In his last engagement as Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Bishop John Arnold celebrated a Mass for Cafod on Saturday 29 November in Westminster Cathedral. Concelebrating was Bishop Nicholas Hudson.
Bishop John spoke of new beginnings during his homily as 'an opportunity to look back' to see how well things have gone and 'to look forward to the new year' and to the resolutions we might want to put in place.
Of these resolutions, he said: 'We can become more of who we want to be, who God wants us to be using our gifts and talents and we base ourselves in faith and grow in the sense of the image of Christ working within us that we are channels of his grace and goodness.'
Speaking of other beginnings, Bishop John said, 'There are new beginnings which people crave for, hope for, something which helps people to start to build their own sustainable livelihood, escape poverty, provide for their own families, grow and develop their communities.'
He continued, 'In all my travels with Cafod, no one has ever asked for a handout; no one is looking to be given anything. They want a stepping stone which allows them to begin to provide with dignity for their families, communities and their education. That’s the new beginning we need to be thinking about today.'
He encouraged all those present to reflect, 'We can look back, with a great deal of thanksgiving I think, for all we have, the many blessings in our lives. And then maybe we can look forward to see how in some way we may help those who are simply looking for that opportunity to grow in their own sense of self-worth and self-dignity so that they may contribute, not only to the lives of their families, but to their communities, and build with us a better world for everyone.'
During the Mass, the singing was led by a combined choir formed of pupils from Westminster Cathedral Choir School and St Mary's School Ascot, who later sang for the guests at the reception which followed the Mass.