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Westminster Record June 2014 | 20p

Catholic Grandparents Association launched

Remembering Cardinal Basil - 15 Years on

Walking the Camino de Santiago

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Hearing the Call

You very generously gave to the Special Collection on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (Good Shepherd Sunday) and part of your gift funds what our image shows: the handing on of the faith which is the work of Allen Hall Seminary. This is just what St Paul wrote about to the Corinthian church: “in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself” (1 Cor. 15:3). The training and pastoral experience of seminarians are designed to make them willing servants of God and of us all. In this month when our priests keep their

anniversaries of ordination, we rejoice that they will be joined in the priesthood by four more men and also by Mgr Nicholas Hudson as he is ordained for service as a bishop here in Westminster. The reality of God’s call in the Church’s life will also be emphasised in the ordination of three new Permanent Deacons to serve parishes of the Diocese. At Mass we pray for “all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith”. May our hands and hearts be open to receive what they are called to hand on in Word and Sacrament.


Editorial Westminster Record – Contact us

Westminster Record | June 2014

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Editor Bishop John Arnold Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QJ Managing Editor Marie Saba 020 7798 9031 Inhouse writers Alex Balzanella 020 7798 9178, Chris O’Callaghan 020 7798 9030 & John Scott 020 7798 9035 Design Julian Game Proofing Michael Holmes, John Scott To order copies contact Andrea Black 0161 214 1216 or email andrea.black@thecatholicuniverse.com Print management and distribution by The Universe Media Group Ltd.

July publication dates Editorial Deadline: 12 June Listings email: communications@rcdow.org.uk News and stories call 020 7798 9178 communications@rcdow.org.uk Advertising Deadline: 20 June To advertise call 0161 214 1200 Produced by the Communications Office of the Diocese of Westminster. News and articles published in Westminster Record do not necessarily represent the views of the Diocese of Westminster, unless specifically stated.

In this month’s edition of the Westminster Record you will find articles that concern the past and the future. There are memories of Cardinal Hume, as some of those who knew him and worked with him look back on his ministry, fifteen years after his death. We look forward with news of the

ordinations of a new Auxiliary Bishop for Westminster, Nicholas Hudson, and the ordinations of deacons and priests for ministry in Westminster, due in the coming months. These are signs of hope. Ministers in the Church need our prayer and encouragement as they undertake their ministry to those in their pastoral care. We also celebrate a group of people who want to bridge the past and the future by drawing on their experience and wisdom and investing it in the younger generation. Members of the Catholic Grandparents’ Association gathered in Westminster Cathedral Hall in May to further their aims of learning how best they may strengthen the family, and use their role as teachers, companions and friends to their grandchildren. In so many instances these days both parents are working and

many grandparents have the opportunity to spend more time with their grandchildren. In what is so often a fastchanging and confusing world, grandparents can bring a sense of stability and calm and can teach so much through their lived faith. There is a lesson here for all of us. Our lives are full of events and experiences, some more important and pleasant than others, but they all have value. In the rush of our lives we run the risk of not valuing our experiences, with gratitude for the good things we receive and learning from our mistakes or missed opportunities. A little time given to reflecting on the events of the day can greatly enhance our own selfunderstanding and may well be a source of true wisdom.

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Bees Swarm to Westminster Cathedral The roof of Clergy House behind Westminster Cathedral became home to 5,000 bees on Friday 16 May when they were moved from Topshop on Victoria Street after collecting on the display windows of the store. Within minutes trained beekeepers arrived on the scene to relocate the bees. According to Sarah Dorgan, Cathedral facilities manager, who looks after the two resident hives of the Cathedral, the bees had settled on the glass to protect their queen while

awaiting the return of scouts who had been sent out to find a suitable location for a new home for the hive. Upon arrival the beekeepers enticed the queen bee onto a frame, with the worker bees following immediately. The frame was then inserted into a ‘nuc’ (short for nucleus colony), which is a special box designed to house the hive. The bees are currently happily resting on the roof of Clergy House awaiting relocation at the start of June.

One of the ‘Cathedral Bee Gang’, the beekeepers caring for the resident bees, was delighted to take them as she was looking for a colony to keep in her garden. After their adventures at Topshop, Sarah said they behaving on the roof. ‘They have a delightful temperament and we checked on them over the weekend (17/18 May) and gave them Ambrosia (liquid food) to help them get established and continue to thrive’.

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News

Westminster Record | June 2014

hen it was announced in January that Archbishop Vincent was to be elevated to the College of Cardinals, the faithful of the three dioceses with which he had been most closely connected made a collection to honour the event. The Cardinal asked that this be offered in his name to the suffering Church in the Holy Land through the charity that he had helped to found, the Friends of the Holy Land (FHL), and on 14 May he presented the charity with a cheque for £85,000. Jim Quinn, FHL’s Chairman, said: ‘This very generous gift is a further mark of the Cardinal’s concern for the Christian people and communities of the Holy Land. We are deeply touched and

inspired by it and thank him most warmly.’ The charity plans to use the gift on a project to build ten affordable apartments and on improving water storage for local families in the Bethlehem area. The Cardinal also used the occasion to encourage the faithful to join him in prayer in solidarity with Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land, ‘We wanted to give very clear and profound support that way by reaching out in prayer.’ The Holy Hour took place in many parishes across the Diocese on 25 May and coincided with the Pope’s meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem, marking the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.

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Cardinal affirms link to Holy Land W

Cardinal Vincent presents the cheque to Peter Rand and Jim Quinn to support projects in the Holy Land

Catholic Grandparents’ Association Launched On 9 May grandparents came from across the country to Westminster Cathedral Hall for the launch of the England and Wales Catholic Grandparents’ Association. Speakers at the event included Cardinal Vincent and Bishop John

Arnold. In his address Bishop John praised the important work of grandparents, saying: ‘You represent an important initiative which will benefit those who have so much to offer in wisdom and experience to a younger

generation. Grandparents have always had a privileged and valued role in the intimacy of family and home. You have a privileged opportunity to pass on the Faith through your guidance and love.’ The interest in an

Convent of Jesus and Mary to adopt London Living Wage association for grandparents developed from the annual Grandparents’ Pilgrimages, to Walsingham, Knock and Aylesford, where thousands of grandparents have gathered in recent years, united by the aim of doing the best they can for our children and grandchildren. For more information on the Catholic Grandparents’ Association and becoming part of the Diocese of Westminster network of the CGA, please contact Edmund Adamus, Director of the Office for Marriage and Family Life, edmundadamus@rcdow.org.uk

We want your News

The Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in Willesden is to adopt the London Living Wage, following a successful petition by students at the school. After Fairtrade Fortnight, students began to look at issues closer to home and realised that there are Fairtrade issues on our doorstep too. Using resources from the Catholic Education Service, students made a presentation to the School’s Governing Body, asking it to implement the London Living Wage for all the adults who work in school, a proposal to which the Governors have agreed.

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News

WestminsterWestminster Record September Record | June2011 2014

St Monica’s: A century of witness A lmost a thousand parishioners of St Monica’s, Palmers Green, gathered to celebrate the church’s centenary on Sunday 4 May. A special Mass, at which Cardinal Vincent Nichols presided with former parish priests Fr Brian Creak and Fr Roger Taylor, with 40 altar servers, was transmitted to a screen in the adjacent Intimate Theatre as there wasn’t enough room in the church for everyone. Children from St Monica’s School choir sang during the service. A celebration was held in the sunshine after Mass to mark the occasion and parishioners were generously fed by the Maronite Christian community and the Knights of St Columba. The parish mission of St Monica’s was established in Palmers Green in 1910 by Fr Thomas Heditch, with the first Masses said in a private house. The community then moved to

Cardinal Vincent with parish priests old and new outside St Monica’s after the Mass of celebration.

larger temporary premises, close to the current church. Fr Patrick Gallagher arrived in 1912 and within two years a site was bought on Stonard Road, funds were raised and

the church was built. The solemn opening Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Francis Bourne on 4 May 1914, the feast day of St Monica (which now falls on 27 August).

Current Parish Priest Canon Shaun Lennard expressed his joy at marking the historic occasion: ‘We are building on the work of many people who have gone before us, priests,

£2,000 raised on Cardinal Cormac’s golf day

The fifth annual charity Golf Day held by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor raised over £2,000 for CAFOD on Saturday 26 April. Hosted by St John Fisher Church, Shepperton, with golf played at the Laleham Golf Club in Surrey, over £10,000 has been raised in the last five years. This was the first time St John Fisher’s had hosted the event without Fr Peter Scott’s famous golf swing due to his move to his new parish in London but Fr Tom Quinn, the new Parish Priest, had no problem replacing Fr Peter on the course. Bacon butties and a raffle kicked off the day, followed by 18 holes in the hail and sunshine braved by 32 players. Everyone who went

religious and laity, who have given of their time and talents so generously. The parish is so vibrant today because of that continuing commitment and I want to thank God for that.’

Italian Church Procession

out with a smile came back looking happy with the customary comments at church the following day regarding aching muscles and the usual excuses for poor play and missed putts. Congratulations to the winner, Bill Smyth, who was chased to the end by second-placed Conie Mascarenhas with Harry Cissell, the President of the Golfing Society, claiming third. Many thanks to all those who helped with financial support and sponsorship: Clover Shipping, Lanix, Kelly Group Telecommunications, Green Lane Solutions, Robert Reynolds, Nigel Wilson, Ann Montier, Mark Stohert, Lodge Brothers (Shepperton), Bond Davidson and London Irish Rugby - Thank you!

