea and homemade cake. The grandparents were then invited into classrooms to meet the teachers and share a lesson with their grandchildren. Michael Kelly, Chair of Governors, said: ‘It was a very

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number of Year 10 pupils from St Thomas More Catholic School, who have a passion for science, placements on the programme. The placement is a fully-funded work experience taster week that aims to provide students with an awareness of career opportunities in healthcare science. Pupils experienced a range of practical workshops highlighting healthcare science career opportunities within busy London hospitals. Rita Manve a Year 10 student said ‘I am beyond excited and grateful to participate in the Healthcare Science Programme and happy that I was chosen out of many applicants. I really enjoyed exploring healthcare science and spending a week in one of the top universities.’

Page 7


Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Peter’s Way of the Cross at the Old Bailey

The Miracle of Lourdes

In late May, under the tenants of ‘mercy’ and ‘justice’ and watched over by a statue of Elizabeth Fry, the Victorian prison reformer, the choir of the Lourdes pilgrimage performed a unique and beautiful rendition of the Stations of the Cross in the upper hall of the Old Bailey. ‘Peter’s way of the Cross’ is a composition from Bernard Lavery and Giovanni Marseglia. Each Station comprises a meditation and a piece of sung Scripture. Meditations at the Old Bailey were read by actors from the Catholic Association for the Performing Arts, and the Scripture pieces were sung by parishioners from St John Fisher Parish in Shepperton, the Lourdes Choir and Canon Pat Brown. The concert at the Old Bailey took place at the invitation of Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, Recorder of the City of London, and organised by Bernard Lavery, Michael Slater and Sandra McGregor. Very few people get a chance to walk up the stairway above the courts to see the very beautiful upper hall. The rendition of the Stations fit exquisitely with the images of St Paul and Moses adorning the ceilings. Previously ‘Peter’s Way of The cross’ has been performed in Shepperton and recently at Our Lady of the Holy Souls in Kensal New Town. Proceeds from the evening will assist sick and disabled pilgrims on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes this summer and a recording or video of Peter’s Way of the Cross will be made at some time in the near future. Page 8

In just a few weeks’ time over 600 people from our diocese will travel to the south of France with Cardinal Vincent to Lourdes, that truly wonderful and inspiring place where the things of heaven touch the things of earth. They will be going on pilgrimage for many reasons. Some will come hoping for a burden to be lifted from their lives. Others will come to help the disabled and the frail; others to offer prayer and intercession at Our Lady’s Shrine; and some will come simply to stop and stare. Hopefully all will be inspired to pray. Now of course Lourdes is well know for the miraculous healings that have occurred and continue to occur there. And although many have been healed, and I would go so far as to say that every pilgrim returns home healed in some way, the number of miracles that are formally recognised by the Church is small, only 70, and perhaps you ask, why is this? Well, the simple answer is that the Shrine needs to be 100% certain about such things. And so the inevitable question arises how does the Church determine the veracity of any alleged miracle cure? Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself and we should begin by asking, what does the Church understand by the term miracle? And here I am grateful to a wonderful paper written by Mgr Charles Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta, and published in the Bulletin of the Lourdes International Medical Association in Oct 2013. Archbishop Scicluna quotes Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, better known as Pope Benedict XIV: ‘What do we understand by the word “miracle”? Let me start with a quote: “Miraculum propriae et stricte sumtum definitur quod sit id quod fit praeter ordinem totius naturae

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creatae.” (A miracle is properly and strictly speaking defined as that which is done outside the order of created nature.) And as such a miracle must have four other important characteristics: a) that it betrays that it is done by God; b) that it is not done with the power of words like, for example, occurs in the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord during the Holy Mass; c) that it is beyond all ordinary causality; d) that it is accomplished to confirm the faith of someone, or to give witness to the holiness of the same.”’ His article goes on, at length, to explain these grounds, but there is not room for more in this space. Suffice to say that when someone approaches the medical bureau in Lourdes today, they are advised that they are embarking on a journey, a journey which may not always be comfortable, a journey which may not always reach the destination they would expect; for not all cures are deemed miraculous. But, in all cases testimony is taken and medical evidence is gathered, but always in the light of these studied provisos:

So let us look at her journey! Sister Bernadette was born in 1939. At 19 she entered the religious life and studied to be a nurse. Sadly, at 27 she started suffering terrible pain and was soon confined to a wheelchair. Numerous operations took place, but to no avail, and all medical treatments seemed useless. Her active life was over. In 2008 she went to Lourdes and received the Sacrament of the Sick. She returned home as poorly as the day she'd set out, but within days, at the same time as the Eucharistic Procession was taking place in Lourdes, whilst in church for Adoration, she recalled the strong emotions she'd experienced at the blessing of the Sick in Lourdes. She felt an

unusual sensation and an inner voice asked her to remove all of her medical supports. Her pain was gone, her body was healed! Numerous, and extensive medical examinations in 2009, 2013 and 2016, made it possible for the Medical Bureau to decide on the nature of the unexpected, instantaneous, complete, lasting and unexplained character of the cure. And so it was confirmed that this cure is the 70th miracle of Lourdes. Yes, the journey is arduous but how wonderful are God's works! Gracious Father, we thank you that you are a God of miracles who hold the universe in your hands. Thank you for this wonder-filled life!

a) The patient’s original diagnosis must be verified and confirmed beyond doubt. b) The diagnosis must be regarded as incurable by current means. c) The cure must happen in association with a visit to Lourdes. d) The cure must be immediate, complete and permanent. Now last February, I was in Lourdes for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and with immense joy the huge congregation listened, with wonder and thanksgiving, as the Bishop of Lourdes pronounced the 70th miracle of Lourdes: the healing of Sr Bernadette Moriau. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Summer Breaks by Deacon Adrian Cullen

A ‘summer break’ can sometimes mean just that: that something has changed, that there is a break from the old in preparation for something new. It may be that you are just making a break in your usual work routine and having a summer holiday. It is a chance to break out the new holiday wardrobe with clothes that suit the weather, and make you feel a new person, at least for a short while. For students, end of the summer term sees the old academic year being left behind and a new year of studies or even the first real job beckoning… well maybe not

just yet. A summer holiday first! While for newly-married couples who had planned hard for their spring wedding, they are now taking their first tentative steps together as a married couple with all its joys and challenges. In amongst the constant moving forward in life, the summer break can give time to re-assess priorities. It is an opportunity to break away from what was old and out of date, and to go forward with a new sense of purpose. This can be the same in parish life. There might be changes in the parish as familiar

faces move on and new personalities arrive. Parents, whose children are looking ahead to the next school year when their child is to make their First Holy Communion or their Confirmation, are now pleased to be more involved in making the parish an active community. For young people coming home from college or starting a married life together, they suddenly become more visible as they seek new ways through parish life to strengthen old friendships and make new ones. There may be a new member of the parish team, perhaps a new catechist or even a new parish

priest or assistant priest, who brings new ideas and ways of working. These changes can provide fresh opportunities for individuals to grow as members of a vibrant, parish community. For the parish, the changes may show the future in a new light and signal a new start in responding to the Church’s missionary call, so that, with ‘new ardour, new methods and new expression’, the parish becomes a truly ‘missionary parish’, forming ‘missionary disciples’. This active and welcoming community then is able to bring the Good News to some for the first time, and to

others, those who are already baptised but who have wandered away from the Church or have become lost, the missionary parish will help them to meet Jesus once again, as if for the first time! To turn those ‘summer breaks’ into lasting and positive change within the parish will require hard work, cooperation and innovation. For ideas on how this might happen, see the Proclaim website pages https://rcdow.org.uk/faith/eva ngelisation2017/ Deacon Adrian Cullen Evangelisation Coordinator adriancullen@rcdow.org.uk

Jubilation at Wembley Parish On Thursday 31st May, a thanksgiving Mass celebrating the Golden Jubilee of ordination of Fr John Menonkari CMI, Parish Priest at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Wembley was celebrated by Bishop John Sherrington and attended in large number by parishioners and well-wishers.

Serving as a Parish Priest at Wembley since 2006; the respect, love and affection of the parishioners was evident in their presence at Mass and the reception held after. In his homily, Bishop John reflected on Fr John’s journey, ‘Looking back with gratitude to God for the blessings of 50 years’, his life that has been a

’witness to prayer, steadfast fidelity, sacrifice’ and most importantly, ‘a witness as a member of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate’. In gratitude for the ’seeds that led to priesthood’ in Fr John’s life, Bishop John spoke of ’sacrifice for the good of others in priestly service’.

