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 Cathchild.org.uk.