The procession in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will take place on 20 July, starting at 3.30 pm outside St Peter's Italian Church, Clerkenwell. The procession, which has been taking place for over 120 years, will take 45 minutes to an hour and circle around the Farringdon area. The procession will be preceded and followed by a festival in Warner Street, EC1 with Italian food, drinks and activities. Should any parish group wish to walk in the procession please contact Anna on 020 7837 1966. There is also a group of First Communicants who walk dressed in their communion outfits. Any child wishing to take part should be inside the Italian Church dressed no later than 3pm.

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News

Westminster Record | June 2014

Westminster Groups take disabled children on HCPT pilgrimage by Ellen Teague

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roups from across the diocese participated in this year’s annual Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT) pilgrimage during Easter Week. They included groups from Chiswick, Kingsbury, Tottenham, St Albans and Allen Hall Seminary. Youth contingents included participants from the Cardinal Wiseman School in Greenford and St Benedict’s School in Ealing. This year around 1,000 disabled children were taken to the shrine at Lourdes. They travelled with small family-sized groups and were accompanied by doctors, nurses, clergy and helpers. The pilgrimage, which is the largest for children from the UK, is renowned for its vibrancy and joy, aided by the fact that the majority of helpers who attend are under the age of 30. Groups dressed in their distinctive colours were prominent at the Grotto, the Cachot where St Bernadette lived at the time of the apparitions in 1858, the many chapels around Lourdes and the City of the Poor. The highlight of the week for many was the Trust Mass where all the groups came together in the Underground Basilica in a sea of colour and energy. The Mass was celebrated by new HCPT President, Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, with four other bishops and more than 100 priests and deacons all wearing customised vestments. HCPT pilgrimages continue at Hosanna House, in the hills above Lourdes, until November. Owned by the Trust, the house will host over 1,500 pilgrims of all ages, many of them with disabilities or life-limiting conditions.

Members of HCPT Group 144 in front of the Grotto in Lourdes

“People who made a difference” On 12 April a group from St Joseph & the English Martyrs, Bishop’s Stortford, led by the Justice & Peace Group, set out on a walking pilgrimage to sites in the City of London, dedicated to heroic people who have made a difference. There was an opportunity for prayer and reflection at each location. Our first stop was at the magnificent Wesley Chapel in City Road, a fine Georgian building with beautiful stained glass, where we recalled John Wesley’s words, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can.” We then visited Bunhill Fields Burial Ground and Quaker Gardens, to pay respects to William Blake and George Fox, who are buried in those locations respectively. At the latter we paused to reflect on the Quakers’ total rejection of war, which is based on the truth that all are created equal and are of equal importance to God. Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

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On then to Postman’s Park, where there is a gallery of ceramic tiles, dating from 1900, celebrating extraordinary acts of courage by individuals who gave their lives for both friend and stranger. Our next stop was St Mary Woolnoth, where John Newton was Rector from 1779 to 1807. His story is well-known: sailor, slave trader, convert to evangelical Christianity, hymn writer, priest and abolitionist, and ally of William Wilberforce.

Finally we reached Fen Court, where a sculpture commemorates the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. Each piece of the sculpture resembles a sugar cane and together they form a congregation. However, as Evangelii Gaudium reminds us, the fight is not over and slavery has not gone away. Let us pray and work for those who are victims and for those who struggle to stop the trafficking in human beings.

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Schools News

Westminster Record | June 2014

New Headteacher for Holy Rood Support Kenyan Bishop Douglass School Missionary Work The Diocese of Westminster is pleased to announce that Martin Tissot has been appointed as Acting Headteacher of Bishop Douglass School in East Finchley. Mr Tissot currently holds the position of Executive Head at both St George’s Catholic School in Maida Vale and St Thomas More Catholic School. He has been recognised by the Department for Education and Ofsted for his key role in the rapid improvement of both schools and is one of the National Leaders in Education (NLEs), labelled in the media as ‘superheads’, who have overseen improved results and better experience for students at the schools. In January 2014, St Thomas More was judged the single most improved school in the country. Mr Tissot said: ‘I am delighted to be returning to Bishop Douglass School where I was a student myself. I am committed to ensuring the continued improvement of the school and will be looking to ensure that the school quickly becomes outstanding and the choice for Barnet’s Catholic community.’ JP Morrison, Director of Education, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Bishop Douglass School. I am fully confident Martin Tissot will provide the vision and leadership required to to enrich the educational experience of students, building on the success of his predecessor.’

St Thomas More chosen to train next the Generation of Teachers

Parents, pupils and staff of Holy Rood Catholic Primary School, Watford, raised £8,000 for MoPSA (The Missionaries of the Poor Supporters Association) during a Lenten fundraising campaign. The small locally-based charity has worked with schools and

parishes throughout Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire for a number of years to raise funds that go directly to helping the brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor support some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Earlier this year Fr Ken Payne, founder of MoPSA, and Monica Basham, chair of the charity, visited the school to talk about the new mission in Nairobi which serves orphaned street children by providing medicines, food and other basic provisions. The children, moved by the pictures and images that they were shown, launched a fundraising project. The following four weeks of term were full of enthusiastic and imaginative fundraising from all classes including Year 5’s Great MoPSA Bake Off, Reception’s Fun Run, Year 3 Biking, Scooting and Walking to Africa (via many laps of the playground) and Year 2 producing and selling their own music video. As a result of much hard work and great generosity from all involved at the school, it managed to raise this substantial amount of money, every penny of which will go directly toward supporting the missionaries in their work with vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Kenya. To find out more about the work of MoPSA visit their website at: http://mopsacharity. wordpress.com/

Considering Religious Life?

The

St Thomas More Catholic School in Wood Green has been selected by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to become a national teaching school. Teaching Schools play a key role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession, identifying leadership potential and providing support for other schools. Introduced in 2011, teaching schools are all rated as ‘outstanding’ and work with other schools and universities to ensure high Page 6

Sisters

quality training and professional development for teachers in their careers. Martin Tissot, Executive Headteacher, said: ‘Given the strength of our teaching staff and the high quality support offered by our non-teaching staff, I am delighted that we can help others to achieve these high standards.’ Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of NCTL, said: ‘St Thomas More should be very proud of their teaching school status that recognises the school’s outstanding performance.’

of

Nazareth may be your answer

www.sistersofnazareth.com vocinfo@sistersofnazareth.com Sister Frances:

07906372786 A warm welcome awaits you!

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Parish Profile

Westminster Record | June 2014

Kingsland: Where Church and Community are Alive by Alex Balzanella

A visible sign of the Christian faith Unlike other Catholic churches in the Diocese, which are often tucked away down side streets or in residential areas, Our Lady and St Joseph stands on the centre of the busy Balls Pond Road, near Dalston Junction. The Church itself stands out prominently, too, with its tall bell tower visible above the nearby houses and illuminated at night, as a sign of the Christian faith being lived in the local area. Indeed, living the Christian faith was demonstrated on Friday 9 May when Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrated Mass for the 50th Anniversary of the building of the current church and the 160th Anniversary of the founding of the parish, an event which saw the church full to capacity. After the Mass, Parish Priest Fr Michael Daley spoke of the strength of Christian witness in the parish: ‘You will be aware of the recent debate as to whether the United Kingdom can still be regarded as Christian. In answer to that question I

would like to say, in the boldest possible terms, come here and discover that faith in Christ and a vibrant, proud Catholic community are very much alive.’ A real working church When I ask Fr Michael how he would describe the parish, he calls it ‘a real working Church, it’s open from seven in the morning to seven at night and there is always someone praying or lighting candles. It means a lot to people that it’s open all day every day. Many people move from the area, yet still attend Sunday Mass here because they feel it’s their spiritual home.’

Cardinal Vincent Nichols celebrates Mass to mark the anniversaries of the parish and church

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Indeed, a typical Sunday at Our Lady and St Joseph shows how many look to Kingsland as their parish. The Church draws up to 1800 parishioners each weekend to one of the six Sunday Masses. There is a wide range of different groups in the parish, including St Vincent de Paul, the Legion of Mary and a Charismatic Prayer Group, to name but a few. Young people have a strong engagement with the parish, particularly at the 9.30 Family Mass which also has a very committed choir, Fr Michael emphasises. In May, 70 young candidates received their First Holy Communion in the parish, showing that the enthusiasm for living the faith continues to the next generation. Part of the success in this continuity is the close relationship with Our Lady & St Joseph Primary School, located on the site of the former parish church. The school was recently awarded an Outstanding report by Ofsted, recognition, as Fr Michael says, for the excellent standards and teaching at the school. Building a church brick by brick Mention of the site of the former parish church shows the strong link the parish has with its history. It was founded in 1854 with a predominantly Irish community, the Masses being celebrated initially in the first floor of a house and a converted storage shed before moving to Culford Road. Fr Michael is keen to stress the legacy of Fr William Dempsey, the parish priest for 42 years until 1964, under whose tenure the funding and building of the current church on Balls Pond Road began. As part of the fundraising appeal parishioners were asked to buy an individual brick at the cost of £1 or £5, all of which

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helped raise the needed £120,000, giving local people a real sense of ownership in the parish. The local community also saw much change from that period to the present day, with new parishioners from around the world coming to the areas of Dalston, Canonbury and Hackney that the church serves. This has meant the parish has become ‘truly Catholic in its embrace and universality’. In this sense it isn’t the building situated on the Balls Pond Road that is testament to the Christian witness lived out in the United Kingdom, but rather the example of how it is lived by the parishioners of Our Lady and St Joseph each day.

