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Children flock to Cathedral

More than 1,500 schoolchildren attend Catholic Children’s Society Mass at Westminster Cathedral

By on Thursday, 9 June 2011

Archbishop Nichols with children from Barlborough Hall School, who were at the Mass

Archbishop Nichols with children from Barlborough Hall School, who were at the Mass

More than 1,500 schoolchildren from Catholic schools within the Westminster diocese joined celebrant Archbishop Vincent Nichols in Westminster Cathedral for the annual Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster) Good Shepherd Mass on May 24.

The Good Shepherd Mass is organised by the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster) as an annual thank-you to staff, pupils and parents who have supported the society’s Lenten appeal. This year, the theme of the appeal was “Go MAD – Make A Difference”.

School children were encouraged to think about how they as individuals could make a difference to the lives of local children and families living in desperate conditions and in need of urgent help. Schools entered the Cathedral with drawings, paintings and written work to illustrate what they did to make a difference during the season of Lent. The submissions will be compiled into a book about the work of the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster) and will go on sale in early 2012.

Chief Executive Dr Rosemary Keenan thanked everyone who had raised funds for the society, which supports children and families in every deanery of the Westminster diocese.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, celebrating the annual Mass for the first time, reflected on the theme, Make A Difference, and its relevance to all of our lives. He also spoke in detail about a prayer which had been written exclusively for the 152nd Good Shepherd Mass service by the nuns of the Carmelite Monastery, North Kensington.

At the close of the Mass he said: “I am very impressed with the prayerfulness of the children… and how well they maintained their attentive focus in a place the size of the Cathedral.” Each year the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster) reaches out to more than 2,500 families and children living in the Westminster diocese.

Services provided by the Society include school counselling, family centres and play therapy. For more information about the Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster), visit

  • Anonymous

    Whether by blatant or subtle means, the general idea that prayer can make a difference should not be instilled into children. The idea contradicts science and logic, both of which are useful subjects that can be applied to make a difference. And to rely on prayer can be dangerous.

    These children who are prayerful – who is responsible for their mis-education (in contravention of the European Convention of Human Rights)? Even if they were taught to pray by their parents, their school should attempt to enlighten them. The Archbishop’s apparent delight in the damage is sickening.

  • Ssensjbm

    You are seeking attention. Don’t worry we’ve read it.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for reading it. I hope that you are moved to do something about it if you can. My MP ignores me.

  • ms catholic state

    I don’t believe in the European Convention of Human Rights.

  • Anonymous

    The specific right that I alluded to was from Article 2 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right not to be denied education, and I think that mis-education is worse than denial. Why should a child suffer ignorance unnecessarily?

  • ms catholic state

    Yeah…..secular education is abysmal.  No child should have to suffer it.  I believe children are less educated now than they were 50 years ago.  And with free University a thing of the past….well…we are nearly back to square one.  How long before primary and secondary education must also be paid for….in our ailing backwards failing society?! 

    Not much the European Convention of Human Rights can do about that!  It is a failure at the heart of an ageing secular godless nation.