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Westminster Record

March 2017 | 20p

Together for Life: Planted in Bethlehem

Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

Celebrating Brentwood’s Centenary

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Pages 10 & 11

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crowned the statue with a silver gilt crown presented by Jorge Leitão of the firm of Leitão and Irmão who created the original crown in Fatima in 1942. Catholics from across England and Wales filled the cathedral for the Mass, which was celebrated by Cardinal Vincent along with priests from several dioceses. In his homily, the Cardinal referred to the words of Pope St John Paul at the beatification Mass of Francisco and Jacinta when he told the children present that Jesus ‘needs your prayers and sacrifices for sinners’. Reflecting on these words which he called a ‘considerable challenge’, the Cardinal asked ‘How well do we express our discipleship of Christ every day?’ The answer, he affirmed, lies in ‘what we know of Our Lady of Fatima and what she has to say to us’, explaining that she ‘has a strong relevance to us today’. He focused on the devotion to the Immaculate Heart, saying that it offers us ‘an attitude of heart that accords with Our Lady’s, and so opens up pathways, fresh and sure, towards Christ’.

The Cardinal also spoke of the bullets from the assassination attempt on the life of Pope St John Paul in 1981, of which one has been placed in the crown in Fatima, referring to its journey ‘from an instrument of death to a beacon of reconciliation and hope’ as ‘a wonderful allegory of how the prayers of Our Lady and the faith of believers are far, far more than a nice idea. They can truly change the world’. Noting that the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue was on a journey around the cathedrals of England and Wales, he said: ‘I pray that this will be a time of grace for many, as they honour Our Lady of Fatima in this centenary year.’ The Mass was followed by veneration of the relics of Bl Jacinta and Francisco. The full text of the Cardinal’s homily is available at rcdow.org.uk/cardinal/homilies. Additional photos of the Mass are available at flickr.com/catholicism. A broadcast of the day will be available shortly at ewtn.co.uk.

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On Saturday 18th February on the occasion of the visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the centenary year of the apparitions, to Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Vincent consecrated England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the Act of Consecration, a modified version of the one used by Cardinal Griffin in the Abbey grounds in Walsingham on 16th July 1948, he said: ‘To your Immaculate Heart, in this centenary year of the apparitions at Fatima, we re-consecrate ourselves in union not only with the Church, the Mystical Body of your Son, but also with the entire world’. The consecration took place at the end of Mass which began with the procession of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue, borne by Knights of St Columba and accompanied by children dressed as Lucia dos Santos and Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto, carrying the crown and the relics of Bl Jacinta and Francisco, and joined by members of the World Apostolate of Fatima. Immediately following the procession, Cardinal Vincent

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Consecrated to the Heart of Mary


Editorial Westminster Record – Contact us

Westminster Record | March 2017

The Heart of the Church

Editor Mgr Mark Langham Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QJ Managing Editor Marie Saba 020 7798 9031 Inhouse writers Hannah Woolley 020 7798 9178, and Martha Behan 020 7798 9030 Photos Mazur/Catholicnews.org.uk Design Julian Game To order copies contact Andrea Black 0161 908 5327 or email andrea.black@thecatholicuniverse.com Print management and distribution by The Universe Media Group Ltd.

April publication dates Editorial deadline: 17 March 2017 Listings email: communications@rcdow.org.uk News and stories call 020 7798 9030 Email: communications@rcdow.org.uk Advertising deadline: 24 March 2017 To advertise contact Carol Malpass 0161 908 5301 or email carol.malpass@thecatholicuniverse.com Produced by the Communications Office of the Diocese of Westminster. News and articles published in the Westminster Record do not necessarily represent the views of the Diocese of Westminster, unless specifically stated otherwise. Appearance of advertisements does not imply editorial endorsement.

The Year of Mercy, as Bishop Paul has reminded us, is not a closed chapter in the life of the Church: rather, it must continue to bear fruit in the way we behave towards each other, and nowhere is this seen more than in our attitudes towards the sick, the dying, and those who care for them. Our centre pages this month highlight the season entitled ‘Called to Serve the Sick’, running from the Lourdes Mass earlier this month to the annual diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes in July. The aim of this period is not so much to show what we can do for the sick on various special occasions, but to position our care for them at the centre of our life as a community and a diocese. Our health as a

Catholic community is gauged by our concern to include those who otherwise, in Bishop Paul’s words, ‘can be hidden’. It is fitting, then, that this month we also feature St John of God whose work with the sick, vulnerable and disadvantaged created new standards of healthcare, and inspired generations of health workers throughout the world. If we are truly to be a community formed by an encounter with Christ, then we must take to our heart those others, often side-lined, often overlooked. Bishop Nicholas reports from his visit to the inspiring L’Arche community in the Holy Land, and we touch on social action in our diocese. But alongside outreach comes advocacy. The Church must stand with the oppressed and vulnerable, and speak out even at the risk of unpopularity. The decision of our Government not to offer help to unaccompanied migrant children and the threat to create barriers, legal and concrete, to divide nation from nation strike at the roots of our common destiny, as children of God. We can, and must, do better.

where new stories are posted daily. www.rcdow.org.uk

For more news from around the diocese throughout the month

Diocese Joins Instagram The Diocese of Westminster has joined Instagram to extend its current social media presence. This will enable the diocese to reach out to new and diverse audiences, particularly given Instagram’s popularity with younger generations. It will be an opportunity to showcase the mission and work of the diocese. The diocese can be found on Instagram (@rcwestminster), Twitter (@rcwestminster), and Facebook (@diocese.westminster).

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Westminster Record | March 2017

Mass in Honour of Our Lady of Lourdes On Saturday 11th February, the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, the annual Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes was celebrated by Cardinal Vincent. The Mass marked the start of 'Called to Serve the Sick', a season of focus on the sick and the obligation to care for them and their families. It is intended to be a time to become more aware of the Christian attitude to sickness and suffering and to remind both ill and able-bodied that the sick are important members of our community. In his homily, Cardinal Vincent explained: ‘Today we set out, in the diocese, on a short season of special attention to the

even from our bed or wheelchair; grateful in the gifts we receive, especially in our vigour and imagined selfreliance. Our faith has no real space for “go-it-alone” heroes. We are brothers and sisters, recognising our needs and receiving God's gifts always through one another, often in unexpected ways!' During Mass which was concelebrated by Bishop Paul McAleenan and many priests of the diocese, including those who minister as hospital chaplains, the laying on of hands and anointing with the Oil of the Sick took place. For the first time, at the end of Mass, lay hospital chaplains were invited to come forward to receive a blessing from Cardinal Vincent.

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Cardinal Vincent Pays Tribute to Departing Nuncio

corporal work of mercy of caring for the sick. It is a follow-up to the Year of Mercy.’ In these weeks and months, he said, ‘we will reflect, in various ways and events, on how we can include to a greater extent all those who are afflicted by sickness of body or mind, together with their families.’ Reflecting on the Gospel reading, the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Cardinal drew attention to the implication of Jesus' response to the question of 'who is my neighbour': 'the one who is in need is my neighbour: no excuses, no escape clauses, no ducking'. 'This is how the Gospel is to work: through our hands, through our words, through our hearts. There is no other way. That is what the Incarnation means,' he added. Looking at the congregation, composed of the sick and ablebodied, those who are ill and those who care for them, he said: 'I see people who are always both givers and receivers', expanding that 'God has asked us always to be both: generous in the care and gifts we offer,

In a thanksgiving Mass for the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, celebrated at Westminster Cathedral on 6th February, Cardinal Vincent paid tribute to him as the Nuncio comes to the end of his post in the UK. Speaking on behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent said in his homily: 'This evening we salute our Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini. We thank him for his loving service of the Church in England and Wales, and indeed, in Scotland. We promise him our prayers and our continuing support as he moves to a task in Rome within the Secretariat of State itself.' Noting that Archbishop Mennini has always 'looked

first for what is good, here in our Church, in the people you have met, in the tasks you have had to undertake' and has tried to engage on this basis. This, the Cardinal said, is 'a great quality' that the Nuncio has shown during his mission here. 'I speak, too, on behalf of so many of your colleagues in the Diplomatic Corps, many of whom are present here with us,' added the Cardinal. Reassuring the Nuncio of the prayers of the bishops and people of England and Wales, the Cardinal noted 'we will continue to be closely with you and support you in the new ministry that lies before you'. Most of the bishops of England and Wales were among the concelebrants of the Mass. Many representatives,

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past and present, of the Diplomatic Corps were in attendance, including past UK Amabassadors to the Holy See Francis Campbell and Nigel Baker, as well as the Polish Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki and Slovak Ambassador Ľubomir Rehák. Archbishop Mennini was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain on 18th December 2010 and presented his credentials to Her Majesty the Queen on 2nd March 2011. He returns to Rome to take a position in the Secretariat of State. The Apostolic Nunciature is an eccelesiastical office of the Church and a diplomatic post of the Holy See. The Nuncio to the Court of St James holds the rank of ambassador.

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Celebrating Consecrated Life On 2nd February Cardinal Vincent celebrated a Mass for those in consecrated life. The Mass, celebrated annually on the feast of Candlemas, offers an opportunity to give thanks for the great contribution made by religious communities and those who have formally consecrated their lives to God in this diocese.

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Westminster Record | March 2017

Encouraging Participation in the Community Sponsorship Scheme

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Cardinal Vincent Urges Government to Assist Child Refugees

Cardinal Vincent has called for the Government to work with renewed vigour to assist vulnerable, unaccompanied child refugees. In his statement, Cardinal Vincent said: 'By repealing Art. 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, known as the Dubs Amendment, the Government is seen by many as

abandoning its statutory and moral duty to take effective action for the protection of vulnerable, unaccompanied child refugees. If this is the case, then it is truly shocking. 'The Home Office have stated that during 2016 over 900 unaccompanied children were brought to safety from Europe, including 750 from Calais. However, the need is evidently far greater and I am informed that there are a number of Local Authorities willing and resourced to take many more of these children into their care. 'I urge the Government to look again at all available resources and to work with renewed vigour, internationally and at home, to support and enable programmes to assist these vulnerable children.

Indeed, I encourage many who are expressing concern to take up the valuable Community Sponsorship Scheme established by the Government, whereby local communities are able to provide places of welcome and safety for refugees seeking shelter in this country. 'Our Government is rightly proud of its initiatives against human trafficking, which are appreciated around the world. Yet to neglect these unaccompanied children is to leave them extremely vulnerable to human trafficking with all its terrible consequences. I ask the Home Secretary to review urgently the decision and to honour the original intention behind the Dubs Amendment.'

