Westminster’s Big Weekend

Wow; that was a big weekend for Westminster Youth Ministry – all the team really busy and serious mileage covered!

Cardinal Vincent Nichols trying on his new red biretta
Cardinal Vincent Nichols trying on his new red biretta

So how did everything pan out?

On Friday, Fr David, Rebekah and James were present at the Rite of Reception for Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. This welcoming Mass was a wonderful occasion and the Cathedral was packed with people and joy – I hope our intrepid photographer James’ photos captured the events in all its magnificence. A very rare and beautiful occasion. To quote Jo Warren, who also attended the Rite of Reception, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people turn out for an event before, and the enormous amount of good will for our Cardinal was encouraging.”

Saturday saw the team split up to support a range of events across the diocese. Fr David headed for our SPEC Centre in London Colney to support the Berkhampsted Parish Retreat and to celebrate Mass with them; forming an intrepid team alongside Pete Emmott, Dan Marsh and Jack Bull – I reckon that retreat would have a been a real blast! The young people we very lucky to have such energy all in one place at one time. I wish I’d been there too.

More or less at the same time on Saturday though, Rebekah and I headed for the Niland Centre in Bushey to facilitate Mill Hill Parish’s Day Together – Youth. Working alongside Fr Kevin and Anita (the Parish Council Chairperson) we helped with the development of their Parish Pastoral Vision. See the photos of the day – everyone working hard to build a vibrant youth community for the Parish. This was a great day and to quote Fr Kevin “We now move from Should to Do!” Their two principal youth leaders, Trudy and Betty, are a real blessing –  the Parish is lucky to have them on board.

On Sunday, life got even hotter for the team – even though I know it’s hard to believe. Fr David’s day started with the celebrating of Masses with the Kingsland Parish but he had to be back to St Aloysius in time to host the Lectio Divina Prayer Group; absolutely no rest!

I think Fr David managed to complete a run during the day at some stage but I fancy for him it was an opportunity to plan the next ‘step’ in his day’s marathon.

Jon Rogers at the SPEC stall in Newman House
Jon Rogers at the SPEC stall in Newman House

James headed to Newman House on Sunday where he met Jon Rogers and Sara Edejer from SPEC. This team were there for the Gap Year Fair and to promote SPEC as a possible venue. James didn’t miss the opportunity to promote our youth activities – his photo captures the event. Vital that we get our Youth Vision out to as many young people as possible; they are our disciples.

Rebekah and I headed to Bishop’s Stortford to meet with the parish community to discuss their Parish Youth Vision. Fr Peter has been raising awareness of the need to engage with young people in the parish for the last few weeks and his pulpit appeals have clearly resonated as the church hall was packed. I think the people attending were there because of Rebekah’s recent shout-outs at Mass though!  In the event, the meeting was wonderful and some real energy and drive was evident and this brings great hope. The meeting was full of young people and this especially bodes well. We have much work to do but there is real promise.

I think it’s Monday – is it?

God Bless and have great week everyone.