Jubilarians Fr Christopher Gawecki (L) and Fr Andrew O’Connell (R) with Cardinal Vincent Nichols at the special Mass held on 12th June.

Fr John Menonkari (R) of Bishop John Sherrington at the Jubilee Mass in Wembley Parish

CTS: 150 years of evangelisation To mark the 150th anniversary of the Catholic Truth Society (CTS), Cardinal Vincent, along with bishops and priests from the around the country, celebrated a thanksgiving Mass at Westminster Cathedral on 19th June, the anniversary of the death in 1903 of Cardinal Vaughan, who founded the CTS. In his homily, Cardinal Vincent spoke of Cardinal Vaughan’s two great legacies: Westminster Cathedral and the CTS. Like the beauty of the cathedral, which is ‘purposeful’

and ‘there to lead us towards Jesus Christ, who is our Truth,’ the ‘truth which the CTS seeks to disseminate in its publications engages and transforms’ and ‘points the way to Christ our Truth’. The Cardinal noted: ‘Boxtenders and parish “reps” of the CTS down the ages were and are agents of evangelisation. Those who write the pamphlets did so and do so, in the end, to kindle a flame of love for the things of God, to whet the appetite for more.’

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As publishers to the Holy See since 1964, ‘the CTS has played a pivotal role in communicating the teaching of the Magisterium,’ he added. Giving thanks for CTS’ 150 years, the Cardinal said: ‘it is our fervent, and confident, prayer that the truth to which the Society has borne such steadfast witness in past years will, in the years to come, bring many to a deeper appreciation of the beauties of our Catholic faith, and inspire them to live that beauty in the goodness of their lives’.

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Bishop Nicholas Hudson and Bishop John Sherrington recently returned to their student roots, to celebrate Bishop Nicholas’ fourth anniversary of episcopal ordination on 4th June. They celebrated Mass at Fisher House, the University Chaplaincy at Cambridge, where they both attended, and were welcomed by the chaplain, Mgr Mark Langham, another Westminster priest and editor of Westminster Record. They are pictured with some of the students who served at Mass. Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

Page 9


Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Corpus Christi: ‘With suppliant hearts we come’

by Fr Mark Vickers

At the conclusion of the Quarant’Ore at Westminster Cathedral Page 10

procession wound its way from the Assumption, Warwick Street to St James’s, Spanish Place. While the procession led by the Cardinal through Covent Garden was a particularly joyous occasion, marking as it did, the elevation of the church of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane to the status of a diocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

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In Hatfield priests and people followed Our Lord from Marychurch to St Peter’s, pausing at St Philip Howard School, where an altar had been erected in the grounds for Exposition and quiet reflection. The First Holy Communion children led the way, singing and praying the Rosary. The looks of intrigue and curiosity witnessed to the impact on bystanders in this part of Hertfordshire. Fr James Neal led the parishes of Northolt and South Harrow in honouring the Most Holy Eucharist. The faces and posture of the parishioners speak volumes. Shepherd’s Bush followed the format adopted the preceding year. Beginning at the Good Shepherd School, the First Holy Communion children led parishioners in praying the Rosary. The parish then processed singing down a busy

© James Turner

This took many forms from quiet parish celebrations to the larger events in central London. The Cathedral hosted the Forty Hours’ Devotion, starting with Mass celebrated by the Cardinal on Thursday, 31st May and ending with Mass celebrated by Bishop John Sherrington and a procession on Saturday, 2nd June. The established West End

© Oremus

Thank-you to all the parishes who responded to the Cardinal’s request for some form of public worship of Our Eucharistic Lord around the Solemnity of Corpus Christi as part of the preparation for Adoremus, the Eucharistic Congress to be held in Liverpool between 7th and 9th September.

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Askew Road to Benediction in the parish church which was followed by a parish picnic in Ravenscourt Park. In every case the joy was evident at the presence of Jesus amongst us, from older parishioners who reminisced about processions of the past, to the young who experienced this part of our Catholic identity for the first time.

At St Philip Howard School, Hatfield Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

On the steps of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane

Bearing witness in the streets of the West End

Kneeling in Adoration in Hatfield Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

© Mazur/catholicnews.org

West End Blessed Sacrament Procession arriving at St James’, Spanish Place

© James Turner

Bringing Christ to the piazza in Covent Garden

© James Turner

© Mazur/catholicnews.org

Many parishes mark the Solemnity of Corpus Christi with a Blessed Sacrament procession. Never underestimate the impact of taking Our Lord out into the streets, both for our own people and the wider community. While recognising the potential advantages, it might seem rather daunting to organise a procession: just another thing to fit into a busy Sunday schedule. With a little organisation, it is not at all burdensome; any effort is amply repaid by the spiritual benefits received.

In Northolt Planning is crucial. Put the date in the parish diary the preceding year. If you have the procession in the First Holy Communion programme, then you guarantee a good attendance. Most Blessed Sacrament processions give a role to the children in their First Holy Communion clothes. There is no problem persuading them to wear them again in honour of Jesus. Invite the whole parish and school community to participate. Use the homily, newsletters and catechesis to explain the nature and purpose of the procession to those who might not be familiar with it. Timing? Will a procession work better after the final Sunday morning Mass, or on a Sunday afternoon? Route? The distance should be meaningful, but remembering that there will be both little people and the less mobile in the procession. Plan the route carefully so that there will be public witness, but with traffic in mind. Your circumstances will determine

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whether it is better to start and end in church, or to start at the school/hall and process to the church. If the distance is significant, you might have ‘stations’ along the way, with the monstrance placed on temporary wayside altars. What will be the format? Our parish began by exposing the Blessed Sacrament at the school, the children led the rosary, then we processed singing to the church for Benediction. Having a booklet with the prayers and hymns is helpful. Ask volunteers to act as stewards and first aid officers. Have the choir in the procession to lead the singing. Rehearse the altar servers. Provided the procession is continually moving, you should not require permission. But it is a good idea just to check with the police and Highways Department, especially if using a particularly busy route. Surprisingly little is required for a procession: a monstrance, thurible, cross and torches. You may well find a canopy or ombrellino lurking in some far recess of the sacristy. It is a great opportunity to give the parish banners an outing. Weather? Prayer, rather than preparation, is important here.

If faced with rain, will you announce the procession is cancelled at the morning Masses or is there an alternative indoor route in the church, hall or school? Finally, consider keeping people together for some social celebration afterwards. We go from Benediction to a ‘parish picnic’ in the local park. Religion, food and drink: the essence of Catholicism! One procession planned on the grand scale is that to be held on the afternoon of Sunday, 9th September in the vicinity of the Metropolitan Cathedral during Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool. Pray for the participants – or come and join us. There are no tickets required for the procession itself.

In Shepherd’s Bush

Bookings close on 31st July 2018

Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

Page 11


Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Corpus Christi: ‘With suppliant hearts we come’

by Fr Mark Vickers

At the conclusion of the Quarant’Ore at Westminster Cathedral Page 10

procession wound its way from the Assumption, Warwick Street to St James’s, Spanish Place. While the procession led by the Cardinal through Covent Garden was a particularly joyous occasion, marking as it did, the elevation of the church of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane to the status of a diocesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

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

In Hatfield priests and people followed Our Lord from Marychurch to St Peter’s, pausing at St Philip Howard School, where an altar had been erected in the grounds for Exposition and quiet reflection. The First Holy Communion children led the way, singing and praying the Rosary. The looks of intrigue and curiosity witnessed to the impact on bystanders in this part of Hertfordshire. Fr James Neal led the parishes of Northolt and South Harrow in honouring the Most Holy Eucharist. The faces and posture of the parishioners speak volumes. Shepherd’s Bush followed the format adopted the preceding year. Beginning at the Good Shepherd School, the First Holy Communion children led parishioners in praying the Rosary. The parish then processed singing down a busy

© James Turner

This took many forms from quiet parish celebrations to the larger events in central London. The Cathedral hosted the Forty Hours’ Devotion, starting with Mass celebrated by the Cardinal on Thursday, 31st May and ending with Mass celebrated by Bishop John Sherrington and a procession on Saturday, 2nd June. The established West End

© Oremus

Thank-you to all the parishes who responded to the Cardinal’s request for some form of public worship of Our Eucharistic Lord around the Solemnity of Corpus Christi as part of the preparation for Adoremus, the Eucharistic Congress to be held in Liverpool between 7th and 9th September.

Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

Askew Road to Benediction in the parish church which was followed by a parish picnic in Ravenscourt Park. In every case the joy was evident at the presence of Jesus amongst us, from older parishioners who reminisced about processions of the past, to the young who experienced this part of our Catholic identity for the first time.

At St Philip Howard School, Hatfield Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

On the steps of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane

Bearing witness in the streets of the West End

Kneeling in Adoration in Hatfield Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

© Mazur/catholicnews.org

West End Blessed Sacrament Procession arriving at St James’, Spanish Place

© James Turner

Bringing Christ to the piazza in Covent Garden

© James Turner

© Mazur/catholicnews.org

Many parishes mark the Solemnity of Corpus Christi with a Blessed Sacrament procession. Never underestimate the impact of taking Our Lord out into the streets, both for our own people and the wider community. While recognising the potential advantages, it might seem rather daunting to organise a procession: just another thing to fit into a busy Sunday schedule. With a little organisation, it is not at all burdensome; any effort is amply repaid by the spiritual benefits received.

In Northolt Planning is crucial. Put the date in the parish diary the preceding year. If you have the procession in the First Holy Communion programme, then you guarantee a good attendance. Most Blessed Sacrament processions give a role to the children in their First Holy Communion clothes. There is no problem persuading them to wear them again in honour of Jesus. Invite the whole parish and school community to participate. Use the homily, newsletters and catechesis to explain the nature and purpose of the procession to those who might not be familiar with it. Timing? Will a procession work better after the final Sunday morning Mass, or on a Sunday afternoon? Route? The distance should be meaningful, but remembering that there will be both little people and the less mobile in the procession. Plan the route carefully so that there will be public witness, but with traffic in mind. Your circumstances will determine

Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

whether it is better to start and end in church, or to start at the school/hall and process to the church. If the distance is significant, you might have ‘stations’ along the way, with the monstrance placed on temporary wayside altars. What will be the format? Our parish began by exposing the Blessed Sacrament at the school, the children led the rosary, then we processed singing to the church for Benediction. Having a booklet with the prayers and hymns is helpful. Ask volunteers to act as stewards and first aid officers. Have the choir in the procession to lead the singing. Rehearse the altar servers. Provided the procession is continually moving, you should not require permission. But it is a good idea just to check with the police and Highways Department, especially if using a particularly busy route. Surprisingly little is required for a procession: a monstrance, thurible, cross and torches. You may well find a canopy or ombrellino lurking in some far recess of the sacristy. It is a great opportunity to give the parish banners an outing. Weather? Prayer, rather than preparation, is important here.

If faced with rain, will you announce the procession is cancelled at the morning Masses or is there an alternative indoor route in the church, hall or school? Finally, consider keeping people together for some social celebration afterwards. We go from Benediction to a ‘parish picnic’ in the local park. Religion, food and drink: the essence of Catholicism! One procession planned on the grand scale is that to be held on the afternoon of Sunday, 9th September in the vicinity of the Metropolitan Cathedral during Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool. Pray for the participants – or come and join us. There are no tickets required for the procession itself.

In Shepherd’s Bush

Bookings close on 31st July 2018

Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

Page 11


Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Enduring truth of Humanae Vitae: A call to ‘I think, first, that it is important to realise that most people have got the contraceptive aspect of Humanae Vitae entirely out of proportion. As Cardinal Heenan said: If the Pope had wanted to confine himself to a prohibition of contraception, he could have done it in a simple sentence. Instead, he wrote a lengthy document which covered a much wider field and we should all realise that there is a great wealth of positive teaching to be found in Humanae Vitae which has considerable relevance.’ With these words Bishop William Gordon Wheeler of Leeds began an address to his clergy following the promulgation of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 Encyclical Letter on the subject of how spouses are to properly regulate the transmission of new human life. To say that Humanae Vitae was controversial would be an understatement. The welldocumented response and ensuing crisis sent shock waves which still reverberate today. For those eager for change in Church teaching it was a tragic missed opportunity to extend the aggiornamento of Vatican II into the sexual ethics of marriage. For those convinced by the pre-existing tradition and teaching, it confirmed an essential and integral vision of the human person and spousal relationships. Sadly, disagreement led some to depart from ministry and membership of the Church. Despite best attempts to maintain unity, the fallout opened deeper questions about magisterial authority, the exercise of conscience, the place of lay consultation, the status of human experience, and pastoral strategy. The negative reaction was forceful and outspoken. Yet, there was also another narrative, that of those who believed Pope Paul VI was speaking a timeless truth, even if few doubted it was not an easy one to live by. For couples and clergy who embraced the message of Humanae Vitae, there was more here than a prohibition of artificial contraception. Page 12

The fiftieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae will inevitably bring forth a rehearsal of the history and arguments of 1968 and its aftermath. The most convincing witnesses to the beauty of its teaching are spouses who inhabit the divine and human truths it sets forth. The spiritual and moral virtues required are not to be underestimated and those who struggle must always be the subject of the Church’s compassionate and merciful accompaniment. To whatever degree claims are made that Humanae Vitae is ignored in practice, there are, nonetheless, husbands, wives, and families who, today, fifty years on, make Pope Paul’s words become flesh. The ‘wealth of positive teaching to be found in Humanae Vitae’ was highlighted by the philosopher and theologian Janet E Smith in her 1991 treatise Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later. Two particular insights help to tease out the richness of Pope Paul’s affirmation. The first concerns the concept of munus. The Latin word munus can be translated in a variety of ways and is used often in Church teaching on marriage. We find it both in Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, and in Humanae Vitae: ‘Let all be convinced that human life and [the munus of] its transmission are realities whose meaning is not limited by the horizons of this life only; their true evaluation and full meaning can only be understood in reference to man’s eternal destiny.’ (GS 51) ‘God has entrusted spouses with the extremely important [munus] of transmitting human life. In fulfilling this mission spouses freely and deliberately render a service to God, the Creator.’ (HV 1) Smith notes that munus could be translated as ‘gift,’ ‘wealth and riches,’ ‘honour,’ or ‘responsibility’. It could also be rendered as ‘duty,’ ‘role,’ ‘task,’ ‘mission,’ ‘office’ or ‘function’. She states that both in Scripture and in St Thomas Aquinas, munus is linked with

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the grandeur and distinction of mission, ministry, and apostolate, and with duty in the sense of holding an important office. In relation to spouses, munus conveys the special assignment of childbearing which God entrusts to them. Translations of Humanae Vitae which begin speaking of the ‘serious duty’ given by God to parents therefore set the wrong tone. While one may perform a duty reluctantly, out of obligation or responsibility, the invitation here is to something far more honourable and majestic. Smith traces how this varied understanding of munus, as mission, role, office and vocation, is used in the documents of Vatican II; but always with the emphasis on its God-given nature and origin. It is prevalent throughout Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, and in Gaudium et Spes in the sections dedicated to marriage and conjugal relations. Spouses are described as having a ‘lofty calling’ (‘praecellenti...munere’, 47), and the ‘sublime office’ (‘sublimi munere,’ 48) of parenthood, fortified by their loving conjugal relations. Spousal parenthood is depicted as having specific roles and obligations (munera), dignity and office (munus), strengthened by the sacrament of matrimony (48-49). It is Gaudium et Spes 50 which draws together the implications: ‘Married couples should regard it as their proper mission (missio) to transmit human life (officio humanam vitam transmittendi) and to educate their children; they should realise that they are thereby co-operating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. This involves the fulfilment of their role (munus) with a sense of human and Christian responsibility...’ Further emphasis follows on the ‘duty (munus) of procreating’ and of carrying out such a ‘God-given munus (mission or task, commissio a Deo) by generously having a large family’ (GS 50). For

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by Bishop John Wilson

‘...human life and its transmission (munus eam transmittendi) are realities whose meaning is not limited by the horizons of this life only…’ (GS 51). The marital munus conferred externally by God on spouses has, for those who accept and attempt to live it out, corresponding ‘internal benefits’ namely ‘the growth in virtue and perfection.’ The tremendous good for spouses of begetting and raising children in turn helps them advance virtuously in holiness. This ‘internal aspect’ of the munus draws upon the personalist philosophy of Karol Wojtyla, subsequently Pope St John Paul II, which emphasises the development of the ‘self’ as closely connected to the moral choices we make. It is through our moral choices, through

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personalist values, and especially the values of generosity and self-mastery, that we can progressively and continuously transform ourselves into better and more authentic human beings. This is not some kind of ‘muscular Christianity,’ but the exercise of the virtues and the practice of chastity. In this process of selftransformation, through our good moral choices, we not only become more like Christ, but we participate in Christ’s office and task, his munus, as priest, prophet and king. Thus, to share in Christ’s mission, his munus, is not just a matter of external action, but also of internal attitude: ‘to be a priest, one must be self-sacrificing; to be a prophet, one must evangelise; and to be a king, one must govern - and govern one’s self above all’ (Smith, P 143).

