On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 12 June, Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass at Sacred Heart parish in Holloway and opened the new parish centre and St Margaret Mary Annexe which is being shared by the parish and Sacred Heart Primary School. The Mass was concelebrated by Fr Gideon Wagay, parish priest of Holloway and Fr David Irwin, episcopal vicar for ethnic chaplaincies.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent spoke of the image of the heart. He spoke in particular about four hearts which came to mind; the red one in the stained glassed window above the altar, the blue one on the uniform of the children, the heart used in the logo of the British Heart Foundation and hearts used on Valentine’s Day. ‘The Sacred Heart window and the school badge are a reminder of Jesus’ love, which takes root in our lives and even when surrounded by thorns, survives all’, he said. He explained to the children that the British Heart Foundation looks after our hearts and is the body’s most important organ, so when that fails, our body fails. The hearts on cards and balloons shared on Valentine’s Day are a visible reminder of our love for each other, in families and among couples, as Jesus shows that He wants what is best for us in sharing the joy in His heart. Finally, the Cardinal summarised that the Church, the parish and the school are all part of the constantly beating heart of Jesus ‘whose love is stronger than death’.
At the end of the Mass, head teacher John Lane asked the Cardinal to present Mrs Ann Reid with a Diocesan medal and scroll to mark her 40 years of service in Catholic education teaching ‘all ages and all subjects’. Mrs Reid has recently left Sacred Heart School to return to her native Ireland but had re-joined the school community on the day to celebrate the occasion.
After the Mass, everyone processed across the road to the new parish centre and annexe for the blessing. The new building is much needed by the parish as a social space and by the school so that it can become two-form entry. John Lane and Laura King, chair of governors, thanked all those who helped the building project together after the Cardinal blessed it.