Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School celebrates its Golden Jubilee.
St Richard Reynolds Catholic College in Twickenham is officially opened.
Page 7 October 2013
Prayers for Peace Churches in the Diocese joined Pope Francis and the Universal Church in praying and fasting for peace in Syria and the Middle East on 7 September. Many attended Mass and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. Speaking after thousands joined him in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father said that the search for peace requires patience and perseverance. He condemned the proliferation of wars and conflicts, questioning the motivations behind them. On Tuesday 10 September Archbishop Vincent then met the President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the urgent need for progress on the peace process and assure him of the continuing support of the Church in England and Wales for all in the Holy Land. President Abbas said that the presence of Christians there is vital as they are an integral part of the Palestinian community. He thanked the Church in this country for its work in supporting a peaceful solution, for its advocacy, helping projects in Palestine. He also highlighted his collaboration with the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem on building projects to enable Christians to remain there. Archbishop Nichols said: “I was pleased and honoured to meet President Abbas and his delegation. It gave an added dimension to our many visits and the work of the Holy Land Coordination, which will go out again in January. Promoting a just peace for all in the Holy Land is a crucial issue which affects us all.” President Abbas will meet Pope Francis in October.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols with Mahmoud Abbas
Westminster Record October 2013
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When did you see me hungry?
Editor Bishop John Arnold
I would not want to overlook the severe difficulties being faced by many families and by isolated, elderly people in our current recession, here at home. I know only too well that many primary school children are arriving at school having had no breakfast, that all too many people cannot find work, that we have need of an increasing number of food banks and increasing numbers of people are slipping into debt. The most difficult part of my CAFOD trip is the week after I return home. Having seen such poverty, I see the shops full of every possible variety of food, with consumer goods and gadgets of every type. And I know just how fortunate I am with all that I have. When did I last go hungry? Pope Francis has spoken all too clearly about the poor and how the Church’s credibility rests on what we do to provide people with enough for their needs. In both Brazil and Bolivia we heard so much about the Pope’s presence at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro and how he stirred people’s hopes and expectations. I am left with the very uncomfortable and nagging feeling that I, yes I, could do a whole lot more. And I owe it to myself to keep that feeling alive.
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During the last month I have again had the privilege of travelling to visit some of CAFOD’s partners, this time in Brazil and Bolivia. What vast and beautiful countries they are. Brazil is some 35 times the size of the United Kingdom, Bolivia twice the size of France. Both countries, despite spectacular mineral wealth, suffer appalling poverty among very large numbers of their inhabitants. In Bolivia for example, a country of ten million people, seven million live in poverty, with two million of those described as living in ‘extreme poverty’. We visited favelas (shanty towns) in Sao Paulo, and indigenous people in the Amazon Rainforest. We saw a mining town in Bolivia where conditions are
squalid and local people have no access to clean water because of mining pollution. We met with so many people who, for various reasons, are living ‘on the edge’. But in every place we saw people manifesting hope and determination. No matter how bad things are for them, they are searching for every possible way to improve their lot. And the community spirit is strong. We also found a warmth of hospitality and welcome. Though these people had almost nothing, all that they had they offered to their guests. In one mountain village we were treated to a meal that the villagers could not possible normally afford for themselves: chicken, rice, maize soup Bishop and potatoes. Editor
The View from Rome: New Beginnings
by Antonio Pineda, Westminster Seminarian at the Venerable English College, Rome In many ways, October is the New Year in Rome. In this month the arts, theatre and museum calendars suddenly come back to life after the relative inactivity of the summer and the Eternal City is suddenly ablaze with festivals and events. One of my favourites is the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi which is celebrated on 4 October. Every year the Umbrian saint's death is commemorated with a wreathlaying near the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. The holiday is also observed at the church of San Page 2
Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere, the neighbourhood ‘across the Tiber’ which is a firm favourite with the students of the Venerable English College (VEC) for its charming narrow cobbled streets and its selection of restaurants, bars and cafes. Other events to watch out for if you're in Rome this month are the Roma Europa Festival which includes concerts and dance and theatre performances, and the Rome Jazz Festival which holds concerts in the Auditorium Parco della Musica. More significantly for the diocese, October signals the beginning of a new era at the VEC. The 2013-14 academic year is particularly meaningful for Westminster because one of our priests, Mgr Philip Whitmore, begins his ministry as the new Rector of the VEC. Mgr Whitmore previously worked at the Secretariat of State for the Holy See and is therefore no stranger to Rome, and he brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to his new appointment. There are 11 Westminster seminarians undertaking formation this academic year. Seven are at the
VEC while four are studying at the Pontifical Beda College. For one of them, however, the academic year started way back in late August. Andrew Bowden, a former lawyer, is our new Westminster man at the VEC. He set off for his new life as a seminarian in Rome at the end of August to undertake a month-long Italian language course with all the other new VEC students in preparation for their studies, some of which will take place at the Pontifical Gregorian University where lectures are in Italian. The Italian course is taught in a language school in San Giovanni Valdarno, a friendly town in Tuscany. In addition to grasping the basics of Italian grammar, Andrew had the opportunity to live as a ‘local’ there because he stayed with an Italian family throughout the course. This enabled him to truly immerse himself in the culture and learn the dynamics of Italian family life. There was time for relaxation and exploring too. During the weekends the students were free to roam around the region to visit such places as Florence, Arezzo, Siena and Pisa which are all within easy reach.
The Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano
At the completion of the Italian course, the new students returned to Rome for their week-long induction to the VEC and life in Italy in general. The induction included talks by the formation staff, including the new Rector, and guided tours of Rome. The week following the induction, the rest of the VEC seminarians, including myself, returned from our
summer holidays to start the new academic year. We did this in the best possible way by going on a silent retreat as one community at Villa Palazzola. With a new Rector from Westminster and a big group of our seminarians studying in Rome, the view from the Eternal City is looking very bright indeed.
Westminster Record October 2013
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Farewell Mass for Mother Eugenia Pantalleresco by Jo Siedlecka
Archbishop Vincent at the tea party
Archbishop visits Palmers Green Tea Party by Barnaby Johns
Archbishop Vincent Nichols visited a Contact the Elderly tea party within St Monica’s Parish in Palmers Green on Sunday 15 September. This is one of Caritas Diocese of Westminster’s key projects, addressing the plight of the elderly and isolated. The parish group was launched in March 2013 and meets for tea on the same Sunday of every month. There are currently seven regular older guests, five volunteer drivers, eight volunteer hosts, and one volunteer coordinator – all of whom are parishioners. The older guests are 75 and over, with many into their 80’s and 90’s; they live alone and find it difficult to get out and about without someone to help them. Archbishop Vincent said, “This Sunday tea party is a delight with gracious older guests mixing with three generations of the host family. When a family opens its home in this way everyone is blessed. The elderly return home, often to days of loneliness, but with joy in their hearts.”
volunteer host each month, since most community services for older people are not available at weekends. Treacey, the volunteer host, said: “My family was delighted to welcome this small group of older people and their volunteer drivers into our home for afternoon tea, which we enjoyed as much as they did. Many of the older guests told us how much they look forward to these monthly outings and it was great to see for ourselves how much they were all enjoying themselves.” The older guests and volunteers, although local, did not know one another when the group started. However, the tea party has been a catalyst to the formation of good friendships between people of all ages. 82-year-old guest Valerie said: “I really enjoy the tea parties;
everyone is so kind and I count the Sundays down until the next one. It is no fun getting old, but this kindness makes such a difference.” Archbishop Nichols appeared on the Chris Evans show ‘Pause for Thought’ on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 17 September where he spoke about his experience at the tea party. On the programme he said: “The elderly love it, saying that it not only breaks the dreadful burden of isolation but recreates a pattern of friendship in their lives. The volunteers, the host families, the drivers all speak of their joy and satisfaction at the contribution they make. It’s winners all round. This is a practical expression of our Christian faith and it is loving work, recreating a sense of community, centred round the family home.”
There was a special Farewell Mass for Mother Eugenia Pantalleresco at St Thomas More Church, Manor House, North London on Sunday 8 September, the feast of the Birthday of Our Lady, celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Mother Eugenia is returning to Malta after 33 years of service in north London. Before the Mass, the Archbishop blessed the new grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the parish garden. Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir sang during the Mass and there was a reception afterwards. During his homily Archbishop Nichols reflected on the readings, pointing out that Mary was fruitful because she had a listening heart for the word of the Lord, born out of a life of prayer: "If we wish to be fruitful we must practise ...... when the practice of prayer becomes a habit it will be fruitful." Archbishop Nichols mentioned that he'd seen violinist Nigel Kennedy play at the Last Night of the Proms the night before. "He could play like that just because he had practised so much.” He went on to praise and thank Mother Eugenia for her many years’ fruitful ministry in the parish born out of a life of prayer. During the presentation after Mass, parish priest Fr Clive Lee thanked Mother Eugenia and said that her community in Malta were looking forward to her arrival. She will be getting involved in their terrific work with children and young people, he said. Fr Clive added that many parishioners hoped to visit her in Malta.
Fr Clive, Mother Eugenia and Archbishop Vincent Nichols
Mother Eugenia took her first vows as an Ursuline Sister of St Angela Merici in Malta in 1958. After working in several projects for children there, she came to London in 1979 where she founded an international student hostel in Portland Rise and established the Ursuline community in Manor House. She went on to set up the Day Nursery for pre-school children and a branch of the International Association of Mary Help of Christians at Manor House which are both thriving. Mother Eugenia and her community have also been involved in many parish activities and are an indispensable part of St Thomas More parish’s life.
Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir singers
Sunday afternoon is highlighted as a particularly lonely day of the week for older people living alone. Volunteer drivers collect the older guests from their homes and drive them to the home of a different If you are interested in the work of CDOW, please contact the Director, John Coleby: firstname.lastname@example.org Photographs©Mazur/Catholicnews.org. uk Page 3
Westminster RecordSeptember October 2013 Westminster Record 2011
CSAN Launches Criminal Justice Forum by Alex Balzanella
Peace Prayer Vigil Outside London Arms Fair by Jo Siedlecka Around 200 people of all faiths took part in a candle-lit prayer vigil on 9 September outside the London Excel Centre in Docklands, which hosted the Defence and Security Equipment International Arms Fair - the largest arms market in the world. Campaigners say it hosts companies that sell weapons to some of the world's worst human rights abusing regimes, including the Russian arms suppliers to Syrian President Assad. It also welcomes firms that have supplied teargas used in Turkey, Brazil and Bahrain, and Israeli stands displaying 'battletested weapons'.
“As people of faith and goodwill we believe that peace and sustainable security between people can only come about by creating just relationships and not through fear or threat.”
Fleur Brennan, a parishioner from Holy Apostles, Pimlico, said: "This is the first time I have ever demonstrated outside the annual Arms Fair, but this year my conscience dictated I had to be part of this peaceful witness against war. When I saw the vigil advertised in our parish newsletter, I knew I had to While employees and visitors came take part. and went to the show, the "I was born during World War II, campaigners formed a large circle in which killed 50 million men women front of the Excel Centre, lit candles and children and left millions more and prayed in silence. injured and destitute for years after. A A leaflet handed out to visitors generation earlier, my mother's father explained: "We do not want this to died in the First World War, 'the war to happen in our name. As people of end all wars', which killed 10 million faith and goodwill we believe that soldiers and seven million civilians. I peace and sustainable security don't want this to happen again.
"The words of Pope Francis and the suffering of Syria drove me to the vigil to pray to stop this killing-trade which succeeds only in making the world ever more dangerous. I wanted to bear witness to the way the arms trade robs the poor and fuels wars all over the world. The vigil was deeply moving and inspired me to continue the struggle to put the Gospel message of peace into action in my life." The event was organised by Pax Christi with East London Against Arms Fairs, Quaker Peace and Social Witness and Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).
between people can only come about by creating just relationships and not through fear or threat. The arms trade robs the poor and fuels wars all over the world. The UK government should play no part in this. "We hope that our presence here will bring some light to the darkness of the arms trade, exposing the cold and heartless 'business as usual’ culture that allows this trade to continue. It was profoundly moving to be part of such a spiritual and powerful act of prayer and witness The peace vigil outside the arms fair at the Excel centre for peace." Page 4
Bishop Richard Moth and Helen O’Brian (CSAN) with member charities (PACT and Nugent Care)
On 10 September charities who work in the diocese including CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice), DePaul UK, The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain (Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas), Pact, St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Women @ the Well met with 20 other Catholic Charities and Community Projects at the launch of CSAN’s new Criminal Justice Forum.
the work they do to support those within the Criminal Justice system. One of the most moving testimonies came from a former prisoner, who had been assisted by Pact to help transform his life. The keynote address was given by the Rt Rev. Richard Moth, Bishop for Prisons. In his speech he said that we Catholics should “do all we can to put Catholic teaching into practice across our society so that those whose lives have CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) been marked by crime will find the is the social action arm of the ‘Place of Redemption.’” Catholic Church in England and Wales, which looks to address Reflecting on the CSAN Criminal problems of poverty, exclusion and Justice Forum in the wake of the isolation at home. Justice Select Committee findings that little progress has been made to The forum, which will meet four times reduce the number of women in a year, aims to bring together prisons, Sr Lynda Dearlove from Catholics working in the Criminal Women @ the Well said “the CSAN Justice Sector to enable them to Justice Forum will be an important share their experiences and give a tool to bring together Catholic stronger and more powerful voice to practitioners, to strengthen our voice victims of crime, offenders, prisoners and use our common values to and their families. challenge some of the prevalent At the launch event, a number of injustice which is within the structure organisations spoke powerfully about of our criminal justice system.”
Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Are you called to share with others in a spirit of peace and reconciliation in a broken and divided world? It involves * Living in Community * Sharing prayer * Eucharistic Adoration. * Education and Retreat Centres * Working for peace and reconciliation in the reality of our daily life. Contact: See Web page: acilondon.org.uk or email@example.com
Westminster Record October 2013
Nicholas Breakspear School celebrates Golden Jubilee
Archbishop of Canterbury hosts Conference on Economy and Christian Social Teaching
by Barnaby Johns
Edmund Adamus, Director for Marriage and Family Life, was among the speakers at the 2013 International Association of Christian Social Teaching conference on 22-23 August hosted by Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury. The event included a diverse array of speakers addressing the need to find concrete solutions to the global economic crisis and to alleviate its impact upon individuals and communities both north and south. Several themes were explored, such as how business and finance contribute to friendship and cooperation between individuals and peoples and how to inspire new ideas of managing the economy and business so that they better serve justice, the common good and the family. The consensus of the gathering of academics, economists and theologians was that the economy too often deprives families of their most central purpose in society as an oasis of charity, gratuity and reciprocity, particularly between generations. In the face of markets and the State, the family often loses its function of fecundity, even on the economic level. Addressing the topic ‘Truth at the Service of Freedom; Building the Civilisation of Love through the Family. An English Perspective’ Edmund gave an historical overview of why and how the family household and stable home lies at the heart of British life and culture and has always been the source for authentic humanisation of society when that household has a matrimonial identity, traditionally respected by our laws and institutions.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols celebrated Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School’s 50th Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving with staff and more than 800 students in St Albans on 12 September. With a strong musical accompaniment, the Mayor, governors, local priests, staff, students, families and supporters celebrated the rich tradition of the school. During the liturgy students from Year 9 processed through the Church with artwork depicting the school’s Gospel values of truth, He didn’t go searching for something peace, justice and love. out of anger or resentment. He asked, In his homily the Archbishop said: he searched and he knocked in the “We come together to thank God for search for the love of God. He went the achievements of the school and on asking and searching so that he for its history. We come to Mass could serve, because he recognized bringing the best of ourselves and to that what is most satisfying in life is be nurtured by God whom we receive to give and to serve. He searched for in His word and in the Eucharist.” what was true, not just what was Reflecting on St Matthew’s Gospel, handy. Nicholas Breakspear can Archbishop Vincent spoke of how teach us how to give a shape to our “Nicholas Breakspear was a man who lives – what we look for, what we ask searched for what he knew was best for, what we search for. If we are within him. He responded to his doing this before God, with our sense of where love was to be found. hearts open before our Heavenly
Father then we will certainly find what our heart most desires.” Clive Mathew, Executive Headteacher, said: “It is wonderful to celebrate 50 years of Nicholas Breakspear school and also to mark the beginning of a new partnership with Blessed John Henry Newman school – we are looking to a wonderful future together.” Other events to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations include a pilgrimage to Rome and an open day for former students and staff.
Teach us to Pray: A Conversation with God by Mark Nash The Diocese of Westminster will release its latest booklet for faith-sharing groups this autumn on the theme of prayer. Entitled Teach Us to Pray, the sixty-four page booklet contains six sessions for small groups, a scheme of daily prayer drawn from the Prayer of the Church and other quotes and prayers for private meditation.
Nicholaes Maes Old woman at prayer (c.1656)
In his foreword to the booklet Archbishop Vincent Nichols commends the resource, saying: “Prayer is central to the life of any believer. Yet its pattern and form is not the same for all… Through the pages of Teach Us to Pray we will come to share our experiences of prayer, drawing on Scripture and the Teaching of the Church. We will explore our prayer as an involvement, as a conversation with God Whom we love, through good times and bad, in our youth and as we mature.” Participants will meet each week in each other’s houses across the diocese to explore the nature of prayer as we go through life. Week One refers to the Little Ones and our prayer for the newborn and unborn; Week Two then looks at how we learn to pray in childhood. Week Three explores youth and prayer as a conversation in love and is followed by Week Four which shows us as we mature in our faith, looking to make a mark on the world. Week Five considers the wisdom of middle age and Week Six looks at the lives of the elderly in terms of joy and humility as we become close to the Father. Each of these weeks is illustrated
with beautiful full-colour illustrations which serve to aid meditation and prayer. In the past booklets in the exploringfaith series have been translated into Swedish by the Diocese of Stockholm (Appointed by God and Sharing in His Life among others) and Lithuanian by the Marian Helpers (Hail Mary, Full of Grace). The resources are also available online and have gained a readership across the Englishspeaking world. The season in Westminster will start on Sunday 13 October and finish on Saturday 23 November. The booklets can, however, be used at any time of year.
London Justice and Peace Autumn Assembly – Mission Beyond the Year of Faith To mark the end of the Year of Faith, the Justice and Peace Commissions of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster dioceses, along with Missio are hosting an important study day on Mission and Development on Saturday19 October. Bishop Kevin Dowling, international vice-president of Pax Christi, recently had to deal with the shooting of protesting miners in his South African diocese of Rustenburg. Bruce Kent, who visited Nigeria during the Biafran war, has constantly witnessed to the necessity of peace if there is to be any development. Fifty years on from Pacem in Terris, Blessed John XXIII's letter on peace, we re-examine our mission of faith in the context of development. Saturday 19 October, 10am - 4pm (free entry) The Salvation Army Regent Hall, Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJB (nearest tube, Oxford Circus, opposite British Home Stores J&P Westminster 0208 888 4222
If you would like to find out more about Teach us to Pray or any of the other exploringfaith booklets or should you wish to explore the possibilities of small groups in your parish, visit the Diocese of Westminster website – rcdow.org.uk/faith/small-groups. To stay informed you can find small groups on Twitter @dowsmallgroups and Facebook www.facebook.com/dowsmallgrou ps. Booklets can be ordered from www.rcdow.org.uk/bookstore.
Westminster RecordSeptember October 2013 Westminster Record 2011
One Faith. One Family. With World Mission Sunday on 20 October Sr Janet Fearns from Missio writes about small Christian communities in Africa
Aids orphans supported by the Church in Rustenburg
How many 15 year-old boys do Many Catholic parishes throughout you know who, without embarrassment, admit that being part of a lively faith community helps to give meaning to life? Yet Tlotlo, a 15 year-old South African schoolboy, declares: “The parish is home to me. Growing up as a young boy I didn’t see the point and my mum would drag me to church. But now, I come to church on my own. I’m not ashamed. Other teenagers might lose interest, but I don’t.”
Africa are subdivided into Small Christian Communities (SCC). These family clusters sustain the faith, life and energy of the parish and the local community, especially in remote areas where a priest might not be regularly available. Mogwase’s SCCs are the building blocks and mortar of the parish. Is a new church or classroom needed? The SCCs make the bricks and provide the labour. Does the church property need cleaning and maintenance? The SCCs see to it. Are there sick people in the vicinity? The SCCs visit them, pooling meagre resources to ensure that the patient has food and medicine. When there is a death, the nearest SCC organises the funeral and the burial. They prepare children for the Sacraments, instruct converts and form church choirs. Understanding that they belong to ‘one faith and one family’, their weekly meeting identifies and plans concrete ways of putting the Gospel into practice.
Tlotlo lives in Mogwase, a platinum mining town close to Sun City in South Africa’s North-Western Province. Tourists from across the world visit Sun City and the magnificent Pilanesberg National Park, but bypass Mogwase, reluctant to witness the poverty of its mining community. But the tourists are the losers. Those who live in the shanty compounds surrounding the mines experience tremendous hardship, but the Church is also alive and active, truly ‘one faith and Tlotlo left the Church for a while, but one family’. not for long. “I didn’t find what I wanted elsewhere. I can now see that this is where I belong and this is my faith.” After a request from the parish priest, he now helps youngsters whose faith is shaky. “My mum was a good example in coming to church and being active in the SCC. Both of my elder brothers were enthusiastically engaged in the SCC and advised me to stay involved. I feel blessed. It gives me an opportunity to serve God.”
Making school furniture, Abuja, Nigeria
“In the SCC, I have a second home, amongst people who saw me grow up from a baby into the young man I am today. My faith has helped me mature and be more understanding. I have
become a youth leader. To my The hands of the SCCs become ours, surprise, I was elected Head Boy at reaching out to the poor and needy, providing a lifeline to child-headed my Catholic school.” households where parents have died Jacinta is Tlotlo’s mother and a parish of HIV/AIDS and bereaved children catechist. She explains that the parish are left to care for each other. community’s impact extends beyond Countless families, where one or more their own parish. “Sometimes in our members has HIV/AIDS, could not SCCs we find non-Catholics joining cope without the daily visits and us. They don’t have that same sense nursing care given freely and of community and family in their own unstintingly by SCC members whose churches. They see that we care for faith in God underpins and inspires the poor. We don’t have much to give, their generosity. but we pray for them. We also pray ‘One faith. One family’. World Mission for the sick who come to the church Sunday is the annual day of solidarity from the hospice down the road. We celebrated by the Church across the have a healing service once a year.” “I joined the workshop for catechists simply because I wanted to enrich my faith. I wanted to understand in adulthood what my faith meant. When I became a catechist, I was invited to lead a group of young people who had just made their First Communion and stayed with them until Confirmation.” Jacinta laughed as she reflected on her value to her Local sisters, Sabon Papiri, NIgeria parish family. “Now I prepare all the parish candidates for Confirmation. To find out more about World Nobody wants me to leave the www.missio.org.uk group!” Jacinta described the impact of the SCC on her own and her family’s lives. “My husband and I had three children. The eldest is the altar server. My husband helps with leading the service when the priest isn’t here. We can only have Mass every two weeks, so it is the SCC’s responsibility to lead a prayer service when there is no Mass.” “I am proud to have this faith passed on to me by my parents. I don’t remember a day without going to Mass. On Saturdays my mother, sisters and I would wake up and go and clean the main church. In the evening Father Vincent would take us home and say Mass in our house. The SCC built a sub-parish church here. When it was finished, people could see it and find us. We grew from 20 coming together for Mass under a tree to over 300 in our own church!” She added: “I even founded a choir. We started with 12 singers and now there are more than 30.” World Mission Sunday is about helping parishes such as that in Mogwase. It is about supporting parishioners just like Jacinta and her son Tlotlo, who speak so confidently about their parish family as they live out their faith surrounded by the appalling poverty and hardship of a mining township.
world. The collection in your parish helps the SCCs in Mogwase to continue caring for each other. It sustains 1,069 dioceses in developing countries. Without your help, many parishes would struggle to survive. World Mission Sunday shares and builds our faith, nurtures and strengthens the family of our Church. In Brazil in July, Pope Francis declared 'Go and make disciples. Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible and create a world of brothers and sisters.' This is also the message of World Mission Sunday as we celebrate ‘One faith and one family in Christ.’
Mission Sunday, go to
Westminster Record October 2013
Westminster Record September 2011
The Choir: Ealing Abbey
St Richard Reynolds Catholic College opened by Archbishop On 19 September the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, celebrated the official opening for St Richard Reynolds Catholic College in Twickenham. An estimated 1,000 people attended the official opening at an outdoor Mass, concelebrated by the Archbishop with the Most Revs Peter Smith and George Stack, the Archbishops of Southwark and Cardiff respectively. The eagerly-anticipated school opening ends a long wait for families across Richmond as well as West London. When it is operating at full capacity the school will provide places for 1,050 secondary through a united effort. It has not school students and 210 primary been easy. Some have wished to use school children this effort as an occasion to sow Speaking about the opening of the division. But this morning I thank all college Archbishop Nichols said: “A who have played a part to hold Catholic school is an act of together and progress this project. partnership, a united effort, and a Catholic school always sees itself as “A Catholic school part of a local endeavour to be of always sees itself as service to society. St Richard Reynolds Catholic College has come into existence because of effective partnerships,
part of a local endeavour to be of service to society.”
A Catholic school also seeks to act locally, to enrich the life of a community and to serve its needs. Personally I am delighted that this College is to develop a specialism in music, for music can so enrich a local community – and I speak as a once and enthusiastic member of a local youth orchestra where my appreciation of music was deepened, leading on to a life-time of pleasure and enrichment. I am delighted, too, that St Richard Reynolds Catholic College is to make special provision for children with physical or sensory disabilities. In them, too, we ‘See the good things of the Lord.’” The Principal of St Richard Reynolds College, Richard Burke, said: "It has been a privilege being part of the movement that has brought The College into existence. Welcoming our Year Seven 'pioneers' last week as the College's first cohort was historic, emotional and heartwarming. It would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of so many people”.
