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Westminster Cathedral

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THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE: SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

thumbnail image In the past week there has been much discussion about the roadmap out of lockdown and returning in some way to a semblance of normality. This comes after an extraordinary year where we have all faced many challenges, both individually and collectively as a Church. Eighteen months ago, the prospect of us having to close our churches to the public for several months and to have the reception of the sacraments so limited, would have seemed impossible. The idea of the priests learning to teach sacramental programmes via Zoom would have seemed even less likely! But much like Abraham in our first reading today, in these moments of trial we have found ourselves called to trust in God, always looking forward to the fulfilment of his promises to us in the fullness of time.
One of the major aspects of the roadmap that has been released is the success of the development and distribution of the vaccine against coronavirus. Here we need to give thanks to God for the incredible work of the scientists and medical personnel who have enabled this to be produced so quickly, and for all those NHS staff and volunteers who have given their time and skills to create such a speedy service so we can begin to look forward with joy. This is indeed something we should credit God for, as it is through the gifts that he has given to each of these people, that the vaccine programme has been able to exist. The Bishops have encouraged all of us when we are eligible to consider receiving these vaccines for the common good of society. In December they wrote:
‘Each of us has a duty to protect others from infection with its danger of serious illness, and for some, death. A vaccine is the most effective way to achieve this unless one decides to self-isolate.’
‘Catholics may in good conscience receive any of the vaccines for the good of others and themselves. In good conscience, one may refuse a particular vaccine but continues to have a duty to protect others from infection.’
In this past year we have faced many trials, but now as the light appears at the end of the tunnel, let us seek to support one another to end this time, so we can look forward to being reunited with our family and friends, and gather together as one body once again, in union with Christ who comes to us at the Altar and gives us a new and everlasting life.

The full statement from the Bishops Conference of England and Wales can be read at: www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/update-on-covid-19-and-vaccination/

Fr Andrew Gallagher

THIS WEEK'S DIARY:

thumbnail image The Cathedral is open from 7.30am and closes after the last Mass of the day.
Monday to Saturday:
Mass: 8 and 10.30am, 12.30 and 5.30pm *^
Exposition: Mon - Fri 2pm to 5pm

Sunday:
Mass: 8 and 10.30am *^, 12.30, 4 and 6pm *^
Solemn Vespers and Benediction 3pm * (English, live stream only)

Confessions can be heard in the Cathedral; there are no set times.
* This will be live streamed via the Cathedral website.
^ With organ accompaniment; all choral singing is currently suspended.

Sunday 28 February SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

Monday 1 March ST DAVID, Bishop, Patron of Wales

Tuesday 2 March Lent Feria
5.30pm Mass for those who have died in the pandemic: Cardinal Nichols

Wednesday 3 March Lent Feria; Cathedral closed
8, 10.30am, 5.30pm Masses and Exposition 12 - 5pm in Cathedral Hall (maximum capacity 36 people). No 12.30pm Mass; 5.30pm Mass also live streamed only from the Cathedral.

Thursday 4 March Lent Feria; Cathedral closed
8 and 10.30am Masses and Exposition 12-5pm in Cathedral Hall (maximum capacity 36 people). No 12.30pm Mass. Cathedral reopens at 5pm for 5.30pm Mass

Friday 5 March Lent Feria, Friday abstinence
6pm Stations of the Cross

Saturday 6 March Lent Feria

Sunday 7 March THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

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

MASS INTENTIONS AVAILABLE

thumbnail image If you would like to have Mass offered for someone who has died or is sick at this time please visit, call or email Clergy House Reception. Currently there are a number of Masses available for your intentions in the coming weeks.

OREMUS MAGAZINE FOR MARCH

thumbnail image Oremus magazine for March, the perfect antidote to Lockdown Blues, is published and available for collection by the main doors of the Cathedral and the Ambrosden Avenue exit and will be available via the homepage of the Cathedral website. The print run has had to be reduced, so be sure to get your copy, full of the usual high quality content, now.

THE CARDINAL'S LENTEN APPEAL 2021

thumbnail image Throughout the unprecedented events of 2020, your donations to the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal helped fund initiatives in four mission areas: Marriage and Family Life, Youth and Evangelisation, Caritas Westminster putting our faith into action by serving those in need, and the Education Service. This year, the Cardinal is asking us to think about families who are struggling to put food on the table. Through your generosity we are continuing to provide food for those people most in need. Thank you for your generosity.

LENTEN RESOURCE FROM THE PASSAGE

thumbnail image To mark 40 years of service to homeless people, this Lent we have produced 40 reflections for Lent each marking a year of service and reflecting on the needs of homeless people today.  If you would like to share in our Lenten journey please contact Andrew Hollingsworth andrew.h@passage.org.uk tel: 020 7592 1886. We plan to distribute all materials electronically in the interests of being both environmentally aware and saving costs. If you do not have access to the internet we can send print-friendly versions to a friend or relative by email.

FRIENDS' NEWS

thumbnail image Upcoming Event:
Wednesday, 10 March (note changed date): Alison Weir will give a talk on Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen. This will be live on Zoom at 7pm. Tickets £5.
Payment for all Friends’ events may be made via our Virgin Money Giving Link: https://tinyurl.com/FRIENDS-VMG .
A reminder that we have online tea and coffee after the Sunday 10.30am Mass. Please join in. You will find the link on the website beneath the live streaming portal.
Please note that we are only able to accept cheque payment for events if received a week before the event listed. If paying by cheque or VMG please confirm your booking via email: friends@rcdow.org.uk .
Please do join the Friends. We have a very active Facebook page and also an Instagram account to keep in touch with people through lockdown. We need new members to help support the work of Westminster Cathedral. For information on how to join call 020 7798 9059 or log on to the Cathedral website where you will find a downloadable membership form.

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.