By Katie Ascough - 01 May, 2020
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, 11th Archbishop of Westminster, has spoken ahead of a series of special Thursday evening Masses for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in social care by expressing his “deep appreciation” for all those caring for others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Acknowledging the community solidarity behind the “Clap for our Carers” initiative that has seen millions applauding NHS staff and health workers from their doors and windows for the past four weeks, Cardinal Nichols said, “Now what we want to do is add to that public applause the practice of public prayer. So every Thursday at 7 o’clock, a bishop will celebrate Mass in one of the cathedrals for the care workers. We will begin here in Westminster Cathedral.”
Encouraging Catholics to follow Mass and pray before the 8 p.m. applause, Cardinal Nichols said, “Use that time before 8 o’clock on a Thursday to offer your prayers of thanksgiving for these generous, courageous people, for their support – their encouragement – [and pray] that God will sustain them in this great work that they’re doing.”
Cardinal Nichols spoke about how, as the lockdown continues, we must be “persistent and resilient and keep up the effort that we’re making in order to protect each other”. He emphasised the “big thank you” he wants to give to all those who are working to care for others, especially in care homes, hospitals, and in every place where someone is genuinely caring for another person.
“And in these circumstances, it’s stressful, but it’s deeply appreciated. And we can see on a Thursday evening how much that caring work, especially in the NHS and in care homes, is appreciated,” the cardinal stated.
Referring to the Thursday evening Masses, Cardinal Nichols concluded, “So please do join in, if you can, on the live streaming. Follow where the Mass takes place on each different Thursday … We applaud, but we pray and we pray fervently for them. May God bless them all.”
Click here to watch the video with Cardinal Nichols.