Parent Joanna Saunders said: “Thanks to Richard Reynolds, my son in year 7 is the first of my four children to be offered a place at a Catholic secondary school. I am over the moon. “The staff are warm and caring, They expect a lot from the students, and give a lot back. The atmosphere is calm and friendly”
“The most important thing is to excite and stimulate the choir with repertoire that is new to them and new approaches to existing repertoire.” Barnaby Johns talks to Choir Director of Ealing Abbey, Christopher Eastwood, about how to get the best from the singers The modern Gothic Ealing Abbey has a fine acoustic for its choir of 15 choristers and six Lay Clerks (2 countertenors, 2 tenors and 2 basses). Like many Choir Directors, Christopher Eastwood is primarily an organist. Before he came to Ealing Abbey in 2006 he had been Organ Scholar at Lincoln College, Oxford and at Westminster Cathedral from 2004-2006 under Martin Baker. Christopher explains how he manages to keep an eye on the organ and an ear open for the voices: “I came to Ealing Abbey choir as an organist but my love for singing is as great. While at Westminster I was often very keen to jump over the organ console and join in with the Lay Clerks! I miss singing a great deal and would love to be involved if time allowed.” Christopher chooses the music for each term: “There is always an element of personal choice and I am always looking to include new music into the repertoire. This has to be balanced with the need to prepare music for concerts, recordings, Easter/Christmas, as well as devoting time to the training of the boys' voices. We continue to build on the wealth of polyphonic repertoire that is available, too.” The choir was founded c.1910 by a monk of the Abbey, Dom Cyril Rylance, and some distinguished musicians have sung in it, including Michael McCarthy (Washington National Cathedral), Jonathan Brown, and Andrew Carwood (St Paul's Cathedral). The choristers rehearse 3 mornings a week and on Sunday before Mass. They also sing Mass on Tuesday evening at 6pm. The choir sings for Advent Vespers (1st Sunday of Advent, 5pm) and for all the main Christmas and Easter services. They sing from the part of the Abbey that was added around the turn of the millennium, having moved from their previous place near the Rushworth & Draper organ. There is a note of regret in Christopher’s voice as his eye turns to the beautiful instrument: “Sadly the distance is too great for this to be an option”. But how does the choir continue to maintain standards? Christopher explains: “The most important thing is to excite and stimulate the choir with repertoire that is new to them and new approaches to existing repertoire. It is also important not to undervalue the effect a choir has on its congregation/audience, which can be so powerful. I work a lot with the singing teacher on technique, to ensure that the choristers have a sound base to work from; one which allows them to approach a wide range of repertoire.” The choir has recently toured Rome (2008), Strasbourg (2010) and USA (2011), with tours planned to Poland (2013) and Australia (2015). A CD was recently released on the Herald label – ‘Membra Jesu Nostri’ by Dietrich Buxtehude. Page 7
Westminster Record October 2013
Faith Matters for the Year of Faith Series IV: “Lord, teach us to pray” by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ Co-organiser of the Faith Matters Lecture Series
Archbishop Augustine di Noia OP
Leona Roche Fr Dermot Preston SJ
Fr Robin Gibbons This final season of the Year of Faith turns to the Church’s life of prayer. Faith Matters presents a series of three evenings exploring the diversity of traditions of prayer, followed by a concluding lecture drawing the Year of Faith to a close. Our series begins on 16 October with an evening led by Fr Robin Gibbons on Working with Christ: Traditions of Prayer from East and West. Dr Gibbons specialises in Liturgy and Eastern Christianity at Oxford, is a Greek-Catholic Melkite Chaplain, and involved closely in ecumenism. He
will address the complementary traditions of prayer in east and west, with special reference to monasticism. On 23 October we turn to the concrete practical issue of prayer in everyday life. Leona Roche is a young lay Catholic, working as a part-time solicitor, married for five years with a one year old daughter and a second baby on the way. She was involved for eight years with the Catholic charismatic prayer group for young adults called Soul Food. Her talk, Prayer is not important...it's essential!, addresses the very real
challenge of how prayer takes an Finally, on 19 November, we conclude order to confront these challenges”, integral place in busy modern lives. the Year of Faith with a special said Archbishop di Noia speaking to On 6 November we focus on a very lecture by Archbishop Augustine di Westminster clergy in June, “we need contemporary issue, as Fr Dermot Noia OP, Vice-President of the a confident evangelising and a Preston SJ, Provincial of the British Ecclesia Dei Commission, on robust, but not overbearing Challenges to apologetics.” Jesuits, addresses Faith Matters in a Contemporary talk entitled Through a Google Glass Proclaiming the Catholic Faith. Each of these talks is open to all. Darkly – Finding God in the Digital Archbishop di Noia will speak of Please do consider bringing a friend. Age. Fr Preston explores the ways challenges in explaining Catholic Prior registration, however, is prayer has been shaped by the rise of teaching in a more secular required www.rcdow.org.uk/ the internet. Through the lens of the environment, focussing on religious and expressive faithmatters, faithmatters@ spirituality of St Ignatius, he pluralism attempts to point out helps and individualism as a moral ideal. “In rcdow.org.uk or at 0207 931 6078. hindrances that might be encountered by the modern pilgrim The talks will be broadcast on Premier Christian Radio – dates and times to be advised and then posted as on www.premier.org.uk/hearttoheart in the digital era.
TYBURN NUNS LIFE OF PRAYER • Contemplative • Monastic • Eucharistic • Ecclesial
Are you called to serve God as a Tyburn Nun? Please contact
Mother General, Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place, London W2 2LJ Page 8
Westminster Record October 2013
Most Catholics think the Church says a big ‘no’ to sex, but in fact it is a big ‘yes’ to a higher form of love. Pure in Heart is a group in the diocese for 18-35 year olds who seek to live out the Church’s teaching on chastity by means of prayer, friendship, study and mission. Pure in Heart started in Ireland following an experience of a group of pilgrims at the World Youth Day in Rome in 2000. They were inspired while listening to Blessed John Paul II talk about the need to evangelize in our culture. What was particularly important to them was seeking to gain a greater understanding of the Church’s teaching on chastity. So Pure in Heart was born with this in mind. It has two elements: prayer and community. Fiona Mansford brought Pure in Heart from Ireland to England two years ago and now gives her time leading its mission here in London, in addition to running Youth 2000.
Prayer Pure in Heart meets every Wednesday in Maria Assumpta Chapel at Heythrop College in Kensington. The evening begins at 7pm with Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary, intercessory prayers and Scripture. If there is a priest available there is Mass. There is also an annual retreat.
Friendship and Study Prayer leads on to social support and discussion on the theme of chastity. At present they are working through ‘Introduction to Theology of the Body’ by Christopher West. They have also looked at Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae.
Mission The support from prayer, study and friendship prepares the group to live a life of chastity and to be a witness in the world. Fiona explains that the weekly meeting “equips us for mission on the front line, supporting each other in chastity. The prayer is vital – it is the foundation for our lives.” A further dimension to the mission of Pure in Heart is that members give talks, mainly in the evenings or at weekends, at workshops and retreats to Confirmation groups, from Year 9 school children to university students. Fiona explains that the sessions may last an hour or as long as half a day. “We tend
to go in pairs and we adapt what we have to say to the audience. We also try to make it as interactive as possible with presentations, video clips, discussions and feedback. There is always great interest in sex and marriage. Perhaps their parents aren’t married, or there has been a divorce, and as this affects them, so it interests them. They always have good questions such as asking if they can read 50 Shades of Grey and about homosexuality. We don’t begin with the latter, but it naturally comes up and can be very emotive due to their own situation with friends and family. However if you explain sex, marriage, then the questions are contextualized within the Church’s teaching.” Connell has given many talks since he joined Pure in Heart in his native Ireland. He talks about the approach they have to these talks: “We always begin with the positive, explaining that sex is a good thing and that this is good news. So we look at the meaning of sex and affirm that desire is good and natural but it is something we need to order and orientate for and toward our own happiness and our own good. The central message is about love – chastity is about a deeper understanding of living out the desire to love and God’s love for us. Most Catholics think the church says a big ‘no’ to sex, but in fact it is a big ‘yes’ to a higher form of love. Everyone wants love, so this is a way of how to achieve it.” Pure in Heart offer training days on how to present and how to put points across to young people on chastity, but not everyone can give talks to young people, especially if they are working. James, for example, has been attending the group since the beginning of the year, but doesn’t feel a strong call to talk in schools yet: “I don’t see my role as going into schools, although I have to be open to change.”
Westminster Record September 2011
A Testimony to the power of World Youth Day by Alex Balzanella On Sunday 15 September over half of the 50 young people who had undertaken the diocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Brazil met together for an evening to reflect and hear testimonies about their spiritual life after World Youth Day. The event happened at the Centre for Youth Ministry near Euston Station and was led by Bishop John Sherrington, who travelled to Rio with the young people, and Phil Ross, Director for the Centre of Youth Ministry and leader of the pilgrimage.
The young people’s testimonies displayed an incredible variety of ways in which they had been touched by their World Youth Day experiences, with people saying they felt proud to talk about their faith at home and in the workplace whilst others felt that it had led them into a different relationship with God. Everyone also talked about how excited they were about announcement that the next World Youth Day would be in Krakow, Poland.
Speaking about the reunion Phil Ross said: “The Rio Pilgrimage was brought back to life when many of the Westminster Group got back together. It was wonderful to share how most of us were affected by those ten days on the other side of the world. I cannot wait for Krakow 2016 but in the meantime I reflect on the life-changing impact of Rio 2013. It’s down to us to Go and Make Disciples of All Nations !”
World Youth Day Testimony by Anel Zúñiga Hello, my name is Anel and going to share with you a little bit of the amazing experience we had in Rio @WYD. It's been more than a month now and the thought of Rio and Copacabana beach can never fail to make me smile every time I think of it. It was a wonderful experience. Yes, because the Pope was there. Yes, because it was Rio in Brazil. Yes, because I made new friends and met new people. However, above all these reasons it was a wonderful experience because I went there on a personal quest of meeting Christ and, as expected, He did not fail to show up and show Himself in each World Youth Day Pilgrim Anel Zúñiga person I met on the way. From gathering every morning for prayer with other pilgrims I learnt the Morning Office and from the practice we did together I feel it has been transformed to being a prayer that is all mine. I try to do it every day, although I must confess it is From the taxi driver who was patient often on the Tube. I now appreciate with me to the person who gave us it is important to prayer, especially our new flight tickets when we in the morning, to give a special missed our connections on the way meaning and offer my day to God, back and today when I see all of you. making everything go so much more Christ is alive in each of us and it is smoothly. through us that he acts today. 2. Being proud of being a practising The highlights? Well Pope Francis Catholic. I saw so many people kept giving us his thoughts and rejoicing on the fact we are all advices in blocks of three, thus I Christians andthat following Jesus decided to highlight three things too. that I should never be ashamed of Three major ideas have stayed and practising my religion despite will stay in my mind forever, as I problems the media might focus on. promised that day at Copacabana I realised how easy it can be to beach: become enthusiastic about religion 1. The importance of keeping my and saying "Yes, I am Catholic" faith growing. It is very important to when you are in this kind of joyful keep nurturing and working on it, or, place. It fills you up with energy, so like any language with no practice, it much so that you feel called to tends to disappear. spread it to those around you. Those
If Jesus is the sower of the seed of faith, what kind of soil are we?
conversations, those moments of silence, those chants that give you such a feeling of energy have stayed with me, and have made me confident that on those moment when my faith is not strong I can stay afloat. 3. Am I receptive to God? When we were all gathered together for the Prayer Vigil on Copacabana Beach with Pope Francis and 4 million other young Catholics we all stood in silence to consider the question Pope Francis put to us: If Jesus is the sower of the seed of faith, what kind of soil are we? On that night I looked for that little piece of good soil to offer to God to plant his seed in me and let it FLOURISH. Now I am home I understand that it is very important not to let that seed die. But I’m reassured by what Pope Francis said: God does everything but we have to let Him do it. Page 9
Westminster Record October 2013
New Arrivals at SPEC
A new team of ‘volunteer missionaries’ were welcomed to the Diocesan Youth Centre at SPEC for the start of a new year. These twelve new missionaries from London, Hertfordshire and far beyond will help to lead retreats for young people from our parishes and schools. SPEC is currently based at All Saints’ Pastoral Centre near London Colney, but this academic year it will move to a new base in Pinner. Diocesan Youth Chaplain Fr David Reilly welcomed the new arrivals during a special Mass at SPEC on Thursday 22 August. He reminded them they are beginning their work here in the final season of the Year of Faith and that their mission is central to the New Evangelisation. After a period of induction and formation, they will be formally commissioned for their work by Bishop John Sherrington at the Centre for Youth Ministry, Somers Town. Please keep these young men and women in your prayers, as they accompany our teenagers and young adults in the great journey of faith.
Get involved and keep in touch! You can find out more about the Diocesan Youth Service and the experiences of our young people by going to wym.rcdow.org.uk The site includes coverage of events, interviews and photos. You can also keep in touch online with the latest youth activities at www.facebook.com/dow ym?fref=ts
twitter.com/ RCWestminster or @DOWYM See photos of youth events at http://tinyurl.com/5vqohvo If you have a story for the blog or for Westminster Record email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pray and fast for an end You Believe: H OCTOBER 2013 to the culture of death A Journey of DATE: Renewal Fr David Reilly, Diocesan Youth Chaplain proclaim the Gospel is the Church’s foremost mission. World Youth Day in Rio was at the heart of the Year of Faith and its message was nothing less than the mandate at the end of the Gospel: ‘Go make disciples of It’s hard to believe that it is almost all nations!’ (Matt 28:19) by Terence Toolan, Assistant Director - SPEC a year since we celebrated the However, the most unexpected beginning of the Year of Faith. In and world-changing event this fact, this special year which was Year of Faith has witnessed is proclaimed by Benedict XVI will surely the retirement of Benedict end on 24 November, the XVI and the election of Francis as Solemnity of Christ the King. Who Supreme Pontiff. Even in the could have guessed what an manner of his departure, the amazing experience it would be? I great Pope Benedict has been a am convinced that God has been at teacher to the end, and has given work and has accomplished great the whole world a living example things in these decisive months! of total humility, of kenosis, of The Year of Faith was a celebration self-emptying for the sake of the of the fiftieth anniversary of the Church. The Holy Spirit has Second Vatican Council (1962- moved among us in these days, 1965). John Paul II described that and has brought something Council as the ‘definitive work of completely new to the Church. the Spirit’ in preparing the Church Thus, may we go forward and for the third millennium. We have outward, as the first Christians also focussed our energies on the did on the day of Pentecost: our work of the New Evangelisation, mission, to renew the face of the reminding ourselves that to earth!
This month sees the start of the twice-yearly 40 Days for Life campaign. Its vision is to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil with the aim of ending abortion. The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focussed 40 days of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s grace that hearts and minds may turn from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion. 40 Days for Life has been running pro-life campaigns in Britain for the last three years, and to date there have been seven campaigns. This year there are two running concurrently in the Greater London area and others taking place in different parts of the United Kingdom. Campaigners will be gathered in prayerful silence outside the BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) clinic in Twickenham which is in the Diocese of Westminster, and the BPAS clinic in Stratford, in the Diocese of Brentwood.
