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CHAPLAIN’S MESSAGE: Jesus sent messengers ahead of him

thumbnail image At this time of year many of our priests will be celebrating their anniversary of ordination. This weekend sees the ordination to priesthood of six men at Westminster Cathedral. This great moment in the life of the Body of Christ comes for these men after they have spent much time in prayer, discernment and formation. Throughout this time they have been being prepared to make this act of self-offering of themselves to the Church. It is an event in which all members of the Church can rejoice greatly and give thanks for the wonderful gift of the priesthood and pray especially for the new priests and for all the priests who help to serve the Church‘s mission.

In this week’s Gospel we hear that Christ ‘sent messengers ahead of him’. All priests continue this role of being messengers sent ahead of Christ. They are sent ahead to announce the Good News, to preach and teach the Gospel of Christ. They are also sent ahead to announce the coming of Christ in the Mass. Through the priest we are given the body and blood of Our Lord and so priests are ‘sent’ to the faithful to be heralds of his coming presence. The priest also announces the Jubilee of the Lord’s year of favour and functions as a minister of God’s mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Confession where all our sins are forgiven.

It is the priesthood of Christ the High Priest which is at the root of the ordained priesthood. Christ himself is the true priest from which every other priest draws his life and identity. All the baptised share in this priesthood of Christ and are called to pray and make sacrifices for the salvation of the world. The ordained priest takes on the role of representing Christ to the faithful in a particular way to help the life of the Church. One such priest was St John Southworth (1592–1654 AD). St John studied at Douai in France and returned to England and lived and worked in Clerkenwell and Westminster. He ministered selflessly to the faithful and those suffering from the plague before being caught and tried for being a Catholic Priest. He was executed at Tyburn, London and is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.

St John Southworth is a wonderful example of one of the ‘messengers’ of Christ sent ahead of him to bring his saving love to the world. We are privileged to be able to venerate his relics here in our Cathedral. May he intercede for all of us and our priests, especially those newly ordained, that we may all find our fulfilment in the great calling of bringing the love of Christ to today’s world.

Fr Martin Plunkett
Cathedral Sub-Administrator


thumbnail image Please note that the 10.30am Mass is cancelled on Thursday 30 June as the Cardinal will celebrate the Funeral Mass of Fr Harry Hamill at 11.00am on that day.

SVP -- Summer Book Sale

thumbnail image The next SVP book sale will take place in the Cathedral Hall on Sunday 10 July from 9.30am–1.30pm. We would be pleased to accept donations of new and fairly new paperbacks, but no hardback fiction please. CDs, DVDs, and religious books would be particularly welcome. These can be left at Clergy House in the week before the sale or contact John Mole (07796 173343) or Robert Crane (07947 103847) to arrange for the collection of larger quantities.

Save the Date

thumbnail image On Saturday 16 July following the 6.00pm Mass there will be a parish party in Cathedral Hall to celebrate with Fr Alexander Master and Fr Michael Quaicoe both of whom have 40th birthdays this year. It will also give us the opportunity of saying goodbye and thank you to Fr Alexander for his years at the Cathedral.

STATEMENT: Westminster Cathedral and Homelessness

thumbnail image Westminster Cathedral has been made aware of a photograph circulating on social media of a ledge near the Cathedral doors, entitled ‘Westminster Cathedral – now with anti-homeless spikes.’ It saddens us that selective photography and inaccurate text have been combined to give the misleading impression that the Cathedral is hostile to people in difficult circumstances.

The spikes in question appear to be an architectural feature dating back to the completion of the building work in 1903. They were not recently installed as so-called anti-homeless spikes.

Westminster Cathedral actively addresses the needs of those without permanent accommodation in a number of ways. For example, the Cathedral supports two local charities, The Passage and the Cardinal Hume Centre, that offer a comprehensive range of support to those who may find themselves homeless: this support is expressed both financially and practically by clergy and worshippers alike. The Cathedral participates in a homeless shelter: food and shelter is offered in the Cathedral Hall each week during the winter months when it is most necessary. And, of course, the Cathedral is open all day every day without charge: a warm and safe space with seating in central London available to anyone at all.

Cathedral Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham

thumbnail image The Cathedral parish pilgrimage to Walsingham is on Wednesday 3 August led by Canon Christopher Tuckwell. The coach departs from Ambrosden Avenue prompt, to return by 7.30pm. Adult fare £18, £8 per child (to be accompanied by an adult). To book please ring Theresa Giwa on 07553 846685 or Mellie on 07889 496740.

Interested in Becoming a Catholic?

thumbnail image Each year, the Cathedral runs a course from September to May for adults who have not been baptised and would like to be, as well as for Christians of other denominations who would like to be received into the Roman Catholic Church, and Catholics who have not been confirmed. The course is known as the RCIA (which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). More information is available from juliehanssen@rcdow.org.uk or Clergy House Reception on 020 7798 9055. Closing date: 31 August 2016.

Related links: Email Julie Hanssen (RCIA)

CTS Free Lunchtime Talks

thumbnail image Jesus said: “Man does not live on bread alone” and it is true that sometimes a sandwich is just not enough! That is why the CTS Bookshop runs free lunchtime talks on various topics. Coming up in July:

Wednesday, 6, 1.00pm– A Mission for the Sea – Are you travelling overseas this summer? Apostleship of the Sea’s Roland Hayes discusses their unique ministry.