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

share in the creation of God’s kingdom The latter translation can cause confusion. Smith comments that some understand this to mean that Humanae Vitae teaches that whenever a couple engage in sexual intercourse they must be open to new life being conceived, that is, they must be intending and desiring to have a child (Smith, Pp 118-128). The teaching that each and every conjugal act must be ‘ordered in itself to procreation’ refers not to the subjective nature of the act in terms of what the spouses desire or intend. It is not about whether they want a child or not when they make love. The teaching that each and every conjugal act must be ‘ordered in itself to procreation’ refers to the objective nature of the act of sexual intercourse. It is about respecting procreation as an essential aspect of why God made us male and female destined for one flesh union. Spouses should, therefore, do nothing themselves to artificially inhibit this natural end of procreation. Thus, a couple who use thermo-symptomatic family planning, for instance, and a couple who use barrier or hormonal methods may both have the same subjective desire that they do not wish to conceive a child at the present time. Similarly, both

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For Smith, numerous and great goods result from the munus of transmitting life, from the experience of parenting, and from establishing a family, and raising children. Besides being a place for the cultivation of virtues and Christian values, the family helps parents to mature as human beings and provides a valuable and stable reservoir of love for the whole of society. When spouses impede the procreative power of their sexual acts they impoverish the full grandeur of the munus entrusted to them. Smith says this undervalues the position of the family, leads to selfishness, and, by limiting God’s action, therefore spouses also limit his blessing of children consequently removing a source of their own human and Christian maturation and perfection. Through marriage God offers spouses a share in the goods of his kingdom and calls them to co-operate in the munus of initiating new life, so benefiting themselves and society. This is not merely biology, but providence. Conjugal sexual intercourse, furthering both the unitive good, the strengthening of the spouses, and the procreative good, in having children, forms the essential component of this munus, ordered by God to the flourishing of spousal love and the creation of new sharers in his kingdom (Smith, Pp 145-148). A second insight from Janet Smith into Humanae Vitae concerns the notion of openness to life. What is often described as the core teaching of Humanae Vitae occurs in paragraph 11 which Smith translates as: ‘…it is necessary that each and every conjugal act remain ordered in itself (per se destinatus) to the procreating of human life’. The phrase ‘ordered in itself’ replaces the more common translations based on the Italian text which read: ‘…each and every conjugal act must be open (from the Italian ‘aperto’) to the transmission of life’ (Pp 281,321).

consciously intervene to effect this desire, and to the same extent given the capacity for objectively similar rates of success or failure. For Smith, however, the distinction arises in that the couple using the former methods co-operate with God-given nature – that is to say with the natural programme of fertility/infertility - to conceive or space births. Natural fertility awareness respects the processes God has created, and engenders in the couple the virtues of mutual respect, selfrestraint and generosity. It offers a distinct and unique approach to conjugal living and loving. More recent theological exposition of Humanae Vitae,

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through the work of scholars like Janet Smith, and especially through Pope St John Paul II’s monumental Theology of the Body, provide an articulation of the Encyclical’s teaching to new generations. Within a spirituality of spousal communion, those born decades after 1968 are finding wisdom and beauty in its truths, summarised in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: ‘The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of spouses takes place are noble and honourable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude. Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure.’ (CCC 2362) The most recent endorsement of Humanae Vitae comes from Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, on the joy of love in the family. It emphasises Humanae Vitae’s

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teaching on ‘the intrinsic bond between conjugal love and the generation of life’. This, he writes, is a message ‘we need to return to,’ one in which the methods used to regulate birth are based on the ‘laws of nature and the incidence of fertility,’ thus respecting ‘the bodies of the spouses,’ encouraging ‘tenderness between them,’ and favouring the ‘education of an authentic freedom’ (AL 68, 82, 222). Spouses who live this teaching are the expert witnesses and teachers of the Church in this arena. In 1968, Bishop Wheeler asked people to consider Humanae Vitae ‘from the point of view of God and eternity,’ making room for those ‘spiritual values,’ which take us beyond ‘a merely materialistic outlook’. This remains good and pertinent advice fifty years on. This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of the Catholic Medical Quarterly.

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Youth Director’s Spotlight

Andrezj Wdowiak Director of Youth Ministry In June 2018 we celebrated the 25th birthday of SPEC. Located at the All Saints Pastoral Centre (ASPC) near St Albans in Hertfordshire until the end of 2018, SPEC is dedicated to providing a space for children and young people to retreat from the busyness of daily life in order to reflect on, and hopefully experience, the presence of God in their lives. It is also a place of formation for the volunteer missionaries who join us to share in the life and work of the community. The primary purpose of SPEC is to offer residential retreats, the continuity of the good work of ASPC promised at the time of acquiring the current SPEC property at Waxwell Lane in Pinner in 2011. The residential retreats were put on hold during the development of a new purpose-built retreat centre but from January this year we have finally been able to keep the promise and have restarted residential retreats. I sometimes wonder how many people do actually know what SPEC stands for and realised that there is a number of explanations. I selected two: Fr Vladimir Felzmann refers to it as S-piritual P-eer Educational C-entre while at the Westminster Youth Ministry we tend to refer to SPEC as Spirtual and P-ersonal Encounter with C-hrist. I think both are true because the first one refers to a spiritual place while the second emphasises the spiritual nature of our relationship with Christ. Going on retreat is an ancient Church tradition that often combined a literal journey to a shrine or other holy place with an interior journey of reflection. SPEC offers a modern take on the same experience: retreatants travel to a new place that connects them to this rich Page 14

tradition of retreat and Catholic sacramental worship. The fusion of historic and modern architectural features and the timeless natural beauty of the grounds, as well as the novelty and variety of activities available through the programme, give participants space to reflect and discover things about themselves that might have remained hidden in the routine of their daily lives. There are two types of retreats at SPEC Retreat Centre: residential and day retreats. The idea of a day retreat and residential retreat could be explained by referring to the former as seed sowing and the latter as planting and growing. Generally, day retreats can see high numbers but they tend to have much less impact on the individual than do residential retreats. The aim of residential retreats is to deliver the Gospel message to young people in an environment where they are open and receptive to it. The residential retreats help to build community among young people and promote a sense of faith and belonging. They also provide opportunities to move from passive participation to active acceptance of the message of Christ in the environment where individual questions on faith, needs and concerns can be met. It is also a chance for many Catholic children and young people in our schools and parishes to

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Youth Chaplain’s Corner have a deeper experience of faith. In the first three months of the current calendar year we have hosted 35 day retreats and 10 residential retreats attended by a total of 1046 young people. Retreats are delivered by a team of Retreat Leaders and the SPEC Community made of volunteer missionaries. They are absolutely essential to the retreat centre and, without them, a lot of work simply would not be possible. Currently there are two retreat leaders supported by 11 volunteers. We are currently recruiting two more retreat leaders and the new team of volunteers for the SPEC Community to start in September. If you know of good candidates, please encourage them to apply. Volunteers recruited for the community spend a minimum of one year following a formation programme during which they deepen their faith and learn how to run retreats. This is also often time of personal discernment about their own vocation. SPEC Retreat Centre and Centre for Youth Ministry form Westminster Youth Ministry located at 125 Waxwell Lane in Pinner. For details on how to book a retreat or become a volunteer of SPEC Community please visit http://dowym.com/spec or call us on 0203 757 2500

Fr Mark Walker Youth Chaplain In July, Westminster Youth Ministry has the pleasure of going on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes and working with the Redcaps, the young people who spend the week looking after those with particular needs, whether through age, ill-health or other conditions. It’s easy to fall into pessimism when talking about young people in the life of the Church: ‘They don’t come to Mass anymore’, ‘they don’t see the Church’s teaching as relevant’, ‘they don’t contribute to the Church’, are sentiments I sometimes hear expressed. Lourdes, however, is a place where that pessimism evaporates and one can see some of the great things young people are capable of and how they make a positive

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contribution to the Church: their generosity in giving up time and money in the summer to come on pilgrimage; their kindness in devoting a week to the service of others; their compassion in helping those when they need it; their enthusiasm and willingness to participate, especially when tired; their eagerness to celebrate; and their moving and sometimes surprising expressions of faith. Others have commented how wonderful it would be if one could bottle the ‘Lourdes spirituality’ and bring it home, so that the atmosphere of prayer, sanctity and service of the Lourdes sanctuary need not be something one only senses during a week of pilgrimage but as a constant part of life. One of the challenges of youth ministry is trying to harness the innate joy and enthusiasm of young people, which is displayed so beautifully in Lourdes, and help them to express it back home in their own particular circumstances. The Church would be much richer for it. May Our Lady of Lourdes protect us on our pilgrimage and bring us home safe and renewed in love for her Son, so that we may better serve our neighbour in the world.

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Inside the hospice: Angels

SPEC: Its conception and birth

by Fr Peter Michael Scott

by Fr Vladimir Felzmann

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with some healthcare chaplaincy students about accompanying patients who find the prospect of dying frightening. We talked about God intervening when the chaplain is lost for words or ideas. I told the students about my experience with Thomas (not his real name), a lovely man in his late forties who had Down’s syndrome. When I was a hospital chaplain, Thomas was admitted with heart failure and was expected to die quite quickly. Due to the remarkable care of the cardiac team, Thomas stabilised and he and I had long conversations about the future and the likelihood that he would die quite soon. Understandably he found this very difficult, but nonetheless wanted to talk about it. We explored the Scriptures and we prayed, but he still remained anxious and scared. I too worried, as I never like to leave a patient fretful. During this time Thomas was able to enjoy the visits of his two best friends, Sharon and Richard. These three friends would disappear down to the canteen and chat and laugh and occasionally attempt to dance to whatever music was blaring out of the radio in the kitchen. Due to their joy of being together, they quickly became firm favourites of staff. Eventually, Thomas became tired and slowly slipped into a coma. Sharon and Richard visited him and cardiac staff told them that Thomas could still hear. They held his hand and told him not to worry but to let himself be welcomed by God. Later that evening, long after his guests had left, Thomas pushed himself into consciousness and asked to see me. When I arrived, Thomas was still awake and his speech was slurred and breathless. ‘Fr Peter,’ he said, ‘I wanted you to know that everything is good. I saw two Angels, and they looked like Sharon and Richard, and I can go now.’ Thomas died peacefully an hour later. Whenever I recount the story of Thomas I find myself tearful, not just at the death of this remarkable man, but also about how God used him to reassure me. Please pray for the patients, staff, volunteers and sisters of St Joseph’s Hospice.

In 1985, Cardinal Basil Hume invited people familiar with youth work to a conference at All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney. He wanted to renew the diocesan provision for young people.

At one of the breakout sessions during which, in small groups, we were to come up with ideas, Reg Dunkling. then a seminarian at Allen Hall who was very keen on Lourdes, and I, having been chaplain and head of RE at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School for almost 12 years prior to my job at the cathedral, and being very keen on residential retreats, came up with the idea of an end-of-season, Lourdes retreat for young adults. As soon as I presented the idea to Fr Basil, he said ‘Excellent idea, Vlad. Please organise it.’ Therefore, in October 1986, during the half-term holiday, six coaches departed from the cathedral for an overnight journey to Lourdes. Westminster Young Adults Pilgrimage (YAP) to Lourdes was born. The retreat was deemed a huge success and repeated annually. Peer-education in a residential context showed that it did help young people find and be committed to God in their lives. Consequently, as soon as Fr Basil returned from his postChristmas break in January 1989, he sat me down and said: ‘Vlad, we have to do something to help young people find God in their lives. I don’t know what that is, but would you do it?’ Then, having been Abbot and knowing how hearts and minds work, he added: ‘I can

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think of someone to run the seminary, the university chaplaincy and our cathedral but I can’t think of anyone but you to do this.’ So, naturally I replied: ‘Yes. Of course.’ To which Fr Basil added ‘And, I am sure you could also organise our diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes.’ I repeated: ‘Of course.’ Thus I was appointed Diocesan Director of Pilgrimages and Diocesan Chaplain to Young People, responsible for youth aged up to 16 years and young adults, aged 16-25. So, in July 1990, while still investigating buildings around the diocese where we could set up a residential peer-education centre where the Lourdes YAP experience could be replicated and sustained, off I went with some 1,300 of the faithful from Westminster on our first Westminster Diocese Pilgrimage, led by Cardinal Basil Hume, to Lourdes. Having scoured many venues around the diocese, finally Cardinal Hume and John Gibbs, the Financial Secretary at the time, drew my attention to a building, soon to be vacated at All Saints Pastoral Centre (ASPC), London Colney. It needed a fair bit of TLC and some building work. The centre also needed a name.

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Praying for enlightenment, my eye caught a mirror in my bedroom. That’s it, let’s call it ‘The Mirror Centre’. Reflect, as in ‘look at yourself’ and ‘reflect, think’. However, ‘The Mirror’ was the name of a newspaper! So, in Latin? Speculum Vitae: mirror to life and mirror of life. Too long. So let’s call it SPEC. It is, of course, the acronym for a Spiritual, Peer Educational Centre, which Supports Preevangelisation, Evangelisation and Catechesis. I had invited Sheila O’Donnell of the Upper Room Community in St Alban’s to YAP as one of our keynote speakers. After her presentation, chatting over a drink, she inquired what I was up to in my day job. Having told her about the Peer Education Centre I was setting up she said, ‘what a providential meeting. My sister Sandra and her husband David, who wants to leave the City, are thinking about setting up something very similar.’ I went to see Sandra and David Satchell, and, in due

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course, they joined the team. Sandra would run the programmes and team. David would look after the admin. We worked hard to recruit our first Peer Evangelising Team. After SPEC had been working for some eight months, it was officially opened by Cardinal Hume in 1993. SPEC focused on secondary schools, Sixth Form colleges and parish Confirmation groups. Rapidly, it became clear that children needed to interface with God at earlier ages. So, having accessed the National Lottery Funding necessary, the LOFT, its name coming from its location in the ASPC loft, was launched in 1998. It concentrated on primary schools and parish First Holy Communion groups. By the time SPEC and LOFT@SPEC had moved to its new home in Pinner, we were working with some 14,000 young people a year. I spent 20 years at ASPC, the longest I have stayed anywhere. Beautiful memories. Thank God.

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Providing comfort in times of distress at sea by Greg Watts

‘Although ships and ports have become more automated and crew are looked after well with access to communication facilities and shore leave, they still need access to welfare and emotional support to nurture friendships and attend to their spiritual needs. Bago, the AoS port chaplain in ‘We’re able to make use of Antwerp, where the ship was our network of global chaplains sailing to next, so Mass could be celebrated on board the ship to ensure continuous support for seafarers’ who need it no when it arrived. matter which port in the world ‘There was a sense of relief among the crew after Mass was they find themselves in.’ As Catholics, at times we said and the blessing given,’ can take the sacraments and our said Fr Jorgedy. ‘They were local parish for granted. But really comforted to have a Catholic seafarers can go for chaplain on board. They also months without any contact spoke about their families back with the life of the Church. This home and life on board the is where AoS comes in. ship. The captain was so Sea Sunday is 8th July this thankful and asked for holy year, when the Church asks us water to be provided.’ to pray for seafarers and AoS development director John Green said, ‘At the heart of support the work of AoS, whose chaplains and ship the container industry are the crews on the ships who, day in, visitors provide practical and pastoral help in ports around day out, keep it moving in all the coast of Britain. AoS is sorts of conditions. For nearly unique in being the only 100 years, AoS has provided Catholic agency serving the port chaplains to look after the maritime industry. welfare of these seafarers.

