The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, visited the Convent of Jesus and Mary (CJM) last Wednesday to address sixth form students on the importance of a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith and strengthening their relationship with God as they make their way out into the world.

The Cardinal, who is keen to reach out to young people as they approach this difficult but important milestone in young adulthood life when they prepare to leave school, focused his conference on ‘Exploring the Mass’.

The interactive talk touched on how and why it is important to continue developing a good understanding of their faith and the value this offers young practising Catholics as they embark on their future after school. The Cardinal spent time going through the various sections of the Mass and discussing and reminding them of the significance of each part. The pupils were also given the opportunity to ask the Cardinal questions which included querying what work was going on to attract new young people to the Catholic Church as well as encouraging and supporting current members. They also asked his advice on how best to respond to difficult questions they have had from people of other faiths or no faith regarding the Mass.

Over 200 students gathered for his address which included Convent sixth formers as well as students from St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, St Anne’s High School and The Douay Martyrs School.

Headmistress Louise McGowan said:

“We were very blessed to have the Cardinal visit and it was such a unique opportunity for our students and invited pupils to benefit from his guidance. These students walked away spiritually enriched by what they heard and equipped with practical advice that they can now apply in daily life to help them deepen their understating of the Mass, and its place in our Catholic worship.”