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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Full, conscious and active participation

thumbnail image Gaudete! This Latin word comes from this week’s entrance antiphon and means Rejoice! It expresses the joyful character of the whole season of Advent. The imperative is not only a very bold exhortation, assertion; but it is an invitation to you and me who live in an already troubled world that causes pain, fear, depression, anxiety and sadness. But, who is the source of this joy? The Church strongly affirms it is the person of Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man, and reveals to us the love of God the Father.

Where do we encounter the love of Jesus Christ? Principally in the sacraments. However, the sacraments will not come alive until The Sacrament is alive; notice the singular form of this word and the capital. The Sacrament is the Church. It is important to remember that the Second Vatican Council explains the meaning of the Church, as The Sacrament, as a sign and instrument of the grace which unites men supernaturally to God and one another. Then, the seven sacraments flow from the one Sacrament, the Church. For any particular celebration of the sacraments, the Church is that body of believers gathered together for the celebration. The extent to which that body of believers has not come alive in being Church limits the possibility of that particular celebration being alive. In other words, if we as members of the Church are not conscious of our role and participation in that particular celebration, we would not be able to reap the fruits that the given celebration is meant to grant us. This consciousness requires from each one of us a degree of faith and trust, a desire to touch Jesus and/or to allow ourselves to be touched and transformed by him.

The seven sacraments are an action of Christ in and through the Church and for this it is necessary for our full, conscious and active participation in the liturgical celebrations, be it Baptism, Confession, Confirmation, the Mass etc. For instance, before baptism it is important that the candidate or his/her parents, if still a minor, rejects sin and professes the faith, consciously and fully. This attitude to reject what separates us from the love of God and his will is an ongoing one that needs to take in practical terms as the people in today’s Gospel react to the preaching of John: What must we do?

Fr Julio Albornoz

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image Friday 14 December St John of the Cross, Priest & Doctor of
the Church
9.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 15 December
Second Collection at 6pm Mass: Christmas Flowers
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group

Second Collection: Christmas Flowers
12.00 Hinsley Room Catholic Grandparents’ Association
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Filipino Club
15.00 Cathedral Hall Caritas Deaf Service Children’s Mass
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Michael Butterfield, Kings’ College,
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 17 December
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 18 December
17.30 Cathedral Diocesan Staff Mass: Cardinal Nichols
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony

Wednesday 19 December
7, 8, 10.30 Masses in Lady Chapel
12.30, 1.05 and 17.30 Masses in Cathedral Hall
16.00 Hinsley Room Interfaith Group
19.30 Cathedral Christmas Celebration

Thursday 20 December
7, 8, 10.30 Masses in Lady Chapel
12.30, 1.05 and 17.30 Masses in Cathedral Hall
18.30 Clergy House Rm 2 Legion of Mary
19.30 Cathedral Christmas Celebration

Friday 21 December
9.30 Hinsley Room Fitness and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 22 December
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group
12.00 Cathedral Hall Simbang Gabi: Filipino Club

12.00 Hinsley Room Nigerian Catholic Association
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.30 Hinsley Room Oblates Group
15.30 Cathedral Parish Christmas Carol Service
16.45 Cathedral Organ Recital: Ben Bloor, London Oratory
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group


thumbnail image Please note this group has stopped for the time being and will resume on Thursday, 10th January at 10am in the Hinsley Room.

Related links: Email for Alexandra Watson


thumbnail image The Filipino Club at Westminster Cathedral cordially invites you to the celebration of their traditional Simbang Gabi (night Mass) at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, 22nd December at the 6pm Mass. After the Mass all are welcome in Cathedral Hall for light refreshments.