Frank van Velzen from the Diocese of Westminster’s Centre for Youth Ministry, who is a keen supporter of the organisation, attended the final prayer vigil of the 2012 40 Days for Life campaign outside the BPAS clinic in Bedford Square, London. He said: “The prayer vigil in Bedford Square is without a doubt one of the most powerful events I have ever attended. There was a large attendance of Christians of all age groups gathered in prayer. I think that any outsider who would have just been observing the event would have been moved by the sense of prayer and the passion of the pro-life campaigners.” This year’s 40 Days for Life campaign will commence on Wednesday 25 September and will end with a final vigil on Sunday 3 November. Frank said: “We urge everyone, young and old, to get involved in this remarkable campaign, and help work toward bringing an end to the culture of death.” For further information about 40 Days for Life and how you can get involved as well as show your support, please see their website – www.40daysforlife.com
The final You Believe, a the monthly celebration with catechesis led by the Bishops of the Diocese will take place on 22 October. The final session will be on the topic of ‘The Journey of Renewal’ and will be given by Bishop John Arnold. In his talk Bishop John will speak about how faith changes as well as the need for new discoveries and development. He will also reflect on his visit to Burma. For more information about You Believe visit the Centre for Youth Ministry Website: http://www.wym.rcdow.org.uk and the Diocese of Westminster Vimeo, which includes video footage from previous You Believe talks: https://vimeo.com/catholic/videos
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Youth The Church is ALIVE
Westminster Record October 2013
My life in Rio – by James Kelliher James has recently been appointed as Communications and Events Manager at Westminster Youth Ministry. Here he writes about his experience of helping to shape the World Youth Day in Rio in July. Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to work in Rio de Janeiro for five months, as part of the Local Organising Committee for World Youth Day Rio 2013. I was the English language coordinator, though in practice the job was more flexible and dynamic than the title suggests. I ended up doing all sorts of things, such as interviews on national Brazilian television, organising a team of international volunteers and presenting weekly video updates in the lead-up to the event.
with her greatly influenced how I perceived my faith and mission in life. During my time there, I lived with a family from Copacabana. It was great to experience Brazilian life in an intimate way. Not only this, but my Brazilian ‘dad’ was an amazing cook; his passion fruit ice cream must have
The totality of my Brazilian experience has profoundly shaped my life, such that I feel compelled to return and make a difference here. I’ve travelled to many places in the world, but nowhere have I encountered such a strong Catholic identity as in Brazil. I miss this inspiring and charismatic commitment to faith and have to experience more of it. That said, I will do my best to ignite this passionate flame for the Catholic Church in our diocese in my new role as Communications and Events Manager at Westminster Youth Ministry. London is without a doubt one of the greatest cities in the world, and I know there’s an army of young people who can do great things for our Church, yet need the courage to step out of their comfort zones.
Working in the central office for this massive international event was a unique experience. Most of the people there were in their twenties. The World Youth Day volunteers were from around the world, with some from as far afield as China, yet the bulk of the volunteers were from Brazil. Having never been to the country before, it was interesting to learn about their culture, lifestyles and work habits. In the months leading up to the event, I was able to spend a lot of time exploring the city and hanging out with my friends. I felt at home very quickly, as the Brazilian people were very welcoming and friendly. I met families, stayed overnight in their homes, had meals prepared for me and so on. Although there was a language barrier, I felt more and more Brazilian!
been inspired by Heaven! I was also only a block away from the beach. Probably the defining part of my adventure in Rio was my Brazilian girlfriend – even more than my meeting with the Pope. Naturally, she spoke English and it was very nice to meet her friends, family and do things like go to vigils and pray together in chapels. Whilst things didn’t work out in the end, the time
I draw my passion for evangelisation and ‘rallying’ up other young people to get involved in their parishes from the words of Pope Francis while he was in Brazil: “I want you to make yourselves heard in your diocese; I want the Church to go out onto the streets; I want us to resist everything worldly, everything static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism. The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out!” Amen!
by Frank van Velzen The Youth 2000 summer prayer festival is without a doubt a highlight of my summer, and I am convinced that the Church is alive in the UK and that there is real love of the Lord in the Eucharist which is the centre of our faith. The Westminster Youth Ministry provided a coach from the Centre for Youth Ministry in Euston to the annual Youth 2000 international summer prayer festival which takes place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Our coach load of pilgrims included a few international attendees, a priest from Uganda, some of Westminster’s Lourdes and World Youth Day pilgrims, and various others who had heard about the great work being done by Youth 2000. The prayer festival had a very full schedule which included inspiring talks, a range of interactive workshops, and a fair share of social time. Being a prayer festival there is obviously a big focus on the Rosary, on people spending time in silence in front of Christ Jesus in the Eucharist, and also group sharing and praying for each other. I have attended three Youth 2000 summer prayer festivals and numerous other retreats held nationwide, and every time I come away feeling enthused and inspired to do more in offering other young people the opportunity of experiencing the joy and love at these Eucharist-centred retreats. There is no doubt that the joy and love which I talk about comes from the fact that the whole weekend is about Him – Jesus! On both Saturday and Sunday night there was a group of young people who woke up at around 3am for a “power hour” where they sang, prayed and thanked Him for all He is and has done in their lives. One cannot but walk away feeling optimistic about the Church in the United Kingdom when one has attended such a retreat, as the love of Jesus and passion for evangelisation among the young people is electric. Despite the fact that our coach was delayed by three hours on the return trip, there was a good atmosphere on
the way back from Walsingham, with various people mentioning that they wish they had come across this ‘gift’ of the Church a few years back. I happened to sit amongst a group of confirmation candidates from Westminster who spoke about their desire to take the energy and joy they experienced in Walsingham back to their local parish in East London. This is exactly what Youth 2000’s vision is, as we cannot base our faith and prayer life on the amount of World Youth Days or prayer festivals we attend, but rather on what we do with the encounter with Jesus on a daily basis and in our local parish. The next Youth 2000 retreat to which we at Westminster Youth Ministry hope to bring many young people will be the annual New Year’s retreat, probably taking place in the Diocese of Westminster this year. If you want to learn more about this incredible layled Catholic charity and support its evangelisation work, please do take a look at the website www.youth2000. org or #BringAFriend to the next retreat!
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www.sistersofnazareth.com email@example.com Sister Frances: (44) 077 859 759 61 A warm welcome awaits you! Page 11
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Westminster Record October 2013
Karina Walker (Head Girl) and Joseph Curran (Head Boy) have been appointed as the top school officials at St Benedict’s for this academic year. They will be assisted by Deputies Ilayda Nijhar, Francesco Orlando, Ellis Ozols and Emily Peacock.
The Governors of St Thomas More School, Haringey are delighted at the school’s A Level results. The pass rate for A Level was 100% as it was also for the vocational BTEC entry. The overall A Level percentage of A*-B grades of 49% is by far and away the highest the school has ever achieved.
Westminster WYD pilgrims catch up with each other at the reunion at the Centre for Youth Ministry.
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Westminster Record October 2013
Financial report to parishes for the year ending December 2012 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10.10
In his recent Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis said: “Faith makes us appreciate the architecture of human relationships because it grasps their ultimate foundation and definitive destiny in God, in His love” (51). He then applies this insight to the task of building family life. This task of building up the family is at the heart of our work in the Diocese, particularly so at this time when financial hardship is affecting many. Many are also deeply affected by a poverty of relationship – suffering from loneliness and isolation, sometimes masked by a flurry of activity in the social media. Strong families serve society by bringing forth healthy children and mature young adults, by being a rich source of compassion for sick members, of support for others in time of crisis and of care for the elderly and the dying. Stable and loving families also lay the foundations of every wider association, including the Church. The health of society depends on the strength of such associations and communities. Marriage, understood as the life-long union of a man and a woman, is at the heart of family life. Indeed, for most couples who choose to marry there is an instinctive understanding that the stability of their marriage provides the best context for the flourishing of their relationship and for bringing up their children. At the heart of marriage is a relationship of astonishing power and richness – for the couple, the children, their wider circle of friends and relations and for society. Marriage, as a sacrament, is a place in which divine grace flows. This is a high and noble vision, for marriage and family life is a high and noble vocation.
Building community Communities are formed through the will of individuals. They stand as strong as their many parts. If the family, the domestic church, is a microcosm of society, then it is also the nucleus through which society grows. It is an institution that can help the wider community to blossom and grow in health and happiness. The Diocese has a vision of families living out their vocation by looking outwards towards what is greater, forming the fertile land of society with their own faith, hope and love. Small Communities, helping families connect with each other “The reflections gave good examples and links to our world. These booklets just keep getting better and better.” Growth in virtue and the place of faith in the world were the themes of the two diocesan faith-sharing resources published in 2012. The first, used by groups across the Diocese in Lent, was entitled Sparks of Light. This booklet used the lives of four contemporary saints to illustrate the cardinal virtues of fortitude, justice, temperance and
prudence and encouraged its readers towards a life of fuller virtue and service to the wider community. One of the examples given was that of St Gianna Molla. Gianna Molla was born in Milan in 1922 and died just forty years later. She and her husband, Pietro, as evidenced by the letters from the time of their courtship, brimmed with excitement at the idea of spending their lives together. They were just as keen to become ‘collaborators of God in creation’ and welcomed the births of their children. Gianna took ill during
the pregnancy of her fourth child and, despite the risk to her own health, carried on with the pregnancy – sadly dying from an infection a week later. Gianna Molla was the first married laywoman to be made a saint. Present at the ceremony in 2004 stood her husband and three surviving children. The autumn booklet, also with a print run of 10,000 copies, was entitled Radiating Christ. This booklet, written as part of the diocesan Year of Faith programme, looked at the idea of faith and its role in the world at large.
I am proud of the work in support of the family and of marriage highlighted in this Report. It outlines what is being done within the Diocese: in discernment, preparation, marriage enrichment and in aid to troubled marriages. It also includes work undertaken to strengthen families. All of this is achieved through funds graciously given by parishioners and supporters. I thank all who carry out the work contained in this Report and all who support it through their prayers, their financial contributions and their participation. I also wish to thank those who have put together the Report itself and these annual accounts.
The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster Page i
Financial Review Supporting the family Despite the best intentions and the depth of preparation couples receive, not everything in family life goes smoothly. Many people, indeed whole families, can be confronted with difficulties and problems that often appear irreconcilable. As a result the relationship can break apart and the family fragment. These challenges can take a number of forms, such as the pressure of finances, problems with health, and issues surrounding crime, poverty and inequality. There are many programmes supported by the Diocese of Westminster to alleviate some of the worst consequences of these difficulties, and, where possible, to offer help before the worst has come.
Supporting children and the elderly - Caritas in Action “Children, families and the schools will benefit from improved child attendance, improved punctuality and improved concentration and child behaviour.” Benedict XVI wrote in Deus Caritas Est: “Practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ”. The diocesan launch of Caritas Diocese of Westminster in May 2012 could not have been more apposite. The new social action agency, set up to identify and address issues of poverty and social exclusion throughout the Diocese, began by committing to undertake diocesanwide research on the socioeconomic profile of the Diocese, which is as diverse as it is complex. This was done in order to identify key areas and themes of deprivation with a view to targeting the most vulnerable. It aimed to survey the individual parishes for evidence of social action projects already taking place at local level, whether it be by individuals, local SVP groups, Justice and Peace groups, or through wider collaboration with other denominations, faiths or relevant recognised charities. As with any Catholic social action based works of charity, either in our own community or the wider community, the work of Caritas Diocese of Westminster is firmly underpinned by faith. Page ii
It was hoped that the best identified examples of social action practice, for example in the areas of housing, food poverty, mental and physical disability, could be shared with other diocesan parishes looking to work in those areas. The focus of many people’s concerns in 2012, especially low income families, was the gradual introduction of welfare reforms, local authority cuts, rising prices, struggling employment, and the poor economic climate. With the expected pressure on family food budgets, Caritas Diocese of Westminster laid the ground-work for collaboration with proven charitable organisations, such as the Trussell Trust and Magic Breakfast, to support struggling families and others by providing crisis food aid in the form of a new foodbank, as well as free healthy breakfasts to children in need in five diocesan primary schools. This initiative ensures that the most deprived children in our school communities are provided with the most important meal of the day. As a result, children, families and the schools benefit from improved child attendance, classroom punctuality, learner concentration and child behaviour.
Westminster Record October 2013
Parish and Curia – Inc
Westminster Record October 2013
come and expenditure
Financial Review A loving community The Church holds an understanding of education that encompasses the physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual dimensions of human life. Christian education is holistic and aims to lead each child into maturity in faith, full engagement in society, and a clearer idea of the vocation to which they are called in the world in which we all live.
Supporting first formation in the Faith “She received resources, five faceto-face training sessions and a variety of on-going resources to help in her role as catechist to children.” Alena recently became a volunteer catechist seeking to help families prepare for the sacraments at London Colney parish in Hertfordshire. She is one of thousands of volunteers across the Diocese who offer their time and skills to the task of preparing children and their families for First Holy Communion. Traditionally, the work of catechesis has focused solely on the children who are preparing for the sacraments and has often taken place in Catholic schools. Over recent years a shift of emphasis has taken place and programmes, such as those involving Alena, now focus on both the children and the parents – strengthening the faith life of the whole family. The Church considers the family as humanity’s first school, and it is within the family that men and women are formed ‘in the fullness of personal dignity according to every dimension.’ (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 238) By means of personal contact, meetings, courses, and also adult catechesis directed towards parents, Alena and her local Christian community help parents
to assume their role of educating their children in the Faith. Alena said: “As this was my first year being a catechist, I have to say it was very challenging. But what a good experience it was! I learnt a lot and really enjoy working with the children and their families.” All parishes in the Diocese are encouraged to provide inhouse training and guidance for new volunteer catechists and adult faith formation leaders, while the diocesan Agency for Evangelisation provides resources, advice and offers a structured and systematic package. This year, Alena has received resources, five face-toface training sessions and a variety of on-going help from the diocesan Catechetical Office. The training process equips volunteers with the fundamental knowledge and resources needed to facilitate learning at both child and adult level.
Westminster Record October 2013
The Foundations There are many reasons why people get married. For most couples, there is an instinctive understanding that the stability of a marriage provides the best context for the flourishing of their relationship and for bringing up their children. We know that at the heart of a good marriage is a relationship of astonishing power and richness, for the couple, their children, their wider circle of friends and relations and society. As a sacrament, this is a place where divine grace flows.
Engagement and Marriage Preparation “We came away with a much greater understanding of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and the dignity of the human person.” Matthew proposed to Lauren in the summer of 2011. They were married at the Church of St Anselm and St Cecilia on 7 January 2012. One of the first steps they took was to speak at length with their Priest, who suggested that they undertake some form of marriage preparation. There are various types and styles of courses offered in many parishes by the diocese that allow time for reflection on marriage; after completing one of these courses, a couple’s relationship is sturdier, and therefore society benefits. Lauren said, “There is always the assumption that people have all the answers already when it comes to marriage. Nothing can really prepare you for marriage and family life, but marriage preparation is invaluable. I would recommend anyone to go on it just to have a better understanding of what married life really has in store. We came away with a much greater understanding of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and the dignity of the human person.” One programme that the Diocese of Westminster recommends is
“ENGAGE”. In 2012, 253 couples used this course. The resource is rooted in theology and contemporary physiological science to assist them in deepening their knowledge of sexual difference and complementarity. Parishes have also made use of the opportunity to deliver the specially designed “ENGAGE” mentor kits, thereby enabling them to start up or renew the marriage courses on offer. The Office for Marriage & Family assisted other engaged couples to access different courses around the diocese and to help them participate in programmes online.