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Last year, when the container ship CMA CGM Africa Four called at the port of Tilbury in Essex, the crew contacted the seafarers’ centre and asked for Mass to be said on board and for the ship to be blessed. Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplain Wojciech Holub visited the ship to meet the seafarers. ‘The men, Filipino and Romanian nationals, seemed very anxious and were desperate for a service to be held,’ he said. ‘I asked them what was troubling them and it turned out that, while they were berthing in Dakar, Senegal, a sailor who was lining a small boat had got caught by the propeller and was pulled underwater. ‘His body was recovered three days later. The crew were left upset and distressed by the incident.’ Wojciech made arrangements for Mass but it could not be held because the ship had to leave earlier than its original time of departure. So he contacted Fr Jorgedy

A new Kindertransport campaign by Barbara Kentish

Around 40 people crowded into St Andrew’s Chapel at Westminster Cathedral on 15th June to mark the beginning of Refugee Week. The service drew much inspiration from the 2018 peace message of Pope Francis. He had visited refugees in Lampedusa and called for the spirit of welcome spelled out by Jesus in the gospels, of course, pointing out that this needs a framework. Participants also remembered the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport, which welcomed 10,000 children from Nazi Germany between 1938 Page 16

and 1940, and prayed that we might show this same generosity to young migrants today. On the theme of migrants and journeys, Fr John Scott, who led, reminded us that St Andrew and the apostles were also migrants, on a mission to spread the message of the Kingdom of God, and how fitting it was to be praying for migrants’ safe journeys in this chapel dedicated to this early traveller. CAFOD’s theme of ‘Share the Journey’ was marked with testimonies from migrants around the world. A workshop followed, led by Alistair Rooms of the campaign Safe Passage. He explained how the Kindertransport celebration was inspiring the call for the government to welcome 10,000 young over 10 years by local authorities from around the UK, and asked participants to take up the cause in their parishes and local authorities. Councils would have to agree to take only one, two or three children for this to

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work. At the launch in June, the leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council has undertaken to accept 100 children. What an inspiring start to the new Kindertransport campaign! There are many examples of outreach that the diocese is already providing: Bakhita House, the support of Community Sponsorship of Syrian families, Olallo (Safe) House, parish drop-in centres, the Catholic Worker houses, the Notre Dame Refugee Centre, and support of Maria Skobstova House in Calais (our recent donation will be put towards renovating or replacing the ancient van which ferries supplies around from one migrant group to another). Adopting this campaign is another example of the commitment to the Gospel mandate of welcoming the stranger. The Lampedusa Cross provides an effective reminder and beacon of the hope we need to carry out this difficult task.

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Pope’s Prayer Intention: Praying for our Priests Lord Jesus, In your immense kindness, you called men of generous heart to be workers of your harvest. I appreciate the examples of these men who are dedicated to the service of their communities, living examples of the values of the Gospel. I pray especially for priests who are experiencing great difficulties, loneliness, fatigue and discouragement, that you may be their strength and that every Christian may accompany their pastor during their time of need. Challenges for the month: - Pray, in your parish or worshipping community, for priests, especially those who are tired, lonely or discouraged.

by Fr David Stewart SJ Every priest, at some point, will recognise this statement, usually uttered in all innocence: ‘Ah, but Sunday’s your busy day, isn’t it, Father?’ Rarely would this be said with any malice, although maybe with a little touch of gentle teasing. Priests work hard and wouldn’t complain; they feel sure that it’s part of their vocation, but some do work too hard and risk burning themselves out, even permanently damaging their health. The Pope is well aware of this and has selected, as his Intention for this month of July, Priests and their Pastoral Ministry. He asks us to pray with him ‘That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests’. Several studies have, in recent years, revealed that loneliness is an increasing problem in our advanced cultures, even described as a ‘silent epidemic’. We are more connected, digitally, than ever before but despite that, or possibly because of it, we are increasingly lonely. Some studies have found that 18- to 24-yearolds are four times as likely to feel lonely all the time as those aged 70 and above. But we know also that many elders are

afflicted by loneliness. Studies have shown also that chronic loneliness in older adults greatly damages their health, often leading to dementia or allowing it to take hold. Thirdly, loneliness among men is now acknowledged as a serious problem. A UK survey this year showed that eight million (35%) men feel lonely at least once a week and nearly three million (11%) feel it daily. Even more sad was the finding that over one in 20 men (7%) count themselves as having no friends; of the remainder, nearly one in 10 (8%) have no close friend. More than one in 10 men told the survey that they are lonely, but would not admit it to anyone. All of this is at least as likely to happen to our priests as to anyone else among the faithful. Priests are not superhuman, either in terms of their capacity for work or in their need for companionship, indeed for intimacy. Voluntarily foregoing the closeness of their own families by marriage, and often separated in time and space from their own natural nuclear families, they try to be available to a wider family. The Pope’s Intention foregrounds the problems: that priests do experience fatigue and loneliness but also that they need intimacy with the Lord and friendship, not least among their brethren.

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In many areas, priests now work and live alone. Some may not see another priest for days, even weeks at a time. While there are always numerous lovely stories of how parishioners do befriend and support their priests, such as providing a welcoming table or hearth to a man otherwise living alone, there are many reports of the opposite: isolated men, wrapped up more and more in their work, struggling with personal prayer while trying to guide others in the interior life. Sadly, and not infrequently, we know of cases where this has led to addictive behaviours of various kinds, on occasion with awful outcomes and harm done to innocent people. We humans are not meant to be alone or isolated. We are made for each other, we are made for community and it is in human community that we grow and flourish. This deep truth about ourselves applies just as much to the priests in community called Church; ordination confers no immunity from human vulnerability. The Church is the entire community of Christ’s followers; not the hierarchy, the bishops, or the priests although this key insight of the Second Vatican Council has still not take root fully, even fifty years on. The priest

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members of this community need the prayers and support of the rest of the members as much as any others so, praying with the Pope this month, we might all be reminded that they do experience fatigue and loneliness at times. Perhaps we might even encourage them to take time with their brother priests. With St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, we should also pray for all our priests, remembering as she did ‘the priest who baptised me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way. O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity – Amen.’ Prayer Moment: Find a moment of quiet and recognise that you are held in God’s gaze; be still and let a prayerful silence take hold of you for a few moments. Bring to mind some of the priests you know, perhaps those whom St Thérèse suggested. Ask the Good Spirit to touch these men and to build up their intimacy with Jesus. Then recite this prayer:

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- Ask the parish priest, or chaplain, if he is alright, if he needs any help, affirming your closeness to him and his mission. - If you are a priest or religious, ask yourself if the Lord is truly your source of peace and hope. If necessary, seek out spiritual help and guidance. Prayer to the Heart of Christ for your Parish Priest, Chaplain or Pastor: Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose Heart constantly burns with love for us, hear our prayers today for our priests. We ask you to bless and keep close to your Loving Heart our Parish Priest Father ………. Inflame him with a love for you and for all people so that he may increasingly become a shepherd after your own Heart. Consecrate to your Heart all the priests of our diocese, both those still working in parishes and those who have retired. Through your great mercy bring our priests who have served us but have since died into the glory of heaven. Amen. (Adapted from the Prayer for Priests composed for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles, Scotland).

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Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Saint of the Month: St Elizabeth of Portugal

© Fr Lawrence Lew

Elizabeth (or Isabel, the Spanish form of the name) was the daughter of King Peter III of Aragon and the pious Constancia. Born in Saragossa, Spain in 1271, she bears the title of peacemaker, as the existing differences between her father and grandfather seemed to have vanished while celebrating the joy of her birth. As a young child, Elizabeth exhibited virtues like piety, charity, mercy, patience and kindness. Her father often remarked that she would grow up to surpass all the women in the royal court in accomplishments. Named after her great aunt, St Elizabeth of Hungary, Elizabeth had many role models in the family whose religious fervour encouraged her all the more to live a life of piety. Prayer in the form of daily Mass and fasting with severe penance were a part of Elizabeth’s young life. There was nothing harsh about her penance as she was very loving and charitable in her work towards the poor and needy. Her accomplishments were known through all the royal courts of Europe and many a prince’s son asked for her hand in marriage. At the age of 12 she was married off to King Dennis of Portugal who at the time was 20. They were blessed with two children, a daughter, Constantia and a son, Afonso. She continued serving the sick and poor even when married and worked especially with Page 18

lepers who were despised by many. She was known to bring lepers home, clean their wounds and bandage them while also giving them a change of clothes and a hot meal. Elizabeth is commonly represented in images with an apron full of roses. King Dennis was informed of his wife’s charitable works and warned of the effect this would have on his fortune. One day, he decided to accompany Elizabeth on her daily strolls to help the poor and needy when he noticed that she had hidden something beneath her apron. Elizabeth indeed had bread hidden to feed the hungry. On being asked, she replied that they were roses she was carrying to decorate the altars in the monastery. It was the month of January, when roses never bloomed and to the king’s surprise, Elizabeth opened her apron which was miraculously filled with fresh roses. Dennis apologised to Elizabeth although he could not comprehend how this was possible. Dennis was fond of his wife, he did not quite understand her pious ways and often faltered into sin, fathering seven children with other women. Elizabeth agreed to look after these children and educate them. Growing up, Elizabeth’s son Afonso resented the favour Dennis showed towards one of his illegitimate children and wished to make war on his father. True to her title of peacemaker, Elizabeth rode in person between the opposing armies and stopped father and son from going to war. Elizabeth was upset about her husband’s sinful ways, less because he was unfaithful but more so as he was offending God. She prayed with great devotion and did many a penance on her husband’s behalf to win him back. Eventually, her prayer and patience bore fruit in converting her husband who asked forgiveness of her. King Dennis died in 1325 and his son Afonso succeeded him. Soon after her husband’s death, Elizabeth retired to a convent of Poor Clares, devoting her life to the poor and the sick. When Afonso’s daughter Maria was given in marriage to