Parish Priest Fr Michael Daley

Founded: 1854 Church built: 1964 Mass Times: (Sat 6.30pm), 8, 9.30, 11, 12.30pm, 6pm Address: 100a Balls Pond Road N1 4AG Telephone: 020 7254 4378 Website: http://olsj.org/ Page 7


Social Action

Westminster Record | June 2014

Cardinal Leads Grassroots Reponse to Poverty

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ardinal Vincent hosted the first of a series of roundtables on Friday 2 May with representatives from Caritas, parishes and schools, as well as the St Vincent de Paul Society and Magic Breakfast, to discern the problem of food poverty at the local level and to coordinate the Church’s response. Among the projects represented were four food banks established in different parts of the Diocese, Borehamwood, Bow, East Finchley, and St Albans and District, in collaboration with religious and secular partners, as well as initiatives in schools to tackle food poverty among students and their families. The roundtable began with a reflection from Fr Michael Dunne about food poverty in the light of the Gospel, (an excerpt accompanies this article), followed by a listening exercise hearing about the everyday experience of the volunteers who work directly with individuals and families.

It quickly emerged that food poverty often points to a complex set of problems faced by the most vulnerable in these communities, necessitating a more robust response. Norah Flatley, Headteacher of Blessed Sacrament RC Primary School in King’s Cross, one of five Westminster schools currently participating in the joint Caritas and Magic Breakfast programme said, ‘It is of primary importance to look at the wholeness of life, and to support each child across all dimensions, physical, academic, familial, relational and spiritual, so that they can thrive as a whole person.’ The same experience was reported by all the participants who work with vulnerable people in their communities to tackle other problems, such as fuel poverty, unmanageable debt, homelessness, low literacy, substance abuse, mental health issues, child care issues, and domestic violence, either directly or through

referrals to other local services. Restoring dignity to those who live with food poverty was a priority in all circumstances, whether through providing assistance, extending the hand of friendship and solidarity, alleviating the stress that accompanies deprivation, or helping keep families together. Cardinal Vincent praised these local groups for reaching out to the most vulnerable: ‘The

care you show your neighbours reflects the truth that everyone is made in the image of God. Each one of us is uniquely loved by the God who has formed a covenant with us, the God who wills that each person should enjoy a dignified life. Food expresses powerfully this covenantal love of God. So when people suffer want of food, we feel a deep sense of abhorrence.’ He reassured all participants

of his commitment to support their grassroots work by providing central coordination through Caritas, to create links with other parishes, schools, charities and individuals, and to build on their work. The data and findings gathered from the participants will also form the basis of the submission from Westminster Diocese to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty.

A fairer global food system Climate change: a view from Kenya One of the biggest threats to global food supply is climate change and in Kenya they are already seeing this happen. Shifting rainfall patterns have made droughts more common, most recently in 2011, and have made growing food and finding water to be very challenging.

Volunteer Stephen Bone (far right) hands in over 60,000 Hungry Campaign Cards to No. 10 Downing Street

Over 60,000 demand a fairer global food system CAFOD’s Hungry for Change campaign brought a delegation to 10 Downing Street on 7 May to deliver over 60,000 cards and messages from people across England and Wales calling for a fairer food system in which everyone has enough to eat. ‘Hunger obviously resonates with people,’ said Stephen Bone, a Westminster member of the delegation, ‘I’m very optimistic that this

campaign will help address the imbalance of the current food distribution system.’ Since November 2012 the campaign has had successes, including helping secure Government commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of national income on international development aid as well as in joining 200 other organisations for the Enough Food for Everyone…IF campaign in June 2013. Thank you to all who supported this campaign.

In July CAFOD welcomes Antony Mbandi, Director of Caritas Kitui (Kenya). He will offer a first-hand account of the challenges the people in his diocese are facing and will also be sharing how CAFOD is helping people address these challenges, particularly through green energy projects.

Antony Mbandi will speak at Amigo Hall in July on his experience of climate change in Kenya

For the Diary Tuesday 3 June – CAFOD Connect2: Ethiopia Evening. CAFOD will be welcoming several people from Sebeya, Ethiopia, to a special reception at Romero House, London SE1 7JB. Booking essential. Thursday 10 July – Tackling Poverty in the Face of Climate Change. CAFOD will be welcoming Antony Mbandi, Director of Caritas Kitui (Kenya), to share his first-hand experience of climate change in East Africa. Booking essential. Saturday 6 September – Harvest Volunteer Morning. Join CAFOD for a look at its work behind this year’s Harvest Fast Day Appeal. Held at the Church of Christ the King, Cockfosters, N14 4HE. Booking essential.

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Social Action

Westminster Record | June 2014

Food Poverty in the Light of the Gospel A Reflection by Fr Michael Dunne The Gospel can objectively inspire action on food poverty. A seminal document of Catholic social teaching, the Letter of St James the Apostle, in the New Testament exhorts: ‘If a brother or a sister is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, what good is that? It is the same with the faith: if good deeds do not go with it, it is quite dead!’ (Jas 2:15). St James, this intimate friend of Jesus, says that without action addressing specifically food poverty, faith is not ‘impaired’ or ‘undermined’; it is actually dead. But why is he so emphatic?

The Bible is full of food: food with a purpose. In Genesis God creates ‘every kind of vegetation and fruit trees, enticing to look at and good to eat, and saw that it was good.’ (cf Gn.1:12) By making creation beautiful and fruitful, He proves His intentions are good in creating, sustaining and nourishing us through the goodness and abundance of food. Where there is food poverty, then, God’s will is not being done. Part of His covenant is being undermined by the very people to whom He has entrusted the goodness of creation. There is a wound in the heart of God because it is a wound in human society. God gives Moses a rule for the Chosen People when they have settled in the Promised

Nuclear Fall Out by Barbara Kentish Veteran peace activist Bruce Kent spent April on a national ‘Scrap Trident’ tour, highlighting the cost of Britain’s nuclear weapons system, as well as raising the legal and moral issues involved with such weapons. Addressing Westminster Justice and Peace Commission, he said: ‘People all around the country need to be active in opposing the spending of £100 billion on more nuclear weapons (£25 billion to create, £75 billion to maintain), money which Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

Land: ‘when you gather the harvest of your land, you are not to harvest to the very end of the field. You are neither to strip your vine bare nor to collect the fruit that has fallen in your vineyard. You must leave them for the poor and the stranger.’ (Lev 19:9-10) We can recognise the poor and the stranger of 3,250 years ago. They are the trafficked; runaways; migrants; the desperate; the marginalised; the broken; who now come to the Church’s doors. When Christ comes among us, God’s rushing to heal the wound of food poverty becomes more explicit and insistent. ‘Happy are the hungry now, you shall have your fill,’ (Lk 6:20), adding, ‘Alas, for you who have your fill now; you shall go hungry’ (Lk 6:24); and that is because they are not doing as they should, which is to ensure that God’s will of plenty is being done. Catholic social teaching’s first premise is that all are made in the image and likeness of God, and have an eternal destiny, for Jesus is one with us irrevocably and to be encountered in each one of us. ‘For when I was hungry you gave me food’ He says on Judgement Day to the

bewildered virtuous about to inherit eternal life for ‘insofar as you did this to the least of these, you did it to me’ (Mt.25:35, 40). The Gospel is a living document, breathing the Spirit of God; it impels us to put our faith into practice, seeking to do God’s will for all. Pope St John Paul II reminds us: ‘it is through your

love that God hopes to realise His divine love. The future of the world and of the Church is at stake!’ He asks us to love not just because it does us good, nor even because in the light of the Gospel we can see that it is God’s will that the wound of food poverty be healed, but because if we do not love, the future of the world and of the Church is at stake.

could be spent on the NHS, education and other services. We should be getting rid of nuclear weapons which make the country more dangerous, not safer’. Meanwhile on 14 April, marked as Global Day of Action on Military Spending, it was announced that world military expenditure had reached $1.75 trillion, with the UK sixth from top in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ranking. In response, Pax Christi demonstrated with other peace and environmental groups in London to redistribute symbolically the £38 billion UK military budget to government departments with greater need.

Balancing national and social security

spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility.’ (EG 59) Thus, echoing the words of the English and Welsh bishops in their 1986 statement, ‘by decommissioning its nuclear weapons, the UK now has a unique opportunity to offer the international community an approach to security and legitimate self-defence without the unconscionable threat of nuclear destruction’.

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The Justice and Peace Commission holds that nuclear weapons are inconsistent with Catholic Just War theory, which lays down ‘strict conditions for legitimate defence by military force.’ (CCC 2309). The Commission also believes that without addressing the causes of poverty there is little prospect of long-term security. So Pope Francis declares in Evangelii Gaudium ‘Today, in many places, we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence; … no political programmes or resources

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Cardinal Hume

Westminster Record | June 2014

Cardinal Hume

Westminster Record | June 2014

15 Years On: Remembering Cardinal Basil Hume On 17 June 1999 Cardinal Basil Hume OSB died in St John and St Elizabeth Hospital in London. He was 76 years of age.