To view the full Annual Report and Accounts please go to the diocesan website: rcdow.org.uk/news/publications
Westminster Record October 2013
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The Annual Westminster Gathering of Seminarians, studying in London, Rome and Valladolid, took place at St Anne’s Home, Hackney. Whilst there the seminarians spent time talking to the retired clergy who reside at St Anne’s as well as the Little Sisters of the Poor who run the home.
St Thomas More School’s GCSE results put it at the top of the Haringey League Table for the second year. The class of 2013 produced an A*-C result of 89% (including English and Maths).
After the Mass for Deacons at Westminster Cathedral the Permanent Deacons gathered with their families to celebrate the renewal of vows Page 13
Vocations The Rosary: a Prayer for Vocation by Fr Richard Nesbitt 7 October is the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and October is traditionally the month of the Rosary. We are without doubt experiencing what Pope Benedict described as “a new springtime” for this prayer which has sustained Christians for almost 1000 years. It has been the favourite prayer of saints such as St Dominic and St Teresa of Avila, St Francis de Sales and Blessed John Paul II. The Rosary is a wonderful prayer for all those discerning their vocation. Blessed John Paul II describes the Rosary as “Mary’s way – a way of faith, of silence and of attentive contemplation”. Following Mary’s way, a way of stillness and contemplation, we too can enter more deeply into the mystery of God’s will for our lives. Each one of us has our own unique vocation – that particular calling of how we are to make God’s saving love real in our time and our place. Mary is a faithful guide whose own continuing vocation is to lead us to her Son, and to help us to say “yes” to God’s will, just as she said yes to God’s invitation to bear his Son.
Westminster Record October 2013
Samuel Groups - I seek to do you will by Fr Richard Nesbitt A new series of Samuel Groups will begin in locations across the Diocese of Westminster and beyond in Advent 2013. These discernment groups are for young adults (18-30s) who are open to listening to the Word of God and putting it into practice in their lives. Samuel groups have been running in the diocese for several years now, and we are delighted that this year even more are planned. There will be groups in Central, North, East and West London as well as in St Albans and Kent. After a joint launch afternoon in Kensington on the afternoon of Sunday 17 November, groups will meet monthly in their respective areas from Advent to Pentecost.
Samuel Groups take their name from the story of the prophet Samuel in Chapter 3 of the First Book of Samuel. While still a young boy and serving in the temple, Samuel hears a voice call him by name and thinks that it is the voice of the priest Eli. But when the voice continues to call him he realises, with Eli’s help, that this is the voice of God. Eli tells him that when he next hears the voice he should answer, “Speak, Lord, your servant is Earlier this year we produced a new listening.” And this is how the story prayer card entitled “Praying the of Samuel’s vocation begins. Rosary for the Renewal of Christian Vocation” which has specific What is the aim of Samuel vocational prayer intentions for Groups? each decade of the Rosary. Over 25,000 copies have been distributed The main aim is simply that since May and it is wonderful to participants will end the programme hear how helpful the prayer card has with a clearer view of God’s will for proved for so many people, young their lives. The groups help and old. If you would like your own participants to discern their free copy or would like several direction in life, whether this is to copies for your Rosary group simply marriage or dedicated single life, to email firstname.lastname@example.org priesthood or consecrated life. (See back page for Dominique Samuel groups are also a great help for those facing major life decisions Rouse’s reflection on the rosary) at this time.
What commitment is involved? Participants commit to attend regular monthly meetings with the group and to meeting with a spiritual guide. These are experienced people of prayer and spiritual accompaniment who, like the priest Eli in Samuel’s story, can help participants to listen more attentively to God’s voice in their life. The monthly meeting is an opportunity to speak in total confidentiality about their prayer life and spiritual journey. For many, this is one of the most helpful parts of the Samuel programme.
What happens in the monthly meetings? The heart of the group meetings is a time of Lectio Divina – an ancient form of slow, meditative prayer with the Bible. There is also often a guest speaker and time for discussion as well as social time. The precise details will vary from group to group but praying the Word of God will always be at the heart of any Samuel Group. Here is some feedback from two recent Samuel Group members: Marc: “I found the Samuel Group process to be really helpful as it helped me to develop a better prayer regime, helped me to understand more about vocations and discernment and how best to tackle these questions in my life.” Harriet: “For me the spiritual director was probably the most helpful part of the experience because you have one-on-one time with somebody and you’re really working on what God is calling you to do and answering your personal questions.”
For more information or to request an application form visit: www.ukvocation.org/Samuel, e-mail email@example.com or phone the National Office for Vocations on 020 7901 4809.
Caring for the Capital WESTMINSTER PRIESTS To explore if the Lord is calling YOU to join us contact the Vocations Director Fr Richard Nesbitt: Tel: 020 7349 5624 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on vocations please contact Fr Richard Nesbitt email@example.com or 020 7349 5624 If you have a story or an event you would like to have featured on this page, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7798 9030
Westminster Record October 2013
Marriage and Family Life
Grandparents ‘a treasure which the younger generation should not be denied’ by Edmund Adamus
Pope Francis recently called grandparents ‘pillars of Gospel faith’ following on from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who described grandparents as ‘a treasure which the younger generation should not be denied’ and 'a source of enrichment for families, for the Church and for all of society.' And so they are. This summer two now wellestablished ‘Grandparent’ pilgrimages to Aylesford and Walsingham took place, both around 26 July, the feast of St Anne and St Joachim, grandparents of Jesus.
Grandparents’ Mass at Walsingham
The pilgrimages were open to all but especially to grandparents, who are encouraged to bring their grandchildren and indeed all the family. Many came in response to special invitation cards which had been given to children in schools and parishes to pass on to their grandparents. Blessed by glorious summer weather on both pilgrimages this year, a higher than usual number of families attended both days. Pilgrims made their own way to the shrines or got together with others to share a coach, with Westminster priests Fr Allen Morris and Fr Philip Knights both leading groups. Each pilgrimage has a mix of activities both sacred and secular to keep the children enjoying themselves whilst at the same time teaching them about their faith and the many treasures that can be found in devotion to Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. Families
were involved in the liturgies and school choirs sang beautifully at Mass. Throughout the day there were opportunities for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Reconciliation and Rosary. It was Rich in Years – finding peace heart-warming to see so many and purpose in a long life families playing and praying In this collection of stories of people together. who have found both peace and purpose in growing older, Johann Christoph Arnold wants us to rediscover the spiritual riches that age has to offer. Now in his seventies, the author finds himself personally facing the trials that come with ageing but knows, from decades of pastoral experience, what older people and their caregivers can do to Pilgrims taking part at Aylesford make the most of the journey. This were invited to decorate with their timely book reminds us that old age is handprints the cloth which was to perhaps the most colourful of all cover the altar front during Mass stained glass windows in the later in the day and to write their cathedral of life and one where we prayer intentions on balloons to be should linger in appreciation and released as part of the closing wonder. Available free of charge for liturgy. Children’s entertainers a limited period from The Plough provided face-painting and other Publishing House, Robertsbridge, East activities, including a bouncy Sussex TN32 5DR email@example.com castle. A similar programme of 0800 018 0799 events was organised for the National Grandparents’ Pilgrimage to Walsingham. You can view a short DVD of the day at Aylesford at http://youtu.be/8m9D-zdg43A The Catholic Grandparents’ Association www.catholicgrandparents association.org.uk, founded in Ireland by grandmother Catherine Wiley, aims to support all grandparents in acknowledging their vital role in the family, Culture and Abortion developing loving relationships This new book is deeply hopeful, with their grandchildren, handing unlike so many others on on their faith to the younger abortion. The writer, Edward generation, and striving toward Short, explains how culture can these aims within a community stifle our ability to distinguish centred on prayer. good from evil, causing people to Now an annual fixture, these choose abortion out of fear – the pilgrimages come under the fear of poverty, social shame, umbrella of the Catholic peer disapproval or abandonment Grandparents’ Association and by a husband or boyfriend. To were organised jointly by the win this battle we have to dioceses of Westminster, Arundel & conquer fear with love, rather Brighton, Brentwood, Northampton, than talking about human rights. Southwark and East Anglia. Through a series of portraits from literature and biography, he brings us people caught up in life’s drama, yet choosing life and love rather than death and despair. Price £14.99 from Gracewing, 2 Southern Avenue, Leominster HR6 0QF firstname.lastname@example.org 01568 616835. Grandparent’s balloons
For further details contact Edmund Adamus at the Diocese of Westminster Office for Marriage and Family Life email@example.com or 020 7798 9363
The Big Promise! Seeking a new Guinness World Record National Marriage Week is celebrated every year during the week that includes 14 February, St Valentine’s Day. Supported by churches and charities convinced that healthy marriages benefit all of society, Marriage Week invites couples to pause, reflect on and celebrate their marriage. Many churches host a gathering or liturgy to celebrate and support marriage as a sacred institution; some offer a refresher or enrichment event where couples can learn new skills and reaffirm their love for each other. In 2014, Marriage Week is encouraging parishes to consider taking part in “The BIG Promise”, a unique initiative aimed at celebrating, supporting and strengthening married couples. The idea is to invite as many husbands and wives as possible in the UK to reaffirm their promise to each other on Saturday 8 February at 5.15pm and set a new Guinness World Record. Setting a world record is a great evangelising opportunity and a practical and tangible way of getting the press to notice and report on the importance of marriage vows at the heart of society. The existing world record was set in 2009 in Ohio with 1,087 couples. We can beat that!
Taking part isn’t complicated but Guinness World Records sets some rules that must be followed to establish the evidence: • You must pre-register your event and submit the evidence afterwards. • A minimum of 25 couples must be present at each venue taking part. • Each couple needs to produce their marriage certificate. • A record must be made of each couple attending. • The reaffirmation of vows must be made at 5:15pm on 8 February 2014 and video recorded. • The event must be overseen by two independent witnesses, one of whom must be a member of the clergy licensed to conduct weddings. Your parish event can take whatever form that you feel best serves your couples, provided it includes the reaffirmation of marriage vows at 5:15pm. It could be a party, a service of thanksgiving, an afternoon of marriage enrichment or anything that will show couples that you are interested in them and want to encourage them in their marriages .More information is available at www.thebigpromise.org.uk and there is downloadable information at http://marriageweek.org.uk/get-involved or contact the Office for Marriage and Family Life on 020 7931 6064.
Westminster Record October 2013
School Governors: Helping students become saints by Bishop John Sherrington
Bishop John Sherrington writes about the work of valuable contribution that School Governors make to the life of Catholic Education
The Catholic school Catholic schools have an important place in furthering the mission of the Christ and his Church. Following the Second Vatican Council, the Congregation for Education in Rome wrote about Catholic education: “To carry out her saving mission, the Church uses, above all, the means which Jesus Christ has given her…She establishes her own schools because she considers them as a privileged means of promoting the formation of the whole man, since the school is a centre in which a specific concept of the world, of man, and of history is developed and conveyed.”
“A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person.” This paragraph recognises that at the heart of Catholic education is the task of authentic and integral human formation so that the gifts of each and every child and young person are developed to their fullness. This vision and understanding is much wider than many secular alternatives. Each child is always more than any particular gifts, whether intellectual, physical, artistic and musical, religious or practical. Each child is a child of God whom God loves intimately and with whom God wants a living, loving relationship. In the light of Catholic faith, the school provides a firm foundation to help parents and families so that children and young people can become saints. What a wonderful calling! As Emeritus Pope Benedict said at the celebration of Catholic education held at St. Mary’s College, Strawberry Hill in September 2010: “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.” The Church recognises that parents are the first educators of their children in the faith. She also recognises that parents have a choice about the schools which they choose. Catholic schools under the inspiration of the diocese or a religious order help parents in this task so that their children may excel in learning and love of God and neighbour. Catholic schools are to be at least as “academically distinguished” as other schools around them (C.f. Canon 806.2). A deep growth in love and Page 16
understanding of the Catholic faith as well as outstanding learning are the aims of the Catholic school. Its identity means being faithful to Catholic teaching and practice and fostering the goal of Catholic education articulated by the teaching of the Church. It means building communion with others and serving the common good, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. It means always looking outwards to the wider Church in the diocese and beyond; it is inclusive and universal. It means never being content with what is partial or limited.
The Governors The governors of a school have the responsibility to ensure that these aims are fulfilled. They also have a commitment to the wider context of the needs of Catholic education in the diocese. The Governing Body has the responsibility for the strategic direction of the school and its continual improvement in learning and teaching as well as communication of the faith. This commitment will help the school to flourish as a Catholic learning community. It is important to acknowledge that this vital role is carried out by volunteers who devote their expertise, enthusiasm, energy and time to enable the school to succeed and flourish. I wish to acknowledge and thank all those who as governors help the advancement of the education of our children. The governors employ the Head and the staff which means they have statutory responsibilities in law. They must ensure that schools and colleges are safe places in which to study and work. This will be determined by the Catholic ethos of the school and supported and promoted through policies and compliance with legislation. The governing body of the
school will be a support to the Head and the staff who have the responsibility for the management of the Catholic learning community. They appoint staff and ensure that the school is governed in accordance with the Trust Deed and Instrument of Governance. The Chair has a fundamental relationship with the Head as a critical friend and support. Foundation governors have a special role in the Catholic school. They are appointed by the Archbishop to have a special role in promoting the Catholic identity of the school as well as safeguarding the educational mission of the diocese. The foundation governors of the school will always have the awareness of the wider community of schools, both diocesan and religious, within the diocese and should seek to build good relationships between them. They will always be looking to the wider vision of Catholic education in the diocese and seeking to further the common good.
school and parish so that the faith of the children can truly flourish. With increasing opposition to both Catholic and faith schools voiced stridently by a minority of people, there is need to articulate and explain the role of Catholic schools much better. Pope Francis has called for a “culture of encounter” where we approach others with respect and in this meeting share our views with
which they may differ. Thus, there is the challenge of building trust with others about our commitment to the good, welfare and learning of our children through which they will grow in their respect for each and every person in their diversity. Thank you to our governors for your important work. If you are interested in this work, please discuss the matter further with your parish priest.
