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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Wheat and Weeds

thumbnail image There is a constant struggle between good and evil in the world and within the soul of each one of us. Jesus illustrates this struggle in a parable in which he compares the world to a field of wheat. Some evil people have planted weeds in the field, which will choke the wheat and turn the field into a barren land. The farmer had sown good seeds but his labourers had spotted weeds growing among them. The farm workers want to pull out the weeds and destroy them immediately but the farmer tells them to be patient and wait. The farmer knows that, as seedlings, the wheat and the weeds are quite similar in appearance and that, by pulling up the weeds immediately, some of the wheat will perish too! So the farmer instructs his labourers to wait until the harvest time, when the wheat and weeds will be fully mature. Then the reapers can cut them and easily divide the wheat and the weeds into different bundles. Jesus explains that the Sower of the good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world and the weeds are the subjects of the evil one. Jesus tells us that on the Day of Judgement, when the final Harvest comes, the angels will separate out the good and the wicked, and God Himself will see to it that Justice is done.

The soul too, may be compared to a field of wheat and weeds, because we are each a mix of good and bad, but by the help of God’s grace we are all ‘saints in the making’. St Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians describes the members of the Church as ‘the ones being sanctified’ (In Koine Greek: ‘Hegiasmenois’ [using English letters]). When a person begins to respond to God’s grace, they experience a feeling of discontent with their sins and an intense desire to change for the better. In the Sacrament of Confession we ask the Lord for forgiveness and the grace to uproot the weeds growing in the garden of the soul. Nevertheless, too much introspection and focus upon ourselves can become a selfish thing, an inverted form of pride. We are to bear our brokenness with patience, humility and trust in God. Whatever our sins may be and however many, we are each still capable of showing kindness, compassion, help, forgiveness, mercy and the love of God to others. In doing so, we are planting seeds of wheat in the garden of the soul. If we can occupy ourselves with doing something beautiful for God and for one another, we will discover to our surprise that those weeds have faded away, even more quickly than we could ever have imagined, through the love of God dwelling in us.

Fr Michael Donaghy
Cathedral Chaplain

See also: College of Chaplains

CATHEDRAL CHOIR HOLIDAY

thumbnail image The Cathedral Choir is on holiday from Monday 31st July. 5pm Vespers, the weekday 5.30pm Mass and the Saturday 10.30am Mass will be said. Sunday sung Masses will continue with a cantor. Choral services resume on Thursday 7 September.

See also: Cathedral Music

OREMUS - July/August edition available

thumbnail image The summer edition of Oremus, the Cathedral Magazine, which covers the months of July and August, is now out. Please take a FREE copy, available at the back of the Cathedral. Donations towards the production costs are, as always, most welcome.

The online version will be available here:http://www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/downloads/July17website.pdf

See also: Oremus - The Cathedral Magazine

Related links: Oremus June Edition

THIS WEEK'S DIARY

thumbnail image Sunday 23 July SIXTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
Second Collection: Aid to the Church in Need
12.00 Hinsley Room Nigerian Society
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.30 Hinsley Room Oblates Group
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: David Price (Thailand)
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 24 July
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
12.30 St Pauls Bookshop Daily Meditation (Monday to Friday)
18.30 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group
18.30 Cathedral Guild of the Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday 25 July St James, Apostle
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony

Wednesday 26 July Ss Joachim & Anne, Parents of BVM

Thursday 27 July
10.30 Hinsley Room Art Lesson
18.30 Clergy House (Rm 2) Legion of Mary

Friday 28 July
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness Training and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 29 July St Martha
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Justice & Peace Group

Sunday 30 July SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Joseph Beech (St Paul’s Cathedral)
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

FAREWELL PARTY FOR FR BRIAN O’MAHONY AND FRANCIS THOMAS

thumbnail image There will be an opportunity to say farewell to Fr Brian and Francis (Cathedral Intern) at a parish party on Saturday, 2 September in Cathedral Hall. Further details will follow nearer the event.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

thumbnail image The First Holy Communion course for 2017/2018 begins at the end of September. Forms are available from Sunday, 23 July at the back of the Cathedral and from Clergy House Reception. Completed forms should be submitted to Clergy House Reception for the attention of Fr Michael Quaicoe not later than Friday, 15 September.

UNATTENDED BAGS

thumbnail image Due to heightened security in the Cathedral, please could you ensure that bags and other personal items are not left unattended at any point? Any item left unattended is not only at risk of being stolen, but also raises alarm in these times of concern. From now on, any item left unattended will be taken away by security and could be destroyed.

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 2017.

Related links: Email: Julie Hanssen

CATECHISM – WHAT WE BELIEVE: But if God is love, how can there be a hell?

thumbnail image But if God is love, how can there be a hell?

God does not condemn mankind. Mankind itself refuses God’s merciful love and voluntarily deprives themselves of (eternal) life by excluding themselves from communion with God. God yearns for communion even with the worst sinner; he wants everyone to convert and be saved. Yet God created man to be free and respects his decisions. Even God cannot compel love. As a lover, he is “powerless” when someone chooses hell instead of heaven.

(Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church)

CATHOLIC GRANDPARENTS’ ASSOCIATION

thumbnail image The national Grandparents’ pilgrimage to Salisbury Cathedral will take place on Saturday, 29 July, departing the Cathedral Piazza at 7am. Ticket, £35, includes a one-hour general tour of the Cathedral and Chapter House where the Magna Carta is kept. Additional £5 to go up the tower, which takes 90 minutes and involves 332 steps. Tickets from Chris Ragonton on 07869 131218 or Lolita Botanes on 07424 313384.

AMERICAN FRIENDS

thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non-profit 50 (c)(3) organization (EIN# 13-2983174). They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may also be made through bequests and charitable trusts. Contact Ms Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc, P O Box 92, New York NY 10185-0092, email uchang1@aol.com.

BRUSH UP YOUR PAINTING SKILLS

thumbnail image The next lesson will be on Thursday, 27 July. The Clauzel-B Art School, London will hold classes in watercolour, pastel and drawing from 1.30pm to 3.30pm in the Hinsley Room. The fee will be £10 per person. Please bring your own materials. Contact: email francinegbaker@gmail.com or mobile 07580 179801.

Related links: Email Francine

YOUNG CATHOLIC ADULT WEEKEND AT DOUAI ABBEY

thumbnail image Are you 18-40, do you want to deepen your knowledge of the Catholic faith, learn its devotions and meet like-minded people? Young Catholic Adults are organizing a weekend at Douai Abbey in Berkshire with Lawrence Lew O.P., and Canon Poucin ICKSP from 20-22 October 2017. You will be able to hear catechetical talks, learn how to sing Gregorian chant, say the Rosary, socialize and have fun. Prices start from £18.50. Book soon as places are limited! For more details, see http://www.youngcatholicadults.co.uk/events.htm

Related links: More details on Website

APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEA

thumbnail image The recent collection for the Apostleship of the Sea raised the grand sum of £4,930. Thank you to all our parishioners for their generosity.

CARDINAL HUME CENTRE

thumbnail image Can you help migrant/refugee children with their homework? Help adults learn computer skills? Do you have a CELTA and can teach English? Help raise money in our shop? The Cardinal Hume Centre is seeking volunteers to join the team. Please contact Flora or Emily on volunteering@cardinalhumecentre.org.uk. Learn more at https://www.cardinalhumecentre.org.uk/help-us/volunteering/

Related links: Learn more here

NEW FOUNDATION DEGREE FOR CATHOLICS WORKING IN HEALTHCARE AND THOSE SEEKING TO BE CHAPLAINS.

thumbnail image Starting in October, St Mary’s University Twickenham is pleased to offer a new foundation degree in Healthcare Ethics, Theology and Care. This is a part time two-year programme for those seeking to be hospital chaplains and for people working in healthcare settings, from care homes to hospices and hospitals. Lectures and seminars take place at St Mary’s one evening a week and additional lectures and resources are available online. If you are interested in applying or finding out more please contact matthew.james@stmarys.ac.uk

Related links: Email Matthew James

CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD

thumbnail image This Sunday is the last Children’s Liturgy of the Word for this academic year. We wish all the children and family an enjoyable and safe holiday and take this opportunity to wish adieu to those moving on. We look forward to meeting you all again on Sunday, 24 September. We are recruiting and appeal to anyone in the parish who loves the Gospel and is interested in joining a group of enthusiastic catechists in sharing the Gospel with young people in our parish. The commitment is of one Sunday in every four Please contact the CLW Coordinator, Chi Usanga on chiusanga@yahoo.co.uk or speak to Canon Christopher Tuckwell.

Related links: Email Chi Usanga

CATHOLIC GRANDPARENTS’ ASSOCIATION

thumbnail image The national Grandparents’ pilgrimage to Salisbury Cathedral will take place on Saturday, 29 July, departing the Cathedral Piazza at 7am. Ticket, £35, includes a one-hour general tour of the Cathedral and Chapter House where the Magna Carta is kept. Additional £5 to go up the tower, which takes 90 minutes and involves 332 steps. Tickets from Chris Ragonton on 07869 131218 or Lolita Botanes on 07424 313384.

PILGRIMAGE TO VENETO, ITALY AUTUMN 2017

thumbnail image A five-day pilgrimage to Veneto, Italy is being organised by Pax Travel from 30 September to 5 October this year. This will be based in the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Love in Schio and we will also be visiting the convent and shrine of St Josephine Bakhita. The trip will also include a day trip to Padua to the Basilica of St Anthony. The price is £599 which includes most meals. Contact Pax Travel www.paxtravel.co.uk, telephone 020 7485 3003, or Fr Martin for more details.

Related links: Pax Travel Website

CATHEDRAL KITCHEN

thumbnail image Annette and Charlie Betty have been running the Cathedral Kitchen for the past 20 years, virtually without a break, and it is high time now for them to take a little holiday so the Cathedral Kitchen will be closed from the end of June until 1 September to give them some time for rest and recuperation. Once the Kitchen has reopened, it will not be open on Sundays or Mondays. Any inconvenience caused by this closure is much regretted but I am sure that all the regular customers will agree that Annette and Charlie are due a little time away.