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We will be facilitating a Lenten Retreat Day on 11 March from 11am – 4pm in the Upper Room at 114 Mount Street, London
The retreat day will make use of Ignatian spirituality, which encourages us to encounter the person of Christ through the use of “imaginative contemplation”, and the day will include a session of guided prayer around a number of gospel passages and some sharing in small groups. This an excellent opportunity to take some time off as we reflect, pray and review what Lent means for each one of us.
We have a nearly full house but have a couple of places still available. Please email us to reserve your space.
We look forward to seeing everyone.
A wonderful pilgrimage to Rome was recently completed. We are pleased to provide an account of this year's pilgrimage, which we are blessed to have undertaken a number of times as a community and with an accompanying pilgrim letter from Cardinal Vincent.
The group was afforded special places at Pope Francis' General Audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday 1 March. Later that day, LGBT Catholics were present in Santa Sabina Church for the Papal Mass for Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent, receiving ashes blessed by Pope Francis.
Ash Wednesday evening saw the pilgrims present at an ecumenical Liturgy of the Word and Blessing of Ashes, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative in Rome, Archbishop Sir David Moxon, at the Caravita Oratory - home of English-speaking Catholics in Rome. At this Service, a member of the group was invited to read the Intercessions which included a special intention for the Westminster Diocese LGBT ministry, based at London's Farm Street Jesuit Church.
Thursday 2 March saw the pilgrims celebrating Mass in the rooms of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, at Rome's Church of the Gesù. Friday 3 March, the group received a warm welcome for Mass at the Redemptorist Church of San Alfonso, the titular church of Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Late in the evening, the group gathered with the Younger Adults of Nuova Proposta, a Rome-based LGBT Catholic group, for a time of Gospel reflection and discussion. This group is currently under some pressure from more conservative Church elements in Rome, and the London group assured them of solidarity and prayer.
Saturday 4 March, the group celebrated Morning Prayer at the Church of St. Bartholomew-on-the- Tiber, from where London's ancient church and hospital, St. Bartholomew's Smithfield, was founded. The Rome church has been dedicated to the memory of modern martyrs from all parts of the world and the group's liturgy remembered particularly victims of homophobic and transphobic violence.
The pilgrimage ended with Mass at the Caravita Oratory on Sunday 5 March, when the preacher was the retired Anglican Bishop of Salisbury, David Stancliffe, and once again a member of the Westminster LGBT group was invited to read the Intercessions.
1. LGBT Catholics Westminster in St. Peter's Square, following the Papal Audience, 1 March 2017
2. LGBT Catholics Westminster celebrate Mass in Cardinal Vincent Nichols' Titular Church - St. Alphonsus, Rome, 3 March 2017.
3. With Fr. Keith Pecklars SJ after 1st Sunday of Lent Mass, Caravita Oratory, Rome, 5 March 2017
4. Letter from Cardinal Vincent Nichols to pilgrims from LGBT Catholics Westminster
As part of LGBT History month 2016, the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council warmly invites you to a discussion with Savi Hensman on themes in her latest book, Sexuality, Struggle and Saintliness: Ekklesia | 'Sexuality Struggle and Saintliness: Same Sex Love and the Church' by Savitri Hensman
Affirming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continues to be challenging for some in the churches. Savi seeks to demonstrate that the central resources of the Christian tradition make change possible, desirable and indeed necessary. Delving beneath recent ecclesiastical conflicts, the book looks at how churches can, and do, live with disagreement. It provides a positive way forward in handling divisions over sexuality.
The 2016 LGBT History Month has religion, belief and philosophy as its theme, hence this event. A flyer of the event can be found here.
Come along on Monday, 15 February 2016, 19.00-20.30, to the Parish Hall, 114 Mount Street London W1K 3AH - refreshments provided.
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