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THIS MONTH'S MESSAGE: TWO MARTYRS WITNESS TO THE VALUE OF LIFE

thumbnail image The month of August is perhaps liturgically unusual in focusing our attention on events within living memory, at least for those in their late 70s or older. We keep the feast days of two Second World War martyrs, the Carmelite nun St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) and the Franciscan priest St Maximilian Mary Kolbe, both of whom died at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. St Teresa Benedicta was, of course, Jewish by birth and a considerable intellectual. What is so noticeable in her case was the awareness that her profession of Christian faith could in no way be disentangled from her cultural and religious background. Thus in 1933 she wrote to Pope Pius XI: ‘As a child of the Jewish people who, by the grace of God, for the past 11 years has also been a child of the Catholic Church …’. That ‘has also been’ surely underlies her refusal of assistance at Auschwitz from a sympathetic official in 1942 to assist her escape. ‘If somebody intervened at this point’, she said, ‘and took away my chance to share in the fate of my brothers and sisters, that would be utter annihilation.’ So she teaches us both of our responsibility to look beyond our self-interest and of the deepest levels of connection which bind us all together as children of God, whatever our differences may be.
St Maximilian’s case is slightly different, in that he offered his life in exchange for that of a man selected for death in a punishment group, who had expressed his fear of dying and so losing his wife and children. The saint’s offer being accepted, he survived as the last of the group, until after two weeks of starvation he was given a lethal injection. But was he a martyr? Certainly he gave his own life as a witness to the value and dignity of each individual human life, and Pope St Paul VI named him a ‘martyr of heroic charity’. Pope St John Paul II reconsidered the case and concluded that the Nazis’ hatred of whole sections of humanity constituted a rejection of Christian faith also, making St Maximilian a martyr in the fullest sense. The circumstances of the Second World War, unsurprisingly, brought forth extraordinary acts of courage, and these martyrs received the grace to show how each one of us has to be valued as part of the beauty of God’s creation.
May this month of August help your recreation as a a gift of God in his Church.

Fr John Scott

THIS MONTH'S DIARY:

thumbnail image The Cathedral is open from 7.30am until after the evening Mass each day.
* Live streamed via the Cathedral website, and sung.

Monday to Friday
Morning Prayer: 7.35am
Mass: 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30 and 5.30pm
Confessions: 12-12.30pm, 5-5.30pm

Saturday
Morning Prayer: 7.35am, Sung Vespers (English) 5.30pm *
Mass: 8 and 10.30am (Latin), 12.30 and Vigil 6pm *
Confessions: 12-12.30pm, 5.45-6.15pm

Sunday
Sung Morning Prayer (English) 9.30am *, Solemn Vespers (English) and Benediction * 4pm
Mass: 8 and 10am*, 12 noon (Solemn, Cantor)*, 5.30* and 7pm
Confessions: 11.30am-12 noon, 5.15-5.45pm

Sunday 1 August 18th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Friday 6 August THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD (Friday abstinence)

Sunday 8 August 19th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Monday 9 August St TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS, Virgin & Martyr,

Tuesday 10 August St LAURENCE, Deacon & Martyr

Thursday 12 August Feria
10.30am Funeral Mass: John Stacey RIP

Saturday 14 August St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest & Martyr
2.30pm High Mass of the Vigil of the Assumption (Latin Mass Society)

Sunday 15 August THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Monday 16 August Feria
10.30am Funeral Mass: Cindy Lee RIP

Friday 20 August St Bernard, Abbot & Doctor
10.30am Funeral Mass: Susan McGee RIP

Sunday 22 August 21st SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Tuesday 24 August St BARTHOLOMEW, Apostle

Sunday 29 August 22nd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME


SACRED HEART CHURCH, HORSEFERRY ROAD
The church hosts a Mass for the Croatian Chaplaincy at 4pm on Sundays.

