To all the Parishes of Westminster Diocese on Prayer Commitment
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
What we hear, what we say, and how we hear, how we speak, determine to a great extent what we do – and eventually make us what we are. It is crucial, as Christians, that each of us has an ear that is attuned to Christ’s ceaseless call to leave other things and to follow Him. ...
Looking back at the life of Herbert Cardinal Vaughan, what surprises me is how much of what he strove for and achieved is what we strive to achieve today. So much has changed in the intervening 100 years, and yet so much remains the same.
Archbishops then, like Archbishops now, were the subject of intense scrutiny, and not all of it favourable. In fact, of the ten Archbishops of Westminster appointed by Rome since the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850, it was perhaps the first three, Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman, Henry Cardinal Manning and Herbert Cardinal Vaughan who bore the greatest burden, both of expectation, and of often hostile public scrutiny.
But what great men they were.
Dear Students of Eton College, dear Friends,
It is a real pleasure to be invited to address you this evening. It is always nice to preach to a chapel or church full of people. There was a bishop once who went to a parish and thought there would be a big crowd to welcome him. But when he went there were only a few people, so he said to the parish priest, 'Look here, Rector, there are very few people here; didn't you tell them the bishop was coming?' And the Rector said, 'No, My Lord, but the news must have leaked out somehow!'
St Georges Chapel, Windsor
It is always a great pleasure to be among so many young people. And I am delighted to be with you in this wonderful chapel. Despite your youth you have already achieved something notable already with your lives. And I hope, and pray, with you today that you will carry on in the vein that you have begun - giving of yourselves to others, conscious of the responsibilities and opportunities that come with being a member of the human family. And also stretching yourselves beyond what might at first seem possible.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today I perform what is the most important act of a bishop's ministry. I announce to you, in the name of the whole Church, that Jesus Christ is risen. Those first apostles were, as Jesus said, witnesses to the truth that He had risen from the dead. A bishop is, above all, a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection is the focus and the hinge of Christian faith. If Christ is risen, then faith in Him is not in vain. Our hope is not uncertain.
Today we confront a reality that is inescapable. It is not the joy of Christmas: the angels, the star, the infant in a manger. Nor is it the culmination of the Easter event; the joy of the resurrection, a new beginning, hope flooding back into our world. Today we meet the fundamental symbol of our Christian faith - the cross. And the cross brings us face to face with the reality of suffering, of sin and of death. In our liturgy today we revisit the darkest moments of the Passion, we re-live the pain, the mental anguish, the abandonment of Jesus. And in re-living those moments we are confronted with the mystery of our own suffering and the sufferings of those nearest to us.
The Oil of Chrism, which we bless today, is the oil which makes sacred new beginnings in a person's life, whether at Baptism, Confirmation or ordination to the priestly ministry. It symbolises the truth that the Church is always young. Ours is a community constantly enlivened and refreshed by new members, new witnesses to the faith and by new priests to bring people the overwhelming generosity of God in the gift of the Sacraments. Our Mass of Chrism is a profound moment in which to reflect on our calling, as priests and lay people, to minister and bear witness to our calling to be, and to be seen to be a 'Young' Church.
suspect that during the past fourteen months there is one song that has been running endlessly through the minds of the clergy and people of this Diocese. It goes something like this, Why are we waiting?! I perfectly understand your sense of impatience, despite the generous and extremely capable way in which Mgr Tony Rogers has acted as Administrator of the Diocese. I should like to pay a very warm tribute, on your behalf and mine, to him for the magnificent job he has done. Nevertheless, a Diocese without a Bishop is like a ship without a rudder. So today is an important celebration and a happy day not just for your new Bishop, Michael. It is also, I hope, a day of rejoicing and gladness for the whole of the Diocese.
Read at all Masses in the Diocese of Westminster on the 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 01/02 March 2003:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We Catholics risk giving Lent a bad name. Too often we see Lent as a season of gloom, of giving up things, and of hardship. But the first Preface for Lent makes it clear that this is a joyful season. So it is worth asking ourselves what is positive, even joyful, about the notion of repentance.
30 August 1906 - 23 October 2002
'Song of Songs 2:10-14, 1 Corinthians 13:1-2,4-8,10-13, Luke 1:39-56'
'Come then, my love, my lovely one, come. For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The season of glad songs has come.'
Our first reading from the Song of Songs sets the tone for our coming together today to give grateful thanks to God for the long and extraordinary life of Elizabeth Longford. Our faith tells us that for her the 'season of glad songs' has indeed come. I want to say what a pleasure it is for me to celebrate this Mass with all of you, her family, friends, and so many who had such a personal affection, respect and admiration for her.