The Cycle of School Improvement Headteacher Ceri Bacon explains why the role of the Chair of Governors is so vital at St Paul’s Catholic College in Sunbury on Thames.
Challenges Governors face the challenge of the demands of time and energy. Very busy people with family and work commitments, they generously serve the good of our schools. As government policy and legislation changes rapidly, it can be difficult to keep up to speed with all that I happening in the world of education. Place allocation is another challenge. We are very fortunate that in the diocese of Westminster the number of Catholics is growing but it creates extra demand for places. Providing more school places is and will be a major challenge. Preserving a strong sense of Catholic identity and knowledge of the faith is another challenge. Schools rely on parents to foster of the faith of their children and so it is necessary to build good relationships between home,
Chair of the Governors Cathy Hobdayand Headteacher Ceri Bacon
There can be little doubt that in the present climate the demands on school governors has significantly increased. They are expected to understand and question in an unprecedented level of detail … and they are also held to account by an increasingly stringent Ofsted régime. So in all of this, what is the role of the Chair of Governors and why is it important? I have been Headteacher of St Paul’s Catholic College for two years now and I can honestly say that the support of a wellinformed, pro-active Chair is vital to the school’s success. I am indeed fortunate that the essential ingredients of both challenge and support, critical friend as well as good listener are at the heart of the relationship I have with my Chair of Governors. The Chair is, to all intents and purposes, ‘outside’ the school as she is not employed by either the Diocese or the Local Authority. However, she takes on the responsibility of working alongside the Head and leading the Governors in agreeing the strategic direction of the school; equally important at St Paul’s is the ‘glue’,
the all-important Catholic Christian ethos which binds together the school community and supports learning and achievement. The school’s motto of ‘Learn to serve’ is borne out in the way our Chair works with us: she is vocal in her support of student and staff, celebrates success and achievement, encourages Governors to participate as fully as they can in the life of the school … and when things don’t go so well, she asks the right questions to make sure we’re back on track. When I asked her why she agreed to take on the role of Chair, she said it was because she strongly believes in the importance and value of Catholic schools. One of the things she really enjoys is working as part of a team in close co-operation with the Headteacher and staff. Finally, she commented that “Being Chair of Governors is a real privilege as well as a responsibility that enables me to be more closely involved in the cycle of school improvement; planning and building on our strengths and areas for development so that we can secure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.”
Westminster Record October 2013
St Monica’s - Uncovering a Victorian Gem in Hoxton by Carolyn Wickware Tucked away on Hoxton Square just off Old Street, St Monica’s Priory is nonetheless in the thick of trendy Shoreditch life. Flanked by bars and restaurants, St Monica’s offers a simple and peaceful space since it was built in 1864. Opened for worship a year later on 4 May 1865, the former feast of St Monica, the church and its 400 weekly parishioners will soon be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Given St Monica’s surroundings, it’s understandable why the parish priest of seven years’ standing, Fr Paul Graham, describes his parishioners as having a young age
For its 150th anniversary, however, the community is keen to return to the Victorian roots of the Church. “We’re seeking to restore the Victorian scheme in the church, which was very colourful and much more vibrant than subsequent decoration. St Monica’s is an architecturally significant Victorian building, the only church designed by EW Pugin substantially in wood. The local industry in Hoxton when the church was built was furniture making; and St Monica’s was known as the ‘cabinet makers’ church.’” Painted over sometime around 1960, the Victorian colour scheme will prove far livelier than the yellow
“People say St Monica’s is a very warm church, perhaps its wooden structure contributes to that. It’s a very simple building, just a nave with a Lady Chapel. People find it prayerful.” profile with plenty of diversity. “The Sunday evening Mass attracts the students and young professionals in the area” says Fr Paul. “Our African congregation is the largest single ethnic group. Then we also have an Irish community, which is representative of the ethnic majority from years gone by. But we have a diverse congregation also from Latin America, Vietnam, the Philippines and the Far East” he continues. “We even have a Colombian prayer group and a Nigerian association.” “Hoxton is still a densely populated area of social housing with lots of immigrants in the area – what I call the real Hoxton. The part of the parish with a vibrant nightlife and bars should be classified as Shoreditch” emphasized Fr Paul, eager to remember the less affluent members of his flock.
Restoration work being undertaken
wash that currently predominates. “Even before the 1960s, they started to paint over the elaborate decoration. In the 1960s the original stained wood pillars, porch, gallery and organ surround were subsequently painted over.” As for what to expect from the restoration project, Fr Paul is somewhat uncertain. “We know the general scheme would have been in the style of Pugin but we’ll never know who the artists actually were. Exploratory work on the sanctuary of St Monica’s has discovered an elaborate p a i n t e d scheme under eight layers of paintwork. In addition, more recent work on the reredos has also uncovered a polychrome scheme under a layer of gold paint and woodstain.” But through fundraising and a substantial bequest from a parishioner enough money has been raised for Fr Paul and his parishioners to discover what’s been hidden for over half a century. Fr Paul hopes the restored decoration will be on show in time for the parish’s inaugural anniversary celebrations on 20 September 2014, a century and a half after the foundation stone was laid. The celebratory events will then last until 5 May 2015 – the closest
The unique wooden interior of St Monica’s
Fr Paul Graham, OSA
Sunday to the church’s opening. To coincide with the event, Fr Paul is looking into the church’s history as an Augustinian parish. “The parish was founded by Irish Augustinians, who have administered the parish since then. It is the first permanent foundation of the Augustinian Friars since the Reformation but our history here goes back to 1253.” In hope of producing a historical book on the parish, a historian specialising in the Catholic Church in the Hoxton area is currently interviewing some of the older parishioners and conducting further research. Fr Paul is looking forward to restoring St Monica’s, back to its Victorian glory. “People say St Monica’s is a very warm church, perhaps its wooden structure contributes to that. It’s a very simple building, just a nave with a Lady The exterior of St Monica’s, just a short walk from Old Street Tube Chapel. People find it prayerful.” Page 17
Westminster Record October 2013
Pedal Against Poverty raises over £9,000 As we celebrate the harvest this year, we pray for our brothers and s i s t e r s throughout the world, that no one might go hungry or lack the basic necessities of life. CAFOD invites you to live in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities by making a place at your own table and contributing the cost of a meal to support CAFOD’s overseas development work. Please also keep the poor and hungry of the world in your prayers. Thank you for all of your support.
This at month D CAFOnster
Hungry for more? Join us for our Campaign Energiser on 2 November! You are invited to a special Hungry for Change campaign event on Saturday 2 November. We’ll be welcoming Fr Ignacio Blasco SJ, a CAFOD partner from Guatemala, who has direct experience in working to ensure the poorest have enough to eat. Father Ignacio lives with and serves the people of the parish of Santa Maria Chiquimula in western Guatemala. The parish is situated in Guatemala’s dry corridor – an area that experiences annual drought and food shortages only made worse by the effects of climate change. The people living in this area constantly struggle to ensure they have enough healthy food to eat.
His work has had a profound effect Part of the team from St Anne’s High School, Palmers Green, sets off from Cheshunt on the community, particularly with Thank you to everyone who took the day: Paul Rutland-Barsby, just the indigenous Mayan people living part in Pedal Against Poverty this short of 80, completed the full 18within the parish. Being firmly summer! Through gathering mile route in good time, while a immersed in Mayan culture himself, sponsorship, riders this year were nearly one-year old child also Padre Ignacio sees part of our able to raise more than £9,000 completed the shorter 10 mile spirituality as rethinking our for CAFOD’s poverty-fighting route (granted, she was being relationship with the environment work overseas. carried by her father). and the Earth. The community has Pedal Against Poverty proves to be The ride makes a world of worked to fight deforestation by one of CAFOD’s most popular difference year on year for CAFOD’s learning to plant and manage trees, events. This year over 200 riders poverty-fighting work. The £9,000 and has also worked to establish took to the tow paths of the Lee raised this year, for example, is healthy food campaigns and Valley Country Park to help make a enough to set up two brand new difference in the fight to end gardens for the community to grow poverty. People came from all over community health clinics in remote nutritious vegetables. Working with the Diocese of Westminster and villages in El Salvador, including the community on these projects from all corners of London to take covering staff salaries, petrol for has helped reduce the number of part, including a team of nearly 40 the clinic ambulance, electricity, malnourished children in his parish students from St Anne’s Catholic medicine, health supplements and by over a third. High School, Palmers Green. Age more. In addition to being a fun day didn’t stop people from enjoying out, this ride can help to save lives.
Syria Crisis Update
Fr Ignacio Blasco SJ, a CAFOD partner from Guatemala CAFOD and its partners are supporting Syrian refugees in neighbouring Lebanon with food, clothing, shelter and medical support. ©Jos de Vod/Cordaid/CAFOD
Conflict in Syria has created a humanitarian crisis on an almost overwhelming scale. Over 100,000 people have been killed with more than six million men, women, and children driven from their homes. It’s getting worse every day: every 15 minutes another Syrian becomes a refugee.
CAFOD is continuing to respond to the crisis, working with local church partners in Syria as well as supporting refugees in Lebanon and Turkey. CAFOD and its partners are helping by providing food, healthcare, clothes, blankets, shelter and other essentials to those most in need.
“It’s easy to forget that each of these people has their own hopes and ambitions,” said Alan Tomlinson, CAFOD’s Emergency Programme Manager for Syria. “Each of them feels just like we would if we were forced to abandon our homes and start again from scratch in a foreign country.”
The latest updates on how CAFOD is responding to the Syria crisis can be found online at cafod.org.uk/Syria.
Please continue to pray for peace in the country and for those affected by the conflict. For prayers and intercessions to use, visit cafod.org.uk/pray.
We hope that you can join us to welcome Padre Ignacio to our community here in London. The day will include Mass celebrated by Padre Ignacio, as well as more information on the latest developments of the Hungry for Change campaign. For more information or to book a place on any event, contact CAFOD Westminster: 0208 449 6970 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can be a part of Team CAFOD at any sponsored event— even ones you’re organising yourself! If you’re planning to take part or run your own event, let us know at email@example.com.
Join the Nativity Run
Dates for your diary
It’s not too late to join Team CAFOD for the annual Nativity Run on Saturday 14 December. This annual 5km run/walk around Clapham Common is a fun way for the whole family to get in the festive spirit and help make a difference for communities overseas. Participants are welcome to wear fancy dress (prizes awarded for the best costume), so why not dress up as a Shepherd, Angel, or any of your favourite Nativity characters? Registration is £10 for adults, £5 for teens, and anyone under 12 is free, so bring the whole family along! For more information, visit cafod.org.uk/nativityrun
Friday 18 October –
If you’re looking for cycling challenge on a larger scale, why not join Team CAFOD at the 2014 RideLondon-Surrey 100? Registration is now open at www.PrudentialRideLondon.co.uk for this 100 mile cycle ride through London and Surrey on 9-10 August 2014.
Pope Paul VI Memorial Lecture – Fr Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ, Provincial of the East African Jesuit Province, will be looking beyond the stereotypes of Africa to explore how the continent could become ‘the spiritual lung of humanity’. Held at the Greenwood Theatre, King’s College London SE1 3RA. Book online at cafod.org.uk/lecture. Saturday 19 October – Justice & Peace Mission beyond the Year of Faith – Learn more about issues of Justice and Peace at the Salvation Army Regent Hall, Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ. 10am to 3:30pm. Tuesday 29 October – Romero Lecture Tour – Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP will be speaking on the theme of Telling the Truth, linked to Archbishop Romero and how his message is applied to our own times. Held at Westminster Abbey, starting at 6:15pm. Free entry, all welcome.
Justice and Peace
Westminster Record October 2013
What’s the point of Demonstrations? by Barbara Kentish
On the march on 31 August against military intervention in Syria
When this article appears the Syrian situation will certainly have moved on. At the end of August, Parliament voted not to go to war. On Saturday 31 August Fr Joe Ryan and I found ourselves on the Stop the War demonstration in Trafalgar Square. It was a smaller and quieter turnout than 10 years ago, when over one million took to the streets to oppose the war in Iraq. So there was time for reflection as to why we initiate such seemingly futile actions, if it takes so long to get a result. Does it make any difference? In the month before these words appear, a good deal can happen in the Middle East, probably little of it connected with our efforts last Saturday. But that small march may have been a pebble in a pool, causing later ripples. At the rally a small crowd of 2,000 or so quickly grew to 7,000 – 8,000 in Trafalgar Square. Perhaps this spontaneity reflected a general mood in the country that war is not popular. This does not necessarily mean that voters are not desperately concerned with peace in Syria: but simply that some just want us to keep out of a foreign war. Justice and Peace is not about apathy or despair. We are a religion of peace-makers, so street action is important: it can galvanise us into being witnesses for peace, making decisions about where we stand. We can express publicly our views on war and on the sale of arms to Syria and acknowledge our part in an evil situation. Our biggest peace-making tool is of course prayer. The call of Pope Francis for prayer and fasting for the people of Syria on 7 September crystallised the thirst for peace which should surely be ours. We were also delighted that Archbishop Vincent held a Holy Hour in Westminster Cathedral, attended by over 300 people, all united in silent prayer for the agonising situation of Syria. Parishes also held prayer services. Demonstrations on other matters, large and small, are also important! For instance, recently in North London there was a ‘March of 1,000 Mothers’, protesting about benefit cuts; and we have recently celebrated one of the most famous marches of all: the 1963 Million-people March on Washington, at which Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I have a Dream’ speech. Justice and Peace also turned out for the Jubilee Debt Campaign action at Downing Street, handing in a petition about world debt and unfair taxation. Will anything change? We don’t know. Our role is to witness, regardless of outcome. We are sowers, not reapers.
JUDGE Pope Francis’s call for fasting reminds us of the incident in Mark’s gospel, when the disciples cannot cast the evil spirit out of a boy suffering from fits. After Jesus had cured the boy, the disciples asked him: ‘Why could we not cast it out?’. And Jesus replied, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer and fasting’ (Mark 9, vv14-29). There are many seemingly intractable evils we can think of apart from war in Syria: the havoc being created by climate change and the global debt crisis, to name a few. All we need, says Jesus, is faith as small as a Fr Joe Ryan and Elizabeth Heaton outside the mustard seed – a faith only granted if we American Embassy before the Congressional vote pray for it. The Anglican Archbishop of York, on Syria John Sentamu, regularly fasts and does penance for evil situations, and calls for Christians to ‘stop being the silent majority and to become more vocal … a focus for action which makes it possible to realise there is something, with God, that they can do.’ Praying for Syria in particular, we have the excellent Pax Christi reflection resources, which include the 31 August sermon of Pope Francis, to inspire us to organise a local service/event: http://www.paxchristi.org.uk/documents/Reflections_Prayers_Syria.pdf Some reading of Scripture and of Catholic Social Teaching, notably the 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris, might be helpful to encourage prayerful action, as follows: • The miracle of the boy suffering from fits, Mark 9, vv 14-29 and the need for prayer and fasting • The calling of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1, 1-5, 7, 1-7 and the role of prophecy and witness • Pacem in Terris (Blessed John XXIII) pub. 1963 especially: – Paras 114-116 on our motivation for working for peace – Paras 117-119 on the need for unsparing effort – Para 146 on taking part in public life for international good: ‘Here once more we exhort our sons to take an active part in public life, and to work together for the benefit of the whole human race, as well as for their own political communities’. – Paras 166-172 Christ the Prince of Peace and unceasing prayer for peace
Some of these actions relate to the Syrian situation, but it may be more appropriate to think of another issue closer to home. Syria:
• Consider a (another?) parish prayer service, or fasting day for Syria. • Study the state of affairs in Syria – refugees, weapons being used, the UK’s commercial interest. • Find a Syrian person/community to talk to your parish or group. • Find out about the Arms Fair which took place in September in the Excel Centre in London. What arms is the UK sending to Syria? Other actions • Find out and take part in action on a local issue: choose an action which you most enjoy doing, whether letter-writing, a phone call or a rally/walk.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign outside Downing Street, delivering petitions to cut poor countries' debt. On left, Maddy Evans a former J&P worker, and Nick Dearden, ex-director of Jubilee Debt, and now director of the World Development Movement.
• Reflect on this or any public walk/march/demonstration you might have taken part in. • Discuss the long-term and short-term effects on the situation with young people. What might encourage them to take part in such actions?
Westminster RecordSeptember October 2013 Westminster Record 2011
Kenya: Building peace and greening the desert in Turkana by Jo Siedlecka
Westminster priest Fr Albert Salvans, who runs the Missionary Community of St Paul the Apostle (MCSPA) in Lokitaung on the edge of the Turkana desert in northwest Kenya, visited London in September and spoke to us about the work of the mission. The region is home to about a million people, 60% of whom follow a nomadic life. In recent years it has been badly affected by drought, severe food shortages and tribal conflicts, resulting in an influx of refugees. The mission, which runs many agricultural, water, health and education projects has now become involved in a major new diocesan-wide peace initiative, and an innovative agricultural project in collaboration with two Israeli charities.
There has been no co-ordinated approach. We as a Church are fed up. There has been such a loss of hope, Peace Across Borders For years, tensions have been increasing in the drought-stricken region as nomadic tribes, entirely dependent on their animals for survival, have been forced to compete for dwindling water and pastureland. Companies drilling for oil in South Sudan are taking more land out of reach of the pastoralists. Those tensions, combined with a traditional practice among the Daasanach tribe which encourages young men to kill as part of their initiation into adulthood, has resulted in several tragic deaths. Fr Albert said: "We are trying to change all that. It's like a primitive Old Testament practice of sacrifice. Jesus changed that once and for all and this is what we hope to teach them... But
problem looked so complicated we didn't know how to deal with things. It just took a spark for the idea to get started." The next plenary takes place from 9-12 December. Bishop Dominic wants to invite bishops from the Kenyan Bishops Conference and hopes in future the programme can be repeated in other parts of Africa. Furrows in the Desert Fr Albert has been in charge of the community since its founder, Fr Paco, died in February. His daily routine begins at 6.15 in the morning when he spends some time working in the mission garden, which supplies much of their food. Food production in Turkana has received a huge boost recently with the arrival of a group of scientists who are experts in desert agriculture from the Arava Centre for Sustainable Development in Israel, and volunteers from Brit Olam (Everlasting Covenant) a farm manager and two workers, staying for six month periods and training local people in desert farming methods. Fr Albert said: "Their expertise is unique in the world." "At first people weren't so interested but after the first group of 15 people finished in March and went back into their communities with their new skills, more have come forward. We now have another 15 in training. In three years we hope to have 340 trained farmers." Fr Albert said they are hoping to develop about 100 plots in order to grow enough food to feed people,
with surplus to sell. "The places we have chosen to work have great food shortages and depend on Oxfam and other aid agencies to survive," he said. Fr Albert praised the Israelis, saying: "They are so hardworking and disciplined. They don't get paid. We celebrate each other's festivals - Jewish, Catholic and Animist festivals. It is really edifying to be with them. "The Israelis are doing this as a ten year project. Their graduates go on to train others. They are giving people long-term support, a crucial part of the programme. In the second phase they want to grow date palms and pomegranates along the lakeshore. Lake Turkana is a huge body of alkaline water. Dates and pomegranates thrive there and don't need refrigeration. Their first date and pomegranate harvest should come in about five years’ time. "Management isn’t simple" he said. "Date trees have to be manually pollinated." The project also needs funding. Father Albert explained: "We need £350,000 per year to keep the show on the road - paying for staff and equipment.” How did they get to meet the Israeli scientists? Fr Albert explained that he and a fellow priest went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and stayed on a kibbutz. There, by chance they met Dr Mike Naftali, Chair of the volunteer charity Brit Olam. In January 2010 the charity came to Turkana on a fact-finding mission. He said: "They couldn't believe a Christian
there are no simple answers. We educate people but then there are no jobs. If there are no jobs they become the first troublemakers." Last year Bishop Dominic Kimengich of Lodwar and Fr Albert invited all the bishops to Lodwar for the Golden Jubilee of the diocese. "We realised all our borders have problems and wanted to discuss what we could do together. Seven bishops from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya arrived, and in total 100 people were at the meeting, entitled: 'Peace Across Borders' . "We want action and not talk" said Fr Albert. "There have been so many initiatives. NGOs have organised meetings with elders they offer food and people come and talk and then they go. There has been no co-ordinated approach. We as a Church are fed up. There has been such a loss of hope, many deaths, then revenge killings and a general sense of fear and insecurity. We met as a Church to look at what we could do. We decided to take an integrated action starting at grass roots. "After the meeting Bishop Dominic Kimengich and we contacted all parish priests and all communities on our borders. People were brought together in clusters, looking at 'connection projects' such as boreholes, dispensaries, schools, prayer meetings, markets and sports events, involving people from the different tribes" Fr Albert said. The initiative hasn't been easy. "Sometimes you start a meeting and then you hear a shootout and have to postpone." Altogether ten meetings took place. The organisers are setting up some basic infrastructures, building up to more permanent projects and training organisers. "Bishop Dominic said: 'Why didn't John Boniface, Fred Harkin, Rev Fr Albert Slavans, Rev Fr Denis Odongo and we do this before?' The whole Christopher Ajayi.
community in such a remote place was building dams, wind farms, schools, clinics, growing vegetables and so forth. So they introduced us to the experts at ARAVA. We went in June 2010 to Israel and in May 2011 came up with the proposal. In 2012 we started the project. "The Israelis said they have been given so much help over the past 60 years they want to share their expertise. When we planned our visit to the Holy Land we had no idea where it would lead. God is so merciful!" The mission is being supported in the UK by the charity New Ways. If you would like to support their work, please make a donation to: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/fur rows/105019 or send a cheque to: New Ways, 47 Cumberland Street London SW1V 4LY.
We celebrate each other's festivals Jewish, Catholic and Animist festivals. It is really edifying to be with them.
Supporters Winifred Patterson, Breda Williams, Nora & John Swift, and Gerry Kirby with Fr Albert and Fr Denis at Our Lady Help of Christians, Kentish Town
Fr Albert support from the Knights of St Columba When Fr Albert Salvans, from the Missionary Community of St Paul in Turkana, Kenya, visited London he told the Knights of St Columba that there was a shortage of trained medical staff in Turkana. The Knights agreed to try to raise £1,500 to cover the fees at the Medical Training College for the three year course to train a young person as a nurse. In fact they raised £2,000 by a sponsored walk and individual donations. This was presented by John Boniface to Fr Denis Odongo and Fr Albert Salvans after the evening Mass at St Mary’s Chelsea on Sunday 8 September.
Westminster Record October 2013
The Place Beyond the Pines London: St Maximilian Kolbe’s story draws thousands to West End by Jo Siedlecka Almost 3,000 tickets have been bought for Ten Ten Theatre’s new production of David Gooderson’s powerful play “Kolbe’s Gift” at the Leicester Square Theatre at the beginning of this month.
of Kolbe to even greater public prominence.” Further tickets will be released the week before the production and standing tickets will be available on the day of the performance.
The play tells the story of Polish Other activities surrounding the Franciscan priest Maximilian Kolbe theatrical production include: who sacrificed his own life to save another man condemned to death people before the play. All • A photographic exhibition, in Auschwitz concentration camp spaces are now fully booked. sponsored by Aid to the Church in 1941. Whilst Kolbe was later Promotion of the production to in Need, which takes the viewer canonised, the play explores what schools and colleges has been on a journey from the Kolbe story happened to the man whose life supported by The Whitehouse to examining Christian was saved, Franek Gajowniczek. Consultancy. persecution throughout the Schools and parishes from across world. This will take place in the UK are making the trip to Notre Dame de France church in • A new short film produced by London’s West End for the short Leicester Square, London the Westminster Vocations run of the play, which has been throughout the month of director Fr Richard Nesbitt made brought to life by the Catholic October and is free for the by students from Finchley theatre company, Ten Ten. Working general public. Catholic High on the life of St in partnership with a number of Maximilian Kolbe. other partners including the Catholic Truth Society, Aid to the • A new CTS booklet called “St Maximilian Kolbe: Martyr of • An Education Pack for schools Church in Need and Notre Dame de Charity” written by Fr James France church in Leicester Square, throughout the UK about Kolbe McCurry, the Provincial of the the production has prompted and the work of Aid to the Conventual Franciscans and widespread interest in Kolbe. Church in Need, available for all produced in conjunction with the schools from the Ten Ten Martin O’Brien, Artistic Director of “Kolbe’s Gift” play. website. Ten Ten, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the appetite for St Maximilian Kolbe’s story. Many • A post-show discussion on Friday For more information see: people have been contacting us to 4 October involving the writer http://tententheatre.co.uk/ say what he means to them. This David Gooderson and Fr James production is the culmination of a McCurry. This is a free event year of activity for The Year of open to all, it takes place in Faith including The Runcorn Notre Dame de France church, Passion and a six-week Easter 9.15pm immediately after the You can send us your project at Feltham Young evening performance of Kolbe’s latest news online, just Offenders Institute. There are many Gift. The event is sponsored by visit our website at: other events taking place around the Catholic Truth Society. www.rcdow.org.uk/ the production produced by our • Education workshops run by the wrecord partners which will bring the life Ten Ten Theatre team for young
We want your News
by Jo Siedlecka Ryan Gosling gives a compelling performance in this gut-wrenching morality tale from director Derek Cianfrance. In a stunning opening scene the camera follows 'Handsome Luke' one night as he struts through a fairground in a small upstate New York State town, throwing on his red leather jacket before reaching the stage where he joins two other motorcycle stuntmen, revving up their bikes to perform their 'wall of death' loops inside a steel cage. Luke is thrown a different kind of loop later that night when he meets his old girlfriend Romina (Eva Mendes), who has come to see the show. He soon learns that since he was last in town she has had a baby - his baby! She is now settled with a new, more steady man Kofi, played by Mahershala Ali, and doesn't want Luke back. But holding his six month old son Jason in his arms has a transformative effect on Luke. He sneaks into the Catholic church to watch the child being baptized and then has a tearful epiphany pledging to give up his itinerant lifestyle, win Romina back and provide for his new family. In order to be near them, Luke gets a poorly-paid job repairing cars. But soon he is led astray by a lowlife friend who persuades him to
rob banks, relying on his motorcycle skills for smooth getaways. They are initially very successful and Luke tries to shower Romina and their baby with gifts. The story then takes a dramatic twist as we meet Avery (Bradley Cooper), a young police officer who has been assigned to track down the elusive bank robber. Like Luke, Avery also has a baby son, and has high hopes for his future. To tell you any more would spoil the story. But Cianfrance has elevated a standard crime drama into a much more nuanced study of ordinary people caught in the balance between good and evil; on the role of conscience and the effect of one individual's actions on others; a study of American class; and most especially on the themes of masculinity and fatherhood. Not for nothing, I suspect, are the sons called Jason and AJ (Ajax), and before they meet, AJ has been living in the New York township of Troy. The movie's title is derived from the Mohawk word, 'Schenectady' meaning: 'the place beyond the pines'. An engrossing beautifully-directed film with fine performances, but violent in parts, a Place Beyond the Pines is Cert 15. Page 21
Westminster Record October 2013
4th October: Saint Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Franciscan Order, patron of animals, birds, conservationists and naturalists. St Francis was born in 1281, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. As a young man Francis fought in the war between Perugia and Assisi. He was taken prisoner and became very ill. He returned home and was accused of cowardice. From a very early age he showed a real concern for the poor and sick. Soon after his return from the war, he heard a voice which seemed to come from the crucifix in the ruined church of San Damiano. It said: "Go and repair my house which you see is falling down." Francis set about the task, having sold some of his father's cloth to finance the project. This lead to a prolonged battle with his father which was only resolved when Francis dramatically renounced his inheritance, even returning the clothes he was wearing. The bishop of Assisi provided him with some simple garments and Francis began his new life. He took literally the rule in St Matthew's Gospel that Christ's apostles should own nothing. Living alone, in great poverty, Francis cared for lepers and rebuilt the church, begging from townspeople. Later, seven men joined him and they lived a communal life at the Portiuncula in Assisi, near a leper colony. Sometimes they went out on preaching tours. Gradually they earned the respect of the community. One of the things which distinguished them from other poor preachers was their respect for and obedience to Church authorities, and their doctrinal orthodoxy. Their simple Rule was approved in Rome in 1210. Later the group expanded and Francis became famous as a preacher. But they always returned from their tours to a simple life of prayer, work and begging when necessary. They lived in small huts, slept on the ground had no tables or chairs and few books. Francis longed to travel and convert the Saracens. In 1212 he set sail eastwards but was driven on to the Dalmatian coast by bad weather. In 1214 he set out for Morocco through Spain but became so ill he had to return home. In 1219, with a dozen friars he sailed from Ancoina to Accra and Damietta. Here his illusions about Crusaders Page 22
were shattered. He denounced them as loose-living adventurers. In one battle he witnessed 600 men killed. Francis wanted to negotiate peace. Somehow he managed to slip through the lines and meet the Sultan, who was very impressed with him. Francis refused all the presents he was offered and returned to the Christian army. After a few months spent visiting the Holy Land, he returned to Italy where great changes were taking place in his community. By 1220, there were more than 5,000 friars, and the Church wanted them to develop rules and develop their organisation. Francis drew up another Rule and instructions for lay people who wished to follow the Franciscan ideal in their lives. In his later years, while he held no official position in the order, some of the most famous incidents of his life took place: stories of his close rapport with animals, preaching to the birds, taming the wolf at Gubbio, the introduction of the Christmas crib at Grecchio, the Canticle of the Sun, and the impression of the Stigmata at Mount La Verna, which he kept secret until his death. A lifelong friend was St Clare, who first heard him preach when she was just 18. She founded the order of Poor Clares at San Damiano in Assisi. Francis died when he was only 45, after a miserable illness in which he went blind. He was canonised in 1228 and originally buried in the Church of St Giorgio. Later his remains were moved twice to ornate tombs but eventually in 1932 he was reburied in a very simple one. The Franciscan Order established 50 houses within a hundred years of Francis's death. They were a powerful influence for reform and exercised a unique role in towns, universities and parishes all over the world. For a time the order was marred by divisions, but in recent years there has been a revival of interest in Francis and his way of life. Assisi is a pilgrimage centre for devotees from all over the world, whilst St Francis remains one of the most attractive and best-loved of saints.