Reacting to the recent travel ban imposed by US President Donald Trump on nationals from seven countries, Bishop Paul McAleenan said: 'What has President Trump’s travel ban achieved? Initially amazement and confusion, now as it is enforced extreme hardship precisely for those to whom we should be offering hope and a chance of a new life. Opposition to this decision goes beyond any political agenda, it is being rejected by those who clearly see that with this ban justice is being violated and hardship wilfully imposed. 'Those who have the welfare of all humanity, especially refugees, at heart, must continue to let President Trump know that his protectionist policies are not the way forward. These policies do not correspond with the rest of the world’s attempt to alleviate the hardship of those who are long familiar with violence, fear and impoverishment. 'One of the principles of Catholic social teaching is solidarity and the promotion of Page 4

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'Justice Violated and Hardship Imposed' by Trump Travel Ban

peace. Never was there a better time to proclaim it. Those who believe in it will feel obliged to oppose President Trump’s policies, the proposed wall between Mexico and the US, and now the travel ban.' President Trump issued the executive order entitled, ‘Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States’, on Friday 27 January, International Holocaust Memorial Day. The executive order suspends the refugee admission programme for 120 days and prioritises refugee claims of religious-based persecution,

provided it is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. It halts the admission of Syrian refugees and restricts entry to no more than 50,000 refugees in the fiscal year 2017. The executive order further imposes a travel ban on nationals from a number of countries of ‘particular concern’ (seven, predominately Muslim, countries have been named) and introduces a vetting system for everybody entering the US. The travel ban has since been struck down by the courts. At the time of writing, it remains suspended.

On 1st February Caritas Westminster and Capital Mass held an information evening to encourage more parishes and groups to become involved in the Community Sponsorship Scheme. Following the recent Home Office appeal to churches to help integrate refugees, the evening was designed to offer practical advice and support in a bid to encourage greater participation. The evening was opened by Bishop Paul MacAleenan, Bishop for Migration, who stressed the importance of community, and how it is integral to faith. The event was aimed at sharing information and explaining the practical implications of sponsoring refugees. Sharing their knowledge were people who have already taken part in the scheme across the country as well as representatives from charities with expertise in this area. Bekele Woyecha from Citizens UK reassured those present that it was not a daunting as it seemed. He explained that asking our

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Government to admit refugees is not enough and that the successful welcome and integration of refugees depends on the support of individuals and community groups. Sean Ryan from Caritas Salford and Nick Coke from the Salvation Army spoke about the ups and downs of sponsoring refugees. Nick reminded people to ‘think of their motivation for sponsoring refugees, because it would carry them through the difficulties’. Sean gave a moving account of the refugee family his parish sponsored and how that welcome had been extended by the whole community. The audience was given an opportunity to ask questions on a range of issues, such as housing, safeguarding and cultural sensitivity. Rt Rev Rob Wickham, Bishop of Edmonton, reaffirmed that God has given our communities everything needed to carry out the work of sponsorship and he will continue to bless us if we continue to care for his people. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | March 2017

‘Safety is not secured by fear’ St Josephine Bakhita’s Lesson for Our Time by Cardinal Vincent Nichols

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Reacting to the recent travel ban issued by US President Donald Trump, Cardinal Vincent said that safety ‘is not secured by fear, it is secured by improving relationships…by opening up things not shutting them down.’ He also expressed concern that the executive order ‘increases the risk faced by Christian communities in the Middle East because it implicitly backs a false notion that this conflict is between Christians and Muslims. It increases the image of Christianity as a Western phenomenon.’ Reflecting on political leaders’ duty of care, Cardinal Vincent emphasised that this is ‘a question of how you exercise that duty’. ‘Safety can never be the overall and ultimate aim, because if we try and live safely by simplifying, identifying others as our enemies, then we live in an increasingly enclosed mentality and an enclosed environment and that is not the best way for people to live,’ he said. He went on to praise and encourage the work of the Government Community

Sponsorship Programme to assist local communities in welcoming refugees. ‘The challenge is, not only to the Government, but to the communities in this country who often speak about their generosity, to really take up this opportunity. Then, I would hope, that programme can be speeded up and expanded.’

© Sarah McKenna-Ayres - St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Sir Michael Wilshaw Appointed to St Mary’s University

Sir Michael Wilshaw, former Head of Ofsted, will shortly take up a role as Professor of Education and Director of Multi-Academy Trusts at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where he hopes to develop world-class leaders in the education system, able to rise to the challenge of managing groups of schools.

In his new role, Sir Michael will also lead St Mary’s work on school improvement, championing high standards in schools across the country and challenging multi-academy trusts to deliver outstanding teaching and care, which meets the needs of every child. Sir Michael will focus initially on working with schools in the Diocese of Westminster, but hopes that the programme will have widespread applicability. Speaking of his appointment, Sir Michael said: ‘There are some very effective multi-academy trusts which are doing a great job in raising standards. Their example provides a learning opportunity to improve education across the board. If we are to improve standards of education for all pupils, we need to ensure that a high level of leadership is consistent in every trust.’

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Cardinal Vincent acknowledged the difficulty in making decisions regarding acceptance of more refugees, but emphasised that ‘the intention that we make a concerted effort to solve this dramatic crisis of our time is very important because otherwise it is the extreme voices that win, whether they’re the extreme terrorist voices or the populist voices. I don’t believe that any form of leadership is best exercised by using fear.’ Cardinal Vincent was speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour on 5th February.

A few weeks ago, I was invited out to dinner by a small group of women, living together in London, but coming from seven different countries. They provided food that was varied and delicious, as each had contributed to the meal from their own traditional cuisine. I was their guest, but they too were guests, welcomed into the house as victims of human trafficking. They were gracious and joyful. But their eyes were also full of pain and sadness. They thanked me for all that they were receiving, saying: 'you saved our lives. When we didn't have any hope and reason to live, we came to this house and here we got our new family.’ The house is named after a Catholic woman, Josephine Bakhita, now the patron saint of modern-day slaves. She herself was a slave, snatched from her family, in the Sudan, in 1877, at the age of nine, and spending the next 11 years in slavery, bought and sold five times and treated with the utmost cruelty. By the time she won her freedom, she had over 114 patterns of deep scars in her flesh. Born into a pagan family, she eventually became a Christian and joined a religious order of Catholic nuns. For forty-five years she lived that

Catholic Lutheran Common Prayer Service During 2017, Catholics and Lutherans are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by reflecting on 50 years of official worldwide ecumenical dialogue and building on the communion that we share. All interested Catholics and others are invited to a joint Catholic-Lutheran Common Prayer Service which will be taking place at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on Sunday 26 March at 3pm. The Bishops of England and Wales encourage Lutherans and Catholics to celebrate together their common witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Yet, amidst this celebration, they also acknowledge the suffering caused by the division of the Church, and look critically at themselves, not only throughout history, but also in a contemporary context. Preachers are Archbishop Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham and Bishop Martin Lind, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain. After the service, which is based on the Common Prayer liturgy prepared by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity, there will be a social event in the Cathedral’s Amigo Hall.

life with joy and in dedicated service of the poor. Often she suffered flashbacks to her time of torture, but she died in peace and true hope in 1947. Tomorrow is her feast day, observed around the world as a day of prayer for victims of human trafficking. It is sobering to think that 200 years after slavery was abolished by law, it is the second-most lucrative crime in the world. One special story about St Josephine: Once she was asked what she would do if she met those who kidnapped and tortured her. She replied: 'If I were to meet them, I would kneel and kiss their hands. For if these things had not happened to me, I would not have become a Christian and a religious sister. I would never have come to know Christ my Lord.' A fine patron saint indeed! Given on 7th February for Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2. Page 5


Westminster Record | March 2017

‘Speak Out’ Win for St Thomas More Pupil

Blessing St Anthony’s School for Girls

On Tuesday 31 January, pupils from St Thomas More Catholic School competed in the Haringey Regional Finals of Jack Petchey’s ‘Speak Out’ Challenge, delivered by Speakers Trust and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation. We are delighted to announce that one of the school’s pupils Lin Ly, Year 10, scooped top prize! Lin Ly impressed the judges with her winning speech ‘Flopped’, fighting off stiff competition from 16 other young speakers from schools in the Haringey area. Asked about the experience she said, ‘I feel very relieved I was able to make it through to Regional Finals and actually win 1st place’. Congratulations must also go to Claudyne Small, Year 10, for coming fourth with her beautifully delivered speech ‘Bashing’. Lin Ly’s public performance was voted on by an independent judging panel consisting of Des Fahy, Detective Superintendent (Metropolitan Police); Pam Oparaocha (Station Manager, London Fire Brigade); Page 6

Benjamin Tansey (Elliot Advisors); Reen Polonsky (Head of Project Grants JPF); Cindy Rampersand (Trustee, Speakers Trust); James Scott (Education Correspondent, Ham and High) and Lanya Matthews (Third Place Finalist, JPSOC Haringey Final 2016). The pupils involved gave up their free time to practice and perfect their speeches which showed their dedication and commitment to the competition, leading to Lin Ly becoming the 2016-17 Haringey Regional winner. Ms Agostini, Teacher of English, who organised our pupils’ participation in the challenge, said, ‘The Speak Out Challenge is more than just a competition it is an experience that builds character and confidence in all students who take part. Lin Ly’s hard work paid off and I could not be more proud of what she has gone on to achieve’. Lin Ly’s winning performance can be viewed through the following link: https://youtu.be/ 1fwnXqzWL5Y

Bishop John Wilson joined pupils, staff and parents at St Anthony’s School for Girls on 24th January for a blessing ceremony. It was a special morning which saw the girls, aged from 4 to 8, lead a collective act of worship centred on the theme of ‘Firm Foundations’. Reception pupils prepared the prayer space whilst Year 3 read the Parable of the Foolish Builder. The girls spoke eloquently about the importance of not just listening

to Jesus’ message of living a good life but that we should lay the foundation of this message in our hearts, acting on it. They connected this parable with St Anthony’s message of letting our words teach but our actions speak. Pupils symbolically presented the gospel values, written on foundation stones, to the congregation to guarantee they always remain kind, compassionate and helpful. In his reflection, Bishop John reminded the girls of their

mission as founding pupils to live out the gospel values of love, compassion, service and respect both in school and in our wider community. Headteacher Laura Martin commented: ‘This is a momentous occasion for our school and a wonderful way to celebrate our founding year. Bishop John shared an important message with our girls which will stay with them throughout their time at St Anthony’s.’

Top Class Performance of ‘Annie’

Last week, St Thomas More Catholic School pupils took to the stage to perform this year’s sell-out production of Annie. Pupils from across the year groups took on the challenging roles and performed five shows for staff, pupils, local primary schools, parents, governors and guests.

Hayden Grant, one of the school’s Year 7 journalists and Annie cast member, said, ‘Being in Annie is one of the best experiences I've ever had and I have enjoyed every second of it. These past days have been really fun as I got to meet other cast members, improve in drama and work better in front of a crowd.’

