Archbishop Vincent Nichols praised the contribution religious orders and congregations have made to the Church in England and Wales during a special Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales.
The Conference represents the superiors of most religious orders and congregations. Speaking to a congregation of over 1,000 religious, he said that over the last 150 years religious, especially women, have had an amazing impact on the life of the Church in England and Wales.
He added that, looking around the cathedral, he saw incredible goodness in the faces of those present.
Concelebrating with Archbishop Nichols were Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, Abbot Martin Shiperlee of Ealing Abbey, 10 bishops and over 20 priests. Father Alan McLean led a 30-strong choir made up of both religious and lay people.
The Mass was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councilor Duncan Sandys.