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Loreto College in St Albans marked its 90th anniversary, and, as part of the celebrations, the chapel underwent extensive refurbishment which were completed recently.

Cardinal Vincent paid the school a visit to celebrate Mass and to bless the renovated chapel on 10 December.

The school community gathered at St Alban and St Stepehn Church across the road from the school Mass where Parish Priest Fr Charles Sweeney welcomed Cardinal Vincent, who was the principal celebrant at the Advent Mass.

Cardinal Vincent explained to the pupils that on that day Pope Francis had remotely turned on the lights on the largest Christmas tree in the world, which stands in Gubbio, the town most famous for St Francis of Assisi's intervention to effect a change of heart in the wolf that was terrorising the town. The Cardinal reflected that St Francis accomplished this transformation by sharing he love of Christ to the wolf and encouraged the students to follow the saint's example.

He said, 'We must always try to show others that Christ can meet them where they are and His love can heal their wounds. We must also pour out that love so that others can be filled with the same love and in their turn share it with everyone they encounter.'

At the end of Mass, a candle was lit and carried over to the school chapel where Cardinal Vincent placed it as a symbol of the light of Christ illuminating all those who come to pray in the chapel.

In a brief reflection during the liturgy, the Cardinal noted that it was very evident that the chapel is the 'centre, the beating heart of the school'. He urged the staff and students to continue to keep Christ at the heart of all they do, following the example of their patroness Mary Ward, the foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters). 

Headteacher Maura Lynch paid tribute to the work and example of the Loreto Sisters who had founded the school and had taught its pupils for generations. Although they no longer teach at the school, there is still a close connection between the school and the order. Representing the Loreto Sisters on the day was Sr Anne McEvoy IBVM, Provincial of the English Province.