Cardinal Vincent gave thanks for 600 years of Bridgettine witness in an ecumenical service to commemorate the anniversary of the foundation of Syon Abbey on 19 July 2015 at Syon Park.
Joined by the Christian communities in Isleworth and Brentford, Cardinal Vincent delivered the homily which recalled the foundation of the double monastery on the site, ruled over by an abbess. Speaking of the turbulent history of Christianity in this country and the faithful witness of the Abbey, Cardinal Vincent said: 'That’s the wonder of spiritual treasures: they survive material destruction! Our spiritual heritage is far more powerful than the material goods we may leave behind.'
Paying tribute to the Bridgettine nuns and monks, Cardinal Vincent spoke of their 'enduring witness to the wonderful effect of letting Jesus’ love touch us'.
Looking at their example, he said: 'I hope we will all set out from here with a fresh sense of mission: that we are called to invite others to know the joy and freedom of our faith'.
The Cardinal also spoke of the example of St Bridget showing us the importance of contemplation to the mission to evangelise, saying, 'St Bridget would ask us to first stand at the foot of the Cross, with Mary, Mother of Jesus, to whom Bridget and the Bridgettines have such tender devotion. With Mary we gaze lovingly upon our crucified Lord only to grow in the utter conviction that He is risen; and so with Mary rejoice in God our Saviour. Filled with joy, we gladly go forth announcing Jesus as the one Hope to whom all are called'.
The full text of Cardinal Vincent's homily can be found here.