Cardinal Vincent knew his predecessor as Archbishop of Westminster, both as General Secretary of the Bishop’s Conference in the 1980s and from when he was appointed an auxiliary bishop for the diocese in 1992. As we come to the 15th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Hume, it is remarkable to see that people are still steadily going to pray at his tomb, to ask his help and to talk to him about their difficulties and their hopes. He was a man who had such a capacity for embracing people and drawing them into his heart and I think that is why he is still such a loved figure in the diocese and indeed in the country. As I go round from place to place, it is almost inevitable that people remember him. They remember him for his compassion, his warmth, his simplicity, his sense of humour and probably most of all, for that great gift he had of making our journey towards God a little bit more possible. And perhaps of all the words that he ever said, the ones that I find myself repeating most often are some of the words he said as he was facing his own death: ‘preparing to die is like sitting in the front row of the stalls, waiting for the curtain to go up’.

‘It is better to walk through darkness, the Lord guiding you, than to sit enthroned in light that radiates from yourself.’ Cardinal Basil Hume, 1977

Born in 1923 in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Cardinal was educated at Ampleforth College where he later entered the Benedictine monastery in 1941. He was ordained a priest in 1950 and remained at Ampleforth for the next 26 years. After ordination he taught religious education, history, French and German, becoming Abbot in 1963. In 1976 he was named 9th Archbishop of Westminster and created a Cardinal in the same year. He continued in his role as Archbishop beyond his 75th birthday but was diagnosed with the illness that led to his death. The Cardinal was known and loved by many, from those in his hometown of Newcastle upon Tyne to those who saw him in his service as Cardinal Archbishop in the Diocese of Westminster. To mark 15 years since his death, we asked some of those who knew him best a simple question: How do you remember Cardinal Hume?

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Brenda Roberts is Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese and served as PA to the Private Secretary between 1979 and 2001. I always enjoyed going in for dictation with Cardinal Hume when his PA was on leave. The Cardinal was always so kind; there was always a bit of banter and invariably he came out with a Latin phrase and chuckled as it threw me! On one such occasion, 16 April 1999, the Cardinal had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He wanted to write to all the priests of the diocese and the Bishops of England & Wales. He had handwritten the letter and I sat beside his desk as he read the two letters out to me in case I had trouble with his writing. In the end I was concentrating more on trying not to cry and he had to tell me to get up and go downstairs and type them. My main memory of that day was his concern for us, as he was upset that we were so upset! The last time I saw him was the day he received the Order of Merit from The Queen. I went into his PA’s office, not realising he was already in there. I remember saying how lovely it was to see him and he responded by saying “there is not so much left of me to see”, to which I said: “wish I could say the same for myself – since you took sick I’ve been eating like a pig”! He sat back and laughed out loud. It was lovely to see him laugh – though I am not too sure I would have chosen those exact words to be my last words to anyone – but he saw the funny side, as he always did.

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Cathy Corcoran is the Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre, a outreach project working to rebuild the lives of the homeless and vulnerable in London. It doesn't seem possible that it is 15 years since Cardinal Hume’s death, especially as his memory is celebrated every day at the Centre, and I hope he thinks we are doing him proud. I was privileged to know him and to travel with him on the visit to Ethiopia which was, he said, a life-changing experience. I think I remember his quite mischievous sense of humour best as well as his insistence that every human being matters. We saw some heart-breaking things but he still managed to make us laugh out loud at the great fuss that sometimes surrounded the visit. What stays with me longest though is the reaction of the people who were hungry, desperate and afraid as he walked quietly among them, a touch here and a blessing there. They had no idea who or even what he was but they knew him for a man of God. That's a very rare gift.

Canon Patrick Browne is the parish priest of Holy Apostles Church in Pimlico and was Private Secretary to the Cardinal between from 1985 to 1989. Apart from being a gifted writer, preacher and a holy man, Cardinal Hume was sought after by many people, young and old, for his insights and advice into personal relationships and matters of the human heart. There are two reflections on relationships which have stayed with me. He described true love as “the meeting of two freedoms”; that is to say no matter how much I love another, there can be no true relationship if I or anyone else is pressurising them to love me in return. And he was always saddened by the breakdown of marriages and said that "one of the saddest things about divorce is that the other party has gone away with all your secrets". He found it sad that those things you may have told your partner in trust and usually in the most intimate moments were now with someone else and the breakdown of the marriage had taken your confidences, your secrets and your vulnerability with it.

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William Charles is Cardinal Hume's nephew and wrote about his uncle's legacy in his book 'Basil Hume: Ten Years On'. He gave this testimony on behalf of the Hume family. Cardinal Hume would speculate sometimes how people would be remembered. Uncle George, as he was known in the family, is still fondly recalled by his relatives - each of his great-great-nephews has George as one of his names. Perspectives on the past change with time. My uncle is remembered for his concern for the poor, the homeless, and young people, for his friendships with leaders of other religious groups, for living in a monastic cell in Archbishop’s House rather than in the grander rooms, while seeking a prayerful community life with the others there and his preference for simple clothes and humble transport. I read now of Pope Francis’s similar lifestyle, living in a hostel, visiting the homeless on the street, holding a meeting with the young, of his concern for the poor, his friendship with a rabbi. In a recorded address to the American bishops, my uncle suggested that the Pope establish an advisory committee of Cardinals with representatives from each continent. One of Pope Francis’s first acts was to set up such a committee. Cardinal Martini once described Cardinal Hume as ‘one of the great prophetic figures of our age’. I believe he is now shown to have been right.

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Cardinal Hume

Westminster Record | June 2014

Cardinal Hume

Westminster Record | June 2014

15 Years On: Remembering Cardinal Basil Hume On 17 June 1999 Cardinal Basil Hume OSB died in St John and St Elizabeth Hospital in London. He was 76 years of age.

Cardinal Vincent knew his predecessor as Archbishop of Westminster, both as General Secretary of the Bishop’s Conference in the 1980s and from when he was appointed an auxiliary bishop for the diocese in 1992. As we come to the 15th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Hume, it is remarkable to see that people are still steadily going to pray at his tomb, to ask his help and to talk to him about their difficulties and their hopes. He was a man who had such a capacity for embracing people and drawing them into his heart and I think that is why he is still such a loved figure in the diocese and indeed in the country. As I go round from place to place, it is almost inevitable that people remember him. They remember him for his compassion, his warmth, his simplicity, his sense of humour and probably most of all, for that great gift he had of making our journey towards God a little bit more possible. And perhaps of all the words that he ever said, the ones that I find myself repeating most often are some of the words he said as he was facing his own death: ‘preparing to die is like sitting in the front row of the stalls, waiting for the curtain to go up’.

‘It is better to walk through darkness, the Lord guiding you, than to sit enthroned in light that radiates from yourself.’ Cardinal Basil Hume, 1977

Born in 1923 in Newcastle upon Tyne, the Cardinal was educated at Ampleforth College where he later entered the Benedictine monastery in 1941. He was ordained a priest in 1950 and remained at Ampleforth for the next 26 years. After ordination he taught religious education, history, French and German, becoming Abbot in 1963. In 1976 he was named 9th Archbishop of Westminster and created a Cardinal in the same year. He continued in his role as Archbishop beyond his 75th birthday but was diagnosed with the illness that led to his death. The Cardinal was known and loved by many, from those in his hometown of Newcastle upon Tyne to those who saw him in his service as Cardinal Archbishop in the Diocese of Westminster. To mark 15 years since his death, we asked some of those who knew him best a simple question: How do you remember Cardinal Hume?

Page 10

Brenda Roberts is Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese and served as PA to the Private Secretary between 1979 and 2001. I always enjoyed going in for dictation with Cardinal Hume when his PA was on leave. The Cardinal was always so kind; there was always a bit of banter and invariably he came out with a Latin phrase and chuckled as it threw me! On one such occasion, 16 April 1999, the Cardinal had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He wanted to write to all the priests of the diocese and the Bishops of England & Wales. He had handwritten the letter and I sat beside his desk as he read the two letters out to me in case I had trouble with his writing. In the end I was concentrating more on trying not to cry and he had to tell me to get up and go downstairs and type them. My main memory of that day was his concern for us, as he was upset that we were so upset! The last time I saw him was the day he received the Order of Merit from The Queen. I went into his PA’s office, not realising he was already in there. I remember saying how lovely it was to see him and he responded by saying “there is not so much left of me to see”, to which I said: “wish I could say the same for myself – since you took sick I’ve been eating like a pig”! He sat back and laughed out loud. It was lovely to see him laugh – though I am not too sure I would have chosen those exact words to be my last words to anyone – but he saw the funny side, as he always did.

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Cathy Corcoran is the Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre, a outreach project working to rebuild the lives of the homeless and vulnerable in London. It doesn't seem possible that it is 15 years since Cardinal Hume’s death, especially as his memory is celebrated every day at the Centre, and I hope he thinks we are doing him proud. I was privileged to know him and to travel with him on the visit to Ethiopia which was, he said, a life-changing experience. I think I remember his quite mischievous sense of humour best as well as his insistence that every human being matters. We saw some heart-breaking things but he still managed to make us laugh out loud at the great fuss that sometimes surrounded the visit. What stays with me longest though is the reaction of the people who were hungry, desperate and afraid as he walked quietly among them, a touch here and a blessing there. They had no idea who or even what he was but they knew him for a man of God. That's a very rare gift.

Canon Patrick Browne is the parish priest of Holy Apostles Church in Pimlico and was Private Secretary to the Cardinal between from 1985 to 1989. Apart from being a gifted writer, preacher and a holy man, Cardinal Hume was sought after by many people, young and old, for his insights and advice into personal relationships and matters of the human heart. There are two reflections on relationships which have stayed with me. He described true love as “the meeting of two freedoms”; that is to say no matter how much I love another, there can be no true relationship if I or anyone else is pressurising them to love me in return. And he was always saddened by the breakdown of marriages and said that "one of the saddest things about divorce is that the other party has gone away with all your secrets". He found it sad that those things you may have told your partner in trust and usually in the most intimate moments were now with someone else and the breakdown of the marriage had taken your confidences, your secrets and your vulnerability with it.

Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

William Charles is Cardinal Hume's nephew and wrote about his uncle's legacy in his book 'Basil Hume: Ten Years On'. He gave this testimony on behalf of the Hume family. Cardinal Hume would speculate sometimes how people would be remembered. Uncle George, as he was known in the family, is still fondly recalled by his relatives - each of his great-great-nephews has George as one of his names. Perspectives on the past change with time. My uncle is remembered for his concern for the poor, the homeless, and young people, for his friendships with leaders of other religious groups, for living in a monastic cell in Archbishop’s House rather than in the grander rooms, while seeking a prayerful community life with the others there and his preference for simple clothes and humble transport. I read now of Pope Francis’s similar lifestyle, living in a hostel, visiting the homeless on the street, holding a meeting with the young, of his concern for the poor, his friendship with a rabbi. In a recorded address to the American bishops, my uncle suggested that the Pope establish an advisory committee of Cardinals with representatives from each continent. One of Pope Francis’s first acts was to set up such a committee. Cardinal Martini once described Cardinal Hume as ‘one of the great prophetic figures of our age’. I believe he is now shown to have been right.

Page 11


Westminster Record | June 2014

Director’s Spotlight A Youth Perspective on the Canonisations

M

y recent visit to Krakow ahead of the 2016 World Youth Day was also my first trip to Poland and was an early opportunity to better appreciate the joys and challenges that lie ahead. When Krakow was announced as the host city the early reflection was that the compactness of the city may present challenges when trying to accommodate so many people. Having visited, I now believe that the city size works to its advantage – sure, it’ll be tight, but moving around will be easy and we’ll feel like one huge family; which we are. I had no pre-conceived notion before my arrival but suffice it to say that the whole experience was wonderful – I was blessed to have the opportunity to make the trip and intend to return quite soon. The first things that struck me were that the city is so clean, safe, ordered and that the people are so kind and welcoming; the ideal scenario. The buses seem plentiful and there is a city tram system. Walking is the main ‘vehicle’ though. I suspect, like Rio, there will be a coach lockdown so you’ll need to get fit to walk! The main park in the centre of the city will host the vigil and is vast – to hold 3m people seems a bit of an ask but I’m sure it’ll work. The main market square is huge and I’m pretty sure that it will be the focal point for the evenings for those attending the global event. Loads of bars and restaurants surround the square and flow down the many side streets. During the trip we visited a selection of potential accommodation options – predominately students’ halls

of residence, although did we take in a few hotels. All were in decent condition and I can’t believe that any wouldn’t be perfectly suited to our group’s needs. The Westminster group is likely to be quite large and it is important to consider the logistics of moving a sizeable number of people during the event, so we’ll be aiming to be based within 30 minutes’ walk from the vigil site. During the visit I made the journey to Auschwitz and to the Basilica of the Divine Mercy, which brought a contrasting range of emotions to the fore. Our basic target cost of £1,000 remains intact and the option to have a Mission Week prior to WYD is still in our thinking – watch this space. My abiding thought right now is that the choice was right and that the event will be spectacular, with the friendliness of the hosts bringing everyone together and building a one-family feel. I, for one, can’t wait. If you want more information or wish to register early interest contact us at wyd2016@rcdow.org.uk

by James Kelliher Let me start with something obvious: standing up for TEN HOURS really hurts! My Brazilian friend Andressa and I left our accommodation just before midnight. We arrived on the scene to find that there were already thousands of people there. It felt like a World Youth Day event, with people from every nation mingling together, waving flags, singing, dancing, sleeping and playing games as we waited for the Vatican gates to open. Over the next few hours, we slowly made our way down towards the Vatican, chatting with neighbours along the Via della Conciliazione. Andressa was interviewing people for a report back home and we got to know some of the Brazilians and Poles around us. Then, as the sun rose, we began to see preparations taking place around the altar, with dignitaries and others taking their places. There was a huge round of applause and cheering when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI appeared. It was clear that

many people miss him and that, in retirement, fondness for him and his humble service to others has only grown stronger. By the time the Canonisation Mass began, I was very tired and certainly not the only one; some were dozing off around me. It had been a lengthy ten hours for many and all that standing up was taking its toll on some weary worshippers. However, considering the occasion, the canonisation of two great Popes, standing and sleep deprivation were worth

Page 12

To find out more about the Youth Ministry and experiences of our young people at: wym.rcdow.org.uk

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enduring to be part of such an historic event for our Church. It was also great to see so many young people from other countries and to be able to share this momentous experience with them. The fact of nearly a million people stretching from the doors of St Peter’s to Castel Sant’Angelo showed how powerful Sts John XXIII and John Paul II remain in the life of the Catholic Church. We ask for their prayers for Pope Francis and all the Church as we too seek to be faithful disciples.

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Youth

Westminster Record | June 2014

Chaplain’s Journal

JUNE 2014 Fr David Reilly, Diocesan Youth Chaplain

Many people find it hard to think about doing God’s will. People ask, ‘How can I know what to do in life?’ or, ‘What is God asking and how can I respond?’ The first disciples were called by Jesus himself but, not long after the Resurrection, they too had to decide how to summon a new apostle to replace Judas. They didn’t wait for a voice from heaven or a sign in the sky. In the end, after much prayer, they decided to cast lots, which might seem like a rather prosaic way of discerning God’s will. Perhaps we too can overcomplicate things. We imagine that those with a religious or priestly vocation must have been called by a mysterious voice or insightful dream. In reality, each person must listen to or ‘discern’ God’s call in the ordinary everyday events of life in the real world. Thankfully, God’s grace builds on nature. That is to say, God is able to build on and work through the ordinary decisions and actions we make. He is able to call apostles from ballots and popes from conclaves. He is able to raise up priests from ordinary men who, in their own imperfect ways, represent Christ. St Thérèse of Lisieux found her own niche in the Church by following a ‘little way’ which led to ‘heroic virtue’. Similarly, every Christian is able to discover and do the will of God when, in the ordinary actions of everyday life, they act faithfully and generously, in a spirit of prayer and with purity of intention. It is part of God’s mystery why the good crops continue to grow among the weeds (Mt 13:24-30), but we can be confident that God is bringing good through the ordinary and sometimes confused steps we take towards doing His will.

Walking the Camino de Santiago by Christine Sterlini

T

he Way of St James (El Camino de Santiago) is a pilgrimage with many starting points but one finishing one - the resting place of St James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. People walk The Way for all different reasons and it is often considered a journey of self-discovery or a

search for something greater than oneself. I have wanted to walk the Camino for quite a while now, so when a friend asked me if I’d like to join her I didn’t pass up on the opportunity. I don’t feel that I went with any real agenda other than wanting to have a bit of space and time with God.

The Camino turned out to be a fantastic adventure. We walked 200km in total, guided by the yellow arrows and shells towards our destination. I was struck by how many people of differing nationalities were walking alongside us; I met Australians, Koreans, Germans and Italians….people had come from all over the world to walk The Way. I have been on many hiking holidays and never have I witnessed such a mass or range of people. Something about The Way draws people; it was clearly more than a mere walk in the countryside. One day when my feet were feeling particularly sore I walked with an Irishman named Pat. Pat had walked the Camino several times and as we talked he told me all about St James and the history of The Way. He described how St James had sailed around the world preaching the Gospel and was eventually beheaded. Legend has it that in the 9th century a hermit named Pelagius saw a vision and was led by a star to a field where the Apostle’s relics were buried. The relics were said to be moved and a huge Cathedral built to contain them. He also hinted at how different the journey used to be for people when he described how the traditional walking sticks used to double up as weapons for

pilgrims to protect themselves from bandits. The stories were so engrossing that I had soon forgotten all about the aching in my feet. One of the biggest things that stuck out for me was the sense of camaraderie. Jesus’ instruction to ‘Love your neighbour’ was certainly lived out along The Way as all the pilgrims helped one another; I was given sun cream and a hat by a Dutchman which prevented me from burning to a crisp. I was also given walking sticks by a Swiss lady half way through the journey when I started experiencing pain in my knees. These people whom I met so fleetingly helped me reach the end, and their companionship made the journey all the more enjoyable. Now I am back at home in England and on reflection I recognise The Way of St James as a small journey within the much bigger pilgrimage of life. In the same way that the camaraderie of the Camino helped me to finish the pilgrimage, it helped me to see more clearly the need for community in my everyday life too. We cannot complete the journey to heaven alone and, in walking The Way, I saw so clearly the impact of the little things that help us all journey together.

What are your plans for September? school age to experience their Catholic faith more fully. It is a special way to spend a year getting to know yourself better than you did before, helping to guide you in your future. Volunteer Missionaries are given a stipend for living expenses and accommodation on the site at Waxwell Farm in Pinner. If you’re 18 to 25 years old and have a passion for working with young people, why not apply for a year as a Volunteer Missionary at SPEC, the Diocese of Westminster’s residential retreat centre for young Catholics?

To find out more about the Youth Ministry and experiences of our young people at: wym.rcdow.org.uk.

