The annual International Mass was celebrated on 18 September in Westminster Cathedral. It featured a banner procession and the colourful dress of different ethnic communities that represent the cultural diversity of the Catholic Church in London and Hertfordshire.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent spoke out against the murder of Arkadiusz Jozwik and the attack on two other Polish men in Harlow: ‘There is no place in our society for hatred or violence against people because of their nationality or race.’
He emphasised that ‘we all reject these actions and these sentiments against whomever they are aimed’, saying ‘they disfigure our society’. ‘Be close to one another,’ he added, explaining that ‘this closeness needs to be extended’ especially to those who are newly arrived in this land. ‘Get beyond any arguments or divisions within your communities by looking outward at those who truly need your loving attention,’ he said.
He also encouraged everyone to ‘be constantly on the lookout for those who are brought to this country in the many forms of modern slavery’, to make contact with them and to learn how to respond.
He called for ‘international cooperation in the registration, welcome and movement of so many people driven from their homes by violence, destitution or hopelessness’. He prayed that this cooperation might enable governments to make better use of the ‘wellspring of generosity that is to be found in the hearts of so many people who are willing to help’.
The full text of Cardinal Vincent's homily can be found here.
Additional photos from the Mass are available here.