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Michael Thornhill, one of the school governors, was elated with the quality of the opening night show, and congratulated all those involved for an outstanding production and for all the hard work that went into the production. He especially noted the brilliant talent of lead actor, Tayla Lohan, whose portrayal of Annie was both moving and funny, a star in the making! Mr Gaughran, Acting Head of Music, said, ‘Yet again, another wonderful production from the students of St Thomas More School. “Annie” saw the coming together of students mostly from Year 7 to 9 working really hard to learn songs, movement and scripts. It was wonderful to see new friendships being made and people having so much fun engaging in the performing arts together. We are all so proud of the students and their exceptionally hard work!’ Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | March 2017

St Benedict's Junior School an Eco Landmark St Benedict’s School Ealing in west London celebrated the topping out ceremony of its new junior school building, attended by the architect, parents, pupils, staff and governors. The new extension will house the Nursery and PrePrep classes, for children aged three to seven, and will be extremely eco-friendly, built to a set of energy requirements known as ‘Passivhaus’. This is a sustainable construction method which maximises energy-efficiency. There are currently only a handful of schools in the UK built to this standard and St Benedict’s Junior School will be a landmark building for London. Passivhaus buildings have timber frames which are extremely air tight and superinsulated, and can be up to 96% more energy efficient than older school buildings made of concrete, steel and masonry. Air quality and temperature inside the new school will be maintained by using heat recovery ventilation. This is different from conventional heating systems because fresh air from outside passes through a heat exchanger. The air quality inside the building will

be better than it is outside, with good oxygen levels to keep the pupils and staff alert. All of the classrooms will be south facing for good natural light and will enjoy fantastic views across to Ealing Abbey. Architect Meryl Townley, of van Heyningen and Haward Architects, said: 'We are excited to see the new school take shape. The new classroom spaces will be inspiring places for pupils to learn, in a super

sustainable building with minimal running costs.' Headmaster of St Benedict’s, Andrew Johnson said: 'The opening of our new junior school is another very exciting landmark in St Benedict’s history. Not only will it provide a perfect learning environment for our youngest pupils, it is also very eco-friendly, essential in the face of London’s urgent pollution problem.'

Pupils and staff inspecting the construction of the new school

Feast Day Celebrations at St Augustine’s Priory, Ealing Friday 10th February saw St Augustine’s Priory gathered together to celebrate their feast day with a joyous Mass at Ealing Abbey, led by Fr David Reilly, Diocesan Youth Chaplain. Centered around the theme of ‘Memory, the celebration recalled all those who have contributed to this community since its foundation in 1634 and all those pupils, parents and staff who are at the heart of the school today. The congregation was led in song by Director of Music, Dr G Higgins and the St Augustine’s Priory choir. The St Augustine’s Priory Mass setting was used throughout the service, composed in honour of the visit of Cardinal Vincent’s visit to the school in 2015.

St Martha’s 70th Anniversary Founder’s Day Mass

2017 is a very significant year for St Martha’s School. Although the school was founded by the Sisters of St Martha in 1903, the senior school moved to its current location in Hadley Wood in 1947 and so this year marks the school’s 70th anniversary. Events to mark this occasion began on Friday 20th January, with Mass celebrated by Fr Bernard whose association with the school dates back to its 40th anniversary. The whole school community gathered to celebrate this special event together with trustees, governors, priests, the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide, current parents as well as former students, teachers and even a former pupil who was one of the first students, at the Hadley Wood site, exactly 70 years ago! The history of St Martha’s School was detailed by Headteacher, Matthew Burke,

who referred to the sacrifice the sisters have made in order to make St Martha’s the school it is today. The emphasis has always been on ensuring that everyone who comes through the doors of St Martha’s is supported in order to develop their individual gifts. Beginning with just the beautiful 16th Century Mansion House the school has expanded to fill the site over the years. In the last three years alone the school has secured brand new science facilities, a refurbished Sixth Form and library as well as a makeover of the school reception. With exam results improving every year and firstchoice university places being secured as the norm the school really can say it fulfils its aims of treating each girl as an individual and with the hope that each and every student who leaves at 18 knows she can make a difference to the world, or at least a small part of it.

‘Be courageous and holy’

Headteacher, Mrs Raffray, commented, ‘The feast day Mass is always a lovely occasion and it was wonderful

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to see Prep I to Upper VI, together with parents and alumnae, join together in worship.’

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‘Be courageous. Don’t just exist; live.’ Bishop John Wilson told students at the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School on a recent visit to celebrate Mass. In his homily Bishop John encouraged students to follow the example of the saints, particularly Blessed Pier Gorgio Frassati (pictured). The saints ‘are not distant from us. On the contrary, they are as close to us as we allow them to be.’ What made Pier Gorgio holy, Bishop John reflected, was ‘his deeply real and personal relationship with Jesus and his desire and effort to live like Jesus and to love like Jesus.’

He left students with the invitation to ‘live for what is truly good and what serves the dignity of your life and the lives of others. Because of your faith, make a difference to the world and to the people around you.’ The full text of Bishop John’s homily is available at www.rcdow.org.uk Page 7


Westminster Record | March 2017

Together for Life: Planted in Bethlehem be a mixed community of Christians and Moslems. One of its founding principles is that the 'Core People', those who have learning disabilities, should be made up of both Christians and Moslems; and the 'Assistants' too representing both faiths. ‘Yes, we can’, they seem to be saying. ‘Yes, we can live as Christian and Moslem together’, they are saying to the people of Palestine and Israel and indeed of the world, ‘if only we would try’. The second way I find 'Ma'an lil-Hayat' to be prophetic is in the same way L'Arche has been prophetic across the globe for more than half a century: by giving a welcome to those whom society would otherwise reject and commit to asylums; by giving a life and a home to those who would otherwise be living out an aimless existence in anonymous and impersonal institutions. The name 'Together for Life' is powerful because it captures something that is key to L'Arche, that the person who has been welcomed may stay there for the rest of his or her

7th Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 31 October – 7 November 2017

life: if you are welcomed, it is for life. When I discovered that L'Arche Bethlehem called itself 'Together for Life', my thoughts turned immediately to my young friend Laurent in Trosly, France, where Jean Vanier began L'Arche in 1964. Laurent does not have much speech but he likes to tell those in whom he chooses to confide, ‘L'amour c'est pour toujours! L'amour c'est pour toujours!’ ‘Love is forever!’ When he says this, he is saying something very important to him and to

L'Arche: he is saying that he knows L'Arche can be his home forever. He is articulating the covenant which he knows has been set up between him and L'Arche. 'M'an lil-Hayat' is powerful because it announces this same covenant. In this land of the original Covenant, L'Arche Bethlehem is saying to the poor whom it has welcomed, ‘here you will be always welcome; Moslem or Christian, here you will always be welcome’, because love is forever! Such a witness seemed all the more

prophetic as I saw it being lived out in the very the birthplace of the Messiah. Our little visit felt like one of the most powerful moments of the whole trip.

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'Together for Life'. 'Ma'an lilHayat', 'Together for Life'. That is the name of the L'Arche community in Bethlehem. It is a name which captures the prophetic power of the movement that is L'Arche. The L'Arche community in Bethlehem nestles close to the Church of the Nativity, built over the place of Jesus's birth. I found myself leading a little delegation there last January on the last day of the Holy Land Coordination visit. The Holy Land Coordination is a group of Catholic bishops and laypeople who visit the Holy Land annually. They go at the request of the Holy See to give encouragement to the Christians who remain there. They go as well to deepen their understanding of how complex life is for Palestinians and Israelis, be they Christian, Jew or Moslem, for it is a life lived side by side and virtually on top of one another. Planted in Bethlehem, 'Together for Life' is powerfully prophetic in two ways. The first is the radical choice it makes to

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

by Bishop Nicholas Hudson

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Westminster Record | March 2017

The Coffee Shop: Creating a Welcoming Parish by Deacon Adrian Cullen

Nearly two billion cups of coffee are sold in the UK each year, with 85% of us visiting a coffee shop at least once per week. Now there is a good place to start if you want to

meet a few people! Of course, people will go into a coffee shop for more than just coffee: the mother with her toddler and the baby in the pram and the shopping goes in ‘just for a sit

down’, and to meet with a friend with her bundle of goods; the colleagues from the office are there to go over their presentation before they see their client; and there are often a few teenagers who gather to swap gossip from the latest Facebook posts, or to share the latest spoof video of a celebrity. In the corner a student works quietly, with headphones plugged in so they can be in their own little world, away from distractions. While, near the window, the two pensioners, who regularly call in for their weekly coffee and favourite cake, wave to friends who pass by. In some ways coffee is just the excuse to sit down and make time for what is important, to find out what’s new, and above all for friendship. In many parishes coffee and other refreshments are served after Mass, which gives an opportunity for the parish community to meet more informally. It can also be a great opportunity to welcome

Meeting Mercy: Small Groups Lent Resource This Lent, the Small Groups resource takes the theme of ‘Meeting Mercy’. In a different format to previous years, the faithsharing resource is available to download and print at: http://rcdow.org.uk/faith/ small-groups/ The Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis to close the Year of Mercy invites the Church to ‘unleash the creativity of mercy’. This could be a good way to think about what faithsharing could do, and what it could unleash, in your own community this year. Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

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new people to the parish. A new face, someone hovering, just waiting for someone to say, ‘Hi, are you coming to join us for a coffee?’ Through Proclaim ’15 many parishes identified initiatives which aimed at making parishioners, visitors and new people to the parish welcomed into the parish. Sometimes the welcome was aimed at specific groups; for example Hoxton reported a weekly drop-in for homeless people, with hot drinks and sandwiches; while in Hertford there are regular coffee mornings, which extend to monthly lunches, and, as in Pimlico, are aimed at bringing families together in an atmosphere of prayer. Sometimes coffee and tea provide an excuse to help parishioners show their support for a needy cause, as in Cheshunt where proceeds from the monthly get-together go to CAFOD. In Wapping the May procession ended with a celebratory tea party. In all these ways, the simple offer of a cup of tea or coffee, or some other refreshment, is an opportunity to strengthen the parish community, to show

care for those in need, and to welcome strangers to the life of the Church. But, we need to be on the lookout at all times: it is sad to see a stranger who responds to the first welcome, only to be seen a little later drinking their coffee alone. If their life in the parish is to grow, they need nurturing and encouragement. Welcoming is an active and ongoing process. It is good if there is a team dedicated to welcoming people at the church door at the start of Mass, and to extend this ministry to the parish hall afterwards; and to other occasions when visitors and strangers may be coming into the parish. Perhaps as we look toward Easter, when we not only see visitors to the parish, but we see also existing parishioners who don’t often come the church itself, additional arrangements for welcoming can be put in place. So, as each new visitor steps out from experiencing a wonderful liturgy, how pleasing would it also be to hear someone say, ‘Hi, would you like to come into the hall for a coffee?’

