Text size: AAA (low graphics version) reset graphics
Westminster Cathedral

Latest News

CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid

thumbnail image ‘Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory. And exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of Lords and conqueror of sin and death.’

These words were spoken by Pope Pius XII in 1950 when establishing the dogma of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. This week on 15 August we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption, a holy day of obligation in which all Catholics are obliged to participate by attending Mass. August gives us two related feasts, which both help us to anticipate the glorious wonder of our heavenly destiny. Last week we celebrated the Transfiguration of Our Lord in which the disciples see a glimpse of God’s glory to help them in their mission. The Assumption also encourages us by showing us Our Lady ‘taken up body and soul into heavenly glory.’

According to Catholic teaching, the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed directly into heaven at the end of her earthly life. Hers was not so much a death as a dormition, or falling asleep, to mark her transition to heaven. This was due to her sinless Immaculate state and her being given the singular privilege of being the Mother of God. Jesus has also made it possible for us not to fear bodily death now because of his Resurrection. Mary becomes a sign of hope in the Resurrection for us; that we too can share in the peace and beatitude of heaven if we accept the gift of eternal life to which Jesus calls us.

From her place by Our Lord’s side in heaven, Mary intercedes for us with her prayers. She has been given to us as our Mother, and God has made her ‘Queen over all things’. As Queen and Mother, Mary is able to help us tremendously to know the love and mercy of God and to find the way to follow him in this life. As we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel, the disciples were afraid when seeing Jesus walking on water but Jesus tells them ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ When Peter finds himself sinking beneath the waves he calls out ‘Lord, save me!’ God does not want us to be afraid but to call out for his help as we journey through this life. He has also given us Mary, and as her children we can call out for her help too.

Fr Martin Plunkett
Cathedral Chaplain

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image The Cathedral Choir is on holiday from Monday 31st July. 5pm Vespers, the weekday 5.30pm Mass and the Saturday 10.30am Mass will be said. Sunday sung Masses will continue with a cantor. Choral services resume on Thursday 7 September.

See also: Cathedral Music


thumbnail image There will be a farewell party for Fr Brian O’Mahony and Sub Administrator Intern, Francis Thomas, in Cathedral Hall after the 6pm Mass on Saturday, 2 September.

Fr Brian will be going to Rome to take up further studies and Francis will be starting a formation course at Allen Hall.

Parishioners are invited to bring food to share, as is our tradition. Contributions may be left at Clergy House close to the date. Contact Mary Maxwell on 020 7798 9181 or email marym@rcdow.org.uk for further information.

OREMUS - July/August edition available

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

The online version will be available here:http://www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/downloads/July17website.pdf

See also: Oremus - The Cathedral Magazine

Related links: Oremus June Edition


thumbnail image Sunday 13 August NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group

Monday 14 August St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest & Martyr
11.30 Hinsley Room Prayer Group
12.30 St Pauls Bookshop Daily Meditation (Monday to Friday)
18.30 Hinsley Room Christian Meditation Group

(Holy Day of Obligation)
18.30 Cathedral Guild of St Anthony

Wednesday 16 August

Thursday 17 August
18.30 Clergy House (Rm 2) Legion of Mary

Friday 18 August
09.30 Hinsley Room Fitness Training and Coffee Morning
19.00 Cathedral Hall Charismatic Prayer Group

Saturday 19 August
10.00 Hinsley Room Centering Prayer Group

Cardinal Griffin’s anniversary (1956)
12.00 Hinsley Room Catholic Grandparents’ Association
13.00 St Patrick’s Chapel Divine Mercy Prayer Group
14.00 Hinsley Room Filipino Club
19.45 The Windsor Castle Young Adults’ Group


thumbnail image The next SVP book sale will take place in Cathedral Hall on Sunday, 17 September from 9.30am – 1.30pm. Our last sale was particularly successful in terms of the numbers of CDs that we sold and, as a result, our stock of these is now low. We would greatly appreciate all the CDs that you can spare as well as DVDs, religious books and new and fairly new paperbacks, but no hardback fiction please. Donations 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 ACN has asked me to pass on their sincere thanks to our parishioners for their generosity at their recent appeal when the amount raised was to £10,111.


thumbnail image The First Holy Communion course for 2017/2018 begins at the end of September. Forms are available at the back of the Cathedral and from Clergy House Reception. Completed forms should be submitted to Clergy House Reception for the attention of Fr Michael Quaicoe not later than Friday, 15 September.


thumbnail image There will be an opportunity to say farewell to Fr Brian and Francis (Cathedral Intern) at a parish party on Saturday, 2 September in Cathedral Hall. Further details will follow nearer the event.


