On 10th November, priests from the diocese gathered at Westminster Cathedral to celebrate a Mass commemorating deceased clergy. Cardinal Vincent was the principal celebrant, along with Bishops John Sherrington, Paul McAleenan, John Wilson, the Chapter of Canons and priests, both active and retired.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent remembered each of the priests who have died this past year by name, acknowledging 'each of those for whom we pray this evening was uniquely gifted', explaining that 'we can be more clear-eyed in appreciating these gifts when we look at the way in which our brothers died'.
The Cardinal paid tribute to the special attributes they showed through their lives and deaths. Remembering Cardinal Cormac's 'ready humour and great warmth', he noted too that the 'simplicity and humility of his heart' in the last days of his life.
'What rich testimony we are given by those for whom we pray,' he added. 'Let us not be reticent to act on their example and depend on their fraternity, even now, for they are a great support for us all.'
Referring to the Gospel reading of the journey to Emmaus, the Cardinal noted that the Lord journeys with the disciples, 'shows them his heart, opening their hearts to a new realisation of the as-yet hidden truth of redemption'.
In a similar way, the Cardinal explained, priests 'walk with those entrusted to our care, even when they are heading away'.
'This is the discernment that lies at the heart of our ministry,' he added, 'a ministry that has as its horizon the gateway of heaven, knowing that the journey can only be made step by step, seeing what it is that the Lord is asking of each person, knowing full well the limitations of their freedom as well as the deepest desires of their hearts.'
He prayed 'that our brethren have already entered those heavenly gates, welcomed by the Lord, in his mercy and goodness', as he encouraged the clergy to 'live as we wish to die, as empty-handed as we can, trusting in the Lord, caring for each other and finding the joy in his presence that will carry us through even to our last hour'.
Additional photos are available here