The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, is the first to feature in a new video testimony series being offered in support of the celebration of the Year of Faith which begins on 11 October.
Interviewed at the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June, Archbishop Nichols said: “What my faith means to me is, above all else, a relationship with the Lord. That’s the consistent thing that has run right through my life so far and which I hope and pray will come to its fulfilment after death. It starts, of course, with our baptism, the most important call and sacrament, because it is then that we start on this journey of a relationship with the Lord and it’s a relationship that I try to sustain every day, partly through what I do, but partly, quite explicitly, separately from what I do, an inner friendship, an inner being present to each other, an inner awareness of the Lord’s presence deep inside me and alongside me day-by-day. So that’s more than anything, what my faith means to me, knowing Our Lord, loving him and just wanting to be with him and serve him, the best I can.”
He added, when asked to share a moment when he had experienced God’s presence: “I’d like to give you a very Catholic answer and that moment for me is every time I celebrate Mass. You might think that’s a bit much but it isn’t, it really isn’t, because I know in faith that when we celebrate Mass, we are drawn into the presence of God. Sometimes it feels great, sometimes it doesn’t feel so great, but that’s not the important thing. The deepest meaning of experience is something that I know and I enter into during every Mass. Sometimes that's quietly in the chapel in Archbishop’s House in the morning with just two or three other people present, sometimes it’s Mass celebrated in a great event in Westminster Cathedral, and sometimes a very remarkable event such as in the Eucharistic Congress here in Dublin. But for me the crucial experience of God at work in my life, the crucial experience, the crucial sense of being drawn into the mystery of God is in every celebration of the Mass, and especially when I receive Holy Communion.”
The Archbishop’s video testimony is the first in a series of video faith testimonies from bishops which will be made available on a monthly basis during the Year of Faith. Among other resources being provided by the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk are: daily ‘faith tweets’ offered in partnership with the Bible Society; Little Way Week resources for schools offered in partnership with the Catholic Education Service to encourage prayer and service; a brand new faith sharing booklet for small groups titled Radiating Christ that is being promoted in partnership with the Diocese of Westminster, amongst many other materials.
For more information please see: http://www.yearoffaith.org.uk
These materials complement those also being provided during the Year across the dioceses of England and Wales. For a snapshot of what is happening please see the dedicated page on the Bishops’ Conference website:
To view the Archbishop’s video testimony please see: http://vimeo.com/50534667 and http://vimeo.com/50534668