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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Of those born of women, none is greater

thumbnail image St John the Baptist is the only person, apart from our Blessed Lord himself, whose birth is celebrated by a Solemnity in the Roman Calendar. John’s birthday is marked by the Church throughout the world on 24th June every year; six months before we celebrate the birth of Our Blessed Lord at Christmas on 25th December. The two birthdays coincide with two solstices, occurring annually, around about the 21st June and 21st December, which determine the changing seasons of the year. We celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas, which coincides with the winter solstice, when the daylight hours begin to lengthen once again, reminding us that Jesus is ‘The Light of the World’. In contrast, the birth of John the Baptist is celebrated just after the summer solstice, when the daylight hours begin to decrease, reminding us of John the Baptist’s remark about Jesus that: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’.

The joy and importance of John the Baptist’s birthday, is revealed by the Hebrew translation of his name, ‘Yeho-hanan’, which means ‘the Lord is gracious.’ Indeed, John’s birth revealed God’s favour and blessing, not just to the childless couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, but to the whole human race, desperate for God’s help. In the period long before John the Baptist appeared preaching a message of repentance and spiritual renewal, there had been no prophetic voice heard in Israel for about 400 years. Then came John the Baptist, the last and greatest prophet, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ, the Anointed One of God. On his birthday, the Church honours the Baptist as the precursor of the Messiah and the herald of God’s graciousness, which came to fallen humanity through Jesus Christ, filled with grace and truth.

The purpose of John the Baptist’s life and God’s purpose for each of us is to point out our Redeemer, to lead others to know and love Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by all that we say and do; by the very way we live our lives and share our faith with one another. Just like Saint John the Baptist, we can tell our friends and neighbours about the graciousness, favour and redemptive love of God.

Fr Michael Donaghy

See also: College of Chaplains

THIS WEEK'S DIARY

thumbnail image Friday 22 June Ss John Fisher, Bishop & Thomas More, Martyrs
7, 8, 10.30am Masses in St George’s Chapel
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Vaughan House Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 23 June
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
12.30 Cathedral Diaconate Ordination Mass (Cardinal Nichols)
18.0 Cathedral Visiting Choir: Worth Abbey Consort

Sunday 24 June THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
09.00 Cathedral Hall SVP Book Sale
12.00 Hinsley Room Nigerian Catholic Association
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.30 Hinsley Room Oblates Group
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Karen Christianson, Durham
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 25 June
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
18.30 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group
18.30 Cathedral Guild of the Blessed Sacrament

Tuesday 26 June
17.30 Cathedral Vigil Mass
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony
18.30 Cathedral Hall Quiz Night with Fish and Chip Supper

Wednesday 27 June ST JOHN SOUTHWORTH, Priest & Martyr
17.00 Cathedral Vespers around the Relics
18.30 for 19.00 Cathedral Hall Friends’ Event with Lady Antonia Fraser
Thursday 28 June St Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr
10.00 Hinsley Room Mother & Toddler Group
14.00 Cathedral Padre Pio Prayer Group
17.30 Cathedral Vigil Mass – fulfils Obligation
18.30 Clergy House Rm 2 Legion of Mary

Friday 29 June Ss PETER & PAUL, Apostles
Holy Day of Obligation
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
10.30 Cathedral SVP School attends Mass (English)
13.05 Cathedral Deaf Service attends Mass
19.00 Vaughan House Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 30 June First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church
10.00 Hinsley R oom Centering Prayer Group
10.30 Cathedral Priesthood Ordination Mass (Cardinal Nichols)
(12.30pm Mass cancelled)
14.00 Hinsley Room Justice & Peace Group
18.00 Cathedral Bode Choir sings at Mass

Sunday 1 July DEDICATION OF THE CATHEDRAL (1910)
Second Collection: Peter’s Pence
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
13.00 Hinsley Room Filipino Club
16.30 Cathedral Hall Deaf Service Mass
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Peter Stevens (Westminster Cathedral)
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

JOINERS AND LEAVERS

thumbnail image The Administrator, Canon Tuckwell, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new priests to the Cathedral: Fr Daniel Humphreys, who will take over as Sub-Administrator, and Rev Rajiv Michael who is to be ordained on 30 June. Fr Martin Plunkett will be leaving us to take over as Parish Priest at St Thomas More, Eastcote. There will be an opportunity to say goodbye to Fr Martin before he takes up his new duties in September. We wish them all well in their new postings.

FORTHCOMING FRIENDS' EVENTS

thumbnail image **Please note that the Friends Summer Party on Thursday, 21 June has been cancelled.**

Tickets for events are available from the Friends’ Office, 42 Francis Street, SW1, telephone 020 7798 9059 or email: friends@rcdow.org.uk.

Tuesday 26th June: The next quiz with fish and chip supper will be held on Tuesday, 26 June starting at 6.30pm in Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue. Tickets £15 each.