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Page 9


Westminster Record | March 2017

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick by Fr Peter Harries OP

On Saturday 11th February Westminster Cathedral was packed for the celebration of Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes. We sang the praises of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and asked for her help in our lives. Many people present were infirm or had various life-limiting conditions. The sick were at the heart of the prayers of people gathered from all over the diocese, just as they are the focus of so many pilgrimages to Lourdes itself. During the ceremony many people, those who were visibly frail and as well as those with

Page 10

unseen ailments, received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The Cardinal with Bishop Paul McAleenan and several priests, including some who are chaplains to the hospitals in this diocese, moved among the crowds, laying hands on them and anointing them with oil. Later during the Mass together we received Holy Communion, the greatest medicine for immortality (Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting St Ignatius of Antioch). Some people think that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is only for those who

are dying, as part of ‘last rites’. This is not the understanding of the Church. The Church invites any of the faithful (except babies and infants) who begin to be seriously ill or face a life-limiting condition to receive God’s grace through this sacrament. This lifelimiting condition might be a psychiatric condition. We can receive the sacrament several times in our life, particularly in the course of a prolonged illness, or following a sudden deterioration, but not frequently. If we are frail we might profitably receive the

sacrament a couple of times a year, perhaps in a communal parish celebration. We should approach this sacrament before any major operation, or any stay in hospital which goes beyond a couple of days. We don’t usually receive the sacrament for minor ailments, such as colds or sprained wrists, despite the pain and short-term inconvenience of such occurrences. The Gospels frequently recount stories of Jesus loving sick people by visiting them and healing them. For Christians today the care of the sick continues to be a priority. It is one of the great corporal works of mercy. Over the centuries the Church has built, staffed and funded many hospitals, hospices, and homes for the elderly or disabled. Today in England the state has taken over much of this responsibility, but the care of the sick remains an essential Christian priority. In addition to the care of their bodies, the care of the whole person is vital, which is why we pray for the sick often. Many parishes pray each Sunday during the bidding prayers for sick parishioners. Sickness always troubles people and God’s faithful are no exception to this anxiety. However, Christian faith enables us to grasp something of the redemptive meaning of suffering and so face pain with courage. Our sufferings are united to the sufferings of Jesus Christ. This is not only for our own salvation, but also for the redemption of the world. Our sufferings are not then pointless, but redemptive. It can be difficult to affirm this truth of faith when the character of a loved one is stripped from them by dementia. We have to hope in the resurrection of the body and the fullness of everlasting life. James in his epistle, part of the New Testament, wrote, ‘Are there any among you who are sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will

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raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.’ (Js 5.14-15) In obedience to our Lord’s will, priests (and bishops) continue to lay hands on the sick and to anoint them with oil. The priest uses a special oil, blessed by the bishop in the cathedral during Holy Week. Some parishes during the annual Maundy Thursday liturgies, publically receive this and the other blessed oils. The care of the sick, physical and spiritual, should be a constant theme of Christian life and worship. The only members of Christ’s faithful whom we don’t anoint are babies and infants. They are baptized and we understand that they preserve their baptismal innocence, and that they have not committed sins which need forgiveness. If baptized babies are sick, we pray for them, but don’t anoint them. But what are ‘last rites’? Last rites are the receiving of Holy Communion for the last time as viaticum. Beforehand we should make our confession and receive absolution. We should also be anointed and so enabled to die in peace, reconciled to the Lord and to the Church, God’s holy people. If someone is unconscious then they cannot receive Holy Communion obviously, but they may receive the other sacraments and we may pray the Commendation for the Dying. Last rites, including the anointing of the sick, are not for those who have died, as they can no longer benefit from receiving the sacraments. We can and should continue to pray for them, commending their souls to Almighty God. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is an opportunity to receive God’s grace when we are sick. It is not something to be feared, rather something to be welcomed. Christ our Lord loves us, wants to accompany us, his brothers and sisters on our journey through life, and never more so, than when we are sick or in pain.

Westminster Record | March 2017

Pastoral Letter: A Practical Expression of God’s Mercy As part of the launch of ‘Called to Serve the Sick’, Cardinal Vincent issued a pastoral letter that was read in parishes on Sunday 26th February. In it, he explains the purpose of the season, asking ‘all to focus on one particular corporal work of mercy: caring for the sick’. The following is an excerpt: ‘Caring for the sick is a daily, practical expression of the mercy we have first received from God. This means that our caring for the sick arises from our faith in God and is most fully completed when it takes its shape from that faith. The care we offer, then, is shot through with a loving trust that this sickness, these special needs, which a person is carrying, are capable of bringing that person closer to God, and of helping others through their own pain. This is what we mean by “redemptive power of suffering”. ‘My mother had a special way of approaching the presence of illness and suffering in her life. She often remarked that the traditional saying “God never gives a cross without the back to bear it” was wrong. She insisted that it ought to say “God never gives a cross without the backs to bear it” for it is only by standing shoulder to shoulder that can we carry the crosses which come our way from the

Lord. Indeed, quite often it is the shoulders of the sick persons themselves who help us to carry the cross together. Often it is the sick who bless us with their courage, tenacious faith and enduring hope. ‘This season of “Called to Serve the Sick” can start by our looking again at how we care for those who are going through a time of illness, or indeed whose lives are coming to an end. It asks us to see beyond all the necessary practical help and medical care to the very soul of the person, seeing them as a precious daughter or son of our Heavenly Father, making their way to him, coming closer, step-by-step, with Christ himself. As Cardinal Hume said: “The journey to heaven always goes over the hill of Calvary.” We can make that journey together. ‘Please do make a renewed effort to remember the sick and the dying in your prayers. Please do not turn your back on them, simply handing them over to professional care, important though that care is. The mystery of the gift of life in each one of us becomes more precious at such times. Let us treasure and serve that mystery, for it is the mystery of God himself.’

Inside the Hospice:  The Good Samaritan and the Royal Family Fr Peter-Michael Scott Being ignored can be horrible. Recently someone I had been taught to respect overlooked me, and I was left feeling somewhat secondary and unimportant, almost as if I was left by the roadside, in the gutter. Hospice is a place where everyone is important; it is part of its ethos. Everyone should have a feeling of being a minor celebrity or a distant royal. Being royal has the implication of being anointed, acknowledged, admired and fixed with a crown. When I visit those patients who are dying, I often spend time talking to them about their lives. Inevitably we talk about their regrets, but we also

begin to unearth and bring to light their successes, and the things in their life that they are proud of. At the end of these conversations, and often after reconciliation, I will introduce the Sacrament of Anointing, in the past called the ‘last rites’. This sacrament is beautiful, because it has so many dimensions. It is about healing, about giving strength and courage, but it is also about God marking us out as special. Kings and queens are regarded as special because they are anointed, and so in God’s eyes are the sick. In this sacrament, God reaches out, through the priest, and reminds the sick that they are important, that they are loved and cherished.

Like the Good Samaritan, God does not want to ignore anyone particularly those who might be feeling useless and unattractive as they come to the end of their lives. By anointing, he marks them out as exceptional, original and distinct and part of his royal family. His royal family are not just in hospice or in hospital, but they live in care homes or are those unable to leave their front doors. They are served by a myriad of Good Samaritans, who share in God’s eyesight and see them as special and important. Please pray for the patients, staff and volunteers of St Joseph’s Hospice.

The full text is available at www.rcdow.org.uk/cardinal/homilies

Fr Peter Harries OP is chaplain to University College Hospital Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

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

Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

Page 11


Westminster Record | March 2017

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick by Fr Peter Harries OP

On Saturday 11th February Westminster Cathedral was packed for the celebration of Mass in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes. We sang the praises of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and asked for her help in our lives. Many people present were infirm or had various life-limiting conditions. The sick were at the heart of the prayers of people gathered from all over the diocese, just as they are the focus of so many pilgrimages to Lourdes itself. During the ceremony many people, those who were visibly frail and as well as those with

Page 10

unseen ailments, received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The Cardinal with Bishop Paul McAleenan and several priests, including some who are chaplains to the hospitals in this diocese, moved among the crowds, laying hands on them and anointing them with oil. Later during the Mass together we received Holy Communion, the greatest medicine for immortality (Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting St Ignatius of Antioch). Some people think that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is only for those who

are dying, as part of ‘last rites’. This is not the understanding of the Church. The Church invites any of the faithful (except babies and infants) who begin to be seriously ill or face a life-limiting condition to receive God’s grace through this sacrament. This lifelimiting condition might be a psychiatric condition. We can receive the sacrament several times in our life, particularly in the course of a prolonged illness, or following a sudden deterioration, but not frequently. If we are frail we might profitably receive the

sacrament a couple of times a year, perhaps in a communal parish celebration. We should approach this sacrament before any major operation, or any stay in hospital which goes beyond a couple of days. We don’t usually receive the sacrament for minor ailments, such as colds or sprained wrists, despite the pain and short-term inconvenience of such occurrences. The Gospels frequently recount stories of Jesus loving sick people by visiting them and healing them. For Christians today the care of the sick continues to be a priority. It is one of the great corporal works of mercy. Over the centuries the Church has built, staffed and funded many hospitals, hospices, and homes for the elderly or disabled. Today in England the state has taken over much of this responsibility, but the care of the sick remains an essential Christian priority. In addition to the care of their bodies, the care of the whole person is vital, which is why we pray for the sick often. Many parishes pray each Sunday during the bidding prayers for sick parishioners. Sickness always troubles people and God’s faithful are no exception to this anxiety. However, Christian faith enables us to grasp something of the redemptive meaning of suffering and so face pain with courage. Our sufferings are united to the sufferings of Jesus Christ. This is not only for our own salvation, but also for the redemption of the world. Our sufferings are not then pointless, but redemptive. It can be difficult to affirm this truth of faith when the character of a loved one is stripped from them by dementia. We have to hope in the resurrection of the body and the fullness of everlasting life. James in his epistle, part of the New Testament, wrote, ‘Are there any among you who are sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will

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

raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.’ (Js 5.14-15) In obedience to our Lord’s will, priests (and bishops) continue to lay hands on the sick and to anoint them with oil. The priest uses a special oil, blessed by the bishop in the cathedral during Holy Week. Some parishes during the annual Maundy Thursday liturgies, publically receive this and the other blessed oils. The care of the sick, physical and spiritual, should be a constant theme of Christian life and worship. The only members of Christ’s faithful whom we don’t anoint are babies and infants. They are baptized and we understand that they preserve their baptismal innocence, and that they have not committed sins which need forgiveness. If baptized babies are sick, we pray for them, but don’t anoint them. But what are ‘last rites’? Last rites are the receiving of Holy Communion for the last time as viaticum. Beforehand we should make our confession and receive absolution. We should also be anointed and so enabled to die in peace, reconciled to the Lord and to the Church, God’s holy people. If someone is unconscious then they cannot receive Holy Communion obviously, but they may receive the other sacraments and we may pray the Commendation for the Dying. Last rites, including the anointing of the sick, are not for those who have died, as they can no longer benefit from receiving the sacraments. We can and should continue to pray for them, commending their souls to Almighty God. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is an opportunity to receive God’s grace when we are sick. It is not something to be feared, rather something to be welcomed. Christ our Lord loves us, wants to accompany us, his brothers and sisters on our journey through life, and never more so, than when we are sick or in pain.

