During the next few weeks we will just print the News section of the newsletter without a Cathedral Record – so this is the last one during the holiday period. For all those who will be travelling away on holidays I wish you an enjoyable and restful time away. For this week I have included excerpts from the homily of the newly installed Archbishop of Southwark, Archbishop John Wilson, who was ordained a priest for the Leeds Diocese, then appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster prior to this recent appointment
“If any of you are surprised to see me standing here today, then let me reassure you that you’re not as surprised as I am. Pope Francis spoke recently of three amazing realties within the life of faith: that ‘God calls, that ‘God surprises,’ and that ‘God loves.’ Everything in our life changes when we know we are loved by God in Christ. In fact, when we truly know this, at the core of our being, everything really begins in the most beautiful way. This love must surprise us continually, each day, in a new way, as God calls us forward in hope.
This Cathedral houses a shrine to St Oscar Romero, the remarkable Archbishop of San Salvador, martyred in 1980. I was just seventeen when I first read a book of quotations from his homilies. I’ve never forgotten the title. It was called The Church is All of You.’ That truth is at the heart of our pilgrimage as the Body of Christ. The Church is all of you, the Church is all of us, joined with Jesus Christ, our Head, and continuing His mission. In this, every Catholic is called to be an evangelising disciple. Each one of us has an irreplaceable part to play in the flourishing of God’s kingdom. The Lord needs you. His Church needs you. This Archdiocese and its Archbishop, its parishes and its schools,needs you so that united in faith, here and now, we can announce anew the joy of the Good News, so that side by side we can serve the Lord Jesus in the downtrodden and in the despairing, in the weakest and in the poorest.
As you saw, an important part of the installation liturgy is when the new Bishop is seated in his cathedra, his chair. I am acutely aware that the Lord Jesus has a warning for anyone who might sit upon a throne. When the mother of St James asked Him to give her two sons seats of honour in His kingdom, He in turn asked them a question: ‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ With these words the Lord Jesus signalled that following Him means sharing in His cross. Can we drink the cup that He drank? In a sense, we do this whenever we experience suffering, whether personally or in the lives of those around us and in our world. We must always be a Church of Simons of Cyrene, a Church of Veronicas, who help carry others’ burdens, who wipe the faces of the distressed.
Please pray for me as I promise to pray for you. Please ask our Blessed Lady to draw me, through her Immaculate Heart, ever closer to the Sacred Heart of her Son. And so then to God, who by His power at work within us can do more than we ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus, to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Most Rev John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark”