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Westminster Record

July 2017 | 20p

Inter-faith Iftar

Newman House at Fifty

Caring for Seafarers

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Pages 10 & 11

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When fire broke out in a flat on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington in the early hours of Wednesday 14th June, no one could have imagined the calamitous proportions it would take or the suffering it would cause. While it may take months and years for the full proportions of this tragedy to become known, what quickly emerged was the generous response: from the emergency response teams who worked tirelessly and selflessly around the clock to rescue residents and who continue the recovery effort, from the NHS teams who treated the victims, from members of the local community who rushed to offer help and support to their neighbours, from strangers who came from across and beyond London to volunteer and to offer practical support to those affected by the fire.

The cross near the sanctuary as a memorial to all who had died, with a large stone for each of the 24 floors of the tower and a small stone for each of the 120 families

Although not an official respite centre, St Francis of Assisi Church, Notting Hill quickly opened its doors to anyone looking for a place to rest, a friendly ear, something to eat or a place to charge a mobile phone. Caritas Westminster team members and volunteers quickly flocked to the church to offer whatever assistance they could. As Fr Gerard Skinner writes in these pages, people came from as far away as Essex and Suffolk bringing donations of food, clothing, toiletries, and toys for the residents who fled the burning tower with just the clothes on their backs. The response was so overwhelming and the parish barricaded by all the donations left in front of the gates that messages were posted thanking people for their generosity and asking them not to bring anything more. Parishes from around the diocese offered to take up a collection and many individuals contacted the diocesan offices offering to contribute towards the emergency relief fund. One man rang from Wales, saying although he realised he was far away, he was offering space in his home to residents left homeless by the fire. St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, inside the police cordon, could not be accessed. Sion-Manning Girls’ School, in St Charles Square, quickly rallied round offering to take in the entire school, so that pupils might return to some semblance of routine. The Catholic Children’s Society, also based in

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Praying for Grenfell

St Charles Square, rushed to offer practical support and counselling to pupils and teachers affected. Donations of school supplies for the pupils who had lost everything came from a number of schools from around the diocese, including St Edmund’s College, Ware, who sent a van loaded with school books and stationery. Children too have shown remarkable generosity. Many students brought in toys to console a classmate who had fled the fire and had nothing left. Schools around the diocese organised a non-uniform day and other activities to raise funds. As the sun began to rise on the morning of 14th June and while the tower was still burning, Fr Peter Wilson and Fr Peter Scott rushed to the scene to offer prayers, comfort and support. Joined by Fr Gerard Skinner who had cut short his travels to return to his parish, they spent the day listening to

the men and women of the emergency services who repeatedly entered the building trying to rescue residents still inside. Before leaving that afternoon, they prayed Psalm 23 as near to the tower as they could. They returned in the following days to continue to pray, listen and offer comfort. Bishop John Wilson visited the area on Friday 16th June, spending time at each of the affected schools and parishes offering prayers, and at the site speaking with the emergency service personnel and thanking them for their heroic efforts. A Mass was planned for the Saturday, as a focal point of prayer for the community, and word quickly spread. Celebrating the Mass, Cardinal Vincent focused on the importance of prayer, especially in dark and difficult times. ‘Jesus died in darkness, feeling abandoned, giving a loud and terrible cry. That cry was a great prayer for us all and it still

echoes today,’ he said. He acknowledged the anguish that many were feeling, especially those among the congregation who had fled the fire, those who lost loved ones, and those whose hope of finding their loved ones alive were quickly fading. He encouraged them to turn their anger into an energy for good. After Mass, as he greeted each person with words of comfort, many were heard thanking him for his presence among them, as a visible sign of the Church and of the cohesion of the Catholic community. They expressed too their appreciation for the opportunity to pray together as one community. It is this prayer which sustains the community in this time of loss and grief, and will provide the necessary strength in the months and years to come to begin the task of rebuilding shattered lives and healing deep wounds. Additional coverage pp 4-5


Editorial

Westminster Record | July 2017

Westminster Record – Contact us

Turn towards a Sure Hope

Editor Mgr Mark Langham Archbishop’s House, Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QJ Managing Editor Marie Saba 020 7798 9031 Inhouse writers Martha Behan 020 7798 9030, Sharon Pinto 020 7798 9178 Photos Mazur/Catholicnews.org.uk Design Julian Game 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.

August publication dates Editorial deadline: 14th July 2017 Listings email: communications@rcdow.org.uk News and stories call 020 7798 9030 Email: communications@rcdow.org.uk Advertising deadline: 21st July 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.

Following the attack on the worshippers outside the Finsbury Park mosque, a friend tweeted ‘Will these acts of terror never end? What is happening to us?’ That particular horror came, of course, after the inferno of Grenfell Tower, and the loss of life too terrible to take in. I am haunted by the words of the

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total, for even in these dark places, Christ stands. For he himself has known the power of evil, he has been overwhelmed by it, but by his very presence at the heart of darkness, what we know as the Cross, he no longer allowed it to exist apart from himself, apart from hope. That men and women can commit themselves to that hope, seeing it as something greater than human frailty and worldly disaster, as seen in our items on ordinations, a final profession of religious vows, and of the service of unity held in St Charles’ Square, remind us that we have a sure hope ‘that can never be spoilt or soiled or never fade away’.

Nuncio Preparing to Visit HM the Queen to Present Credentials The new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain His Excellency Edward Joseph Adams and titular Archbishop of Scala presented his credentials to Her Majesty the Queen on 8th June 2017. He was accompanied to Buckingham Palace by the Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps who was sent to receive the Nuncio with two royal horse carriages adorned in red and gold. Cardinal Vincent was on hand as the Nuncio set off. In conformity with the protocol

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Italian girl, trapped in their 23rd floor flat, as she ‘phoned her parents in Italy: ‘I am about to go to heaven. I will help you from there.’ Such stories are unbearable to hear. And we people of faith must ask ‘Where is God in this?’ Of course we profess that evil shall never prevail; but at times like this, it doesn’t feel as though goodness is prevailing. Rather, the devil seems unleashed and is prowling the world. Our faith cannot fully grapple with such questions: but it can offer something. Hope. Not the weak hope of those who wait for rescue that may or may not come, but a sure hope that in Christ, all that is hopeless is overturned. Our darkest fears are no longer absolute, because Christ walks with us in them; they cannot be

followed by Ambassadors of different countries, the royal horses were fed bushy top carrots by the Nuncio and Cardinal Vincent when the carriage returned to leave the Nuncio back to Archbishop House. According to diplomatic protocol, ambassadors may not represent their governments until their credentials have been formally presented in person and accepted by the Queen. Once the credentials are

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accepted, they are considered diplomatically accredited to the host government and are deemed to be an officer of Great Britain. Archbishop Adams was Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh from 1996 to 2002, before being appointed Nuncio to Zimbabwe where he served for five years. In 2007 Pope Benedict appointed him Nuncio to the Philippines and, in 2011, served in the same capacity in Greece. On 8th April 2017, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Adams as Nuncio to Great Britain.

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Standing in Solidarity at London Bridge

Bishop John Sherrington, representing Cardinal Vincent Nichols, joined 100 imams for a vigil by London Bridge on 7th June to remember those who died in the terrorist atrocity on 3rd June and to stand in solidarity with Muslims, Christians and Jews as they denounced all violence and declared that love will ultimately triumph over hatred. A public statement signed by 500 British imams was read out

condemning extremism and terrorist violence, and urging people to report to the authorities anyone expressing support or sympathy with violent extremism. Imam Qari Asim, spokesperson for the British Muslim Forum and Imam of the Leeds Makkah mosque, said: ‘We want to send a clear message to any Muslim attracted to violent extremism. This is forbidden by your

religion. There is no justification in Islam for taking innocent life. If you follow this path you are stepping away from Islam to a dark and godless place. Your views are not welcome in our mosques or in our communities. This is not a path to heaven: think of the pain you will cause, the lives you will destroy. Please, think again.’ Bishop John told the assembled crowd:’The Cardinal thanks the British Muslim Forum for inviting him to attend the public witness today to pay tribute to those killed in the terrorist attacks and to speak out against those who committed them. We have all been shocked by the terrorist attacks in Manchester and here in our own city on Saturday night. As we condemn such atrocities, we pray for the victims who have died, those in hospitals and all whose families have been torn asunder by this cruelty. We thank God for the generosity of the emergency services, the police and the staff of our hospitals, who seek to protect and save life.

‘The people at a concert or out around London Bridge were living their lives to the full with family and friends. When confronted by violence, they responded to it with acts of selfless bravery and care for strangers. This tells us much about the good in our society. Even in the darkest moments, perhaps especially in the darkest moments, we find virtue shining through in the actions of ordinary people. We find our common humanity. We measure our strength not in our capacity for violence, but in our capacity to love. As people united by belief in God, we proclaim faith is our resource which helps us to overcome evil, struggle through adversity, and show the capacity of generous love to those in need. By that faith in God, we are given the capacity to go beyond the worst situations and renew our hope. May people of all faiths, with all people of good will, continue to strive to build a society founded on justice which leads to peace.’

‘We must all be builders of understanding’ Following the indiscriminate attack on people leaving Finsbury Mosque and the nearby Muslim Welfare Centre after prayers on the night of 18th June, Cardinal Vincent has issued the following statement offering

prayers and support for the victims of the attack and for the entire community: In his statement, the Cardinal said: 'Together with people all over this country I am appalled at the deliberate attack on people leaving their

Fr Gerard King with Rabbi Herschel Gluck and Bob Singh standing in solidarity with the Muslim community following the attack in Finsbury

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late night prayers, as the end of their day of fasting, at the mosque in Finsbury Park. I have assured the leadership of the Mosque and the Muslim Welfare Centre of our prayers and support. 'Violence breeds violence. Hatred breeds hatred. Every one of us must repudiate hatred and violence from our words and actions. We must all be builders of understanding, compassion and peace, day by day, in our homes, our work and our communities. That is the only way.' The Cardinal has also written to Mohammed Kozbar, Trustee and General Secretary of Finsbury Park Mosque expressing his 'profound shock' at the attack, adding: 'I am horrified that people should, again, be targeted in this way. I write to assure you of my prayers for the person who has died, for those who have been injured and for all deeply affected by this brutal attack. I know that I speak for

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all Catholics when I assure you of prayers and support. 'Fr John O'Leary has told me of all the good work you do to foster strong and good relations with all people in Finsbury Park. Long may this good work continue and may your resolve be strengthened at this difficult time. The Cardinal also wrote to Ahmed Kheloufi, Director of Muslim Welfare House, expressing 'shock and deep dismay', adding: 'I want to assure you of my prayers and of my deep compassion for all who have been injured and affected by this deliberate act of violence. In particular I pray for the person who has been killed. May God's blessings strengthen you all. 'I also want to thank you for the work you do to foster good relations in the Finsbury Park community. I pray that your work will be strengthened at this most difficult time.' Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