Westminster Record | March 2017

Pastoral Letter: A Practical Expression of God’s Mercy As part of the launch of ‘Called to Serve the Sick’, Cardinal Vincent issued a pastoral letter that was read in parishes on Sunday 26th February. In it, he explains the purpose of the season, asking ‘all to focus on one particular corporal work of mercy: caring for the sick’. The following is an excerpt: ‘Caring for the sick is a daily, practical expression of the mercy we have first received from God. This means that our caring for the sick arises from our faith in God and is most fully completed when it takes its shape from that faith. The care we offer, then, is shot through with a loving trust that this sickness, these special needs, which a person is carrying, are capable of bringing that person closer to God, and of helping others through their own pain. This is what we mean by “redemptive power of suffering”. ‘My mother had a special way of approaching the presence of illness and suffering in her life. She often remarked that the traditional saying “God never gives a cross without the back to bear it” was wrong. She insisted that it ought to say “God never gives a cross without the backs to bear it” for it is only by standing shoulder to shoulder that can we carry the crosses which come our way from the

Lord. Indeed, quite often it is the shoulders of the sick persons themselves who help us to carry the cross together. Often it is the sick who bless us with their courage, tenacious faith and enduring hope. ‘This season of “Called to Serve the Sick” can start by our looking again at how we care for those who are going through a time of illness, or indeed whose lives are coming to an end. It asks us to see beyond all the necessary practical help and medical care to the very soul of the person, seeing them as a precious daughter or son of our Heavenly Father, making their way to him, coming closer, step-by-step, with Christ himself. As Cardinal Hume said: “The journey to heaven always goes over the hill of Calvary.” We can make that journey together. ‘Please do make a renewed effort to remember the sick and the dying in your prayers. Please do not turn your back on them, simply handing them over to professional care, important though that care is. The mystery of the gift of life in each one of us becomes more precious at such times. Let us treasure and serve that mystery, for it is the mystery of God himself.’

Inside the Hospice:  The Good Samaritan and the Royal Family Fr Peter-Michael Scott Being ignored can be horrible. Recently someone I had been taught to respect overlooked me, and I was left feeling somewhat secondary and unimportant, almost as if I was left by the roadside, in the gutter. Hospice is a place where everyone is important; it is part of its ethos. Everyone should have a feeling of being a minor celebrity or a distant royal. Being royal has the implication of being anointed, acknowledged, admired and fixed with a crown. When I visit those patients who are dying, I often spend time talking to them about their lives. Inevitably we talk about their regrets, but we also

begin to unearth and bring to light their successes, and the things in their life that they are proud of. At the end of these conversations, and often after reconciliation, I will introduce the Sacrament of Anointing, in the past called the ‘last rites’. This sacrament is beautiful, because it has so many dimensions. It is about healing, about giving strength and courage, but it is also about God marking us out as special. Kings and queens are regarded as special because they are anointed, and so in God’s eyes are the sick. In this sacrament, God reaches out, through the priest, and reminds the sick that they are important, that they are loved and cherished.

Like the Good Samaritan, God does not want to ignore anyone particularly those who might be feeling useless and unattractive as they come to the end of their lives. By anointing, he marks them out as exceptional, original and distinct and part of his royal family. His royal family are not just in hospice or in hospital, but they live in care homes or are those unable to leave their front doors. They are served by a myriad of Good Samaritans, who share in God’s eyesight and see them as special and important. Please pray for the patients, staff and volunteers of St Joseph’s Hospice.

The full text is available at www.rcdow.org.uk/cardinal/homilies

Fr Peter Harries OP is chaplain to University College Hospital Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

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

Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

Page 11


Westminster Record | March 2017

New Marriage Preparation Guidelines Introduced In a complex world where the reality is that not all marriages last, and on-going support is essential, Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, asks for greater effort on the part of the whole Christian community in welcoming and preparing those who ask to be married in Church. By saying ‘I do’ the couple begin a journey that calls for great courage, generosity and commitment, and they need the welcome, and practical, relational and spiritual support of the community not only at the start, but throughout the seasons of married life, to help them live out their calling to a life-long, loving and fruitful commitment. In response to the Pope’s call in Amoris Laetitia, and as a fruit of several years’ work, the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Catholic Bishops' Conference have published ‘Guidelines for the Preparation of Couples for Marriage’. The process proposed in the

Page 12

guidelines envisages a life-long pastoral accompaniment by the community, flexible and gradual, meeting each couple where they are, and walking alongside them in a Christ-like, loving, steady, reassuring way, in steps and stages, at all times being assured that the grace of God is at work. The guidelines appreciate the engaged couples’ need for preparation in both the relational and spiritual aspects of marriage, encouraging them and equipping them to make the best possible start, with the assurance that they do not make this journey alone; family, friends, the community of the Church, are there to support them in their lifelong project. Bishop Peter Doyle, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Committee for Marriage and Family Life said: 'I hope these guidelines will support the good work going on in our communities to welcome, accompany and help young couples prepare for a lifelong, fruitful and happy marriage. As Pope Francis has said, often they

are left to their own devices, but it's precisely at this time that they need our closeness and strong spiritual support. We have a great opportunity to rediscover together the beauty of marriage and family life according to God's plan.' The guidelines encourage whole communities to develop their shared vision for marriage, and marriage preparation, as essential to the life and mission of the Church in their particular place. Everyone involved needs to be well trained and well informed, allowing for a flexibility of approaches in delivery and content. The guidelines, intended to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, suggest a range of actions for parishes and dioceses, including the development of marriage preparation ‘teams’ with clergy and lay people sharing together in accompaniment of marriage and family life. Additional information can be found at www.catholicfamily.org.uk.

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Westminster Record | March 2017

Chaplain’s Corner

Fr David Reilly, Diocesan Youth Chaplain Every Christian is called to be a follower of Jesus. We know from the New Testament, and the testimony of many Christians throughout the ages, that following Jesus is not always an easy thing and can often be a costly business. Jesus himself says, ‘if anyone wants to be a follower of mine let him renounce himself, take up his cross everyday and follow me’ (Luke 9.23). Perhaps different people experience the burden of carrying those crosses in different ways. Some experience personal hardships in their lives, homes or families. For others, the radical decision to take their friendship with Jesus seriously can have farreaching repercussions in their lives. For others still, the cost of discipleship can be a matter of life or death. Married couples may find their shared way of life to be more difficult than they once imagined. We are also reflecting on the call to care for the sick and elderly who also struggle as they seek to find hope in their suffering. All of

this is part of following Jesus, of being disciples who learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5.8). All over our diocese, men and women, young and old, take the call to follow Jesus very seriously. We must recognise this determination towards faithfulness in each other. It is not always an easy thing to do, but we can support each other with friendship and love. Such experiences, even the small challenges, always bring life and growth to the Christian community. As we read in the Gospel, it is the grain of wheat that dies which is ready to produce its crop (John 12.24). Pope Francis speaks of the great joy which comes from sharing the Gospel. Our faith brings great hope when it is lived in a spirit of generosity and openness. He says, ‘Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others…This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.’ Amid the challenges that life and discipleship bring, let us support each other and share the joy that brings meaning to life.

Calling all men & women. No upper age limit.

Are you looking for: Prayer Community Spirituality Service Is God calling you to the Discalced Carmelites? Please contact Fr John at: johnmcgowan50@gmail.com Tel: 07598 913986 To find out more about the Youth Ministry and experiences of our young people at: dowym.org.uk.

Director’s Spotlight Phil Ross, Youth Ministry Director

The Westminster Youth Ministry Retreat Centre (SPEC) supports the schools and parishes of the diocese and, to fulfil this mission, a community of volunteers are recruited each year. These Volunteer Missionaries also enter a formation house, growing in faith and developing their own spirituality, and living by a rule of life and a rhythm of prayer. This gives crucial foundations for time working with students retreating at SPEC. This focus on the formation of the missionaries has proved to be a pathway for future work in and around the diocese; two missionaries have recently become school chaplains in our schools. The missionaries live in community for up to two years and play a pivotal role day to day, leading small group sessions and bringing youthful exuberance to many activities! From Christmas to Easter there is a recruitment drive and for the academic year commencing September 2017, SPEC needs to welcome up to 14 new faces. The hope each year is that indigenous Westminster young adults can be encouraged to consider SPEC as a destination and this remains a key focus. One great joy is to witness the global diversity of the missionaries, with many venturing here from America, Europe and the Far East. We use social media, published press, personal recommendations and even the large screen at the Flame17 to reach out as widely as possible. So, please be a recruiter for us and if you know someone who's between the ages of 18 and 25 and who you'd think would flourish in our Catholic community please ask them to give me a call!

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See photos of youth events at: http://flickr.com/ photos/catholicwestminster

Page 13


Westminster Record | March 2017

Credit Unions: Building a Financial Community

Last month the Cardinal became the 1000th member of the Churches Mutual Credit Union. Fortunately, this kind of financial service is not exclusive to Archbishops! Credit unions are there to help and encourage people to save, and to be a source of information and guidance for those in debt or who are unsure as how best to manage their money. Intended as cooperatives to allow communities to be financially responsible and benefit their friends and neighbours at the same time, credit unions started in Germany, spreading across the UK in 1800s. Although the first recorded credit union in the UK was founded in the 1960s, they existed in less formal form before then, often being known as ‘friendly societies’. In Britain they were championed by the large Afro-Caribbean community coming to the UK

Page 14

at the time and began by offering the simple service of saving and lending as well as financial advice. Credit union is perhaps a misleading term. A better way of describing it might be a ‘financial community’, a group of people who share common ground. This can be as diverse a category as living in the same area or working in the same field. This financial community, in its most basic format, allows people to open savings accounts and obtain small loans. It works on the promise of community, that when a person saves with a credit union they are facilitating its loans, and in turn they are allowed to take small loans if and when needed. These services are run not for profit. This means that after overheads and employee salaries are covered, any profits are invested back into the credit union. All credit

Shared Understanding of Death and Dying

unions are cooperatives, meaning they are owned by their members. But this does not mean they are an amateur organisation. All money saved in a credit union is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to the value of £75,000 per person, exactly the same level of protection as savings in a bank or building society. They offer Christmas savings accounts, notice accounts with higher returns, junior savers’ accounts, and even cash ISAs. A key feature of credit unions is the promotion of a healthy attitude towards saving and financial responsibility that is supported by the services they offer. To find out what a particular credit union offers, it is worth contacting it before joining to enquire about their range of products. Borrowing is capped at 3% interest but is often much lower. All credit unions offer saving and lending, with payroll deduction making it much simpler to put money aside. The Association of British Credit Unions Limited, the regulatory body, has a website which provides information about credit unions in each area. Visit: https://www.findyourcreditu nion.co.uk/ or http://www.abcul.org/home for more information.

