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THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE: INTO THE WILDERNESS OF LIFE

thumbnail image We have begun our Lenten observance, a journey of conversion of heart which will have its culmination in the feast of the death and resurrection of Christ. This is a special time dedicated to preparation for Easter. Pope Francis in his message for Lent 2021 emphasises the conversion character of our journey, which is marked by an awareness that every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping, and loving.
Despite fragility, uncertainty, and the troubles that come our way, life needs to be lived with thankfulness and to be instilled with hope. We are called to face the reality of temptation and the cruelty of the wilderness. The gospel of the First Sunday of Lent narrates how Jesus overcomes the temptations in the wilderness.
In biblical terms the wilderness has symbolical connotations. It can be seen as a place of deprivation, the site of danger and death, rebellion, punishment, temptation, and a dwelling place of evil spirits. On the other hand, it is a place of deliverance, refuge and safety where miracles are performed, where the purification of heart takes root.
It was after his baptism that Jesus was driven into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan (Mark 1:12). In the wilderness Jesus faced his temptations, confronting them by being anchored in the power of God. Despite our baptism we are not immune from being driven into the wilderness. Our wilderness is the reality of life filled with afflictions where our faithfulness to God will be tempted. To overcome the temptations of life we need to be, like Jesus, attuned to the Father’s heart in silent prayer and contemplation.
As we walk on the Lenten journey the readings of the First Sunday reassure us of the guiding hand and power of God supporting us as we face our own trials and our own wilderness (Gen 9:11). God will never withdraw his promise of mercy, nor does he give up on his people. Nothing can distort or alter the design God has made for the salvation of the human family. This notion will help us to cope amid our struggle with the brokenness and wickedness that we encounter. His forgiveness and mercy will strengthen us in the ways that we regain hope, both in times of uncertainties and of joy. Even Satan will be powerless when we walk in faith and abide in God in our Lenten observance.


Fr Vincent Mbui SVD

THIS WEEK'S DIARY:

thumbnail image The Cathedral is open from 7.30am and closes after the last Mass of the day.
Monday to Saturday:
Mass: 8 and 10.30am, 12.30 and 5.30pm *^
Exposition: Mon - Fri 2pm to 5pm

Sunday:
Mass: 8 and 10.30am *^, 12.30, 4 and 6pm *^
Solemn Vespers and Benediction 3pm * (English, live stream only)

Confessions can be heard in the Cathedral; there are no set times.
* This will be live streamed via the Cathedral website.
^ With organ accompaniment; all choral singing is currently suspended.

Sunday 21 February FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

Monday 22 February THE CHAIR OF ST PETER
THE APOSTLE

Tuesday 23 February Lent Feria

Wednesday 24 February Lent Feria

Thursday 25 February Lent Feria
10.30am Funeral Mass of Mary Moss RIP
(Cathedral closed to the public)

Friday 26 February Lent Feria, Friday abstinence
CAFOD Family Fast Day

Saturday 27 February Lent Feria

Sunday 28 February SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT


COVID-19 UPDATE
As you may have seen, we are participating in the NHS Covid-19 App, to assist with track and trace. We do encourage you to make use of this app.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The toilets, Gift Shop and Café remain closed. The Chaplains can be contacted through Clergy House Reception if you wish to speak to them or are in need of assistance.

THE CARDINAL'S LENTEN APPEAL 2021

thumbnail image Throughout the unprecedented events of 2020, your donations to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal helped fund initiatives in four mission areas: Marriage and Family Life, Youth and Evangelisation, Caritas Westminster putting our faith into action by serving those in need, and the Education Service. This year, the Cardinal is asking us to think about families who are struggling to put food on the table. Through your generosity we are continuing to provide food for those people most in need. Thank you for your generosity.

LENTEN RESOURCE FROM THE PASSAGE

thumbnail image To mark 40 years of service to homeless people, this Lent we have produced 40 reflections for Lent each marking a year of service and reflecting on the needs of homeless people today.  If you would like to share in our Lenten journey please contact Andrew Hollingsworth andrew.h@passage.org.uk tel: 020 7592 1886. We plan to distribute all materials electronically in the interests of being both environmentally aware and saving costs. If you do not have access to the internet we can send print-friendly versions to a friend or relative by email.

FRIENDS' NEWS

thumbnail image Upcoming Event:
Wednesday, 10 March (note changed date): Alison Weir will give a talk on Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen. This will be live on Zoom at 7pm. Tickets £5.
Payment for all Friends’ events may be made via our Virgin Money Giving Link: https://tinyurl.com/FRIENDS-VMG .
A reminder that we have online tea and coffee after the Sunday 10.30am Mass. Please join in. You will find the link on the website beneath the live streaming portal.
Please note that we are only able to accept cheque payment for events if received a week before the event listed. If paying by cheque or VMG please confirm your booking via email: friends@rcdow.org.uk .
Please do join the Friends. We have a very active Facebook page and also an Instagram account to keep in touch with people through lockdown. We need new members to help support the work of Westminster Cathedral. For information on how to join call 020 7798 9059 or log on to the Cathedral website where you will find a downloadable membership form.

SPONSORING SANCTUARY LAMPS

thumbnail image As you may be aware, there are various candles and lamps which burn perpetually around the Cathedral; particularly before the Blessed Sacrament, in the Lady Chapel, in the Sacred Heart Shrine, at the relics of St John Southworth, St Thomas Becket and St Edmund of Abingdon, and in the Holy Souls Chapel.
Would you like one of these to burn in memory of a loved one, or for a particular intention? If so, we ask for a donation of £10 per week, which will go towards defraying the costs of running the sacristy: candles, hosts, wine and other necessities for the celebration of Mass. Please hand in at Clergy House Reception or in one of the Cathedral’s donation boxes an envelope marked ‘Sanctuary Lamp Donation’, together with a note stating your particular intention, and the light you would like to burn for that intention.

FROM CAFOD

thumbnail image DAILY WALK - SOMETHING POSITIVE THIS LENT

Could you walk 10,000 steps either on one day or every day this Lent?  The walk could be a sign of your solidarity with all those who do not have access to a safe water source and who have to walk for water each day. Find out more or sign up online at cafod.org.uk/walk and go the distance this coming Lent and help to end water poverty.

LENTEN APPEAL

Abdella lives in an extremely remote part of Ethiopia; it takes him 10 hours a day to collect water. He says his life is being wasted as he has no time for anything else. Please give today to reach vulnerable communities around the world with water and other vital support. Please donate online at www.cafod.org.uk/give  or by using one of our envelopes. You can also easily give via text.
Text LENT 5 to 70460 to give £5
Text LENT 10 to 70460 to give £10
Text LENT 20 to 70460 to give £20
Or telephone 0303 303 3030 to donate over the phone