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Summer Liturgy In Memoriam July Programme at 1 Mgr Anthony Howe (2011) Ealing Abbey The following are offered as part of the summer Liturgy Programme at Ealing Abbey, validated by KU Leuven: 16th-27th July: Pastoral Liturgy: Rev Dr James Leachman OSB Western Liturgical Books: Rev Dr Daniel McCarthy OSB Liturgies of the Early Church: Rev Dr Ephrem Carr OSB 6th-17th August: Research Seminar: Christian Initiation Proficient Latin for Liturgists (and Canonists) To register, contact 020 8862 2156, email il@liturgyinstitute.org Pope’s Prayer Intention for July and August: JULY Priests and their Pastoral Ministry That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests. AUGUST The Treasure of Families That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity. the King of Castile she was mistreated and neglected by her husband. Afonso was enraged and waged on war with the King of Castile. Elizabeth, who was old and frail by this time, still intervened to stop the warring armies by making peace arrangements. The exertion took a toll on her health. She developed fever and died peacefully in 1336 urging her son to love holiness and peace in her last moments. She was buried in the convent of Santa Clara in Coimbra. After her death, many miracles were attributed to her intercession which contributed to her canonization by Pope Urban VIII in 1625. Her feast day is celebrated on 4th July.

August

1 Fr Richard Johnson (1992) Fr Ignatius Tonna (1993) 3 Fr William M Brown (1989) 2 Fr Thomas Stack (1984) Fr George Ennis (2007) Fr Michael Archer (2014) 4 Fr Joseph Anthony Carr (1999) 3 Mgr Canon John Mostyn 6 Fr Terence Wardle (2010) (1981) 7 Canon Alfred Cuming (1978) 5 Fr William Lynagh (1977) Fr Frank Morrall (1995) Fr Alan Fudge (2011) Fr John Power (2002) 6 Fr Anthony Sacré (2015) 8 Fr Joseph Gardner (1992) 9 Fr John Greene (1980) 9 Fr Christopher Pemberton 11 Fr Laurence Allan (1981) (1983) Fr Guy Martin Heal (2009) Fr John Norton (1989) 12 Fr Roderick Cuming (1981) 10 Fr Peter Harris (1976) Fr Wilfrid Soggee (1990) Fr Thomas Kelly (1983) Fr John Milne (2001) 12 Fr Daniel Higgins (1996) Fr Joseph Finnegan (2002) 14 Mgr Canon Joseph Williams Fr John D’Arcy Dutton (2013) 14 Fr Philip Dwerryhouse (1986) (1991) 15 Fr John Adam (1979) 15 Fr Christopher McKenna Fr Bernard Mortimore (1980) (2003) 16 Canon Denis O’Sullivan (1983) 16 Fr Michael Giffney (1987) Fr Peter Latham (2005) Canon John McKenzie 17 Mgr Walter Drumm (2015) (1988) 19 Canon George Davey (1986) 17 Fr Horatio Hosford (2014) Fr Leslie Cole (1997) 19 Fr Peter Pearson (1971) 20 Cardinal Bernard Griffin (1956) Canon Peter Gilburt (2017) Fr Joseph McVeigh (1977) 21 Canon Philip Moore (1976) Fr Desmond Mullin (1988) Fr Anthony O’Sullivan (1997) 21 Fr Percival Fielden (1990) Fr Norman Kersey (1999) Fr Edward Houghton (2009) Canon Herbert Veal (2005) 24 Fr Patrick Cassidy (2007) 22 Fr Tom Allan (2007) 25 Fr James Gunston (1972) 26 Fr George Fonseca (1998) Mgr Canon Herbert Haines Fr David Roderick (2005) (2004) 27 Fr Graham Feint (2000) Fr Raymond Legge (2015) 28 Fr Ralph Gardner (1976) Fr Sean McWeeney (2016) Fr Patrick Whyte (1988) 26 Fr Thomas Kilcoyne (1972) Deacon Sydney Adams Fr Peter Keenan (1984) (2005) 27 Mgr John Coonan (1979) 30 Fr Calum Maclean (1982) Fr Norman Wrigley (2015) 29 Fr Edward Fowler (1973) Fr Vincent Commerford Fr Michael Lynam (1984) (1997) 31 Fr William Rees (1984) 31 Fr Malachy Riddle (1969) Canon Maurice O’Leary (1997) Fr Albert Vaughan (1995) Summer Accommodation in London: Allen Hall Seminary offer comfortable rooms surrounded by beautiful gardens and chapel in central London in the month of July and August. Rooms from £50 per night (including breakfast). For details, email: allenhall@rcdow.org.uk or tel: 020 7349 5600 (option 0).

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Events & Calendar

REGULAR EVENTS

Westminster Record | July/August 2018

Liturgical Calendar - July/August

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. Our Lady of Walsingham Prayer Group First Tuesday of the month 2.30pm to 4.15pm in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral. Details: antonia@walsingham.org.uk

Vocations Prayer Group Second Tuesday of the month 8pm at 47C Gaisford Street NW5 2EB. Taizé at St James’, Spanish Place W1V 3QY every first Tuesday of the month at 7pm. Email: penny28hb@aol.com or just come along.

WEDNESDAYS

Corpus Christi Contemplative Prayer Group for Young Adults Wednesdays from 7pm at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB. Contact corpuschristipg@yahoogroups. co.uk Our Lady, Untier of Knots, Prayer Group of Intercession every third Wednesday at St Anselm & St Cecilia, Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3JA. Mass at 6pm followed by Prayer Group. Rosary, Adoration, silent prayer and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Email Antonia antonia4161@gmail.com.

THURSDAYS

Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament first Thursday of the month, Mass 6:30pm at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB followed by Adoration and Benediction. www.sodality.co.uk

Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life (JCFL) provides a space for Christians of different traditions to join together in prayer and friendship. For further details please visit www.jcfl.org.uk. NFG Prayer Group weekly at 8pm for praise & worship followed by a social. Held in St Mark’s Room, Christ the King Church, Cockfosters N14 4HE. Contact Fr Christophe: christophe.brunet@cheminneuf.org. Soul Food A Catholic charismatic prayer group for young adults Thursdays 7-9pm at St Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street W1W 6HS. Details 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 every Friday 7.30pm Prayer, Praise and Teaching. First Friday is a healing Mass. For details, call 020 8748 2632. Queen of Peace Prayer Group at Our Lady of Lourdes, Acton W3 8AA. After 7pm Mass, Exposition, a homily, Holy Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Friday prayer meeting 1:30pm to 3pm with Adoration in St Matthew's Hall, Northwood, Middx HA6 1DW except 1st Friday. Summer break- August. Contact Patricia 07918128248

SATURDAYS

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

Love heals Body, Mind & Spirit One-day retreat on last Saturday of every month (except December) at Church of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory, Warwick Street W1B SLZ. Contact Eileen 0208 542 2476. Seven-day retreat to Portugal from 6th-12th September. Contact Eileen 0208 542 2476.

Carmelite Spirituality Group meet first Saturday at St Joseph’s Church, Bunhill Row EC1Y 8LE. 11.30-15.30 for prayer and reflection. Enquiries: Sylvia Lucas 07889436165. Catholic History Walks costing £5 (concession available). The West End: 2nd July 6pm; for King & Country: 11th July 6.30pm. For details, contact chwalkslondon@gmail.com.

