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The Dean’s Weekly Message – Sunday 5 May 2019 Posted on Sunday 5 May 2019

Health and Safety
Since the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris a few weeks ago I have received numerous e- mails and words of advice from a variety of sources about procedures and precautionary measures that we should take to prevent a fire starting within our own building.

We are even having an extra risk assessment by a diocesan surveyor next week on top of the annual survey that we normally have from outside agencies. The number of false alarms over the last ten years including one or two instances of over-zealous altar servers over loading the incense in the thurible have also indicated the effectiveness of our fire safety systems. So, whilst not being complacent, we do have very robust systems in place to protect against fire. The other very important fact is that the materials used within our building are principally stone, concrete and glass none of which are very combustible and we are probably at less risk of a fire spreading within the building than an average house. Sadly it was the roof timbers catching fire that enabled the fire to spread throughout the Cathedral in Paris. We are also in the process of updating our CCTV systems around the Cathedral to better monitor the site in case of any suspicious activities and to offer greater assurance of safety for all visiting our complex.

On this third Sunday of Easter we hear the passage from St John’s Gospel depicting Jesus’ appearance at the lakeside after the Resurrection, the miraculous catch of fish, and the healing and call of St Peter. The question asked to Peter is the most fundamental question that is asked of all of us as the Lords disciples- “Do you love me?”- followed by a challenge to show this love by our way of life.

Next Saturday young children from our parish primary school, St Nicholas, and from the parish will be making their First Holy Communion. Fr Philip will preside at the celebration in the Crypt Chapel at 10.00am. We pray for them and their families at this time, may the presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist be a source of strength and sustain them in their faith throughout their lives. I also hope that the celebrations that the families enjoy following the communion Mass will be focussed on the children rather than catering for the drinking needs of the adults.

Also on Saturday, in the evening at 7.30pm the joint choirs of the two Cathedrals plus soloists and small ensemble will be performing Handels Messiah in our Cathedral. When the Messiah was first performed the audience in London were unimpressed by the work and it was the after the performances in Dublin and other regional cities that it was acclaimed as a great oratorio. It has been a regular annual feature for a number of years alternating between our two Cathedrals and has grown in popularity over the years. Tickets are available from the gift shop or music department.

The fourth Sunday of Easter is set aside as a day of prayer for vocations. Next week two seminarians for the Archdiocese from Oscott College will speak at each of the Masses on the theme of vocations to the priesthood.

Canon Anthony O’Brien
Cathedral Dean