Living Stones of Liverpool Cathedral

On Pentecost Sunday, 4th June, Cardinal Vincent joined the celebrations commemorating the Golden Jubilee of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool. In the morning, the thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, with Cardinal Vincent giving the homily. Reflecting on the memories of the cathedral’s 150-year history from the Pugin church in Everton to the living stones of the present-day cathedral designed by Gibberd, he mentioned both the landmark and personal moments that have contributed to the rich fabric of the life of the cathedral. He spoke of the joyful occasions, such as the visit of Pope St John Paul in 1982, and the sombre moments of the solemn prayer in 1989 for those who died in the Hillsborough disaster. He spoke too of the ‘living memorial’ in which ‘the sacrifice of Christ in his death on the Cross is not only remembered but made again a living reality’ in the sacrifice of the Mass, and of the power of the Holy Spirit that ‘is poured into our hearts so that the different gifts we have been given may be used for a good purpose and in a manner which is not only harmonious but for the benefit of all’. Recalling that the cathedral stood on the site of the Liverpool Workhouse, where the poor were housed in harsh conditions until 1928, he said: ‘These foundations can serve to remind us that our first mission is to those who today are poor and forgotten, who are on the margins, the very ones who are indeed the most beloved of Christ our King.’ He prayed that ‘God’s Holy Spirit, which transforms base material into divine substance, may fill us and work in our lives, transforming our humble humanity into a noble instrument of God's purpose in our world. In this we will be faithful to our great mission, so well symbolised in this cathedral, an icon of our endeavour and, more importantly, of our faith’. Page 3


Westminster Record | July 2017

Coming Together to Support Survivors of Grenfell Fire

by Fr Gerard Skinner

Our hearts truly go out to all who have been deeply affected by the tragedy that unfolded from the early hours of Wednesday 14th June. It is impossible to imagine the pain of those who have lost family and friends or those who are in anguish while they try to discover where loved ones are. With all my heart please know that the prayers of this parish are with you all.

At the time of writing I know that families from our parish community cannot find members of their family; other families have lost their homes and all their possessions. So many of us will know others who lived at Grenfell Tower who have suffered so much. From early on Wednesday morning our church became the most incredible hub. Scores of volunteers spontaneously came to the Parish Centre and began receiving hundreds of bags of clothes and other items that will be of use to those who have lost everything. They sorted the donated items into boxes that were piled high in the church and courtyard. Human chains passed each box from the Parish Centre and courtyard out to waiting vans. Children were offering their toys for those who now had none and donors hauled in great suitcases of gifts that they had brought by public transport from as far as Hertfordshire, Essex and Suffolk. Throughout the day Frs Peter Wilson and Peter Scott walked around the parish offering comfort to those in distress; the area auxiliary bishop, Bishop John Wilson, joined them in the afternoon. Page 4

Meanwhile in the centre other volunteers welcomed anyone who needed a place to seek refuge: some of those who came had lost their homes, others had been evacuated from homes near the Grenfell Tower. Some were looking for loved ones; others were escaping from the media attention at the nearby Rugby Portobello Club where they had been awaiting news of relatives with whom they had lost contact. At midnight I closed the gate to the courtyard in front of the church. By 7am on Thursday morning I found myself barricaded in by a wall of more donations. Thursday brought a further stream of bags and boxes and the phone was continually ringing with more offers of help. Parishioners and men and women from all parts of London came together in the most compassionate and community spirited way imaginable. They all deserve the highest praise possible for the outpouring of care and kindness over the last few days. Now we must be attentive to the ongoing care of those who are in great need and all who have been traumatised by this terrible time. And how many must be suffering not only from physical injuries but from having seen and heard things that none of us should have to bear. On the day after the disaster I joined Frs Wilson and Scott in prayer for the victims of the fire at the very foot of Grenfell Tower.

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Over 24 hours after the disaster began, small fires still blazed, smoke obliterating sight of the higher storeys of the burnt out building. We listened to firemen, policemen and others who were there to support them in their painful work. Meanwhile St Francis of Assisi Primary School had been welcomed by the nearby SionManning Catholic Girls’ School and the totally dedicated staff of both schools made the brave children feel at home in their new, unfamiliar surroundings. On behalf of Cardinal Vincent, Bishop John Wilson visited the school to the great delight of pupils and staff. And then the Cardinal himself came to offer prayer for the afflicted and meet with those who had suffered so much in recent days: a time of much needed reflection amidst the turmoil. Every morning priests pray a prayer that encompasses so much of our human frailty and our need for our Saviour, Jesus Christ. This prayer concludes, ‘He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace.’ May God grant eternal rest to those who have died and help us all, especially those must in need, now and in the days and years ahead. Fr Gerard Skinner is Parish Priest of St Francis of Assisi, Notting Hill

‘We are made to pray’ ‘We human beings are made to pray. Otherwise we become dislocated,’ were the words of Cardinal Vincent. To respond to this natural instinct to come together to pray with others in times of grief and crisis, a time of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and silent prayer followed by Mass was organised for Saturday, 17th June at St Pius X Church in St Charles Square. Towards the front of the church, near the sanctuary, a memorial (pictured on the front page) was set up for the victims, in the form of a cross surrounded by stones representing the 24 floors in the tower and smaller stones representing the families who were resident in the tower. The number of people gathered in prayer grew steadily during the time of Adoration and many more flocked to the church for Mass. Among them were survivors, families and friends of those who had died or were still missing, neighbours, teachers from local schools, members of the emergency services, and well-wishers of other faiths who simply wanted to join the community in prayer and remembrance. The church was full to capacity, with many more standing at the back and in the foyer. The mood was subdued with a hushed silence. Even the young children who might have normally played in the foyer with their friends, were conversing quietly and pointing towards a poster with the photos of residents who were still missing or presumed dead. Addressing the congregation’s grief, the Cardinal explained that, at these times, we can turn to the Lord, knowing that he understands our grief and suffering, having experienced the same himself: 'Jesus died in darkness, feeling abandoned, giving a loud and terrible cry. That cry was a great prayer for us all. It still echoes

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today in the terrified cries of the men, women and children in the tower.' He said that there is no pretending that there is recovery from such loss in this life. Instead, ‘God invites us to empty our hearts before him.’ Jesus taught us to pray for each other, added the Cardinal, and he intercedes for us constantly. ‘When we pray for each other, we join our prayer to his. Make your prayer a gift to all who have died and are broken hearted by the terrible fire.’ He also acknowledged the anger and sense of betrayal that were beginning to surface. He warned that there are some who would exploit that anger to incite hatred and hostility: 'Anger is energy,’ he said. ‘Let it become an energy for good, not used to deepen division and conflict. Instead, we should use this energy to fuel a deep respect for each other and for each other’s needs.’ The Cardinal commended the overwhelming compassion and generosity shown by many from the community and further afield who rushed to offer practical help and support to those who had lost everything. He thanked especially the men and women of the emergency services who worked selflessly and tirelessly, and asked the congregation to join him in a visible show of thanks. After Mass, the Cardinal met those who had attended, sharing words of comfort and encouragement and listening to the stories of those residents who had escaped the fire, including one man who was woken by his wife and children just in time to escape the burning building. When he reached safety, he realised that he had left all his possessions behind, only taking his rosary beads, which he was clutching firmly in his hand, as a sign of this instinct for prayer which we all share by virtue of our humanity.

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Humanity at its Best in a Dark Hour

by Fr Peter Wilson

It was a privilege today once again to accompany Bishop John Wilson as he spent the whole day tirelessly ministering across the full range of people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The morning was spent visiting the Catholic schools of the area. Each of them has been affected. St Francis of Assisi Primary School in Notting Hill is now housed in Sion Manning. Meeting with the children in each class, and with the staff who have to carry the burden of their own responses while supporting and caring for the children, Bishop John gave time and a gentle yet strong encouragement to them all. The head and staff at Sion Manning have been brilliant at making space and a warm, safe welcome for St Francis. Fr Gerard Skinner and I were deeply touched by the whole encounter, and by Bishop John’s pastoral care. There is a beautiful way in which the response of children so often evokes a delightful laughter, which brings hope. At St Charles Primary School we were just in time to see off a busload of children heading for a weekend trip to Dorset. But saying goodbye to them were parents whose hearts were heavy with grief because some of their friends were in the building and unaccounted for. Now their hope is turning to that dreadful awareness that they will have perished. At St Mary’s in Kensal New Town, with Fr Philip Baptiste, and once more a round of class visits. There was the awful reality endured by a child fortunate enough to have escaped, and a staff member who lives in flats opposite the

building and so had been a witness to the horrors which had unfolded that dreadful night. Then down to the site itself, where we joined Fr Peter Scott, who has been tirelessly ministering to those engaged in the grim tasks now being performed there. Today the site is much more palpably tense and distressing. Yesterday Fr Gerard, Fr Peter and I had free access and many extraordinary conversations with the brave, dedicated men and women. Today we had to be accompanied everywhere we went by two police officers, with whom we struck up a good relationship. The way the clergy darted about, stopping to talk to various people, made their job rather difficult! But they dealt with it with good humour. ‘Herding clergy is worse than herding cats, isn’t it?’ I asked them. The priority at the site yesterday was still the dousing of the smouldering ruin. Today, it is the grim removal of remains. One of the firemen with whom I spoke unburdened some of the horrific things he is having to deal with. There was immediate trust. ‘You’re MY priest! I’m an old Cardinal Manning boy!’ These people are remarkable. Beyond the perimeter there is growing anger and distress because people do not have information and many seem to believe they are being kept in the dark. Inside the perimeter these brave men and women continue to do their best. While the anger and sense of torment of those searching for some news is understandable, there is an injustice being done to those whose task it is to uncover that news they are desperate for.

