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CHAPLAIN'S MESSAGE: Knowing the Father

thumbnail image In the longer form of this weekend’s Gospel we hear the famous parable of the Prodigal Son. One of the clear messages from this beautiful story is that, unlike the rebellious son, we need to know our heavenly Father. We come to know someone by being with them, talking to them and listening to them. The principal way that we do this in our relationship with God is through prayer. But prayer is not easy. Finding time to pray can be challenging in our busy days. Not knowing how to pray or feeling that we are not doing it very well can mean we leave it off until later; and later never comes. Being distracted in our prayer by so many things in our mind can discourage us. But when we do not pray, we find that we do not have peace, that our faith in God is weak and that nothing goes as we would like it to.

This last Spring, the Cathedral welcomed the Prayer and Life Workshop team into the parish, offering parishioners the chance to learn more about prayer and to grow in their own personal prayer life. Over a period of 15 weeks, 40 parishioners including myself committed ourselves to learning about different prayer methods each week and then practised them in a sacred half hour each day. For many of us this has been life-changing, and our relationship with God has been deeply enriched. We have grown to learn that through a committed life of prayer, all the things that worry us, whether from the past, the present or in the future, can be placed before God, and this frees us to live out our mission as his disciples to love our neighbours, no matter who they may be. Through this initiative we have discovered that the words of St John Chrysostom are true: 'Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.'

In the next couple of weeks we will begin a new series of sessions with the Prayer and Life Workshop team, and if you are not sure how to pray, if your prayer life seems to have become dry or if you feel it has never really grown, then I would wholeheartedly recommend you consider coming to the taster sessions on Tuesday 24th or Thursday 26th September to discover more.

Fr Andrew Gallagher

See also: College of Chaplains


thumbnail image Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, 18 September 2019 in the Hinsley Room from 4 to 5.30pm. The subject is Christian and Jewish perspectives on Palestinian statehood. All are welcome. Please contact John Woodhouse on 07908 888586 (by text) or on 020 8653 2373 for further details.


thumbnail image There will be introductory taster sessions these workshops on Tuesday, 24 and Thursday, 26 September at 7pm in Cathedral Hall. All are welcome.


thumbnail image The September 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.


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 Wednesday, 11 September: Friends’ Tour of the Cathedral and the Cathedral Tower. The tour will start at 6.30pm, with drinks to follow. Tickets £25.

Thursday, 12 September: Henry VIII – The Decline and Fall of a Tyrant. Talk by historian Robert Hutchinson. Westminster Cathedral Hall. 7pm. Tickets £10.

Wednesday, 25 September: Private tour of the Sacristy with the new Head Sacristan, Mr Richard Hawker, who will be explaining his role and talking about some of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures and items of historical interest. Afterwards there will be refreshments in Clergy House Library. Please come to Clergy House Reception for 6.30pm. The tour and talk will commence at 6.45pm. Tickets £25.

Tuesday, 1 October: Friends’ Curry and Quiz. Westminster Cathedral Hall. Doors at 6.30pm and the quiz will begin at 6.45pm. Tickets £18 (please note this replaces the previously advertised quiz on 24 September).

Thursday, 10 October: Day trip to Aylesford Priory. Details to follow.

Tickets available from Clergy House Reception or Friends’ office on 020 7798 9059.


thumbnail image Once again we will be taking part in the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham. This takes place on Saturday, 21 September. We will be leaving the Cathedral at 6.30am and returning at approximately 7pm. The cost will be £21.00 per adult and £11 per child. To book, please leave the required money, in an envelope clearly marked with your name and contact details, at Clergy House Reception.


thumbnail image CAFOD will be hosting a supporters’ information afternoon with a guest speaker, Laura Ouseley, who has first-hand experience of our work in Overseas. Come and hear how CAFOD is helping communities thanks to your support. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 18 September from 2.30 to 4pm at CAFOD’s Volunteer Centre, 1st Floor, Church of Christ the King, 29 Bramley Road, Oakwood, London, N14 4HE. Bookings taken on 020 8449 6970 or email westminster@cafod.org.uk.


thumbnail image A film night for the 18-40 age group on Saturday, 21 September after the Vigil Mass at 7.15pm in Vaughan House. The film showing is Shadowlands. For further information, please email Fr Rajiv at rajivmichael@rcdow.org.uk.


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 This will take place on Saturday, 28 September from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The day is led by Bishop John Keenan of Diocese of Paisley and Fr Dominic Allain, Pastoral Director of - From Grief to Grace - and others. For information please visit https://www.grieftograceuk.org. For the full programme of the day contact Antonia on email at antonia@walsingham.org.uk


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 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.