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1 Sun 2 Mon 3 Tue 4 Wed 5 Thu 6 Fri 7 Sat 8 Sun 9 Mon

10 Tue 11 Wed 12 Thu 13 Fri 14 Sat 15 Sun 16 Mon 17 Tue 18 Wed 19 Thu 20 Fri 21 Sat 22 Sun 23 Mon 24 Tue 25 Wed 26 Thu 27 Fri 28 Sat 29 Sun 30 Mon 31 Tue 1 Wed 2 Thu 3 Fri 4 Sat 5 Sun 6 Mon 7 Tue or 8 Wed 9 Thu 10 Fri 11 Sat 12 Sun 13 Mon

DEDICATION OF THE CATHEDRAL Feria, 13th Week of the Year ST THOMAS, Apostle Feria or St Elizabeth of Portugal Feria or St Anthony Zaccaria Feria or St Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr Friday abstinence Feria or Blessed Virgin Mary +14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, Sea Sunday Feria, 14th Week or St Augstine Zhao Rong & Comapnions, Martyrs Feria ST BENEDICT, Abbot, Patron of Europe Feria Feria or St Henry Friday abstinence Feria or St Camillus de Lellis, Priest or Blessed Virgin Mary + 15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Feria, 15th Week or Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feria Feria Feria Feria or St Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr Friday abstinence Feria or St Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest & Doctor or BVM + 16th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME ST BRIDGET OF SWEDEN, Patron of Europe Feria, 16th Week or St Sharbel Makhluf, Priest ST JAMES, Apostle Ss Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary Feria Friday abstinence Feria or Blessed Virgin Mary + 17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Feria, 17th Week or St Peter Chrysologus, Bishop & Doctor St Ignatius of Loyola, Priest St Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop & Doctor Feria or St Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop or St Peter Julian Eymard, Priest Feria Friday abstinence St John Vianney, Priest +18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME + THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD Feria, 18th Week or Ss Sixtus II, Pope & Companions, Martyrs St Cajetan, Priest St Dominic, Priest ST TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS, Virgin & Martyr, Patron of Europe ST LAWRENCE, Deacon & Martyr Friday abstinence St Clare, Virgin +19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Feria, 19th Week or Ss Pontian, Pope, & Hippolytus, Priest, Martyrs

14 Tue 15 Wed

St Maximilian Mary Kolbe +THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY 16 Thu Feria or St Stephen of Hungary 17 Fri Feria Friday abstinence 18 Sat Feria or Blessed Virgin Mary 19 Sun +20th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 20 Mon St Bernard, Abbot & Doctor 21 Tue St Pius X, Pope 22 Wed The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary 23 Thu Feria, 20th Week or St Rose of Lima, Virgin Friday abstinence 24 Fri ST BARTHOLOMEW, Apostle 25 Sat Feria or St Louis or St Joseph Calasanz, Priest or BVM 26 Sun +21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 27 Mon St Monica 28 Tue St Augustine, Bishop & Doctor 29 Wed The Passion of St John the Baptist 30 Thu Feria, 21st Week or Ss Margaret Clitherow, Anne Line and Margaret Ward, Martyrs 31 Fri

Feria or St Aidan, Bishop, and the Saints of Lindisfarne Friday abstinence

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Other regular Masses Deaf Community Mass First Sunday of the month 4.30pm at Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue Young Adults Mass with an Ignatian twist

Every Sunday at 7pm. Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street Contact: yam@mountstreet.info or visit www.pathwaystogood.org Mass at Canary Wharf Held Tuesdays at 12.30pm at 2 Churchill Place E14 5RB. Organised by Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Chaplain to Canary Wharf Communities. Details at www.cwcc.org.uk.

St Alban’s Abbey Fridays at 12 noon. Mass in the Lady Chapel of St Albans Abbey AL1 1BY. Members of the Westminster LGBT Catholic Community are specially welcomed on 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month for Mass at the Immaculate Conception Church, Farm Street at 5.30pm, and invited to the parish hall afterwards for tea/coffee, where there is anopportunity to learn of pastoral help available. 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 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 4pm, Lady Chapel, Westminster Cathedral SW1P 1QW. Second Saturday only. Page 19


Westminster Record | July / August 2018

The Legacy of the English College, Douai

In the first of two articles commemorating the foundation of 450th anniversary of the English College in Douai, Fr Nicholas Schofield, Diocesan Archivist, relates the story of its establishment and some of the developments that have left a lasting legacy.

Cardinal Willian Allen Little remains today of the English College at Douai, founded 450 years ago this year. The Place Carnot, which stands on the site, is an open space with bus stops, a Domino’s pizza and (perhaps a nod, intended or not, to its English connections) a Brasserie named after St George. One of the few survivals, the tabernacle that once stood in the College church, was restored by the local museum for the 450th anniversary. Elsewhere in the town, there is a shrine to the Douai martyrs in the Collegiate church and the Association William Allen keeps the memory of the Grands Anglais alive. William Allen, the future cardinal, opened the English College on 29th September 1568. The town seemed a good location for such an enterprise: situated near the Channel, the university had recently received its charter from Philip II of Spain and was already the home to many British Catholic exiles. The college was founded with the help of John Vendeville, regius professor of canon law at Douai and a future bishop of Tournai. Full of evangelical zeal, he had long been interested in the training Page 20

of priests and his proposals were in part adopted by the Council of Trent, which decreed the foundation of diocesan seminaries across the Catholic world. That is not to say that the college was founded with this purpose in mind. Initial priorities revolved around uniting the exiles and providing the resources for Catholic scholarship that could no longer be found at Oxford and Cambridge. The Jesuit Fr Persons affirmed that ‘there was no intention at all (as I have often heard Dr Allen affirm) of the end of returning again into their country to teach and preach’. However, it is perhaps natural that the eyes of the exiles should begin to look longingly to the other side of the channel, especially as numbers increased and those who had completed their studies had little to do. The college thus became a celebrated school and seminary, the first in the Anglophone world, and produced a new type of missionary: the ‘seminary priest’, highly trained in theology and controversy, and eager to return to his homeland, despite the obvious dangers. The first to leave Douai for England was Lewis

Published by The Diocese of Westminster, Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 1QJ. Printed by Trinity Mirror, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 8EP. All rights reserved.

Barlow, ordained in 1574 and back on English soil the same year. In 1577 Cuthbert Mayne became the first ‘seminary priest’ to be executed. Nearly two-thirds were imprisoned at some point and a total of 116 were executed during Elizabeth’s reign. The first years of the college were marked by financial difficulties and concerns surrounding security; it proved easy enough for the English authorities to plant spies and this led to the custom of students and staff adopting aliases (sometimes several of them). Further trouble was caused by the fact the Low Countries were a hothouse of religious politics. Indeed, for most of its history the college was affected by the seesaw of European politics and between 1578 and 1593 the college was relocated to Rheims. What was life like at the English College in the time of Allen? As might be expected, there was daily Mass, weekly reception of Holy Communion, prayer using the method of St Ignatius Loyola and twice weekly fasting for ‘the conversion of England’. The academic syllabus was partly influenced by the Jesuits and included a comprehensive grounding in scholastic theology (particularly that of St Thomas Aquinas) but the course was adapted to suit future missionaries in Protestant England. Much attention was paid to preaching, disputation and the study of Sacred Scripture, the chief ‘weapon’ used by Protestant controversialists. The timetable included daily Scriptural lectures, classes in the Biblical languages, readings from the holy book at meal times and regular debates on disputed points.   The college also sponsored a translation of the New Testament in 1582, made by Gregory Martin, Thomas Worthington, Richard Bristow, John Reynolds and, of course, Allen (all of them Oxford men). The volume included extensive notes and, although

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it was described as a translation from the Vulgate, use was clearly made of the existing English Bibles of John Wycliffe and Miles Coverdale. The Old Testament followed in 1609-10, which meant the complete ‘DouaiRheims Bible’ was already available by the time the King James Bible was produced in 1611. Indeed, the New Testament of 1582 was one of the sources used by the translators of the King James. The text was later revised (essentially retranslated) by Bishop Challoner (1749-52) and others, and the Douai-Rheims remained standard among English-speaking Catholics up until the second half of the twentieth century. The English College, therefore, was not simply a convenient centre for disgruntled exiles but a forward-looking place of education and formation. Its staff included some of the most

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celebrated minds of the day – not only those who helped translate the Bible but Thomas Stapleton, who Clement VIII thought so highly of that he had his works read to him during dinner. It would leave a lasting legacy on the English Catholic community.

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Westminster Record - July/August 2018  
Westminster Record - July/August 2018