MEET THE MOST CATHOLIC ACTOR IN HOLLYWOOD EDUARDO VERASTEGUI TELLS ANNA ARCO ABOUT HIS STUNNING CONVERSION P7
Archbishop: daily prayer ‘essential to well-being’
BY ANNA ARCO
IN HIS first pastoral letter the Archbishop of Westminster has said that daily prayer is essential for well-being.
In a letter issued almost exactly four months after his installation, Archbishop Vincent Nichols thanked the faithful in his new diocese for their encouragement and prayers and urged them to partake in the shared life of faith and prayer, “especially as experienced and strengthened in the parish”.
Quoting from the letter of St James he said that “our relationship with Christ, expressed in prayer, is central to the stability and fruitfulness of our lives. “A sound practice of daily prayer is essential for our wellbeing,” he said.
He explained that three people who illustrated the importance of prayer were being held up as examples in the coming weeks and months.
In the letter, read out in churches days after St Thérèse of Lisieux’s relics arrived in Britain, the Archbishop said the 19th century French Carmelite should serve as an example for placing prayer at the heart of daily routine, “knitted into the regular tasks of the day”.
The relics, which arrived on British soil on Tuesday, were brought to Portsmouth Cathedral on Wednesday and will tour the country for a month. St Thérèse’s remains will stop at 28 locations. They will be in the Westminster diocese in October, towards the end of the visit.
The relics will travel around England and Wales from September 16 to October 16. Her bones have travelled to 40 different countries. Organisers expect large crowds.
Archbishop Nichols said:
“Many people find that, in her presence, their faith is strengthened, their prayer is deepened and they turn to God afresh, through repentance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“I encourage you most earnestly to come to her in these two places during these few days. A plenary indulgence may be gained, in the presence of these relics, under the normal conditions of Reconciliation, Holy Communion and prayers for the Holy Father.”
Cardinal John Henry Newman, who is due to be beatified in the early summer of 2010 and will be the first English person in over 600 years to be declared a “Confessor of the Catholic Faith”, was the second example of the importance of prayer that Archbishop Nichols wrote about. Writing of Cardinal Newman he said: “As you know, he came only gradually to the fullness of Catholic faith. It was a difficult journey for him. Yet, in his own words, he came to recognise our faith as ‘a working religion’, not concerned with ideas or vague generalities, but taking us up into the true worship of Christ himself. At the heart of Newman’s sense of the realism of our faith was the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, ‘as real’, he said ‘as we are real’.
“We can learn from him to reawaken in ourselves this faith in Christ’s real, abiding presence in the Holy Eucharist, reserved in the Tabernacle. When this happens, we behave accordingly in His presence, giving Him our attention and the love of our hearts whenever we are in church.
“In this way we not only build up our own life of prayer but also encourage each other, in church, to give this precious
Archbishop Nichols celebrates Mass in Westminster Cathedral
time to Him. After all, He is the only one who can bring lasting peace into our lives.”
Archbishop Nichols spoke about Cardinal Newman’s example as a parish priest in Birmingham. At his funeral procession in August 1890 over 20,000 people lined the streets for him, paying tribute “to a fine and devoted parish priest”.
It was providential that John Henry Newman’s beatification would take place during the Year for Priests which was proclaimed last June by the Pope,
he said. The Archbishop also said that during the Year for Priests the faithful were asked to pray for priests in a special way, “to thank and encourage them”.
He said: “The life of a priest has its own particular demands and we all know the crucial leadership given by the priest in the parish.
“So, I ask you, cherish your priests and care for them. Remember not only the sacrifice priests have made but also the gift of sacramental life they bring to you through their
September 18 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Prayer can be ‘part of our daily routine’
PASTORAL LETTER EXTRACT BY ARCHBISHOP VINCENT NICHOLS
ministry and the pastoral care they give.”
Both St Thérèse and Cardinal Newman were examples during the Year for Priests, he said, Thérèse because of her “special love for priests” and Cardinal Newman because he was “a great example of a faithful, hardworking priest”.
The Archbishop said the third person being held up for the faithful was the Curé of Ars, St John Vianney, whom Pope Benedict XVI declared the patron of the Year for Priests.
Archbishop Nichols said: “He is the patron saint of priests. He too reminds us of the centrality of prayer and repentance in our lives, and of the astonishing gift we are given in the Real Presence of the Lord in our churches.
“May these holy men and this holy woman pray for us. May these coming months bring blessings on our families and parishes. And from those sources of strength and encouragement, may we be renewed in our faith and in our generosity towards all in need.”
MY DEAR people, in writing this first pastoral letter since my appointment as Archbishop of Westminster I wish to thank you all for the warmth and kindness of your welcome. Together with the assurances of so many prayers, this is a great encouragement to me.
So, in my turn, I want to encourage you in our shared life of faith and prayer, especially as experienced and strengthened in the parish.