thumbnail image Winners of the Cathedral Christmas Fair Raffle:
£500 Voucher for Pax Travel Pilgrimage: Ticket no: 04400 - Leni Ehrenberg
Christmas Hamper: Ticket No: 02234 - F Butlin
A Sisley Gift Set: Ticket no 00268: Linda Chin c/o The Filipino Club
Gift set of books by Alison Weir: Ticket no: 00954 - Edward Gill
Tin of Quality Street: Ticket no: 00010 - Asuncion Perkins
Bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream: Ticket no: 03094 - Sr Joan from St Vincent's Centre
Tea for two at St Ermin's with unlimited Prosecco: Ticket no: 00446 - Cecille Tabios
A voucher for ten people at L'Occitane: Ticket no 03446 - Barry Gower. This prize has been generously gifted to The Catholic Grandparents' Association
A Christmas Penguin: Ticket no: 00483 - Bella Cochran c/o The Filipino Club
A homemade Christmas Cake: Ticket no: 03272 - Anne-Marie McCarthy-Clegg (This prize has been collected)
A £50 voucher for Gustoso: Ticket no: 02228 - F Butlin
A litre of Bells Whisky: Ticket no: 03097 - Barry Lock (This prize has been collected)
A bottle of champagne: Ticket no: 05587 - Leona Gaine
Please collect your prizes from Clergy House Reception by 10 January 2019 at the latest. If prizes are not collected before this date they will be redistributed.

The Friends of Westminster Cathedral would like to thank everyone who gave donations, those who helped set up on the Saturday, those who worked so hard on the Sunday, and to all parishioners and visitors who came and supported the fair. We would like to pay special thanks to The Filipino Club and to The Catholic Grandparents' Association who gave of their time with such generosity. Thank you all. At the time of printing monies are still coming in but we believe that we have made in excess of £7000 for Westminster Cathedral. A final figure will be in the Friends' audited accounts in 2019 and will be printed in the newsletter.

A lady at the fair left a bag of goods, which she had purchased, with the bric-à-brac stall. This included a multi-coloured shawl from the new gifts stall, and other items. Please do collect from Clergy House. We don't have your name but we will remember your face. The bag is in the Friends' Office for safe-keeping.


thumbnail image The SVP are distributing 11,500 Vinnie Packs containing cold weather essentials to the homeless and those spending the principal part of their day on the streets. Each pack contains thermal gloves, two pairs of socks, gloves, wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, information sheet and pen. Please could you consider sponsoring packs at a suggested donation of £3.50 per pack. Donations can be sent to Vinnie Packs, PO Box 72264, London SW1P 9EZ with cheques made out to SVP. Thank you so much for your support.


thumbnail image New Christmas Cribs are now in stock at the Cathedral Gift Shop; please be sure to visit and check them out.


thumbnail image The application process for the next Youth Confirmation Course is now open. Please leave your contact details at Clergy House Reception 42 Francis Street, 020 7798 9055 and Fr Julio will contact you for a brief interview with the parent/guardian and the candidate.


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

10 January 2019: Westminster Abbey - private tour with the Dean followed by a visit to the new Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries and a drinks reception to follow. Tickets £50. The event will end at 8.30pm. Guests are asked to meet outside the Abbey at 4.30pm for Evensong at 5pm.

11 April 2019: An evening with Christopher Somerville - writer and journalist from The Times on his new book Ships of Heaven: The Private Life of Britains Cathedrals. He has dedicated a chapter to Westminster Cathedral. The talk will take place in Westminster Cathedral Hall. Doors open at 6.30pm. Talk at 7pm. Tickets £10. Copies of the book will be on sale and the author will be signing books after the talk. He has, rather appropriately, dedicated his book to all the Cathedral volunteers up and down the land, without whose generosity and hard work the Ships of Heaven would very soon run aground.

Related links: Email for Friends Office


thumbnail image Friday 3 May to Thursday 9 May 2019

The Order of Malta takes a group of pilgrims with us every year on pilgrimage to Lourdes, flying from and back to Stansted. The pilgrimage includes a full programme of religious events, with lively and fun activities and opportunities for sightseeing also available. Nursing and medical care is provided as necessary. We invite applications from interested sick, disabled and older people to join the pilgrimage, with accommodation in the Accueil Notre Dame. Pilgrims are asked to make a contribution of £300 towards the cost of some £600, but this can be reduced in cases of need. Anything over £300 would be gratefully received to help other pilgrims. For further information, please contact Mrs Kim O’Connor, our Head Nurse, before 14 January: k6oconnor@aol.com

Related links: Email for OMV Head Nurse


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.