Migrants welcomed at Westminster Cathedral

Vietnamese Procession of Thanksgiving Pic: Marcin Mazur

Vietnamese Procession of Thanksgiving Pic: Marcin Mazur

More than 2,000 Catholic migrants living and working in London attended a special Mass for Migrants at Westminster Cathedral on Monday.

Shortly before the start of the Mass many migrant communities and parishes took part in a procession into Westminster Cathedral. Entering the Cathedral, dressed in national costumes and carrying colourful banners, they joined the congregation which included  mayors from a number of London boroughs and ambassadors from the EU and other countries.

Welcoming all migrants to Westminster Cathedral, in his Homily Archbishop Nichols said: "The Catholic Church, is your home. Here you are appreciated, treasured and, indeed welcomed."

Asking all present to draw strength from their faith, he continued: "Today we rejoice in our wonderful gift of faith. We thank God for our faith through which we get a glimpse of who we truly are. In faith our eyes take in all the present scene, with its hardships, its loneliness and its pain. But our eyes can also see through this present world to all that lies at its core. Here, in this open tent, we know that God is with us; that nothing happens outside of his gaze; that he sees all with his gaze of love, knowing the path we will take until his day truly comes and we find our true home."

This was  the fifth Mass for Migrants to have been organised jointly by the Diocese of Westminster, the Archdiocese of Southwark and the Diocese of Brentwood and supported by their Justice and Peace Commissions.

During the Mass, the Procession of Gifts was carried out by the Nigerian community while  the Procession of Thanksgiving was lead by members of the Vietnamese community.

At the end of the Mass,  many members of the congregation walked down Victoria Street to join community groups and members of other faiths at the London Citizens May Day Election Assembly at Methodist Central Hall where the three main party leaders took part in a pre-election debate.

Source: Archbishops House/ICN

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