thumbnail image The First Holy Communion course for 2017/2018 begins at the end of September. Forms are available from Sunday, 23 July at the back of the Cathedral and from Clergy House Reception. Completed forms should be submitted to Clergy House Reception for the attention of Fr Michael Quaicoe not later than Friday, 15 September.


thumbnail image Due to heightened security in the Cathedral, please could you ensure that bags and other personal items are not left unattended at any point? Any item left unattended is not only at risk of being stolen, but also raises alarm in these times of concern. From now on, any item left unattended will be taken away by security and could be destroyed.


thumbnail image Each year, the Cathedral runs a course from September to May for adults who have not been baptised and would like to be, as well as for Christians of other denominations who would like to be received into the Roman Catholic Church, and Catholics who have not been confirmed. The course is known as the RCIA (which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). More information is available from juliehanssen@rcdow.org.uk or Clergy House Reception on 020 7798 9055. Closing date: 31 August 2017.

Related links: Email: Julie Hanssen

CATECHISM – WHAT WE BELIEVE: Why does the Church celebrate the liturgy so often?

thumbnail image Why does the Church celebrate the liturgy so often?

The people of Israel interrupted their work “seven times a day” (Ps 119:164) in order to praise God. Jesus participated in the liturgy and prayer of his people; he taught his disciples to pray and gathered them in the Upper Room so as to celebrate with them the Liturgy of all liturgies: the gift of himself in the Last Supper. The Church, which calls us to the liturgy, obeys his command, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:24b). Just as a man breathes air in order to stay alive, so too the Church lives and breathes by celebrating the liturgy. God himself is the one who breathes new life into her day by day and enriches her with gifts through his Word and his Sacraments. We can use another image, too: every Liturgy is like a rendezvous of love that God writes on our calendar. Anyone who has already experienced God’s love is glad to go to church. Someone who from time to time feels nothing and goes nevertheless shows God his faithfulness.

(Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church)


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 Our Summer Fair was held last Saturday and made a net profit of £3,997. We are very grateful to everyone who took part either by helping or attending on the day. Thanks to the makers of all the delicious food, the Nigerian Association, the Filipino Club, the Grandparents Association and the cake makers. Also thanks to the donors of goods for the stalls, including the tombola and for the raffle prizes. We are especially grateful to the Filipino club for entertaining us with their graceful dancing. Details of raffle prize winners and individual stall takings are displayed on the Notice Board at the back of the Cathedral


thumbnail image The Annual Westminster Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham will be on Saturday, 7 October and will be led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols with our Auxiliary Bishops. The Cathedral is organising a coach which will leave from Ambrosden Avenue at 6.30am on the day and tickets are priced £25. Please make bookings at Clergy House reception to secure a place. Please note that no reservations can be made without payment.


thumbnail image American taxpayers can receive a US income tax deduction for their contributions to support the work of the Cathedral by directing their contributions to American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc., a non-profit 50 (c)(3) organization (EIN# 13-2983174). They will also enjoy special events and receive newsletters about Cathedral activities. Donations may also be made through bequests and charitable trusts. Contact Ms Una Chang, President, American Friends of Westminster Cathedral, Inc, P O Box 92, New York NY 10185-0092, email uchang1@aol.com.


thumbnail image This will be led by the Marian Fathers on Monday, 28 August. The coach will depart from Westminster Cathedral at 7.15am, cost £15. Contact Emmanuel 020 7286 3804/07721 362000 or Caroline 07960 466377. If paying by bank transfer please use the following details: Account Name: Caroline DM: Nat West 50-10-29, Account No 21770980.


thumbnail image The Christmas Fair will take place on Sunday, 10 December 2017 and we are already accumulating items for sale. If you are having a clear out over the summer please think of the Cathedral and donate all those unwanted presents, bric-a-brac and CDs. Donations should be brought to Clergy House Reception, clearly marked 'Christmas Fair'. Please no clothes, video tapes or cassette tapes. We are looking for helpers, too. If you want to be involved please get in touch with the Friends on 020 7798 9059.


thumbnail image Are you 18-40, do you want to deepen your knowledge of the Catholic faith, learn its devotions and meet like-minded people? Young Catholic Adults are organizing a weekend at Douai Abbey in Berkshire with Lawrence Lew O.P., and Canon Poucin ICKSP from 20-22 October 2017. You will be able to hear catechetical talks, learn how to sing Gregorian chant, say the Rosary, socialize and have fun. Prices start from £18.50. Book soon as places are limited! For more details, see http://www.youngcatholicadults.co.uk/events.htm

Related links: More details on Website