Centenary Mass for Cardinal Vaughan
posted on 23 June 2003
Speaking following the mass to mark the centenary of the death of Cardinal Vaughan, which was celebrated at Mill Hill on Thursday 19th June 2003, and in advance of this Thursday's memorial mass in Westminster Cathedral, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, said:
“At heart Cardinal Vaughan was a missionary. He lived to spread the Word of God, and throughout his life he built many of the strong foundations that support so much of our work and make the Catholic Church the diverse and vibrant community it is today.
'The Catholic Missionary Society, which he founded, helped bring the Faith to the world and today what he gave has returned to us tenfold with our own parishes enriched by people from the old Mission lands.
'In our own day the Missions are closer to home and here too Cardinal Vaughan left an enduring legacy. Catholic schools and Westminster Cathedral were his way of giving the Catholic revival of his time a visible expression, his way of leading the Church out of the shadows to set down roots that have grown strong in the 100 years since his death.
'Today, as a new century begins, we can take the missionary zeal that forms this vital part of our history as a Church and bring it to a new expression in our own communities. We can build our own foundations - personal and shared - through a renewal process that brings the message of the Gospels into sharper focus in our life.
'We can gain strength from the example of Cardinal Herbert Vaughan. If he had a project in mind, he carried it through. If he wanted Catholic schools or a Cathedral he went out and got them and they have endured.
'His aim was to build up the Catholic Church as a Catholic missionary community, as a central part of England and Wales. As with any picture, there is light and shadow, but looking back 100 years and then seeing where we are today, I can only rejoice in so much of what has been achieved and take confidence that with the same faith and determination, we can lay down our own roots for the Church which will serve us as well for the next hundred years.