MORE THAN 500 people with learning disabilities celebrated Eastertide at the evening Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, May 20.
Cardinal Connac MurphyO'Connor presided at the Mass, concelebrating with Bishop Bernard Longley, Fr Norbert Fernandes and 10 other priests of the Diocese of Westminster.
A special invitation to attend the Mass had been extended to people with learning disabilities throughout the Diocese of Westminster. St Joseph's Pastoral Centre, the agency in the Diocese of Westminster whose mission it is to support people with learning difficulties and their families, had brought together individuals from' parishes and schools, from the cathedral and from its centre at Hendon to work together on the liturgy and the welcome.
The Cardinal emphasised the way that the Mass united people. He said: "It is good for us all to be together — a congregation with many languages, many cultures, many gifts and, also no doubt, many challenges in our lives."
The message of the Mass was "Love one another as I have loved you", and this was emphasised by the Entrance Procession, with its colourful banners and pennants from groups expressing love and friend ship. A joint group from Pield Heath House special school and Dmay Martyrs School interpreted the Gospel message with a spe cial liturgical dance and the choir and instrumentalists helped to create a joyful affirmation of love and friendship.