In the reading from the letter of St James, which we have just heard, the Apostle gives us a realistic picture of family and parish life. He describes our daily struggles, “these wars and battles between yourselves” (4:1), arising from conflicting ambitions and desires. He speaks of the wisdom “that comes down from above” (3:17) and the enduring kindness and compassion to which it gives rise, overcoming our temptations to favouritism and hypocrisy.
This wisdom of which he speaks is, of course, Christ himself. So St James insists that our relationship with Christ, expressed in prayer, is central to the stability and fruitfulness of our lives. A sound practice of daily prayer is essential for our well-being.
Three people who illustrate this truth very clearly are being held before us in the weeks and months ahead.
The first is St Thérèse of Lisieux, well known as the Little Flower. She teaches us that prayer can indeed be part of our daily routine, knitted into the regular tasks of the day. Through her own prayer she came to understand that her vocation was to love.
She wrote in The Story of a Soul: “I had discovered where it is that I belong in the Church, the niche God has appointed for me. To be nothing else than love, deep down in the heart of Mother Church.” Her direct, wholehearted love of the Lord has meant that the hidden life of St Thérèse has become a gift to people all over the world. Everyone who seeks to know God in their own heart can draw inspiration from her example. True love such as hers is always creative. Full text: www.rcdow.org.uk
‘I’m no wowser,’ says cardinal. ‘But Australians drink too much’
BY ANNA ARCO
AUSTRALIA ’S most senior churchman has spoken out against the dangers of binge drinking as the country’s alcohol-related hospital admissions soar.
Cardinal George Pell, in his weekly column in the Australian Daily Telegraph, said alcohol abuse had devastating consequences and that Australia was “long overdue for a correction”. He implied that banning alcohol advertising
might be a good thing. According to the cardinal hospital admissions for alcoholrelated reasons in Australia had increased by 130 per cent for 18 to 24-year-olds and 200 per cent for women in the last nine years. He said 40,000 people are admitted to hospital annually with injuries and illnesses related to alcohol. Britain faces similar problems. In England there are over 400,000 annual alcoholrelated hospital admissions.
The cardinal said that while
he grew up in a pub, enjoyed a glass of wine and didn’t think he “could be called a wowser” – an Australian term for a killjoy – ”you can always have too much of a good thing: in the case of alcohol, with devastating consequences”.
He said: “Death, injury and illness from alcohol cause suffering enough. But there’s more: the assaults and violence inside and outside pubs and clubs, the abuse and misery for families and loved
ones at home.” The cardinal said alcopops and ready-todrink spirits were a concern for under-age drinkers because the alcohol could not be tasted “so they are consumed quickly and in quantity”.
He said finally: “Wrestling with the demon drink has been part of the Australian story from the beginning. The pendulum has swung too far one way. We are long overdue for a correction.”
Editorial Comment: Page 13
" ! "
Baby son brings joy to royal couple
Bono’s beautiful day in the Sistine Chapel
BY MIGUEL CULLEN
LORD NICHOLAS WINDSOR and his wife Paola are celebrating the birth of their second son, born on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Lord Nicholas and his wife made history by becoming the first members of the royal family to marry in the Vatican. The couple are devout Catholics. Lord Nicholas con
verted to Catholicism in 2001. The son, who is as yet unnamed, will be 26th in line to the throne until he is baptised as a Catholic, whereupon he will forfeit this position due to the Act of Settlement.
The son was born in the NHS Chelsea and Westminster hospital on September 8.
Lord Nicholas, 39, is the son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, while Croatian Paola, 40, is the daughter of Prince and Princess Louis Doimi de Frankopan.
They married at a private ceremony in the Vatican in November 2006.
BY SARAH DELANEY
POPE BENEDICT XVI has invited hundreds of artists to meet him in the Vatican – including the Irish rocker Bono – in an attempt to rekindle the special historical relationship between faith and art.
More than 500 personalities from the worlds of art, theatre, literature and music have been asked to gather with the Pope beneath the Michelangelo frescoes in the Sis
tine Chapel on November 21. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the meeting was to be the first of many initiatives
aimed at bridging the gap
that has developed between spirituality and
over the last century,
and which could be seen in the art and architecture of many modern
churches, which, he said, “do not offer beauty, but rather ugliness”.
DON’T MISS: BISHOP NAZIR-ALI ON ISLAM’S FUTURE PAGE 15
&.)*,,6&.5& 544/. 522&9 777"$.5+/2( &(*34&2&% 7*4) 4)& )"2*49 /--*33*/. /
&62223*33 %%2&33 /34$/%& &.$,/3& : : : : 4)&2 4/ )&,0 4)/3& 7)/ "2& 35''&2*.( *. 4)& *%%,& "34 &.$,/3& " $)&15& 4/*% 4/ 4)& )52$) *. &&% 0,&"3& %*4 -9 "34&2"2%-&8"&342/ ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! *(."452& 342*0 $/%& ,"34 #,/$+ /' %*(*43 !! !! !! !! 80*29 "4& ",*% 2/- "4& 335& / "&342/ *(."452&