Wednesday, 20, 1.00pm – Why Pilgrimage? By David Baldwin, author of the CTS Christian Shrines series. Refreshments are provided.

Talks last 15-20 minutes. For more information contact CTS Bookshop, 25 Ashley Place, Westminster Cathedral Piazza, SW1P 1LT, telephone 020 7834 1363 www.ctsbookshop.org.

Related links: Email the CTS

Day with Blessed Charles de Foucald

thumbnail image On the Saturday 23 July at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington High Street, we shall have a day with Blessed Brother Charles of Jesus, celebrating his centenary: 1916-2016. We start with Coffee after 10.00am Mass and finish at 3.00pm. The theme is: Insights into the challenges of becoming followers of Jesus today.

Drop in Translation and Information Service

thumbnail image This FREE service is available every Friday from 11.00am-12.30pm at Austin Forum, Augustinian Centre, 55 Fulham Palace Road, W6 8AU. We offer support in CV writing, job searches, translating documents and assisting with telephone calls. For more information email gabriella@austin-forum.org

Related links: Email for Details


thumbnail image Our Summer Fair will take place on Saturday 6 August starting at 12 noon and finishing at 5.00pm. This will be a fun day for all the family with music and dancing displays from our Filipino community. We will have stalls with delicious foods including home-made beef burgers. There will be wonderful bargains to be had, such as gift items, bric-a-brac, cakes, jams, books and much, much more. There will be a tombola and a Grand Raffle with over 20 great prizes. Tickets £1 each. So come along and support your Cathedral, while having a fun day out. We need good quality items for the stalls please and bottles, gift items for the tombola. Donations should be left at Clergy House marked for Summer Fair.

Quiz and Fish & Chips

thumbnail image Our next quiz will be held on Tuesday 19 July at 6.30pm in Cathedral Hall. Tickets at £15 each, include fish and chip supper, and are available from The Friends Office, Clergy House, telephone 020 7798 9059 or email friends@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Email The Friends

The SVP St John Bosco Children’s Summer Camp

thumbnail image This is held at Aldham, Essex and is an activities camp with a Catholic ethos that runs as follows:

Week One: 23-30 July for boys
Week Two: 30 July-6 August for boys and
Week Three: 6-13 August for girls.

It is for children aged 8 to 13 and costs £145 per week.

Transport available from various parts of London. Should you require an application form or more information then please contact (between 6.00pm and 9.00pm) the boys’ camp on 01992 914117 or the girls’ camp on 01634 311350. More information can be found on the website http://svpboscocamp.org.uk.

Related links: SVP Bosco Camp website

Way of Mercy: Free downloads

thumbnail image Following the opening of the Way of Mercy in Westminster Cathedral, we are happy to announce that the leaflets entitled Invitation, Simple Guide, Guide to Confession, and Salve Regina are all now available as free pdf downloads (below) in preparation for visits and pilgrimages.

These materials may be used free of charge by individuals, groups, parishes and schools.

Related links: Way of Mercy Invite Way of Mercy Simple Guide Way of Mercy Confession Salve Regina


thumbnail image Regular donations to the Cathedral can be made by standing order or by using a set of numbered offertory envelopes and, if you pay sufficient Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax, you can sign a Gift Aid declaration enabling us to reclaim the tax paid on the amount of your donations at no extra cost to yourself. If you are interested, please call David Marles on 020 7798 9372 or email davidmarles@rcdow.org.uk.

Note: If you are already a Gift Aid donor, please always use your numbered envelopes so that we know that the donation has come from you. Spare envelopes are available at the back of the Cathedral.

Aylesford Pilgrimage

thumbnail image The Nigerian Catholic Chaplaincy invites you to this year's Aylesford Pilgrimage on Saturday 2 July, departing at 7.00am prompt from Westminster Cathedral and returning 7.00pm. The cost is £12 for adults and £9 for children. For further information and to make a booking, please telephone George Egesi on 07794 600486.

ALLEN HALL: Summer Accommodation in London

thumbnail image Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea offer comfortable rooms in central London in July and August. Beautiful gardens and chapel. Rooms from £50 per night (including breakfast).

Website: www.allenhall.org.uk.
Email: allenhall@rcdow.org.uk.
Telephone 020 7349 5600 (option 0).

Related links: Allen Hall Website Email Allen Hall Seminary


thumbnail image The Byzantine Heritage in Sicily Led by Canon Tuckwell from 18 to 24 October 2016, cost £988. Please contact Pax Travel on 020 7485 3003 or email info@paxtravel.co.uk for further information on either of these pilgrimages.

Related links: Email Pax Travel

Centenary of the Archdiocese of Cardiff -- Trip to St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff

thumbnail image The Oblates of Westminster Cathedral are going on a day pilgrimage to St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff on Saturday 27 August. The coach departs from the Cathedral Piazza, Ambrosden Avenue, promptly at 6.30am. Cost £40. Please bring a packed lunch. To book a place please contact Lolita on 07424 313384 or Laura Ford on 07479 568368.


thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work and heritage of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non profit 501(c)(3) Organization (EIN # 13-2983174).

They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may be made through bequests and charitable trusts.

Contact Ms. Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., P.O. Box 92, New York, New York 10185-0092, e-mail UChang1@aol.com

Related links: Click here for email