Baroness Julia Neuberger with Catenian Grand President David Rowley

The guest of honour at the recent Catenian City of Westminster Circle Gala and Clergy Night was Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE, who gave a thoughtprovoking talk on end-of-life questions for people of faith and people who have no faith. In a very interesting and challenging address, Baroness Neuberger outlined the differences and similarities between the Jewish and Catholic faiths in how we view the dying, their families and funerals. The Baroness also explained that the two faiths can learn from each other in how the whole grieving process related to death can be

effectively managed. She also questioned why funerals in many communities in the UK take so long to happen, adding to the anxieties suffered by the bereaved. The Circle was also honoured to welcome 90 guests, among them Catenian Grand President David Rowley and his wife Eileen, and Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain of the Royal Air Force, Fr James Caulfield. Additional resources around the issues of death and dying, based on the Catholic tradition of Ars Moriendi are available on the Art of Dying Well website at artofdyingwell.org.

A Helping Hand in Time of Need Caritas Westminster offers two types of emergency grants to support those in need. Caritas Westminster Funeral Grants: Funeral grants are available through all Westminster parishes to help specifically with the costs of a funeral in cases of financial hardship. A grant can contribute up to £1,500 towards funeral costs where a family is struggling to pay, perhaps by getting into substantial debt which they cannot afford. Applications should be made by the parish priest or his representative. Parishes can download the application form

on the Caritas grants webpages: www.rcdow.org.uk/caritas/carit as-grants/. We can also recommend Down to Earth, a service offered by Quaker Social Action giving free practical guidance and support to those on low incomes struggling to afford a funeral. For help finding an affordable and appropriate funeral, do contact Down to Earth. Email downtoearth@qsa.org.uk or call 020 8983 5055 (10am-4pm weekdays). St John Southworth Caritas Fund Project and Crisis Grants: As part of Caritas Westminster’s commitment to combat poverty

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and social exclusion throughout the diocese, the St John Southworth Caritas Fund project grants can help seed fund or support the development of parish-based social action projects anywhere in the diocese. Parishes can also apply to the fund for crisis grants for individuals; these can help parish communities support local individuals or families facing extreme hardship or crisis and they too are now available across the diocese. For more information and application forms on any of the grants visit: http://rcdow.org.uk/caritas/car itas-grants/. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | March 2017

Small changes will make a big difference Lent is a time of transformation, both spiritual and physical. Many of us will make a sacrifice this Lent, making a change in both our own lives and in the world around us. Yet, the ideal is for the transformation to last longer than Lent, to make a lasting difference. The annual CAFOD Lent Fast Day is on 10th March with collections in parishes taking place on 11th and 12th March. Many parishes and schools across the diocese are already planning soup lunches and fundraising events to help communities around the world. During the Lenten appeal of 2016, the diocese raised over £500,000 to help people across the world access clean water.

This year, CAFOD is focusing its Lenten appeal on the south African country of Zambia. It is estimated that over half of Zambians live below the poverty line. This means that many families do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as food, housing and clothing. CAFOD is working with its partners in Zambia to provide communities with the means to feed their families, by training them to set up their own small businesses. CAFOD’s partners provide training in fish farming, beekeeping and crop farming. This helps individuals within communities develop business skills so those most in need understand how to get a better price for their goods, market

them and even set up business partnerships. People like Florence and her family benefit from this training. Florence is a single mother from Mbala whose husband was killed in a mining accident over a decade ago. She was given her parent’s land to help her to grow food for her family, but despite her best efforts, she could not grow enough to feed her family. Then CAFOD’s partners trained her in fish farming. She started off with small starter fish and now has a thriving business. Thanks to the training, she understands how to cultivate fish and, by farming fish, she can provide her family. In addition to this, Florence has been able to help empower the whole community as she

has now shared her knowledge and training with her community. Many of her neighbours now have their own fish farms. The money raised this Lent will mean that CAFOD’s partners will be able to continue to support projects, and transform communities like Florence’s, around the world throughout Lent and for many years to come. Find out more at cafod.org.uk/Lent. There will be a Fairtrade Fortnight discussion with Mary Milne, Campaigns Manager at Traidcraft, at 10.30am (10am refreshments) on Saturday 11th March 2017 at Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew, Hitchin, SG5 1QS. This event is free but please register at https://fairfreetrade.eventbrite.co.uk or email justice@rcdow.org.uk.

Faith, Science and Laudato Si’ by Barbara Kentish Faith, Science and Climate Change, inspired by Laudato Si’, provided the theme for an interdisciplinary dialogue hosted by the UCL Catholic Society and Westminster Justice and Peace on 6 February.

Professor Clare Grey

Speakers included University of Cambridge Chemistry Professor Clare Grey, Fr Martin Poulsom, Head of Theology at Heythrop College, and Richard Solly, Coordinator of the London Mining Network. Professor Anne Power, from the London School of Economics and formerly a member of the government’s Sustainability Commission, proved a skilful chairperson as topics ranged from the wisdom of Laudato Si’, to the exploitation of miners in Northern Colombia, and the necessity of improving battery technology to store renewable energy. Clare Grey led by explaining the science of lithium batteries, currently a key factor in creating better electricity storage for the future. Renewable energy technology is key in developing countries, but if we don’t reduce the planet’s CO2 output, global warming affects those countries even more adversely than developed countries. Lithium is the currently the best metal and is obtainable in Chile and China, but also in smaller quantities in poorer countries such as Brazil and Zimbabwe. However, is it justifiable to develop better

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batteries with lithium and other metals such as copper and nickel, when the environmental effect is so severe? Fr Martin Poulsom recalled that Pope Francis spoke of the joy of living in harmony with the earth and the importance of hope, in making the world a safer and cleaner place. He is chair of the national LiveSimply

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committee and pointed out that Laudato Si’ preaches the need for ecological conversion and a change of heart before any change of politics or moral message. For him, climate justice was the way forward. Having worked closely with indigenous peoples in Latin and North America, Richard Solly felt that the first step was to

appreciate the fundamental links they have with the land and its treatment. With this perspective, exploitative and destructive mining practices seem the wrong way to proceed. The next Laudato Si’ student dialogue, which will have an interfaith theme, will take place at Westminster University on 23 March.

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Westminster Record | March 2017

Encouraging a ‘culture of mercy’ in the Church

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In this excerpt from the St Brigid’s Day Annual Lecture given on 7th February at St Brigid’s Berryvolgie Parish, Belfast, Cardinal Vincent Nichols provides insights into Pope Francis’ efforts to develop a ‘culture of mercy’ in the Church.

The Year of Mercy has certainly been extraordinary. Bringing it to an end, Pope Francis said: ‘even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us’, adding, ‘we have received mercy in order to be merciful’. In his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera, he reflects on some of the blessings and challenges which this extraordinary Year has opened for us. He describes it as ‘a new visitation of the Lord’. I think his reflections echo many aspects of the celebration of the Year in different dioceses around the world. My points are drawn, obviously, from our own Diocese of Westminster, with Doors of Mercy in over a dozen churches and the cathedral; with so many initiatives in parishes and schools expressing mercy in some most creative and devotional ways; with outreach to the needy and bereft in a deeper exploration of the works of mercy and, perhaps most remarkably of all, with an upsurge in the practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is so much for which we must thank God, simply and sincerely. The joy of this Jubilee Year arises from our deeper realisation that mercy is the concrete action of God's love, vividly expressed in forgiveness, which transforms and changes our lives (cf paragraph 2). Page 16

the Gospel is to take concrete expression and shape their lives. This passionate drive of Pope Francis arises from the conviction that the whole point of religion, of the Church founded by Christ, is to bring us to the Father, to God, through the transformation of grace. This is God's entire project, working through creation and redemption, and through every moment in the life of every human being. In a wonderful phrase, Pope Francis describes the world as ‘God's construction site’. That is where we are to be: attentive to the present reality, and responding to it in the perspective of a loving Heavenly Father. This, then, is a spiritual Pope Francis speaks of ‘a programme. His is a radical perennial activity of pastoral reform of the Church, of you and conversion and witness to me, asking us to go back to these mercy’. He speaks of a ‘culture of very basic truths and learn again mercy’ to be generated in the how to live by them and be Church. shaped by them. This is his real programme. For Pope Francis, and As I was reading this letter, I was therefore for us, reform or also listening to a young man renewal is not an idea, or a talking with a group of bishops theory, imposing itself on as we were engaged in history, or on the Church. preparation for the next Synod Reform is an accompaniment of of Bishops. When asked what each other as we try to discern young people feared most today, the working of God in each he said one word: ‘Failure’. He concrete circumstance. To play then went on to talk about a true part in this process, we young people’s attitude to the may often have to allow the Church's teaching on various model we had formed in our topics, especially on sexuality. heads to be broken down. He said, quite simply, ‘It has no In working out this renewal, room for failure. It is impossible the Pope puts before us a for us to work with.’ number of axioms. The first is This phrase 'the culture of this: time is greater than space mercy' and the words of this (EG 222-225). By this he means young man, have made me think that we should not be trying to a great deal about all that is fill, or dominate space and central to this pontificate, indeed shape it as we believe it ought to the entire reform Pope Francis to be shaped. Rather we must is trying to bring about. respect the speed, the timing, Two words appear at the slow or fast, of processes of heart of the Holy Father's drive growth and change. Yes, as we to see the Church become a place face a new problem or of mercy and salvation: challenge, we bring our ideas to accompaniment and it. But we must also and always discernment. They are central to give time to respect and grow Amoris Laetitia; they are central to close to the reality, to attend the Year of Mercy and he has carefully to its complexity and made them central to the next allow its own dynamic to Synod of Bishops on 'Youth, become clear. This means Faith and Vocational exercising some self-restraint in Discernment', by which is meant expressing our opinions; it the task of helping youngsters to means not rushing to separate the wheat from the tares. see the way in which the call of