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They are doing an extraordinary and exceptional job, and need an immense amount of support. The pupils of one of the classes from St Francis have been composing letters of thanks to them, which we shall deliver in due course, so that they know how much they are appreciated. Next we met with some of the Councillors representing the local wards, with whom we also spent time yesterday. They are the ones who are going to have to carry forward the political issues that come into play with this dark tragedy. They are such good and committed people, with level heads driving a commitment to justice. One of them is the councilllor for the ward in which St Pius X lies, Mohammed Bakhtiar. With him and Cllr Bevan Powell from Golborne Ward we then went (still under police escort, their job now made more difficult in having to escort a combination of clergy and politicians) to the Latymer Christian Centre, where the now-familiar wall of prayers and remembrances is located, and thence to the Westway Sport Centre, which had earlier been visited by Her Majesty The Queen and Prince William. I was delighted to be met by our parishioner Irene, volunteering at the entrance. She seemed very proud to announce that her priest was visiting! I didn’t want to deflate her enthusiasm by pointing out I was really accompanying the bishop. How magnificent all the volunteers have been, and how great an example they are of the best of humanity! Meeting with some of those who have been temporarily housed there was sobering. I have to admit that I took the

easy path and engaged with some children who were scampering around and playing. I took on the role of the bad ogre trying to catch them, to squeals of delight. Bishop John suggested that the part came naturally to me! How heart warming the laughter of children is, especially in times of tragedy. On the way back to the site of the disaster, we encountered the Anglican Bishop of Kensington, with whom Bishop John engaged in conversation. There has been a good ecumenical unity of effort in working for those in need. Returning to the foot of Grenfell Tower, Bishop John and Councillor Bakhtiar stood side by side, the Bishop donning a purple stole and reciting a Psalm and prayers for the dead while the Councillor prayed in the Islamic Tradition. No witnesses, no show, just a quiet moment of faith in the face of that stark monument of death, which another Anglican clergyman had described to me as a physical and emotional scar on our landscape. Late afternoon now, and heading for home. One of the Sky News staff recognised me after the interview from yesterday and asked if I would come over for another one. Instead I landed Bishop John in it! I wondered whether they really wanted to interview people who had to have a police escort. By way of penance I shall return at dawn for Sky at Sunrise. The media can be intrusive, it can be a circus, they are hungry for material. But they are also trying to do their job, and there have been some privileged conversations behind the scenes with some of them.

Messages of Suport Message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, writing on behalf of Pope Francis: 'His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the devastating fire in London and of the tragic loss of life and injury. He entrusts the souls of those who have died to the Lord's loving mercy and offers his heartfelt condolences to their families. With appreciation of the brave efforts of the emergency service personnel and all committed to supporting those who have lost their homes, His Holiness invokes upon the local community God's blessings of strength and peace.' Cardinal Vincent Nichols We pray for all the residents of Grenfell Tower. I pray particularly for those who have suffered injury, those who have died, and all the residents who have are left without a home today, and the entire community that has been affected. Once again in our city we witness the heroic efforts of our emergency services who responded so quickly. I thank them for all they are doing to help the victims of this devastating fire. Bishop John Wilson My prayers are with all who have been affected by this fire, especially the victims, their families and friends, and all who are still worried about their loved ones who are unaccounted for. I offer too my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have died. Faced with yet another major incident in our city, the men and women of our emergency services have demonstrated great resilience and professionalism in the rescue effort. We should be rightly proud of them.

Bishop John Wilson praying with representatives of other faiths at the inter-faith vigil on 22nd June

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Blessed Sacrament: A home for every heart On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Cardinal Vincent issued a Pastoral Letter inviting us to renewed Eucharistic adoration, ahead of the National Eucharistic Congress in 2018. The words of the Gospel we have just heard contain a remarkable promise: ‘Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever’ (John 6:58). This promise of everlasting life comes to its fulfilment in the death and resurrection of Jesus, in which he not only shares our human nature, destined for death, but also gives to us the gift of new life after that death. This promise lies at the very core of our faith and it is made real, within our reach, in every celebration of Mass. In the Eucharist we come before the Lord, present to us for ever in the very act of fulfilling his promise through the breaking of his Body and the shedding of his Blood. This is the great feast we celebrate today. In the presence of this Sacrament, whether at Mass, at Benediction or reserved in the tabernacle in the silence of a church, our stance is always that of adoration.

This call to adoration, in Latin adoremus, is the title being given to an initiative of all the bishops of England and Wales to create a special opportunity for us to reflect on the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives. From 7th to 9th September 2018 there be will a National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool called Adoremus. Through this event, and all the preparation taking place before it, we seek to rejuvenate Eucharistic adoration in our parishes as the source of strength for our lives and for our mission, that of making present the love and compassion of Jesus in our society. Every diocese will be taking part and I hope that many of you will be willing to make the pilgrimage to this Eucharistic Congress next September. Incidentally, the last National Eucharistic Congress took place in 1908 and permissions for a public procession with the Blessed Sacrament were refused!

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There is good reason why our participation should be strong. Tucked away in Covent Garden, in central London, is the Parish Church of Corpus Christi. In October 1874, one of my predecessors, Cardinal Manning, preached there, saying how it was the first church in England since the Reformation to be graced with the dedication Corpus Christi. Today that church is being rejuvenated and rendered beautiful once more, a centre indeed for our Eucharistic adoration. And there is another reason for our special attention to the Blessed Sacrament. A priest of this diocese, Fr Francis Stanfield, composed the wonderful hymn to the Blessed Sacrament, Sweet Sacrament Divine. He was for a while parish priest of the Parish of the Immaculate Conception and St Joseph in Hertford and priest in charge at St Edmund of Canterbury, Old Hall Green, also in Hertfordshire. But it was as parish priest of Corpus Christi in Covent Garden that he wrote this famous hymn

which I sincerely hope is well known to you all. In prayer before the Blessed Sacrament we slowly discover that there we find a home for every heart. For this reason we pray with suppliant hearts, full of love and heartfelt praise. We come into the presence of our Blessed Lord with our anxieties and troubles. But there all restless yearnings cease and sorrows all depart. There, in the peace of his presence, we can speak freely, telling our tale of sorrow and distress, whispering as it were into his ear. This is a Sacrament of shelter and a shoreline of safety. In my experience, it takes time spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the Body and Blood of the Lord there in front of our eyes, before we realise that in its far depths our Godhead’s majesty is softly shining. This is indeed the true light of the world, the world’s true Jubilee. And seeing this with the eyes of faith, and sensing it in our open, loving hearts, we pray most fervently that this sweet

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light may always shine upon us so that we never lose our sense of direction, our instinct for our heavenly home. I pray most earnestly today that this Solemnity of the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord will draw us more deeply into the glory of this sweet Sacrament. I pray that our preparation for Adoremus, the Eucharistic Congress of September 2018, and our participation in it, will reawaken in us all the deep desire to share our faith, to invite others to come to its consolations and find again its joys. In this way we will take to heart again the wonderful words of our Blessed Lord: ‘As I, who am sent by the Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me’ (John 6:57). In receiving this food, in prayer before this Sacrament, let us always remember: Adoremus, Come, let us adore him. May God bless you all, and please remember me in your prayers.

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Cardinal Vincent Hosts #InterfaithIftar

London at its Best

by Martha Behan On 13th June, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and 100 young people from different faiths gathered for Iftar, the breaking of the fast at the end of the day during Ramadan. Organised by the Naz Legacy Foundation, this is the second year that this landmark inter-faith event has taken place. Naz Bokhari, whose children founded the Naz Legacy Foundation, was the first British Muslim to run a secondary school in the UK. He inspired generation of students, both Muslims and non-Muslims to fulfil their potential. One of his former students was Sadiq Khan, who went on to become an MP and then of course Mayor of London. Last year, to honour the spirit of Naz Bokhari’s commitment to inter-faith work, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, hosted Iftar in Lambeth Palace, along with the Mayor of London and the Chief Rabbi. Following the success of the inaugural event, Cardinal Vincent offered to host it,

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London continuing his commitment to the young people of the UK and to furthering inter-faith dialogue in London. Harris Bokhari, Naz’s son, welcomed us all to the occasion and reminded us to tweet. So often young people are asked to obey the social rules of a different generation, so it was refreshing to be encouraged to communicate in the way we know best: on social media! What better way to show the commonalties between 100 18to 30-year- olds than with exchanges of usernames instead of business cards. The event was about the future, and about what it will mean to live our lives through the lense of faith. Cardinal Vincent spoke about the common ground the three faiths shared, particularly when it comes to fasting. He explained that the beautiful building we were standing in was a representation of the recovery of Catholicism in England after years of persecution, a particularly profound insight for a room full of people of faith, who knew of places in the modern world where we would be persecuted for our faith.

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The Chief Rabbi continued the theme of common ground. He illustrated the importance of working together and condemned those who believe that a part of their religion is to cause harm to others, firmly stating that no religion includes that as part of their faith. Sadiq Khan stood up to address us last, doing justice to the legacy of his teacher with the same message that Naz had himself instilled: ‘What gives me the most optimism is when I speak to young people’. Sharing stories from his time as Mayor, he relayed a message of active hope and optimism. The future relies on our ability to work together, as Britons and as people of faith, he said. None of the speakers were explicit in their instructions because they didn’t need to be. It was impossible to hear their words and to discuss them with other young people, and not feel driven to create a bright future for our society, not just our individual communities. The evening ended with a shared meal, the historic gesture of breaking bread made literal, as well as with the more modern symbol of companionship, taking selfies.

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The reason that London is the greatest city in the world can be summed up in one word: Londoners. Here in London, we don’t just tolerate our diversity, we celebrate and embrace it. We are a city made up of people from all backgrounds, outward-looking, forwardthinking and open to the world. Whether you’re young or old, a member of an organised faith or a member of none, and whatever corner of the world you’re from, Londoners stand together, shoulder to shoulder. Nowhere is this clearer than during religious holidays such as Easter, Diwali, Vaisakhi, Chanukah, Christmas and Eid, to name just a few, when Londoners celebrate together: by visiting each other’s homes, sharing a meal, or joining a big community celebration in Trafalgar Square and by doing all they can to learn about each other’s faiths and cultures. Last year was my first Ramadan as Mayor and it is one I will remember forever. From breaking my fast with Londoners of all faiths and backgrounds at St James’s Church in Piccadilly and Follow us on Instagram at: @rcwestminster

Finchley Reform Synagogue, to joining the Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbi at Lambeth Palace for a historic interfaith Iftar with young people from across the capital, it was fantastic to see Londoners from all our communities coming together to celebrate Islamic culture and share in our experience of Ramadan. To me, that’s what Ramadan is all about: breaking down barriers and bringing people together. The number of amazing interfaith Iftars and celebrations that have taken place across the capital this Ramadan is incredible. I was pleased to take part in these, especially joining Cardinal Vincent Nichols and young people from the Diocese of Westminster and other faiths for a very special Iftar. The Catholic Church in London has, for many years, been a major contributor to the strong inter-faith relations that we are so lucky to have in our great city. I am really pleased that you invited me to join you to break the fast. Our Iftar truly showcased London at its open and inclusive best. Page 7


Westminster Record | July 2017

Archway Celebrations

Jubilation in Berkhamsted On June 11th, Cardinal Vincent celebrated a special Mass at St Gabriel Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Archway for the Golden Jubilee of the consecration of the Parish. The Church was full to the brim with over 600 people in attendance. Mass was concelebrated by several other priests, one of whom was Fr Kenneth Okoli; the Provincial of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), who have pastoral care of the parish, with another 30 priests in attendance. Eighteen parishioners were awarded the Bene Merenti or Papal blessing, by the Cardinal at the end of the Mass, in recognition of their

longstanding and exemplary service to the Catholic Church. Representing the Islington Council was Mayor Una O’Halloran, who came to show her support of the Catholic community on this eventful day. After Mass, the Cardinal joined parishioners in celebration at a festive gathering in the parish centre. It was truly delightful to see the parish family gathered to celebrate an event which represents the establishment and growth of the Body of Christ standing strong for the last 50 years at Archway, and praying for it to continue to grow in the years to come.

