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CARDINAL'S MESSAGE: Day for Life 2018: Human Trafficking

thumbnail image Human trafficking has been described by Pope Francis as an open wound on the body of humanity. Since we are all part of that humanity, human trafficking defaces us all. He goes on to say that it is a wound in the Body of Christ in which we share. Our faith teaches us to see the face of Jesus in those who are most vulnerable and needy. These are the reasons why today, on this Day for Life, we focus on the eradication of human trafficking. What exactly is it? Here is a description:

‘Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of individuals for the purpose of exploitation, through the use of violence, force, fraud, coercion, or deception, or through the abuse of power, position or trust. People may be trafficked for any number of exploitative activities, such as domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging or criminality, forced marriage, and forced organ removal.’

This criminal activity is widespread and well-organised in the world today. Estimates are of over 40 million victims, trafficked out of every country and trafficked into every country, including our own. English victims of trafficking include many youngsters caught up in gang crime in our cities. Victims held in this country come from over 80 different homelands and are caught up in invisible crime in our midst, on our streets, in businesses and shops.

As a Church we have a great part to play. Our contacts are widespread, not least among the ethnic communities with their chaplains. We can all learn to recognise the signs of a victim; we can be important eyes and ears.

One of our responses to this tragedy, here in the Diocese, is Bakhita House, a house of welcome and healing for these victims. It is supported by Caritas Westminster, by many religious congregations and by many generous donors. In the past three years it has welcomed and assisted over 80 guests, all women rescued from modern slavery. There are also five babies in this great extended family!

These are some of the words written by one guest: When we didn’t have any hope and reason to live we came to this house and here we got our new family....We aren’t born in the same families but my friends, who are living in this house, we have the same pain in our hearts and souls but with your help every member of Bakhita House is doing their best to relieve our pains. One thing we can do for you is to pray for you in our languages and by our religions, to ask God for your strength, health and patience to have a long life. God bless you for all the kind works you have done!

Please do learn more about modern slavery. Please do support this work in whatever way you can. Please do pray for its victims, held without any apparent hope, exploited every moment of the day, clinging on to life. Please do pray for all those who work hard to bring this criminal activity to an end.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster

See also: College of Chaplains


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


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!


thumbnail image This year’s Grand Organ Festival continues on Wednesday, 20 June at 7.30pm in Westminster Cathedral with a performance by Daniel Roth of Saint-Sulpice, Paris. He will be playing pieces by Roth, Bach, Franck, Widor, Dupré and Reubke. Tickets £12, concession £10, and a Season Ticket giving admittance to all seven concerts is £70, concession £60. Tickets are available on the door (cash only). For further information contact musicadmin@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Grand Organ Festival 2018 Brochure Email for Music Department


thumbnail image The Cardinal invites young adults, aged 18 to 30, to join him at Archbishop's House for a meeting on 19 June, at 6.30pm to explore the theme of vocation, with an opportunity for prayer, input, discussion and question and answer. All are welcome to attend. More details can be found on the youth section of the diocesan website (www.dowym.com). If you would like to come along, please let us know by sending a quick email to youth@rcdow.org.uk.

Related links: Youth Section of Diocesan Website Email for Registration


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


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


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


thumbnail image On Wednesday, 20 June from 4 to 5pm, Jeremy Rodell from the British Humanist Association will be talking to the Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group in the Hinsley Room, Morpeth Terrace. His subject is Pope Francis’ encyclical The Joy of Love. All are welcome.


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.


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


thumbnail image The last of a series of talks to make sense of the Catholic faith in our modern scientific world.

Tuesday, 19 June: Truth and tolerance: a reply to relativism, Fr Ross Campbell.

This will be held at 7pm in the Challoner Room, Basement, 24 Golden Square, London W1F 9JR (back of Warwick Street Church). Nearest tube: Piccadilly Refreshments: wine and cheese served.


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.


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


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.


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


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