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

NEW COVID-19 GUIDELINES

thumbnail image From Monday 19 July many of the current restrictions will be lifted in the Cathedral in line with the new guidance from the Bishops' Conference. This brings an end to the official social distancing arrangements and so the chairs will be returned to their normal positions. Congregational singing will be allowed again and this will bring back the return of public Morning Prayer and Saturday evening sung Vespers. The collection will also now return to its traditional position during Mass. Confessions will resume in the Confessional Boxes at the entrance of the Lady Chapel. Timings for all services and confessions are available on the parish website and on notices around the Cathedral.

We are aware that some of us may still be anxious about coming into public buildings. Therefore, we encourage the following:

That face coverings continue to be worn when in the Cathedral at Mass and busy services, unless you are exempt.
That you sanitise your hands on entering the Cathedral.
That, where possible, you try to leave two seats between you and other people not known to you.
We also ask that you do not come into the Cathedral if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or have been asked to self-isolate having come into contact with someone with the virus.

MASS INTENTIONS AVAILABLE

thumbnail image If you would like to have Mass offered for a particular intention please visit, call or email Clergy House Reception. There are a number of Masses available for your intentions in the coming weeks. Intentions are published on the parish noticeboard by the main doors of the Cathedral.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CATHOLIC?

thumbnail image For those who are interested in becoming a Catholic or wish to explore the Catholic faith the RCIA course will commence in September. For further information please contact Fr Vincent Mbui at vincentmbui@rcdow.org.uk.

CLERGY FAREWELL

thumbnail image As you know, we will be saying farewell to Fr Andrew Gallagher in August. As it will not be possible to have a parish farewell, cards and gifts for him can be left at Clergy House Reception or posted to 42 Francis Street, London SW1P 1QW. His last Mass will be on Sunday, 29 August at 12 noon and he will be available on the steps after that and every other Mass over that weekend.

YOUNG CHRISTIAN CLIMATE NETWORK WALK

thumbnail image The YCCN walk reaches London in August. This is a group of Young Christians walking from G7 to COP26 in Glasgow.

Wednesday 4th August - Walkers arrive in Clapham from Twickenham, hosted by St Paul’s Clapham
SW4 0DZ.

Thursday 5th August - Walk from St Paul’s Clapham to St Paul’s Cathedral via Lambeth Palace for
refreshments. Christian Aid will then be hosting an event on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral with a YCCN Relay photo call at 2pm.

Friday 6th August -
Lunch and blessing at Farm Street Church W1K 3AH.
2pm walk from Farm Street Church to Westminster Cathedral. Prayer Service for the Climate 3:30pm – 4.00pm
Supper, Chat and Prayer 6:00 -8:00pm St Andrew’s Church, Short Street, SE1 8LJ.

Sunday 8th August
St Martin-In-The-Fields WC2N 4JJ will be hosting a climate service in the morning - timing tbc
St James, Piccadilly W1J 9LL is hosting a picnic.

Monday 9th August
All Hallows By The Tower EC3R 5BJ will be hosting a breakfast / prayer sending off event. 9 – 10 AM
Walkers will then walk to Muswell Hill, where we are having a final London event at St James Muswell Hill N10 3DB, roughly 6pm.

Tuesday 10th August Walk from Muswell Hill to Borehamwood

THE JULY / AUGUST EDITION OF OREMUS MAGAZINE

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

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.

CAFOD

thumbnail image Schools volunteers needed
Looking for a new challenge? Could you visit schools in your local area to deliver assemblies and workshops about CAFOD’s work and encourage young people to take action, fundraise and pray with CAFOD? No experience necessary. Full support, resources and regular training provided. We are especially in need of volunteers happy to visit schools in Hertfordshire, Ealing, Brent, Hounslow and Camden.

School Volunteer Co-ordinator needed (volunteer position)
CAFOD Westminster is looking for a well-organised and friendly person to help co-ordinate its school visits programme from September. This role would suit someone who is comfortable speaking to other volunteers and schools and also in using spreadsheets and databases.
If you are interested in either of these volunteer roles, please contact Chris Driscoll at westminsterschools@cafod.org.uk or call 07776 493162.