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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Back to Normal?

thumbnail image Last Tuesday, which followed the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we suddenly found ourselves back in Ordinary Time; the Christmas trees were removed from the Cathedral and had probably already disappeared from our homes. The priests’ vestments reverted to green, everything seems less festive.

You may be relieved to be returning to normal, back to work, children back to school and all the rich food and drink put away; but despite all of this we should be careful not to pack the truth of Christmas away along with all of the decorations. The Church invites us in the weeks between now and Lent to keep alive the spirit of adoration and wonder which we learned at Christmas, but the focus is different.

During this period, the liturgy, especially our readings at Mass, invite us to consider the ministry of Jesus, his teaching and miracles, especially as recounted in the Gospel of Mark this year. Jesus asserts his Divinity, not now by the appearance of angels or the star of the Magi, but speaking himself with Divine authority and showing his Divine power through his miracles. St Mark has a crisp, journalistic style, which may help us to place ourselves in the scene, like those who heard Jesus speak and witnessed his miracles; and this may help us to experience the wonder that those people undoubtedly felt.

Of course the public ministry of Jesus, his teaching and his miracles, aren’t just intended to provoke wonder, they also lead us to the central drama of our faith, the death and resurrection of Our Lord. From the beginning of Lent (on 14 February) we will begin to prepare for that in a special way, but even in these weeks between the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday, in our Gospel readings, we can feel the tension begin slowly to build. The crowds start to grow around Jesus and people wonder who this man might be. The demons know who he is and those who are cured by him can’t help but tell everyone and so it becomes increasingly difficult for Jesus to move around and he seeks solace in prayer. His time has not yet come, but it is approaching. At his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus jumps into the waters to save us and it will not be long before we will be marking the Passion that his baptism foreshadows on Good Friday and following Jesus through the waters of our Exodus, singing Alleluia on Easter Sunday.

Fr Andrew Bowden

See also: College of Chaplains

THE FUTURE OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS - VOICE YOUR SUPPORT

thumbnail image Do you support Catholic schools and the right of Catholics to send their children to them? Then we need you to make your voice heard. The Government is making a critical decision on whether to overturn the admissions cap which prevents Catholic schools from allowing all Catholic pupils to attend. They have acknowledged that this policy discriminates against Catholics and promised to abandon it; now we need you to tell them not to u-turn on their promise to Catholics. The cap was introduced in 2010 and states that some new Catholic schools may only contain up to 50% Catholic pupils if they are oversubscribed. Visit http://catholicnews.org.uk/ or search for ‘Catholic Education’ in your search engine to write to the Government and urge them to drop their policy which bans new Catholic schools.

Related links: Link to Website

WESTMINSTER DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES 2018 - HELPING OUR SICK PILGRIMS AS A ST FRAI HOSPITALITE HELPER

thumbnail image If you are over 18, your help would be very much appreciated as a St Frai Helper. Some of our sick pilgrims in most need of support and medical care stay in a hospital-like building called the Accueil St Frai in the centre of Lourdes. It is well equipped for their care and they are looked after by a team of doctors, nurses and volunteer St Frai Helpers.
The role of a St Frai helper is to support the nurses and provide the sort of care for which you don’t need a medical qualification. This includes helping the pilgrims get up and ready in the morning; making large amounts of tea; taking the pilgrims to various pilgrimage events; shopping and socialising with them and other helpers; and putting them to bed at night. The timetable is shared across two shifts so there is enough time to rest, make your own pilgrimage, spend time with your groups and make new friends.
Helping in the St Frai is an extremely moving and rewarding experience. Working there offers an opportunity to give our care and company to our pilgrims and make a huge difference in their lives.
If you are interested in helping in the St Frai in Lourdes, please email chief helper Nick Leonard and team at westminsterstfrai@gmail.com.

Related links: Email for Nick Leonard

FILIPINO CLUB CHARITY TEA DANCE - SUNDAY 18TH FEBRUARY

thumbnail image The Filipino Club at Westminster Cathedral will be holding a Charity Tea Dance on Sunday 18 February in Cathedral Hall between 2 and 6pm. Entrance fee is £5 per person and tickets can be purchased on the door.

JANUARY EDITION OF OREMUS NOW AVAILABLE

thumbnail image The January edition of Oremus, the Cathedral Magazine, 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.

INTERFAITH GROUP - NEXT TALK WEDNESDAY 17TH JANUARY

thumbnail image The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, 17 January from 4-5pm in the Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace. Man Mohan Gupta (MA Oxon) (Vedic) will speak on finding peace within ourselves. All are welcome. Please contact John Woodhouse on 07908 888586 (by text) or on 020 8653 2373.

FRIENDS CURRY AND QUIZ NIGHT - TUESDAY 6TH FEBRUARY

thumbnail image The next Friends event will be the Curry and Quiz Night on the 6 February. Tickets are £18 with a maximum table size of eight people. Tickets available from Clergy House Reception or friends@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Email for Tickets

CHILDREN’S LITURGY 2018

thumbnail image Due to a lack of resources our 9am Childrens Liturgy is not running this term. However, we are seeking new volunteers for this important ministry in our parish so that we can restart in January 2018. If you are interested in either leading or helping supervise children at the 9am Mass every few weeks, then please contact Fr Julio or Fr Andrew G for more details.

WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL YOUNG ADULTS

thumbnail image The Westminster Cathedral Young Adults group meets every Sunday following the 7.00pm Mass. We gather outside the main doors of the Cathedral after Mass (at the bottom of the steps, on the Piazza) and generally go to The Windsor Castle for a little socialising. We attempt to create a sense of community amongst young Catholic adults who come to London from all parts of the globe. All are welcome. For further details email westminsteryoungadults@gmail.com

Related links: Email Westminster Cathedral Young Adults

AMERICAN FRIENDS

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

EXPOSITION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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