In Memoriam: October Fr Thomas Allan (1982) Fr Richard Berry (1989) Fr Henry Bryant (1972) Fr Barry Carpenter (2012) Fr John Clayton (1992) Fr David Cullen (1974) Fr Kenneth Dain (2010) Fr Thomas Daniel (1984) Fr Joseph Davey (1970) Fr William Dempsey (2008) Fr Joseph Eldridge (1993) Fr John Farrell (1983) Fr Norman Fergusson (1986) Fr James Finn (1977) Fr John Fleming (1974) Fr Joe Gibbons (2002) Canon William Gordon (1976) Fr John Halvey (1990) Fr John Kearney (2007) Mgr Canon Terence Keenan (1984) Fr Herbert Keldany (1988) Fr Colin Kilby (1985) Fr Dermot McGrath (2012) Fr Walter Meyjes (1987) Fr Andrew Moore (1994) Fr Arthur Moraes (2008) Fr Ben Morgan (2005) Fr Denis Murphy (1999) Fr John Murphy (2005) Canon John P Murphy (1989) Fr Joseph O’Hear (1970) Canon Des Sheehan (2004) Fr George Talbot (2004) Canon Leo Ward (1970) Fr John Eveleigh Woodruf (1976) Fr John Woods (2002)
We want your News You can send us your latest news online, just visit our website at: www.rcdow.org.uk/ wrecord
October Calendar 1
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin & Doctor
The Holy Guardian Angels
feria (Week 26)
St Francis of Assisi (Friday abstinence)
feria or Blessed Virgin Mary
27th IN ORDINARY TIME
Our Lady of the Rosary
feria or Blessed John Henry Newman or St Denis, Bishop & Companions, Martyrs or St John Leonardi, Priest
feria or St Paulinus of York, Bishop
feria (Friday abstinence)
feria or St Wilfrid, Bishop or Blessed Virgin Mary
28th IN ORDINARY TIME or SOLEMNITY OF ST EDWARD THE CONFESSOR (in the City of Westminster)
feria or St Callistus I, Pope & Martyr
St Teresa of Jesus, Virgin & Doctor
feria or St Hedwig, Religious or St Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin
St Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr
St Luke, Evangelist (Friday abstinence)
feria or Sts John de Brebeuf & Isaac Jogues, Priests and Companions, Martyrs or St Paul of the Cross, Priest or Blessed Virgin Mary
29th IN ORDINARY TIME (World Mission Day)
feria or St John of Capistrano, Priest
feria or St Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop
feria (Friday abstinence)
feria or Sts Chad & Cedd, Bishops or Blessed Virgin Mary
30th IN ORDINARY TIME
Sts Simon & Jude, Apostles
Blessed Martyrs of Douai College
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Westminster Record October 2013
REGULAR EVENTS If you have an event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org SUNDAYS
Taizé at St James Piccadilly Every third Sunday 5pm. Call 020 7503 5128 for details. Ceilidh at Camden Irish Centre Real Ceilidh dancing every Sunday from 8pm, with lessons for newcomers until 8.30pm then on with the dance! All are welcome. £4 per session with great music from Tony Kearny. Partners not needed. Contact 020 7272 5815 Tyburn Benedictines Monastic afternoon First Sunday of the month 2pm-5pm Martyrs’ Crypt, Tyburn Convent, Bayswater Road near Marble Arch. Westminster Cathedral Young Adults Young adults meet socially after the 5.30 and 7pm Masses on Sundays. on the steps of the Cathedral, then a pub. Deaf Community Mass First Sunday of the month 4.30pm in Westminster Cathedral Hall Ambrosden Ave. SW1P 1QW
Catholic tours in London Qualified Catholic tour guide leads ‘Saints and Scholars’ walk every Sunday including Mass. Contact Peter on 07913904997 or circlingthesquaretours@ hotmail.co.uk
Young Adults Mass - First Sunday of the month At Mount Street 7pm. Quiet prayer at 7.15pm, Mass at 7.30pm. Social gathering afterward. Contact: email@example.com or visit www.fsplus.info. Young Adults Mass - Third Sunday of the month At Mount Street. A quieter version of First Sunday. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers’ Club Every Sunday throughout the year walkers meet for a ramble in the Home Counties. Contact Antoinette 020 8769 3643 or visit www.stfrancisramblers.org.uk.
MONDAYS Mothers’ Prayers at St Dominic’s Priory, Haverstock Hill Every Monday 2.30-3.30pm in the Lourdes chapel. All are welcome. Prayer Event for people in the arts and media Third Monday of each month 6.30pm. For more information see www.artisaninitiatives.org
TUESDAYS Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Tuesdays 6-9pm concluding with Benediction at Newman House, 111 Gower Street. Details 020 7731 3367 Mass at Canary Wharf Tuesdays 12.30pm at 2 Churchill Place E14. Organised by Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Chaplain to Canary Wharf Communities. Details
www.cwcc.org.uk 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, London NW10 9AX Vocations Prayer Group Second Tuesday of the month 8pm at 47C Gaisford Street, Kentish Town, NW5
WEDNESDAYS Wednesdays on the Wall (WOTW) 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. Youth 2000 prayer group Wednesdays 7.30pm at Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden.
Jesus Christ the Fullness of Life JCFL First Thursday of the month. Young adults from all Christian denominations pray and share a meal. Details www.jcfl.org.uk. Soul Food A Catholic charismatic prayer group for young adults meets from 7 to 9pm at St Charles Borromeo, Ogle Street, W1W 6HS Details www.soulfoodgroup.org email@example.com
Association of Divorced and Separated Catholics Third Friday of the month. All divorced and separated
Catholics, are welcome. Call Frank or Christine 020 8422 1591 Divine Mercy Prayers and Mass First Fridays 2.30-4.30pm at the Church of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, 2 Windsor Road, Ealing. St Albans Fridays at 12 noon. Mass is celebrated every week at St Alban’s Abbey, one of the oldest Christian churches in England. Westminster Cathedral Charismatic Prayer Group 7.30pm Prayer, praise and teaching. First Friday is a healing Mass. Details 020 8748 2632 Vocations Discernment Group 7pm, Hinsley Room, Westminster Cathedral. Meetings for young adults aged 18-38. Visit www.free2become.org or call 01277 373 848
SATURDAYS Aylesford Friary - All night vigils First Saturdays 10pm - 6am. Night vigils take place May-October on the first Saturday of each month. Call Mrs Tugadi 020 7352 4478 or Miss Ogbeni 07847 532199 or 01733 553762. Taizé at Notre Dame Church Leicester Square 7.15pm. Call 020 7437 9363 Catholic Under 35s Catholic Under 35s aims to help young catholic adults in London meet likeminded people via regular social events, such as meals and days out. For further info please email Elroy at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook group: http://catholicunder35s.com
EXTRAORDINARY FORM MASSES Sundays Low Mass 9.30am, St James’s Spanish Place, W1 Low Mass 9am, High Altar, the Oratory, Brompton Road, SW7 Mondays Sung Mass 6.30pm Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, WC2. Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Rd SW7 Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Rd SW7 Fridays Low Mass 6pm St Etheldreda, Ely Place EC1 First Fridays only. Low Mass 8am The Oratory, Brompton Rd SW7 Mass 6pm St John the Baptist Church, King Edward's Rd Hackney E9. Every Second Friday Low Mass 6.30pm, Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, WC2 Saturdays Second Saturdays at 4.30pm, Low Mass Side Chapel Westminster Cathedral Low Mass 12.15pm St Wilfrid’s Chapel, The Oratory, Brompton Rd SW7 Sundays Monthly afternoon classical piano recitals presented by the Chopin Society UK. Westminster Cathedral Hall. Prices £12, £10 (OAP), £6 (students). For more information contact 020 8960 4027 or go to www.chopin-society.org.uk Family Apostles Evangelisation prayer group for young adults meets from 7pm on Wednesdays at Notre Dame de France, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX. For further details please contact Armel at email@example.com
FORTHCOMING EVENTS Tuesday 29 October – Romero Lecture Tour - Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP will be speaking on the theme Telling the Truth, linked to Archbishop Romero and how his message is applied to our own times. Held at Westminster Abbey, starting at 6:15pm. Relics of St Anthony coming to our Diocese The Relics of Saint Anthony of Padua are being brought to the UK to mark the 750th Anniversary of their discovery by Saint Bonaventure. The Relics are usually kept at the Basilica in Padua. The schedule is as follows:
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Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Street, SW1P 1QW. • Saturday 2 November 6pm Mass St Peter’s Italian Church 136 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1R 5DL. • Sunday 3 November 9:30am Mass 11am Sung Mass 12:30pm Mass • 2pm to 6.30pm Veneration 7pm Mass 8.15pm to 10pm Veneration
Cathedral Choir Tickets are NOW ON SALE for the Cathedral Choir's performance of the Mozart Requiem on Wednesday 13 November at 7.30pm - pop into the Cathedral Gift Shop or visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk to get your tickets!
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Westminster Record October 2013
The Holy Rosary: Treasure and Weapon by Dominique Rouse "The Rosary is a priceless treasure inspired by God." St. Louis Marie de Montfort could not have described it more beautifully nor more accurately. As a member of the Legion of Mary, a Catholic lay organisation devoted to Our Lady and to spreading the message of God’s love to the world, I revere and love the Holy Rosary. I love it for the peace it brings to those who have recourse to Our Lady and the power it has to change one’s trials into triumphs. Myriad experiences have taught me to rely on this prayer in the darkest of moments and it has never failed me. The Holy Rosary is essentially a ‘synopsis of the Gospel’ (Lacordaire). In it, the four mysteries tell the story of God’s love for Man and the ultimate sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son in order to save the souls of men. In addition, Pope Leo XIII states that “its contents, the [twenty] mysteries, celebrate the principal interventions of the Holy
Spirit in the drama of Redemption.” In ‘The Secret of the Rosary’, St. Louis Marie de Montfort describes it as comprising two parts: mental and vocal prayer. Mental prayer is meditation upon the life, death and glory of Our Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother. According to him, meditation is the soul of the rosary. Vocal prayer is composed of the prayer of Christ and the angelic salutation, that is, the ‘Our Father’ and the ‘Hail Mary’ respectively. It involves beseeching Our Lady’s prayers for us while contemplating the virtues of the twenty decades: the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries and those of Light. As Pope Leo XIII wisely put it: “It is the remedy for all evils, the root of all blessings.” In this single statement he outlines two of the major roles of the Holy Rosary: its role in disarming the Devil and its role in channelling God’s graces to His children through Our Holy Mother. Both a tonic and a cure, it is Our Lady’s most powerful weapon to procure souls in order to fulfill her role in God’s plan for the redemption of man. From the end of the second century to now, Our Lady’s part in God’s plan
“The Rosary is not merely a prayer for supplications. It is a prayer of mission.” of redemption has been acknowledged by the Church. According to Hilda Graef in ‘Devotion to the Blessed Virgin’: “Through her obedient acceptance of God’s will, she became Eve’s counterpart and as Eve had had a secondary role in Man’s fall, Mary also had a secondary role in Man’s redemption, preparing [men] for salvation. For by her obedience, she became the pure womb which regenerates men unto God.” Our Lady as the spouse of the Holy Spirit did not only agree to be the Mother of God, but also, upon her ‘fiat’, agreed to bring salvation to the world and redeem God’s people. Revealed to St. Dominic in 1214, the Holy Rosary was given to him by Our Lady as a tool to convert the unrepentant sinners of his time.
Today, it still serves as her weapon against the Devil. The Legion of Mary starts every meeting with the most Holy Rosary. As legionaries, the Rosary is not merely a prayer for supplications. It is a prayer of mission. When we say the Rosary before our meetings, it focuses us on the task at hand. It arms us with the graces we need to effectively spread God’s love in the world, through acts of kindness and sharing of His Word with those we encounter in our daily lives. The transformative power of the Rosary converts us sinners into servants and opens our hearts to immense graces: particularly faith, hope and charity. Our role as Christians is to arm ourselves with the Rosary and ask Our Lady for the graces we need to be good Christian examples in the world.
Each one of us has a purpose in life, regardless of our age. While we are still breathing in this world, there is a purpose we are required to fulfill. The Holy Rosary illuminates what our missions are and enables us to fulfill them. According to St. Josemaria Escriva: "If you say the Holy Rosary everyday, with a spirit of faith and love, Our Lady will make sure she leads you very far along her Son's path." Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
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