Archbishop Nichols leads Vespers at Westminster Cathedral Vincent Nichols took part in a Service of Solemn Vespers at Westminster Cathedral yesterday, on the evening before his Installation as the 11th Archbishop of Westminster.

Around 2,000 people attended the service, with the congregation made up of Religious Sisters, Brothers and Priests, representatives of parishes and schools which was held in the presence of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Cardinal Roger Mahoney.

In his Homily, Archbishop Nichols, speaking as the Archbishop-Elect of Westminster, drew attention to a key phrase of St Paul ‘The supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord’. Gathered as a Catholic family, he said, “We know that there is nothing that can outweigh the advantage of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. Each of us in a different way understands that phrase…but this evening we can remind ourselves that nothing outweighs the gift that we have been given of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord'

He paid tribute to the work of Religious in the Diocese of Westminster. “We’re told by the Church that a Diocese is incomplete without the presence of women and men who dedicate themselves entirely through poverty, chastity and obedience in the pursuit of this intimate knowledge, this supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus, and this Diocese is blessed with a great richness of Religious in the service of the Lord’

“You and I” he continued, know that the knowledge of which St Paul is speaking is the knowledge of the heart…for us and especially for Religious men and women, it’s a knowledge that fills our hearts entirely, it’s a knowledge that is rooted in love and explored in love and makes us say at those key moments…‘I do it for you Lord’.

“This love, this knowledge of Christ flows into action and the action of that love in the world is well described as the work of justice. Justice is the desire that is given birth in that love because justice is born when we see everybody with those eyes of love, every person, every human being, every human life, when we see with those eyes of love and this becomes a focus of our justice and our desire to act towards them with justice and to see each person treated with justice.”

Archbishop Vincent Nichols also spoke directly to those involved with schools in the congregation, teachers governors and pupils . He urged them to take forward the work and ethos of Catholic schools and to make it an example which could inspire others and help build a stronger society.

“Please do cherish the privilege of being involved in the work of a Catholic school and in the learning it opens up to all who are part of that community… in schools we try to learn and share the skills and virtues that we need in our society today. That’s what we need, a refreshing of virtue, the virtues of honesty , goodness and dedication. Regulations are important, every school teacher knows that, but regulations are never enough and we are the people who evidently liveby those virtues and when we do that is when our witness becomes attractive to others and they can see that here there is a sprit of service and self sacrifice that goes beyond any regulation .'

At the end of his Homily he also asked people to pray for the Catholic community in Ireland and in Dublin in light of the report issued by The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

“Let us pray for those individuals and communities who have now to face every aspect of their past and to know that for now this will overshadow all the good that they most certainly did, and let us pray for those who have to respond to that report to work hard to implement its recommendations and to make sure that we learn those painful lessons and become a stronger, more human, compassionate church in the future.”

To listen to the service visit:
You can also download Archbishop Nichol's Homily at Vespers from Source: Archbishops House

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