On 18th June, Cardinal Vincent celebrated a special Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Berkhamsted on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Parish. The Mass was attended by over 350 people and the church was overflowing with parishioners patiently waiting for the Cardinal’s arrival. The church is over a 100 years old and moved to the current location in 1967, the year it was consecrated. The music was provided by the celestial choir of the parish, twelve in number, two of whom are proud of having been choristers since the church was established on this site. After Mass, the Cardinal along with the parishioners moved to the parish hall, where all were served light refreshments and drinks. There

was a celebration cake in white and gold shaped as the numeral 50 to denote the milestone, surrounded with white roses and a cross made from fondant, which was cut by two of this year’s First Holy Communion children. There was a celebratory three-day flower festival to mark the start of the Golden Jubilee in the parish hall with the theme of ‘Creation and Life’. Some of the

very talented parishioners and flower arrangers from across local churches, showcased their creativity telling the story of Creation. There were craft stalls set up by the students of St Thomas More Primary School, and an exhibition by the Berkhamsted quilters. The Cardinal spent time having a closer look around and admiring the magnificent display of flower arrangements.

Kneelers Inspired by Faith St Augustine School have designed and produced a new set of kneelers for their Chapel, based around the designs of students, their families and

Page 8

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staff. Organised by the Art Department and started in the school’s centenary year of 2015 the work of producing kneelers for their Chapel brought together this Augustinian community in designing and sewing original art work. After designing the kneelers, pupils, staff, parents and past pupils spent lunchtimes and holidays sewing for St Augustine’s with the completed original designs then being sent off for printing and production. The kneelers have taken inspiration from symbols associated with the school as well as the wider Church, and the work has been one of joy and faith for the whole school community.

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Film Review: Summer in the Forest Raising the Lowly by Martha Behan

Directed by Randall Wright The story of how this film is made starts with Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, agreeing to give a talk for the benefit of the L’Arche community in Norwood. It’s a good place to start because the story of L’Arche is the story of Jean Vanier. The documentary, in the main, films the residents living in Trosly-Breuil, in France. The audience is given a brief history of how it started and we are treated to just over an hour of learning about people who live there. The first resident we are introduced to is Michael, pictured performing his morning routine. This level of intimacy straight away feels intrusive and it is only when the director assures us that it was Michael’s express wish that they film it do I feel better. The film ambles along, introducing us to more residents and gently allows them to explain themselves to the audience, sometimes in response to questions from the assistants, sometimes in their musings about each other.

The familiar scene of people gathered round a dining table breaks up the quieter moments, reminding us that it is very much a family we are watching. Throughout it all Jean Vanier features, quietly exuding love and calm, equally at home breakfasting with the guests in the lively dining room as giving a soft explanatory voiceover for the benefit of the viewer. The film does not dwell on how L’Arche started, other than to give a brief explanation that Jean Vanier found out about the lives of the many disabled people living in poor conditions across France and couldn’t ignore it. Instead, we learn about the story of the man who started it. Very early in the film he talks about the ‘instinct of humanity for peace and universal justice’ and throughout in his voiceovers he talks about the same values. Peace, acceptance, hope, and joy are expressed in various way by Vanier, the residents and assistants. One of the most striking details about the film which I only discovered afterwards when I spoke to the director, Randall Wright, was the amount spent on sound recording and music. Often, films about disabled people are made with little budget for sound or music. As a result, subjects are not given their own voice because of poor quality of audio equipment. By focusing on such a technical

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detail, the film was an authentic representation of L’Arche because everyone was given their own voice. Recorded in perfect clarity and set to a beautiful score, we heard the residents talking about their lives without explanation or interruption. I would absolutely recommend the film for anyone who wants to know about Jean Vanier. The film is indeed a journey of getting to know someone, and by getting to know Jean Vanier we are led to an understanding of L’Arche that can only be reached with the knowledge of how much of his heart is in these communities. It also offers a platform to people with disabilities of all kinds that is rarely seen on the big screen. I left the showing not just feeling warm and fuzzy, but with a determination to be more understanding of the power dynamics that govern our society and so often impact our relationships for the worse. The film was released on 24th June. A list of cinemas where it is being shown can be found at www.summerintheforest.com. There is also a companion booklet available to download on the Damaris Media website http://filmblog.damaris.org/s ummer-in-the-forest-loseyourself-to-find-your-heart/

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One of the great joys of singing liturgical music and pilgrimage in general is that you make friends with all sorts of wonderful people. It is in this context that some thirty years ago I got to know Andrew Wright, who was then the organ scholar at Westminster Cathedral. We remain friends to this day. It is therefore particularly special when he writes pieces for me to sing. Amongst these has been a setting of the Magnificat, which in turn was based upon a response by the celebrated Lourdes organist Jean-Paul Lecot. What better place to share this work than in our national shrine at Walsingham? When Our Lady first uttered the words of this astonishing prayer, she drew reference to ‘raising the lowly’. Song has a special power to do precisely that. It changes the way we feel. It has an ability to communicate feelings that go beyond words. Being a geographer, I have always been an avid walker. I love exploring the countryside. It therefore comes as no surprise that Walsingham

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would have an immediate appeal to me, set as it is in beautiful Norfolk farmland. It is easy to imagine how in ancient times pilgrims from faraway places would have converged at the Slipper Chapel before setting off on that final mile, probably singing their favourite songs. It is incredibly exciting to be taking part in a resurgence of this tradition. Again, walking is good at ‘raising the lowly’, as it is one of the best ways to trade stories and experiences. In our modern era, the old camino to Santiago de Compostela seems to be getting record numbers of walkers (and now cyclists) eager to have a detox from our modern world. Perhaps we should ‘raise the lowly’ Walsingham in the same way and similarly re-establish the old pilgrim routes to their former glory? Regardless of whether this is a viable option, it is easy to jump on a coach and condense the experience into one day. I would not miss it for anything.

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Newman House Golden Jubilee Mass Westminster Record | July 2017

On Sunday 28th May Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass at St James’ Spanish Church for the 50th anniversary of the London Universities Catholic Chaplaincy at Newman House. Cardinal Vincent spoke about the importance of mission and finding one’s purpose. He explained that the chaplaincy is a presence in the

heart of universities seeking to fulfil God’s mission. He told the congregation of residents and supporters of Newman House that only in Jesus do we find out who we really are, and through him our purpose is revealed. He went on to say that this is important especially at university, when young people are searching for their purpose, stating that we

must not forget Blessed John Henry Newman and his belief that at university we should develop as a whole person in the service of God. Referring to the Gospel of the day, where the disciples fell to their knees before Jesus, the Cardinal added: ‘A wise person kneels before the Lord and makes a gift of their life to him’. He reminded us however ‘that it is okay to hesitate’ as the disciples did, but we must put aside our hesitation. That only by sharing the love of God will we find fulfilment. At the end of Mass current Senior Chaplain Fr Stephen Wang thanked everyone who has contributed to life at Newman House and the wider Catholic university community in London. He also outlined plans for the future of the university chaplaincy and encouraged everyone at Mass to continue to play a part in the life of Newman House.

Westminster Record | July 2017

Catholic societies, scattered throughout the universities of our diocese. It’s our chaplaincy centres and Catholic halls of residence, like St Peter’s parish in Hatfield, More House in West London, Netherhall House, Ashwell House, and many others. And it’s the parishes of our diocese, which become the spiritual home to so many students and university staff. More than this, chaplaincy is about the love of Jesus Christ for his people, and the love of his Church for the world. We are, as the thenCardinal Ratzinger wrote many years ago, an ‘open circle’. A home, a community of belonging and faith and friendship, that then gives people the confidence to step out of this circle into the world as missionary disciples.

Doing God on Gower Street: 50 Years of University Chaplaincy at Newman House by Fr Stephen Wang

If you had to build a Catholic chaplaincy for university students in central London, where would you put it? My answer would be: In the very heart of the university district, within walking distance of the main colleges, but just outside the actual campus boundaries, so that you could have your own space and keep your independence as a Catholic centre. And that’s exactly where we have ended up at Newman House. But it wasn’t always like this. In the early 1960s the chaplaincy for London students was based at the parish church in Soho Square. St Patrick’s is one of the most beautiful churches in the country, but it was just too far from the university world around Bloomsbury, and students were unwilling to make the tenPage 10

minute walk down to Oxford Street. The senior chaplain at the time, Bruce Kent, knew all this but just couldn’t find a solution. This is his account of what happened: ‘In mid-July 1966 I was asked to a drinks party in University College (UCL) to meet other Catholic staff. As we walked out on to Gower Street my companion pointed across the road at a block of four houses and said, “What a pity the Church has just sold those four to the university; they would make an excellent chaplaincy.” ‘I was looking, I discovered, at St Teresa’s hostel, run by the Sisters of Charity, for working girls. It must have been the sherry rolling about inside me, but I crossed the road, rang the bell and asked to see the Superior. Monsignors still had

clout in those days and the Superior, instead of telling me to get lost in a polite way, gave me the name of their solicitor and told me that after four years of negotiations the deal with the university was within days of completion. ‘The next morning, lacking all authority, I phoned the solicitor and told him to proceed no further until he had heard from the Cardinal. Cardinal Heenan had flu but that, typically, was not enough to keep him in bed. Wrapped in a blanket, he was driven at once to Gower Street, had a quick look round, decided that the place would be ideal as a student centre and told the Sister Superior that the diocese would pay the nuns whatever the university offered plus any of their expenses. ‘We, and that means an

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excellent team of priests, nuns and lay staff and a lot of very supportive students, turned 111 Gower Street over the years into an open and interesting place buzzing with activity.’ Fifty-one years later, we are still here. And at the end of May we had an extraordinary weekend of celebrations marking the end of our Golden Jubilee year. There were countless highlights. The Friday evening boat party: sailing into the sunset up the River Thames, the upper deck open to the stars, with one of our alumni from 1966 showing that she could outdance our current crop of energetic undergraduates. The whole of Saturday was given over to alumni celebrations at Newman House: a time for reminiscing and reconnecting with students and Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Twitter at: twitter.com/dowym

chaplaincy is a sanctuary but not a refuge. Young people are longing to serve others in social outreach and to share their faith with their friends and family, and sometimes in more public ways. They discover their identity in Christ and in his Church and their Christian vocation in the world. Genuine Christian community is never inward looking; it always leads to evangelisation and service. Newman House is at the centre of this vast chaplaincy mission. It supports it all and holds it all together. I said to our alumni on the anniversary weekend: something is working at Newman House, and it has been working for over 50 years now. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But to keep something working well for the next 50 years will require

great effort. We need to renew the facilities at Newman House; we need a larger chapel to accommodate the increasing numbers for Mass; we need to make it a worldclass chaplaincy centre in what is perhaps the most important city for academic life in the world. And more importantly, when the world and the culture and university life are changing so rapidly, we need to find new ways of living this same faith and new ways of reaching out to the hundreds of thousands of students and staff within our universities. It’s not just about buildings; it’s about our identity and our mission.