It has been pointed out that for many the first step on the road to a return to the full practice of the faith is one of being embraced by the Church, experiencing a sense of belonging. Often we might be tempted to think that true belonging comes after the necessary changes or reform of life. On the contrary, if a concrete sense of belonging is created and experienced, then the pathway of conversion can open up, with all the time that it might need. Pope Francis is a genius at creating this sense of belonging, this open space, for those who feel they are excluded. A second axiom which lies at the heart of the Pope's vision is this: reality is more important than ideas (EG 231-233). For Pope Francis, reform is always a matter of spiritual discernment, whether in the life of the Church or in the life of the individual. Such discernment attends first of all to the realities, to the limited degrees of goodness and failure that are to be found there. What we are looking for, in this discernment, are the shades of progress, not the black and white of a final judgment. Neither reform of the Church, nor the pastoral care of individuals, is ever to be seen as a battle of ideas. In fact, the battle of ideas, so beloved of the media, for example, tends to take us away from the very place which should fill our hearts and minds: the respectful, even reverential regard for the reality of a person's life and how God is at work in it at this moment. In understanding that reality is more important than ideas, the reality of limitations becomes crucial. We have to take limitations seriously and work within them, not least our own. This is the wisdom of pastoral care and is the antidote to what the Pope calls, in his blunt way, the ‘aggression of idealism’ or ‘pastoral autocracy’. But at the same time we do not surrender to the limits of the present reality, as if there is nothing to be done except sink into the sofa. We are to be clear about where the signposts are, pointing to the path we are to try to follow, discerning the next

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steps and walking, as best we can, together with others who are making the journey. A further perspective of the Pope important to the art of accompaniment and discernment is that, before the mystery of God, nothing is too big and nothing is too small. So, on the one hand, we should not turn away from the radical demands of the Gospel and its unfolding in practice. But nor should we demean the smallest of steps or gestures, which often give expression to the greatest of truths. Small steps on a road of conversion are a miracle of grace which we must truly welcome with joy. Accompaniment and discernment are so much about limits and desires. It takes genuine humility to recognise our own limitations, letting go of the last vestiges of seeing myself as a hero and acknowledging that I stand in need, constantly, of forgiveness especially from those who love me most. Yet we also have to embrace our deepest desires: that pervading longing to be better, the lingering hope of holiness; the marvellous moments when everything again seems possible as we glimpse, through the clouds of everyday living, the bright horizon of our hopes and desires. In these and so many other ways we are being invited to learn to give deep respect to the reality of life, to recognise the limits of the possibilities at each point. Day by day we are to seek to deepen our desire for goodness, for conversion, for closeness to the Lord. Gradually we learn how to discern the next step in response to God's mercy and see the longer and challenging pathway we are to take. This can only be done if we give time, if we are a person in tune with the Spirit through our own prayer. This is the wisdom of the reform that our Holy Father is laying before us, with persistence and patience. He is remarkable. He is our shepherd and he is to be lovingly followed. For the full text, please visit: rcdow.org/uk/cardinal/addresses/ Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Westminster Record | March 2017

by Peter Stevens This term’s concert given by the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra, conducted by Martin Baker, brings together popular masterpieces from the 17th and 20th centuries with a powerful meditation on the Passion from one of the leading composers of our time. Gregorio Allegri was a priest who spent most of his life in Rome. His early musical education came from his years as a chorister in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, and he went on to compose a substantial body of sacred music, including a large number of motets. After his ordination, Pope Urban VIII appointed him to the Sistine Chapel Choir as a contralto. He was known as a good and holy man; half a century after Allegri’s death, one of his pupils spoke warmly of his teacher: ‘In addition to his virtue, he had a singularly good nature. He gave generous alms to the poor, who were always on his doorstep, as well as to prisoners, whom he visited daily.’ As well as his sacred music, Allegri is credited with writing the earliest surviving example of a string quartet. However, despite his considerable output, he is remembered primarily for one piece whose compositional history is dubious, to say the least: his Miserere. A setting of Psalm 50 in the Vulgate, it has become one of the best-known

pieces in the entire choral repertoire. An aura of mystery grew up around the work almost immediately, to such an extent that the Vatican banned its publication or any copies being circulated outside the Sistine Choir. Famously, however, a fourteen-year-old Mozart heard it twice on a trip to Rome and transcribed it from memory! The Miserere is scored for three separate groups of voices: the main choir in five parts, an echo choir in four parts, and a third group to sing verses of plainsong in between the polyphonic verses. The spatial possibilities of this scoring are well served by Westminster Cathedral, with its galleries, apse, and side chapels. At the time of the work’s composition, the convention was for the performers to elaborate freely on what was actually written in the score. Mozart’s transcription is fairly plain, without the famous top C; this, along with the unexpected change of key in the quartet’s verses, is thought to date from as late as the 1880s. Regardless of who wrote it, or of its haphazard evolution over the centuries, Allegri’s Miserere is a deeply evocative piece of music, and the perfect soundtrack to Lent. The Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams was written in 1910, and first performed on 10th September that year in the spacious setting of Gloucester

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‘A Powerful Meditation on the Passion’

Cathedral, conducted by the composer. The premiere was a great success, and the work has remained popular ever since. The theme on which the work is based is a hymn tune written in 1567 by the renaissance master Thomas Tallis. His long life straddled the English Reformation and, despite the religious persecutions that raged throughout during his lifetime, Tallis remained a Roman Catholic. Nevertheless, he contributed nine hymn tunes to the Psalter compiled by the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. Using Tallis’s tune as his starting point, Vaughan Williams builds it into a substantial piece scored for string orchestra. Like the Allegri, it is conceived for three separate groups of performers: the main orchestra, a solo quartet, and a small group positioned away from the other players. The expansive opening chords were written to blossom in the generous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral, and Westminster Cathedral will provide a similarly sympathetic setting.

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With its cool lyricism, impassioned climaxes and sheer beauty, the Fantasia is a wonderful example of the English pastoral tradition. The emotional impact of Sir James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words From the Cross has made it a modern classic, and it has been referred to as the composer’s masterpiece. Commissioned by BBC Television and screened in seven nightly episodes during Holy Week in 1994, the work is composed for eight-part choir and strings. The text is the traditional sequence of Christ’s words spoken from the Cross, compiled from all four of the Gospels, but interspersed with texts drawn from the Holy Week liturgies. Each movement has its own identity: of the many highlights are the opening string idea, upon which the first movement is based, the heart-rending beauty of Venite adoremus in the third movement, and the parched desolation of the fifth movement, ‘I thirst’. The composer uses silence to great effect throughout the work;

the opening choral declamations of the second movement are balanced with long periods of silence. Above all, however, the seventh movement is profoundly affecting. The choir opens with the text, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit’, descending into darkness before the strings take over and complete the work alone. MacMillan explains that, at this point, ‘liturgical detachment breaks down and gives way to a more personal reflection: hence the resonance here of Scottish traditional lament music’. The writing builds in intensity before the violins settle on a high-pitched cluster, where they are left stranded. Their sighs get shorter and quieter, with longer and longer silences between each one: a vivid reflection of the final shallow breaths of the dying Christ. The performance takes place on Wednesday 29th March at 7:30pm. Tickets are available from the Cathedral Gift Shop, or from www.ticketmaster.co.uk. Peter Stevens is Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. Page 17


Westminster Record | March 2017

In Memoriam: March

St John of God: 8th March

6

St John of God, who came to be known as the Father of the Poor, was born in 1495. As a young man, he enlisted twice in the Spanish Army. After his discharge from the army, he headed to Gibraltar where he became a bookseller. His desire to give his life to God was growing stronger, but he could not see how to do this. His life changed dramatically when he heard a sermon by Fr John of Avila (now saint). Fr John’s sermon focused on what our human condition would be if God had not shared in our human nature. He also spoke of the blessedness of the poor and the need to seek physical and spiritual healing from the merciful Lord. John was immediately struck by this sermon, seeing how different the values of the Gospel were to those that he lived. He immediately went into the streets, punishing himself for his past sins, shouting and tearing up his books and clothes in an effort to make himself destitute like Jesus. Some kind men found him and took him to the home of Fr John of Avila where the two men spoke, and John of Avila adopted him as a spiritual son. However, he returned to the streets and continued to throw himself on the ground to humiliate himself. Mental illness was a mystery in these times. But two men found him and took him to the hospital, asking that he be treated with care and kindness, and be allowed to rest. The hospital superintendent, however, immediately presented him for treatment, having seen his behaviour in the streets. At the time the common therapy consisted of floggings and drenching patients with cold water, hoping to use pain to shock the patient back to sanity. John accepted this treatment as punishment for his sins, but was deeply upset seeing others experience the same treatment. He tried to persuade the hospital warders of better ways of helping their patients, by treating them with care and as human beings.

His time in hospital gave him a sense of purpose and direction, and he prayed ‘may Jesus Christ bring me to the time, and grant me the favour, of having a hospital where I can receive the poor and abandoned mentally ill and serve them as I wish’. After having his shackles removed, John spent many months in the hospital, cleaning wards and caring for patients as an auxiliary nurse. On 26th May 1539, at the suggestion of John of Avila, John was discharged from hospital and was offered shelter in Granada, where he took in his first patients. Most hospitals at this time had a particular speciality and limited beds. However, John’s hospital rejected no one. People began to recognise the good he was doing and gave him donations of beds and blankets. However, John still had to beg on the streets in order to fund his hospital and he fed his patients with leftovers from families’ meals. In addition to his work of caring for the sick, each week John would also visit one of the brothels in town, with the intention of persuading one woman to leave this way of life. He paid for these women’s freedom and helped them secure a future, whether that was working in his hospital, joining a convent, or getting married, for which he helped secure their dowry. Men were drawn to help John. He had not gone out recruiting, but accepted the spontaneous formation of a brotherhood which sowed the seeds for the foundation of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God. He died in 1550 and was canonised in 1690 by Pop Alexander VIII. He is patron of hospitals, the sick and nurses. His legacy of compassion continues today through the health and social care services provided across the world by the Hospitaller Order, supporting millions of sick, vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Canon Charles Walker RIP Canon Charles Walker, a priest of the Diocese of Southwark, died on 26 January. Canon Walker was Chaplain to the Black immigrant community, then Caribbean community from 1973 to 1998 as well as National Chaplain for the YCW Movement from 1973 to 1980. Page 18

