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The Word of God

thumbnail image The Word of God is not first and foremost a book but a Person: Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. This year is the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s important Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ in which he wrote:
The Apostle (John) speaks about hearing, seeing and touching the Word who is Life made manifest in Christ - 1 John 1:1 … Sharing in the life of God, a Trinity of love, is complete joy. And it is the Church’s gift and inescapable duty to communicate that joy, born of an encounter with the person of Christ, the Word of God in our midst. In a world which often feels that God is superfluous or extraneous, we confess with Peter that he alone has ‘the words of eternal life’ - John 6:68. - Verbum Domini paras. 7 -9.

We, too, hear those words of eternal life proclaimed through the Church, especially in the Scriptures. The Bible is like the intimate diary of the relationship between Christ and his People. It is the Churchs Book and one of her most precious treasures. The Catechism tells us that: in Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength and she never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of Gods Word and Christs Body - CCC 103, 104.

The Catholic faith handed down to us from the Apostles is the key that unlocks the authentic meaning of the Bible, and our knowledge of Christ is deepened in turn by reading Sacred Scripture, because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ -CCC134.

This is why the Church: forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures - CCC 133.

There are many ways we can encounter Christ in the Scriptures. They come alive for us above all in the Sacred Liturgy (the Mass and the Divine Office), but we are also encouraged to ponder the Word through private lectio divina, meditative prayer, or in the mysteries of the Rosary, for example.

This year also marks the 1,600th anniversary of death of St Jerome, who first translated the Bible into Latin, and who famously remarked that: Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. Pope Francis has designated today, January 26th, as a Sunday of The Word and our bishops in England and Wales have asked us to celebrate 2020 as a Year of The Word. That is why this on this coming Thursday to Saturday you will find installations, including ‘tents of meeting’ and specially commissioned works of art, throughout the Cathedral, encouraging us to encounter the Word of God in his Scriptures more deeply.

Fr Hugh MacKenzie

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image The February edition of Oremus, the Cathedral Magazine, 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.

Strategic review of the role of sacred music in the mission of Westminster Cathedral

thumbnail image See link below

Related links: Strategic review PDF


thumbnail image Learn to Pray, Learn to Live, following Fr Ignacio Larrañaga’s method, at Sacred Heart Church, Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2EF. All sessions run weekly and take place either on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, from 7pm to 9pm.


thumbnail image Croissants and Christianity: coffee morning with faith and fellowship for those with bumps, babies and toddlers. Join us on Monday morning from 10am to 11.30am in the Hinsley Room off Morpeth Terrace. We have a cup of tea and chat while children play, enjoying an opportunity to pray the rosary together, share common concerns and lend each other spiritual support in an informal and friendly context, often benefiting from input from one of the Cathedral priests. It is free and runs during term time and occasionally during school holidays. The Hinsley Room is on the left as you walk down Morpeth Terrace to Francis St, accessed via an iron gate and up a path alongside the little garden.


thumbnail image The SVP is distributing 11,500 Vinnie Packs containing cold weather essentials to the homeless this winter. Would you be willing to help? To d0nate (£3.50 per pack is suggested), please send cheques payable to SVP to Vinnie Packs, PO Box 72264, London SW1P 9EZ, or to donate by bank transfer to Natwest sort code 60-60-04, account number 4608 8237.


thumbnail image Art exhibition at Farm St Church Hall, 114 Mount Street, London W1, open every day. A Charity Auction of the art will take place on 30 January for Aid to the Church in Need, Westminster, Lourdes Pilgrimage and Safe Passage. Details at www.journeysinhope.com or contact johnart85@outlook.com.

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas)

thumbnail image On the weekend on 1/2 February we keep the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas), commemorating the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem on the 40th day after his birth, when Simeon spoke of him as the light to lighten the nations. Candles will be lit and blessed at all Masses, BUT the Cathedral lacks the resources to provide candles free to the 4,000 people who come to Sunday Mass. If you wish to have a candle blessed, YOU WILL NEED TO BRING YOUR OWN.


thumbnail image The Society, under the auspices of the Legion of Mary, seeks to teach people to explain their faith and to encourage them to Apostleship. The next meeting on The Catholic Church - Mother of the Bible will be held on Friday, 31 January at 6.30pm in the Hinsley Room. New members are welcome.


thumbnail image The Passage is one of twelve charities taking part in a ‘vote contest’ run by the site, Hotels That Help. The charity which secures the most online votes by 31 January will be awarded £1,000.

How do I vote?

Simply visit https://hotelsthathelp.co.uk/vote, find ‘The Passage’ in the list of charities, and enter your email address in the space provided before clicking on the green vote button. You will be sent a confirmation email containing a link which you should click on to confirm your vote. And that’s it! You will not be sent any marketing emails and there is no need to book a hotel, unless you want to of course!

You can find out more by visiting their website or facebook page. You do not have to ‘like’ their facebook page for your vote to eligible.

Related links: Website link Facebook link


thumbnail image Use your free time to inspire young people to build a fairer world. CAFOD is looking for volunteers who have a passion for, and experience of, working with young people. We need people who have a commitment to CAFOD’s aims and values and an interest in sharing our work in primary and secondary schools through delivering assemblies or workshops. CAFOD will provide training and support, and expenses will be paid.
Volunteering assignments will be in local Catholic schools and you can either work on your own or as part of a team. None of our work is possible without you, so join us and put your faith into action.
If you are interested please email Chris Driscoll at wschools@cafod.org.uk or call 07776 493162.


thumbnail image The opening of an art exhibition at Farm St Church Hall, 114 Mount Street, London W1, will take place on 6 January 2020. A Charity Auction of the art will take place on 30 January for Aid to the Church in Need, Westminster, Lourdes Pilgrimage and Safe Passage. Details can be obtained from johnwoodhousecat@gmail.com


thumbnail image The Cathedral Café will re-open on 14 September from 10am-4pm for drinks, lunches and snacks. Please do pay a visit the next time you are in the Cathedral. Normal opening days Tuesday-Saturday.


thumbnail image Meditations take place in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St Pauls Bookshop each weekday from 12.30 to 1pm. All are welcome.


thumbnail image The Holy Land
The Guild of the Blessed Sacrament’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, led by Fr Andrew Gallagher, will be from 18-25 November 2019, cost £1,445. For further details, contact Pax Travel on 020 7485 3003 or info@paxtravel.co.uk.

Passion Play of Oberammergau, Munich and Salzburg
A pilgrimage to see the world famous passion play that takes place every 10 years, combined with discovering the rich cultural history of its surrounding area, led by Fr Andrew Gallagher and Fr Kevin Moule, 14-20 September 2020. More details available from Clergy House Reception or Pax Travel at info@palxtravel.co.uk, or 020 7485 3003.

Related links: Email: Pax Travel


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.