Amazing things are happening in university chaplaincy. Young people are longing to know more, to give more, to go deeper, and to grow in their love for the Lord. Don’t believe the naysayers when they say that young people have turned their back on their faith or on the Church. Many are struggling, it’s true; but many others are alive in their faith, and many of these are on fire with a desire to share that faith with others. It’s such an inspiration to live and work with them as a priest. Please support us with your prayers. Please become a friend of Newman House by signing up on our website: www.universitycatholic.net

This is not an appeal, but we will certainly be starting an appeal in the next few months when our renewal plans are finalised. If you can help, or if you know anyone with a heart for young people who might be able to help, please get in touch with us via our website. www.universitycatholic.net

chaplains from every decade of our fifty-year history. It was remarkable to see Bruce Kent and his contemporaries, in fine fettle, walking through the same door they had walked through that first summer in 1966. And Sunday Mass at St James’s Church, Spanish Place, celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols: an opportunity to thank God for his many blessings over these years, with well over four hundred alumni, students, friends and former chaplains. We are celebrating a geographical location, 111 Gower Street, and a building, Newman House. But of course the life of our chaplaincy is much more than this. It’s a community of faith, centred at this place. It’s our chaplains and our student Follow us on Instagram at: @dowym

Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/doywm

Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Twitter at: twitter.com/dowym

Follow us on Instagram at: @dowym

Page 11


Newman House Golden Jubilee Mass Westminster Record | July 2017

On Sunday 28th May Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass at St James’ Spanish Church for the 50th anniversary of the London Universities Catholic Chaplaincy at Newman House. Cardinal Vincent spoke about the importance of mission and finding one’s purpose. He explained that the chaplaincy is a presence in the

heart of universities seeking to fulfil God’s mission. He told the congregation of residents and supporters of Newman House that only in Jesus do we find out who we really are, and through him our purpose is revealed. He went on to say that this is important especially at university, when young people are searching for their purpose, stating that we

must not forget Blessed John Henry Newman and his belief that at university we should develop as a whole person in the service of God. Referring to the Gospel of the day, where the disciples fell to their knees before Jesus, the Cardinal added: ‘A wise person kneels before the Lord and makes a gift of their life to him’. He reminded us however ‘that it is okay to hesitate’ as the disciples did, but we must put aside our hesitation. That only by sharing the love of God will we find fulfilment. At the end of Mass current Senior Chaplain Fr Stephen Wang thanked everyone who has contributed to life at Newman House and the wider Catholic university community in London. He also outlined plans for the future of the university chaplaincy and encouraged everyone at Mass to continue to play a part in the life of Newman House.

Westminster Record | July 2017

Catholic societies, scattered throughout the universities of our diocese. It’s our chaplaincy centres and Catholic halls of residence, like St Peter’s parish in Hatfield, More House in West London, Netherhall House, Ashwell House, and many others. And it’s the parishes of our diocese, which become the spiritual home to so many students and university staff. More than this, chaplaincy is about the love of Jesus Christ for his people, and the love of his Church for the world. We are, as the thenCardinal Ratzinger wrote many years ago, an ‘open circle’. A home, a community of belonging and faith and friendship, that then gives people the confidence to step out of this circle into the world as missionary disciples.

Doing God on Gower Street: 50 Years of University Chaplaincy at Newman House by Fr Stephen Wang

If you had to build a Catholic chaplaincy for university students in central London, where would you put it? My answer would be: In the very heart of the university district, within walking distance of the main colleges, but just outside the actual campus boundaries, so that you could have your own space and keep your independence as a Catholic centre. And that’s exactly where we have ended up at Newman House. But it wasn’t always like this. In the early 1960s the chaplaincy for London students was based at the parish church in Soho Square. St Patrick’s is one of the most beautiful churches in the country, but it was just too far from the university world around Bloomsbury, and students were unwilling to make the tenPage 10

minute walk down to Oxford Street. The senior chaplain at the time, Bruce Kent, knew all this but just couldn’t find a solution. This is his account of what happened: ‘In mid-July 1966 I was asked to a drinks party in University College (UCL) to meet other Catholic staff. As we walked out on to Gower Street my companion pointed across the road at a block of four houses and said, “What a pity the Church has just sold those four to the university; they would make an excellent chaplaincy.” ‘I was looking, I discovered, at St Teresa’s hostel, run by the Sisters of Charity, for working girls. It must have been the sherry rolling about inside me, but I crossed the road, rang the bell and asked to see the Superior. Monsignors still had

clout in those days and the Superior, instead of telling me to get lost in a polite way, gave me the name of their solicitor and told me that after four years of negotiations the deal with the university was within days of completion. ‘The next morning, lacking all authority, I phoned the solicitor and told him to proceed no further until he had heard from the Cardinal. Cardinal Heenan had flu but that, typically, was not enough to keep him in bed. Wrapped in a blanket, he was driven at once to Gower Street, had a quick look round, decided that the place would be ideal as a student centre and told the Sister Superior that the diocese would pay the nuns whatever the university offered plus any of their expenses. ‘We, and that means an

Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/doywm

excellent team of priests, nuns and lay staff and a lot of very supportive students, turned 111 Gower Street over the years into an open and interesting place buzzing with activity.’ Fifty-one years later, we are still here. And at the end of May we had an extraordinary weekend of celebrations marking the end of our Golden Jubilee year. There were countless highlights. The Friday evening boat party: sailing into the sunset up the River Thames, the upper deck open to the stars, with one of our alumni from 1966 showing that she could outdance our current crop of energetic undergraduates. The whole of Saturday was given over to alumni celebrations at Newman House: a time for reminiscing and reconnecting with students and Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Twitter at: twitter.com/dowym

chaplaincy is a sanctuary but not a refuge. Young people are longing to serve others in social outreach and to share their faith with their friends and family, and sometimes in more public ways. They discover their identity in Christ and in his Church and their Christian vocation in the world. Genuine Christian community is never inward looking; it always leads to evangelisation and service. Newman House is at the centre of this vast chaplaincy mission. It supports it all and holds it all together. I said to our alumni on the anniversary weekend: something is working at Newman House, and it has been working for over 50 years now. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ But to keep something working well for the next 50 years will require

great effort. We need to renew the facilities at Newman House; we need a larger chapel to accommodate the increasing numbers for Mass; we need to make it a worldclass chaplaincy centre in what is perhaps the most important city for academic life in the world. And more importantly, when the world and the culture and university life are changing so rapidly, we need to find new ways of living this same faith and new ways of reaching out to the hundreds of thousands of students and staff within our universities. It’s not just about buildings; it’s about our identity and our mission.

Amazing things are happening in university chaplaincy. Young people are longing to know more, to give more, to go deeper, and to grow in their love for the Lord. Don’t believe the naysayers when they say that young people have turned their back on their faith or on the Church. Many are struggling, it’s true; but many others are alive in their faith, and many of these are on fire with a desire to share that faith with others. It’s such an inspiration to live and work with them as a priest. Please support us with your prayers. Please become a friend of Newman House by signing up on our website: www.universitycatholic.net

This is not an appeal, but we will certainly be starting an appeal in the next few months when our renewal plans are finalised. If you can help, or if you know anyone with a heart for young people who might be able to help, please get in touch with us via our website. www.universitycatholic.net

chaplains from every decade of our fifty-year history. It was remarkable to see Bruce Kent and his contemporaries, in fine fettle, walking through the same door they had walked through that first summer in 1966. And Sunday Mass at St James’s Church, Spanish Place, celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols: an opportunity to thank God for his many blessings over these years, with well over four hundred alumni, students, friends and former chaplains. We are celebrating a geographical location, 111 Gower Street, and a building, Newman House. But of course the life of our chaplaincy is much more than this. It’s a community of faith, centred at this place. It’s our chaplains and our student Follow us on Instagram at: @dowym

Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/doywm

Follow Westminster Youth Ministry on Twitter at: twitter.com/dowym

Follow us on Instagram at: @dowym

Page 11


Westminster Record | July 2017

Ordinary Time is Missionary Time by Deacon Adrian Cullen

The green, grassy slopes of the Galilean hills where Jesus taught the people from the towns and villages are reflected in the green of Ordinary Time, as seen in Church vestments during this season. During Ordinary Time we consider in fullness the mystery of Christ, and focus in particular on his three-year mission to bring the Good News. For the people of the towns and villages, who flocked to the green slopes to sit and listen to Jesus, his words were like the refreshing hill breezes, breathing a new sense of hope into their lives. For many of us, this time of

year is also a time when we ‘head for the hills’ for a summer holiday, when we too look for refreshment, for something new and different from our daily work lives. Physically, emotionally and spiritually, we hope to be rested and reenergised. It is an opportunity to do something different, to visit those areas of our lives that we might have neglected; perhaps to go for long walks, to celebrate with others, to read a good book; and a time for some peace and quiet. It can be an opportunity for us to spend more time with Jesus, to consider his mission, and to

Carers’ Sunday

by Deacon Anthony Clark Carers: so vital, so invisible In our society today, carers are so vital and yet so invisible. Whether a family member or partner looking after a loved one, or a paid carer providing daily help in the home, carers are often taken for granted. The aim of Carers’ Sunday in our diocese is firstly to focus on the essential contribution carers make in society. There are financial rewards for carers, whether the Carers Allowance paid to family members, or the hourly wage for paid carers. But the level of payment is very low and doesn’t reflect the carer’s importance. Asking carers to stand after the homily at Mass, hold up their hands, and have them blessed on Carers Sunday is affirming the deep and loving work that carers do. The Gospel of the Fourteenth Sunday of the Year reflects the experience of many carers. The words of Jesus ‘Come to me...’ speak to them. The demands of the bedridden older person, the challenge of caring for a loved Page 12

one suffering from a neurodegenerative disease such as dementia, MS or Parkinson’s, the endless care needed by those suffering from a lifelimiting condition requiring specialised or palliative care can be overwhelming at times. As member of a family, a parish, the local community, we need to be aware of those carers in our community or family who may be feeling weary and in need of appropriate help. It may be that giving just a couple of hours of stand-in help could provide the respite that makes such a difference to a carer. Politically the cost of carers is becoming a major issue. The Government recently allowed a small rise in council tax to pay for social care. The bigger issue revolves around immigration as so many of our carers in London and the Southeast are immigrants from Europe or further abroad. If an immigration cap is introduced it could lead to fewer carers being available, resulting in more people in need going with even less care. It’s important to celebrate and affirm the carers’ ministry. It’s a labour of love and has its inherent rewards as well. There is a peace and a rightness about caring for another. There is a rightful sense of walking in the steps of Jesus as what we give to the one in need, we give to Christ.