During your year you will live as part of a lively community, giving you the chance to experience life in a new way. This time will give you the guidance and training to deepen your faith, make lifelong friends, and help thousands of young Catholics of

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----

If a year of personal development and helping young people sounds like something you’d be interested in, contact the SPEC team via email: spec@rcdow.org.uk or telephone: 020 3757 2500.

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See photos of youth events at: http://tinyurl.com/5vqohvo

Page 13


Vocations

Westminster Record | June 2014

Anointed with the Oil of Gladness In the coming weeks four men will be ordained to the priesthood for our diocese and three men to the diaconate on their way to the priesthood. Below one of our new priests-to-be and one of our new deacons-to-be reflect on the journey travelled. Andrew Chamiec: Looking back I am so grateful for the very strong Catholic foundations in my life. I was brought up in a Catholic family and after my First Communion the parish priest asked me if I would like to become an altar server. I was fascinated by all the signs and rituals at Mass and it was from watching the priest celebrating Mass that the idea of priesthood first came to me. Growing up I was fortunate to have an excellent and inspiring parish priest who had a powerful vocational influence on me. At 13 I became seriously ill and went to hospital. It was the first time that I questioned my faith; fortunately I had a profound experience in hospital and my faith became very real. The sense of vocation to priesthood came back strongly again around the time of my Confirmation. After school I worked for a year and during that time applied to join a Catholic band called ‘Revelation’. They gave retreats in schools spreading the Gospel

Dave Burke: If you ask someone training to be a priest or in religious life, what influenced their faith journey, most often they will name a person (or two) who inspired them. Me too! My first parish priest in many ways wasn’t the best academic (though he was no fool); he wasn’t the best preacher for he was incredibly shy, but he did do something Page 14

message through music. It was my first experience of community life and living away from home. After this I decided to pursue studies in music. I also spent some time with the Youth 2000 mission team. Throughout this time the idea of priesthood was there in the background, a gentle nagging feeling that came whenever I went to Mass. I approached the Diocesan Vocations Director and after several months he asked, ‘Why not priesthood?’ I wrote a list of pros and cons and there were more pros than cons! I decided to apply and immediately felt at peace. I was accepted for the diocese in 2008. I can’t believe how quickly these last six years have gone by at seminary. They have had their joys and challenges but the peace has remained. I am looking forward to being ordained as priest with a mixture of some trepidation but also great excitement and gratitude. And I look forward to beginning my new life in Chiswick parish later this summer.

incredible and he did it so well. Namely, he did his utmost to love others as God loves us. And crucially, his congregation knew this. Through simple preaching and the acting out of his faith in Christ, he had a tremendous influence on me… and he still does today even after his death.

Looking back, I have always felt God’s hand in my life but being really honest I haven’t always appreciated it. There has been a lot of ‘doing it my way’ and struggling to let God any closer than I deemed necessary. Of course what I struggled against was in fact what I was really looking for: unconditional love, contentment and fulfilment. My story is typical of so many who are trying to make sense of their life and how best to live it. Sound familiar to you? If I could offer one small piece of advice to a discerner, male or female, young or not so young, the advice would simply be, to be brave. Get off the fence of indecision and reflect seriously on how God is calling you. God wants you to be truly happy. So, go on, be brave, you won’t regret it. As for my journey ahead as a deacon, I move one step at a

time knowing that God has never let me down, despite the ups and downs of life. So I trust, and keep on trusting, that he will continue to walk with me in the days ahead. One step at a time. I am currently coming to the end of my third year here at the Beda College in Rome and look forward to returning

here again in September for my final year of studies before returning to the diocese next summer to be ordained, God willing, as a priest. May I ask you to keep me and my fellow deacons-to-be in your prayers as I prepare to be ordained deacon at St Paul’s Basilica in Rome this summer? Many, many thanks.

Andrew and Dave are not the only ones joining the brotherhood of priests in the coming weeks. Brian O'Mahony and Derek Hyett will be ordained in the Cathedral on 28 June and Stefan Kaminski will be ordained at Our Lady of Victories in Kensington on 18 July. Brian will serve as a chaplain at the Cathedral, Derek at Hemel Hempstead and Stefan at Wood Green. Two men will be ordained deacon as well. David Lucuy and Cyril Chiaha will be ordained deacons at the Cathedral on 14 June. After ordination, David will serve full time in Pimlico and Cyril will minister in Hounslow at weekends. Three men will be ordained as Permanent Deacons for service in the Diocese by Cardinal Vincent at the Cathedral on Saturday 19 July: Justin Cross will serve at St Albans South, Ian Edwards at Ealing and Stephen Khokha at Southall.

For more information on vocations please contact Fr Richard Nesbitt richardnesbitt@rcdow.org.uk or 020 7349 5624 If you have a story or an event you would like to have featured on this page, please contact communications@rcdow.org.uk or 020 7798 9030 Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

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Vocations, Marriage & Family Life

Westminster Record | June 2014

A Lifetime of Service Over the coming weeks, four men will be ordained priests to serve in the Diocese. Here, Bishop John Sherrington and Fr Richard Nesbitt offer reflections on the life and service of priesthood.

The Gift of Priesthood by Bishop John Sherrington

Confirmation, the sadness of sickness and suffering, the Many priests will be shock of tragedy, the grief of celebrating their anniversaries death and in the daily routine of ordination in the coming of everyday life when prayers weeks. It is a time when it is are led and pastoral needs are good to thank God for the met. Pope Francis describes the priests who have been parish as ‘a community of witnesses to the death and communities, a sanctuary resurrection of Christ in our where the thirsty come to lives and handed on the drink in the midst of their Catholic faith. Some have journey, and a centre of done this in spite of, or maybe constant missionary outreach.’ even because of, their [Evangelii Gaudium 28] The idiosyncrasies and people of God as community eccentricities. They are of disciples gather to be reminders that God’s plan is nourished by Christ so that beyond our human reasoning they can be strengthened to be and His ways are not our His presence in the world. The ways. Good Shepherd invites the Through his prayer, the priest to carry the wounded priest offers the people and the lamb on his shoulder as He intractable situations of life to does; and to model his life on God the loving Father, Christ’s own, especially in knowing that only His Spirit bearing the cross. can bring true healing and The priest nurtures his flock peace. St. Paul reminds priests to become disciples who live that they are human and rely the creativity of love and who on God’s grace, ‘But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that are like a leaven in the world helping the reign of God to it may be made clear that this break in. extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.’ (2 Cor 4:7). This fragility is a reminder that priests need to be by Fr Richard Nesbitt enfolded by the mercy of God and so become ambassadors of Christ who know their need of Pope Francis’ favourite image of the priest is of one who is God’s mercy and so can be anointed so as to anoint merciful stewards of the others with the oil of sacrament of reconciliation to gladness. The anointing others. How humbling it is to which a priest receives at his hear confessions and of the ordination is not meant just human struggle as people for himself: it is to flow entrust themselves to the mercy of God and set out with through him to those he serves. So at the heart of the an intention for conversion priesthood is joy, a humbling and greater love of others. joy received from God and a Through life in the parish joy to be shared with others. the priest is present to people This was confirmed earlier at different moments in the this year by an unlikely journey of faith: the joy of source; a Government survey baptism and marriage, by published in March had asked administering First Holy people in a wide range of jobs Communion and

The Joy of Priesthood

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and with very different salaries how happy they were. Top of the list, earning one of the lowest salaries but with the highest marks in satisfaction and fulfilment, were the clergy. Yes, clergy are the happiest group in the country! This does not mean that a priest’s daily life is a bed of roses, but that there is a fundamental gratitude and joy in priests that the work we do is a gift from God and the greatest honour to be a servant to His people in imitation of Christ himself. As Vocations Director for our diocese I see this joy in those called to the priesthood.

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I see it in my brother priests from the newly ordained starting out in their first parish to the retired priests of our diocese who have a deep sense of gratitude to God and his people for the lives of service they have been honoured to live. I see this joy in the 32 seminarians training for the priesthood in our diocese: a diverse group of men of different backgrounds and ages but united by this deep gladness at being able to give themselves fully to answering God’s call in their lives. And I feel and experience this joy in my own daily life as

a priest, as parish priest to the wonderful community of Our Lady of Fatima in White City and also through the continuing role as Vocations Director with all of the conversations and encounters this leads me into. Please pray for all those whom God is calling to the priesthood. To respond to the voice of the Good Shepherd is to come close to the heart of God. May this be our prayer for each other and, in this month of ordinations, in a particular way for those men whom God is calling to the joy of the priesthood. Page 15


Spotlight

Westminster Record | June 2014

A View from Parliament

I

t is hard to walk down those ancient stone steps quietly but, when you do, you find yourself in an oasis of calm. The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft is where I celebrate Mass every Wednesday at 6pm when Parliament is sitting. On an average Wednesday between 25 and 35 people attend. On Ash Wednesday it is packed. I have been Roman Catholic Duty Priest (not chaplain, so as not to be confused with Speaker's Chaplain) to both Houses of Parliament for just over four years. It is the first official appointment of a Catholic priest for ministry in the Palace of Westminster since the Reformation. As well as celebrating Mass every week for MPs, Lords and all staff, I also officiate at baptisms and bless marriages. Besides that, my duties are the same as those of any parish priest: to make time and listen

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to people. This can happen over a cup of tea or coffee in the Palace or in my parish, Holy Apostles in Pimlico. It is a great privilege to be asked to undertake this ministry. It gives me a special insight into the wonderful pastoral work that many politicians carry out in their constituencies. Yes, they have their flaws and difficulties as members of the government elected by the people and for the people; but they need the same encouragement, support and love that every Catholic needs. I work closely with my Anglican colleague in the House, the Speaker’s Chaplain, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, and those of other faiths. One of the big ecumenical events is the National Prayer Breakfast when 650 people sit down to breakfast in Westminster Hall with hymns and prayers and a guest speaker. This year in June, it will be Justin Welby,

ŠFr Lawrence Lew OP

by Canon Pat Browne, Duty Priest to the Palace of Westminster

the Archbishop of Canterbury. Members and staff alike talk about the weekly Mass as one of the great blessings they can tap into. After all, there is no mobile network that can reach them there and, if there is a division in either of the Houses, the security guard has

to come down those same steps and shout "division in the Lords" or "division in the Commons". Apart from that no one will disturb them in that 30 minutes in the middle of a working day when they seek some spiritual sustenance. After that, as they ascend the

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steps, hopefully they do so more energised and ready to get on with their vocation and why they went into politics in the first place: to make a difference. That they chose to come down those steps in the first place must surely be a prayer in itself.

