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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Lenten Prayer and Fasting

thumbnail image After his baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, where He prayed and fasted for 40 days and nights. Likewise, during Lent we practice prayer, fasting and acts of penance so as to become closer to God. It is part of the Divine plan to make us perfect through trials and suffering; only by carrying the Cross can we reach the Resurrection. It was this part of our Blessed Lord’s mission that the devil attacked. The three temptations in the desert were meant to divert Jesus from His task of salvation through sacrifice, to turn Him away from the Cross.

The first temptation was to turn stones into bread, to pander selfishly to His own needs. Why face the pain of fasting when all you need to do to win followers is create economic and social reform? You can easily win followers by making people richer, why bother dying to make them holier? Jesus rejects this temptation and says, “Man does not live on bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.

The second temptation was to gain followers by giving a mighty display of His power, to become a ‘celebrity’! Throw yourself off the pinnacle of the Temple and let the angels catch you to protect you from harm! It was the temptation to run away from His responsibility as the Messiah to redeem us by means of the Cross, to take the easy way out rather than follow the right path. This temptation is repeated in the gospels when people demand a sign to make it easy for them to believe. Jesus replied the only sign they would be given is the sign of Jonah, the sign of someone rising up from below (the resurrection), not an egotistical display or mere magic trick to appease a crowd.

The third temptation took place on a mountaintop. Jesus could rule the world by simply embracing earthly power and its methods of control and domination. Power would have given Jesus earthly followers and nothing more, we would have remained lost souls, but Jesus came to redeem us from sin that we might have fullness of life with God.

Prayer, contemplation and fasting enabled Jesus to recognise and choose the right path in His life. We must do likewise this Lent so as to recognise the Will of God for us and to be able to reject what is temptation in our lives.

Fr Michael Donaghy

See also: College of Chaplains

THIS WEEK'S DIARY

thumbnail image Friday 16 February
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness Training and Coffee Morning
15.00 Cathedral Deaf Service Stations of the Cross
18.30 Cathedral Stations of the Cross
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 17 February
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
15.00 Cathedral Rite of Election I
18.00 Cathedral Visiting Choir: Amici Coro

Sunday 18 February FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
09.30 Cathedral Hall SVP Book Sale
12.00 Hinsley Room Catholic Grandparents’ Association
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.00 Cathedral Hall Filipino Club Tea Dance
15.00 Cathedral Rite of Election II (No Vespers & Benediction)
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Jonathan Allsopp, Westminster
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 19 February
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
18.30 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group
18.30 Cathedral Guild of the Blessed Sacrament
19.00 Clergy House Rm 2 Studying the Catechism Together

Tuesday 20 February
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony

Wednesday 21 February

Thursday 22 February THE CHAIR OF ST PETER, APOSTLE
18.30 Clergy House Rm 2 Legion of Mary

Friday 23 February St Polycarp, Bishop & Martyr
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness Training and Coffee Morning
15.00 Cathedral Deaf Service Stations of the Cross
18.30 Cathedral Stations of the Cross
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 24 February
CAFOD collection at 6pm Mass
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Justice & Peace Group
14.30 Cathedral Traveller Community Mass: Bp McAleenan

Sunday 25 February SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
CAFOD collection at all Masses
09.30 Cathedral Hall SVP Book Sale
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: Martin Baker,
Westminster Cathedral
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

LENT 2018: STATIONS OF THE CROSS

thumbnail image You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made. You overlook peoples sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God.
(Entrance Antiphon, Wis 11:24,25,27, Ash Wednesday Year A,B,C)

Stations of the Cross will begin this Friday 16th February after the 17:30 Mass. This will occur each week during Lent up until and including Good Friday on Friday 30th March, when the Stations will take place after the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion at 3pm.

The Cathedral Administrator and College of Chaplains would like to wish all of our parishioners and visitors a blessed and fruitful Lent.

ST JOHN PASSION BY J S BACH - PERFORMED BY WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL CHOIR ON WEDNESDAY 21ST MARCH - TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!

thumbnail image A performance of this work will take place on Wednesday, 21 March at 7.30pm (doors open at 6:30pm) in the Cathedral. It will be performed by the Westminster Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra, with Martin Baker (Conductor), James Gilchrist (Evangelist) and David Shipley (Christus). Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.com, or 0844 844 0444 or in person at the Cathedral Gift Shop, priced at £40, £35, £30, £20, and £15.

Related links: Link to Ticketmaster

MOTHERS AND BABIES GROUP - STARTS THURSDAY 1ST MARCH

thumbnail image On Thursday, 1 March we will be launching a weekly Mothers and Babies Group for the Westminster Cathedral community. We will come together every Thursday morning from 10am to midday, for coffee, chat and catechism, with a topical reflection from Fr Martin Plunkett leading to group discussion. The sessions will be a chance to get to know other mothers within our parish, and to support each other on the journey of Catholic family life. Everyone welcome with babies and toddlers. Please contact Alexandra Watson ahead of the first session, so we have an idea of numbers: aphilpotts@cantab.net or telephone 07789 656433.