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renew our sense of mission as we continue the work of spreading the Good News. If we are away, we might go to a different parish for Sunday Mass, which is a good opportunity, not so much to be a missionary, but to be someone who is a stranger. It can be quite daunting for a person who is not a Catholic to enter a church, perhaps for the first time. Let us put ourselves in their shoes when we visit our ‘holiday church’. What are our senses telling us? Are we anxious about the welcome we might receive? Will we know what’s going on? Even the best of parishes have their own ways of doing things. Do the surroundings inspire us, or do they make us uneasy? Is the music joyful? Are we accepted or ignored? We can capture those feelings that a stranger might have when they step into our home parish. It is a useful exercise, and one which we can

repeat when we return to our own parish! What is the stranger sensing when they step into our church? Will they come again? What can we do to make our parish more welcoming? Summer is indeed the best time for most of us to have a holiday that sets us up for the rest the year, refreshed and full of new expectations. And we as evangelisers are no different. We need to step out of our usual routine, to pick up on new ideas, to spend time away from it all, to give time to growing ourselves as missionaries. Then, reenergised and filled with the Spirit of Pentecost, we, like the Apostles before us, can then follow those footsteps of Jesus across the green hills of Galilee, to take the Good News to all. Ordinary Time is indeed missionary time! Deacon Adrian Cullen is Evangelisation Coordinator

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Cardinal Visits Mildmay

On 15th June, Cardinal Vincent paid a visit to Mildmay, the HIV charity and specialist hospital in East London. Following a short chapel service, he met with staff and patients, and toured one of the hospital wards, and heard about some of Mildmay’s specialised work treating and rehabilitating people with complex and severe health conditions caused by HIV, including HIV associated brain impairment. He remarked, ‘I’ve come to a place that is full of joy, characterised by the generosity and care of so many people. This is a setting in which much careful help is given, medically and personally. Mildmay is a house of joy, of hope, of healing.’

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Director’s Spotlight

Phil Ross, Youth Ministry Director

I was honoured recently to take Bishop Nicholas on a tour of the SPEC Campus and in particular the new residential complex, the rebuilt rotunda and the refurbished poustinia. Accompanying this column are photos taken by Bishop Nicholas that wonderfully capture the amazing residential complex; we are just four weeks away from completion. The work is moving apace to prepare for the arrival of our first visitors who are travelling from their home in France. We are looking forward to welcoming this group towards the end of July. As I write, the internal walls of the residential

complex are being painted, the tiling in the bathrooms is being finalised and the floors are being readied for the carpets – it’s getting very real now ! This week there have been several visitors to our campus, which is always exciting, and I was especially pleased to welcome Paulina Latham, the Head of Events & Visual Arts from the Polish Cultural Institute. Towards the end of last year we worked closely with the Cultural Institute on our Way of the Cross celebration at the cathedral and in particular on an inspiring collection of World Youth Day, Krakow photos that were exhibited in two side chapels. These photos are all on wonderful canvasses and they will be brought together and exhibited for a second time during our Opening Ceremony in the Autumn. Just now we are welcoming to SPEC the growing team; new members of the operations team, our new programme team and of course the fourteen new volunteer missionaries. This upcoming academic year will be the beginning of the new and exciting journey for SPEC – if you want to pop along to say hello and have a tour please just drop me an email or give me a call and please do remember us in your prayers.

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New Resources for Youth Workers and Volunteers We recently made a few updates to our youth website, focused on improving the user experience. The homepage has been revamped, providing more information and options than before. One specific area that has benefited from the update is the Resources section. It’s now easier than ever for youth workers and parish volunteers to access our library of resources to assist them in their work. Whether you are searching for a new game for your youth group or need a parental consent form, our Resources section now offers many great options for all involved in helping our youth.

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There’s also the option to search very specifically for resources. For example, you may have nine young people in your group, aged between 16 and 18 years, and you may want to do something during Advent with them. Well it’s now easier than ever to filter for specific requests like this. Simply select the options that are relevant for you from our five filters: theme, age range, type, number of participants and timescale. So if you’re already involved with young people, or are thinking about doing something, then check out our Resources section at dowym.com/resources.

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Chaplain’s Corner

Fr David Reilly, Diocesan Youth Chaplain Each year in the Youth Service we undertake a number of pilgrimages. These journeys, for young people as for each us, are made in faith and symbolise the pilgrimages we all make through as well as the greater journey of the Church through time. In June, we made a pilgrimage to Rome, the Eternal City. It was here that the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, around the year 65, marked the ground with their blood by their deaths on a cross and by a sword respectively. In this way, they baptised that great city transforming the capital city of the pagan world into the centre of Christian life and pilgrimage for the ages to come. In July, we will join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. Here, Our Lady appeared to the child St Bernadette, asking her to spread a message of prayer, procession and penance. In a sense, Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, accompanies every pilgrimage we make. She is the Mother of the pilgrim Church who guides us by the light of heaven. In its greatest constitution, Lumen Gentium (1964), the Second Vatican Council said that the Church is, ‘like a pilgrim in a foreign land, pressing forward amid the persecutions of the world, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes…in a faithful though shadowed way, until at the last, it will be revealed in total splendour’ (LG 8). Let us join that great journey as pilgrims and messengers of the Gospel for the world today. Page 13


Westminster Record | July 2017

‘You are makers of history’

indeed be thirsty work!’ Meditating on the Eucharist, the Cardinal added: ‘when we receive this Food of Life, which is the true Body of Christ, rather than us absorbing it into our life, we are absorbed by what we have eaten and we become part of the Body of Christ’ and ‘he becomes the One in whom we live and who acts in and through us, if we permit him to do so’. Christ is also present in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so closely connected to the Eucharist, and it is he who helps families overcome ‘distances’ and ‘differences’ and who is ‘there also to heal our wounds, to forgive our sins, to mend the fissures in our lives’.

During the Mass the couples renewed their marriage promises and were blessed by the Cardinal. The Mass for Matrimony has been an annual event since 2008, and this year 675 couples celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2017 joined the Cardinal to renew their vows. Among the couples present, 42 couples were celebrating 60 years or more of marriage, with one couple celebrating 66 years. A further 114 couples were celebrating 50 years and 113 celebrating 40 years. Many more were celebrating milestone anniversaries, with the newest celebrating five years of marriage.

On 31st May, the Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady, Bishop Nicholas officiated the Solemn Profession of Sr Maria of the Resurrection. Sr Maria, who joined the Carmelite order in Notting Hill, was surrounded by family who had come over from the Philippines as well as friends from around the country. The Carmelite sisters described it as ‘a beautiful occasion for all’.

In his homily Bishop Nicholas referred Visitation of Our Lady and mentioned particularly Mary and Elizabeth’s willingness to say ‘Yes to the will of the Lord’ and how this is reflected in the vows that Sr Maria of the Resurrection had just made. He went onto say that it is other people saying ‘yes’ that deepens our own ‘yes’ to God, strengthening us all.

Air Raid Centenary Commemoration On 13th June 1917 at 11:40 am, Upper North Street School was hit by a bomb in the first daylight air-raid by a Gotha bomber and 18 children, aged between 5 and 12 years old were killed. The terrible tragedy had long lasting effects on the British public as well as devastating an entire community. On 15th June 2017, a service was held at Mayflower School as it is known today was held in the presence of HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh to mark the centenary of the raid. It was attended by children and teachers who survived the

raid, as well as 216 relatives of the children who died, the latter coming from all over the UK and as far afield as New Zealand, the US and Canada. Children from Poplar primary schools are also in attendance. Among the faith representatives, Bishop Nicholas Hudson led a representation of Catholic priests, teachers and pupils. Following the memorial service, the congregation processed to Poplar Recreation Ground, to the angel statue, erected by public subscription on 23rd June 1919, where tributes were paid to the 18 children.

Photo: Max Colson

‘You are makers of history,’ Cardinal tells married couples At the annual Mass in thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony at Westminster Cathedral on 3rd June 2017, Cardinal Vincent told couples present that they are ‘makers of history’ and ‘co-workers with God’, who honour him in their effort. He invited the couples, ‘as you thank God for the years spent together, to open your hearts afresh to the Holy Spirit’, who is the “‘fountain of living water”, flowing from the side of Christ and giving refreshment to all who thirst’. He reflected that ‘this is precisely the help we need in the tiring efforts of family life’, which he said ‘can

‘Yes’ to the Lord’s Calling 

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Westminster Record | July 2017

Bishop Paul urges new deacons to be Christ’s companions in prayer On Saturday 10th June Bishop Paul MacAleenan ordained eight men to the diaconate in Westminster Cathedral. Patrick Allsop, Allan Alvarado Gil, Mark Dunglinson, Daniel Herrero, Rajiv Michael and Jon Stogdon were ordained for the Diocese of Westminster with Robert James being ordained for Cardiff and Jonathan Whitby-Smith for Nottingham.  In his homily Bishop Paul urged them to be ‘Christ’s companions in prayer’ as this is how one ‘prepares to speak the word which finds its way into peoples’ lives and gives them faith and hope’.  Speaking of this vocation to pray, he told the ordinands they would be ‘obliged to pray at different times of the day for the world, for all people’ and their days ‘will be punctuated by times when you will cease from activity and imitate Christ the

man of prayer, and so bring God’s grace to the world in ways that we will never know’. He explained that a vocation to the diaconate or the priesthood ‘slips into someone’s heart’ and the one with that vocation may not know what it is. Being in formation is a time of making ‘Christ’s wish for us our own wish until there comes the point when our will is aligned with his,’ he added. Bishop Paul reminded the men that ‘it is really God who lays his hands on you this day in the form of the bishop, he does so because he wants you’, rejoicing that the men have responded to his call: ‘It is his mission; we ask only for the grace to be faithful.’ The eight men ordained today will continue their formation toward the priesthood and spend the next year in placements in parishes around the diocese. Fr Bernard Boylan, Parish Priest of St Theodore of Canterbury, Hampton-onThames, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his Ordination on 20th May with a special Mass at his parish, concelebrated by his brother Fr Antony Boylan and two other priests, followed by a parish reception. Canon Michael Brockie, Provost of the Cathedral Chapter and Parish Priest of the Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More, Chelsea, celebrated his Golden Jubilee of Ordination in May. He celebrated with parishioners over the weekend of 21st May, and later in the week, with a special Mass with his priest friends.