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Reviews

WestminsterWestminster Record September Record | June2011 2014

Book Review

App Review

Jesus: A Pilgrimage

Pray As You Go

Price: £18.99 Publisher: HarperOne Fr James Martin SJ 352 pages

by Alex Balzanella

A

mong contemporary Catholic writers whose books have wide general appeal Fr James Martin SJ is one of the most prominent figures. His previous books have been ambitious in their reach, summed up well in the title of his best-known work A Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, but also highly successful, winning awards and featuring on the New York Times Bestseller list.

With Jesus: A Pilgrimage, Martin takes on his largest topic yet. From the outset it is clear that the book is neither a scriptural study nor simply an historical account of Jesus’ life. Instead he combines these two elements with a journal of his own first visit to the Holy Land. Thus the Lord is seen and experienced in both contemporary and historical settings, which Martin can combine with biblical study and his own questions about

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what Jesus’ feelings, relationships and concerns would be. This is a portrayal of Jesus’ humanity with which we can empathise. Easy to follow and understand, it also lends itself as a resource for prayer in the tradition of Lectio Divina, offering us a chance to glimpse the Lord’s divinity. Jesus: A Pilgrimage is a must-read for anyone planning or having recently undertaken a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In his typical style, Martin draws upon all his senses to describe his visits to the different locations of Jesus’ life and ministry; and not least his sense of frustration at both the difficulty and all too human aspects of visiting popular pilgrimage sites. All of these help to give us a real glimpse of the Holy Land, helping to prepare those about to embark on this journey or to whet the appetite of those who might be considering it for the future.

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Since 2006 Pray As You Go, a Jesuit initiative, has broadcast guided prayer and meditation based on the daily Mass readings by podcast; a resource that has been taken up in particular by commuters. Recently Pray As You Go ha launched a new app, available on the Apple and Android platforms, as opposed to Platform One or Two presumably! The new app offers more tools which can deepen the experience of prayer. The App itself is free and easy to use. New features include guided body and breathing exercises to help prepare the mind and body for prayer, even while waiting for a train on a busy tube platform. The inclusion of the Examen, as practiced and taught by St Ignatius of Loyola, really makes the app even more valuable for those interested in making Jesuit spirituality central to their prayer life.

By being an app, rather than a podcast, the user gets more out of the content. A transcript is available for each reflection and there is an inbuilt ability to share on social media, allowing you to offer a moment of calm to the manic world of Twitter. Overall, the upgrades are a clever and welcome addition to an innovative concept. A thought for the future would be to include links to recommended resources and other apps, to absorb even the longest commute! Price: Free Publisher: Jesuit Apps OS: Android, Apple

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Saints & Obituaries

Westminster Record | June 2014

Saint of the Month - St Ephrem (9 June) With so many of our fellow Christians from Syria, an ancient cradle of the faith, facing persecution and exile, it is well to be reminded of one of their great saints, Ephrem. To read even one of his 400 extant hymns is almost to learn a new language, for he shows how poetry and imagination can feed upon scripture to create theology whilst nourishing faith. Western literature owes him a tremendous debt for his graphic description of the Last Judgment which inspired Dante. Often referred to as the “Harp of the Holy Spirit,” this Doctor of the Church was born in Nisibis, Syria (modern Nusaybin, Turkey) in the year 306. He spent much of his life preaching and writing hymns and poems dedicated to combating the heresies of Gnosticism and Arianism. Ephrem taught in Nisibis until the city was ceded to the Persians and the Christians were forced to emigrate to Edessa (now Urfa, Turkey). There, he continued his teaching at the famous School of Edessa whose renown, and even foundation, have been attributed to him. After ten years there he died in his sixties, probably in the year 373. Though St. Ephrem was probably not formally a monk he was known to have practiced a severe ascetical life and was part of a close-knit, urban community of Christians that had "covenanted"

themselves to service and refrained from sexual activity. His texts draw on three main inspirations: the models and methods of early Rabbinic Judaism, Greek science and philosophy, and the Persian tradition of mystery symbolism. What may have been much clearer was that the saint’s hymns and other texts both targeted the wrong beliefs of other religions and sects and also strengthened the imaginative hold of the faith on ordinary Christians. His literary legacy includes writings on the Virgin Mary for whom he had great devotion, as well as treatises on the primacy of Peter, original sin, free will, and the Immaculate Conception – all of which strongly influenced later theologians. Ephrem wrote exclusively in Syriac, whilst other works exist only in translation. Syriac churches still use many of the hymns as part of the annual cycle of worship, although in edited and conflated versions of the originals (they can be very long). Best-known is the Prayer of St Ephrem (almost certainly not by the saint) that is a part of most fast days in Eastern Christianity: O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant

In Memoriam: June 1 Fr Philip Carpenter (1992) Bishop Victor Guazzelli (2004) 2 Fr Stephen Finnegan (1993) Fr Damien McManus (1997) 4 Fr Joseph Rees (2007) Fr William McConalogue (2009) 9 Mgr David Norris (2010) 10 Fr John Harrington (2007) 11 Fr Francis Davis (2003) 14 Fr George Lee (1987) 16 Fr Michael Pinot de Moira (2013) 17 Cardinal Basil Hume OSB (1999) 18 Fr Michael Connor (2007) 19 Cardinal Herbert Vaughan (1903) 20 Fr Thomas Kiernan (2013) 22 Fr Anthony Turbett (2000) 26 Fr John Moran (1988) Mgr Canon Roderick More O’Ferrall (1991) 29 Fr Richard Fitzgibbon (2006) 30 Fr Christopher Bedford (2008)

Icon by the hand of Sarah ‘Sallie’ Thayes, 2012 (http://sallieart.blogspot.ca

me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. O God, be gracious to me, a sinner. And we could profitably use this prayer after receiving Holy Communion: In your sacrament we daily embrace you and receive you into our bodies; make us worthy to experience the resurrection for which we hope. We have had your treasure hidden within us ever since we received baptismal grace; it grows ever richer at your sacramental table. Teach us to find our joy in your favour! Lord, we have within us your memorial, received at your spiritual table; let us possess it in its full reality when all things shall be made new.

Fr Michael Markey RIP Fr Michael Markey died on Tuesday 20 May; may he rest in peace. Ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1995, he had already served in the Church of England for twentyone years. Moving across the road from the Anglican church of St Mary Magdalene in Munster Square to St Anne’s, Laxton Place, Fr Michael was a deacon at Our Lady of Hal in Camden Town before joining Mgr Martin Hayes at Wood Green as assistant priest. Subsequently he became parish priest at Staines and then Bushey, before retirement to the East End. Despite illhealth he became well-known in Bow parish, where he continued to concelebrate Mass until recently.

Summer programme in Liturgy and Latin at Ealing Abbey Short courses for credit (KU Leuven) or interest “Western Liturgical Books” D. McCarthy 21 Jul-1 Aug (not 26, 27 July) morning “Theology of the Liturgy” E. Carr 21 Jul-1 Aug (not 26, 27 July) afternoon “Christian Initiation” J. Leachman 21 Jul-1 Aug (not 26, 27 July) morning “Beginners, Intermediate and Proficient Latin” D. McCarthy and others 11-22 August (not 16, 17 August) “Seminar on Initiation” E. Carr 11-22 August (not 16, 17 August) Contact: http://liturgyinstitute.org/ courses-summer-2014/ Post: 74 Castlebar Road, W5 2DD. Telephone: 020 8862 2156 Email: il@bsac.ac.uk

Page 18

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Events, Calendar

Westminster Record | June 2014

Other regular Masses

REGULAR EVENTS

Deaf Community Mass First Sunday of the month 4.30pm, Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QW

If you have an event, please email communications@rcdow.org.uk Liturgical Calendar - June

Prayer Groups SUNDAYS Taizé at St James, Piccadilly W1J 9LL Every third Sunday 5pm. Call 020 7503 5128 for details. Lectio Young Adults Group Lectio Divina with time for reflection and discussion afterwards. Every first and third Sunday in term time at 6.45pm. Contact davidreilly@rcdow.org.uk or https://www.facebook.com/ lectio.divina.961 Tyburn Benedictines Monastic afternoon Every first Sunday 2pm-5pm Martyrs’ Crypt, Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place W2 2LJ. Westminster Cathedral Young Adults meet socially after the 7pm Mass on Sundays and then at the nearby Windsor Castle pub. For further details please contact: westminsteryoungadults@gmail.com

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

TUESDAYS Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Tuesdays 6-9pm concluding with Benediction at Newman House, 111 Gower Street WC1E 6AR. Details 020 7387 6370 Prayers for London at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden Tuesdays 7.30pm. Organised by the Guild of Our Lady of Willesden, Nicoll Road NW10 9AX Vocations Prayer Group Second Tuesday of the month 8pm at 47C Gaisford Street NW5 2EB

WEDNESDAYS Wednesdays on the Wall (WOTW) Every first Wednesday 6pm at All

Hallows on the Wall 83 London Wall EC2M 5ND. A short service of prayer and reflection at 6pm, coffee at 6.45pm followed by discussion. Corpus Christi Contemplative Prayer Group for Young Adults Wednesdays from 7pm at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB. For further details please contact corpuschristipg@yahoogroups.co.uk

Evangelisation prayer group for young adults meets from 7pm on Wednesdays at Notre Dame de France, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX. For further details please contact Armel at apostles.jesus@yahoo.co.uk

THURSDAYS Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life Every first Thursday of the month. Young adults from all Christian denominations pray and share a meal. Details www.jcfl.org.uk Soul Food A Catholic charismatic prayer group for young adults meets Thursdays 7-9pm at St Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street W1W 6HS. Details at www.soulfoodgroup.org St John Paul II Prayer Group Every second Thursday of the month 7-8pm, Mass, Adoration and Prayer at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB.

