Westminster Record | Summer 2019
A sacramental way of seeing reality ordinary experiences, we get in touch with God. At key moments in our lives, that experience is particularly intense, and that grace is particularly powerful; there are seven of these moments, fundamental experiences of what it is to be human, or crucial choices we make. We know them as the Seven Sacraments, and this summer’s edition of Westminster Record focuses on several of them. We chronicle activities undertaken by many of our schools in the wake of the Adoremus project, exploring and celebrating the role of the Eucharist at the heart of the Christian life, an experience which will surely bear fruit in the lives of those who took part. We also report on the celebrations of the Sacrament of Matrimony at the joyous Mass for Marriage, reminding us to
Sacraments are not just things the Church does, or has. A sacramental way of seeing reality underpins our whole life, enabling us to meet and experience the living God in our daily lives. God always breaks through; his grace surrounds and bursts in on us. Behind and before you besiege me, as the psalm puts it, and so through everyday and
proclaim and revere the values of married life in our society. There is also a celebration of ordinations, both diaconal and priestly, together with candidacy for Holy Orders; and we must keep these men in our special prayers. Of course, it is the Holy Spirit who renders Sacraments effective, so that in them God happens to us. Thy Kingdom Come is a time of prayer leading up to Pentecost. originating with the Church of England, but warmly supported by the Catholic Church (Pope Francis this year sent a message of support). We report from the culmination of this initiative, in Trafalgar Square, where thousands gave witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
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Bishop John Wilson appointed eleventh Archbishop of Southwark
The Holy See announced on 10th June that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop John Wilson as Archbishop of Southwark. Archbishop-elect Wilson succeeds Archbishop Peter Smith, who has been Archbishop of Southwark since 2010. Archishop-elect Wilson, will be the 11th Archbishop of Southwark and his Episcopal Installation will be celebrated in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on 25th July. Speaking of his appointment, Archbishop-elect Page 2
Wilson said: ‘Someone once said if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. In whatever way I might have imagined God’s plan for my life to unfold, the news of my appointment by Pope Francis as the new Archbishop of Southwark came as a complete surprise. I am grateful to His Excellency Archbishop Edward J Adams, the Apostolic Nuncio, for his encouragement, and for reminding me of C S Lewis’ invitation to be “surprised by joy”. It is the joy of the Gospel, the Good News of God’s love for the world in his Son Jesus Christ, that sustains and animates the Church’s mission in which I am to share in a new way. ‘Aware of my unworthiness and limitations, and with more than a little trepidation, I am grateful to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this new mission in the service of the Lord and his people in the Archdiocese of Southwark. There is so much that is new to me and I know I have much to learn. I rely totally on the Holy Spirit to guide my new ministry of witnessing to the love of God for each person so that we might
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be evermore a Church of joyful missionary disciples, alive in Christ, our risen Saviour. ‘Through the great kindness and example of Cardinal Vincent, together with the support of my fellow bishops, and the clergy, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Westminster, I have begun to understand what it means to exercise episcopal ministry. I move to Southwark grateful to the Cardinal for all I have received in Westminster, and not least from the parishes of the western pastoral area and the schools and colleges of the diocese, for which I have had particular oversight. There have been so many blessings for which I thank the Lord sincerely. I also remain indebted to the Diocese of Leeds where I was nurtured as a priest, and to my family and friends for their constant support and encouragement. ‘It is with faith-filled anticipation that I look forward to sharing the Church’s mission with Bishop Patrick Lynch and Bishop Paul Hendricks, and with the priests, deacons, religious and lay people of the
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Archdiocese. Together we step out into the future with confidence, trusting that the Lord is indeed with us. As we deepen our love for him, we will continue to look outwards in the service of our brothers and sisters, not least the weakest and the poorest. ‘The Lord Jesus says to each of us “I call you friends” (Jn 15:15). It is in friendship that I come, a friendship as wide and embracing as the wonderful variety of people and places within the Archdiocese of Southwark, both inside and beyond the Church. ‘My appointment is announced on the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church. May Our Lady, with her heavenly maternal care, pray for everyone in our Archdiocese. May she, the Star of the New Evangelisation, teach us to love Jesus as she loves him so that others too might know his love. ‘Please be sure of my prayers for you and for our journey together in faith, hope, love and joy. And please pray for me as I prepare to begin this new ministry of service as a witness to Jesus Christ.’
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Archbishop Smith said: ‘It was with great delight that I received the splendid news that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop John Wilson as the next Archbishop of Southwark. It was nine years ago today that I was installed as the 10th Archbishop of this Archdiocese, and I am pleased to pass on my responsibilities to such a capable successor. The Archdiocese of Southwark has a vibrant and multi-cultural Catholic population to which Bishop John will bring new energy and enthusiasm. I wish him every blessing for his episcopal ministry in Southwark and assure him of my prayers and good wishes.’ Cardinal Vincent said: ‘On behalf of the people, priests and religious of Westminster I assure Archbishop-elect Wilson of our whole-hearted support and prayers as he moves to take up his role as Archbishop of Southwark. We thank him most warmly fort his service in Westminster both as an area bishop and a dedicated part of episcopal oversight of the diocese, especially in education.’
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