Wednesday, 27 June: Lady Antonia Fraser in conversation with Professor Andrew Sanders. The event will start at 7pm in Cathedral Hall with doors open at 6.30pm. Glass of wine and book signing to follow. Tickets are £10 available from Clergy House Reception or call 020 7798 9059. There will also be tickets available on the evening.

Thursday, 5 July: We are delighted to welcome Alison Weir back to the Cathedral Hall for her talk on Jane Seymour. Doors open at 6.30pm and the event starts at 7.15pm with a glass of wine and book signing to follow. Tickets are £10 available from Clergy House Reception or call 020 7798 9059. There will also be tickets available on the evening.

The Friends audited accounts show a profit for the Christmas Fair 2017 of £7234. Thank you to all those who turned out in the snow to support the Cathedral on a very difficult day. We are grateful to everyone who helped. If you would like to help at the Christmas Fair 2018, please hand in your details to Clergy House Reception. We really do need able-bodied people to help lug boxes of goods around. It is hard work but it is in aid of the Cathedral. More hands make light work!

Related links: Email for Friends Office

MARY’S MEALS - DONATION OF CLOTHES ON SUNDAY 24TH JUNE

thumbnail image Vans from Mary’s Meals will be collecting bags of unwanted clothing and bedding (no duvets or pillows please) by Cathedral Hall and on the Piazza on Sunday, 24 June from 8am to 1pm. Bags can be delivered to Clergy House Reception on Saturday, 23 June from 10am to 6.30pm. Mary’s Meals feeds children one good meal every day at school in over 15 countries. Because of their low costs they can do this for as little as £1.90 per child per year!

NEXT QUIZ NIGHT HOSTED BY THE FRIENDS: TUESDAY 26TH JUNE

thumbnail image The next quiz with fish and chip supper will be held on Tuesday, 26 June starting at 6.30pm in Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue. Tickets £15 each available from the Friends’ Office, 42 Francis Street, SW1, telephone 020 7798 9059 or email: friends@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Email for Tickets

MOTHERS AND TODDLERS GROUP

thumbnail image 10am-midday, every Thursday during term-time.

Our group comes together every Thursday morning for coffee, chat and catechism. Fr Martin Plunkett offers a topical reflection leading to group discussion. He also brings his guitar and the toddlers enjoy singing and dancing together! The sessions offer a chance to get to know other mothers within our parish, to support each other on the journey of Catholic family life. Everyone welcome with babies and toddlers. Please contact Alexandra Watson for further information, or just turn up at the Hinsley Room at 10am on Thursday. Email aphilpotts@cantab.net or 07789 656433.

Related links: Email for Alexandra Watson

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

SVP SUMMER BOOK SALE - SUNDAY 24TH JUNE

thumbnail image The next SVP book sale will take place in Cathedral Hall on Sunday, 24 June from 9.30am–1.30pm. We are looking to reduce our stock before the autumn, so there will be lots of bargains to be had. As always, we would be pleased to accept donations of new and fairly new paperbacks, (no hardback fiction please) and of CDs and DVDs. Religious books will be particularly welcome, as will classical music CDs. These can be left at Clergy House in the week before the sale or contact Sharon Joseph on 07814 510991 to arrange for the collection of larger quantities.

CATHEDRAL SUMMER FAIR - SATURDAY 28TH JULY

thumbnail image Fair will be held on Saturday, 28 July in Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, from 11am to 4pm. Delicious food will be available from our Nigerian and Filipino communities as well as home-made cakes, jams and a Pimms stall. There will be stalls selling gift items, jewellery, toys, bric a brac, CDs books, videos etc., with music and dancing displays by members of our Filipino Club.
Please help by contributing unwanted gift items, bottles for the tombola and the Pimms stall, and by coming along and spending money on the day. Raffle tickets are now available at £1 each or £5 for a book with great prizes including meals in local restaurants. Donations may be left at Clergy House. If you wish to be involved by helping on the day or by donating, please contact Mary Maxwell on 020 7798 9181 or marym@rcdow.org.uk

Related links: Email for Mary Maxwell

FILIPINO CLUB CHARITY TEA DANCE - SUNDAY 21ST JULY

thumbnail image The Filipino Club are holding a Charity Tea Dance on Sunday, 21 July in Cathedral Hall from 2-6pm. There will be an afternoon of dancing, with tea, sandwiches, cake and a Grand Raffle of fabulous prizes. Raffle tickets £1 each. Entrance fee is £15 and tickets are available at the door.

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

WESTMINSTER DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO WALSINGHAM

thumbnail image This will take place on Saturday, 22 September and will be led by Cardinal Vincent and the Auxiliary Bishops. The coach will depart at 6.30am prompt from Ambrosden Avenue. Tickets are £10 for under 16s and £20 for adults. To book please leave an envelope with your name(s), telephone number and the correct amount in Clergy House Reception.

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.