Cardinal Vincent celebrated a special Mass with some of the priests marking their Jubilee, at the Chapel in Archbishop House on 14th June, in thanksgiving for the milestone completed in service of the Lord and the community at large. Seven Jubilarians, along with all four Auxiliary Bishops were present for the Mass. After Mass, the clergy enjoyed a celebratory lunch to mark the eventful occasion. Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/diocese.westminster

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To find out more about Vocations please contact Canon Stuart Wilson Office: 0207 739 5620 Mobile: 07515 065 696 email: vocationspromoter@ rcdow.org.uk web: www.rcdow.org.uk /vocations/news/ Page 15


Westminster Record | July 2017

Sea Sunday on the Horizon by Greg Watts

Wojciec Holub, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplain to Tilbury and the Thames, recounted a conversation he recently had with a captain. ‘I asked him, when do you sleep? He smiled and said he slept when he could. But how you can you sleep with all the noise from containers and cranes? I said. ‘He replied, “You get used to it. I know seafarers who cannot sleep without noise, so when they go home, they sleep close to the fridge.”’ This month we celebrate Sea Sunday, when the Church asks us to pray for seafarers and support the work of AoS, whose chaplains and ship visitors provide practical and pastoral help in ports around the coast of Britain and on cruise ships. Most of us probably never give a second thought to seafarers. They seem remote from the concerns of our daily life. Yet without them we would not have many of the things we take for granted. If you have a computer or a car, if you enjoy oranges or coffee, or if you have just bought a pair of shoes or a settee, then chances are that

these items arrived by sea. AoS port chaplains, such as Wojciec, often provide a lifeline to seafarers, who can spend months at sea and, because most ships don’t have internet access, they have no contact with their family back home. Wojciec supplies mobile phone top up cards, transports seafarers to and from the Tilbury seafarers’ centre, or

takes them to local shops. And with many seafarers being Catholic, he can sometimes arrange for Mass to be said on a ship. And he provides a listening ear if a seafarer is feeling lonely, having difficulties with other crew members, or worried about his family back home. Bishop Paul Mason of Southwark, who has served as a

cruise ship chaplain and became the AoS bishop promoter earlier this year, said, ‘The support AoS offer up and down the country to all seafarers is by and large unseen, just as those to whom they minster can be unseen. It is vital work that brings practical help, prayer, sacramental care and fellowship to so many.’ www.apostleshipofthesea. org.uk

Hope and Tragedy in the Middle East On 1st June The Catholic Union Charitable Trust invited two experts to speak to a group of over 100 about the current situation for Christians and other persecuted minorities in the Middle East at an event entitled ‘Martyrs and Exiles’ Gerard Russell, former British and UN diplomat and author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East, addressed the current situation of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, and observed how they have proved remarkably resilient over many periods of persecution. He was followed by John Pontifex, from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) UK, Page 16

who spoke about his recent visit to Aleppo and the return of Christians to the Nineveh Plains. He explained that work in Syria and Iraq now forms the main focus for ACN. Both speakers saw some grounds for hope amongst the

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destruction and killings, described by many as genocide, but said that a massive international effort would be required before Christians and other minorities can again live and flourish in these parts of the Middle East.

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Eugene Fitzpatrick The Diocese of Westminster issued the following statement on 26th May 2017: Eugene Fitzpatrick, a priest of the Diocese of Westminster, has been sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court to a substantial term of imprisonment following convictions in relation to non-recent sexual abuse of children. In these circumstances, the priest will be removed from the priesthood. The Diocese of Westminster has been cooperating with the police throughout their investigations. Eugene Fitzpatrick was withdrawn from ministry in 2006. The Diocese of Westminster is deeply sorry for the hurt that he caused to his victims, their families and the wider community, and acknowledges the gravity of the abuse he inflicted as is reflected in the severity of the sentence. The Diocese of Westminster is committed to the safeguarding of all children and vulnerable adults in its care. Over the past two decades, in conjunction with the Catholic Church in England and Wales, robust safeguarding policies and procedures have been developed and put in place across parishes, schools and agencies of the diocese to provide better protection for children and vulnerable adults in its care. If anyone has any concerns of a safeguarding nature involving the Diocese of Westminster, they are asked to contact the authorities or the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator.


Westminster Record | July 2017

Justice and Peace in Brussels Julia Corcoran, a Youth Worker with the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission, is attending a sustainability workshop in Brussels from 2nd to 5th July with CAFOD. One of the reasons for visiting Brussels is to allow Julia and three other young people, Tom, Kate and JohnPaul, the opportunity to learn more about campaigning and lobbying on climate, sustainability and poverty. The hope is the experience will inspire the four to come back and share their experience, raise awareness of climate change, sustainable living and how local communities can make a difference. The group will visit the European Parliament and meet with their MEP, and will also

visit a large sustainability camp in Brussels with other young people from around Europe. Julia said ‘I’m passionate about tackling climate change. I believe if we don’t do something about it now, then it will be too late to act in the future. ‘I was inspired to tackle climate change after a visit to Sierra Leone in 2014, and talking to local people there about how the environmental changes have impacted their lives and have made it more difficult to survive.’ Julia would be delighted to visit schools and parishes to talk to young people about her experience or to lead retreats, workshops or assemblies. Please contact her at justice@rcdow.org.uk

Pupils at Douay Martyrs raise £4,500 for CAFOD Pupils and staff at Douay Martyrs have raised an amazing £4,500 for CAFOD. From cake sales, to sponsored Readathons, the whole school community has been involved in supporting those in need overseas. Luisa Foley, the school chaplain, said: ‘I believe this is not just about money, but about the two-fold commandment to love God and love our neighbour in

action. Every student here is a member of my team and parents have even helped too, showing the interconnectedness between school, parish and home.’ A group of year 11 students said ‘Giving to CAFOD is in the DNA of our Catholic school community and is an important part of school life. Everyone deserves an equal chance at living a good life and developing foundations.’

Pupils from Douay Martyrs holding a check to present to CAFOD

Community Art Project at Pield Heath Students from Pield Heath House RC School have recently been working with The Arts Society - Hillingdon on a ‘Young Arts’ Community Art Project. Local artist Christine Smith has been helping the students create a mosaic of the school logo.

The mosaic situated at the entrance of the school, was officially unveiled by John Hensley, Councillor of Hillingdon and Christine, with the students and members of the The Arts Society – Hillingon taking part in the event.

Pield Heath was delighted to have been chosen for the project and the students have greatly enjoyed helping to create the mosaic. The school aims to enable the students to ‘Live Life to the Full’ by working with the local community, which is key.

Ready, Steady, Bake at St Columba’s Pupils at St Columba’s Secondary in St Albans have shown themselves to be star bakers at an inter-house Bake Off, held in aid of CAFOD. Pupils across the school took part and demonstrated their baking prowess with over 60 entries A fantastic £240 was raised for CAFOD and cakes that weren’t sold were delivered to a local elderly peoples’ home in St Albans. Not only was money raised for those in need overseas, but each cake had to contain at least one Fairtrade ingredient, a topic students have recently explored. Jo Tatham, art teacher at St Columba’s, said: ‘Throughout the year we look at different social justice issues and we wanted to find a creative way to respond to our debates about Fairtrade, so each student was asked to include at least one fairtrade ingredient in their baking. We couldn’t believe the response and it’s now going to become an annual tradition.’

Cllr John Hensley, artist Christine Smith and students unveil new mosaic at Pield Heath

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Page 17


Westminster Record | July 2017

rd

Saint of the Month: St Thomas 3 July

St Thomas the Apostle, also known as Didymus (meaning twin in Greek), was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Not much is known about his place of birth which many believe is probably Galilee. He is said to have been speared to death in 72 AD while on his preaching mission in Madras, India. When Jesus first appeared to his disciples, Thomas was not present among them. On his return the other apostles informed him of the apparition of Jesus, which Thomas doubted and voiced that he would believe only if he could touch Jesus’ nail-driven scars. This is why he is known as doubting Thomas. Jesus appeared the second time in the presence of all his apostles and asked Thomas to put his finger in his wounds in the hands and the side, to which Thomas exclaimed, ’My Lord and My God’. (John 20:28) This wonderful profession is one of the clear declarations of Jesus’ divinity. It brought about a powerful and strong transformation in Thomas’ life and he preached about Christ with more conviction to his final breath, unceasingly travelling across different regions and countries. When Jesus announced his intention of going to Judea to heal Lazarus who was ill, brushing aside the protests of his disciples that his life was in danger there, Thomas said to the others, ’Let us all go with

the Teacher, so that we may die with him’. (John 11:16) This incident speaks volumes of Thomas’ loyalty and faithfulness to Christ even when there was an imminent fear of death. On July 3rd, the Church celebrates the Feast of St Thomas. He is the patron saint of architects and builders. According to legend King Gondoforus had hired St Thomas as an architect to build a magnificent palace for him, and handed him gold and silver for this purpose, but instead St Thomas spent all the wealth serving the poor and sick. On hearing what St Thomas had done, the King started contemplating his death. In the meanwhile, the King’s brother died; the King wished for a magnificent tombstone to be erected in memory of his brother; but the dead man, after being dead for four days, suddenly rose and sat upright and said to the King, ’The man

who thou wouldst torture is a servant of God’. The king’s transformation at the hands of St Thomas testifies to the saint being the spiritual architect of King Gondoforus, and for the same reason he has been chosen among the saints as the patron of architects and builders. He has been greatly instrumental in in bringing Christianity to India and hence also known as the Saint of India. In 51 AD, King Gondoforus died and his kingdom was attacked. So, St Thomas took the sea route through Yemen and in 52 AD he arrived in Kodungallur, currently in the state of Kerala, India. He preached the Gospel throughout India, especially along the Malabar Coast, to all classes of people and gained about 17,000 converts. The Saint Thomas Christians are a sect from Kerala who trace their origins to the saint’s evangelistic activity. From Kodungallur, St

