On Wednesday 5th July 2017, Westminster Cathedral was the setting for the annual Good Shepherd Masses, one celebrated in the morning by Bishop John Sherrington, and one in the afternoon by Bishop Paul McAleenan.
In attendance were many children from various primary schools within the diocese, some of whom also took part in the Masses by reading, serving at the altar and helping with the offertory.
The main theme running throughout the Mass was that of growing together, portrayed during the homily through the words of Jesus: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches’ from the Gospel of John. Branches stretch a long way from the vine, as we also venture far from Jesus as we grow as people, but we will always remain connected to him and one another. This point was very effectively illustrated by the Bishops as they invited some of the children onto the altar to hold hands and link in a circle, showing visually how we are all connected as members of one branch.
There was also mention of Jesus being the ‘good shepherd’ in the way that he leads us all through life, guiding us in the right direction and looking after us.
During Lent, the schools had been doing various fundraising activities to raise money for the Catholic Children’s Society; during this Mass, they presented their proceeds towards the charity.
Similarly, the previous week saw the Good Samaritan Mass, held on Tuesday 27th June and celebrated by Canon Christopher Tuckwell. It was attended by the diocese’s secondary schools, who had also been fundraising for the same cause.