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Be holy

thumbnail image In our first reading this weekend we hear a great challenge – to be holy as God himself is holy. This week we begin the great season of Lent by receiving ashes on our foreheads, recognizing that we have not been holy; and over the coming weeks we seek to renew our commitment to change our ways and to grow in holiness, after the pattern of Jesus Christ himself. As always, the Cathedral will offer a number of different initiatives to help us with this, but I would like to highlight two of them.

The first is our annual Quarant’Ore (40 hours) devotion, which we have placed in the first week of Lent to assist in our commitment to prayer. From the 5.30pm Mass of Tuesday 3 to the evening of Thursday 5 March we will have perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral, giving us an opportunity to pray at all hours of the day and night before Jesus Christ, truly present on the Altar. We encourage every single person in our parish, and beyond, to come and spend time with Jesus, the source of all holiness, as part of our Lenten journey. We will have much opportunity for silent adoration and prayer, for guided meditation by different groups within the parish, and time to pray the Divine Office in union with Catholics all over the world. Please do take a leaflet about this Quarant’Ore for yourself and share them among your friends!

The second event is the three-day visit of the statue of Mary from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham as part of the preparations for the Re-dedication of England as the Dowry of Mary at the end of March. From Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 March there will be a number of talks and devotions to Our Lady in the presence of the statue, reminding us of the special connection this country has had to our Blessed Mother since 1381 when King Richard II offered England to Our Lady as her Dowry (meaning ‘gift’). The visit of her statue from one of England’s oldest shrines to our Cathedral in the days leading up to this country’s Re-dedication on 29 March is a highly significant event; put this in your diary also and spread the news far and wide.

These two great events help us this Lent to grow in our mission to be holy. Through Mary’s maternal intercession and our renewed focus on prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, we pray that over the coming weeks we will be transformed and renewed in our faith and embrace this challenging, and yet most fulfilling call to holiness.

Fr Andrew Gallagher

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

During the planned giving campaign, we have been encouraging everyone to reflect prayerfully on their commitment to our Cathedral family, in the light of our difficult financial situation. Last week, we asked you to “think twice” – could you double the amount that you donate to the Cathedral? If that is simply not possible, what additional amount might you be able to spare?
This weekend we ask that everyone now takes the next step and commits to giving regularly to support the Cathedral.
We would urge you to consider setting up a standing order. This enables you to carry on supporting the Cathedral when you cannot get to Sunday Mass here. For those whose income fluctuates or who do not feel that they can yet commit to a standing order, an alternative is the use of regular donor envelopes.
But whichever method you choose, if you pay any UK income tax or capital gains tax, please sign a Gift Aid declaration so that we can claim 25p back from the Government for every £1 that you donate, at no extra cost to yourself.
With your support we can ensure that this incomparable house of prayer is passed on to the next generation in good financial health.
Volunteers will be available after Mass today to answer your questions. Thank you.


thumbnail image Monday, 24 February: Oxford Professor Diane Purkiss on Civil War, Politics and Religion. Westminster Cathedral Hall. Doors open at 6.30pm and the talk will begin at 7pm. Tickets £10.

Wednesday, 25 March: Curry Quiz. Westminster Cathedral Hall 6.30pm. Food options: Chicken Madras, Lamb Korma, or Vegetable Biryani. Please indicate food preference when booking. Tickets £18.

Wednesday, 22 April: Professor John Harvey – Rubens in London. To mark the publication of John’s celebrated book Pax, a talk on Rubens – Catholic, diplomat and artist – focusing on his time in London. Westminster Cathedral Hall. Doors open at 6.30pm and the talk will begin at 7pm. Tickets £10.

Related links: Email for Friends Office


thumbnail image Croissants and Christianity: coffee morning with faith and fellowship for those with bumps, babies and toddlers. Join us on Monday morning from 10am to 11.30am in the Hinsley Room off Morpeth Terrace. We have a cup of tea and chat while children play, enjoying an opportunity to pray the rosary together, share common concerns and lend each other spiritual support in an informal and friendly context, often benefiting from input from one of the Cathedral priests. It is free and runs during term time and occasionally during school holidays. The Hinsley Room is on the left as you walk down Morpeth Terrace to Francis St, accessed via an iron gate and up a path alongside the little garden.


thumbnail image The Passage is a Christian Charity working with homeless people. Please support a St David’s Day concert in aid of The Passage at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster on Friday, 28 February at 7pm. The concert features the London Welsh Male Voice Choir with guest soloists Claire Jones (harp) and Aled Wyn Davies (tenor) and Guto Harri (Compère). Please book online through Eventbrite stdavidsday.enventbrite.co.uk. Full details to book are on the website www.passage.org.uk or telephone 020 7592 1856 or email info@passage.org.uk.


thumbnail image 4 May 2020: £649 per person, sharing. Price includes flight with 10kg hand luggage, all transfers, 4 nights’ in Knock House Hotel with breakfast and dinner. All excursions included. Lunches on days out. Single supplement £100. Contact Patricia on 01268 762 278 or 07740 175557 or email knockpilgrimages@gmail.com. Knock Pilgrimages is a member of the Travel Trust Association and is fully protected by ATOL T7613.


thumbnail image The SVP is distributing 11,500 Vinnie Packs containing cold weather essentials to the homeless this winter. Would you be willing to help? To d0nate (£3.50 per pack is suggested), please send cheques payable to SVP to Vinnie Packs, PO Box 72264, London SW1P 9EZ, or to donate by bank transfer to Natwest sort code 60-60-04, account number 4608 8237.


thumbnail image Use your free time to inspire young people to build a fairer world. CAFOD is looking for volunteers who have a passion for, and experience of, working with young people. We need people who have a commitment to CAFOD’s aims and values and an interest in sharing our work in primary and secondary schools through delivering assemblies or workshops. CAFOD will provide training and support, and expenses will be paid.
Volunteering assignments will be in local Catholic schools and you can either work on your own or as part of a team. None of our work is possible without you, so join us and put your faith into action.
If you are interested please email Chris Driscoll at wschools@cafod.org.uk or call 07776 493162.


thumbnail image The Cathedral Café will re-open on 14 September from 10am-4pm for drinks, lunches and snacks. Please do pay a visit the next time you are in the Cathedral. Normal opening days Tuesday-Saturday.


thumbnail image Meditations take place in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St Pauls Bookshop each weekday from 12.30 to 1pm. All are welcome.


thumbnail image The Holy Land
The Guild of the Blessed Sacrament’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, led by Fr Andrew Gallagher, will be from 18-25 November 2019, cost £1,445. For further details, contact Pax Travel on 020 7485 3003 or info@paxtravel.co.uk.

Passion Play of Oberammergau, Munich and Salzburg
A pilgrimage to see the world famous passion play that takes place every 10 years, combined with discovering the rich cultural history of its surrounding area, led by Fr Andrew Gallagher and Fr Kevin Moule, 14-20 September 2020. More details available from Clergy House Reception or Pax Travel at info@palxtravel.co.uk, or 020 7485 3003.

Related links: Email: Pax Travel


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


thumbnail image This takes place in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel every Monday to Friday following the 1.05pm Mass until 4.45pm.