FRIDAYS Association of Divorced and Separated Catholics Every third Friday of the month. All divorced and separated Catholics are welcome. Call Frank or Christine 020 8422 1591 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. Details: 020 8748 2632

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

+ THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD Easter feria or Sts Marcellinus & Peter, Martyrs St Charles Lwanga and Companions Martyrs Easter feria St Boniface, Bishop & Martyr Easter feria or St Norbert, Bishop; Friday abstinence Easter feria + PENTECOST SUNDAY feria, Week 10 of Year 2 or St Ephrem, Deacon & Doctor or St Columba, Abbot

10 Tue 11 Wed 12 Thu 13 Fri

feria St Barnabas, Apostle feria St Anthony of Padua, Priest & Doctor; Friday abstinence

EXTRAORDINARY FORM MASSES

feria, Anniversary of Death of Cardinal George Basil Hume OSB, Ninth Archbishop of Westminster (1999)

18 Wed feria 19 Thu feria or St Romuald, Abbot 20 Fri St Alban, Martyr; Friday abstinence 21 Sat

St Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

22 Sun

+ THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (CORPUS CHRISTI)

Low Mass 9am, The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP.

Mondays Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP Mass 6.30pm Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, WC2E 7NB.

25 Wed feria

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP. Fridays Low Mass 7.45am St Mary Moorfields, 4/5 Eldon Street EC2N 7LS.

26 Thu

feria

Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP.

27 Fri

THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS: no Friday abstinence

Low Mass 6pm St Etheldreda, Ely Place EC1N 6RY First Fridays only.

28 Sat

feria or the Immaculate Heart of the BVM or St Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr or BVM on Saturday

Low Mass 6pm St John the Baptist Church, King Edward's Road E9 7SF First Fridays only.

29 Sun

+ STS PETER & PAUL, Apostles

Low Mass 6.30pm, Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB Second Fridays only.

23 Mon feria, Week 12 of Year 2 or St Etheldreda (Audrey), Virgin 24 Tue

THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

30 Mon feria, Week 13 of Year 2 or The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church

7 June Divine Mercy Pilgrimage to Walsingham celebrating Divine Mercy in the life of St John Paul II. Call 020 8998 0925

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers’Club meets on every Sunday of the year for walks around London and the Home Counties. Contact: antoinette_adkins2000@yahoo.co.uk 020 8769 3643 www.stfrancisramblers.ukwalkers.com

Available from the first Sunday of each month, the magazine is designed to be read by Catholics of all ages who want to immerse themselves into the history and present culture of their religion.

PRINTED Subscription offer 12 issues for the price of 9 £31.50 RRP £42.00 (A saving of £10.50)

To subscribe or order single issues (£3.50) Tel: 0161 214 1215.You can also order back issues at discounted prices.

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Sundays Low Mass 9.30am, St James Spanish Place W1U 3QY.

Low Mass 5pm St Bartholomew, St Albans AL1 2PE.

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

Mass at Canary Wharf Tuesdays 12.30pm 2 Churchill Place E14 5RB. Organised by Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Chaplain to Canary Wharf Communities. Details www.cwcc.org.uk St Albans Fridays at 12 noon. Mass in the Lady Chapel of St Albans Abbey AL1 1BY

14 Sat feria or BVM on Saturday 15 Sun + THE MOST HOLY TRINITY 16 Mon feria, Week 11 of Year 2 or St Richard of Chichester, Bishop 17 Tue

Young Adults Mass First & Third Sunday of the month, 114 Mount Street W1K 3AH. Quiet prayer 7.15pm, Mass 7.30pm. Social gathering afterward. Contact: organise@fsplus.info or visit www.fsplus.info

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The digital edition of Catholic Life has an exclusive early release and a special online price, so why not subscribe today?

www.exacteditions.com /read/catholiclife 3 months (recurring) £5.99. One year subscription £19.99 or search for Catholic Life on iTunes, single issue £1.99. Available to read: • Online • iPad • iPhone • Android.

Saturdays Low Mass 12.15pm, St Wilfrid’s Chapel, The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP Low Mass 4.30pm, Side Chapel, Westminster Cathedral SW1P 1QW Second Saturday only.

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FREE DIGITAL EDITION Follow on Twitter @Catholic_LifeUK To request a FREE digital copy of the magazine, please email brendan.gilligan@thecatholicuniverse.com and you will be emailed a PDF version of the October 2012 edition.

Page 19


Spotlight

Westminster Record | June 2014

An Educational Force of Nature

Sister Hannah Dwyer was presented with the Silver Teaching Award for Lifetime Achievement following 34 years of teaching. Marie Saba went to meet her, to find out what makes her an exceptional teacher.

S

ister Hannah Dwyer, Headteacher at Larmenier and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Hammersmith has been described as ‘an educational force of nature.’ Her energy comes from the joy she derives from watching students at the school learn, develop and thrive. ‘Teaching is such a delicate operation,’ says Sr Hannah. ‘If you go too far too quickly, you risk losing a child’s attention; not far enough and the child is not engaged. It’s important to understand where each child is, and to be mindful of what else may be on their mind during a lesson.’

Page 20

Her attention to each child is evident to all who meet her, not least the pupils themselves, who regularly visit her office to share their good news, whether it is yet another sports trophy or a project they’re particularly proud of.

asked to merge the school with Sacred Heart Junior School. She quickly realised that a new building would be required to house all the pupils and undertook the task of raising £7 million.

New School The process of building a new school involved the entire community. ‘It was important to consult everyone, including pupils and their parents,’ says Sr Hannah. ‘The children take great pride in showing off every detail of ‘their’ school when giving tours to visitors.’ Every element in the design of the school reflects the great care she takes in creating a physical environment where pupils can feel at home, and can learn and grow to their full potential. It is no wonder that she received the prestigious Silver Teaching Award for Lifetime Achievement. Sr Hannah was surprised with the award during an assembly attended by pupils, former pupils, parents, school governors, and members of her congregation on 16 May. Such was the affection shown by the pupils that one little boy kept giving her the thumbs-up and reassuring smiles, while other children were waving flags and cheering.

Catholic leadership, has enabled thousands of children to develop their God-given gifts and become the people God wishes them to be. It is a wonderful achievement that through Catholic education so many seeds are sown which bear fruit in the future. I also wish to acknowledge Sr. Hannah’s important contribution to the work of the Westminster Education Commission which has oversight for strategy in the diocese.’ She is equally supportive of the teachers: focusing not only on their professional development but with helping them fully understand what it means to be a practising Catholic and to live their calling. Sr Hannah is set to retire this year, with Jenny McGinty, the current Deputy Head and a former pupil of Sr Hannah’s, taking over as Head in September. Sr Hannah will also join other Silver Award winners at the UK final of the Teaching Awards on 26 October, which will be broadcast by the BBC.

‘Sr Hannah, through her years of dedication has enabled thousands of children to develop their God-given gifts and become the people God wishes them to be.’

Pilgrimage to Assisi Before she retires, however, she’ll be taking 51 Year 6 pupils on a week’s pilgrimage to Assisi, in an effort to inspire them to make pilgrimage a part of their life. Sr Hannah’s legacy is an exceptional school and, closer to her heart, the thousands of children who have enjoyed the best possible start in life. Asked what she’ll take away as a favourite memory, she answers simply, ‘the joy of watching a child learn.’

Bishop John Sherrington, who was on hand to present the award to Sr Hannah, paid tribute to her: ‘Sr Hannah, through her years of dedication and vocation to teaching and learning and to

‘We have a constant stream of former pupils coming back to the school because Sr Hannah inspired them.’ As Dominic McGonigal, Chair of Governors at the school puts it, ‘We have a constant stream of former pupils coming back to the school because Sr Hannah inspired them 10, 20 or even 30 years ago.’ Some come back as visitors, some as teachers, and yet others bring their children to be educated at the school where they have received so much nurturing. Sr Hannah began teaching at Larmenier Infants’ School in 1980. In 1991 she took on the role of Head, and in 2002 was

Sr Hannah leads children in song

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Published by The Diocese of Westminster, Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1P 1QJ. Printed by NWN Media Limited, Mold, Flintshire. All rights reserved.

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Westminster Record June Edition