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7 8 9 13 14 15 17

18 20 21 22 23 24 25 27 30

Mgr Frederick Row (1974) Mgr Canon Clement Parsons (1980) Fr Geoffrey Webb (2014) Fr Henry Dodd (1992) Fr Harold Riley (2003) Fr Thomas Nobbs (1977) Fr Paul Lenihan (1992) Fr Patrick English (1971) Bishop David Cashman (1971) Canon Jeremiah Galvin (1973) Fr Reginald Watt (1975) Bishop George Craven (1967) Fr Walter Donovan (1981) Cardinal Arthur Hinsley (1943) Fr Michael Buckley (1993) Fr Lionel Keane (1997) Fr Charles Connor (2005) Fr John Nelson-Turner (2015) Canon Desmond Swan (1995) Fr Edward Bushey (1996) Fr James de Felice (1978) Fr Edward Higgs (1988) Fr Peter Day (2006) Fr John Gill (1985) Fr Pat Heekin (2006) Mgr Richard Kenefeck (1982) Fr Cormac Rigby (2007) Fr James Brand (2013) Fr William Hutchinson (1984)

The Inaugural Landings Lecture takes place Tuesday 7th March 2017 at 7pm, at Farm Street Church Hall, 114 Mount Street, London. Fr Christopher Jamison OSB will speak on ‘Welcoming the Wounded: Becoming the Church of the Good Samaritan’, asking ‘How can a Catholic parish welcome the spiritually wounded? What does it take to be a place of healing?’ To book a place please contact Scott McCoombe at farmstreetoffice@rcdow.org.uk or on (020)-7529-4829 Recommended donation: £7 Lent Day Retreats at Milleret House On Saturday 18th March: 'Father: For Giving and Forgiving', led by John Brown. A day retreat for all ages, including talks, discussion and time for reflection. Discover the painting of the ‘Prodigal Son’ by Rembrandt; understand the context of the parable, giving and forgiving. With the Stations of the Cross and Adoration. enquiries@assumptionreligious.o rg or Tel: 020 7361 4756 On Saturday 1st April 2017: ‘Return to the Lord Your God’, a retreat for young adults. Spend a day in prayer and recollection, with teaching, guided reflection and silence. There will be time for confessions, Mass, Stations of the Cross and Eucharistic Adoration. Contact Anne Marie by email: youth@assumptionreligious.org or Tel: 020 7361 4755 Booking is essential for both retreats as spaces are limited. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster


Events & Calendar

Westminster Record | March 2017

REGULAR EVENTS

Liturgical Calendar - March

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

1 Wed

ASH WEDNESDAY; Fast and abstinence

2 Thu

Lent feria

3 Fri

Lent feria; Friday abstinence

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

4 Sat

Lent feria (St Casimir)

5 Sun

+ 1st SUNDAY OF LENT

6 Mon

Lent feria

7 Tue

Lent feria (Ss Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs)

8 Wed

Lent feria (St John of God, Religious)

9 Thu

Lent feria (St Frances of Rome, Religious)

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

THURSDAYS

10 Fri

Lent feria; Friday abstinence

11 Sat

Lent feria

12 Sun

+ 2nd SUNDAY OF LENT

13 Mon

Lent feria

MONDAYS

NFG Prayer Group meet weekly at 8pm for praise and worship followed by a social. Monthly a DVD is watched followed by a time of sharing. Held in St Mark’s Room, Christ the King Church N14 4HE. Contact Fr Christophe: christophe.brunet@chemin-neuf.org.

14 Tue

Lent feria

15 Wed

Lent feria

16 Thu

Lent feria

17 Fri

ST PATRICK, Bishop, Patron of Ireland; Friday abstinence

18 Sat

Lent feria (St Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop & Doctor)

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.

19 Sun

+ 2nd SUNDAY OF LENT 

20 Mon

ST JOSEPH, Patron of the diocese

21 Tue

Lent feria

22 Wed

Lent feria

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.

23 Thu

Lent feria (St Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop)

24 Fri

Lent feria; Friday abstinence

25 Sat

THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD

26 Sun

+ 4th SUNDAY OF LENT (Laetare Sunday)

Divine Mercy Prayers and Mass Every first Friday 2.30-4.30pm at Our Lady, Mother of the Church, 2 Windsor Road W5 5PD.

27 Mon

Lent feria

28 Tue

Lent feria

29 Wed

Lent feria

Westminster Cathedral Charismatic Prayer Group meet every Friday 7.30pm Prayer, Praise and Teaching. First Friday is a healing Mass. For details, please call 020 8748 2632.

30 Thu

Lent feria

31 Fri

Lent feria; Friday abstinence

Prayer Groups SUNDAYS Taizé at St James, Piccadilly W1J 9LL every third Sunday 5pm. Call 020 7503 5128 for details. Tyburn Benedictines Monastic afternoon Every first Sunday 2-5pm Martyrs’ Crypt, Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place W2 2LJ.

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

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

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

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.

FRIDAYS

Queen of Peace Prayer Group at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Acton. Every Friday evening after 7pm Mass. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a homily, recitation of the Holy Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. All welcome

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

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

John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport

Praying with Pope Francis: March 2017 Support for Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church. St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers’ Club meets every Sunday for walks around London and the Home Counties. Contact by email: antoinette_adkins2000@yahoo.co.uk, call 020 8769 3643 or check out the website: www.stfrancisramblers.ukwalkers.com Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

Other regular Masses

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Mgr Vlad Felzmann, CEO of John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport (JP2F4S), can enable your parish to start, and run, its own Parish Sports Club (PSC) for young people. For more information, please email vladimirfelzmann@ rcdow.org.uk. Page 19


Westminster Record | March 2017

Westminster’s ‘Daughter Diocese’ Celebrates its Centenary by Fr Stewart Foster

Page 20

footplate, having persuaded the driver to allow him to take the engine’s controls. Likewise, when writing to his clergy, the Bishop would always include details of the most convenient train times for reaching a particular event to which he had invited them. In more recent times the Westminster connection was renewed by the appointment of the fifth Bishop of Brentwood (1969-1979), Bishop Patrick Casey, a former Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Heenan (Archbishop of Westminster 1963-1975). After his retirement from Brentwood, Bishop Casey returned to Westminster for ten years as Parish Priest of Cheyne Row, Chelsea. Cardinal Heenan was himself ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Brentwood in 1930, a native of Ilford, where the Parish Priest, Canon Patrick Palmer, was one of the 50 or so Westminster priests who formed the Catholics often attend Mass nucleus of the Brentwood ‘across the border.’ The first clergy in 1917. Under Canon Bishop of Brentwood (1917Palmer’s tenure at Ilford (18961920) was Monsignor Bernard 1948) the parish produced Ward, a former President of St more vocations to the Edmund’s College, Ware, a priesthood than any other in prolific author and the leading England, including the future historian of eighteenth- and Cardinal Heenan’s boyhood nineteenth-century English neighbour, Father Brian Foley, Catholicism of his day. Bishop who was appointed Bishop of Ward was a railway buff with Lancaster in 1962. Another of an expert knowledge of train the early Brentwood priests, timetables. Before Brentwood who started out as a was formally named as the seat Westminster seminarian, was of the new bishop, both father John Petit, a future Chelmsford and Ilford had Bishop of Menevia. been considered as possible The links between the two centres for the diocese. dioceses were forged in other However, Bishop Ward ways too. Many Brentwood pressed for Brentwood since, priests were trained at St being one station London-ward Edmund’s College, and a few from Shenfield junction, it more recently at Allen Hall, enabled him to travel with ease including the present Vicar both on the Liverpool-StreetGeneral, Monsignor Kevin to-Colchester main line and Hale. Until 1984 the also on the Shenfield-Southend Westminster Catholic route, while changing at Ilford Children’s Society (formerly he could travel on the Chigwell The Crusade of Rescue) was loop (now part of the Central responsible for childcare Line). One can imagine the services in the Diocese of Vatican authorities musing Brentwood; and today there is over a railway map of Essex close co-operation between the and east London! Indeed, two dioceses in the London when making visitations to his area, especially with regard to parishes, Bishop Ward would the provision of Eastern Rite often alight from the train not and ethnic chaplains, working from a carriage but from the to support migrants, projects

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

for the homeless and other forms of social care. Indeed, in parishes in the East End of London the two dioceses share, and are committed to alleviating, many of the same social hardships. Brentwood’s centenary will be marked in a number of ways, at both diocesan and parish level. But the celebrations will close in a very

Westminster-centred fashion on 16 November, the feast of St Edmund of Canterbury, when Bishop Alan Williams SM, the present Bishop of Brentwood, will preside at a Mass in the Chapel of St Edmund’s College, Ware, with the Brentwood clergy and the Canons of the Westminster Chapter concelebrating. St Edmund’s College has a very special link with the Diocese of Brentwood quite apart from being the seminary at which many of its priests were educated. Bishop Ward, the first Bishop of Brentwood, was born there in 1857, spent most of his priestly life at St Edmund’s, where he served as President from 1893 to 1916, wrote several books on its history, and lies buried in the Chapel of St Edmund close by the relics of the saint. Together with Our Lady of Lourdes (Principal Patron), St Erconwald and St Cedd, St Edmund is a patron of the Diocese of Brentwood and his emblem (the three suns) appear on the diocesan coat-ofarms. Although for 100 years a separate diocese, Brentwood will never forget her Westminster roots and the importance of her continuing links with her mother-diocese. Fr Stewart Foster is the Archivist of the Diocese of Brentwood.

© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

On Wednesday 22nd March Cardinal Vincent Nichols will preach at the Cathedral of St Mary & St Helen, Brentwood, at the centenary Mass of the Diocese of Brentwood. In March 1917, at the request of Cardinal Bourne (Archbishop of Westminster 1903-1935), Pope Benedict XV divided the Diocese of Westminster to form the Diocese of Essex. In July of the same year the new diocese was officially established at Brentwood, comprising the County of Essex and what are now the London Boroughs of Newham, Waltham Forest, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering. Brentwood, together with Northampton, Nottingham and East Anglia, is one of the dioceses that comprise the Province of Westminster with the Cardinal as Metropolitan, but it is the only diocese to have been created out of territory that once belonged to the Diocese of Westminster. For that reason Brentwood’s centenary is also an occasion for celebration in Westminster. In many ways, Brentwood was a ‘child of conflict’ in that in 1917 the First World War still had a year to run (it was in 1917 that the Americans entered the Allied fight) and Russia witnessed the turmoil of the Revolution. There was also disagreement among the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales about the very establishment of a new diocese by Cardinal Bourne, the majority considering it inopportune. Moreover, it has to be said that Brentwood’s ‘birth’ was not always easy in that, as sometimes happens, there were disputes about her share of Westminster’s funds. Happily, however, these and other difficulties were solved and the two dioceses have enjoyed a very cordial relationship. The two dioceses, Westminster and Brentwood, have always enjoyed a close relationship, especially in East London, where they meet along the River Lea, and in more rural areas on the EssexHertfordshire boundary where

Current Bishop of Brentwood Alan Williams, greets wellwishers outside his cathedral after his episcopal ordination.

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Westminster Record March 2017  
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