In Memoriam: July

1 Mgr Anthony Howe (2011) 3 Fr William M Brown (1989) Fr George Ennis (2007) Thomas then went to Palayur, a 4 Fr Joseph Anthony Carr (1999) Hindu priestly community at that time, where he was 6 Fr Terence Wardle (2010) successful in the conversion of 7 Canon Alfred Cuming (1978) upper caste Hindu, thus Fr Frank Morrall (1995) beginning the Christian Fr John Power (2002) conversion movement. He left 8 Fr Joseph Gardner (1992) Palayur for the southern part of 9 Fr Christopher Pemberton what is now the State of Kerala (1983) where he established the Fr John Norton (1989) Ezharappallikal, or ‘Seven and 10 Fr Peter Harris (1976) Half Churches’. These churches Fr Thomas Kelly (1983) are located at Kodungallur, 12 Fr Daniel Higgins (1996) Kollam, Niranam, Nilackal, 14 Mgr Canon Joseph Williams Kokkamangalam, Kottakkavu (1991) and Paloor. 15 Fr Christopher McKenna The Indian and Middle (2003) Eastern brethren surely ought to be indebted to the 16 Fr Michael Giffney (1987) Courageous One for his gospel Canon JohnMcKenzie work that began in 52 AD and (1988) is still alive in the hearts and 17 Fr Horatio Hosford (2014) souls of many, for without him 19 Fr Peter Pearson (1971) this side of the world would not 21 Canon Philip Moore (1976) have known of the love of Fr Anthony O’Sullivan (1997) Jesus, nor have experienced his Fr Norman Kersey (1999) mercy and grace, ever so Canon Herbert Veal (2005) present in each of the seven 22 Fr Tom Allan (2007) Christian sacraments. 26 Fr George Fonseca (1998) Fr David Roderick (2005) 27 Fr Graham Feint (2000) 28 Fr Ralph Gardner (1976) Fr Patrick Whyte (1988) Deacon Sydney Adams (2005) 30 Fr Callum Maclean (1982) Fr Vincent Commerford (1997) 31 Fr Albert Vaughan (1995)

Summer Accommodation in London Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea offers comfortable rooms in central London in July and August. Beautiful gardens and chapel. Rooms from £50 per night (including breakfast). Website: www.allenhall.org.uk Email: allenhall@rcdow.org.uk Telephone: 020 7349 5600 (option 0)

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

Page 18

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Events & Calendar

REGULAR EVENTS Westminster Record | July 2017

Liturgical Calendar - July

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

Prayer Groups SUNDAYS

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

MONDAYS

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

TUESDAYS

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Tuesdays 6-9pm concluding with Benediction at Newman House, 111 Gower Street WC1E 6AR. Details 020 7387 6370.

Prayers for London at the Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden Tuesdays 7.30pm. Organised by the Guild of Our Lady of Willesden, Nicoll Road NW10 9AX. Our Lady of Walsingham Prayer Group First Tuesday of the month 2.30pm to 4.15pm in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral. Details: antonia@walsingham.org.uk

Vocations Prayer Group Second Tuesday of the month 8pm at 47C Gaisford Street NW5 2EB. Taizé at St James’, Spanish Place, W1U 3UY every first Tuesday of the month at 7pm. Email: penny28hb@aol.com or just come along.

WEDNESDAYS

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

Our Lady, Untier of Knots, Prayer Group of Intercession meets every third Wednesday at St Anselm & St

Cecilia, Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Parish Mass at 6pm followed by Prayer Group until 8.45pm. Rosary, Adoration, Silent prayer and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Email: Antonia antonia4161@gmail.com.

THURSDAYS JCFL

Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life (JCFL) provides a space for Christians of different traditions to join together in prayer and friendship. For further details please visit www.jcfl.org.uk.

NFG Prayer Group 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. Soul Food A Catholic charismatic prayer group for young adults meets Thursdays 7-9pm at St Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street W1W 6HS. Details at www.soulfoodgroup.org.

St John Paul II Prayer Group Every second Thursday of the month 7-8pm, Mass, Adoration and Prayer at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane WC2E 7NB.

FRIDAYS

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

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

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

1 Sat

DEDICATION OF THE CATHEDRAL

2 Sun

+ 13th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

3 Mon

ST THOMAS, Apostle

4 Tue

Feria, Thirteenth Week of Year 1 or St Elizabeth of Portugal

5 Wed

Feria or St Anthony Zaccaria

6 Thu

Feria or St Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr

7 Fri

Feria; Friday abstinence

8 Sat

Feria or Blessed Virgin Mary

9 Sun

+ 14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

10 Mon

Feri, Fourteenth Week of Year 1

11 Tue

ST BENEDICT, Abbot, Patron of Europe

12 Wed

Feria

13 Thu

Feria or St Henry

14 Fri

Feria or St Camillus de Lellis, Priest; Friday abstinence

15 Sat

St Bonaventure, Bishop & Doctor

16 Sun

+ 15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

17 Mon

Feria, Fifteenth Week of Year 1

18 Tue

Feria

19 Wed

Feria

20 Thu

Feria or St Apollinaris, Bishop & Martyr

21 Fri

Feria or St Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest & Doctor; Friday abstinence

22 Sat

ST MARY MAGDALENE

23 Sun

+ 16th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

24 Mon

Feria, Sixteenth Week of Year 1 or St Sharbel Makhluf, Priest

25 Tue

ST JAMES, Apostle

26 Wed

Ss Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

27 Thu

Feria

28 Fri

Feria; Friday abstinence

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

29 Sat

St Martha

30 Sun

+ 17th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Low Mass 5.30pm, Shrine of Our Lady of Willesden, NW10 9AX.

31 Mon

St Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

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.

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

Fridays:

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

SATURDAYS

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

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

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

Pope’s Intentions for July Lapsed Christians: That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life. Follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/RCWestminster

Young Adults Mass with an Ignatian twist

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: Low Mass, 8am The Oratory, Brompton Road SW7 2RP.

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

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Other regular Masses

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.

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Page 19


Westminster Record | July 2017

Thy Kingdom Come On Pentecost Sunday, 4th June, during the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of Liverpool Cathedral, Cardinal Vincent preached the homily at an ecumenical service.

'Thy Kingdom Come!' These three words stand at the heart of Christian prayer. Thankfully, they have stood at the heart of much prayer in these last eight days, a prayer shared openly and deliberately by many Christians of different churches and traditions, in many parts of the world. We thank God as we bring to a close this Octave of Christian prayer for our shared Christian mission, which has helped to make these three words resonate afresh in so many hearts and minds. 'Thy Kingdom Come!' This is at the heart of Christian prayer because it is at the centre of the ministry of Jesus, our gracious and loving Lord. His coming was announced by John the Baptist in this manner (Mk 1.15). He himself broke the silence of his early years with the words: 'Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is close at hand' (Mt 3.2). The coming of his Kingdom is his promise and, as his disciples, it is our hope. For this coming, we pray every day. The texts of the Gospels affirm this focus. The Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God, is mentioned 61 times in the Gospel texts, yet its precise meaning is hard to pin down. At times it has been taken to indicate the coming of a visible Page 20

reality akin to, or replacing, an oppressive political order. Perhaps this was the first thought of the disciples. It has been entertained many times since then. Yet the phrase has also been taken to mean a truly 'spiritual kingdom', a kingdom of the heart, an inner moral ethic. Perhaps this has been part of a particularly liberal vision, which has seen humanity progressing on a pathway of continual growth and goodness. Then the 'Kingdom of God' has an eschatological meaning, pointing to the close of history and the restoration of all in Christ. But the meaning that is surely most clearly reflected in the prayer the Lord gave us is that his Kingdom will come, his will be done 'on earth as it is in heaven'. The Kingdom is a reality both already secured for the eternal future and still to be realised step by step, in our lives, both individually and in the way we fashion our communities and societies. This Kingdom, then, this conformity to the will of the Father, is central to our Christian endeavour, to our discipleship. But here I think we benefit from one firm clarification: that we are not primarily called to build the Kingdom as to seek to enter

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.

it. We are not so much its prime movers as its recipients. Our radical quest is to enter the Kingdom, to dwell in it and to be shaped by it, both now and in the fullness of time: our limited, personal time and in the fullness of all created time. The unfolding of this Kingdom, and of these intertwining histories, is the work of the Holy Spirit. Of that there can be no doubt, for it is this Holy Spirit who hovered over the chaos at the emerging of time and rendered that chaos into an ordered world, a cosmos. So too the final eschaton will be achieved by the power of the same Holy Spirit, when all things are rendered whole and pure and brought into the presence of God. And now, each day, the Holy Spirit refashions our nature, in as much as we permit, into an image of the life of God, seen in its fullness in Christ Jesus. So, there cannot be a better day than this day of Pentecost on which to pray anew these same three words: 'Thy Kingdom Come!' For on this day we seek to be in the place of the first apostles, gathered with Mary, to receive afresh this gift so that we too may be heralds of this Kingdom, now and in the days to come. This is the pattern of the coming of the Kingdom, even as we have heard in the words of the Gospel: 'As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you. Receive the Holy Spirit' (John 20.20). St Cyril of Jerusalem, writing in the fourth century, provides us with such a beautiful commentary on the work of the Holy Spirit among us. His words are both reassuring and challenging. He refers first to the image of water, used by Jesus himself 'on the last and greatest day of the festival' when he said that we were to come to him and drink for 'from his breast shall flow fountains of living water' (John 7.37-38). Then Cyril asks: 'But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water?' And his answer is wonderful: 'Because all things are dependent on water...... Water comes down from heaven as rain, and although it is always

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the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole of creation. It does not come down, now as one thing, now as another, but while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it.' He continues: 'In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each person as he wills. Like a dry tree, which puts forth shoots when watered; the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of his action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvellous.' Then he says: 'The Spirit makes one person a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret Holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one person's selfcontrol, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good.' St Cyril, then, assures us that today too we need not fear our differences if we are truly open to the same Holy Spirit. Nor

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should we feel hesitant in our task of mission 'for the common good', for that is precisely the purpose for which this Spirit nurtures our different gifts and reciprocal relationships. We should be fearful if we are not repentant, for as Jesus himself said, the first purpose of this great gift is for the forgiveness of sins, and we can hardly be ready to receive this gift if, at heart, we do not acknowledge and repent of our sins and of our divisions. This too should be the fruit of our prayer. 'Thy Kingdom Come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!' This prayer has inspired so much Christian endeavour across the centuries and continues to do so. Surely, it has sustained the long and costly effort of the construction of these two great cathedrals, built to the glory of God and as a sign and place of his realm and the peace it gives. At the Metropolitan Cathedral, we celebrate our 50th birthday. May this occasion and this prayer reinforce our commitment to each other and our deep desire to work side by side, in a profound unity of spirit. We pray that as we seek to enter the Kingdom the will of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit may indeed be seen in our lives and revealed to be at the source of so much good in our society today, for we know that the Spirit always blows where he wills. And for this too, this utter freedom of the Holy Spirit, we give thanks today and always. Amen.

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Westminster Record July 2017  
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