The annual Good Shepherd Masses took place at Westminster Cathedral on 5 June, based this year on the theme of ‘Stars of Hope’. The morning Mass was celebrated by Bishop John Arnold, whilst the afternoon service was celebrated by Bishop John Sherrington.
Reflecting on the children’s contribution, Mgr Phelim Rowland, Chair of the CCS, said: “The stars in the sky can only be seen in the dark. You can’t see them during the day even though they are still there.
"There are parts of our society that are very dark. Even here in London, there is violence and real poverty in places. In that darkness, there are children here today who think they can and ought to be light in the darkness, that they can be a star. It’s very important that we never lose sight of the fact that we can be that light, that we can make a difference.”
During the offertory procession in both Masses children from each school presented a cheque for the sum they had raised as part of their Lenten project, which were then handed to Rosemary Keenan, Chief Executive of CCS. Dr Keenan thanked the children for their support and prayers in assistance of other children.
In the morning Mass, Bishop John Arnold explained to the children that Pope Francis asks each of them to be a missionary disciple:
“That doesn’t always mean that we must use words to preach the Gospel,” he explained, “but it means that each one of you, by your actions, can make a difference.”
Bishop Arnold went on to remind the children of the Feeding of the Multitude where a boy’s small gift of a few loaves and fish was transformed by the Lord to feed thousands. He asked the children to think about the gifts they have which they can use to transform the world and to offer these up in prayer to Jesus.
Bishop John Sherrington, who celebrated the afternoon Mass, said: “It was wonderful to see the Cathedral full of children and young people and to be encouraged by their enthusiasm and joy in the service.”
After both Masses, the children enjoyed meeting the Bishops and having their photos taken with them.