Related links: Email for Alexandra Watson

THE PASSAGE - FUNDRAISING CONCERT ON ST DAVID'S DAY THURSDAY 1ST MARCH AT 19:30

thumbnail image We are holding a St Davids Day Concert in aid of The Passage at Methodist Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, Westminster, SW1H 9NH on Thursday, 1 March at 7.30pm with the London Welsh Male Voice Choir and soloists Rebecca Evans and Gary Griffiths. The concert will be presented by the comedian Andy Hamilton. Tickets are £20. For full details and booking please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/st-davids-day-concert-in-aid-of-the-passage-tickets-41285403754. Telephone 02075921856 or email: andrew.h@passage.org.uk.

Related links: Link for Tickets Email Contact

MASS FOR BEREAVED PARENTS - SATURDAY 10TH MARCH AT 2:30PM

thumbnail image On Saturday, 10 March in Westminster Cathedral at 2.30pm there will be a Mass celebrated by Bishop Paul McAleenan to pray with those who have lost children. During this Mass parents and loved ones will be invited to write the names of their deceased children and bring them forward to be attached to specially placed trees which will remain for the Mass and then be taken to the Holy Souls Chapel. All are welcome to attend.

A CALL TO YOUNG ADULTS - YOUR BISHOPS WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

thumbnail image Cardinal Vincent and the auxiliary bishops of the diocese are inviting Catholic young adults, aged 18 to 30, to meet with them to discuss the theme of the next Synod of Bishops: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. In particular, they would like to hear about how you see your place in the world, how faith impacts your life and how the Church can best accompany you as you work out Gods plan for your life. The Cardinal is hosting two meetings at Archbishops House in Victoria and the auxiliary bishops are hosting meetings across the diocese. You are invited to attend one of these meetings. They will involve discussion of the synod theme, an opportunity to question your bishops, and light refreshments. Please do consider making your voice heard and playing your part in the shaping the Churchs approach to young people in the future. If you would like to attend, please register at http://dowym.com/events/ where you can find details of all events.

Related links: Link for Registration

SVP BOOK SALE - SUNDAY 25TH FEBRUARY

thumbnail image The first SVP book sale of the year will take place in the Cathedral Hall on Sunday, 25 February from 9.30am-1.30 pm. As always, we would be pleased to accept donations of new and fairly new paperbacks – but no hardback fiction please – and of CDs and DVDs. Religious books will be particularly welcome. These can be left at Clergy House in the week before the sale or contact John Mole on 07796 173343 or Sharon Joseph on 07814 51099) to arrange for the collection of larger quantities.

LONDON EVENINGS OF FAITH

thumbnail image This spring there will be a series of talks on Tuesday evenings on the Catholic faith in our modern scientific world. These will take place at 7pm in the Challoner Room, Basement, 24 Golden Square, London W1F 9JR (back of Warwick Street Church), including wine and cheese. The theme of the talks is The spirit of Vatican II.
30 January: Dei verbum: Revelation in a scientific world - Dr Gregory Farrelly
13 February The Eucharist: Source and summit of our lives - Fr Matthew O Gorman
27 February Humanae Vitae: The purpose of marriage and sex - Mr Ryan Day
13 March: Lumen Gentium: The nature of the Church today - Fr Timothy Finigan.
See website for further details http://www.faith.org.uk/events/evenings-of-faith.

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

ST PATRICK'S NIGHT CELEBRATION SATURDAY 17TH MARCH AT 6:30PM

thumbnail image Saturday, 17 March: St Patrick's Night celebration in Cathedral Hall at 6.30pm, with live music, Irish stew and alternatives, and various entertainments. Come and support the Cathedral and celebrate one of the nation's favourite saints. This event sold out last year, so please do book early to guarantee a table seat. Tickets £25, available from Clergy House Reception. For further details please telephone The Friends Office on 020 7798 9059.

Related links: Email for Christina White

ROSARY ON THE COAST FOR FAITH, LIFE AND PEACE IN THE BRITISH ISLES - SUNDAY 29TH APRIL

thumbnail image Rosary on the Coast is an initiative of the Lay Faithful across the British Isles inviting the faithful of our nations, with the support of our clergy and Bishops, to a Day of Prayer on Sunday, 29 April at 3pm,for Faith, Life and Peace. The Rectors of our two National Marian Shrines (Walsingham & Our Lady of the Taper) in England and Wales have given Rosary on the Coast their full backing and encouragement. The Facebook page is live as is the website. For further information see the website https://www.rosaryonthecoast.co.uk/, and https://facebook.com/rosaryonthecoast/. The video link can be found at https://youtu.be/nSEyyld-Qt0

Related links: Rosary on the Coast Website Facebook Page Youtube video

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.